After a crazy weekend in work that took some getting over and an unexpected 5am wake up call from a certain little man, despite the warm weather all I wanted to do was curl up on the settee with a pillow and duvet, the last time I did this however I actually cant remember!! Of course my little ones were full of beans with the sight of the beautiful warm spring day….we decided to compromise (not that they knew) and stay local.
If there is one place that evokes happy childhood memories its Calderstones Park. And I still love it as much, I think because it is so unchanged. Its almost as if nothing has grown, which is silly I know. As parks go, its one of the best. Lots of space to explore yet not vast enough that little legs cant cope with it. And quite flat too, which is a bonus when we are accompanied Hello Kitty scooter!
As always we headed to the play area first, this is great. Activities to suit all ages and with a well cushioned floor, which was great as little man has just found his feet! Loads of seats around the perimeter of the play area too which is great for tired older legs?
After finally persuading M to come for a walk we went exploring in the beautiful gardens which at first didn’t go down too well…..that is until we reached the winding paths of the botanical gardens. M’s eyes nearly popped out of her head, it was an adventure. The gardens have always felt like the story The Secret Garden. They amaze me aswell that you can spot something new each time you go, with every season it feels different yet still so magical.
Next it was onto the Japanese Garden. This place (as well as The Karate Kid films) were soley responsible for my fascination as a child with Japan. The fascination never really faded and amazingly my hubby when we first met felt the same! And indeed for our honeymoon we were lucky enough to spend in the amazing, amazing country that is Japan. Anyway back to earth with a bump and back to Calderstones. This Japanese Garden is only small but it’s fantastic, again its about the exploring, about the winding paths that let the child mind run away with itself, the amazement of ‘wow we’ve got to go over a little bridge’. And of course, as always, done with a buggy in tow (cant recommend the Maclaren XT enough!). Photo opportunities are amazing and it made me smile so much taking pictures of my smiling, carefree darling daughter in a place I used to love so much at her age. And actually, as Japanese Garden’s in the UK go, its pretty damn realistic.
Areas to play football, picnic and basically watch the world go by are plentiful. And of course, the large central lake with lots of ducks you can feed is great fun. I got a big black mark today…I forgot the bread!
In the past we’ve been to the café, this has been updated since my days of exploring Japanese Gardens. We didn’t today but its great. It used to be really simple, have the same comforting smell, with the same selection of crisps and strong tea each time you went but now its good. Its modern and has a real selection of food to choose from. Its accessible for prams via a ramp although small inside when busy. Toilets nearby, which I confess I haven’t used but unfortunately I’m not sure how much these have been revamped.
Without fail there are always tears when it’s time to leave this place and I always feel sad too. I really think it wont be long until we go back, this time with picnic mat and goodies in hand.