It’s the summer holiday so we have been out and about each day exploring new corners of London and the South East and rediscovering old favourites. As a driver, a day trip for us typically includes a fully charged satnav, a car journey and a picnic, swimwear, change of clothes and pyjamas in the boot. Mostly, for a day trip, I try to keep the drive-time under an hour. This works well for us; by the time the kids have played a game on the iPad, had a snack, looked for red cars/cows/green trucks (delete as appropriate) out of the window, and played eye spy we have arrived at our destination. Any longer and the kids would be fighting, I would be shouting and we’d all have to stop for a wee/coffee.
Last week we spent a gloriously sunny day at Aldenham Country Park in Hertfordshire. It’s a 50 minute drive from Wandsworth and well worth it! There is so much to do here, you need a whole day. We had arranged to meet family and friends for a picnic and set up camp by the lake. The geese are pretty friendly but harmless and the children all enjoyed watching the boats and bothering the birds!
You can have a structured or unstructured, free or pay-to-play-activity day at Aldenham -the choice is yours. All day parking is £4.50, other than that you can get away with not spending a penny if you bring a picnic, play in the playground and explore Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood. If you have cash to splash you can visit the farm, ride a pony or go wild in the adventure playground. If you’re not local you can even camp or glamp on site.
We saved money on lunch by bringing a big picnic for everyone to share, then spent the saving on pony rides and the adventure playground. My daughter rode a pony- ‘Tatty’- for the first time and was chuffed to bits. Pony rides are £12 for 15 minutes, you book a time slot in the office so book it as soon as you get there to avoid disappointed kids giving you evils, and all of the children (plus some of the adults) enjoyed the brilliant adventure playground, £3 per child for 2 hours. The adventure playground has been designed for children with SEND so is brilliantly accessible and very safe for children of all ages and abilities. The SEND pavilion is an inside playspace for children with additional needs and their siblings/friends, this is £6 per child and has sensory rooms and a whole range of activities that kids love.
Outside, the kids can do the Woodland Walk, the nature trail around the lake, and 100 Aker Wood – which is just lovely. Before you visit, read about Winnie the Pooh’s adventures then see the delight on the kids’ faces as they discover the magical world of Winnie the Pooh – look out for Pooh Corner, Eeyore’s Gloomy Place, and Piglets house.
Enjoy! Amy x