An Hour Well Spent

In the last week, we’ve been to a new soft play centre (very popular with both the children and me!), our usual dance class, and Boo’s had her two days at preschool. I didn’t think we could fit a bit of fresh air and the great outdoors into the week, especially as the weather has been miserable, but fate was on our side. Thursday afternoon was put aside for a necessary trip to the Asda sales to grab a few bargain outfits for Boo to wear for preschool, but as luck would have it, my fabulous sister-in-law was visiting us that morning and very kindly popped into Asda on her way over and picked up a few outfits for us – result! It freed up our afternoon, though to be honest, I had no plans to venture out. It rained all morning and then Little Man had a nice long nap. When he woke, the rain abated, I had an hour or so before I needed to start dinner, so I was all fabulous and spontaneous and asked Boo if she fancied going to feed the ducks and have a ‘nature stroll’. Of course, she jumped at the chance!

Coated and booted, we jumped into the car for a five minute journey to our local park, Sutton Park. Now, we are very lucky to have this on our doorstep. As good old Wiki tells us, it’s the largest urban park in Europe, at 2,400 acres. That’s a fair old nature stroll! I’ve been visiting this park since I was born, as I’ve always lived within walking distance of it, and I guess I do take it for granted. Seeing it through my children’s eyes changes that.

We fed the ducks, stamped through mud, discussed the different trees & shrubs around us and collected their leaves to identify when we got home, pointed out different birds that we spotted, saw a scurrying squirrel, Boo waded through a stream and we popped in to the visitor centre to check out their exhibits and pick up a free children’s wildlife magazine.


Oh, and Boo does enjoy hiding behind trees and playing peepo…

Boo peepo1

And Little Man enjoys seeing her do that..

Little Man peepe1

We were only there for an hour, but what a wonderful hour it was. And I loved how impromptu it was. I’m pretty certain that before my resolve to get outdoors more with the kids (thanks again #CountryKids), we’d have spent that hour at home. Nothing wrong with that, of course, though I would point out that I have a one-year-old who has just hit that exploratory stage, adoration of all things gadget-related and will not stay put for two seconds, so you see why getting out can be preferable?! But fresh air, jumping through puddles and chats about nature were just what we needed. And I’m sure you can see from the photos that we all enjoyed ourselves.

What’s your local park like? Has the change in the weather put you off getting out?

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32 thoughts on “An Hour Well Spent”

  1. Looks like a brilliant park. v cute photo hiding behind the tree. We love getting out in the fresh air but you definitely need wellies and woollies now! xx

  2. Sometimes it can be easier to stay indoors – especially when the weather is dreary but, well done you for getting out and about and enjoying the nature in the park. Armed with a pair of trusty wellies the children can have lots of messy and wet fun. Thanks for linking up and sharing your outdoor fun with Country Kids.

  3. I’m often guilty of staying in when it’s a bit miserable, but with a very active toddler, it is (as you say!) actually a lot easier to go out than chase her around the house! What a fabulous park to have so close to you!

    1. It is fabulous, yes. I’m determined to go there regularly throughout the next few months and not stay inside as we all enjoyed it, and it is easier!!

  4. I love Sutton Park, used to visit loads when I worked in Kingston. Our local Park is a drive away but offers lots for families also and we love it. The quick, last minute outings are the best aren’t they!

    1. Thank you! Yep, feel smug 😉 Though the chances of me sitting on my bum for that hour would have been slim – small chaos-making one year old would put pay to that!!

  5. I do love Sutton Park. Eldest has just spent the afternoon there riding through water with her granny actually! She had a ball. It’s the one thing I miss not being literally on the doorstep anymore. I always feel better for getting out, my own granny was a great advocate of ‘getting out’ ?

    1. It is a beautiful park, and one we’ll definitely be making the most of over the next few months, especially as it’s so close to us. Glad you had a great afternoon there 🙂

  6. What beautiful pictures! We are so lucky to have a big green open space behind our back fence. The little boy loves getting out there and kicking a ball around or just playing ‘running’. Another park with a playground is just five minutes walk away, so even though we are in London, we are really lucky. It’s his first autumn as a walker and I’m actually really excited about it. I’ve just ordered him a raincoat and some wellies and I can’t wait to get out there and splash in puddles with him! x

    1. Thank you. It is great to have green spaces around us. My son had his first pair of shoes today, so I’ll now be getting him wellies so that he can have a little splash about!

  7. This morning, I was in a bit of a funk. Maybe it was a lack of caffine that set me off, but the fog was so beautiful and atmospheric, we popped in the car, popped on some tunes, and set off on a marching exploration. And everything felt right again. Fresh air is always good for us; regardless of the conditions!

    1. It makes such a difference to my mood, and the children love it! I’m making sure we do it regularly now as it’s so enjoyable. Oh, to be in the New Forest and near the beach – I’m a tad jealous!

  8. What a lovely leafy park! We live right next to Epping Forest, and you’ve reminded me we don’t get there nearly as much as we should. Will try it next time we get a spare hour 🙂

    1. I’m getting in the habit of just scooping the kids up when we have an hour spare & popping to a park – feels so much better than just staying in 🙂

  9. These are the things that make memories; the impromptu, unplanned enjoying of nature together! Sounds like the perfect afternoon! Thanks for linking up with #SavouringtheSeason xx

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