With working full time, it’s not often I get to blogger events unless it’s the occasional weekend conference. But when Hayley from Shutterflies arranged an informal meet up for the Living Arrows bloggers, it was one I really wanted to make.
The bonus of course, was that it was a picnic and walk about/photo walk so perfect for the children to be there too so I duly booked us a day off work and nursery.
I’d offered to pick Emma from Life according to Mrs Shilts up from the station and drive her and Little Mr over to Rushmere Country Park, so it was nice to have a proper chat rather than a fleeting hello at a conference. After chit chatting non stop about us giving them a life, N decided on the silent treatment once we’d picked them up!
We were so lucky with the weather. It was dry and warm for us to all have our picnics, and only rained once we were under the tree cover.
I’d taken a half hearted picnic, so just needed to buy sandwiches. I hope the guy who served me in the café was new, because it was hard work trying to order a takeaway sandwich and a children’s lunchbox! But they were generous with the kids’ sandwiches – 2 slices of bread instead of only 2 little squares.
It was great to feel so relaxed and just chat as we wanted. The children all played so nicely…with trees, dusty mud, sticks and fir cones, I would have done too. Although N just wanted food and didn’t join in with the others.
The forest walk is great at Rushmere. Basically there’s a huge green picnic area field, then within the forest there’s a variety of walks, places to cycle (although if you’re doing more than a family bike, you need a permit), and lots of interesting features for you to spot as you walk.
We spotted fairy doors and houses
A giant chair and book
Some plank see saws which all the other children piled on to, and the Wild Things totem poles taking you deeper into the woods. Of course it was a great photo opportunity, although as per the rest of the group photos N refused to take part in (I hope he’s not turning into me as a child!).
The part that N enjoyed the most was running ahead. He does love to run and try and be the first, despite what he said about sports day. Or maybe it’s just about beating the adults and getting to see what’s ahead first.
And then den building. What child doesn’t enjoy building dens.
It was great to see him showing what he could do, and trying to ‘help’ others. He was mostly interested in just moving big branches rather than actually building anything, but he was perfectly happy doing that.
Den building’s great, because as well as the construction side, there’s also the mathematical aspect of finding the right size branches, and also working out the possibility of which ones he would be able to move without help.
We did what seemed like quite a long circuit round the woods. Everywhere we turned there was something for the children to explore – pits, mini valleys, and ‘dinosaur’ habitats.
Plus some beautiful tree alleyways (that N refused to pose in. The saying never work with children is so true!).
Despite the rain we couldn’t leave without stopping for an ice cream first. They really were delicious and a great way to end a lovely day.
I met bloggers who’re new to me, and properly met those I’ve chatted to online and/or read their blogs. It’s always good to put names to faces to blogs and also great to have a meet where children can go too.
Rushmere Country Park was a good venue, and there’s lots to explore. Simple fun for children, and despite it being summer holidays, pretty empty. With car parking for the day only £2, if you take a picnic and avoid the café, it’s a bargain day out.