I was back in sole charge of the children today and we decided to head over to the Beaulieu Estate (good value with just one adult and Duncan still under five). Emma was keen to act as tour guide following her school trip to the Motor Musuem. After a quick trip round the Top Gear exhibit (lost on the children and, to a large extent, me) we took the monorail down to the far end.
The Secret Army Exhibition held promise but sadly the showcases were too high for Duncan to really see anything and the audio-visual presentation was pretty lack lustre. Palace House was next up. As a nice touch, all of the notices within were written in the first person by the present Lord Montagu whose family has owned the estate for nearly 500 years. The children also enjoyed the games laid out on the lawn although we did have to hide under the adjacent hedge when a rain shower came through.
After lunch we headed in to the Abbey (remains of) and enjoyed a very information falconry presentation by Paul Manning in the cloisters. Nearly four and a half hours in to our visit we finally succumbed and took the vintage double-decker back and entered the National Motor Musuem. The preponderance of ‘do not touch’ signs meant that it was a relatively fleeting visit as the children were largely only interested in things that they could climb on!
The day ended with the obligatory ice cream. It remains to be seen whether we make use of the offer to return free of charge in the next 6 days, or indeed the ability to return to just the museum at any point of the next year (as a result of giving Gift Aid).