Days Out: Amberley Museum (and Father Christmas!)

Last weekend, we decided to take T to see Father Christmas for the first time. We’ve never thought about doing it before as not only was/is T not keen on people in costumes, but Santa’s Grottos can be very expensive and, if I’m honest, a baby/toddler is probably not going to really appreciate the sentiment.

This year, however, T is very much aware of who the man in red is and is incredibly excited about Christmas – making it the perfect time to finally meet him in person! It wasn’t long after this that we then saw an advert for Amberley Museum on Facebook. It looked really magical and had decent reviews. Plus, we saw that they had a train that took you to see Father Christmas.

With this fact alone, we were sold.

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Days Out: Washbrook Farm, Hurstpierpoint

Last week, I took T to Washbrook Farm in Hurstpierpoint. It’s a new one for us as I only recently found out about it and seeing we seem to have a strange addiction to farms I decided to give it a visit.

It’s not the cheapest of farms I must admit, although T is still free as he’s under 3. Once he turns 3  though he is £6.50 and an adult is £7.50. When we went it only cost me £7.50 but if me and Sharon were to go it would cost us a hefty £15 for the day. Unless this is the going rate now (which means I’ve been incredibly lucky as most farms cost me £5), I found this to be a little steep. That being said, I soon found that the facilities such as toilets and picnic areas were decent, as well as the play equipment.

Anyway, located just down the road, about a 20 minute drive from Brighton via the A23, Washbrook Farm is your typical farm with various play areas, farm animals (duh!) and a cafe. There’s also a soft play on site with a ‘Barn Yard’ attached which is home to tons of ride on tractors and pedal toys.

We visited on quite a chilly day, which was actually a bonus as it was really quiet! We almost had the farm to ourselves at one point. When we arrived, we put on our wellies, hats and raincoats, and began our tour!

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Days Out: Southwater Country Park, Horsham

Last week, I had a rare Friday off and decided to venture somewhere new and visit Southwater Country Park in Horsham, West Sussex. Living in East Sussex, I don’t usually visit West Sussex as a) I prefer East Sussex (oooo! Controversial!) and b) I don’t know much about what’s around so I often just stick to where we all know and enjoy.

But after a quick Google and some recommendations I decided to go with Southwater Country Park. According to the website, it wasn’t that far from me (approx. 30 minutes) and was free to enter – so I was sold!

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Days Out – Stoneywish Nature Reserve, West Sussex

Last week S decided to make the weekend longer by taking a day off on the Friday. I love it when she does this as it means more family time. Two days, in my eyes, is just not long enough.

With the glorious weather we’d had that week, we decided to raid Netmums.com for free/cheap activities in our local area. With this, we found a place in Hassocks called Stoneywish. It advertised nature trails, farm animals, play parks, picnic areas, and a camp site. Perfect.

The drive there was very scenic, making the day enjoyable already, and as soon as we arrived I lost phone signal – the tell-tale sign that I’m literally in the middle of no where.

Once we paid £5 entry (£4 for under 3’s if you’re interested), we went straight through into the farming area. As it was spring, there were babies everywhere; piglets, lambs, chicks, etc. It was all very sweet.


We then followed the trails around the reserve coming across several ponds and wooded areas.

 


I’d say the ground is somewhat buggy/pram friendly if you have a relatively decent one but it can get a bit dicey around the sheep poo. I would have carried T if it wasn’t so hot – I’m still gauging when to use the wrap.

Whilst on the trails we came across several play areas. Although I saw your typical swing, a lot of the equipment had been made out of recycled items. For example, a slide had been made out of an old Land Rover – the slide coming out of the back.

There were also lots of “activity” huts for little ones (or big ones) to learn a bit about nature.  IMG_7847

Once we’d completed our walk we then went for our picnic. Because of the free roaming animals around the trail, picnics were limited to around the gardens of the function room which was no bother as it was near the car park (meaning we didn’t have to carry the picnic stuff with us) and the toilets! The garden is lovely and we found a nice sun spot to set up camp.

 

We were there almost the whole day and certainly made the most out of it. Of course T had no clue where we were but it was nice for us to get out and scope out future places to go.

Stoneywish is definitely suitable for young children what with the farm animals and small walks, any older and it may not be enough to keep them entertained. Apart from a picnic plan, I also feel it’s suitable for dull days as long as you have wellies on!

The only downside to Stoneywish was the price, I think. Although there’s the upkeep of animals that need to be paid for; which I do understand, I thought £5 was still a bit steep. There were three adults that day which meant we paid £15 to get in! Ouch!

Nevertheless, it was still a nice day and we will definitely be returning once T is a little older to appreciate the animals and again once when he can toddle/walk around.

K