While a trip to one of Britain’s beautiful historic houses during the school holidays may fill you with dread, think again! There are now a host of settings that offer a wealth of educational treats for the children – and coffee shops for you.
The acres of gardens and parkland they are set in also gives little ones somewhere to run free and burn off some energy before you head home again.
With the temperatures finally set to rise for the last days of the Easter holidays, a trip to one of the country’s hidden historical gems could be a great day out for all the family.
Here are the Quick Move Now top five favourite historic houses to visit with the children.
This Tudor home has a horrible history linked its most famous owner, Henry VIII, and there is plenty to do and explore for all the family.
Live Tudor cookery demonstrations and costumed tours take place regularly, meaning you may even see Henry VIII himself.
A children’s ghost trail, audio guides aimed specifically at the youngsters and a family trail, packed full of fun and facts, make a tour around the palace enjoyable for all ages.
With more than 60 acres of parkland to explore, including that world famous maze, you could be some time at Hampton Court!
This magnificent house provides the perfect mix for a great family day out.
Enjoy the splendour of the Elizabethan historic house, with its ornate ceiling, and look out for the blood-stained silk sleeved waistcoat worn by King Charles I at his execution.
Once the children have enjoyed enough history for the day you can move on to visit the safari park, with a new gorilla attraction, and then enjoy feeding the deer, finding your way through the hedge maze, venturing into the bat cave or climbing around the adventure castle.
Beginning in May 2013, Longleat and BBC Worldwide have created a series of spectacular ‘deadly adventures’, giving children the chance to experience nature at its nastiest.
There is plenty for all the family at this Georgian house, where they make learning about history fun.
Children can venture ‘below stairs’ and find out what life was really like for the servants of an historic house. They can dress up in clothes from the era, as well as try their hand at grinding spices and find some of the hidden delights behind the cupboard doors.
The Bird Garden offers the opportunity to see rare and exotic birds, including penguins and flamingos, while the busy life of bees is there for all to see in the Observation Beehive.
Out in the gardens, there is also an adventure playground, which provides the perfect place to burn off some energy.
This historic Victorian estate sees a host of family-orientated activities provided within a landscaped deer park.
The 1930s working rare breeds farm gives children the opportunity to see what rural life was like in the 1930s and with a play trail and animals to feed, it is a real hands-on attraction.
Deer trailer rides and a children’s adventure area, featuring a den-building zone, will keep the youngsters captivated for hours.
Tatton Park also celebrates Beatrix Potter this summer, with an exhibition featuring some of her rare watercolours and a packed programme of family events and activities.
The list wouldn’t be complete without this beautiful Berkshire house. Not only because of its intriguing links to scandalous British politicians, or because it is a favourite wedding destination of famous footballers, but mainly because this blog author – like many others of my age who grew up in the area – was actually born within its grounds.
Built in 1666 as a hunting lodge, Cliveden offers 376 acres of parkland to venture around, including a maze, with 500m of path to explore, and an area with goalposts to enjoy a kick about.
A number of new family trails have been added around the grounds, featuring a different theme every month, and a woodland play trail offers a new place to test your climbing, balancing and den building skills around every corner.
A storybook play den provides a special area for under 10s to let their imaginations run wild.