Places to go out with children
As the leaves start to change colour, what a lovely opportunity to spend time outdoors. Perhaps the most famous British venue for trees is Kew Gardens, just outside London, and its country cousin, Wakehurst, which is not far from Gatwick airport. Kew has recently opened its doors to a new ‘Children’s Garden’, a wonderful area for kids of all ages to play under the shade of a huge tree! But all across the country there are fantastic botanical gardens in a number of cities – including Belfast, Birmingham, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Oxford and Sheffield. We are truly a nation of great gardens…and great gardeners!!
We would also recommend a visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall. It recommends that we all plant native trees in our gardens. There are all sorts of reasons why… not least, to help absorb carbon from the atmosphere – crucial if we want to reduce global warming! Check out their choices, from crab apples to willow trees, and go see what they have created in a couple of huge biomes nestling in a crater the size of 30 football pitches! And while you’re down there be sure to visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a magical rediscovered Victorian garden, also in Cornwall. And by the way, plans are well advanced to open another Eden Project, on the edge of Morecambe Bay in the north of England. Exciting stuff.
Special attractions in London include The Horniman Museum which offers a fantastic nature trail introducing visitors to the wonderful plants and animals in the area. For a more manicured walk, try Frieze Sculpture in Regents Park (ends 6th October). It has large pieces to admire and a family trail to keep little ones engaged. The Garden Museum in Lambeth has a wonderful children’s programme of workshops alongside their ongoing exhibition “What to look for in a garden; a Ladybooks exhibition” (ends October 27th).
Finally, why not take the National Trust’s advice and find a great place to climb a tree..?! Jessica, quoted below, loved the Nookta tree at Wallington which is now 115 years old and 45 feet tall!
‘When I climbed up and looked down, everyone else looked like mice. They were so small. I liked the fact that you could hide and see the house from inside the tree.’
Jessica, age 8.