Taster Day at Fairlop Waters

Fairlop Waters Country park held a taster day where families got to enjoy a selection of land and water activities that the park has to offer for free. Activities included paddle sports, boxercise, running, bouldering, bootcamp, buggy fitness, nordic walking and high ropes (which was at half price for the morning)

The sun was shining and the sky was a clear blue. With trainers on feet and extra clothes in a bag we were ready to sign up to the activities they had on offer. The boys were really interested in trying out the high ropes and as it was only available for half the day, we booked in straight away. This particular activity wasn’t free but it was half price. The boys love to climb and was excited to try out the Extreme Course.


As the youngest was under 5 years old he had to go on the Explorer Course which is aimed at 3-5 years, although he was more able to do the higher course.

The boys up high


The boys didn’t stay on for the full length of time, as after going round 2 times they wanted to come off. The walking along the obstacles wasn’t the problem but it was a little tricky, on both courses, to pull the bungy around the poles. They kept getting tangled up and stuck. The middle boy loves to climb and I thought he would really enjoy this activity but I was wrong. He is a free climber and doesn’t like to be restricted, even after all of my explaining to him about safety and it being too high to climb without a rope, he didn’t really enjoy it as much as expected.

The one thing that all the boys enjoy doing at Fairlop Waters is Bouldering. It is a unique boulder park, the largest in the UK, 9 individual boulders all offering a range of challenges for all abilities. It’s amazing and Free.

PhotoGrid_1457870829767I’ve written before about it here

The boys love a challenge. The boulders are built from concrete and vary in shapes and height. Each boulder has a name, the boys like Dumbo the Elephant.

The activities were all accessible but you had to sign up to them first. Whilst the boys and Daddy sat outside in the sunshine, making smoothies whilst cycling. Mummy went into the tent to sign the boys up to some activities.

Trying out the walking machine

You could only sign up to two at a time, so it was tricky to choose. They wanted to try everything. We went for kayaking and boot camp. I was in luck, as I was waiting in the queue to sign up the lady that was in charge of the running event was trying to sign up people to go out for a jog with her . So I quickly signed up with her. I gathered the boys together. We took off our coats and left our bags in the tent and off we all went, for a run around the lake. We had a warm up at the side of the lake and races half way round. The lady was kind and friendly. I think the distance was 2k. It was lovely running together as a family and in such a beautiful setting. The experience lasted about 45 minutes.

When we arrived back to the start, we had about 30 minutes to wait for the next activity which was boot camp, something none of us had tried before, so we had no idea what to expect. We sat down and had a little chat to a few of the stall holders that were their promoting there outdoor clubs, cycling and Nordic walking. The cycle smoothie was a big hit with the boys, You got to choose your fruit ingredients to your smoothie then put the work into it to make it by pedaling away. So after cycling hard for a couple of minutes, you received your fruit reward.

After a little refreshment, it was time to join in on the boot camp session. We made our way to the grass area next to the lake, where there were mats laid out all ready for us. We started off with a little warm up of skipping and then we did a core workout on the mats with weights. Followed by some lunges and stretches and then a couple of obstacle races, The session ended with a little game of tug of war. It was brilliant! We all had so much fun and definitely felt like we had a good work out.


The boot camp is certainly something that we would like to take up as a weekly activity for the family. I’m most definitely not as fit as the boys are, but i really enjoyed it and I felt really good after. I know the real sessions would be a lot more challenging, but we are thinking of doing something similar just for the boys and I.

The last session of the day was hitting the water. I wasn’t silly in booking it as the last one. I knew the boys would get wet and didn’t want them to be uncomfortable in wet clothes for too long. I did think ahead and pack spare trousers for the two youngest, but nothing for the oldest boy.

Daddy and Oliver went out onto the lake in a sailing boat, whilst the two older boys got into a kayak.


After 20 minutes out on the water, they came back with very wet trousers but smiles all round.

The best session of the day had to be the boot camp.

We all had an enjoyable day. Spending precious time together in the great outdoors. I would without a doubt recommend a taster day to anyone.



A New Year a new goal

I’ve made a promise to myself that this year I will become a little fitter, I don’t want to lose weight but just to tone up and able to run around the park with the children without getting out of breath. Now that the boys are getting older and becoming more interested in outdoor sports, I just want to be able to join in with them, enjoy our time together and have fun. My two eldest boys partake in a 2k junior parkrun on a Sunday and the eldest runs in the 5k parkrun on a Saturday. I am always there to cheer them on from the side lines and always support them in any race that they participate in but now I want to be able to join them and support them in a different way.

I used to enjoy running as a young teenager and did get the chance to represent the school in the odd race but as I have got older I have become more and more lazy with running, to the extent that I don’t even run for a bus! Don’t get me wrong, I am fit. I will walk anywhere rather than drive and I can walk for miles and miles and not tired, I am far from being over weight but I do have the odd body part that has started to begin to sag.

Recently I looked in the full length mirror (not something i do often) and saw a body looking back at me that was lacking energy and looking a bit downbeat. I want to bring it back to life again.

I have lumps and bumps that i had no idea was there!

My reasons for becoming fit

  • Wanting to run around the park without getting breathless
  • Toning up areas that need a little lift, If you get what I mean?
  • I want to be able to wave my hand without my under arm waving along with it
  • My bottom now faces southwards and needs a little perk
  • I suffer from bad back and have osteo arthritis in my jaw, so I would like to make my bones and joints stronger by doing gentle exercise

I have downloaded the RunDouble app onto my phone which has the couch to 5k on it. The couch to 5k is a beginners running training plan that is designed to help you ease into running and achieve your goal of running 5k. The programme consists of three sessions per week, lasting from 20 – 30 minutes each time and runs for 9 weeks. Each session consists of walking and jogging and as the weeks go on you do less walking so by the end of the 9 weeks you should be able to do jog for 3 miles.

I started the first session yesterday morning. I woke up at 5:30, done a gentle warm up and off i went , out into the cold fresh morning air. There wasn’t many people around, it was rather quiet. I had no idea of where I was going to jog/walk to as the park wouldn’t be open at that time and to be honest they are not a safe place to be where I live anyway. I held my phone in my hand and pressed start on the app, It started off with a 5 minute warm up walk, then went into a 60 second jog and then a 90 second walk. This went on for about 20 minutes and finished with a 5 minute walk down. Although the jogging doesn’t sound like much, I was beginning to sweat So I know it was doing something to my body. I felt really good after the exercise and was wide awake for the rest of the day.


Today I am feeling it, today i have aches in muscles and joints that i had no idea existed! It’s not going to stop me though, if anything it has just made me more determined to carry on and achieve me goal of jogging 5k.

I have next session planned in for Thursday, wish me luck!



Mark Warner Active Family Challenge Week 1 – Go For A Spin!

We have recently been set a challenge by Mark Warner Holidays who specialise in active family holidays, their packages provide superb childcare with kids clubs for all ages and free evening creche service. Chalet hotels in ski resorts are hand picked for their location and charm and the fabulous beach resorts are in gorgeous locations chosen for the superb water sports and tennis facilities.

Whilst on a family holiday it is easy to find the time to enjoy a range of pursuits especially at Mark Warner where you get to try out windsurfing, swimming, tennis or cycling but it can be tough once back at home to make the time to stay active, which is why Mark Warner have launched ‘May Active Family Month’ to encourage families to enjoy getting active together.

The challenge is a big one! We as a family are to participate in a weekly activity which is set by Mark Warner, throughout the month of May there will be a new challenge set for us to spend an hour doing, this week is Go For A Spin!!

Going for a spin could mean many exciting fun things depending on how you want to interpret it! Rollerskating, cycling, scooting, skateboarding, spinning in circles until you get dizzy, bowling a ball in cricket, kicking a football or even zorbing!

On Bank holiday monday the sun was shining so we set of to the park where Daddy was meeting his running group for his weekly training session, whilst Daddy was spinning his legs faster and faster like the road runner with his pals the boys and I had fun in the play area. I had never noticed before how many apparatus in the park actually spun around until that morning:



They also spun around and around the roundabout and spun on balance plates that were on one of the climbing frames, after an hour at the park the sun was getting warmer and the sky as blue as the sea so we decided to hit the bikes and go for a cycle ride.

As a family of five with three boys under the age of 10 it isn’t easy to go out for a bike ride with all of us on our own bikes trying to think of safety and speed! Joseph is really good on his bike and has ridden a bike without stabilisers for two years now but he can still be a bit wobbly and he does forget to use his brakes choosing to his feet most of the time, Oliver is only 21 months old and although he is a little whizz on his scuttlebug it isn’t ideal for him to be on a family cycle ride on his own, we wouldn’t get very far! Daddy is a keen cyclist often entering cycling events one of which will be the Prudential RideLondon 100 this summer and he commutes into London everyday clocking up 100 miles on his two wheels. Jak takes after his dad and loves to ride his bike too, he is a very active young lad and enjoys taking part in many sports and then there is me! Well i am not a very sporty person but i do try to keep up with the rest of them, I like to enjoy a cycle ride taking in sights around me . I do get that sense of achievement after going out on the bike although my bottom and legs ache the next day it does feel good! Cycling is a fun exercise and a great way to get around and the whole family can participate.

Back at home Daddy got to work checking and pumping up the tyres and setting together our mode of transport. We have two bikes for all 5 of us! We have a very special bike that the boys call a ‘Golden Bike’ it is a trailor bike with a difference! Daddy rides on the main bike which has a tag along attached to it at the back for Jak to ride on and Joseph sits on a seat that is on the cross-bar of the main bike, in between Daddy and the handle bars. Although Jak does have the stamina to keep up with us on a bike ride it gives us a peace of mind that he is attached safely, also the tag along has pedals so he is still using his legs and keeping active. Oliver has a baby seat attached to the back of my fold up bike.


I packed up a small lunch in a ruck sack for us with extra water as it was a hot day and our helmets and we was ready for our day out in the City. We decided to go to London and have a leisurely Sight Seeing cycle ride down the Embankment and Southbank. The Southbank is located to the south of the River Thames, it is very cultural and is a significant place for tourists. It stretches along the river and has become a district for entertainment and arts, Take a spin on the London eye, visit the Sea Life Aquarium, watch the skaters in the undercroft and enjoy the views from the river bank. The Embankment runs along adjacent to the Southbank and has a much wider pavement and is a lot less busier making it easier to cycle along. The views of the Thames is beautiful, watching the boats go by and taking in the sights of all the top attractions , The Houses of Parliament, Tower of London, The Shard and The London Eye.

We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed being together, we laughed, we smiled, we saw lots of interesting things and we also stayed fit.

Please watch the video below of our day out on the Bikes.

What will you be doing this weekend? Why not take to your bikes as a family and enjoy the sights near you!

Next week is ‘Active Playtime’ Please join in with us 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading my post and hopefully it has inspired you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. This post is a part of our entry into Mark Warners Active Family Challenge.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Spring Carnival
Motivational Monday

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