It was a sunny day so I suggested we travel to West London to try Osterley Park and House – our National Trust membership has just renewed for an eighth year so I wanted to use it as quickly as possible.
Osterley Park and House is over in West London, around an hour for us in the car. You arrive and you wouldn’t feel like you’re in London at all, apart from being underneath the Heathrow flight path, so you see a plane every minute or so.
Osterley House dates back to Tudor times – we ran out of time to investigate so we’ll have to go back. We were going to combine a trip with Syon House but ran out of time – there was way more to do than we thought.
The National Trust website mentions sports activities in Osterley Park, so we headed there as it sounded like something fun to do. Little did we know it would be a LOT of fun. H has played badminton twice now, so any excuse to find some space to have a proper game, right? (and they provide racquets too)
In conjunction with the National Trust, a local canoeing club offer you a 30-45 minute canoe around the pond there. At £6 per person we thought it was pretty reasonable – the main issue for me was how deep was the lake?
It isn’t that deep at all, probably up to H’s shoulders, so we could have stood comfortably in there had we fallen out. Nonetheless, we wore life jackets and I instantly wondered what on earth I was getting myself into.
The canoe sessions are running until October, and are definitely worth doing! For the more experienced canoeist you could take one on your own. If there are just the two of you, there are plenty of two man canoes. Ours holds three people so we didn’t get wet (you do in the canoes for two). My feet still ended up soaked but oh my, it was GREAT fun! We went around the lake twice, and ended up exhausted – it took a short while to get our rhythm as well as making sure none of us shuffled around too much.
But that’s not all, because Osterley Park has a trail – a natural play trail. How cool is that? If you head for the long walk around the grounds you’ll find it. There are plenty of bits of wood marked like this
You come across wooden features like this
and even this
until you reach the really big natural play area with this
and a tree you can climb which is a really good tree for climbing, with a ‘climb chime’ half way up.
and this – but of course who needs an invitation when it comes to building dens?
We could have spent far longer at Osterley Park and House, which means we’ll just have to go back. Next time we’ll combine it with that trip to Syon Park we didn’t manage to get to.
Here’s their website.