Now that Spring is finally here, you might enjoy venturing beyond Bristol for a few days out with your children. One great place to visit with kids is the beautiful Lacock Village in Wiltshire.
Lacock Village is owned by the National Trust and is famous for its picture postcard cottages, as well as having been the location for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Downton Abbey and the BBC productions of Pride and Prejudice and Cranford.
Lacock Village provides the best kind of history lesson for children and wandering around the streets is almost like stepping back in time. Many of the cottages date back to the 13th century and are lime-washed and half-timbered.
There are lots of interesting places to explore in Lacock Village such as a 14th century Tithe Barn and the medieval St Cyriac’s Church, both of which you can explore inside.
Another interesting place which was a particular favourite of my own kids is an 18th century village lock-up (see photos below) once used to temporarily detain local drunks and people awaiting trial!
There are also some really lovely little shops in Lacock Village including a Chocolate Barn (which proved a firm favourite with my kids for obvious reasons), a bakery, pottery and a quirky little antiques shop.
Lacock was once the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for creating the first photographic negative in 1835. You can visit the Fox-Talbot Museum where you can find out more about Fox Talbot, his life and his work.
You can also visit the wonderful Lacock Abbey, one of our favourite parts of our day and which we absolutely loved exploring.
Lacock Abbey was first used as an Abbey and nunnery 800 years ago and then in Tudor times became a family home. Fox Talbot also lived there with his family in later years and you can stand on the exact spot in the South Gallery of the Abbey where Fox Talbot took the first photographic negative.
In the Summer months the first floor of Lacock Abbey is also opened up and you can see Fox Talbot’s study where he spent many hours. Plus, dotted around the first-floor of the Abbey are hidden little toy mice and mousetrap cameras for kids to discover!
Parts of Lacock Abbey were were used to film scenes from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a fact which particularly excited my kids, including the beautiful Cloister Walk (see above). There is also a huge cauldron for kids to discover.
Lacock Abbey is a great way to learn about history and also to gain insight into the lives of the nuns who once lived in the Abbey all those years ago. For example, we discovered that the Chapter Rooms are where the nuns would go to every morning and receive daily instruction for how to live their lives, plus there is also the remains of an old bookshelf which the nuns once kept their books.
In the Abbey grounds is a trail for children to do; there is a brand new trail every season. The current trail is linked to Sir William Sharington who lived in Lacock Abbey in 1540. Kids can do the trail and see how many of Sir William’s coins and discover some fun money facts along the way.
And, if you follow the path from the Rose Garden in the Abbey grounds, your kids can find a fantastic play area complete with optical play telescopes, a rope swing and stepping logs.
While on the subject of children’s play areas, there is also a good play park in Lacock Village as you can see in the photos above. It has climbing walls, stepping logs, swings and much more and was a great way to end a visit to Lacock, giving the kids a chance to burn off any excess energy before the car journey back to Bristol.
There is so much to see and do in Lacock Village; even more than described in this post. You can easily spend a day at Lacock with the kids, it is a day out not to be missed.