Saturday, 12 March 2016

Brockhampton Estate


We woke up on Saturday morning a few weekends ago to quite a pleasant day, with not a drop of rain in sight. Unfortunately OH had 'man flu' so we left him feeling sorry for himself in bed, and took a trip to Brockampton Estate near Bromyard in Herefordshire. A National Trust property, it comprises a 1700 acre traditionally farmed estate at the midst of which lies the medieval manor, Lower Brockhampton. 

Today's post only explores outside, you'll have to come back with us another day to see inside the manor. Little Boy is still getting over a cold, and a tramp around the woods drained his batteries. I didn't fancy dragging a tired three year old around a 14th century building that probably wouldn't float his boat even if he was feeling ok.

There are miles of walks around the estate of varying lengths featuring ancient trees and sculptures depicting parts of the history of Brockhampton. There is also a rich variety of wildlife (we didn't see any live animals, but we saw deer hoof prints in the mud, and lots of rabbit poo in the woods!) and historic farming breeds such as Hereford cattle and Ryeland sheep. 

We opted for the Natural Play Trail, a 2 km walk dotted with things to explore, climb, and look at. It's aimed at children aged 7 years and older but Little Boy still had fun with a little help from me. 

It's a good job we all had our boots on, as down in the woods, 'muddy' was an understatement....

The hide was a great idea, and inside was decorated with posters describing all the animals and birds we could see. Unfortunately, all the bird feeders were empty so we didn't hang around for long as there weren't any birds around to see. 

The wooden xylophone was fun, and there was even a song with all the notes to play on a wooden board at one end, but I think it must have been out of tune as it was hard to tell what song it was when Big Girl had a go 😉

The best part of the walk I thought was the den building area. There were lots of cut branches to choose from, and basically the kids just got to make whatever kind of den they wanted. My two started, but it was getting near lunchtime so they ended up exploring the ones already made (and there were some great ones) before we headed on. 

When we arrived home we discovered that OH was up and about, so we headed outdoors for a spot of gardening. In New Zealand we had around six acres and now have a very small suburban garden, but at least this one is a bit more manageable. There is rather a scruffy buddleia near the shed, so I decided to give it a hard prune. OH and Little Boy helped to tidy up and cut down the prunings so I could fit them in the boot of the car to take to the tip.
Here it is during its pruning...

And after....

Tea was a ready meal and a sticky bun from the supermarket. Majority of the time I cook a meal completely from scratch, but with a sickly, stuffy nosed household at the moment I wanted something easy that I wouldn't mind if some got left. After dinner entertainment was a 1000 piece puzzle I got for only £1.99 at the charity shop. Little Boy has always been good at puzzles, completing ones well above his age range with ease, and so he was keen to help. He was quite happy to do the sorting jobs that no one likes doing, such as 'find all the sky pieces', or 'sort out all the blue flowers'.

I do like puzzles but I also think they are rather a waste of time. You spend hours putting them together, then the moment they are finished what do you do? Take it all apart and put it back in the box! At least with knitting or crochet, you get a finished article at the end of it. 

Take care, speak soon

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