A grand day out

Last Sunday we took @antikaggs to Quarry Bank Mill which is right beside Manchester Airport (although you have to drive right round the airport to get to it). Having had to do some computer adjustments at Dad’s which delayed us a bit, we kicked off with lunch which was all lovely except for Joel’s coke sliding off the table with no- one touching it, and the usual problem with the cherry tomatoes…

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As Gill and Grandad have already seen inside the mill, they enjoyed the grounds while we toured the mill.

The mill is pretty cool with interactive things to suit a range of ages. I liked the hand weaving next to the privy and the old wheel base which is prone to flooding, but then I’m like that. Crafty, and excited by disaster…

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This picture would be much better as a video clip – they’re all running like hamsters in a wheel…

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…and here they are looking up the chimney installed for those new fangled steam engine things.

Afterwards we explored the gardens. The children were furnished with “Explorer Packs” – camouflaged bum-bags which contained a magnifying glass, binoculars, a set of spotter cards a scrap of fabric, a blindfold and a scent box. There were several different activities on the cards: find the place in the photo; identify the plants; find a flower that smells like the box (it smelt like talcum powder to me, but maybe that’s testament to how realistic talcum powder is); find a leaf that feels like the fabric. One of the places in the photos had been re-worked; there was a distinctive tree in the background but the large urn was missing in proper life. But other than that, top marks to the National Trust. Lily wants one of these packs now for her birthday. We tried doing some voice control with the blindfolds, but I accidentally made Joel walk into a bench and he kept veering to the left, so it wasn’t very successful.

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I love the changing colour of the rhododendron carpet on this one!

After we left the garden @antikaggs inspected the hydro works that are in progress, we visited the playground and @antikaggs took the children back in to see the robotic animals (temporary) exhibition at the start of the mill tour.

So all in all, there’s something for everyone, and we could have spent longer there. We didn’t test the cafe/restaurant but the ice cream was yummy (thanks, Dad!) and the weather was on our side. Karen mentioned the plane noise before we went but (and this might be a result of living on the Heathrow flight path) I didn’t notice it at all.

A grand day out, with posh cheese!

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