This morning we woke up to the pitter patter of raindrops on our bedroom window. Boo, we collectively thought, today we had planned to go for a jaunty hike somewhere. Ross got up with the kids, and I rolled over and promptly went back to sleep, toasty warm.
When I was woken up an hour or so later, by my small son clambering over my face no less, the rain had stopped. All was not lost, and the idea of a jaunty hike was revisited.
“Let’s go to Moors Valley” Ross exclaimed. Capital idea, chum! Two hours later we were zipping up the M27, walking boots donned.
Moors Valley is possibly my new favourite place to go. It’s situated just outside Ringwood, and just inside Dorset, about a twenty-five minute drive from Southampton. There is no admission fee to the country park itself, but parking is charged, although very affordable – we were there for three hours, and spent £5.40.
Today we walked the play trail – a mile long trail through beautiful pine woodland. Along the way are a number of wooden play apparatus, really chunky, sturdy and well thought out. Being 4 and 2 was no hindrance; although quite little for some of the equipment, both Roo and Elliot gave it a good go, and thoroughly loved it…
…As did Ross and I.
About halfway along the play trail, we came to the tree top trail. It’s a narrow walkway, high up in the trees, which gives a completely new dimension to the forest. We all loved it, especially Ruby, who kept stopping to make wishes and look for fairies and goblins in the trees. Oh to be four!
By the time we’d finished walking through the treetops, it was time for lunch. We are being a bit frugal this month, so I packed us a lunch before we left: a flask of home made vegetable soup, cheese sandwiches, and Priya’s flapjacks. We sat on a bench and dipped our sandwiches into a cup of soup. It was warming and delicious – just what we needed.
We finished the play trail about forty minutes later, after scrambling over a couple more giant wooden structures and stomping in a lot of puddles. Especially Elliot, who’s trousers had come untucked from his wellies. He was very very damp.
As well as the trails, Moors Valley has a Go Ape course, which Ross is DYING to do for his birthday, a cafe, plenty of picnic spots, two lovely play areas, and a mini railway. There’s loads more to do, and I reckon you could go back time and time again and find different trails to walk and things to see. I pretty much can’t wait to go back.