A few weeks ago we saw an advert for an Apple Day at Burwash Manor near Cambridge that was happening last weekend. We’ve not been to an apple day before, but Tom googled it and found that it’s quite a common tradition for places to put one on. The posters said that there would be various things on there throughout the day, including mini steam train rides and tractor rides, as well as apple related things like stalls selling apples, cider and watching apples be juiced. We knew that the non-apple stuff that was mentioned would be appealing to Andrew, and the entrance fee seemed reasonable for a family, so we headed off to be there for when it opened.
We parked in a muddy field – when I realised that this really wasn’t the weekend to be without our toddler sling that was away to be repaired, and we had to get the buggy out. It wasn’t so muddy when we got to the main field though, and then there was a path too around the toy/craft/food shops bit. The first thing that Andrew saw was the tractors, which were having a ‘ploughing contest’ first thing in the morning. He and Daddy nipped up the field to have a closer look, whilst I waited at the car for Joel to wake up from his nap.
As we walked up the field towards the entrance, Andrew spotted the next amazing treat in store: the mini steam train that was chugging up the field on its own little track. So he ran off in front of us and, although we called him back, the ladies on the gate had to stop him from running right in without us! We explained that we needed to pay them, and he was happy when he got a sticker to show that we’d paid. Of course he had to have a go on the train before we did anything else. This was in fact the same train that he had been on at another country fair a few months ago – it’s a local enthusiast who has his own portable mini steam railway who goes to event like this and charges a not unreasonable amount for rides.
There were a few other fairground type rides, but at double the cost of a train ride, we persuaded him that after we’d looked around some other things he could have another train ride. So we headed off to the other parts of the event. The next thing that Andrew spotted was a playground with swings, slides and climbing frames. Of course we then spent a good amount of time there, although it had been raining so the boys got quite wet – they didn’t seem to mind though, and I always carry spare clothes for these kind of situations.
After we’d exhausted the playground, we headed off towards the courtyard where there are little craft, toy and food shops, and on the day there were also food and drink stalls selling fancy cups of coffee and up-market burgers and sausages etc. We had a browse of a few shops, and spent quite a bit of time in the toy shop because they rather handily had some toys on display that you can play with, including a train set!
When we came out of that shop, we saw that a steel band was about to start playing in the courtyard. They played some classic songs and the music sounded very happy. Quite a crowd gathered, and there were several young children standing at the front, and most of them joined in with some dancing that a few of them started off. Andrew danced a bit, though he seemed too concentrated on being fascinated with the music to want to dance that much.
We then headed back towards the field near the entrance, where they were now in full swing juicing apples at one of the stands. This was fun to watch, and Andrew was again fascinated by the machine that took apples in at one end and out came juice at the other. We watched that for quite a while! Opposite this stand were some stalls selling apples and local honey. We tried a few different varieties of apple and then decided to buy some to take home with us. When asked which apple he liked best to take home, Andrew replied with “pear”! So he got a few pears to take home – to be fair, he loves pears, and although he eats apples, pears are a definite favourite at the moment.
As he had been a good boy, we allowed Andrew his second train ride as promised, and after this we headed out back to the car, passing the tractors on our way, which were still ploughing for the competition. We’d hoped that we could have a tractor ride, but it seemed that these must have been scheduled for later in the afternoon, and we felt as though we’d done what there was for young children and they were getting tired.
It was a fun morning out and we’re glad that we got to experience an apple day for the first time.
Linking up with the fab #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill’s blog