You’ve got to love the National Trust for Scotland for a wee family afternoon out.
Our family pass (two adults, two kids) costs us £8.50 per month. If you visit even a few sites per year you make it worth your while.
Anyway, yesterday we decided to visit NTS’s lovely Greenbank Garden out by the Mearns. The gardens and surrounding woodland trail fall to the rear of the country manor built for 18th century tobacco merchant Robert Allason. As with all NTS properties, you definitely get the feeling of stepping back in time in these grand old houses. We are really lucky as we also have Pollok House and Holmwood nearby.
I like Greenbank House because it doesn’t shy away from its past. The building of the house was financed by money made from slavery. Visitors can read about the vicious triangle of trade between Allason and his two brothers in Africa and the Americas. Read more here on the depressing history of the Allason brothers.
However, when you have a four and two year old in tow and waiting to be entertained, it’s best not to dwell on human suffering too long. The team at Greenbank had a variety of activities on the go for young ‘uns as well as the annual daffodil display and craft shop. All the staff were happy to chat about the history, gardening and local activities coming up this summer.
We had a go at finding the wooden sculptures around the (super muddy) trail and discovered the greenmen in the garden. We then returned to shop to claim our prize – two more easter eggs! This year has been crazy with the amount of chocolate consumed in our house. Seriously need to get a choco-detox on the go this summer before Disneyland in July.
The gardens themselves are rather bare as we’re only just entering spring as well as coming off the back of a long period of horrendously cold weather. The daffies still made it out though, along with some bluebells (I think) and other assorted plants in the glasshouse. In the courtyard, kids could take part in some arts and crafts too. Of course, our two were more interested in the tea room and the prospect of cheese sandwiches and juice.
As the summer comes around and the flowers start to bloom, I’d really recommend getting down to Greenbank. Adults will enjoy the relaxed countryside vibes and kids will have a ball running throughout the gardens.