An afternoon at Ham House; a ferry ‘cross the Thames

At the weekend the boys and I headed over to my parents for an overnight visit whilst the hubster was working. During the week my mum had told me to pack wellies and splash suits so that we would be free to take the boys out whatever the weather. In the event it was actually a lovely sunny afternoon – despite torrential rain and thunder storms in the morning.

As both my mum and I now have National Trust membership she suggested we head over to one of the local NT properties a short drive from where they live – Ham House, on the Richmond Riverside in South West London.


We didn’t even attempt to enter the house with the boys but it wasn’t necessary as the grounds are big and beautiful and there is so much to explore and space to run around like loons (as they are wont to do!). We also had a little game of hide and seek:

Discovered the kitchen garden where I took a few pics of the beautiful wild flowers:

And tried to find the promised ‘den building’ which turned out to be a pile of sticks someone had already leant up against a tree and not much else:

Ham House 'build a den'

The next part of our little afternoon adventures took us down to the riverside where we hopped on a little mini ferry which took us over to the Twickenham side which backs on to Marble Hill House and grounds (not NT but owned by English Heritage) and drops you off on the doorstep of a lovely playground and cafe (note below, JJ very proud to be allowed to ‘drive’ the boat! And our brush with a family of swans – six little fluffy cygnets!). The Hammertons Ferry is apparently the last remaining privately owned foot ferry on the Tidal Thames and its one of only four remaining ferry routes in London not to be replaced by a bridge or tunnel.

Once we returned on the ferry we took a slightly different route back to Ham House and stumbled upon a little paddock (it transpires there is a Polo club next door!). EJ was thrilled to see a horsey up close! This particular horse was very friendly and came ambling over to say hello.

All these different interludes kept us all entertained right up until the drive home and the boys were happy and good natured to have been out in the fresh air for a couple of hours so all in all a lovely little day out!

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11 thoughts on “An afternoon at Ham House; a ferry ‘cross the Thames

  1. Looks like a cracking day out! I have to say, I was delighted to see Ham House pop up on a blog I like, as I got married there back in 2010! A fabulous place – the grounds are gorgeous and I MUST return with the kids. Hope you were as taken with the place as we were, Sam.

    • I have been there before Fiona but not for years. It really is beautiful and what an amazing place to get married! I loved all the little gateways and corners and avenues and the kitchen garden and cafe was beautiful too (although we didn’t partake of the refreshments on this occasion!). It really is a lovely area.

  2. This looks like a great day out. We belong to English heritage and like NT they have some great site to take kids to and just let them run. I bet they slept well!

  3. What an amazing place. Too many of my memories of days out with my parents are of trailing around the ancient insides of the houses. We weren’t the running around sorts of children anyway :-/ This has something for everyone 🙂

    • It really does Denise! I wouldn’t have thought of getting NT membership thinking the same sort of thing about the houses but Jocelyn from The Reading Residence blog convinced me it would be great for the kids with all the outdoor space!

  4. What a great post, it sounds brilliant there and already on our places to visit. Our NT membership has been invaluable as there’s so much to see in Surrey and nearby Hampshire. The ferry looks like good fun too! Thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

    • I know – I am almost drooling over the NT handbook and all the tempting pictures and descriptions in there! You really must visit Ham House. I think we will visit Osterley Park next time we are over there (also NT). It used to have a museum of childhood there and a butterfly house but I’m not sure if it still does…

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