Guest blog post by Iona Burchell

When you think of a February half term in the UK, I’m assuming that sandcastles, ice cream and Punch and Judy shows aren’t necessarily what spring instantly to mind? When we visited Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings over the last February half term, that is exactly what we got however!

What a genius idea, all set inside the grand New Guesten Hall with its impressive gabled roof, we were treated to crafting, sandcastles and ice cream and that was just for starters. Children could try out arts and craft activities too as well as enjoy the warmth of a heated floor (although truth be told, I rather suspect it was the adults who enjoyed this aspect especially!)

And once the activities had been enjoyed-two sessions each day covering two hour time slots for both morning and afternoon-it was time to enjoy the outdoors. There was a trail to follow, which of course had plenty of appeal to my two as they tore off in search of each clue. What was especially nice about this trail was the opportunity to look inside many of the buildings. We tend to have our favourites and sometimes we miss some of the other historical treats around us because of this.

Having said that, fortunately the trail took us into the Town house-which is definitely one of my favourites. Especially with a fire burning and the opportunity to chat about food-I do enjoy introducing the children to the concept that vegetables were often all you got to eat.


Children enjoying the February half term trail, by the Dovecote at Avoncroft Museum
Photo by Iona Burchell

The other thing I enjoy about our visits are the lovely conversations we have. There is so much to inspire and chat about on every visit. We talked about grain and making bread, and we had a wander over to one of my children’s favourite spots-the ice house. Where we talked about which type of fridge they preferred. The ice house came close, although mostly because they love the echo that comes from such a deep chamber. Neither of them fancied being the one who had to collect the ice though!


Thanks to Iona Burchell for her blog post and the photo!