Thursday, 11 June 2015

titsey estate

It started off so badly. Buggerlugs is wailing (though this is probably more to do with what I have dressed him in than anything else) and the name of the place is a bit How's Your Father.

But it's really lovely here! A grower though, not a wham bam oh my god this place is AMAZING type of place. Walking here most weeks has almost changed my mind about living out here. Almost.

Titsey is a private estate consisting of house, gardens and woodland walks. I've not yet paid to go into the house and gardens, I've just used the tea shop and been on the walks as they are both free. The tea shop is ace for buggies. It's a huge conservatory. Nice and bright and accessible. And the cakes are really good. There is loads of outside space as well but it's not so great for toddlers as it backs onto the car park and driveway in and out of the park. Unfortunately the cafe doesn't do sandwiches. Nor does it open all the time. Only Wed, Sat and Sun 1-5. I'll take a picture soon and post it.

The walks are challenging in places as they cut up (and down) the North Downs. You can park in a number of places - either at the bottom of the driveway from Water Lane (sat nav RH80SA), by the house, or at the top of the Downs just off the junction between Pitchfont Lane and The Ridge (sat nav RH80HD).

The walks are definitely more of a rucksack option (or if your children are older they can walk too). There are lots of paths cutting through the woodland on the Downs. It's so pretty, ghostly even, and you would never know the M25 is mere metres away. Big smiles around.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

coolings garden centre

Ah well this could have gone horribly wrong but it turned out okay in the end. Don't you hate it when you have it all planned out in your head. "Yes, he'll fall asleep in the car on the way there, nice half an hour nap so he'll be in a good mood for when we get there, we can have some lunch and not rush, and get back before he nods off for his afternoon nap so I can enjoy lazing on the sofa watching Made in Chelsea and eating biscuits catch up on all the housework."

But instead it turns out that he looks as if he may fall asleep any moment, so you carry on driving past the entrance but those slitty eyes carry on pee-poing at you for a good half hour later so you think fuck it let's just go in I'm running out of petrol anyway. So you go in and you've actually come to the wrong place and it has started to rain and the little guy starts to whinge. So you get back in the car and try to find the right place, but you can't find it so you think sod this let's go, but you then drive past the entrance, so with a screaming baby in the back you think it can't get any worse and you turn around and go in.
Hallelujah Coolings we found you!
So that was our journey to Coolings Garden Centre. We didn't really go for the garden centre. We went for the nature trail and cafe. Freddie is having a love in with animals at the moment. It's more of the dog and cat variety but he's not too fussy. Coolings has Wallabies! Sheep! Pigs! Goats! Chickens! Geese! Ducks! Plus a buggy-friendly nature trail that takes a toddler walking in random directions about an hour to walk around. All this plus a really spacious cafe with lots of kiddie meals and a baby change facility. You can either pay £14 for the year or £3.50  per visit (under fives go free).
Freddie cheered up wandering around the nature trail. I cheered up after I'd had a cup of coffee and a fat slice of chocolate cake.