Claremont’s Twelve Days of Christmas

December 16, 2013

Described as the place where the views always change, the water sparkles and the secret glades wait, the National Trust’s Claremont is steeped in 300 years of history and was once the playground of princesses. POD enjoyed rolling down the turf amphitheatre, the only surviving one of its kind in Europe, when we initially visited in October. A great start to our toddler’s list of 50 things to do before you’re 11¾.

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Claremont is a wonderful place to visit, there are so many unexpected features to discover. As well as the turf amphitheature, you’ll find the serpentine lake, nine pin bowling alley, grotto, Camellia Terrace and Belvedere Tower located in acres of open space. On a clear day views from the majestic Belvedere Tower stretch to landmarks such as Windsor Castle, The Shard and Wembley Stadium.

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There’s also a Thatched Cottage which is a Victorian haven filled with toys, games and dressing up clothes. It’s currently been transformed into a magical wonderland where children can meet Father Christmas. It’s beautifully decorated and encapsulates the spirit of Christmas perfectly.

A Children’s Trail began at the weekend. In essence Claremont has re-imagined the Twelve Days of Christmas song but with their own twist. The idea behind it is that you find a series of clues on trail boards dotted around the garden which provide clues to the missing answers.

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For example on the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me two white [doves] in a cedar tree. A lovely one given we saw lots of them at Claremont and our surname is Dove. It was great fun and we were successful in answering all questions which meant POD won a prize.

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While we were at Claremont we also enjoyed the ha-ha which is a hidden ditch that encircles part of the grounds. Daddy and POD ran up and down it on many occasions – mirroring each other’s facial expressions. It’s full of leaves at this time of year as well so that added another level of enjoyment – especially for our toddler who found kicking them highly entertaining!

We’re linking this post up with #whatsthestory here on PODcast.

We’re also joining #MagicMoments at The Oliver’s Madhouse.


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  • suzanne3childrenandit December 16, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Looks beautiful Charly and as always, you’ve captured the spirit of the place beautifully in your pictures. I always want to visit wherever you photograph! I’ve not heard of Claremont but it looks amazing 🙂

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 3:33 pm

      Thank you Suzanne, that’s really kind of you! We visited Claremont for the first time in October, it’s wonderful there. It’s not far from Esher 🙂

  • The Reading Residence December 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

    That trail idea sounds fun, and well done for winning a prize! Looks like a great place to visit and run around 🙂

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn, POD won a badge – picked a blue one! She likes blue. It’s a great place to run around, Daddy and POD had so much fun in the ha-ha too 🙂

  • Coombemill December 16, 2013 at 9:35 am

    I still find it hard to believe we lived walking distance of here for years and never visited. What a treat we missed.

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

      You would have loved it Fiona! Acres of land and lots of interesting things to explore 🙂

  • Pinkoddy December 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Looks gorgeous and a great place for some family fun.

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      It really is Joy – a wonderful place to visit with lots of open space. Loving the ha-ha there too 🙂

  • Dean December 16, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I love National Trust Properties especially during Christmas! There’s always something to re-discover about these places! Would so love to visit this one, only it’s too far from where we live 🙂 POD has the loveliest smile 🙂

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you Dean! We’re lucky we have so many National Trust properties near us, makes such a difference when getting outdoors 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff December 16, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    It looks absolutely beautiful. Love the photos. I love old places like this and love history. We’re planning places to go next year and I might stick this on my list! 🙂

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      It’s wonderful Tas – do have a look at the photos on my previous post. The weather was better in October! Its a great place and lots of green space 🙂

  • Super Busy Mum {Debs} December 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Gosh I love your photos missus! And what a place to make memories!! x

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you so much Debs, really kind of you 🙂

  • LauraCYMFT December 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Looks like a fun place to explore. I bet that hill would be fun to sledge down if there was enough snow.

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      It would be great fun – there are lots of hills to run down. Daddy and POD loved doing that 🙂

  • Kara December 16, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    It is beautiful and I love doing all the national trust challenges – they give the day a not of added fun!

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      They’re great aren’t they – was good for POD as she was a little weary initially. She was fine once she started running about 🙂

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone December 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Looks like another wonderful NT location to visit

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      It’s really lovely Mary – great that there’s so much green space around for POD 🙂

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) December 16, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    It looks so beautiful there. I loved your last post about it too, but the photos of POD and her daddy in this one are just brilliant 🙂

    • Charly Dove December 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      POD and Daddy had lots of fun running up and down the ha-ha. Had a whole series of photos too where they were mirroring each other’s facial expressions 🙂

  • WallyMummy December 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Looks lovely 😉 I’d imagine even prettier with some snow… or are we banned form talking about the white stuff yet 🙂 x #magicmoments x

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

      Yes yes it would be amazing with snow! If we can get out of our road – they rarely grit it. Might give it a go this time 🙂

  • Alexandra Mercer December 16, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    That sounds like a lot of fun #MagicMoments

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      It really was – much hilarity in the ha-ha especially 🙂

  • Jaime Oliver December 16, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Charly what a really beautiful place to visit, there are also some amazing shots of POD and her Daddy too x

    Thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you Jaime – was really great fun. Lots of laughing too which is always good 🙂

  • chantelle hazelden December 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    The photos are stunning, what a wonderful place to visit!! x

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Thank you Chantelle – so much green space there, it’s hard not to have fun 🙂

  • Louise December 16, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Looks lovely – think we are going to get a national trust pass next year so we can get out and about x

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you Louise. You should definitely get NT membership Louise. It’s been brilliant for us as there are so many places to visit 🙂

  • Erica Price December 17, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Looks like a gorgeous place to visit. We always have a lot of fun at our local NT places.

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Thank you Erica – it is fabulous. We love visiting local properties – always good fun. We’ve not ventured into a house with POD yet though, hopefully she’s big enough now 🙂

  • sarahhillwheeler December 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    What a lovely day, am now resolvde to dust off the walking boots and hit the NT trial. Lovely photos, as ever.

    • Charly Dove December 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you Sarah. They’re not as pretty as the photos I took there in October but it was the beginning of Autumn then. Claremont is a wonderful place, so peaceful and POD just loves that ha-ha!

  • Funky Wellies December 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    The 11 3/4 made me smile… 🙂 Gorgeous place for a fun family day. xx

    • Charly Dove December 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      Just realised I should have said the National Trust there! We had such a laugh there 🙂

  • older mum in a muddle December 18, 2013 at 8:39 am

    I love how much adventuring you do with POD. And she is looking so beautiful. Christmas and her birthday on the same day….I hope you all have a wonderful time! X

    • Charly Dove December 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Thank you Sarah – it’s so nice being able to get outdoors with her. Fresh air always does all of us wonders, good to get some exercise too. Looking forward to POD’s birthday and Christmas Day 🙂

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