Fairy And Snowdrop Hunting At Gatton Park

If any of you follow me on Instagram I’m sure you will have noticed by now that I’m a real lover of Spring flowers.  They signify the start of warmer weather and bring a welcome display of colour after the gloomy months we have post Christmas.

One of the best places to go and see the snowdrops raising their pretty heads is Gatton Park in Reigate.  On the first Sunday of every month they open the doors and allow visitors to come and explore the beautiful park and gardens.

  
At this time of year the immaculate gardens are littered with snowdrops and are a real sight to see.

   
   
The children love investigating the winding pathways and uneven staircases. Number five loved the pretty pond that could be crossed by stepping on the stones.

   
 
Inside the house you can grab yourself a cup of tea whist the children colour or make a snowdrop card as a memento of their day.

   

  

 

Our last trip of the day was down to the play trail where the children climbed poles, made music on the wooden instruments, jumped aboard the tractor and most importantly tried to wake the fairies at their cute little house.

   
    
 
 

We spent several hours over there exploring everything the wonderful house and gardens has to offer and I’m keen to come back and try out their toddler afternoons with he youngest two!

   
   
  

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!


My Captured Moment:Lavender Lovliness

It was infact the the name ‘Running In Lavender‘ that first got me looking at the fabulous blog written by Heledd, as the lavender fields are so close to where we live to.

We always take hundreds of photos when we visit and I am finding it hard to chose some to put up as my ‘Captured Moment’ this week!

   
                                   

  

The Captivating Lavender Fields 

  

I will apologise now for the photo spam in this post, but I took so many pictures it was hard to chose my favourites.

   
     

For the past few years I have dressed my brood up in white and taken the short trip to the stunning Mayfield Lavender fields to take in their splender whilst taking some great shots.

   
     

Even though I have driven past these fields countless times over the years I am still taken back by there beauty every year.

The children still get exited to run up and down the long pathways peeping over at each other as they go.

   
     

The fields are located just outside the town of Banstead in Surrey.  There is a small charge of a pound per person and there is ample parking; but be warned they are a real crowd puller and it gets very busy.

They have added a tractor ride this year which I should imagine is great but unfortunately we got there to early and couldn’t wait for the first trip out of the day.

  
We finished our trip off today by getting some freshly cut lavender that we are going to use in our lavender playdough making this week.

   
     

There is also a coffee shop serving a small range of hot and cold food.  Our relaxing coffee was cut short by poor number five getting a wasp sting to his face!!

   
  

We will be making a trip back soon to give the tractor ride a go!

  

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.

  

  

  

Red Velvet Flower Shaped Cupcakes

  
It was my my daughter’s school fete this weekend and we unfortunately couldn’t attend as she had her performing arts school production; so it was a lovely surprise to find that I had won a raffle prize on the school run this morning.

Upon opening it was a lovely flower shaped silicone cupcake mould from The Pampered Chef.

  

Of course the children were champing at the bit to give it a go so we decided on some red velvet cupcakes with the frosting piped inside so we didn’t ruin the ornate shape of them.

If you fancy giving them a go with or without the mould here is the recipe:

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Cupcakes

  • 185g Self Raising Flour
  • 200g Caster Sugar 
  • 200g Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 4tsp Red Food Colouring
  • 15g Coccoa Powder

Frosting

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 125g Full Fat Soft Cheese
  • 175g Icing Sugar

  

    1. Preheat the oven to 180c
    2. Cream together the butter and sugar
    3. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and then gradually add to the butter and sugar mixture.
    4. Sieve the flour and coccoa powder into the mixture along with the food colouring.
    5. Mix well and then spread evenly between the cake moulds/cases.
    6. Place into the preheated oven for around 15mins.
    7. Place them onto a wire cooling rack whilst you prepare the frosting.
    8. Cream the better until really soft and then gradually add the cream cheese and icing sugar.
    9. Place into a piping bag and leave to stand until the cakes are completly cooled.
    10. Once ready put the spout about a third of the way into the cake and squeeze until a little comes back out.
    11. They will then be ready to serve.

             

      

    Image Of The Week:Bokeh

    Until reading up on this weeks challange I had no idea what the wonderful blurring on photos was called!

    It was something that I have always  loved but only managed to create by chance.

    I have a day trip planned with a photographer friend of mine soon so hopefully she will be able to give me some good tips on creating this effect.

    Here is my image that was created by pure luck!!

       

     

    #CheckOutThatView:Half Term Landscapes

    I love to ensure that the children’s holidays are filled with fun and adventure and love nothing more than getting them out and about in the fresh air.

    We don’t go out and spend a fortune, we just like to get out and about in the countryside and look at what the great outdoors has to offer.

    This half term we have been on lots of adventures and would love to share with you some of the fabulous views we have been lucky enough to see.