I am always on the look out for places to go, especially ones that don’t cost too much.
Bolton Abbey is a place I remember going as a child myself. My memory of the place is a little hazy, I must’ve been pretty young. But what I do recall is a lovely warm sunny day, a river, lots of green grass, being with loads of friends and having heaps of fun. A really happy childhood memory.
So with this in mind, I thought a great place to go with the kids this summer. I wasn’t disappointed. Packed the car up with kids, a picnic & friends. When ever possible we always take our own food. I find that food, drinks and snacks is where trips out tend to blow the budget.
The sun was peeking through here and there, not glorious, but enough to warrant a day trip in the outdoors. The only cost was parking – you pay per car not per person and it was £8. Considering there were 2 adults and 3 children, as far as entry fees to places go it worked out more than reasonable. Plenty of places to park, picnic benches and tables can be found here along with shops, cafe’s, toilets. We decided to eat first before going off to explore (less to carry).
Its a short walk from the car park to the entrance to the Abbey grounds. You are given a map when you park, so its very easy to find your way around.
Just as I remembered – green, open space – wonderful
The plan was to do the ‘Welly Walk’ – basically a woodland adventure trail round the grounds with activities to do along the way including tree climbing (there is an extra cost of £2.50 to do the tree climbing), tunnels slides, bridges and beams. The info does warn you to forget about being clean, and advises that some of the obstacles are not suitable for all age groups. (Picture from Bolton Abbey website)
However, even though it was our intention to do this, as soon as the kids saw the river it was off with shoes and socks to dip their toes in.
This lead to the rolling up of trousers for a bit of a paddle.
This led to the removal of trousers, and me taking a trip back to the car to the change of clothes that thankfully I’d had the forthought to pack ‘just in case!’
And that was it – the rest of our afternoon was decided. The grown ups on the picnic blanket keeping eye, the kids in the river, padding, skimming stones and generally loving life.
I loved it, this was exactly what I remembered from my childhood visit – how often do you get to play in rivers these days. A little further up, just beyond the bridge are the stepping stones across the river. The water level was higher than ususal, so water was lapping over them, but they weren’t slippy and were very sturdy. After a few tentative crossings, they children were practically running and skipping across them. I did give it a go.. but boy that water was cold.. managed less than a 3rd of the way across before my wussiness took over and I headed back the way I came. Clearly children have a lot greater threshold of cold as they literally spent over 2 hours playing in the river.
Eventually we persuaded them to dry off, and we took a bit of a walk around the ruins. What a stunning place. I love a bit of history and and places like these I am always in awe of how they were ever built. The masonry, the detail is astounding.
There is also still a fully functioning chapel there together with the most beautiful stained glass windows. Well worth a walk around.
Overall, a lovely day out. On a sunny day, highly recommend you going along.
Recommendations – take a picnic, take a flask if you want a warm drink (once on the Abbey Grounds there isn’t anywhere to get a drink), take a towel and a change of clothes, or if a really warm day swimming stuff.
If doing the welly walk – take wellies!
Linking up with #YorkshireFamily