Keeping It Local

Sometimes when it’s warm and it’s a Friday and you’ve spent the week recouperating, working, being at holiday club or whatever, you don’t want to venture too far. Especially when you’re wearing your Elsa dress over shorts and a t-shirt.

Sutton Ecology Centre

So when I got home from work today we wandered up the road to the Honeywood Museum as they’ve just opened a new cafe. On the way to Honeywood is the Sutton Ecology Centre – a fab area in Carshalton which has nature information, allotments, a pond and plenty of things to learn about as well as making good use of everyday things (like tyres – I love how they’ve based a garden around them). Our trip was just a short cut as I was fairly sure the cafe closed at 5pm (I was right) and we made it with five minutes to spare.

Sutton Ecology Centre

The Honeywood Museum is at Honeywood House on Carshalton Ponds, and is a lovely old house dedicated to the history of Carshalton as well as the people who have lived in the house and life there through various times. There’s a war room which H found really interesting and lots for kids – including dress up and an activity area – and it’s free. The cafe is new to the house and serves Movenpick ice cream – and a fine selection too! We grabbed a table right next to the ponds and enjoyed our cones.

H by the ponds

The daffodils are still in full bloom, and the area around the ponds looks lovely – though people still seem to throw their rubbish in there. I have no idea why people would do that. Madness.

Carshalton Ponds

We walked around the ponds, crossing into Grove Park which has a cut of water from the ponds which leads further down, turning into the River Wandle (which then runs into the Thames) – and where there are many ducks and even a heron. It’s one of the few places locally that I love and go back to as it has a great sense of calm. It feels safe too – I can let H wander ahead and she’s happy, whether it’s chatting to squirrels or just wanting to get to the play area at the top of the hill.

Her favourite things in the park are those dizzy-inducing spinny things you sit in that I can’t even look at, and the fireman’s pole.

climbing frame

We stayed for a play for a while and for the first time H was able to almost climb to the top of the castle in the playground. She’s grown.


We walked past the Carshalton Water Wheel which has had the main hut area restored recently. It doesn’t say what they’re doing there, but there is something going on. Intriguing…!

Carshalton Water Wheel

After a busy afternoon playing we popped into The Sun pub, our local which is right by The Grove, H was super happy as we got the little cubby hole area to sit in, and Shaun joined us.


I do like living here. As I’ve said on The Adequate Parent, it’s a lovely place. It’s just annoying our rent situation is set to change, though fortunately the landlady isn’t selling (she’s just increasing our monthly rent by £280 a month). The rent hike means we can still do all the free things, but helping the local businesses exist by having a quick beer or stopping for an ice cream might be something we have to do without. That makes me sad. I like to spend money on things which help other people locally.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall