For the past 5 years, whenever we have a free weekend and are wondering what to do, Mr. J’s immediate response is, “Let’s go to Dagfields,” an Antiques, Crafts (and pretty much everything else under the sun!) Emporium. Not the first thing I would think of as a “family day out”! Now don’t get me wrong, whiling away the hours at an Antiques and Craft Emporium, the largest Crafts & Antiques Centre in the North West no less, is an interesting and fun way to spend an afternoon! Whiling away the hours at an Antiques and Craft Emporium, (the largest Crafts & Antiques Centre in the North West, no less!) with a 6 year old is fine…whiling away the hours at an Antiques and Craft Emporium (the largest Crafts & Antiques Centre in the North West, no less!!!!) with a crazy, “free-spirited” 2 year old…the thought fills me with dread!
Nevertheless, this time I agreed and caved in! We drove to Walgherton, just outside Nantwich in Cheshire, with the kids singing, “We’re going to Dagfields” all the way there – thanks to Daddy bigging it up so much! We looked at some of the smaller shops first (placating the children with some Lego from a discount toy shop) before finally braving the large, filled-to-the-brim units where I was expecting a “bull in a china shop” experience courtesy of aforementioned toddler.
However, I was pleasantly surprised! The children were fascinated!! Many of the units are, as I remembered, full of junk – like visiting a well-stocked charity shop. But, similar to visiting charity shops, there were some gems to be found amongst the tat, and the whole experience actually turned into a really rather interesting history lesson, as you can see from my pictures! Some of the units were set up like museum exhibits and sparked some really interesting chats and learning! Lots of WW2 memorabilia, sharks teeth, fossils, Bakelite telephones and armour to mention but a few, interspersed with vintage Star Wars toys, a lifesize model of E.T., Dinky toys and yes, a lot of (still rather interesting) junk! Requests of “Can we watch ‘Horrible Histories’ when we get home?” and comments such as “I love learning about the past, Mummy” made the whole experience worthwhile, Daddy was happy to finally have got his way and I was pleasantly surprised!
My favourite shop was one of the last that we visited (just before the random fish shop and obligatory sweet shop). It was called “Dusty Gems” and really was a fantastic experience! No junk – just historical gems, furniture and really interesting pieces, all set out well and mostly accessible (although the lit candles at child height meant I needed to keep my eyes open at all times). A definite “gem” of a shop and well worth a visit!
All in all, our time spent at Dagfields really did turn into great trip out with the kids and one I would recommend for those rainy afternoons when you need something to do!
Dagfields Crafts and Antiques, Walgherton, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 7LG