Saturday, 22 June 2013

Walking, Paddling and Eating at Moreton

Do you want to know a good place for paddling?
 then grab your wellies and follow Bobble for a wander to Moreton...
A few miles from Dorchester; it's the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.
 Park up somewhere near the tea rooms (we'll be back there later) and head on down toward the river. You'll glimpse these lovely cottages lining an old fashioned street (complete with authentic horse poo in the road) but your little ones will be heading off at speed because they've spied the water.
 At the bottom of the road you meet the river.
 Over the bridge or through the river. It's really shallow and there's always a child or two paddling.

 There are various walks to take and I think we did part of the Jubilee Trail. Over the stile and off Bobble goes...
Mixed terrain with lanes

and back to the river 
Walk back over the bridge and take a longer look at the pretty houses.
I had my eye on this one.
It looked like no one lived there but then I bumped into another mum I know and she told me excitedly they were awaiting confirmation of letting it. I'm hoping next time we go back I might get a nose inside!
A remarkably bold rabbit.
By this time Bobble was getting hungry so we rounded off the afternoon with a visit to the tea rooms in the former school. 
I'd thought this might be a bit twee but the inside is bright and fresh with an interesting menu.
A couple of nice little rooms off the main dining area to house noisy families but we headed out to the pretty garden.
So Bobble says several nice hours out for the price of a coffee and cake (or free if you take a picnic).

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Radipole Nature Reserve

A trip out this weekend gave me an idea for a new little blog...
My youngest had been on a school trip this week to Radipole Lake Nature Reserve in Weymouth. She came back very excited and waving a voucher for a free bag of duck food.
Well that was it; the thought of the duck food and we jumped straight on the train.
Now you would be right in thinking starting a blog seems an extreme reaction to a gentle afternoon out. It got me thinking. A place right on our doorstep and I'd never thought of going there. I didn't know anything about it until today and I'll certainly be going back. There must be loads of places like this. Places I don't know about. Places I know about and you don't yet...
So a little visual tour for you...
We were greeted by this lovely little thatched visitor centre where we duly collected our free duck food and I was delighted to find there was no charge here.
(Note to self - cost all outings.)
So Emily enjoyed feeding the ducks and then Dan the most helpful assistant ever suggested the girls borrow rucksack packs to get the most from the walk. What a fantastic idea. They borrowed binoculars, bug magnifiers, bird and bug ID charts etc and we set off.
A great flat walk suitable for pushchairs too interspersed with decked areas for 'spotting'
and a great picnic corner with wooden creatures to sit on.
Once we were all walked out we returned to the centre and were delighted to find a little café area. Icecreams and cake were duly purchased and if you stick with this little blog you'll soon see food is often a feature of Emily's excursions.
The centre has been refurbished following a flood last year and is stunning. Big curved floor to ceiling glass overlooks the lake with a telescope.
My girls loved the interest drawers and loved being able to handle the exhibits. Dan showed them the difference in the animal skulls and how to tell how old a deer is as well as patiently helping them identify the grisly contents of seagull pellets!
Last stop was pond dipping.
Everything was provided and again free of charge. Dan showed them what to do and helped them identify the contents of their nets.
Emily Button left with a useful leaflet of other RSPB reserves and an events list from which I'm determined to take her to something this summer.
Emily says...
a great educational afternoon out,
enough to entertain for 3 hours,
free entry,
and a café!