We were in the fortunate position of having Daddy Foote’s car, a full tank of fuel, and a sunny day with time to kill. So we headed out to Gibside! We’re really enjoying having National Trust membership, especially now the weather has perked up.
As soon as we arrived, James looked around the carpark for the perfect stone (the carpark is gravelled), but apparently there weren’t any of exactly the right size or shape. Anyway, no matter, because he happened upon a stick.
The stick was lovely, and James happily ran along the bridge with his stick, until he became slightly distracted by some preschoolers. He followed them around until I reminded him there’s a castle to explore.
First, though, a quick climb on the wall, up around the chapel wall and a quick look inside. James likes the ceiling in there because it’s a circle. I didn’t take a photo of that, but if you’ve been you’ll know it’s pretty.
I was a bit distracted by the fact they’ve closed the lawn to allow the grass to grow, and I’ve never seen it so empty before!
Then we wandered along the path to the Strawberry Castle playing area. Now, a very interesting thing occurred here. For the first time I decided to show James where I would be sitting, and then told him he could play till he needed a wee. I also pointed out the toilets, and then he ran off and got on with it! So no photos of him clambering about the climbing frame today. It’s a really great play area, with different levels to climb on, and a few treehouse structures apart from the wooden fort-cum-castle.
I sat with Noah and chatted with some other parents. I had a really lovely time, and found it very restorative to talk about things other than just spot James while he climbs!
Then it was time to go, past the sheep in the fields with their bouncy lambs. It really feels like spring time when you see lambs, doesn’t it?!
On the way back, James examined the floor of the path until he found his stick again. He’d dropped it along the way to the castle, but obviously although it had been out of sight, it hadn’t been out of mind!
We shared a Calippo before we left. What a lovely sunshiney day!