Nothing quite says summer holiday for me like a trip to the farm. For our family, the obvious choice in the Midlands is Mary Arden’s. Located in Wilmcote and the former home of Mary Arden (Shakespeare’s mother) and her family, the farm has acres of land, beautifully laid out for children and adults to explore. There is so much to do and for just £12.90* per adult (under 5’s are free) which gives you a year’s access, you can have a thoroughly enjoyable day out time and time again.
The farm will take you back to Tudor times with interesting demonstrations, Tudor music and dancing, falconry displays and activities for children to enjoy through the year like pumpkin carving and clay tile decoration. On our visit there was a lovely hay bale maze, perfect for exploring and clambering on!
The house is carefully presented as a Tudor home with dinners prepared in the kitchen and served at lunchtime. Rooms can be explored giving a taste of life in the 1500s and perhaps a glimpse of what the young William Shakespeare would have experienced. Out buildings house a dovecote and a cider press.
Along with the demonstrations and activities and displays are, naturally, animals. There are a number of friendly local breeds as well as rare breeds such as (our favourites) the Mangalitza pigs. You will find informative signs displayed around the farm relating the animals living there today to their predecessors in times gone by, with quotes from Shakespeare’s work too.
A short walk will take you to a children’s playground, a willow tunnel, a wooded area with lovely dens constructed from branches and twigs, and on to a meadow.
To me, Mary Arden’s is so much more than a farm, a house, a history lesson. It is a wonderfully relaxed place to go with family young and old. It is a somewhere to have a moment of peace and focussed family time in what can sometimes be a chaotic family schedule. Although I have written this postcard following on from our latest visit, I am certain that we will return before the summer holidays end, for a little bit more Tudor magic.
* correct as at August 2015
I did not receive any compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.