Mellow Mummy: Things to do in Herefordshire with a Toddler : Taking life as it comes...

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Things to do in Herefordshire with a Toddler

Earlier this month we took Lara on a self-catering holiday to Herefordshire. We stayed at Hareley Farm, a converted 16th century barn on a working, rare-breeds farm. The barn had its own playground where Lara could play, and some beautiful views across the countryside.

On our first full day we went for a long, leisurely walk around the grounds of Brockhampton Estate which is managed by the National Trust. Lara loved seeing the trees, mushrooms, berries and wildlife that I pointed out to her. It was a long walk (we did about 3 miles) but we broke it up with a picnic in the woods and. After lunch we walked through a field of sheep (much to Lara's excitement) and when Lara began to tire, we used our new Kiddy Carry System to carry her back to the car.

On the Monday, the winds were really high so we drove into the centre of Hereford for a look at some of the black and white buildings and a wander around the grounds of the Cathedral. In the afternoon we took Lara ten-pin bowling in a groovy tiny bowling alley next to Hereford station. Lara absolutely loved it (two weeks later if you ask her what she wants to do now, she will tell you , 'bowling'). On our way home we stopped in the picturesque town of Ledbury to buy strawberries for pudding!

The following day we visited a rare breeds farm and owl centre near Kington where, if she hadn't been scared to death, Lara could have fed and cuddled all of the farm animals. In the afternoon we went for a walk at Queenswood country park which has lots of flat footpaths suitable for buggies and a brilliant playground that we had all to ourselves.

On Wednesday we visited Hampton Court Castle and Gardens and we were really surprised at how much Lara loved it. She had great fun exploring the formal gardens, especially the fruit and vegetables. We took a tour of the castle (the stuffed animals and swords on the wall freaked her out) and got lost in the maze. We had our picnic on the lawn and played on the small playground before a small walk along the river where there was a children's nature trail.

On Thursday we all walked to the top of the Herefordshire Beacon (video coming soon!) which is the second highest of the Malvern hills. Lara enjoyed the view and found it very entertaining that Daddy had to carry her most of the way. We had a picnic in a disused quarry before spending the afternoon at Westons Cider Mill. We saw the cider apples arriving on trucks and being chopped and squashed into juice before being matured in vats. Lara got to try some apple juice and then she spent some time looking at the horses and sheep before playing on the tractors and adventure playground.

On the last day of our holiday Lara wasn't too well and so we chilled out at the Barn with the toys and videos that the owners had provided for us.

A very fun holiday with a relaxing conclusion.

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