Sheldon Country Park – #CountryKids

At the moment, Daddy is commuting to work every day on the train from Coventry to Birmingham. This means that he goes right past Birmingham Airport. He noticed a few months ago when he first started the commute that there was a sign for a place called Sheldon Country Park near the exit of Marston Green station (a suburb of Birmingham) which is at the far end of the runway, past the station for the airport itself. So he googled it and found that it’s a lovely big open space, right at the end of the runway where you can stand quite freely and watch planes come over your head just before they touch down on the tarmac. There is also a kids playground and a city farm at the other end of the park. Given all this, we thought it would be right up the boys’ street to go and visit. We’ve actually been twice in the space of a coupe of weeks – once in the car just after Easter, and once on the train on the early May bank holiday.

Sheldon 1

The first time we went, we parked in the car park which is at the end of the park furthest from the runway but nearest to the playground. There were hardly any other people around when we got there, so the boys had the park to themselves. After about half an hour on there, we decided it would be a good idea to try and drag them away so we could walk up to the other end of the park by the runway. We’d been seeing planes coming in at the distance of the park, which was pretty amazing in itself, but we knew we could get closer.

Sheldon 2

So we got Andrew’s ball out and encouraged him to run after it. There were football pitches on the way, so we scored a few goals between us as we went – he loves scoring goals! He was a little reluctant to walk all the way to the runway, not that it was that far, but we kept having to entice him with the thought that he was going to see some planes REALLY close up.

Eventually we got there, having seen a few more planes come in ahead of us as we walked. Andrew was not disappointed! We stood right at the end of the runway (behind the fence, obviously, still in the country park so there was grass and a good path as well as benches where one could sit (clearly with 2 toddlers we never get to sit). Soon enough we saw a plane in the distance, and watched it, head on, come towards us and then fly right over the top of us. We could see the wheels and the flashing lights and lots of detail underneath the plane, it was amazing. Andrew was in his element and didn’t mind the roaring noise at all. Joel was happy to stay in the sling, and was a little more cautious about the noise, but still seemed to be enjoying it. By this time it was about 11am, and there was a steady stream of planes landing and taking off. The noise standing behind jet aircraft as they took off was loud, but they soon whizzed along the runway away from us.

Sheldon 3

That day we had planned to go to the boys’ Great Grandma for lunch, so we knew we’d have to drag them away at some point, and eventually Andrew walked back with the promise that we’d come again. And he didn’t have to wait too long, because we decided only a couple of weeks later to take advantage of a £1 day ticket on the train (because Daddy has a season ticket) and head back there on the bank holiday. We approached the runway from the other side this time, which is just a short walk from the exit of Marston Green station. There weren’t quite so many planes to see on the bank holiday, but still plenty enough, and the weather was nicer so we just played in the park for longer too. Joel was more confident this time and was signing ‘plane’ all over the place as well as running around on the grass in front of the fence.

Sheldon 5

We also had a visit to the city farm on both days, which is a lovely idea, set up to educate local children in a big city about where their food comes from and how animals live in the countryside. We saw cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, horses and more. It’s not huge, but it was lovely to have a quick wander around with the boys. Andrew caught sight of a bouncy castle there on the bank holiday, and as it wasn’t very expensive, we let him have a go, which he loved. We’ll definitely be going back again and again, especially when we live in Birmingham, though it’s probably a similar distance there from where we’re currently living.

Sheldon 4

Linking up with the excellent #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill’s blog

Audley End miniature railway – #CountryKids

Last weekend was action packed, especially considering we’re moving house soon! But as packing seems to be under control, it was great to be able to go to both the Mill Road Winter fair on Saturday (which I blogged about last week) and the Audley End miniature railway on Sunday. We’ve been meaning to go to Audley End for a couple of years now, since Andrew has been very into trains, but we’ve never quite got around to it, and there’s nothing like leaving a place to remind you to go and do all the stuff you always meant to do! Two of the boys’ Godparents had also offered to treat us to a trip out somewhere for Joel’s birthday present, so we thought this was just the place to meet up with them.

audley Collage 1

The railway is open for rides in the spring and summer months, plus some special events in the Autumn and Winter at weekends, such as the Christmas specials in December. We knew the trains started at 11am, so we got there pretty much bang on 11am, though had we have known that the car park would be open before that, we probably would have arrived earlier because already there were quite a few families parked, getting out of their cars, and queuing up at the station. We met our friends and joined the queue, after we’d waited at the pedestrian level crossing for a train to go past, which Andrew was most fascinated with! We had to wait about 45 minutes in the queue, but fortunately all three kids were fine during that time, and it was a good chance for us all to catch up. As we got nearer the station, there was an elf walking about talking to the children and being generally friendly.

audley Collage 2

Finally we were near the front of the queue and just made it onto the next train. Each little compartment in the carriages was just right for 2 adults and 2 children, though we don’t get to sit right next to our friends because we were the last on. But once we got going, this didn’t matter anyway because there was so much to see that we were looking out of the train the whole time. Andrew was fascinated, and barely smiled the whole time because he was concentrating so much on taking it all in and pointing out what he could see. I wasn’t sure how much Joel would like sitting still, but he absolutely loved it too, and was happy to sit still and look out, smiling all the time.

audley Collage 3

All the way round there were little shelters with (toy) animals in, which were decorated up with tinsel and other Christmas bits. We also saw some little wooden houses and signs naming the places we were riding through. The route is mainly through the woods, and it definitely had a magical Christmas feeling to it with all these things we could see between the trees. There were some tunnels too, which the boys enjoyed, though I wasn’t too keen on as you could really smell the smoke and steam of the train as we chugged through them.

audley Collage 4

Then we started to slow down, though we weren’t near the station. As we came to a halt, to the side of the train was a large hut, again all decorated like the smaller ones we’d seen, but this time Father Christmas came out and greeted us! He walked along the length of the carriages with a couple of elves, talked to us all, and gave the children a present each and a sweet treat to anyone who wanted one. Andrew was keen to unwrap his right away, and was very happy to find a lovely soft toy penguin inside. Joel was interested in his too, and underneath the paper as he ripped it off was a lovely soft toy snow leopard. The boys were happy with their presents, and Father Christmas waved us off on our way back to the station. We even saw his sleigh and some reindeer just past the hut.

audley Collage 5

Eventually we drew back up at the station and got off the train. It was a decent length ride for little people, and I was glad that we’d combined a trip to a railway with seeing Father Christmas, because at only £6.50 per adult and under 2s are free, I thought it was very reasonable compared to some of the local places where you pay £5 each just to go and visit Father Christmas in a grotto. And besides, the boys are too young to really appreciate Father Christmas yet, but combined with a train, it went down very well!

audley Collage 6

We then headed over to the play ground where we attempted to have a bit of lunch, though the kids were more interested in playing on the climbing frames, slide and see saw, especially as there was a train made out of wooden logs – even complete with a bell to ding. Joel’s party trick was to try and climb up the slide, and Andrew ran around like a Duracell bunny before we persuaded him that it was probably a good idea to head home and all have a nap. We had a fantastic time at Audley End, and were so glad that we’d managed to go before leaving the area.

Linking up with the #CountryKids linky over at Coombe Mill’s blog – why not pop over and see what other families are getting up to outdoors!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Apple day at Burwash Manor – #CountryKids

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.

Apple day 1

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.

Apple day 2

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!

Apple day 3

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.

Apple day 4

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.

Apple day 5

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 🙂

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The excitement of a level crossing – wot so funee?

Following on from last week’s funee post which featured the ‘nappy nippa‘, Andrew decided this week that it is actually a ‘nappy nipple’! Fortunately he hasn’t shouted that out anywhere other than home. Clearly there’s a lot of talk about cloth nappies and breastfeeding around here. So much so that he’s getting them mixed up. Oops!

Another random thing he’s come out with was his version of the name for one of those fruits that’s like a peach but with smooth skin. He hasn’t eaten many of these since he’s been talking, and this week we had some in the fruit and veg box. One day I offered him one and he ate some, and the next day, when asked which fruit he would like for pudding, he said ‘errr……Pectarine’! Incidentally, I’ve noticed recently that he’s starting to say ‘errr’ when he can’t think what to say straight away; it’s interesting that he’s learnt this filler to hold his place in the conversation rather than just staying silent until he works out what he wants to say.

Another thing in his speech that I’ve noticed this week is how he’s describing very big or very loud things that he sees and hears. Anything and everything that is remotely bigger than average in size is now either ‘massive’ (said with highly emphatic intonation and voice quality), or, less often, ‘really really big’. Sounds that are louder than average are ‘a big loud noise’  to him. And yes he’s STILL going on about the flipping fire alarm that made a big loud noise at the children’s centre about 2 months ago now – read about this exciting story here.

The highlight of Andrew’s speech this week has to be his love of those places in a road where trains or people can cross it. He has a real obsession with “level crossings” (said with great accuracy) at the moment. Whenever we go over one he gets very excited, and he even asked Daddy at the weekend if they could just go and see one for fun during their Saturday morning together. One slight issue is that he can get confused between a level crossing and a pedestrian crossing. I’ve tried to explain when he shouts “level crossing” at full pelt whenever we go past a pedestrian crossing, but to be fair “pedestrian” is harder to say than “level”. His attempts to copy my “pedestrian crossing” usually come out something like “vestry/destry crossing”.

Train mad
Train mad Andrew at a local fair a few weeks ago

So when we were on our way to a friend’s house in the car on Thursday morning, I was actually pleased when the lights started to flash and the barriers come down just as we approached a level crossing in a village just south of Cambridge. I knew that we could be there for quite a while as this was the London mainline, but at least Andrew wouldn’t be bored for a few minutes in the car. As we waited, I asked Andrew if he was excited that a train was on its way, to which he replied “Yes, might be Thomas”. I tried hard not to giggle, and said “it probably won’t be Thomas, but it might be a blue train”, knowing that First Capital Connect are blue and pink. He was quiet for a 10 seconds or so, and then came out with another hopeful statement: “might be Percy.” At that point we could hear the train in the distance, so he got excited and wasn’t too disappointed when it whooshed past and wasn’t Thomas or Percy – it was a train after all, and that’s all that matters in his world.

Wot So Funee?

Fun at Belton House – #CountryKids

Today’s Country Kids post is more of a photo gallery than a wordy post, for a couple of reasons – it was Granny and Grandad who actually had the fun with the boys (so I can only recount what Andrew enthusiastically reported on the way home, and the photos are all Grandad’s), and the end of this week has been tiring with a congested toddler and a teething baby waking at night (so I’ve been napping in the day myself instead of writing).

Last Saturday, Tom and I were invited to the wedding of an old friend of ours from university. Although they said that Joel could come with us as he’s still breastfeeding, they were hoping that those with less dependent little ones like Andrew could find alternative childcare. Joel is now feeding a lot less during the day, and not at all when we’re out, so we decided that a few hours away from me would be fine for him too. That would be enough for us to celebrate with our friends at the church and the drinks reception but not stay into the evening. The venue for the wedding was equidistant from us and my parents, so Granny and Grandad jumped at the chance to come and meet us there and spend the afternoon with the boys. We all had lunch together in a friendly pub, and then Tom and I headed off to the church, which turned out to be tiny, and we wouldn’t have been able to easily contain two very fidgety mobile children for an hour within the old pews anyway!

Belton Collage 1

Belton Collage 2

Belton Collage 3

The boys and their grandparents headed off down the road to the National Trust property of Belton House near Grantham. I can see from the guide leaflet that they left in our change bag that it has huge grounds with lots to do for families. The most popular things with our boys were the little train ride and the extensive adventure playground. Andrew got to wear the train driver’s hat, and he keeps going on about the big slide that was very fast. They also enjoyed an ice cream from the cafe. Fortunately it was lovely weather so they could spend the afternoon outdoors, but there is an indoor soft play area too for wet weather days out.

Belton Collage 4

Belton Collage 8

Belton Collage 5

Belton Collage 6

Belton Collage 7

When we met back at the pub again, the three of them who can talk were all raving about how amazing Belton House is for children, and we’ve said that we’ll have to go back again one day – we have friends who live not far and go there often, so we’ve talked about meeting them there. Then I can write more about exactly what it’s like. Both boys were so exhausted from all the excitement that they fell asleep almost straight away on the journey back.

Belton Collage 9
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

The Clarabel buggy – wot so funee?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Andrew’s confusion between Thomas (the Tank Engine) and hummus. This week he had a couple more train name substitutions for other items. The first was another edible item. As we were eating dinner one evening, he looked down at his bowl and said “Look, it’s a Gordon”. I looked and said “Really? I can’t see Gordon”. He insisted and pointed at a green vegetable that was lurking in his meal. The penny dropped – “Ah you mean a courgette, Andrew!”, to which he replied “Yes Mummy, a courgette!” I guess it was fairly easy to mix up – the vowel is the same in both words at least!

The second train-related mix up happened when Daddy was explaining that we were going to go out the 4 of us with our 2 single buggies. We have a single Bugaboo that I use most of the time for Andrew and I wear Joel in the wrap, and we also have an old (but still going strong) Maclaren stroller that we keep in the boot of the car for when we go out in the car rather than having the rigmarole of getting the bigger buggy out of the flat and into the car etc. When we go out as a family we sometimes take both single buggies. As Daddy explained that Andrew was going in the Maclaren buggy and Joel in the Bugaboo, Andrew took it in carefully, and then repeated where he was going to sit – “in the Clarabel buggy!” Where’s the Annie buggy though?! Again, they seem fairly easy to mix up – one syllable, the ‘-clar-‘ is the same in both.

Andrew in the Clarabel buggy back in October, just before Joel was born
Andrew in the Clarabel buggy back in October, just before Joel was born

Apart from train-related words, we’ve also had a couple of other food pieces of vocab. In our fruit and veg box this week, we had those small orange-coloured fuzzy-skinned round fruits – also known as “babycots” in toddlerish. That’s not a bad attempt to copy my word “apricots” – he started of with something like “abey-cots” then went to “baby-cots”, probably because they are two words he knows and would associate them with each other – his baby brother sleeps in a cot in the same room as him.

And finally, something he’s said for a little while, but I haven’t heard him say recently and I’d forgotten he did it. For some reason that I can’t quite figure out, those crunchy potato bits that you get in bags (and flavoured with all sorts of random flavours that are nothing like the thing they are supposed to imitate the flavour of) are “crisp crisps”. It’s like he feels he needs to qualify that there may be some other type of crisp distinct from these crisp crisps. I can’t remember ever giving him soggy crisps, in fact I very rarely give him crisps at all – they are only consumed by him on special occasions such as parties, or he might be lucky enough to get one if he catches me trying to sneak a snack when he’s not looking. I know that toddlers quite often repeat a word or part of a word when they start talking – Andrew did this quite a bit when he was younger, but recently he’s not done it apart from this. It’s also pretty difficult to say – try it and see what I mean!

Wot So Funee?

The train & the dip (& other tresting tales) – wot so funee?

Last weekend we visited Duxford Air Museum (you can read all about it here) with Andrew’s grandparents, and he received a few lessons in aviation engineering from Pop. One fairly basic one was on those things that spin around on aeroplanes that were designed and built before jet engines came along; Andrew can now very accurately tell you how many pellors” a plane has! He found this plane stuff all very “tresting” – not testing but interesting of course!

And this is interesting from a linguistic point of view. Until he said “tresting”, I had noticed that for most words of more than 2 syllables, he would say the stressed syllable and one other, usually the one after it. A good example of this is “pellor” – he misses off the unstressed first syllable and starts with the stressed second syllable and also says the third unstressed one. From what I’ve read, this is quite normal and logical for English acquiring toddlers. But “tresting” really is interesting, because he misses off the stressed syllable “in-” and makes the second unstressed syllable, which I normally say with a ‘reduced’ vowel (‘uh’ sort of sound), the stressed syllable with a full ‘e’ (as in egg) vowel. Sorry if you don’t find the science as fascinating as me, I just can’t help but write about it!

Apart from plane talk, we’ve had a few funees involving characters he knows from DVDs this week. It seems that in Andrew’s world, Bob the Builder is a genius who can fix literally anything. If Andrew sees something broken, anything broken, he proclaims Nevermind, Bob’ll fix it!”. Apparently Bob’s talents extend to broken train tracks that little brothers have destroyed, broken bananas, and much more that I can’t remember off the top of my head! And apparently his talents even extend to finding lost things (or rather things that have been deliberately lost), as Andrew reassured me that “Bob’ll find it” after he’s pushed a xylophone stick through the small holes in the decking that is the balcony floor!

Whenever he’s said goodbye to someone leaving our flat recently, he’s informed me that they’ve gone to work. So when Granny and Grandad left last weekend, he said “Granny and Grandad gone to work”, and when Grandma and Pop left the day after, they went to the same place apparently: “Grandma and Pop gone to work.” And when he said bye bye to the Teletubbies the other day on his DVD, he shouted loudly “Teletubbies gone to work!” I’m just imagining Tinky Winky with a briefcase now! I presume he’s extending the fact that he says bye bye to Daddy when he goes to work to everyone he says bye bye to at home.


Finally, I can’t forget the incident with Thomas (of Tank Engine fame) one lunchtime this week. The day before I’d whizzed up some chick peas, olive oil and yoghurt in the blender to make the classic dip made from chick peas. When Andrew asked what it was, I told him. Fast forward to the next day and as I was sitting Joel up for lunch with said dip already on the table with some rice cakes, Andrew (who was already sat up ready and waiting for his, of course) suddenly started repeating “Want Thomas” over and over again, getting louder and louder, as I tried to ask him why he was saying that – “Where’s Thomas?”, “Can you see Thomas the Tank somewhere Andrew?” etc. Eventually it dawned on me – “AH you mean HUMMOUS Andrew!” “Yes Mummy, that’s right, fummous” Cue lots of laughter from me….. Since then I have overheard him on a few occasions saying “Thomas, fummous, Thomas, fummous (etc.)” to himself 🙂

Wot So Funee?


Adventures in the Lake District (part 2) #countrykids

When I started writing up our holiday, the blog post soon got too long. So here’s the second instalment about what we did in the second half of the week….

If you find yourself on holiday in the Northern Lake District with children, here are some ideas for activities that a family will enjoy, including places that are fun and allow children to let off steam in wet weather. I thought I’d also link up with Country Kids over at Coombe Mill.


Again we awoke to the pitter patter of raindrops as well as little feet. But rain never stops play in the Lake District – it couldn’t, you’d never go anywhere if it did! We hung around at home for a bit longer than usual, waiting for hungry babies to feed and hoping the rain might ease off a little. It didn’t, so we headed to the World of Beatrix Potter attraction in Bowness. This was perfect for Andrew, and even his baby brother and cousin had a good crane of the neck out from the sling and buggy! He was fascinated by all the models of characters from her books, and we even got to walk round Peter Rabbit’s garden as the rain eased off. There was an activity trail too, which was a bit old for our kids, but would be great for school-age children.

The World of Beatrix Potter
The World of Beatrix Potter

After a browse of the gift shop and a souvenir present from Granny and Grandad, we drove back up along Windermere to Brockhole visitor centre where we ate our picnic in the sheltered picnic area – so very British 🙂 Apart from the indoor bit of the centre which has a nice cafe and tells you all about the Lake District’s history and geography, there is quite an extensive parkland on the shore of Windermere, with an adventure playground for kids, paths for walking for all ages, and a treetop trail (a bit like Go Ape) for adults.

Peter Rabbit's Garden
Peter Rabbit’s Garden

Nap-time today was spent in the car, starting on the journey home and ending after a while sat on the drive with Daddy in the passenger seat having a nap too. Our evening meal was out at Keswick’s bargain curry house during happy hour. Andrew charmed the socks off the waiters, and impressed them with his appetite and love of spicy food – when ordering a kids portion of medium-heat chicken curry for him, I was warned that the spice would be too much, but he wolfed it down.


As this was forecast to be the best day for weather all week, we decided to venture further afield to Ravenglass and ride on a steam train at the Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway. According to their website, it is “Lakeland’s oldest, friendliest and longest most scenic railway”, a narrow gauge one with fully functioning miniature steam trains. Andrew is into trains, particularly Thomas the Tank Engine, big time at the moment, so he was so excited to watch them at the station and then ride on one himself; on the return leg the train of carriages was pulled by a blue engine just like Thomas!


When we arrived at the other end of the line, we had a quick picnic on the rather windy area of grass behind the station, and then went on a walk down to a little church down by the river in the valley. Before we boarded to ride back to Ravenglass, Andrew and the babies got some badges for having a go at the activity pack that was given to children on the train. I added ‘on a narrow gauge steam train’ to my (mental) list of places where I’ve fed a baby!

As we drove home, the boys slept and the sunshine decided to come out properly, giving us lovely blue-sky views across the mountains in the distance, including Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England (which we climbed together as a family on a hot sunny day when I was a child on holiday in the Lake District).eskdale


To make up for the disproportionate amount of sun the day before, we had nothing but rain, rain and more rain! Granny and Grandad were happy to walk with Andrew into the town in the morning, and go to the park all togged up as well as dry off in a cafe afterwards. I needed to keep moving with Joel in the sling (with rain cover) so that he would go to sleep, so Tom and I had a pleasant, if damp, walk along the Keswick Railway Footpath. We got half-way along this disused railway which runs between Keswick and Threlkeld, an ancient settlement which became a mining area in the 20th century; we turned back after a 45 minute walk from Keswick because I knew Joel would want to feed in a little while.railway walk

The beer connoisseurs in the family fancied a lunchtime pint, so we headed up the road to the local pub less than a minute’s walk away and had a warming lunch. Nap-time at home was followed by playing with toys and games in the living room, watching the rain through the window. The day finished with us listening to the howling gale outside, rattling the old sash windows as we fell asleep.


With the promise of better weather, we made the short journey to Whinlatter Forest Park, where we played on the adventure playground and went for a walk through the woods and down, round, and back up the hill. It had been so windy the night before that there were bits of tree everywhere: branches that had fallen off, one which had to be chopped off just before we walked past because it was was hanging off precariously, and even a whole tree that had come down across the path, which we had to climb over with two buggies and two sleeping babies (one in a buggy and one in a sling attached to me) – that was quite an adventure in itself! The Forestry Commission, who manage the park, were out and about clearing up and sorting out all the damage to trees.whinlatter 1

whinlatter 2

Having walked up an appetite, we had a lovely homemade cake in the cafe, which unfortunately had no power, we think due to a tree falling through cables, so they could only do tea and coffee by boiling water on the gas hob rather than with the electric coffee machine. We headed home for lunch, packing and naps. Later in the afternoon, we nipped over to the park, where Andrew got the hang of swinging his legs with the rhythm of the swing, copying Daddy’s movements on the swing next to him. For our final evening we had a pub dinner just up the road, a great night to end a lovely holiday.park

Places to visit on twitter

The World of Beatrix Potter Arrtraction: @BeatrixPotter

Brockhole Visitor Centre: @brockhole

Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway: @rersteam

Whinlatter Forest Park: (Facebook) Forestry Commission

I’m linking up with Country Kids over at Coombe Mill’s blog.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall