I’ve yet to meet a child that doesn’t like getting muddy. Not one of mine anyway.
So it was as if all their Christmases had come at once, when we visited Moseley Old Hall in Fordhouses, near Wolverhampton recently.
Among numerous other noteworthy attractions of this Elizabethan National Trust property (including a fascinating royal history which I’ll come on to later), it also boasts the most impressive MUD kitchen my two had ever seen!
This isn’t just about messing around in muddy puddles with a couple of wooden spoons, it’s a sizeable area at the end of a very pleasant woodland walk, kitted out with all manner of cooking pots and pans, utensils and other kitchen paraphernalia, plus some big water carriers so you can make sure the mud just keeps on flowing.
Even Big Girl – who is less likely to suggest jumping in muddy puddles as a pastime at the ripe old age of 11 – got stuck in and started preparing a rather disgusting looking mud soup.
Not Quite As Big Girl was in her element and was soon churning out mud cakes, mud pies and all manner of mud delicacies, decorated with leaves, twigs and other gems from the woodland floor, like a contestant on Masterchef.
To be honest, this is something you could set up on a smaller scale at home if you’ve got a few pots and pans to spare. My girls have had a great time making mud pies in the garden before, although there is always the risk that this kind of activity will turn your lawn into something of a mudbath!
Far more tempting – and more fun too – then to head to Moseley Old Hall, which also boasts a super tree hide located deep in Kings Walk Wood, which is equally great for den building.
The house itself is a history lesson in itself. Moseley Old Hall is where King Charles II hid from Cromwell’s troops after he fled the Battle of Worcester in 1651. You can see the bed where the King slept and the priest hole in which he hid, while brushing up on your knowledge of life in 17th century England.
Mr B and I even managed to enjoy a quiet cuppa on the lawn outside the tea room – while the girls returned to the mud kitchen to prepare their own refreshments!
Moseley Old Hall has various special activities coming up, including a Hallowe’en Pumpkin Festival during half-term (October 23 to 29).
For more information and to check details and dates, visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/moseley-old-hall