A day at Wellington Country Park – 9th July 2011
We spent most of the day over at Wellington Country Park – Rebekah’s choice of location to celebrate her upcoming 7th birthday, next weekend.
Wellington is an area of parkland and woodland encompassing some 350 acres of which 35 are taken up by a large lake. It is ideal for younger children with various areas of play equipment, crazy golf, an animal farm and various nature trails.
As is usual in a house with three small children there was no lie-in and we were up and breakfasted by 8.30am and out of the house just after 8.45am.
Unlike the last time that we went on the M4, this time it behaved itself and we arrived at Wellington at about 9.20am being only the second car in the car-park.
One advantage of getting there early meant that the girls had the slides to themselves and they spent some time just playing on there before we were able to cajole them around to other play areas.
We spent some time walking around the lake before reaching the farm area. ‘Farm’ is perhaps an over-generous title for what seemed to be various pens housing animals as diverse as alpacas and hens. The girls particularly enjoyed stroking some of the long-suffering and patient donkeys there.
A large shed on the ‘farm’ contained a ‘petting’ area, where children are encouraged to handle and stroke smaller animals including rabbits and guinea-pigs. While we were there they were all safely secured in their cages and it seems that they’re only available for ‘petting’ at certain times of the day.
Following a short visit to the largest of the play areas, I was dispatched to the car with Holly to collect our picnic lunch and a picnic rug. In the event, the latter proved surplus to requirements as we commandeered a picnic table on the main lawn.
Our lunch was briefly interrupted by a small flock of ducks who made a beeline for our table and ‘hoovered’ up any morsels which either fell or were ‘encouraged’ to fall from the table!
After lunch, with the picnic items safely returned to the car, we repaired to the sandpit, which the girls have enjoyed playing in since their early years.
With the clouds becoming ever more threatening and Emily ever more tired, we left Rebekah and Holly playing in the sandpit and water area while we took shelter, appropriately in a shelter on top of a nearby hill!
The girls played on, seemingly oblivious of the occasionally heavy showers which almost made them wetter than their shenanigans with the water pump!
Eventually the rain eased off and we managed to prise them away with talk of other play areas which we had yet to visit.
Emily enjoyed a swing in the toddler play area and the others seemed to forget about their years and also have fun with the younger children’s toys there too.
Afterwards we enjoyed a ’25 minute’ nature trail through some of the extensive woodland at Wellington. Although we heard various birds, sightings were few and far between. In contrast, we saw numerous different butterflies and a minute frog!
With the afternoon rapidly drawing on we made our way back to the main entrance building which also contains a cafe and the ubiquitous gift shop. Once ice-creams had been devoured and trinkets purchased we made our way back to the car and thence to home.
After a thorough de-sanding in the bath we made our way out to Toby Carvery in Maidenhead, again Rebekah’s choice of eatery, where we enjoyed large platters of roast food and the usual giant Yorkshire puddings!
Finally, we made a short visit over to Mum’s to water the vegetable garden following a couple of days of warm sunshine. We also harvested the first fruits of our labours and brought home six sticks of rhubarb!
All in all it was a fun day. It was good to spend time with the family and the girls all enjoyed their day over at Wellington Country Park.
Next weekend we have the twin high-points of Rebekah’s seventh and Emily’s first birthdays to look forward to. With a holiday in Shropshire at the end of the month too, July is already shaping up to be a busy month.