We spent Friday afternoon at Alice Holt Forest, an area owned by the Forestry Commission that has numerous trails, fab bikes for hire, various play equipment areas, a Gruffalo trail, Go Ape and just a vast amount of space that is so appealing to little ones (and big ‘uns alike).
I feel very conscious that next September, Charley will be at school full time so we need to make the most of days out before we are confined to school holidays and weekends only.
It was fairly quiet there. When we’ve been there at weekends or in the summer holidays the car park has been full but we had no trouble parking close to the entrance.
We took Charley’s bike with us, so she could have a little cycle, on the way to getting some lunch at the Cafe on the Green.
It’s been a few weeks since she last used it but she remembered what to do, with a few little pushes to help her along.
We ate inside the small seated area of the cafe as it wasn’t a warm, sunny day.
I was tempted by a bacon bap, while both the children had lunch boxes consisting of sandwiches, a juice carton, a yoghurt and a packet of dried fruit and raisins.
There was a good selection of sandwiches and hot food for adults.
As Bodhi hadn’t had a sleep that morning, we decided that we’d head off on the Habitat trail (suitable for pushchairs) to see if he’d have a snooze.
Amazingly, he fell asleep pretty soon after being put in the buggy!
We started off on the trail, walking past the Go Ape zip wires and high up ladders. Charley’s only got a few more centimetres to grow and she’ll be able to have a go (1m is the minimum height requirement). I’d better start manning up, eek.
After going down the hill, we came to the wooden owl. You climb up the steps on the back of the owl, and then if you’re feeling brave you can come down the pole.
I wasn’t quite tall enough to be able to lift Charley down, so she gave this a miss but enjoyed going around the Owls head and back down.
Along the trail there are various posters explaining about berries that are in season and also wooden posts with hidey holes for children to look through.
Next on the trail was the tree tower to climb up. There are a few levels to climb up, and it’s pretty narrow inside. I gave Charley a little help with the stairs, which are vertical. It was good fun, a bit of exercise to work off my bacon butty.
Next up were the butterfly and bat to climb. After Charley had conquered these we continued on our walk.
After a little wee stop for Charley (why do they never want to go when there are toilets around?) we came to the ‘rabbit tunnels’ which was busy with lots of other children climbing and running around.
Charley eventually climbed in and had a great time climbing up and sliding down the tunnels.
By this time, Bodhi had woken up so we headed back along the final bit of the trail, and back up the hill to the car park.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the playground with the houses and pirate ship on this occasion but I’m sure we’ll be back before too long.