Outdoor Play

This week is flying by. H is now in school and loving it, and we’ve had a few days of outdoor play this last week. We’re joining in with Country Kids, and I figured we could roll three posts into one.

Reigate Fort

Saturday we headed to Reigate Fort – a local National Trust place we’ve always fancied but never managed to get to (and it’s silly, it’s easy to get to and there’s plenty of parking for free as well). We got to the fort which is as you’d expect – various deserted buildings dug into the hillside overlooking a vast area. Trying to explain to H that it’s there because sometimes countries fight with each other proved a bit difficult. Hopefully school will help give her a better context!! You had views all the way to Gatwick which was good – we spotted loads of planes landing and taking off. There was a big grassy area, perfect for a picnic and playing tag with Daddy – before we headed back towards the car park.

There’s a walk from the car park at Reigate Fort which goes along the South Downs way, taking you to Gatton Park, so we started that one, but had to turn back after a short while – H was tired and not quite right and we didn’t want to tire her out too much before school. We like to get outdoors and she was trying out a pair of shoes¬†for review that we chose which are perfect for outdoor use, with plenty of grip and support. I figured that if she has some good shoes for outdoor play she’s less likely to tumble over; most of her shoes have minimal grip and when you’re climbing trees you need a little bit.

Cane Hill September 2013

H felt sleepy, so we drove home hoping she’d nap in the car – and went past Coulsdon on our way. I’ve had a bit of an obsession about the former hospital Cane Hill and hadn’t been near it since I’d heard about it being demolished. It just so happened we drove past Cane Hill on our way home so I got out for a wander, with my camera of course. I was in for a shock; what was once an old derelict hospital is now grass, land with just the chapel and a tower (not the clock tower) that have survived. Cane Hill was an amazing building and I recommend you do a spot of googling on it – and now it has gone. If you see it now, you’d never know what was there. We got some photos of it back in 2008 when it was still intact just from the outside, and seeing what is left now really shocked me. I want to go back with Shaun and H properly and get around the other side – last time I was there it looked something like this. An amazing building left to rot until a fire in 2010 (ish?) which led to most of it being demolished.

Mayfield Lavender

The following day she felt much better so we headed to Mayfield Lavender. Rain was due so we knew it would be a flying visit, but we still got to walk or run up one length of the field and make it to the cafe/shop area before the skies opened – luckily we were under cover, and I’ve noticed H is running much faster with proper running shoes too, although she still likes to check what her competitors are doing (and then fall over). We’ll work on that one…

a play in the park

After school on Wednesday we headed out, stopping in the park for a run around. H is mastering the big girl swing and getting her co-ordination sorted out (she takes after me I think). Being outdoors is good too, as I feel like we’ve not done enough of it since school started; we’re all so tired. I’m letting go and letting her be on the stepping stones and watching her gain confidence on the ‘older’ things in the park. I’m not quite ready to do the climbing wall – maybe with her new shoes when she has a bit of grip!

So that’s our week. This weekend looks like it should be quieter, all being well, but rainy. Sigh!

We have been sent the Adidas shoes for the purpose of review and promoting outdoor play, all opinions are our own. Linking up to Country Kids as well.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


  1. Lovely happy photos of H having fun outdoors and a nice family one as well in the lavender. As a parent it’s great watching your children grow in confidence, flourish and become more independent. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.


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