Sunday, 26 August 2012

Cycling in Great Windsor Park

Today we hitched the bikes onto the car and headed to Great Windsor park for a picnic and cycle with the Venters and Coopers. It was a lovely day and the cycle around the lake and park was quite magnificent. We started at Virginia water entrance and had our picnic amongst the ruins of the city imported from North Africa. The kids discovered some sand to play in which i hope werent part of the ruins!! We then cycled across and around the lake passing the Polo players, giant waterfall, grotto, obelisk and totem pole. Great Windsor park is 4200 acres to put it in perspective, we covered quite a bit of ground! We ended it off with a yummy ice cream, & Chloes first, which she gobbled up in seconds sans... ice cream headache. She is most definitely daughter of The Hoover!!

Me and my homies, enjoying the picturesque setting

Katie watches the world go by ...

Kids having fun in the sand at the village ruins

Livy enjoys her well deserved ice cream

The great Canadian Totem Pole

Katie admires the totem pole

Now you're talking!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

New Forest Camping

I am by no means a camper, yet if all camping trips were like one we had in the New Forest, i most certainly would be! We watched the weather forecast and waited until the last minute before deciding to gate crash on our friends weekend away! It was lovely and hot :) Luvic lent us "The Taj Mahal" tent, and this was assembled in under 10 minutes by all the eager campers around. It was quite frankly enormous! The kids slept in the left wing, we slept in the right, happy days.

Ive added is a little excerpt on our campsite below- its no exaggeration, the wild animals were quite literally unzipping the tents!

The New Forest was beautiful, i do hope to return again soon!

Could this child have been any more excited?? NO!

Chloe admires the wild horses

Cycling in the New Forest .. i lost my wingmen!

Having fun in the plains

Horses horses everywhere!

Bath Time!

The Glampers

These guys got a lot of abuse for pimping their campsite, with the likes of a full blown double bed and princess bunting decorations.. but i must confess i wouldnt have minded that sort of luxury! Maybe on the next trip ill surprise everyone with a few little extras ;)

Heres a little description of our campsite ...

In a land of rules, regulations, roadmarkings and traffic lights, the New Forest in Hampshire offers, both literally and metaphorically, a breath of fresh air. Meandering roads follow the lie of the land with their edges gently disappearing into the forest, and not a yellow line or a curbstone in sight. Horses wander freely around this wooded landscape, grazing on the roads if they so choose. They have right of way here; traffic just has to live with it. There’s something quite liberating about this arrangement. It’s as if in a very small way, we’re acknowledging that nature is the greater force.We’re merely humans, visiting for a time, borrowing these natural resources. In the New Forest, instead of dominating nature, we’re living alongside it. And it all works very well. If you can dodge the horses as far as Brockenhurst, you’ll find one of the Forestry Commission’s most outstanding campsites, Roundhill. Once an airfield, it’s now a large expanse of open heathland right in the middle of the forest, with trees and shrubs breaking up this huge area to create smaller, sheltered pockets of land. There are no designated pitches; just drive around, find an agreeable spot and as long as you’re at least six metres away from the nearest tent, it’s all yours. The campsite is well laid out and well organised, so where you pitch will be simply a function of your preference for company or solitude, forest or open space and whether you want to walk or drive to the facilities. As with everywhere else in the New Forest, animals have grazing rights here, so expect to see horses, donkeys, cows and even pigs wandering freely around the campsite. For the most part, they keep to themselves. If they get wind of your food, however, it’s a different story. The donkeys are highly skilled at unzipping tents with their mouths and helping themselves to whatever they can find. Rumour has it they can even open ring-pulls on cans! The trick is never to encourage them by feeding them and always keep food locked in the car rather than in the tent. Other than the obvious attractions of exploring the New Forest by car, on foot or on horseback (maps and information available at reception), Roundhill is perfectly located for the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu. This fantastic collection of historic vehicles includes the World Record Breakers Bluebird and Golden Arrow. Other exhibits include the James Bond Experience, where you can see a number of Q’s inventions, including the road-boat from The World Is Not Enough. Look out for various events here, including a regular farmer’s market, where you can buy fresh New Forest produce. In an area where cars come second to nature and horses rule the road, it’s entirely appropriate to see cars relegated to the status of artefacts at a motor museum. The balance of nature has been restored.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Beautiful Serenity of Claremont Landscape Gardens

I sometimes wonder if I should actually be telling people how absolutely wonderful this place is ... I dont want it getting too crowded!! I love Claremont Gardens, its all about the beauty of nature and a walk around an exquisite lake and woodlands area.

It has the most beautiful amphitheater where they host plays for young and old in the summer evenings. There really is something for everyone here bird watching and feeding, grand benches if you fancy a rest, a dressing up and craft area in the Thatched Cottage, a wonderful natural play area for the kids, a 9 pin bowling alley and a lot of information on the history of the gardens. The tea room is a treat! Its an absolutely wonderful place, well done National Trust for maintaining it :)

"The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music" sings Katie on the Ampitheatre

Goon' fishin

Having fun at the lakeside edge

Dont let the ducks eat my banana!