With so many (very lucky) friends taking advantage of the long Easter holidays by heading abroad I’ve spent several evenings in the last week or so enviously browsing their gorgeous photographs on Facebook. The unspoilt beaches of Sri Lanka, turquoise waters of the Caribbean, powder white snow of the Alps are just some of the images I have gazed at longingly.
But with Bonkers Boy embarking on a new term this week I have been reflecting on just what a scrumdiddlyumptious time we had slightly closer to home. With picnics galore, an abundance of time spent with fabulous friends and not forgetting a visit from the Easter Bunny, our school holidays may not have been spent on snowy mountains or on beautiful beaches but I am hoping it was no less memorable for the Jelly Babies.
Over the next few weeks The Wobbly Jelly will be featuring some of our days out in more detail but here’s a little taster of what we got up to.
We discovered Diggerland. Noisy, dirty and filled with construction machinery our day at Diggerland felt like we’d spent the day on a real life building site. And we loved it.
For the Easter weekend, we headed up to the family home in Yorkshire. Although the children are such urbanites usually, they relish the sense of space that Granny and Grandpas’ home offers them. They always head straight out to the garden no matter the weather. A splash in the stream is compulsory as is a play in the sandpit but the highlight of our Easter trip was most definitely building a bonfire. The children couldn’t believe their luck when Granny suggested baking potatoes in the ashes of the fire.
On our return to Kent, and Mr Wobbly Jelly’s return to work, the Jelly Babies and I arranged to meet good friends at The Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux. No matter where we go with these convivial friends we always end up having an absolute blast so I knew we’d be in for a memorable time but the Observatory Science Centre surpassed all our expectations. Every exhibit was hands on and many were located outside so the children played and played and played. It was fascinating to watch them work out how to build a dam, and to figure out what they needed to do to operate the water wheel. They learned about the solar system, electricity, molecules and so much more but best of all they had bundles of fun together.
Having already spent a large amount of the time in the car visiting Diggerland, Yorkshire and Herstmonceux we decided to take a trip slightly closer to home. The magical Pepenbury was the obvious choice as it never fails to delight the Jelly Babies. Set in 100 acres of unspoilt countryside, this stunning destination has a fabulous wood to explore, a small play area, farm animals, a newly renovated cafe and a nursery to purchase plants. There is a real feeling of a bygone age here as children can explore in a totally uninhibited way. It is completely free to visit but as it is actually the site of the Pepenbury charity (an amazing charity that supports adults with a learning difficulties and complex needs) it is so worth looking out for the donation posts and supporting the incredible work of this very special charity.
We woke on the last morning of the school holidays wanting to have one last adventure. On the recommendation of a friend we decided to head to Harrisons Rocks. Set in the charming Birchden Woods and located just a couple of miles or so south of Tunbridge Wells, I am unsure how we’ve not stumbled across this astonishing area of natural beauty before.
With 135million year old rocks to clamber up, ancient woodland to explore and even a very unexpected glimpse of Thomas the Tank Engine cutting through the attractive landscape, this may well have been the perfect Sunday morning. Oh okay I would have preferred to be exploring some far away land or whizzing down a red run in the snowy Alps but sometimes you’ve to make the best of what you’ve got and this Easter that’s just what we did.