Nobody came home in the boot of a car

When I was about 9 years old I let go of a rope swing. Over a river. My parents made me travel home in the boot of the car. No high back boosters back in those days.

Said rope swing was over the river at Manor Farm Country Park (just off J8 of M27). We lived nearby and spent many a day there. Sledging down the hill in the snow, finding crabs at the beach and visiting the gorgeous historic farm. I even wrote my GCSE Geography coursework about the place. Yet this weekend husby and I noted that in the 13 years we’ve been together he’s never really visited aside from a quick visit to the farm. The sun was shining and the kids needed a nap in the car, plan for the day made.

The ice cream was quickly sniffed out. How can kids spot an A4 sized ice cream sign practically as soon as you open the car door? Bargain ice creams though…99s for only a penny more than they ‘should’ be! 12081177_830892080342198_1599142381_n

At ‘Barnfield’ there is a great grass area with wooden play equipment spread out, and the most amazing looking swing. I decided the Ergo probably hadn’t been safety tested for ‘mother using giant swing whilst carrying baby’ scenarios so didn’t get a go but Mr G had a wail of a time! The wusses of children wouldn’t go near it. Have you ever heard of two kids that don’t like swings??? Not even the baby kind in pretty much every park! Weirdos.


The geography project knowledge was still in the old noggin (with a load of 5ive and Backstreet boys lyrics of approximately the same era) and I successfully managed to navigate us to the number one requested location of the beach. Tide was in. Not much of a beach. Although the opportunity to throw stones in the water was enough for two kids and a Daddy who is pretty much obsessed with the skill of throwing and catching.


I tried to get a decent photo of me and the children. One where everyone is looking, nobody is making faces and nobody has dinner smeared across their face. The Holy Grail of family photos. I sunk in some bog that I thought was firmer than it evidently was, Bella got shouted at more than once for walking backwards towards the edge of the water, the sun was apparently too sunny Big J. Yet we side stepped death, which apparently more people than were killed by sharks so far this year did not manage whilst taking selfies!! ( REALLY?!?!


Evidently my efforts weren’t that successful. Next time I’ll concentrate on the one who still poses for photos…


Trees to climb, woods to explore and enough space to run and shout and be the crazy kids mine are. And all on a sunny Sunday in nearly October! Certainly a place I’d recommend. Go have fun!


Top Tips…

We didn’t visit this time but there is a gorgeous historic farm at the very end of the lane. It has been there since I was a child and I have many memories of watching the cooking in the farmhouse kitchen, and being petrified by the huge (really not that big) scary pretend dog in the farmhouse. You can meet the animals, feed the chickens and milk the cows! I still remember bottle feeding a calf when I was little.

Go Crabbing! Many a bucket was temporary home to a crab of two on the jetty. We will be back to have a go if we can convince Big J that the crabs will not ‘get’ him. Wuss child remember.


There are a number of car parks, just keep driving along the lane and you will find more if the first is full.


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