It's half term. It's raining. What shall we do? How about a trip down memory lane!
Years ago I used to be involved in guiding. My Mum ran a Brownie pack and I used to help her. Every year I would attend the pack holiday. Many times we took the pack to Woodhouse Park in Bristol. Whilst there we would take the Brownies on a day trip to Old Down Country Park, a place with an adventure playground and lots of farm animals to meet.
The last time we went on one of these pack holidays was 13 years ago now. Since that time I don't think I've really given one thought to Old Down and I don't think Mum really has either. However, we were trying to come up with a half term day trip, somewhere we could take a 17 month old and a 5 year old that they would both enjoy.. and Mum suggested: "What about that place we used to take the Brownies?".
Well, today we made that trip! Old Down Country Park is in Thornbury, Bristol. It's only about a 45 minute drive away. It seems crazy that we've not thought about taking the boys before.. The forecast for the day wasn't great, but the thought of spending a day cooped inside with the boys didn't appeal. We wanted to get out.
We arrived at Old Down to find it VERY quiet. It seemed that the weather had kept the crowds away. It has to be said it's a very outdoors place, there isn't much to be done inside. I supposed that would keep most people away when the rains set in! However, it worked in our favor. The fact it was so quiet made it a very pleasant day. Yes, it was rainy. It was even cold despite yesterdays attempt at an Indian Summer. There was plenty for us to see and do and when the cold and rain got too much, the cafe was a welcome retreat.
There are several play areas with a variety of activities; ride on cars, trampolines, swings, climbing frames, play houses, a zip wire. There are all of the farm animals you'd expect including a gorgeous peacock and very friendly goats!
The cafe is a real winner. It was lovely and warm inside with two log burners (they only had one on the go and it was very cosy!). Low lit with twinkly fairy lights and loads of delicious homemade fares, it really made me happy! We had lunch there and were impressed with the wide choice of food. Everything we ordered was tasty and didn't take too long to arrive. We popped back to the cafe in the afternoon to warm up with a hot drink and I was very happy to see a Pumpkin Spice Latte on the menu - yum! A fantastic cake selection as well.
We loved Old Down. I had a lovely day with my boys, I feel really happy and content this evening and I just know that I will look back on this day as being a truly happy one. One of those gorgeous warm memories that you cling to in tough times. One of those memories you relive again and again.
Thanks Old Down! We plan to be back soon!