Last Saturday we headed off to Sandwell Valley Country Park. We’d never been before, and this escapade represented another where we’re determined to explore more of the parks that we have around us, especially as they are, by and large, free, and a great way to spend time with the children. It was actually a suggestion from a Twitter chat, and having not heard of it before, I Googled and discovered it was only twenty minutes away, so we packed our picnic and away we went!
It was easy to find, we parked for free ( a nice bonus early on in the day!), and decided to explore the farm first of all. There was a small charge for this, but it was well worth it, as both Boo and Little Man adored getting up close to all of the animals around the courtyard. There were chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, rabbits, horses, ponies and a donkey. And a couple of free-roaming peacocks (or a peacock and a peahen, to be accurate!). Little Man was absolutely fascinated by each and every creature, while Boo was her usual whirlwind self, running full-speed ahead to see everything first. On walking through an archway, we entered the walled kitchen garden, and wow, it was amazing. Regular readers will know that I’m currently undertaking Project Garden, which has been my first real foray into gardening, but in the space of just one month, I’ve become a teensy tiny bit obsessed with it all. I was in my element here, and having always dreamed of owning a walled garden, it was just perfect. There was even a little maze at the back that Boo had to have a race around.
When I was dragged away from the garden by the husband (I had spent a fair bit of time dawdling round it!), we walked across to the adventure park – all free and fabulous. Boo and Daddy entered via the rope bridge, and we found a bench to have our picnic on. And then there was no stopping her in there – it was a truly fantastic park, with so much to do, and even though it was pretty busy there, it did not feel at all crowded as it was so huge. They also had a refreshment stand in there (not just drinks and ice creams, people, chips, too!), so if you’re not prepared with a packed lunch, there is sustenance to see you through…! Next to this was also a high ropes aerial adventure course, which our two are too young for now, but in years to come, I’m sure we’ll be there.
As we were getting back into the car, the husband and Boo spotted a few geese, so they strolled up the embankment and discovered a lake – we’ll be feeding the ducks on our next visit then!
This is the third wonderful park that we’ve discovered in the past month, and I’m so pleased to be out there finding these new places for our family. Sandwell Valley Park is quite a vast area, and there’s also another farm, with farm shop and children’s play area that we’ve yet to visit, so that’s on our list for later this month, and I’ve no doubt we’ll have a blast again. They are brilliant to go to in the sunshine now, and then when Little Man decides he is ready to walk, and he, Boo and I can don our wellies, we’ll have plenty of places to get out to on crisp autumn days. Can’t wait!