Week 1: The Tinneys visit Creswell & Welbeck
And so the journey begins… Our first trip was to Creswell Crags Museum and Visitor Centre. Inside the Museum and Visitor Centre, we were presented with our first Golden Envelope, and at last, we found out what we were going to be doing that day.
First stop was the Ice Age Exhibition, which showcases some of the Ice Age finds from the caves, and guides you through the story of life in the Ice Age. The girls were fascinated by the 30 million year-old hyena poo! I’d no idea that hyenas once lived in Nottinghamshire. Or Hippos. Or Mammoths.
In the Special Exhibitions Room we saw Erasipteron Bolsoveri; The Gracefully Winged of Bolsover. Creswell Crags have a loan of the specimens from the Natural History Museum for a special exhibition dedicated to the Bolsover Dragonflies.
After our tour through the Ice Age, the girls made their own fossils, and had a go at being archaeologists.
We’d time for some coffee and cakes in the lovely Cafe before our next activity, and as the sun was shining, we sat out on the balcony and enjoyed the view over the nature reserve. And then it was on with our tour of Robin Hood’s Cave, so we donned our hard hats and walked around the park and nature reserve to get there. (Passing some prehistoric creatures on the way.)
Our guide, Hannah helped us to discover what Creswell Crags was like during the last Ice Age and to find out who was here, what was here, why they were here and how we know about it; before leading us into Robin Hood Cave, the largest cave on site.
The girls were delighted that Hannah chose them to be the first ‘explorers’ to go into the cave – to check that there were no wild animals lurking in there.
We’d a brilliant morning at Creswell Crags. There’s loads to see and do, and we’d definitely go back there again, as there are still plenty areas of the nature reserve that we didn’t have time to explore.
But it was time for lunch, and the afternoon’s activities. We were really chuffed to find out that a table had been reserved for us to have lunch at our very favourite Cafe in the whole of Nottinghamshire! The Lime House Cafe is situated in the estate’s original Lime house and it’s courtyard, with lots of very smart outdoor seating, is a perfect sun-trap.
The food at The Lime House is amazing. Hilary, the owner, bakes all the cakes and scones herself, and to describe them here would not do them justice – you just have to go and taste them for yourself!
We all really enjoyed our lovely lunch, (lamb, mint and feta burgers, for us and Panini for the girls)but were a bit too full up to have some cake afterwards – ah well, we’ll just have to go back again soon!
We didn’t have to travel very far at all for our last activity of the day. The Harley Gallery, just a few steps away from the Limehouse Cafe, was our third and final destination.
We loved both of the exhibitions showing at the gallery; Menagerie by Susan O’ Byrne and Urban Baskets: Tradition Recycled by Lois Walpole are definitely worth a visit, but as the exhibition ends on the 12th August, you might need to be quick!
After a look around the exhibitions, Dayle, the Gallery’s Education Officer set the girls to work on some ‘I Spy’ activities based on the exhibits, and while the girls were busy I took the chance to have a good look around the lovely shop.
Upstairs, there is a great ‘creative space’ and Dayle had prepared some weaving activities for the girls to try their hands at. Dayle was just lovely with the girls, and both managed to weave ‘dreamcatcher fish'(which are now hanging in their bedrooms as a reminder of their day). And just before we left, the girls were presented with a goodie bag full of activities to help to keep them busy over the holidays.
Thanks so much to Dayle and the gallery staff who made us feel so welcome, to Hilary and the staff at The Limehouse who provided us with such a great lunch,to Hannah and the staff at Creswell Crags for a great morning,and to the girls at Experience Nottinghamshire for planning and organising our day so well.
We are really looking forward to Day 2!!!
Find more photos from the trip on our Love Notts, Facebook page.