Sunday, 23 September 2012

Be in it to win it: Baby & toddler show tickets up for grabs

Oooh I've got some tickets for the Baby and Toddler show to give away. Hip hip hooray!

Thanks to lovely Karen at BoobieMilk, I have five pairs of tickets for the show at Glow, Bluewater from 5-7 October. And they could be yours.

As well as lots of companies showing off their baby and toddler wares, there are free workshops on just about anything you'll ever need to know about having a family. And loads of restaurant offers too.

To be in with a chance to win, just click on the box below and tell me your favourite free thing to do in Kent.

The competition closes on Saturday 29 September at 5am. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Enjoying the last of the sunshine at Barden Lake

Ooh I took Calum out cycling this weekend. We went set off in Tonbridge and followed the cycle path (regional route 12) through Haysden Country Park and past Barden Lake.

It was lovely! It was sunny and it seemed like everyone was out on their bikes enjoying the last few days of summer.

The route is really easy and runs alongside the footpath so you don't have to worry about knocking over walkers. And you're almost immediately cycling past fields and through woods so it really feels like you're on an adventure.

We stopped off at a little clearing with lots of hills and bumps, where Calum tried out his cycling skills. And then off to the cafe for an ice cream. Hooray!!

The route goes out through the park and on to Penshurst. We tried it, but part of it is on a windy country road. I freaked out when a car zoomed round a corner and decided we might try it another time (hmmm - maybe not!)

Don't be put off though. I'm sure if you're a confident cyclist and don't see danger at every turn you'd have a great time!

Take a look at the Explore Kent website for more cycling routes.

Haysden Country Park
Lower Haysden Lane
TN11 9BE

Peril at Ightham Mote

Stunning views - worth the peril??
I'm making it a bit of a mission to explore our local woods this autumn.

Autumn is just about my favourite season and I love the idea of seeing all the leaves changing colour, rooting around for blackberries and checking out weird fungi.

And as with every one of my missions, I have (of course!) made it my family's mission.

And so it was that we headed to Ightham Mote, in search of woody adventure.

Blackberry picking
There are three 'official' walks through the woods outside Ightham Mote. They're all free, but you do have to pay for parking in the National Trust car park. The upside of that is that there is a little cafe and a picnic area - a perfect spot to prepare for the perilous walk ahead - or recover from the perilous walk. Whichever suits you best.

The lady at the Ightham Mote reception told us that the longest walk (still only two and a half miles) had lovely views, so we decided to try that one.

What she didn't tell us was that the lovely views came with a huge drop (no barriers - eeks!) that actually made me feel a bit sick. I had to sit down. And hold onto both little no-price-taggers like a woman possessed.

Add to this the fact that you have to cross a road twice (with no warning), and that the path really isn't pushchair-friendly and I would say it is definitely not a walk for people with small children. Unless you don't mind heights and are prepared for a bit of unexpected traffic.

The views are really lovely though, and we all loved picking blackberries and spider-spotting (lots and lots of spiders). And we completely recovered after a post-walk drink at The Plough in Ivy Hatch - their beer garden has a sand pit, badminton, petanque and chickens.

It made up for the peril, but I think we might have all enjoyed it just as much without fearing for our lives.

Check out the Woodland Trust website to find out where your nearest woods are.

Ightham Mote
Mote Road,
Ivy Hatch, Sevenoaks TN15 0NT

Parking: £2


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