In the Easter holidays we went on holiday to Butlins-Minehead, we have been there several times before and had yet to visit the beautiful Dunster Castle, just five minutes up the road, so this time we decided we would.
Dunster Castle is National Trust and while we are not currently members we probably will join at some point in the future. We paid £25 for a family ticket to the Castle and gardens and it was well worth it. We spent the whole day there.
As we walked up the hill towards the castle and through the gates the views are beautiful, you can see the sea and the Somerset steam railway train puffing from Minehead along the coast, the river is running alongside the green gardens and there was not a cloud in the sky (there was however a really cold wind being in the middle of April by the sea). The girls were in awe looking up at the gates as this was their first trip (of many I expect) to a castle, we went up some steps after a peek in the dungeon and came out onto the drive of the main castle (below).
While we were visiting they had a working dog and hawk display that was just starting as we arrived on the green, we sat on the gravel and kept the Little ones still and quiet for the half hour show with numerous Bourbon biscuits Mummy had hidden in the rucksack (thank goodness I had thought to pack a snack)!
We then went on the castle tour, the Little ones were fantastic as we wandered around through the rooms. Little 1 walked with me and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of questions she had and how interested she was in the castle. I told her things as we went around pointing out things like who had lived there from the pictures, clothing, what each room was used for and what children wore and did, she was really interested, it was lovely. We lost Daddy and Little 2 when we were taking in the fabulous views from upstairs and waited for them when we got outside. Little 1 was really thoughtful as we waited while taking in the views.
Once we were reunited I attempted to take some pictures of the girls but they were not in the mood for posing! It was lunchtime by now so we headed back through the gardens to our picnic in the car, even though they were hungry the girls still took time to look at the flowers on the way down and collect some things to take home (2 sticks that when put together made an arrow, some petals, leaves and a big stone!)
We had our picnic, our first of the year sat on our trusty blanket, and played a bit of frizbee too.
After lunch we headed back up to the castle and had a look around the gardens, there were old turrets to play princesses in, giant azalea trees to run around, meandering paths to run on, streams, bridges for pooh sticks, a pet cemetery, a look out, a well, the crypt, old stables and the maids kitchens to explore. The water mill was being renovated while we visited so we didn't get to look around there this time. We also visited the National trust shop and just had to have an ice cream.
Down at the bottom of the gardens there was a natural play area with logs to climb on, a couple of wooden musical instruments, a see-saw and some carved animals. Little 1 enjoyed jumping across the logs trying to keep her balance as Little 2 was helped along by Daddy.
The first time I took this picture (above) everyone was smiling happily but Little 1 had blinked and had her eyes shut in the photo so I asked her to smile again, she refused!! She just wanted to play on the logs.
Not the most flattering picture as the girls wanted to get off and I wanted a picture with me in it! We then let the girls lead the way through the gardens and played pooh sticks on the bridges.
We were there all day, the sun shone and the girls walked miles, it was a fantastic day out and we all enjoyed it. Well worth a trip of you are in the area.