All posts filed under: The Great Outdoors

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The Outdoors Project

I always feel that there is something so magical about being outdoors with children. Of course, I cannot speak for all children, but mine certainly come alive. Their movements are bigger and bolder, their language becomes richer, they are coworkers like never before, loyal, trusting and fearless, they dash up trees and build forts; above all, their smiles are broader.    You really do get a sense that they are fulfilled and enriched by such experiences, whether they be by the sea, in the woods, up a hill, or just at the local park. One of our favourite places to play is in a forest or woods. We took a trip to the Forest of Dean last summer and it remains one of our very favourite holidays. There is always something to do when surrounded by trees and wood and nature; and if you’re ever stuck for ideas, just ask a child! Their imaginative play is packed full of more creativity than ever before when captivated by nature. They explore new sensory and messy play …

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Arundel Castle

It’s fair to say we live in a rather beautiful part of the country, bordered by coastline and countryside, with historic gardens, stately homes and castles all on our doorstep. One such gem is Arundel Castle, a few miles north of Littlehampton, situated close to the banks of the River Arun.   We were invited to visit for a day during the Easter break and were blessed with mostly good weather. Warm, dry and sunny for several hours before turning grey and drizzly, we enjoyed our first picnic of the year upon arrival.   Once the children were full and a little bouncy, we snuck indoors and headed for the castle keep, which is the oldest part of the castle. Full of concrete steps, winding spiral staircases and narrow walkways, it is a charming piece of history though admittedly not the most accessible part of the castle. Thankfully, we no longer require a pushchair so were fully able to appreciate the keep in all its historic glory, with views and learning opportunities aplenty.   The …

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An Easter Break Well Spent

This Easter break has been one our of busiest school holidays to date. The children are now both of an age where they have the stamina to enjoy full days out without tiring too easily and both enjoy being outdoors, which we have fully exploited. The weather has been typical of English springtime – grey, chilly and wet at times, but bright, sunny and warm when it mattered. We have been to the zoo, walked up 153 steps to the top of a lighthouse, practised a new skill at a roller disco, had an Easter egg hunt in the grounds of a stately home, toured a castle, enjoyed a mini break, eaten breakfast with the Easter bunny, cuddled lambs at the farm, been to the cinema, eaten waffles bigger than our heads, climbed a “mountain”, scaled endless trees, run around gardens and parks, splashed in puddles, survived the hell of soft play, had a sleepover with a friend, thrown pebbles into the sea, been thrilled by funfair rides, played crazy golf with family and even …

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Things to do in Portland with Children

Last weekend, we travelled to Portland in Dorset for our first youth hostel experience. Arriving late on Friday afternoon and departing fairly early on Sunday morning, we were grateful to find Saturday so warm and sunny, meaning we could get out and about. We managed to fit a lot in; here are our favourite Portland attractions: Fancy’s Family Farm   With free entry and a vast array of friendly animals on site, a visit to Fancy’s Farm is a must for any family. Miss J is obsessed with animals so was in her element, feeding the goats and sheep and petting the ponies. We saw newborn goats and even the resident owl, Oscar. There is a basic cafe for refreshments and an indoor play area where the children practised their gym moves on the padded floor. A fun way to spend an hour or two. Portland Museum    Recommended to us by the youth hostel’s manager, we headed to Portland Museum after Fancy’s Farm. Entry costs ¬£3.50 per adult and, honestly, there isn’t a lot …

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Saltrock Family by the Sea

Outdoor living is something we make a concerted effort to enjoy right now whilst simultaneously aspiring to explore more thoroughly in the future. We live between the South Coast and the South Downs and, as much as we love trekking over hills and squelching through woodland, if we had to choose between the two, I think the allure of the sea would prove victorious.      As such, we can often be found whiling away far too much time in outdoor clothing shops, Saltrock being our personal favourite – we have a fair few of their tees in our wardrobes! Wannabe surfers James and Miss J are particularly fond of the Saltrock style and all three of my favourite people are chuffed to bits with their new hoodies… One of the nicest things about being by the sea, indeed being outdoors at all, is that the children seem to play together more easily than at home. They are both very active and always happier when given the freedom and space for movement.   I find …