Oh don’t start me off on this one…
Carshalton Station is great, I mean, you’ve a huge hill to walk up to get to it (all exercise counts, right?), but once you get there and if you’re ‘with buggy’ then it all changes. Travel in a Sutton-bound direction and you’re fine, you can pretty much step on the train, and if you sit to the left of the entrance you should be perfectly placed for the disabled/buggy carriage too (if you’re lucky). Need to get to London? That’s where the fun starts.
You’ve two flights of stairs to navigate and they’re not great. Last time I took H out of the buggy and dragged it along behind me which then meant my shopping came out of the bottom of the buggy.
There’s a whole page about this, as I’d love to try and get some kind of campaign going to do with access to the station – so please email if you’d like to help.
The Sun in Carshalton is a fantastic family pub. Nothing else compares – the pub has great food, plenty of highchairs (though it is popular, so if you have your own portable kind it’s always worth bringing it) and at the back there’s even Baby Changing (sharing the toilet area with disabled facilities).
There are also games, crayons, books – basically it’s the sort of place run by people who have children and who know that occasionally children need extra entertainment.
Outside there’s a play area with more activities, though unfortunately it’s a bit too close to where the smokers are – but go there on a quiet day and it’s great.
I’ve been to other pubs in the area, and none provide any kind of baby changing – so have had to change my baby on a table in the dining room! (their suggestion – not mine) Also, the majority of the pub is accessible by buggy – there are steps to the sandpit area, though there’s a gate from Mill Lane which means you can get to the lower level.
The pub is part of the Victoria Battersea pub group, and was refurbished in 2009 – since then it’s definitely the most family-friendly pub I’ve ever encountered.