It may not be top of everyones' places to go list, and it wasn't ours, but we've just had a fabulous day at Hampton Court Palace and Bushy Park.
We had been before. Around six years ago and I wondered how my son James (who is eight) would react to spending the day walking around a park and a historical royal palace.
I was reassured that we would have a good laugh in the maze and enjoy watching the deer but I had no idea just how good the day would be.
We left the car in Bushy Park's free car park, wondered around the deer, played in the kids area and ate ice cream before heading across the road into the palace.
After collecting our tickets we headed in and toured the Young Henry exhibition. James was surprised by Henry's younger days, his athletic build and ability at sport coming as a complete surprise to someone who only knows perhaps our most famous King by the infamous 'fat Henry' painting depicting his later years.
We headed out to the Maze, where we did indeed laugh a lot, before heading back inside where we happened to come across a troupe of actors giving a performance of 'Power Play', which depicts Henry, Thomas Cromwell and Cardinal Wolsey plotting the annulment of his marriage to first wife Catherine.
It lasted 1 hour, but my son and all of the other children watching were enthralled as the actors went from room to room playing out the scenes in the very places in which they actually ocurred so many years ago. It was brilliant!
Whilst eating lunch we spotted what looked like a huge play area peaking over the top of the bushes. Feeling properly refreshed we headed off and my son played and played and played in the Magic Garden, a sizeable area with sandpits, water, climbing frames and dragons. I eventually had to drag him away after an hour and a half!
We headed back into the palace to explore all the rooms and see Henry's crown before walking around the gardens and eventually returning to Bushy Park to collect the car and say goodbye to the deer.
All in all it was the most surprising and entertaining day and, if you're near by, I thoroughly recommend it.