So last weekend my husband decided on the weekend he had off to go fishing with my dad, the sun was beaming hot and typically this meant that me and the kids would be stuck at home once again but thankfully the sun came out again on Sunday so we decided to take a look at our nature park just 15 minutes drive away from where we live.
Before we went we decided to take a walk around the car boot where we grabbed some fishing nets for the kids then arrived just as the weather got even nicer.
Getting out of the door in a hurry, I had no time to make up a picnic , so we ended up buying a few little bits like crisps and ice creams from the shop onsite (costly so I would not advise this at all) .
They did sell little books and pencil sets for just £1.50 that were The Gruffalo Trail and they also had a Quack Trail pack which I did not see until after we had left or I would have bought some .
I was pleased we picked up the nets as there was a fantastic pond away from the larger lakes where we spent most of the day looking at frog spawn , trying to catch fish and literally messing about and having fun on the pond side .
I even made a joke that my husband would do a better job at this pond as there were no trees nearby. My dad says when they go fishing he catches more trees than fish .
The biggest lake in the Park has its own sets of swans and ducks , we don't like spending much time here as it is very deep so we tend to just have a quick walk around it , I fear the kids will take a plunge if we get too close but it is lovely for the view and the cold breeze that comes at the side of it , perfect for the picnics and romancers.
You get to see the stunning Hardwick hall Hotel as well as a few little castle ruins on site too where the children seemed to enjoy running around or in this case , playing peek a boo.
Hardwick hall is completely free so it is no wonder we will be enjoying our time here a lot hopefully this summer if the weather is nice , the only thing you pay for is parking which I think was £3 for the day , not bad at all.
There are toilets , an information center, cafe , shop and even an education room as well as park .
We did not go to the park, it seemed a little too crowded for Joshua so we took him along the Gruffalo trail where he spent a good 40 minutes being forced out of a tunnel which e thoroughly enjoyed . As he went through it , the older ones went over it and chased him back and fourth it was lovely to see him having fun .
There are some wonderful spots around the park to just stop and reflect or even relax and take a view at the surroundings. A good little game for the bridge was Pooh sticks, you get the children to drop some twigs on one side and see who's wins and reaches the other side of the bridge first .
It was lovely to get out for the day as a family, it is rare we get chance with hubby working all of the time. The sun shining made it even more great .
We were planning on going back this weekend but with a picnic of our own to sit and enjoy , unfortunately as we left home the rain started so we had to take a detour to our next adventure instead.
We do hope to return soon though .