So, the bit I didn’t get done. We have family over at the moment and we had a bit of a crisis – payday can’t come soon enough, basically… that and birthdays imminent (H and Shaun), and with the family over lots of daytrips, we’re having to watch that we don’t spend too much – so without doing the ‘We’re skint, we can’t do anything’ route, we’re trying to do the ‘let’s not spend too much’ one instead.
We’ll see how we go.
Day 1 was a trip to Kew Gardens – somewhere I’d never been but often intended to. I think in my head I thought Kew would be a massive garden full of flowers and not much else, but actually as National Trust members and having been to Wakehurst Place, you can see why the two places are linked so closely – they’re quite similar – even if it’s not the plants and flowers they have.
If you’re a member at Kew, or indeed plan to visit several times in the year a membership is worth it. Kew is just slightly too far away and in London for us – so I suspect we’d probably go once a year which means we wouldn’t use it. Alas being a National Trust member doesn’t count for anything at Kew, so there were no savings to be had there. In fact, it’s only now I found the 2 for 1 deal over here (sigh) which would save you £15 or so – you just need a National Rail ticket.
Having said that, we wouldn’t have qualified as we chose to drive – parking is £6.50 all day, but you’re close to the park – handy if you’ve a tired toddler. There was free parking around one side of the gardens (at least it looked free!) but we couldn’t get a space.
Inside you have fields, glasshouses with some fabulous plants and loads to look at. There’s a children’s play area which reassuringly is big enough for an adult when your toddler decides she’s stuck (cough, then does it again straight away and doesn’t get stuck), food wasn’t cheap, but I didn’t see signs that say you can’t take your own picnic.
There was plenty of wandering around to be done, lest we forget the terrifying walkway which I didn’t get on – it was too high for me and apparently does sway a bit so be aware of that if you’re not good with heights. My fearless child just lay down and looked at us on the ground, as you can see through the floor. It is free to go on and has amazing views.
There’s also an underground display which she liked, identifying all the creepy crawlies.
There was so much to do and I know we could go back and do a lot more – and we will. I wish there was a reduction for National Trust members (though understand why not!) as we’d definitely go back there a lot more.
Money saved? Not much this time although running and walking around large gardens doesn’t cost you a penny.