It has been a while since I’ve shared some of our outdoor adventures with #CountryKids. Something tells me this year they will nearly always be based around my running routes! I have to feel prepared for a race and it provides me with a perfect excuse to get some fresh air with Little J.
Blenheim Palace is one of my favourite places to visit with little ones. When Gem and Zeeks were little (and we lived slightly closer) we spent hours exploring the adventure gardens and hiding in the tree trunks. I’ve not ever been around the lakes or seen much of the rest of the expansive grounds. Our running route recce, provided the perfect opportunity!
The car park we were directed to was on the proposed start line, so we were on to a winner. Fortunately Little J wasn’t in a very energetic mood, so was quite happy (under the promise of going in the butterfly house) to be pushed around the 7km course. I would hate to think how long it would have taken us to get around if he had insisting on walking or his version of scooting.
With every step we took, I could see more and more potential for a full day out on the palace side of estate. The views are breathtaking and I didn’t see any places where you couldn’t mark out a little territory and stop for a traditional English picnic.
Little J was very keen to read the map and tell me which way to go. The hills looked rather steep and in all honesty, even with Little J’s help, I wasn’t sure we were following the right route.
An hour and a half later, we arrived at the walled gardens (the finish line) in time for a spot of lunch. This was another thing I was keen to test out before race day. After all, you need a nourishing snack after a race 🙂
The little cafe in the walled gardens and adventure park serve a selection of hot and cold food. Little J wanted a kids meal box.
I have to warn you, Little J’s lunch box cost over £7 as each item is individually priced, rather then the normal 5 items for £4.95. It was pleasant though.
After a quick stop at the toilets (which are clean and smart), we headed to the Butterfly house.
We must have spent 45 minutes looking at all the different butterflies, plants and cocoons. They are amazing.
I even spotted the lily I had in my hair and bouquet at my wedding – it put a smile on my face 🙂
I was keen to leave the adventure playground and gardens for Keith to explore with Jonathan on race day. As it happened, by the time we finally emerged from the butterfly house it was almost time to go home anyway.
Not before a ride on the train first!
We managed to fold up the pushchair and scooter enough for us all to fit into the carriage. There were many other families who ended up separating for one parent to push the pushchair to the platform at the other end of the track. The train does cost to ride on. My memory has gone blank on the cost, but it wasn’t a great deal and for the fun we had, worth it.
On race day, Little J was looking forward to showing Daddy Blenheim Palace and exploring the maze and playground.
Mummy completed her race
Brought me an ice-cream
And had a celebratory hot tub as a reward!