Castle Capers

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Last Sunday, I spent much of my marshalling time looking down on a medieval castle.  It is a stunning ruin and one which defines the local area, its on the main road out of our town and I am always bewitched by its beauty, I believe it looks completely different every time I see it, different angles, different coloured skies etc.. Despite having such an impact we rarely visit the castle, we are often close by and enjoy views of it on various walks but its rare that we go in to appreciate the beauty and history of the site.  However, today we were thinking of a family trip and given the excellent weather and quieter tourist period decided it was a great opportunity to visit.

I was really pleased we visited as it was a fantastic trip, there were lots of new features.  We followed a nature trail which led to a natural, recycled play area beautifully set off by a stream with stepping stones, the children loved this and I really appreciate a play area which complements its environment.  In the castle, there were lots of activities for children, there was a castle quest where the children found 6 shields and answered questions on the information given, they received medals for this task and are so proud of them, they’ve both gone to bed wearing the medals and I’ve promised they can take them into school tomorrow to show their teachers.  They were also given a booklet which allowed them to make rubbings of key pictures around the castle, another really enjoyable activity.  Another interesting addition was market stalls showing arts and crafts of the time and aspects of everyday life.  Little Man made a bee line for the soldier with his wooden gun and was fascinated how it worked, he also showed great enthusiasm for the cannon.  To finish the morning we stopped at the castle café which must be one of the prettiest tea shops in the country, an old country cottage with a garden filled with British flowers and a menu reflecting local produce and specialities.

Each weekend we always make time for a family treat, whether it be a walk, trip to a local attraction or simply quality time together in the garden. Time together is so precious and creates those warm, fuzzy moments.

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