Spring and summer have to be the best time for visiting the houses and gardens of the National Trust. If you are wondering which is the best, or just looking to try something new then read on to discover how we rated Erddig, a National Trust property near Wrexham.
First, a (very) little bit of history Erddig was bequeathed to the National Trust by the Yorke family. The inside is preserved in it’s early 20th century state and the gardens have been restored to their 18th century glory. If you are interested in the lives of servants, there is a gallery of photographs which document those servants who have worked at Erddig and it is possible to walk through the servants “below stairs” area and catch a glimpse of their daily lives. The previous owners of Erddig have composed poetry about their servants, which I have to say I found a little strange, but perhaps it would have seemed less so at the time it was done. Having said that I am not so sure how common it would have been for masters to document their servants in this way even with the new found fashions of the time for photography and photographic portraiture. If this sounds like something you would like to see and you usually take a pram, it is possible to leave your pram and walk around the house, prams cannot go inside but they watch them and use a cloak room tag type of system to store the prams in the entrance to the interior house “walk”.
The gardens are beautiful year round, although naturally more stark in their winter state, exploding into an array of brilliant apple blossoms in the spring. Erddig grows 180 varieties of apple on the estate and apple trees can be found throughout the gardens. Even the carpark is not spared and is also an orchard, which is quite unique and certainly the prettiest “carpark” we have used of late. If you are planning to visit in Autumn then it may be worth checking for the dates of the Erddig apple festival where some of the apples can be seen and I believe purchased. In the summer the gardens are a pleasure for a stroll and to sit and relax. They have easy access and are fairly level with good paths for wheelchairs and prams. Whilst we were there this visit there was a bug trail on. They had little bug outfits for kids to wear and then there was a map. Erynn loved trying to find all of the carved wooden bugs.
Erddig does have one great trick up it’s sleeve for families and that is the Wolf’s Den. This is a woodland area that has been fenced off and is full of a plethora of things to be climbed, hung from, swung on and crawled through. Everything is made from felled trees from the estate and includes a rope swing and a tyre swing. There is also an area where budding architects can attempt to build a den from branches. My daughter is just under three but she loves this area, and with a little help can scale a lot of the creations in the Wolf’s den. On busier days there is even an obliging coffee truck for those parents who require a boost of their caffeine levels.
Erddig does have more extensive walks outside of the formal gardens around the house and may be worth exploring if you want to really stretch your legs. Dogs are welcome on walks outside of the house and gardens.
Just a note for those of you who have gluten allergies, as with all the NT properties I have been to so far the restaurant usually has decent selection of gluten free items available. Entry and opening times for NT places does vary so please check their website for the property you wish to visit.
We gave Erddig a 5/5 for fun.
Please do check details prior to visiting on the National Trust website as details may have changed.