Saying Hello To Autumn At Priory Farm

A chill in the wind, beautiful rich colours, Halloween and cosy afternoons snuggled up under warm blankets are just a few of the reason I absolutely love October.

The weather hasn’t yet changed to the bitterness of winter and getting out into the great outdoors is a real pleasure.

The first adventure for us is always a trip to Priory Farm to select the perfect pumpkin for carving and eating if I ever get round to trying pumpkin pie…I have been promising the children this for the past goodness knows how long!

I have written about Priory Farm countless times as it has so much to offer from fantastic play areas to a brilliant discovery walk and they always go that extra mile for special occasions such as this.

Today we climbed aboard the truck that was decked out perfectly for Halloween with missing limbs, cobwebs and huge spiders.

The short journey lead us straight to the pumpkin field which the children couldn’t wait to get to and select their favourite pumpkin, which for the first year ever wasn’t a competition to see who’s was the biggest.

A good few laps of the field and more than a few pumpkins picked and rejected we finally had our favourites and headed back to the kiosk where there was a game of ‘roll the pumpkin’ and hoopla onto creepy arms to keep the children amused while we waited for our ride back.

Prized pumpkins in hand we climbed aboard and headed off to get a well earned piece of scrummy cake and a good coffee.

There is so much going on over the next few weeks at Priory Farm as well as the pumpkin picking and a visit come highly recommend from us!

Country Kids

Bringing The Inside Outside

As you are all well to aware the weather in the UK is extremely hit and miss and when we do get the odd spell of sunshine we all need to make to most of it.

One way to do this is to make the garden an extension of your home and get as much use out of it as you can.

We are always trying to bring the outside in by filling the house with pot plants and floral fabrics so why shouldn’t we switch things around and take the comforts of our home into the garden.

For me being in the outdoors is the perfect way to spend time as a family.

The poor wifi connection and lack of TV and computer screens allows us to enjoy quality time together whist enjoying the sunshine.

The great outdoors also offers so many benefits such as helping to improve concentration, relives stress, improves vision, boosts your immune system and many more things why would you not want to make the most of your time out there.

The added bonus now is there are so many great products on the market to make your garden an inviting and comfortable place to be.

Gone are the days of flimsy plastic tables and chairs that always have the tendency to buckle under to much weight.

These have been replaced with cosy ratan sofas and sturdy tables and chairs made from all kinds of different materials that replicate indoor furniture perfectly.

To this you can add plenty of throws and cushions to make for an even comfier experience and creating a welcoming  splash of colour.

Something that makes me want to make the most of my time outside is the addition of mood lighting in the form of candles and solar power lighting.

A few candles lit on the table can keep the bugs at bay is you find some citronella  candles and solar power bulbs placed in the tress and shrubbery allow you to stay out well after the sun goes down.

The garden really can be a feast for all your senses from the smell of fragrant flowers to the sound of the early morning bird call.

It’s a place to relax and unwind so why not make your garden a little haven to enjoy as a family.

What would your dream garden include?

*collaborated post 

Top Easter Activities In And Around Surrey

Easter for us is time with the family, days out and of course lots of chocolate!!

Why not combine them all and plan a few day trips over the Easter holidays.  I have compiled a few of my top activities that are either in Surrey or only a short drive away.

Priory Farm

  

Priory Farm in Nutfield is our go to place whenever we fancy good food and letting off some steam in the fresh air.

They have a wonderful coffee shop serving hot and cold food with an adjoining play area so you can relax while the little ones play.  A huge pirate ship to climb aboard, garden centre and farm shop selling great products and the highlight for us which is the discovery walk.

From the 19th March until 11th April the discovery walk will have a spring themed quiz for the little ones to follow and on the 25th March you will be able to take part in their Little Bunnies Easter Hunt.

Tulleys Farm 

Tulleys Farm in West Sussex is only a short drive and any event they put on is well worth the trip.

The farm itself has play areas, a huge farm shop and lots of small animals to take a look at.

Their events are slightly more expensive than most but you certainly get a lot for your money.

This year from 25th March to 1st April you can spot eggs whist on a wagon ride, take a look at some beautiful newborn lambs, take part in the egg and bunny hunt, have a go at the duck races and much more.

Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt, National Trust

  

If you are a follower of my blog you will know my love of National Trust homes and gardens.  They offer the perfect environment to switch off from the fast paced world we live in and just enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.

Each year they put on fantastic Easter egg hunts that usually involve exploring the grounds looking for clues to fill in on your quiz sheet that can then be taken back to claim your prize.  

Over the years we have been to Morden Hall and Chartwell, both of which are great.  We tried Box Hill last year but unfortunately so did a lot of other people and we couldn’t get parked!  Saying this the car park has recently been extended so might be worth a go.

Penshurst Place

  
I visited Penshurst Place in Kent for the first time last year and was taken back by its beauty.

The immaculately kept grounds are wonderful to walk round and make the perfect setting for Easter activities.

This year from 25th March to 10th April they have story telling sessions and crafts to take part in and an Easter hunt all about the animals that live in the grounds.

On Easter Sunday and Monday Ardvark Productions will be there telling a humorous story of the Easter bunny.

Bocketts Farm

  

Bocketts is top of my list for farms in Surrey.  They have fantastic indoor and outdoor play areas, animal handling sessions, tractor rides and their famous pig races that the children love!

For their Easter Eggstravaganza they have  a trail to follow which leads to to a chocolaty treat at the end, chick and duck handeling, and the chance to get up close to the newborn lambs.

They are also opening a brand new outdoor play area at the end of March that we can’t wait to try out.

Painshill 

   

 
This year we had a trip to Painshill to visit Father Christmas and were astounded by how beautiful the whole place is.

There are exquisite follies scattered throughout the grounds to explore, with our favourite being the crystal grotto.

On Easter Sunday and Monday you can go along to take part in their egg hunt to find the eggs scattered through the the grounds to claim your prize at the end.

I hope that you have found somewhere that takes your fancy and I would love to know how you get on with all your hunting!

  

Having An Extra Cuddle On Mother’s Day

As I sit here tonight with some little ones in bed and my youngest cradled in my arms I am feeling eternally grateful for being blessed with five wonderful children.

For me Mother’s Day is a time to sit back and really take in how lucky I am to be a parent.  With everything going on in day to day life we tend to take things for granted and although a lot of people are negative about days like Mother’s Day and feel it is to commercialised I think it can be as extravagant or as simple as you want to make it.

This year I was woken at 2.15am by number four whispering Happy Mother’s Day to me and clutching his card.  I snuggled him in bed with me until I was woken again with a huge pile of pastries and chocolate.

  
I didn’t want to go out for a restaurant meal as it always ends up costing a fortune for something we end up throwing down our throats before the children all start to play up.

I love spending time outside so opted for Priory Farm in Nutfield.  Sadly everyone else had the same idea and we couldn’t get a table!

Bundling everyone back in the car we went to one of our favourite cafes in Reigate, happily got a table and had great food without the formality of a sit down meal. 

   
   
We then walked down to Priory Park and head a good walk and mess around in the playground.  

   
   
I went on a bit of a mission hunting for fairies doors that we had never managed to spot before. The kids got bored but I kept searching much to their annoyance and couldn’t find even one!

  
We made our way back home to yet more food and the normality of getting ready for the week ahead.

Such a simple day and nothing that we don’t do on a regular basis but with the emphasis of Mother’s Day in our heads the kids were that little more well behaved and I was that little more relaxed and thankful for all that I have.

What did you all get up to today?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Christmas Days Out In Surrey

For me it’s not actually Christmas Day that is the best part of the season, it’s the whole lead up to it and the wonderful days out that can be had before the day itself.

Here are a few of my favourite places in Surrey that we love to visit:

Bocketts Farm

We have just had a wonderful Halloween trip to Bocketts Farm last month and Christmas time is just as great.

   
 

Here you can find all the fun that the farm usually has to offer such as feeding the animals, the wonderful soft play and ride on tractors and vast outdoor play area.

   
     

Our favourite pig race still runs aswell as the tractor rides around the farm, and you also get the added bonus of a wonderfully decorated farm and coffee shop and the option of adding in a trip to see Father Christmas.

   
 

Morden Hall National Trust

My favourites list would not be complete without a National Trust mention.

We love to visit Morden Hall that offers a variety of different activities over the Christmas period.  We went last year to visit their wonderful food market that served wonderful hot food and gifts a plenty.

  
We took a walk around the beautiful grounds and warmed up inside where they had plenty of crafts to keep everyone busy.

   
       

If you fancy a longer walk from here you can visit Deen City Farm which is small, but has enough for the children to have a look at and all they ask for is for a donation.

 

Christmas At Kew

For the first time last year we visited Christmas At Kew. This shouldn’t really be in with Surrey trips but I couldn’t leave it out!!  All I can say is the whole evening is truly spectacular.  The whole gardens are alight with beautifully different areas that give you a suprise around every corner.

   
       

At the end of the trail was a splendid old fashioned fair with small rides for the children and lots of yummy food.

   
   

The walk changes each year so book up and see what this year has in store.

Lunch With Santa At Hobbledown

I was going to keep this one a secret as after over eighteen years of trips to visit Santa this has been my favourite!

Hobbledown has lots on offer over Christmas but if you have toddlers then this is a must.

  
You start the session wearing them out for a while in the huge softplay area and from there you are lead into a magical room for some lunch and craft making.

  
Father Christmas then makes his entrance and calls the children up one by one to receive there gift.

   
 

For me the old fashioned take on Christmas makes this so special and we are already booked up for this year!!

Christmas Trail At Priory Farm

If you fancy walking off some of those extra pounds you put over over the Christmas period then Priory Farm is perfect.

  
The discovery walk takes on a Christmas theme and is great for getting in some fresh air and getting the kids some exercise.

   
   

There is the chance to see Father Christmas or simply take a short ride past his grotto on the Christmas train.

  
As I’ve mentioned many times the cafe here offers wonderful food for you to fill up on after a long walk and of course a trip to the farm shop for some yummy treats is a must .

  
Christmas At Chessington World Of Adventure

If you want a full day out then Chessington World Of Adventure is a great place to go. 

  
They have a small selection of rides open, you can walk around and see all the animals that they have to offer including the fab petting zoo and you can then warm up whilst having a look around the Sealife Centre.

   
     

You can add on a trip to Father Christmas whist you are there but it’s not something we have had the pleasure of doing yet.

  

After our wonderful overnight stay there over Halloween I can highly recommend making a weekend of it and staying over as the hotel and its facilities are fantastic and one the children will absolutely love.

Keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we have a few different trips planned that I would love to share with you all.

We Made It To The Pumpkin Fields

By the end of this week you will all be fed up with my feed as this is one of my favourite times of the year and I try to cram as many Halloween related trips into the half term as I can!

If you have read my previous post on Priory Farm you will know that I had got the wrong day for picking so on Sunday we headed to Garsons Farm in Esher to pick out our favourite pumpkins.

  

After several split and misshapen pumpkins were selected by the kids and then rejected by me we got one that was just perfect.

   

  

  

 

It’s so much fun to be able to show the children how they are grown and cost no one than buying one from your local supermarket.

   

 

We popped over to the other field and got ourselves some juicy sweetcorn which is something that none of us had ever picked before.

   
 

As well as the pumpkins and corn Garsons has a huge selection of other things to pick from apples to marrows and even strawberries!

Once you are done with your picking you can take a look around the huge garden centre and coffee shop or pick yourself up some scrummy food in the well stocked farm shop.  The cheese straws from the bakery section come highly recommended from us.

This week if you chose to visit you might be able to spot the Pumpkin Fairy flying around whist your there!
  

Haunted Halloween At Priory Farm

  

Today didn’t go quite as planned.  We set off today to have a tractor ride to pick our own pumpkins at Priory Farm but due to my poor organisation skills we were a week late!!

This was not a problem as there was so much to keep us occupied we soon forgot about it.

One of the best features that Priory Farm has to offer is the discovery walk that has a spooky twist in it at this time of year.  The children can collect their quiz sheet at the kiosk and work their way round the walk answering questions and exploring everything it has to offer.

   
   

Their are pumpkins hanging in trees to count, broomsticks hiding in the orchard and spiders lurking in the woods that all need hunting out.

   
     

As well as the spooky quiz there are tunnels to explore and plenty of hungry fish to feed.

   
   

As our trip was originally to collect our pumpkins a trip to the Witches Cave was a must.  There was a creepy tunnel to walk through and hundreds of different pumpkins to choose from.

   
         

We rounded off our day with a trip to the coffee shop where we had the most wonderful homemade cake whilst the kids got on with some Halloween themed colouring.

  

All the Halloween fun will be going on over the half term and I highly recommend a visit with your little devils.

Spooky Days Out In Surrey

When it comes to Halloween things have got a lot bigger and better since I was a child.  I only have memories of my Mum refusing to let us trick or treat as she saw it as begging and turning the lights off so she didn’t have to answer the door!!

Thankfully she has mellowed as the grandchildren have come along and it is now one of our favourite times of year.

I love to do a few spooky themed activities over the holidays and below are a few of our favourites.

National Trust

For those of you who follow my blog you will know that I am a massive National Trust fan.  They put on cheap, outdoorsy events that never fail to please.

We have visited Morden Hall and Chartwell House in the past and have taken part in spooky bug hunts, pumpkin carving and an array of other fantastic crafts. 

  

  

I’m sure that they will not disappoint this year and we will definatly be popping along to see what they have to offer.

Chessington World Of Adventure 

Who wouldn’t love an adrenaline filled day out with some super scary activities thrown in.

We have visited Chessington World Of Adventure both during the day and stayed on for the later session and both have been fantastic.

For us it covers all ages and the scare factor can be as much or as little as you like.  

I love the spooky walkways that you are guided through by wonderful actors and who would want too miss out on a thrilling ride on the Vampire at the spookiest time of year.

   
   

The whole theme park is decorated wonderfully and it looks like this year is going to top them all with the addition of the Trick Or Treat Woods and The Curse Of The Lost Tomb Maze.

Priory Farm

Priory Farm is a must for those of you with younger children who want to join in with the celebrations without to much of the fear factor.

You can take a walk around the discovery walk answering the quiz questions as you go and stopping at the end to collect your prize, hop onboard the tractor to go and collect your perfect pumpkin or pop into the witches cave to find even more pumpkins and a nifty kit to help your create your masterpiece.

   
   

Another non Halloween perk of Priory Farm is their wonderful cafe.  I can safely say that they offer the best farm shop food I’ve ever had!!

Garsons Farm

Last year was the first year we picked our own pumpkins and it will now be a yearly tradition.  We all loved trapsing through the filed trying to find the biggest and roundest pumpkins we could.

Garson Farm had a great selection in the fields or if you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty then they have a massive selection in their wonderful garden centre and farm shop.

We didn’t take part in any of their activities but they have a great colouring competition, cupcake decorating and goul and ghost hunt all overseen by beautiful magical princess that will be floating around for the children to say hi to.

   
     

I hope I have given you all a few ideas here.  Please let me know if you give any of these places a try as I would love to hear your thoughts.
  

Wicked Wednesday’s:No More Photos

When we turned up to Priory Farm in Nutfield the other day I was so exited to see the field full of sunflowers.  I knew I was going to have loads of great photo opurtunities, well that’s what I thought as number five was not so keen on the idea!


Top Outdoor Summer Activities In Surrey

With the summer holidays now upon us I’m sure you will all be planning what to do to keep your little once occupied.

With the weather holding out for us at the moment I wanted to give you a few of my favourite days out in the great outdoors in Surrey.

Mayfield Lavender Fields

 

The Mayfield Lavender Fields are truly a sight to behold and I would question anybody that is not stunned by its beauty.

They can be found just outside Banstead, Surrey and are well worth a visit.

This year the car parking is only £1 but be warned it gets extremely busy and there is not a great deal of parking.

There is a lovely little cafe where you can stop to get refreshments while taking in the sights.  And new this year they have also included a tractor ride.

Mine are more than happy running in between the flowers and searching for bugs whilst I try and capture the beauty on my camera.

Godstone Farm

For me Godstone Farm is great as it covers a variety of ages.

They have massive fields that you can walk around whilst looking at the larger animals such as cows, pigs and donkeys.

The children have a chance to get hands on with the smaller animals of the farm in the petting area.  Mine all love this as they can stroke and hold the rabbits and chickens.

There are set times during the day where you can watch the animals being fed which is always great fun.

The play activities here are endless.  There is a huge adventure playground at the top of the field with everything you could imagine.

There is a section with ride on toys for the younger children as well as several sandpits.

Mine all love the large soft play area that also homes a small cafe so you can relax whist the children play.

As far as eating goes there is a good cafe that serves reasonably priced hot and cold food.  Or there is the option of picnicking with ample picnic areas.

Priory Park

This is our all time favourite park.  It has everything you could expect to get from a local park and more.

They have a beautifully designed playground with the usual swings and slides with the added extras of a large sandpit and water features that are perfect for the summer.
The grounds are vast and have a wonderful fountain, surrounded by pretty gardens we often picnic by.


At the opposite end of the park there is a beautiful lake where you can feed the ducks and take a leisurely walk around.


 Numbers two’s favourite park is the large skatepark which is perfect for older children.

During the holiday there are always lots free activities put on for the children, and in the past we have taken part in bug hunting, den building and a great sports activity day.


Lastly in the centre of the park is a great cafe Pistachios In The Park offering great food and snacks that really adds to the whole day.

Chessington World Of Adventures

We are lucky enough to have annual passes for this great theme park and visit many times a year.

It gets bigger and better each time we visit and covers all of my children’s ages from 1-18.

I tend to let the oldest two wander off by themselves and go on all the thrill seeking rides that CWOA has to offer.


    

I can then take the younger ones to explore the Sealife centre, petting farm, massive zoo full of wonderful animals and to ride on the fabulous rides that are more suitable for their age.


We don’t normally take food with us as its a lot to carry around and there are plenty of great restaurants to chose from.

All of mine love to watch the exuberant Madagascar show that is put on a couple of times a day and the sea lion and penguin shows always go down a treat.


  

It really is a fun packed day and I would advice to get there early to ensure you get a go on the biggest and most popular rides without to much of a queue.

Priory Farm

This is a garden centre with a difference!

There is a large garden centre with all the usual things on offer which also houses a great coffee shop with wonderful hot and cold food, and the most wonderful cakes.


Attached to this is a newly refurbished play area that we have yet to visit this year.  Across from here is a huge pirate ship that mine all love to play on and a picnic area directly next to it which is fantastic to sit and watch them play.

Our favourite part of the farm is the discovery walk.  You pick up your quiz sheet at the start which takes you around all the different parts of the trail answering questions as you go.  At the top we usually stop for a rest and take in the views.  Near the end there is a chance to feed the fish which is my favourite part!!


Our day normally finishes with a walk around the well stock farm shop to pick something nice for our tea.

Chartwell House

If you are a reader of my blog you will know that National Trust venues are my favourite.

Chartwell House is one of the best for my family as it has such a lot to occupy tiny minds.

The gardens are exquisite and there is something different everywhere you turn.


  

I love the tiny playhouse that would have been used by the house owners for so many years before.


You can really educate the children in a fun way here as they are taking in information and not knowing it!

  
Keep an eye on their website as there are always some great cheap or free activities going on that mine all love.


We are yet to venture into the house as in not sure my nerves could take that until the small ones are a little older.

Flower Farm

Fruit picking is a brilliant activity for all the family.  It teaches children where the fruit originally comes from, gives them some exercise and they get a yummy, healthy treat at the end.


At flower farm there is always a good variety of different fruit and vegetable to pick at good prices.



They also have a lovely farm shop and a small tea room that is unfortunately closed for refurbishment at the moment.

I hope you have found some inspiration for days out here and I will be posting another list very soon so keep your eyes peeled.