Lacock Abbey National Trust

Lacock Abbey National Trust

Lacock Abbey is centred at the heart of the village of Lacock in Wiltshire. It has its own grounds and as the house has been built over time there are a variety of architectural styles and designs. The main features for families include exploring the grounds, looking at the cloisters that were featured in Harry Potter films, the adventure playground, shops and café. The area outside and around the grounds is pretty flat so accessible for wheelchairs and buggies, and you don’t necessarily need to pack wellies. However, there are areas around the grounds you can walk and explore, including a robe swing, so if its been wet it could be muddy.

Lacock Abbey and the village I would say is a great morning or afternoon out for the family as there are enough things you can do and explore to fill the time. There is a huge car park opposite the abbey and a small enclosed play area next to it which is great on a sunny day; also a great place when you arrive to re-group and stretch your legs after the car journey. The village itself is really pretty and has a variety of shops including a nice bakery which the kids particularly liked, and they also sold coffee and teas which is an added bonus. There is a National Trust shop on the main street and other smaller independent shops, which I have never explored due to the fact my son isn’t particularly good at the warning of “don’t touch that”. Lacock village has been featured in many period dramas, and was famously used in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice .  The Stables cafe opposite the abbey is spacious, accessible and they sell great cakes, soup, sandwiches and jacket potatoes. There are picnic benches outside the café but I think you only can use these if you have purchased food from inside.

The Abbey itself has a small museum at the entrance which is more geared for older children and adults, and celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography . The entrance fee (free for National trust members) includes the museum and exploring the abbey where you can sense the atmosphere of the medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the Abbey’s monastic past. The abbey itself is great to explore and  there isn’t anything that can be broken and it is fully enclosed which makes it more relaxing.  The cloisters inside the abbey are beautiful and if you’re a fan of Harry Potter then it is worth a visit  as they have been featured in Hogwarts for two of the films. Visitors can get a filming locations leaflet to explore the area and the website encourages “fans challenging friends to a wizard duel, playing hide and seek in the grounds”.

The venue also has hosted seasonal events such as Easter Egg Hunts which are geared for children and families. We haven’t been to one but they give the children clues and they are able to explore the grounds, gather the information and win a chocolate egg at the end of the trail. This might be something we try at easter 2019, however, they haven’t released information stating they are hosting these events yet.

Personally, I would say it is not my favourite trust property for my family (on a personal note I love it as I am interested in History and architecture) or a place to go with the kids, purely because my children prefer open spaces and places you can run around like Prior Park and Dyrham Park. Nevertheless, there is enough to do in an afternoon or morning.

Here are some more details we gathered from the website.

Family

  • Baby-changing facilities in abbey courtyard toilets and Red Lion car park toilets
  • Hip-seat carriers for loan from the abbey
  • Children’s play area in village playing field
  • Changing self-led family trails in the grounds
  • Rope swing in the woodland garden
  • Special family events all year round.