The Wednesday of our week in Cornwall was a perfect opportunity for me to indulge my inner train-spotting geek. I don’t hide the fact that I love a good steam train and seeing as both the kids are huge fans of Thomas the Tank Engine too I was pretty sure that they wouldn’t mind me dragging them along to the Bodmin and Wendford Railway after that morning’s feed run on the farm.
So, the start of our trip to the railway wasn’t exactly brilliant. Somehow me trying to pay by credit card caused the whole chip and pin machine to blow up when I entered my pin number and then when they’d rebooted the machine I discovered that it had actually managed to blow the chip on my card too. Just what you don’t need half way through a holiday, but still.
The train journey itself was lovely. a 13 mile round trip of that rhythm that old steam trains have as they go along the track. 13 miles of two children (mainly) just looking out of the window and enjoying themselves. 13 miles where I was able to gaze out of the window too and imagine the golden age of train travel. See I warned you I was a train geek didn’t I?
Anyway, train journey over and after a quick pub lunch in Bodmin itself, we continued with our plan to try to get a year’s value for money for our National Trust membership in just one week and we nipped up the road to Lanhydrock. Now Lanhydrock is just gorgeous. Not only are the grounds and gardens lovely, but the the house itself is probably my favourite of all the National Trust properties I’ve ever visited – even above Tintagel’s Old Post Office. Unlike so many properties where you only get to see the “above stairs” rooms in Lanhyrock you are taken round all the below stairs rooms too – and their kitchens are something that have to be seen to be believed. Rather than there just being the one kitchen and possibly a scullery along side it, Lanhydrock has a kitchen room for pretty much every purpose you can imagine, and more beside. Certainly Lanhydrock is the only property I know where the National Trust have put in a room about half way round the tour with a couple of comfy chairs in it so you can have a much needed sit down!
Little Miss C enjoyed the children’s trail of trying to find a number of toy trains dotted around the house and Master C took great pleasure rushing from room to room as fast as he could and shouting “light” every time he saw a light. Simple pleasures.
Since our last visit they have also built a brand new visitors’ centre and car park, and a fantastic children’s playground next to them. Perfect for the children to run off some energy before the car journey home.
And when we got back to Coombe Mill it seems my little train spotters in training hadn’t had enough rail excitement for the day as they very happily went over to have a ride on the Coombe Mill railway before bed! Rather pleased me that did.