stonor park flowers and henley on thames walk - Bubbablue and me

Stonor Park failure and Henley-on-Thames walk

I’m always on the look out for photo opportunities and when I spotted the Spring flowers and tulip festival at Stonor Park I thought that would be perfect to take lots of pretty flowers pictures.  So back in Spring we headed off for the trip there before heading to Henley on Thames for a walk.

stonor park flowers and henley on thames walk - Bubbablue and me

On the website it mentioned that with National Trust membership you could get in 2 for the price of 1, but children don’t pay until they’re 6 so we didn’t need to pay for N anyway.  Stonor Park’s a beautiful house in parkland.  I’ve only ever been for a craft fair years ago, so hadn’t really explored, but as it’s still owned and lived in by the family, it’s got limited opening hours and certainly isn’t like a National Trust property in terms of access and activities.   There’s also only a small coffee area, and the toilets were back out by the entrance and the refreshment tent.

It’s a pretty house, on the walk up there were some interesting sculptures that got N’s attention.

light bowl sculpture

The staff were welcoming explaining about the house as you walked in but it wasn’t until I’d taken a few photos (my camera being on full show as I entered) that someone mentioned that no photos could be taken in the house.  So the whole reason for me going didn’t happen which was a pain and felt like a wasted trip.  It was a shame I’d not seen anything mentioned on the website about it, or I’d not have bothered going given how much it cost for limited things to do.

orange flowers

The house isn’t really set up for children – there’s no trails or activities as far as we could tell, although the flowers did look beautiful, and there were some quirky hat stands that N like to investigate.  I did have to explain the catholic church and the hidden room where they kept their catholic tendencies hidden away against the king, but otherwise we were out pretty quickly.

stained glass window at Stonor

After a toilet break we decided not to walk back up to the house to see the gardens so we were probably in and out within 40 minutes.  The car park guy was certainly surprised to see us so quickly!

Edit: Since our visit, they’ve built an amazing woodland play area, and have upped their events for children to take part in (e.g at Easter). So it’s definitely worth a visit for those with children of playground age.

Henley on Thames

Instead of heading home we decided to visit Henley-on-Thames to get some lunch and enjoy the weather walking down by the river.  N turned up his nose at the rowing museum which was a shame, because it meant I had to pay the extortionate parking prices for just a walk!

Henley is a lovely place down by the river.  Lots of boats, lots of green park and play space, lots of ice cream stalls, and on this weekend a few mini kids fairground rides.  N decided he didn’t want to go on any, so instead we stopped for a sandwich and drink by the park, eating outside.

boats in Henley on Thames

Then it was time for a simple walk.  Sometimes when the weather’s nice it’s just good to go somewhere new, spend some time together and relax.  And that’s what we did.

rowing boats in Henley on thames
mute swan at Henley
steamer boat in Henley

We talked boats, N fed the ducks and swans with some duck food we’d bought, and we walked up to the main bridge through the town before heading back for ice cream treats.

ice cream time in Henley

We also chilled out in a sensory style garden area.

sensory garden in Henley on thames
blossom in Henley on Thames
little white gate in Henley

On the walk back N changed his mind about going to the playground so he spent a good amount of time playing there on some really nice play equipment.  He wasn’t too sure when a girl came along complimenting him on his jumping technique and ability before announcing he was good enough to play her game with her dad whereby he would stand in the middle and try to stop them, while the 2 of them jumped around.  That was an easy way to get N to retreat and look for something else to do.

on the swings in Henley
swinging at the Henley on Thames playground
top of the slide at Henley on Thames
picking daisies

It was a lovely afternoon out, and considering the beautiful weather not too crowded with people.  The day turned out to be a lovely one despite the early flower photo disappointment.

Are you fans of walking along rivers? Do you have any near you?  Have you visited Henley-on-Thames?

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  1. How disappointing about the no photos rule and not letting you know in advance. Just something you wouldn’t even think of askingTBH. We live very close, but not flooding close to Thames on Portmeadow so go there a few times a week. It’s a particular joy with the buttercups out, but you will know that already? Glad it turned into an lovely afternoon – just shows how little kids need, and us too, of the simple things in life. Jo x

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