The court at Coughton Court
Coughton Court Key Info
Where is it? Coughton Court, Coughton, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA
How much is it? £12 for Adults including the house, under fives go free. We also paid for the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt which was £3 (but goes to charity). You can get a garden only ticket which is cheaper
Are there facilities for babies and toddlers? Yes – the baby change is really nice with a proper change mat, mobile, wipes, nappies and nappy bags in case you’ve run out – a lovely touch! There wasn’t much geared towards kids apart from the Egg Hunt, but our toddler loved running around the garden and exploring the house. There’s also a nice little cafe with hot and cold food and the all important cream tea!
Is it easy to take a push chair? Yes, it’s easy enough to push over the grass. However, you can’t take a pushchair around the house, you have to leave safely it at the entrance, so if you have a baby you don’t want to carry, stick to buying a garden only ticket
Is there parking? Plenty
We just had quite possibly the best bank holiday weekend. I’m not trying to brag or anything, but we really crammed a lot in – DIY, a night out for each of us, having friends round, a family Easter dinner and a trip out to a National Trust house. Very English.
This toddler’s day out took us to Coughton Court, an amazing Tudor stately home set in rural Alcester, just 25 mins away from us in Solihull. Three generations of pickles had a great time. Spring was a great season to visit as they had the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt, the tulips were in bloom and the weather was pleasant enough for a good stroll around the gardens.
The house has been home to the Throckmorton family for coming up to 600 years, a Catholic family who survived the dissolution of the churches and the persecution that followed, as well as being involved with the gunpowder plot. I wasn’t really taking in a huge amount of the details, more in admiring-the-view-whilst-wrangling toddler mode, so if you want the full history check out their website.
I will say that they have possibly the best priest hole I’ve seen – a double-decker affair in one of the towers. I was assured by the guide that this was made by someone renowned for making dual level hiding places. The thinking would be that if the first priest hole was discovered empty, with the appropriate religious props, the search would be abandoned before they discovered the second hideyhole below.
Exploring the tower and grounds and Easter trail
The great thing about two year olds is that everything is new to them. They don’t insist that the history is boring or that they’d rather be playing with an iPad, etc. Make sure they’re fed, watered and well rested and then everything is an adventure! But always bring snacks. Always.
LP loved running around the vast gardens, discovering the sheep toys on the egg trail and climbing the stairs in the house. In fact the only slight issue was that he knackered himself out but didn’t want to stop running around, even though he was so tired he was falling over. But we solved that by putting him on Daddy’s shoulders.
He did, also, decidedly need a change shortly after we got into the house. (Sorry future LP if you ever read this) We just had to let him go with it for a short while before we changed him in the outstanding baby change. Free spare nappies! How generous! I mean – they’re for emergencies – you can’t stock up your nappy bag – but still! A great touch to make families feel welcome and help things run smoothly.
Stained glass and the walled garden
I enjoyed the decorative details, the fresh Spring air, twists and turns of the paths in the rose garden and the views over the lake, but I most enjoyed the time spent with family. Can’t put a price on that. My verdict: Give it a go if you’re in the area and looking for a nice day out.
Update 29/03/18: We had such a good day that we have decided to find another egg hunt at a National Trust property this year! DOWTK has a great round-up of some of the best trails around the UK in their post, Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunts in 2018, as well as being able to find the non-Cadbury’s related Easter Egg Hunts Near Me on their follow-up post.