Days out, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized, Wimborne

Dorset Top 5 Easter Holiday activities on a budget

I thought I would do a quick write up on Dorset attractions to consider for the half term. If you’re like me, it’s good to have a few ideas to call upon when at a loose end! Here are my top 5 ideas of places to go on a budget:

  1. Hengistbury Head – You can park up on one of the free roads towards Southbourne sea front and walk along the beach. This location is a great place to fly a kite or search for shells and stones on the beach. Bring a bucket and the children will be entertained for hours (you might even get to enjoy a book to yourself!). If you want to spend a bit of change, head towards the @Hungry Hiker café for an ice cream, or catch the train that takes you up to the top end of Hengistbury head spit. It’s £1.80 one way for an adult, and £0.60 for a child.More information:
  2. A day out to Lymington can also be enjoyable with children, we had the pleasure of going yesterday in fact. If you park near to the Harbour you can walk to the park that sits next to the estuary. It’s great fun for those that like boats (my little lad loved it!). Bring a picnic and sit in the park, or head into the shopping area where you can buy some delicious pasties from @thepastyshop there. We end up taking a walk around the Lymington-Keyhaven nature reserve, starting at the car park next to the Mayflower Inn. In the summer you can also bring your costumes and enjoy the seawater swimming pool on the seafront. Here is a map link for those of you who haven’t been before:
  3. Visit Stewarts garden centre at Holt, Wimborne. They have a play park hidden away around the side of the garden centre which is lovely for younger children. They even have a few animals there such as ducks and pigs, and it’s completely free to go in. We tend to bring a picnic, or grab a light bite to eat in the café inside the garden centre.
  4. Park for free at Pottern Park on the outskirts of Verwood, and take a 25 minute walk into Moors Valley. The walk itself is beautiful, taking you past the lake and river on the way in. There are a few benches too, so occasionally we’ll have a picnic before arriving at Moors Valley. Fabulously FREE!!!
  5. So many options, and I’m starting to think I should have done a top ten list, but my final suggestion is going to be Upton House in Poole. The grounds are great to walk around here, and they have a coffee shop and toilet facilities. During the warmer months they have a splash area in the walled garden so the little ones can cool off whilst the parents can get the picnic blankets out. We tend to feed the ducks, and take a walk along the pathway on the edge of the harbour. The play area is small, but kept natural with trees to climb through etc.IMG_0449
    The play area at Stewart’s Garden Centre – Holt
Days out, Wimborne

Sunday afternoons in

Sunday afternoons, a time to relax and refresh right? Wrong! As I escape within this article, chaos is upon me. The 8 year old is singing non stop, the dog is chewing the babies toys, the baby is chewing the dog toys, and my partner sits slumped in the rocking chair, looking desperate and fed up, glancing exasperated in my direction occasionally, before leaving the room entirely to escape upstairs.

Its amusing to think that some people would describe Sundays as relaxing, but for the parents of this world I’m pretty sure surviving Sundays is all that matters. Funnily my partner has returned from upstairs wearing headphones, playing rock music. It’s all about survival.

So what else is there to do on dark Sunday afternoons in the middle of winter? Scrabble. No, the baby wouldn’t enjoy that, and neither would the intellect seeking other half. Another walk? Nope, the one this morning involving the baby screaming the woods down was more than enough to put anyone off achieving their 2000 step count! And nobody appears to be able to agree on a film to watch – fluffy puppies in Christmas hats is definitely not appealing to my sit on the couch nature (not that I get chance to ever sit and watch anything anyway!).

Pub?! Yes, the pub. Christmas drinks for the adults and dinner for the children (we can have the microwave curries later!). Wimborne has some great pubs, and a new one I recently came across is ‘The man in the wall’, which is a Weatherspoons (cheap then), and yet it seems a bit more classy then some of the others (depending on the time of day you visit). I ordered in the mulled cider, whilst the children had a Christmas dinner to share. The food was really good, the service was great, and they provide crayons (because it really isn’t that difficult for those that don’t!).

Topping it off, we had a quick stroll into Wimborne square afterwards, and were greeted with Christmas lights and chiming bells from the minster. For the first time during the month of December I finally felt festive and excited about Christmas! Will I go again the next time I’m climbing the walls on a Sunday afternoon – abso****inglutely!