Continuing on with the A to Z of family friendly activities in London we have the letter E.
I hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend, we spent it enjoying our very well timed Easter activities. We had a special guest star to our activities this weekend as my mum came along for a visit. We decided to head out to Eltham Palace as we had thought about going for a while and it seemed like a great place to take my mum so a great three generation family activity.
It’s quite far from us so we had to take the train to Eltham. It’s a little bit of a walk to the palace from the station but easy with the pushchair. It gets more and more scenic the closer you get to the palace. When you arrive you have to buy a ticket from the visitor centre which is in a separate area to the palace. There is a shop, cafe, and an amazing outdoor playground. You don’t actually have to pay for entry if all you want to do is have a cup of tea and let your kids run around in the playground. We had lunch in the cafe – the food was really tasty if not a bit pricey but that’s to be expected. The weather held off enough for us so we sat outside.
Eltham Palace is an English Heritage property so entry is also a bit pricey but mum was, of course, a member and the hubby has an Art Pass, so only I paid. What I would say though is that it is totally worth the entry fee, especially if you love art deco anything!
The tour of the house is self-guided with an introductory film to give you a bit of history about the house and its owners. You can’t take pushchairs into the house but there is a space to park them outside which is constantly staffed. There is a baby change near the doors and also a sofa within the ladies toilet area if you need to stop for a feed. We popped Henry in the carrier and headed inside.
The house was owned by the Courtaulds who had decorated every room with an art deco theme but also restored the medieval hall that was part of the original palace. There was a multimedia guide that is part of the entry fee that had videos of actors playing parts of friends and relatives of the Courtaulds to help tell the story of the house and it’s occupants. Although carrying Henry in a carrier and using a guide was not easy! We took one guide and passed it around and let each other know what we learnt. The Courtaulds were certainly an interesting couple, Mr Courtauld got Mrs Courtauld a Lemur as a wedding present. This pet fitted well with the children’s animal trail which was obviously entertaining lots of little visitors as we went around. There were also lots of opportunities to try on costumes from different eras which meant I tried on a lot of hats and might have got Henry to try on some as well!
Once we were finished in the house we walked around the gardens which are well cared for and mostly accessible with a pushchair. There is a beautiful waterfall and fragrant kitchen garden as well as a seating area for a well-deserved rest (and a cheeky chocolate egg!).
I would thoroughly recommend Eltham Palace for a visit. The rooms are stunning and the gardens are lovely although I would certainly check the weather before your visit as it did get a bit chilly for us.
Next stop letter F . . .