If Tilly is anything to go by, small children really enjoy a variety of activities. They love seeing animals, playing and going on rides and when you combine them all you’ve got a winning combination for a full day out. That’s precisely what Paradise Wildlife Park offers, located in eastern Hertfordshire near Broxbourne. Read about our day plus have the chance to win a family ticket to the park with our giveaway – worth over £60.
I recently had a day to fill while ShireMum was at school dealing with exam results so I decided to take Tilly into London with half a plan of what we’d do. The summer holidays offer much in the way of activities but they can lead to queues at popular destinations. I wasn’t at all sure this would prove a friendly environment for my sensitive three-year-old daughter but she’s always asking me to go into London so I decided to try it out.
Today we take a break from the M6 with a stop at Rheged in Cumbria. This is part of a series of ‘ShireDad on tour’ posts over the summer holidays, where we’re out and about around the country.
Out of all the animals to capture the imagination of young children, it’s the large mammals. Lions, hippos, tigers, bears, elephants and others feature highly in children’s books are when a visit to the zoo is mentioned, they come at the top of the request list. Happily there’s a space not far out of London where the big animals roam free (well relatively, depending on their level of ferocity). We’d been to Whipsnade once before, which isn’t too far from us, but this was our first visit with Tilly. Offering soft play and a playground as well as an amazing array of animals, we were keen to get stuck in.
On our doorstep is something of a legendary destination, albeit in miniature. Bekonscot, taking its name in part from its home town of Beaconsfield, is regarded as the grandfather of miniature villages, having opened in the 1920s. It regularly features on television and we keeping spotting it on the CBeebies series ‘Show me show me’. Pretty much anyone who grew up in this part of the world will have visited as a child. Having moved to the area, however, it was to be a new experience both for me and toddler Tilly.
Animals are a big draw for two-year-old Tilly at the moment and a day out with friends at the Willows Activity Farm near St Albans in Hertfordshire was the huge hit we’d hoped for. From feeding animals to exploring the playgrounds and rides on the fun fair, we didn’t even get around to exploring the extensive indoor soft play area.