We had a super day on Sunday visiting Shugborough and searching for the Seven Secret Doors. (That’s a lot of S’s!)
This is a great treasure trail around the gardens finding doors that open up to a magical scene. The doors are all wonderfully painted with different fairy tale themes and hidden around the gardens.
It is £3 for car parking, whether you are National Trust member or not so remember some cash.
To do the Seven Secret Doors trail you only need admission to the gardens, which is free for National Trust members and £3.50 each otherwise.
If you want to visit the mansion house, servants’ quarters, farm and gardens then the admission price was £15 per adult and £9 for a child (£37.50 for a family ticket) which I thought was a bit pricey for us. We saw signs to say ownership was being transferred from Staffordshire County Council to National Trust later this year, so will be managed next year by the National Trust – so we might come back and do this then.
Dogs on leads were welcome in the gardens.
We started off by stroking the pigs in the walled gardens area, which the girls loved.
Then it was a 10-minute walk to the gardens. There is a shuttle bus but it was a nice day so we opted to walk. We enjoyed a quick drink at the Lady Walk Tearoom and collected the Secret Seven Doors map from the National Trust gift shop.
Secret Seven Doors Trail
The trail is easy to follow and took us about 2 hours to walk with a 2-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-year-old. It wasn’t a long walk, there was just lots of stopping and snacking!
Without trying to spoil the surprises, the doors are full size (my husband was looking for fairy sized!) and hidden in the bushes and trees.
They are beautifully painted and behind each door is a surprise that, ok, they look homemade but I think that adds to its charm.
For example, behind one door there were lots of keys hung up on string across branches and you could tie your own key to represent your love to your sweetheart.
Behind another door there were lots of homemade drums and chimes to bang; and behind another a table dressed for a tea party.
This was a great day out and we all enjoyed the trail. The gardens were very open with no shelter, so perhaps not good on a rainy day.
Take a look at my one-minute video of our day.
For another great fairy trail read my blog about Trentham Garden’s Fairy Trail.