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Beautiful Walk!

It was a glorious day on Tuesday so after mums & tots I decided to take advantage of our recently purchased National Trust membership again!
We went to Mount Stewart again which is where the wonderful park that I blogged about the other night is! With it being just Dylan and myself I decided that we would go on a little mini adventure on one of the walks as we didn’t have loads of time and I couldn’t wait to see what else we had been missing!
First of all, at the entrance I was greeted by a lovely pair of ladies, and one of them was actually the one who I took out the membership with so she was very happy to see me and was asking how I was and my little girl was, which was lovely! There was a beautiful little café that I was going to pop into on the way out to grab a quick coffee, but we spent so long exploring around the lake that I didn’t get enough time!
I was kicking myself as I had forgotten to bring my camera with me, but I must say I am very impressed with what my IPhone 5 captured!

As we rounded the corner and went out on the little platform, this is the beautiful view we were met with. Breath-taking.

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DylanDylan so peacefully sat and looked at the view and watched the water ripple. He really enjoyed watching everything going on, and it seemed to really relax him. I pointed out the ducks to him and talked to him about the trees and everything else that we could see.

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We then rounded the corner to see the most perfect little family of swans! I couldn’t believe how relaxed they were and just completely ignored the people around them! I knelt down beside Dylan and explained to them what they were and all about Swans, while leaving the older people to get as close as possible without being in the water.. I was just waiting for one of them to fall in! Dylan then started to look for a new biscuit so I took that as a hint to move on and see what else we could find!

We found a bench with a beautiful view, I sat and enjoyed the view as Dylan finished his biscuit.. If you haven’t worked it out yet, Dylan really love biscuits! Digestive biscuits, in-fact.. he would eat them all day long if he could! I fell in love with these beautiful little blue flowers too, I’m not sure what they are, but they are adorable and just beautiful!

IMG_6275We then found one of the swans grooming and making themselves look as pretty as can be! Just magnificent! Nobody was around so I told Dylan a lot about the view, the swans, what we had seen and what we could see.. not that I don’t like talking to him in front of others but you do get some odd looks sometimes!

IMG_6239ducksMy favourite find was this little duck family chilling out beside the lake, they were so relaxed and happy in the sun! I managed to get pretty close to them, but I didn’t want to push my luck, or scare them either as they were only babies! They were very happy with mummy duck close by and it was just adorable to see them so happy and relaxed. This was our last find of the walk, and I think my most favourite. I really loved seeing the family of swans too, but with all the people trying to get really close to them it took away from the enjoyment of watching them relaxing and taking a few snaps from afar!
All in all, a perfect walk and I would go everyday here with Dylan if I didn’t think the staff would start to give me funny looks! 😛

I can’t wait to be heading back very soon and to see how the cygnets and ducklings have grown. With how relaxed Dylan was here and how beautiful the views were, next time I’ll be sure to grab a coffee at the start from the café to take round with me!

-WeeOhana x

 

 

 

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Mount Stewart!

Recently I decided to become a member of the National Trust! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before with so many great properties so close to me, but I decided that I would get a lot of use from it this year with both the kids able to enjoy it now!
Our first trip out using our membership was to Mount Stewart. We had heard about the new park that had been built there and when we woke up on Sunday and it was a glorious morning I decided that once I had fed and watered the kids I would take them out to see what the new park was like!
Amellia was very excited and just couldn’t wait to get going, and was even more excited when I let her know that it was only a 15-20 minute drive. A beautiful drive to along the Strangford lough with a spectacular view of Scrabo Tower!

When you go through the gates to Mount Stewart if you are wanting to go to the park go straight on at the round about and park in the first car park on the right! Once parked and you have everyone bundled out of the car, you then head to the little hut just in front of the car park! We got greeted by a lovely man who chatted to us about the park and told Amellia & Dylan to have a wonderful time! He then pointed us in the way of the park.. walk down the path and first left is up to the park but it is a barked path so not great for prams! We choose the second left so that I could push the pram up easily.. well not really easily it is a pretty uphill path but it was ok, We stopped to admire views and then hunted out the entrance to the park!

img_5865The park is based on letters wrote by Lady Londonderry while she was away in Spain to her daughter. They are trying to get these books republished so that they can help the park come alive to all the children who visit but for now you can check out some snippets from the books here.

As we ventured in I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting to find, I thought it would be a cute little park, but I was wrong, It was an amazing, large, very open, with wonderful made play features in! Whenever we arrived nobody else was there as it was early on a Sunday morning, so it made it perfect! I parked the pram in the middle of the park, lifted Dylan out and we set out exploring!

My little girl loved spotting all the wooden animals about the park and was on full charge mode to find them all in a record-breaking time! There was lots of them all crafted into different animals! I was so impressed with them all, the detail on them was incredibly! By the time Amellia had raced around and found them all, Dylan was still busy inspecting the first on he found in great detail! My favorite was the cute little octopus & Amellia loved this rabbit the best!

Onwards to explore! There was stepping-stones.. well stepping logs in this case! Climbing frame, balance beam, seesaw and lots of other wonderful things all made out of wood! It was just simply amazing. While Amellia was happy exploring and climbing on everything possible, Dylan really enjoyed pottering about in the big open space in the sun!

At the far end of the park there is a big open space which Amellia and Dylan spent a long time in, drumming on the stepping logs, running about and digging in the dirt! Dylan really enjoyed this as he has only just accepted the feeling of dirt on his hands, so they both sat down for a while and played in the dirt.. and ended up covered! Typical!!
There was also a big wooden chair at the end.. which I tried to get a lovely photo of my pair in.. obviously it wasn’t successful, when do those pictures ever go well, right!?
img_5920We spent two hours here, running about, laughing, climbing on things, watching a honey bee on a flower, practicing our balancing and enjoying being outside without being to restrained on where we could wander! Dylan wanted to stay there for a lot longer than I expected, he normally really likes new places like this for about thirty minutes then realises that it is somewhere new and starts screaming to leave. I think what really helped here was that we had gone so early so we were the only ones there, there was lots of open space between everything so lots of room to potter about and enjoy the fresh air and it was such a large area that I only had to turn him round a few times to keep him close by so that I could see Amellia too!

When it was time go he came over to me and put his arms up, so I picked him up and walked about for a little while showing him the wooden animals again so that Amellia could have minutes before leaving!

We then were going to go to the cafe to grab a spot of lunch.. but silly mummy forgot her purse, doh, so we had to head home for some lunch! The kids cannot wait untill the next time we visit, which will be very soon and I will remember my purse next time!

You should be sure to pop by and visit Mount Stewart if you are wondering where to head for a day out with your family! I will be sure to let you know about all the other hidden gems around the Mount Stewart gardens whenever we have explored further!
-WeeOhana x