Packwood House , Warwickshire is right next to another NT property, Baddesley Clinton. If you’re travelling from Aylesbury it makes sense to visit both on the same day, as they’re both relatively small places. You don’t have to though, particularly if it’s a nice day, as you could spend several hours at each one individually. It all depends on how long you want to be out for. I had been a while since I’d last done a review of Packwood House so we went back to visit again.
They regularly have children’s trails and activities during the holidays. Previously we’ve done trails through the woods and made bats out of spoons (which are still kicking around the house somewhere). On this visit to Packwood House we did the half term trail but, like the one at Baddesley Clinton, we were a bit disappointed. It was £2.50 per child and involved stopping at various points along the trail to answer questions. The prize at the end was a small sweet (a lolly or mini roll of Love Hearts etc), a sticker and a printed activity sheet. It was very disappointing and so we only brought one sheet instead of getting one each.
Packwood Manor House Review
The house itself was built in the 16th century but there’s been lots of restoration and changes since then. There are lots of rooms open, including the long gallery. I seem to remember they also had a sedan chair with a “person” in it that terrified the Middle Child! If you hear lots knocking in one of the rooms, it’s because there is a hidden door on the outside. Once Middle Child had been told this he, of course, had to go and find the door (hence the picture at the top)! When we visited this time we didn’t go into the house. It had already been quite a long day and we wanted to do the trail instead.
The Formal Gardens and Lake
The gardens are a real highlight. The Yew Garden was great – the trees are perfect for playing hide and seek. Of the three times we’ve visited, it’s been closed twice though. The garden is self contained so you don’t have to worry about the kids disappearing. Because it’s a large area so they won’t find each other every 10 seconds either. Follow the spiral path at the end for some awesome views though. There is also an orchard, traditional games and lots of little nooks to explore.
Within the formal gardens there are lots of little out houses to explore, including the gardener’s hut. There’s also an interesting sun dial and lots of little gardens to look around.
There is a lake beyond the gardens which has recently had some work done to it. They’ve recently added a contemporary art installation called the Prospect Room. Maybe I’m just a heathen but….what’s the point of this?? It’s just a shed with weird walls and a bench. Having trudged all the way over there it was a bit of a let-down. Honestly, what’s it all about???
The Kitchen Garden
Make sure you visit the kitchen garden as well. It’s on the car park side of the road. My kids always enjoy looking around a kitchen garden, but there is also a pond, bug hotel and a life size teddy bear’s picnic with little house. This was a surprise and a real highlight. It’s a really good garden for the kids to explore. They use a lot of this home-grown produce in the cafe.
The Welly Walk and Estate
The Welly Walk is in the wider park. It’s a brilliant nature trail which has some interesting activities along the way such as music making and stump jumping. When I wrote the first review of Packwood House there was a lovely den building area but that seemed to have gone this time. I didn’t realise this was here on my first visit. I thought it was “just” parkland so we decided not to explore it. That was a real shame as we missed out.
One thing to note though is that it’s called the Welly Walk for a reason. For a lot of the time the field that you have to walk through is very muddy. Crazy muddy! Of course, you can avoid large portions of the mud by walking to the side of the track. For my children that wasn’t even a consideration! Straight through the worst of the mud they went. Thankfully they were all in wellies and smallest child was in a full puddle suit. So much mud!! Oh, and it’s not just mud. They have a herd of sheep that graze in this field and leave lots of presents for you. Isn’t that nice! There were places in the field that I genuinely struggled to get through with my crappy pushchair.
Entry – £33.40 for a family ticket, cheaper in winter. FREE for NT members.
Parking / How to get there
Parking – on-site, free. The car park is on the other side of the road to the house but it is a fairly quiet road. The wider parkland is also on the same side of the road as the car park but I usually go to the house and gardens first.
Address – Packwood Lane, Lapworth, Warwickshire, B94 6AT
On-site, in the visitor centre
Picnics welcome, cafe on-site
Our Packwood House Review
Rating – 4 / 5. The gardens are the real highlight here.
For the latest events visit the Packwood House website (affiliate link)
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook
I sometimes use affiliate links if there is something that I genuinely think will be of interest and that I think is relevant to the post. I will always indiciate if a link is an affiliate link. I do earn a small commission for these, and that goes towards the running costs of the site. Any discounts mentioned may only be available for a short time so please double check prices before booking.