days out Wiltshire

Lacock Abbey with teens

Lacock Abbey with teens

Over half term we stopped off to visit Lacock Abbey and use our National Trust membership cards (which saves us a fortune on days out). Looking back at my blog archives and I can see I wrote a post back in 2013 entitled Family fun at Lacock Abbey. The children were so small on our last visit and couldn’t remember that we had been before. We were excited to bring them back to Lacock for another visit.

Lacock Abbey with teens

Lacock Abbey is a beautiful property in Wiltshire and a lovely place to visit. As we visited over February half term the house was closed, but we were able to walk around the grounds and the Abbey cloister on the ground floor of the property. There was a tea room and NT Shop, but would that be enough to keep the tween and teen happy whilst we got our NT fix?

The property had not changed much since our previous visit in 2013. Unfortunately the house was shut for Winter but we visited the photographic exhibition, got our NT passport stamped, and took part in the children’s activities. There was a plant trail to follow around the grounds, and my daughter took the opportunity to try her hand at making newspaper seed pots in the walled garden, which was a lot of fun.

After we had walked round the walled garden we moved towards the estate and walked around the outside of the Abbey. It had once been an Augustinian nunnery but became a country house after the Dissolution. It is probably best known as the home of William Henry Fox Talbot who captured the first photographic negative in 1835 at Lacock.

One thing that was new was the Camera Obscura on the lawn outside the Abbey. William Henry Fox Talbot built small camera obscuras and it was one of these which created a negative image from which positive copies could be created.

Camera Obscura at Lacock Abbey

We were able to try out the larger camera obscura by going inside and seeing an image projected on the screen.

Camera obscura at Lacock Abbey

Yes the image was upside down but a fun way for the kids to learn a little more about the origins of photography.

The Abbey cloisters were very pretty and we enjoyed being able to walk around them. We carried on around the outside of the house until we came round the stable block with the bookshop. We decided not to stop at the cafe but to head back into the pretty village of Lacock.

Abbey cloisters at Lacock Abbey

As well as the NT Shop (where you can get a different stamp for your NT Passport), we walked the pretty streets which are frequently used fo filming period dramas, such as Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, Downton Abbey, Cranford and Pride and Prejudice.

We found a lovely pub for lunch called the George Inn, and were fascinated by the dog wheel, used to turn the spit.

We had a lovely day exploring Lacock. The weather was cold and there weren’t many flowers in bloom but it was lovely to re-aquaint ourselves with the Abbey and village. We found that the enterprising villagers had lots of handmade produce for sale, so bought everything from homemade meringues to dog biscuits from the doorsteps!

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