Oh Help, Oh No, It’s A Gruffalo!

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We love the Gruffalo trail at Alice Holt, but for some reason it's been absolutely ages since we last did it. Now that Ben is feeding a bit less often, I'm finally feeling able to head out with both children on my own, so we ventured out last week for a trip to seek out a Gruffalo. Since our last visit, Alice Holt have installed lots of other characters from the Gruffalo story around the trail and that worked so well for encouraging Max to keep on going. It's 1.5 miles, which, for a 3 year old, can be a bit hard going at times, but the thought of seeing the next sculpture kept him going (along with the bribe of ...

Harvest Time at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

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The Lost Gardens of Heligan has to be one of our favourite places to visit in Cornwall. We visited last year, and we all loved it, and I was so excited to return, with Max being that bit older, and to see it at a different time of year. We visited this year at the end of September, and the gardens were still looking fabulous, with some amazing autumn displays. Located near Megavissey, the gardens had been a hugely impressive part of the Tremayne estate, producing fruit and vegetables for the household, as well as the formal gardens themselves. But they fell into disrepair after WWI when most of their gardeners were called up to fight in the war, and were ...

Pumpkin Picking at Pickwell Farm

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Last year was our first time going to pick our own pumpkin and Max loved it so much he asked to do it again! I was amazed that he'd remembered doing it, but since I loved it too, how could I refuse? We usually head to Garson's PYO farm in Esher for things like this, but I'd heard great things about Pickwell Farm in Hampshire, so we decided to make a trip of it and head down. We arrived and it was clear that pumpkin picking has now become a big hit in this country - it was really busy! We collected our wheelbarrow from the entrance and wheeled our way out to the field. I loved the little walk out ...

Exploring Cornwall’s Beautiful Gardens – Trebah Gardens

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Anyone who reads my blog knows that I absolutely love a big garden to explore. They're perfect places for us to enjoy as a family - I love getting outside and seeing all the beautiful flowers and drawing inspiration for our own garden, and Max loves to dart down every path, exploring. The unique climate in Cornwall means that there are so many beautiful gardens to explore, and with each trip we make we're ticking more off the list. Our favourite discovery of this trip was Trebah Gardens which I can't recommend enough if you're visiting Cornwall.   Trebah Gardens I'd been  recommended Trebah as a great place for families, and was drawn in by the exotic planting and the promise of the ...

A Visit to Loseley Park Gardens

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I'm always on the lookout for new gardens to explore and Loseley Park is one that's near to us, but I only discovered it for the first time last year. It was full of beautiful late summer planting and I love the small scale of it, but the fact that the way it was divided up into so many little garden rooms meant that there was lots to explore. We visited again this summer after a week of illness for Max. I've never seen him so wiped out - just lying on the sofa, sucking his thumb and having cuddles. He seemed a bit better, but I was conscious of not asking too much of him, so I thought the small ...

A Visit to Castle Ashby

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Castle Ashby in Northampton has been on my wishlist for a visit for a long time now, after seeing such beautiful images of it's orangery on so many people's instagram accounts. It's a fair jaunt for us to get to, so we saved it for the two weeks my husband had taken as paternity leave, and all four of us headed off on a little adventure to Northamptonshire! As we parked up in the car park, I spied a pretty amazing looking kids playground, complete with it's own wooden 'Castle Ashby'. And this playground set the tone for our visit - Castle Ashby is one of the most child friendly gardens I've visited. The whole vibe was really family friendly and ...

Where to find Lavender Fields in the UK

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Every year I see Instagram explode with beautiful shots of families set amongst huge swathes of purple lavender - and I'm definitely guilty of jumping on the lavender fields bandwagon. I'm not a great photographer, but there's something about the hazy purple background of a lavender field that elevates any photo. There are so many lavender fields in the UK that I'm always surprised when people say that they'd love to go but there isn't one near them. I've put together a little list of all the lavender fields I'm aware of - is there a lavender field near you?   South England   Mayfield Lavender Located close to the M25 and just a short drive from London, Mayfield Lavender is a stunning setting and, at ...

A Visit to Mayfield Lavender Fields

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We first visited Mayfields Lavender Field last summer. It's somewhere that will always be a bit sentimental to me - the day before we visited I discovered that, just two weeks after discovering I was pregnant with our much longed for second child, I was having a miscarriage. I'd wanted to do something nice that day with Max, rather than sit at home, so we headed out to the lavender fields and walked amongst the sea of purple, just breathing in the scent and chasing the bees. We returned this year on my birthday. A strange visit in a way, holding in my arms our five week old baby; the baby who wouldn't have existed if that other little life had ...

A Trip to Polesden Lacey

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We live fairly close to Polesden Lacey National Trust in Surrey and I've visited it quite a few times over the past few years. I love the gardens - the snowdrops are lovely in early spring, there is a beautiful display of peonies and allium, and the long borders are spectacular in summer. But the real highlight is the walled rose garden. For some reason I've never managed to visit before while the roses were in full bloom, so this year I made it a priority to get there in June while they were looking their best. We had a fairly brisk look around the rose garden, as Max was determined to race through, but there was enough time to take ...

Wake Up and Smell the Roses: A Trip to Mottisfont in June

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We visited Mottisfont for  the first time in July last year and I thought it was one of the most beautiful gardens I'd visited. We were a bit past it for the rose season though, so I made a diary note to make sure we visited in peak rose season this year to see the roses in all their glory. It was the last day of my husband's paternity leave, so we decided to pull Max out of nursery and head down all together as it was such a lovely day. Apologies for a rather photo heavy post, but words really don't do it justice! Max insisted we all play hide and seek, which I always find quite a stressful experience - ...