We are so lucky that we live so close to an Arboretum. We didn't really appreciate it or go there before we had the boys, we only went there for a couple of concerts that they put on with bands that we knew of. But since having the boys I have friends with children that have a Westonbirt Aboretum annual pass and after I had been a few times and realised the price of an annual pass, the equivalent to 4 entries, I thought it was well worth investing in one. And I have used it so much since I bought it last June. And as the boys are getting older is it such a great place to go to let off some stream and just have a relaxing, as much as you can with 2 children in tow, walk.
I tend to go with my best friend, who also has a pass, and her little daughter who is the same age as Noah. And also my Sister in law, who has not long had our nephew, is starting to join us. Its great exercise and it is such a beautiful place with so many different walks you would find it hard to get bored going there.
We decided to go last Tuesday and we had picked a lovely day to go. The sun was shining, it was still cold, but was a gorgeous day. We all met at there and went on the non dog route as this way we don't have to worry about the kids running after the dogs as Finley and Eva love them!
It takes us forever to get onto the actual route as the kids need to climb the wall on the way to the walk and walk along it. Once through the trees they can just run. But rarely they run in the right direction. They tend to run the other way in which we are walking or get distracted by climbing trees or the little hideaways in the tree. And this week was no exception. I think it took us 20 minutes to get along what would normally take 2 minutes to walk! They also like to stop and pretend to read the signs, haha.
There is a tree not far from the entrance that Finley loves to climb. It has big branches that are all intertwined with each other and to be fair it is a great climbing tree for him as its not too tall. The 2 younger ones also like to try and join in with the climbing which is always fun to watch.
This is a photo from last summer but you can see why this tree is a favourite!
Once we had managed to get them away from the tree I got 'I'm hungry mummy!', so out came the snacks. They are very good and do walk along eating them and this was the one part of the walk that we don't have to chivvy them along lol.
Within the trail is a big carved Gruffalo which is surrounded by stepping stones. This is a great target as we keep telling the kids ' the Gruffalo is going to go to sleep of we don't hurry up' naughty mummy I know!
Noah and Eva, my friends little girl, are 8 days apart and they have grow up together so they have such a great relationship, even if sometimes Noah can be a little rough. But she just takes it and gets on with it, bless her! They walk along holding hand, they copy anything either of them does and if one goes in the wrong direction so will the other!
Finley is in his element here. He is free and he can run and there isn't much he can do that means I need to tell him off. So it is lovely for me too as I get a little break from being mean mummy.
We do have a few bumps along the way too. But as they are usual padded up in their snow suits the damage is mostly minimal.
There isn't 2 better people that I would like to go here with than Sam and my Sister in law. They really are such amazing friends and we spent the whole walk chatting and just generally gossiping which is something we do best.
As we turned the corner there was the Gruffalo. Finley got so excited, followed by Noah and Eva running over to it. But I think Finley was more excited about the stepping stones that surround the Gruffalo. We stopped and out came my selfie stick!
The arboretum is beautiful all year around but all the flowers are just starting to come out on the trees and it is just gorgeous.
After the Gruffalo we found our way back to the car. I say found as we didn't have a map and there are so many routes, we just have to find our way out of the trees! The kids were starting to get tired and hungry and after a 2 hour walk I'm not surprised as they had done so well. The walk ended with my baby nephew being carried, Noah in Eva's pushchair, Eva is Odin's pushchair and Finley hanging off my arm as he was tired!
After this we went back to Sam's house for a yummy lunch. And when I say yummy I mean it as she seriously does the best lunch!
This really was a perfect day with the boys and some incredible friends.