Our mystical short break to Lee Valley

We found a little haven within the suburbs of London, a new favourite place for the boys and I to visit.  Lee Valley Regional Park is a 10,000-acre, 26 miles long park, much of it green spaces, running through the northeast of Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire. It is made up of a diverse mix of countryside areas, urban green spaces, heritage sites, country parks, nature reserves and lakes and riverside trails, as well as leading sports centres and camping sites.

We have visited Lee valley before but I never knew it was as beautiful as it is. We fell in love with the pure nature of it, the river lea runs through the whole length of the Valley. Starting at Stratford, heading north through Enfield, Waltham Abbey and up towards Stanstead Abbotts. There is a heavy emphasis of wildlife and natural habitats. We loved cycling along the river watching out for otters and birds.

The park has beautiful scenery and is so peaceful.

Not only does the regional park have rivers, lakes, green spaces and 2012  sporting venues but it is also home to a few camp sites.

We booked into the Lee Valley Campsite based in Ponders End. We wasn’t sure what to expect as you couldn’t get more urban than Enfield. As we arrived we looked around and listened. It was hard to believe that this little campsite was on the edge of the A10, North Circular and within a short distance of the M25. It was quiet. It was beautiful. The site has a shower and wc block, outdoor play area, and lots of pitches for caravans and tents. Next door is a cinema and an athletics centre. We had booked to stay in one of the campsites wooden cabins.

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How beautiful and mystical is the cabin? We felt like we had walked into a Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter film set.

The cabin came equipped with a fridge, electric, a couple of chairs, table, beds, kettle and even some tea and coffee to refresh you after your journey. There is also wifi throughout the campsite.

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The shower and toilet blocks need a code to get in so only holiday makers can enter, it gives you that little piece of mind that if your children go off to the toilet and they will be safe inside from random passers by. The wood cabins are ideal for a family of 4, there is double bunk red and a small camp bed. They are situated under trees at the back of the campsite and just behind the trees is a golf course.

As soon as had arrived the boys were off exploring the site, playing in the park and running around on the grass, exploring the edge of the golf course (looking for pokemon) and just generally enjoying the little freedom that they get when on holiday. They loved going off to the tap to collect water and didn’t even grumble when asked to take the rubbish over to the bins. One thing that was missing was a little BBQ. As we travelled by bicycle, we had limited space to carry one. It would have been nice to sit on the veranda cooking up a few veggie burgers and some vegetable kebabs in the early evening, watching the children run around. The site is clean and the staff are very helpful.

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The River Lea was about 10 minute walk away. We decided to take a walk and look around.

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The boys helping out on the locks
The boys helping out on the locks

After an early evening walk we took to our camp beds and chatted away, enjoying each others company.

The next morning we was up and ready for a fun day by the river. With our back packs on, full of food and water we was ready to go off and explore the area. The boys were looking forward to cycling along the river.

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The river bank is wide enough for two bicycles to be alongside each other but when others passed by we had to go into single file. I told the younger boys to cycle as close as they can to the bushes so that they was not near the river. DSC_5210-opt

There were plenty of places along the river that you can sit down and enjoy the peace and nature around you. We found a cute little park near Enfield Lock where we sat down and had a snack.

We made our way through a country park towards Waltham Abbey. What a beautiful town. Here we explored the Abbey Gardens and the White Water Centre

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We had been out for a good few hours and was beginning to get a little tired so we headed back towards the campsite along the River Lea Navigation. But not before stopping for a little cool down by the river eating an ice cream

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We had booked for two nights. So another night under the stars in our little cabin. The boys were full of excitement and had so much fun sleeping in the cabin. It was hard to get them to sleep as they were full of energy, even after there long cycle ride that day.

The boys were up early ready for another day by the river. First though, they wanted to try out the athletics track. For just £3 children under 16 can enjoy the indoor and outdoor track all day long. My eldest was in his element. The boys love to run and being so close to this activity was amazing. They spent about an hour and a half running around the track and getting agood training session in before they were ready to get back onto their bikes and explore the regional park again.

This time we went a little further than the day before, heading past the white water centre, pass Cheshunt and onto the Lee Valley Farms. Even though it was a very active day it was ever so relaxing. With so much peaceful water around it was hard not to feel relaxed.

We cycled, we looked, we listened, we rested, we enjoyed the surroundings and each others company.

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We found a perfect place to sit and rest, whilst the children played. Just near to Cheshunt station is a little park called Pindar. A place where children can explore the natural play area. The boys enjoyed climbing the natural wooden areas and playing football in the wide open space. There is even a dog agility course nearby so our four little legged family members don’t miss out on the fun.

We had so much fun. I thought that it would be hard to cycle through the park alongside the river with the boys but it was perfect. I made sure that I run through the dangers of the river first and dropped some cycling rules too. The boys listened and behaved well.

We managed to cycle about 30 miles over a couple of days. We laughed, we rested, we enjoyed.

We even managed to find two geocaches and we would have found more if I had a back up charger for the phone. There are tons of geo caches hidden along the river and surrounding areas, mostly at the locks.

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Found at Ponders End Lock
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Found at Valley Farms

We have definitely found our little favourite place in London. We have even gone back for a day out after we came back. This time we went in the car and drove to Broxbourne to take to the water this time. We hired out a motor boat for the hour and steered our way along the river, the sun was shining , it was perfect.

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Without a doubt we would absolutley recomend a visit to the River Lee Regional Park but also beyond any doubt a stay in the camp site. We have made some magical memories as a family.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Scooting like a pro

Little man received a scooter for his fourth birthday, a couple of weeks ago. He has wanted one for a while now, especially as his older brothers have them and although they allow him to have a go on theirs, it’s not the same as owning your own one.

We took a trip to our local Halfords and after a good look around and trying out many of the scooters, he found the perfect one that he wanted. Scooting around the shop like a pro, in and out of the other bicycles and people who got in his way. Before we went to the shop he was telling us in the car that it was a green one that he wanted. Their wasn’t any green ones on show, but their was a pink one that he took a fancy to, not because of the colour but because it wa fast.

We bought it, without him knowing, and told him that maybe if he was a good boy, the birthday fairy would bring him to him on the morning of his birthday. We bought him some elbow and knee pads too, just for those little accidents that may occur.

He was over the moon when he unwrapped the big box that was on the living room floor on the morning of his birthday. We had woke him up early especially as we knew he would want to go out and try it out before we went off to school.

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Wherever he goes the scooter goes too!

He absolutely loves to scoot, he is fast Lewis Hamilton in a F1 race.

I love the way that he pushes himself along as fast as he can and as soon as he reaches the desired speed he rests the leg at the back of the deck and cruises along.

He is always smiling when he is on his scooter, I think this was one present that will be used over and over again.

We’re going to take him to the skate park soon, so he can enjoy the thrill of going fast over bumps and accomplish new tricks.

Do your children like to scoot?

 

 

Rundown of our active month

Last month, May, was a busy month for the boys as they along with Dad and I have been participating in the Mark Warner’s Family Active Challenge! The boys are very active already attending weekly football, gymnastics, badminton and running clubs but these are clubs that they attend on their own with their friends and not with the family.

This month we have enjoyed being active as a family, spending time together and enjoying each others company.

I have tried a game of Tennis, which i really enjoyed doing, i got a little out of breath running around the court but it was enjoyable and fun and a fabulous way of bonding with the boys. Joseph has been learning how to catch a ball properly, we have enjoyed bike rides, days out at the parks, a visit to Hyde Park and a trip in an amphibious vehicle down the River Thames. Oliver got wet in the garden when the waterbomb burst in his face and Jak has been learning how to play Badminton.

Here is a video clip of what Jak thought of our Active month

 

Find out more about Mark Warner holidays visit their website www.markwarner.co.uk

 

Week 4 Enjoy A Splash! Mark Warner Active Family Challenge

It’s the last week of our monthly challenge set by Mark Warner Holidays to get out with the family and enjoy being active together.

Week 1 was Go for A Spin and our bike ride into the City on our special Golden bike

Week 2 was Active Family Playtime saw us being silly indoors playing games and Jak setting us an obstacle course in the garden

Week 3 was Get Sporty Jak and I enjoyed a healthy game of Tennis, where I surprised myself in how good I was Lol

And finally Week 4 is Enjoy A Splash About!

Having fun with water doesn’t just mean that you have to head for the local swimming pool and do your lengths but it also means going paddling in the sea or puddles (if you have had the weather we have had), squirting each other with the hose, jet skiing and even going on a boat ride.

My boys are pretty keen swimmers and every summer our whole back garden gets taken over by a 24ft x 12ft x4ft swimming pool, from morning till late at night this is where you find them, swimming around, playing games and diving down to the bottom gathering the dive sticks, I like the fact that they enjoy the water and are confident enough to get in whenever they want. We have pool parties every year and invite all their friends round to join In with the fun.

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As the weather started off really well we decided to take to the water by car! Yes A car! A very special car that is actually a boat! It’s a fun, quirky and very different way to enjoy being on the water. The Duck tours offers an exciting road and RIVER adventure around and down the River Thames. The amphibious vehicle drives past London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square and then dramatically launches itself into the River Thames with a splash. It’s a lovely way to travel down the Thames to see the sights and very exciting too! It felt quite weird being so low down in the water in a car! Joseph was a bit scared at first when the boat splashed into the water, I must admit so was I, especially when the boat stopped in the middle of the Thames and the driver tried to get it into 6th gear to get out of the River it seemed he was having a bit of trouble. We was so close to the water and so far down in it, it was really exciting and so much fun!

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The rest of the week we didn’t get much nice weather and actually planned a day out a local splash park but we got rained off, instead the boys enjoyed a splash about in some puddles, jumping from one to the other and taking in the pleasure of getting mummy soaked.

Yesterday the weather changed and as we was in London attending Jak’s rehearsals for ENO we went to one of our favourite places to visit in the City and that is Diana’s Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. As the water flows around the granite shapes it causes cascades, swirls and bubbles. The boys love cooling their feet down in the cool water and like to make splashes with their feet and hands with the fast-moving water. They must have run around the fountain about 20 times splashing each other and making new friends.

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Once back at home the sun was still shining so we filled up some balloons with water and played catch with them, someone was going to get wet and it wasn’t going to be me lol. Playing catch with the water balloons was fun and we was in giggles and anticipation waiting to see who was going to get splashed. It took a while for the balloon to burst but when it did it went all over Joseph and Little Oliver’s face.

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Catch!
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Headering the Balloon
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Playing catch
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Learning to catch with the water balloon

As a family we have really enjoyed being a part of Mark Warner’s Active Family Challenge, we have had fun, we have stayed active, we have tried new sports but most of all we have done it together as a family!

Thank you Mark Warner and Sophie for inviting us along and opening up our eyes to how much fun being active can be as a family.

If we have inspired one person to become active as a family by reading our posts we would be very happy, I hope you carry on having fun and being healthy 🙂

If you have an active photo of you enjoying having a splash please share with us on twitter using the hashtag #mwactive

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Spring Carnival

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Get Sporty #365

Today Jak had Badminton lessons, no one else turned up so Jak had a one to one lesson with the coach! Daddy turned up for the last 15 minutes so he got to play with Jak and teach him a few of his own moves.

Jak really enjoys all types of sport and always takes pleasure in learning a new sport.

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I found a brilliant photo app called Beautiful Mess on the IPhone, you can add text, doodles, frames and edit the photo!