A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated my birthday with a day trip to Eltham Palace, which is near Greenwich.The last time we visited was when our oldest daughter was a tiny baby, so more than fourteen years ago...
We found Eltham as interesting now as then. It was a royal palace for centuries, dating back to the time of Edward II, and Henry VIII spent much of his childhood there. Only the great hall of the original medieval palace remains, but this has been incorporated into the modern mansion, and it is really stunning.
The modern house that stands now was built in the 1930s. It is a beautiful mansion, with an enormous, wood panelled entrance hall. It is really interesting to see a stately home from this contemporary period when what you are used to visiting is ancient houses from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Even the kids were impressed -- they really enjoyed seeing something newer and different.
The gardens surrounding the mansion are also beautiful and we spent an enjoyable half hour strolling through them. We finished off with lunch in the newly-built visitor centre, which was very good. There is also an outdoor adventure playground, which will be of interest to families with young children.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our day out at Eltham Palace, and I would certainly recommend a visit.