February Half term has seen a dose of good weather and an extra day off work for myself with the kids. Our National Trust cards had come through the post so I took the kids to our first official visit.
Moseley Old Hall had a few activities on for the kids so we ventured along to see what was what. Being just 9 minutes from our house, this was an ideal local attraction, good for the waistline and good for the wallet.
We parked fairly quickly and were given directions to the main reception. Parking was free (i’m not entirely sure if this is always the case) and so we made our way in.
Our arrival was perfectly timed with the start of the wassailing ceremony. All of the children present were encouraged to pick up a musical instrument, and to follow the leader around the orchard shouting for the trees to wake up. This is a pagan celebration, to promote a good harvest for the cider producing orchards.
The kids were more than happy to walk around, banging cymbals, hammering sticks and shouting at the top of their voices! At the end of the ceremony, we gathered to toast with a drink of apple warm apple juice and cinnamon. It was delicious.
Also on the itinerary, was the promise of toasting marshmallows by a campfire. The going rate was £1 for 6 marshmallows so we got 2 bags, and sat ourselves by the warmth of the flames. With a large white blob of fluff perched on the end of a branch, the kids melted and ate their way to a sugar loaded high. This experience officially marked their first sticker towards their 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3 quarters. Although, we have done most of the challenges already!
Happily full of sweetness, we meandered towards the tree house located at the end of a wooded walk. With awe, the kids ran off to explore and climbed and swung around to their hearts content. I think my boys may be part monkey, with how natural they were at climbing and swaying around. There were a few other children who had come to inspect the wooden wonderland and they were all very amicable in playing together and taking it in turns to use the rope to get back down.
Stopping for a bite to eat, I gave the kids a snack while they were busy playing a game of tag with each other. They were getting along so well, and they were happy to just be outdoors and feel free. The weather was mild, the sun was shining and the kids were smiling. Not a bad result for a free day out.
Happy that we had exhausted the grounds, we tried to enter the house itself. King Charles II took refuge here just after the battle of Worcester in 1651 so it has securely placed its claim to fame. Unfortunately, we found out by a few rather alarmed ladies (who seemed to think we were about to burgle the place) that the tickets were timed if we wanted to look around the hall. As time was getting on, and the kids having swimming arrangements on a Monday, we left the ladies to it.
Not before finding the little second hand bookshop and spending more time in there choosing books than we did having something to eat! £2.50 later, we all left with a wonderful souvenir of a great visit to Moseley Old Hall.
For a cheap and cheerful day out, I would definitely recommend visiting Moseley Old Hall if you’re in the West Midlands. If you have National Trust passes, entrance is free. If you don’t, Adults are 7.70 and Children are 3.85. Family tickets can be bought for £19. You can spend a good few hours exploring the grounds, the bee hives, orchards and the resident peacock!
For other days out, have a look at Sherwood Forest