Adventures With the National Trust, By Laura

Notting Hill blogger, Laura Rutherford, escaped the city to the National Trust’s Bookham Commons! She kitted up her youngsters in our Puddle Pacs for an awesome outdoor adventure! Read on to find what exciting activities her family got up to, her top tips and what she thought of our waterproofs…

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Bookham Commons

“This is in Surrey so from Notting hill only took about an hour to get there. We only went here last weekend so the weather has begun to pick up a bit more. We did the family trail walk, which is very leisurely. You begin on a paved path, great for bikes, scooters and pushchairs, then you pass a Nature playground which was the perfect setting for the boys to have a play and set up our picnic.

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Once we had re-fuelled and the boys had exerted some energy, we set off again and the trail takes you past a large pond and around. Once you’re on this half of the walk, you’re pretty much walking through the Forest- which I prefer! We discovered someone’s Den building skills and had a go ourselves at creating one, which its fair to say didn’t stay erect for too long before Stanley (wielding a giant stick) knocked it down!

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The walk was squelchy and muddy (just how we like it) and took us back past the pond on the other side where we found a Bird Hide. Unfortunately Stan didn’t quite get the ‘quiet please’ memo, so the birds all scarpered! Bookham Commons has a lot of blackberry bushes which I’m sure would be wonderful further into spring. Lots of holly bushes and masses of stinging nettles. So make sure your kids have their legs well covered to save from nettle stings/ rashes!”

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Essentials

First and foremost WATER: We made the error of forgetting to carry water with us on one of the walks and by the time we had finished we were totally parched. You forget how much energy you’re exuberayting, but many of these places have endless hills so you don’t want to be caught short.

SNACKS: It’s not just the kids that need refuelling.

RUCKSACK: Leave the handbags at home and take a rucksack. We used my Cath Kidston rucksack to keep everything in; it was the perfect size to hold the picnic, wet wipes and bottles of water. This Peony printed one is from their Adventure range, is perfectly wipeable and Tye didn’t even mind carrying it either!

CHILD CARRIER: Obviously only for littles. We’ve had our Kathmandu one since Harry was small (they don’t have them anymore), but you can find similar ones here. They’re amazingly light to carry and Stanley loves riding in his when his little legs get tired. A good solid purchase that will see you get lots of use from it.

SENSIBLE FOOTWEAR: Admittedly Tye is the only one of us that has walking boots! Neither the boys or myself have them as yet. We’ve been wearing wellies. Wellies are great for muddy and wet terrain, but we did have lots of snow and ice on a couple of trips which needed a much better grip. This will probably be our next investment.

OUTERWEAR: For our last walk at Bookham Commons, we put the boys in sensible rain macs, which would not only protect them from the rain but MUD too! These are from Muddy Puddles. Harrys is a hooded jacket and Stanleys is an All in One in the cool ‘raindrop’ print. As well as the fact that they are waterproof, they are also super practical for rolling up and putting away because they are so  lightweight and versatile! Harry’s always been a fusser of ‘layering’, so lightweight jackets are totally the way forward for him…especially with the amount of exploring and running he does! I highly recommend them. Check out Muddy Puddles for plenty more waterproof options, wellies and much more.

WET WIPES: Obviously.

CAMERA: A MUST!

I think our next challenge will be getting Harry (and gradually Stan) to begin ticking off a ’50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4′. To find out more and how you can get the kids involved in some exciting National Trust adventures and explorations, click here.

by Laura xx