The National Trust's 50 things to do before you're 11 3/4 booklet has been sitting in our car for a while, but thanks to a special weekend, the McBaby ticked off a number of the list.
So, the special weekend? It was called the Big Camp and was an unusual opportunity to camp outside a number of National Trust properties for the night - who wouldn't want to unzip their tent to be faced with the gorgeous Basildon Park mansion and its beautiful parkland?
We arrived at Basildon at 5pm, put up the tent (or watched MrM put up the tent), and then went on a walk around the property. The enthusiastic head gardener showed around the grounds, actively encouraging the smaller people to climb trees (tick), roll down a hill (tick), toast marshmallows on a fire and go on a bat walk.
How often do you get to sleep on the lawn of Basildon Park? We were allowed to use the bathroom inside and were treated to breakfast the next morning as part of the ticket price. We're hoping against hope that this becomes a yearly event!