I do enjoy a good walk but getting my daughter similarly enthused isn’t always straightforward. Traditional walks for us grown ups often revolve around a stop at a recommended hostelry. Giving a child-friendly twist to the format, I decided to see if I could entice Tilly on a walk with a family friendly pub as the goal.

A walk in the woods

We’re fortunate in our corner of the home counties to have some truly fabulous woodland to enjoy. It’s not always so accessible for children but the Woodland Trust managed Penn Wood is a really fine example of nature that can be enjoyed by all with accessible paths.

My plan was to sell Tilly the idea of taking her bike into the woods and end up at the pub with a play garden a few minutes walk away (always several times longer when you have a small person along).

It started well but we hit rocky ground – literally – as the car park was a little stony and the path, despite being very smooth by the standards of woodland ways, was deemed too bumpy by Tilly to continue on the bike. The bike’s stabilisers were at fault as they magnify even the slightest bump. Fortunately we hadn’t ventured too far from the car park, so I dragged the bike back to the car and we set off again on foot.

This time things went more smoothly, aside from a little anxiety at the gloominess that comes with woodland in full leaf. Tilly loved running along the path and looking out for wildlife. After a decent walk we emerged into the sunlight on the cricket pitch and headed over to the Squirrel pub.

pennwood_jul16_run

The child friendly pub

If you were to devise the ideal family pub it would surely feature a great play garden for the kids, local ale for the dads and hearty food for everyone else. Our destination for the afternoon, the Squirrel pub in Penn Street, does pretty well by this measure. I thought the two climbing houses in the garden and mini assault course would do the trick to entertain Tilly but the pub owners have surpassed themselves by adding a bouncy castle for the whole of the summer holidays. This represents something of a revelation as Tilly loves bouncy castles and having somewhere to visit for free* (*purchase required) bouncing will be a huge draw for us over the coming weeks.

pennwood_jul16_craftbar

Did I mention the ale? There’s a craft beer bar festooned with local tipples. I was driving so I stuck to the caffeine but if I get ShireMum to drive next time I’ll try the selection, much of it from breweries in Herts, Bucks and Berks.

pennwood_jul16_bouncycastle

For children there’s Fruit Shoots and juices. Food wasn’t being served at the time but would make for a perfect trip out.

Alas not many pubs are as child friendly as the Squirrel but I’m going to be on the look out for more and some good walks to go with them.

Blog link ups

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Rhyming with Wine

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18 thoughts on “Pub walks for kids

  • 16 July 2016 at 7:41 am
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    This sounds like a pretty good day to me. A family walk, decent grub and some craft beer. It’s look like the pub have really gone out of their way to welcome families and yes, I think next time you’re entitled to have a designated driver!
    Potty Adventures
    #countrykids

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:46 pm
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      It was a really simple concept but was a really nice time to spend a few hours (aside from having to drag the bike back to the car)

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  • 16 July 2016 at 5:15 pm
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    Wow bouncy castle! That really show that the owners are thinking of giving their customers esp the little ones the best! SOunds like a perfect way to end a fun walk =) #countrykids

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:47 pm
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      Yeah, we’re used to paying a couple of quid for a few minutes on a bouncy castle so enjoying one combined with a drink in the summer sun is a real winner. Thanks for visiting.

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  • 16 July 2016 at 8:41 pm
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    What a great excuse for a stop off on your walk. Tilly’s memory will be that it’s down a magical Forrest path. Sounds like a delightful place to walk. I can’t complain either up here in Yorkshire!
    #CountryKids

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:47 pm
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      Absolutely, there’s plenty of good walks and indeed pubs in Yorkshire. I grew up by the edge of the Dales so know parts of it well. Thanks for visiting.

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  • 18 July 2016 at 6:33 am
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    This is the type of Sunday I love. A nice walk and then pub lunch in the countryside. And a pint for daddy of course. #FartGlitter

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:50 pm
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      It certainly ticks all of the boxes and is a easy time for parents which is a real bonus. Thanks for visiting the blog

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  • 18 July 2016 at 7:35 pm
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    Sounds like the perfect family day out! Nice walk in the countryside, fresh air, wildlife, pub, pub, pub, bouncy castle, beer, beer, beer. Everyone’s happy! Here’s hoping we get the weather for you to do plenty more of the same over the summer! Thanks for linking with #fartglitter 🙂

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:53 pm
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      Well judging by the forecast we might well end up there again this week at some point! It’s really nice when there’s an easy and outdoors place you can pop to.

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  • 19 July 2016 at 11:48 am
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    Sounds like you have found the perfect recipe for encouraging a little country walk. The countryside and woodland around you looks wonderful but it does often take a little more for little ones to make the most of what is there. A good local pub is a winner all round especially if it caters for children so well.

    Thank you for sharing withnme on #CountryKids

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    • 19 July 2016 at 3:54 pm
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      I’ll need to think of more activities to combine with a country walk. Tilly is quite keen on the I-Spy concept although it’s reliant on there being wildlife that’s easily spottable!

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  • 20 July 2016 at 7:05 pm
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    Sounds like an ideal way to spend a day. It isn’t something we do enough and must make amends #CountryKids

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  • 20 July 2016 at 9:29 pm
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    Definitely a perfect Sunday that is. Nothing beats a good walk at the woods and signing off at the pub. 🙂
    #countrykids

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  • 20 July 2016 at 9:30 pm
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    It sounds like a win win situation. Healthy walk, beer and safe play area. Bam. Lucky you for having it so close! Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

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  • 22 July 2016 at 11:51 am
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    A walk in Penn Wood is on my mental list of things to do sometime and sounds like The Squirrel is a good place to aim for especially with the bouncy castle there if we do it this summer! Sounds like you and Tilly enjoyed your pub walk 🙂 #CountryKids

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  • 25 July 2016 at 9:47 am
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    We love a good walk too but Zach is slightly less keen! The note on the bouncy castle – these have literally made our lives hell! We have a pub at the end of the road which has one and I don’t think a day has gone by in the last year that he hasn’t mentioned it! He is obsessed with bouncy castles and every morning when we go out he asks if it’s up!! He’s even asked them to put it up if we’ve gone there and it’s been laid out on the ground! Fun for him, a curse for us!! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  • 25 July 2016 at 1:21 pm
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    I love it when they put bouncy castles in the garden! Funnily enough I wrote a couple of posts about child friendly pubs last Summer – I must restart that and of course do my research! #TwinklyTuesday

    Reply

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