New children's trail at Bouskell

Ice House Children's Trail

A brand-new interactive children’s trail has been launched to help bring Blaby’s Bouskell Park and its historic Ice House to life for youngsters.

The trail sits alongside the usual tours organised by Blaby District Council during the summer so any youngsters who accompany adults can take advantage of this extra offering.

Featuring an activity map with clues to solve the trail is the brainchild of tour guide Jo Thomson.

She said: "I had a couple of children on the adult tour and although they were interested it was quite a lengthy and in-depth tour for them. So I thought I could break it down and make it more activity based to appeal specifically to children."

The new offering has been well received by Year 1 and 2 pupils from Thistly Meadow Primary school who have trialled the trail – especially since the Ice House seems to have attracted some resident frogs.

The pupils have been studying the local area as part of a geography project so were particularly excited to see inside the Ice House and learn about its origins.  

Teacher Sarah White said: "Being local a lot of the children come to the park anyway and so recognise the mound of the Ice House from the outside but have never seen inside. It was a real treat for them to go inside and to learn more about the park itself."

Some of the comments from the pupils were: "I liked seeing the Ice House and the baby frogs."

"I was happy to see what was behind the door because I walk there with my family and didn’t know."

"I couldn’t believe that a road had been there before."

"I liked hearing about all the things that I didn’t know about Bouskell Park and seeing the Ice House."

Marc Greenwood, Blaby District Council Executive Director - Place, said: "We are immensely proud of the work we have done to restore the Ice House at Bouskell Park – it is a glimpse into a lost world. Our original tours have proved incredibly popular since they first launched in 2021. Now we hope our new children’s trail will bring history to life for a whole new generation."

About the Ice House 

Bouskell Park was once the site of a medieval village, the remains of which were cleared to create parkland and gardens for Blaby Hall – still adjacent the park and now offices. Much of the park’s features date back to this period including the Ice House built in 1843 as an early type of refrigeration store.  

It would have been used by the residents of Blaby Hall to store ice that could be used to preserve food and cool drinks. Domed and circular in shape, the Ice House is covered by an earth mound with a small circular ventilation opening at the top.  

In December 2019, £156,000 was awarded to Blaby District Council by The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of a £173,000 project. This exciting 'Buried Bouskell' project restored the Ice House to its former glory and helped preserve its structure and heritage for the future.  

Tours around the park and into the Ice House cost £5.75 per adult and up to four children can go free per adult. Tours run from 10am and last an hour. Upcoming dates are: 

  • Thursday 25 July 
  • Saturday 27 July 
  • Thursday 15 August 
  • Saturday 17 August 
  • Thursday 12 September 
  • Saturday 14 September 

For more details and to book visit: Ice House tours  

The walk around Bouskell Park is among 12 special Heritage Walks located across the District which allows people to enjoy picturesque surroundings while also learning about the area’s history. For more information visit: Heritage walks  



19 June 2024