Category Archives: Family

A day out at Moors Valley

Last week we headed over to Verwood to spend some time with my sister. After a quick pit stop at my nan’s house for a cup of tea and a cheeky Bourbon, we drove to the park, unpacked the car and looked sheepishly at the grey and cloudy sky.

After dithering about it for 5 or so minutes, we decided to admit defeat and retreat to my sisters house to eat our picnic indoors. Blasted British weather!

However, after we’d finished stuffing our faces, there was a slight break in the clouds and after driving to the park for a second time and unpacking the car, we decided to brave it and go for it anyway.

We were rewarded for our bravery as the clouds parted and a wonderful blue filled the sky within five minutes of us setting off. Our first stop was the park at Potterne where Huxley was laid flat on one of those circular swing things and swung pretty high! He had a pretty big smile so I think he liked it.

Then we carried on walking for half an hour until we reached Moors Valley Country Park. Moors Valley is amazing. I never really appreciated how awesome it was when we were little but thinking about it now, we’re pretty lucky to have something so cool near us.

It’s a great big park in the middle of the forest all made of wood with a visitors centre, picnic area by a lake, noddy train, tree-top-trail and more recently, Go-Ape. My sister, Nick & I were like big kids at the sight of the big metal slide and zip line – I think we had more fun that Huxley.

Then Nick challenged Sarah to a race to the top of the rope mountain thing.

Nick won.

It was so much fun. Unfortunately thanks to the weather we didn’t have time to go round the Tree Top Trail but I can’t wait to take Huxley back in the summer.

I also got a brand new nephew this week! His name is Hadley and he was born on Thursday 20th March weighing 7lb 4oz. It’s going to be crazy this time next year when Huxley, Hadley and Elsie are all running around and causing trouble! (This picture is of Hux & Elsie watching In The Night Garden together – look at them holding hands – so cute!)

We also got the sad news that Nick’s lovely little doggie Milly passed away on Saturday morning. It was such a massive shock to us all. She was only 5 years old and hadn’t been ill. It’s so strange and quiet at their house now. I really miss her :(

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A picnic in March

How amazing was the weather this weekend? I never thought I’d be sat in the glorious, warm sunshine having a picnic in March!

We got together with some of our friends and walked to our local park where we lay out a blanket and scoffed to our hearts content on picnic food. Lauren trumped us all with her picnic food as she had cocktail sausages, cheese and pineapple on sticks and chopped up strawberries. She also bought breadsticks and we gave one to Huxley to chomp on and he loved it. (Then we realised you’re not meant to give babies gluten until they’re 6 months so he can’t have another one for a few weeks yet now)

I love this park. It’s about half an hour walk from us and it’s got the best baby swings ever. There’s like a bench in the middle connecting the two baby swings so the adults can sit on it and swing too! Genius!

I love my husband and sometimes he gets it spot on with photos but honestly, sometimes I feel like he’s not even looking through the lens. I’ve told him a million times about not taking photos with direct sunlight on your face because it’s too harsh and he took a bunch of photos looking up at me from the floor which makes my double chin look horrendous. Also, the one of us picnicing is focused on the fence behind us, but in his defence, our camera does do that quite often no matter how hard you try and focus it. Anyway, here’s the best of a bad bunch. (He’s going to go nuts when he reads this…)

UK lifestyle fashion blogger The Style BoxSwingsUK lifestyle blogger The Style BoxPicnic

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A day out in Durlston

Last week we went exploring. We’ve lived in Poole for nearly 8 years now but only rarely venture across the bay to the Jurassic Coast. It feels like it’s such a long way away due to the fact that you either have to pay to get the chain ferry across the gap or drive a really long winded way round so I’m always surprised when I see how close we are on a map!

I’d been doing some Googling about pram-friendly walks in Dorset and Durlston Country Park popped up. It’s just on the outskirts of Swanage and actually, the long winded drive that has often put me off venturing over that way was half the fun as the views are spectacular. We drove through the beautiful village of Corfe Castle and it made me think of the good old fashioned British summer and I can’t wait to stop there one day and enjoy an ice-cream overlooking the castle (or what’s left of it!)

We pulled up in Durlston car park and were pleasantly surprised at the completely reasonable £2 car parking fee. We walked the path which tells you about the history of the world down towards the castle.

The castle is really lovely inside as it has recently been renovated thanks to some National Lottery funding. There’s a little shop, a cafe, a gallery and plenty of things for kids to look at. There are disabled lifts all over the place so it was really easy to get around.

Durlston Castle

Being situated right on the cliff tops, the views are absolutely stunning. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite as clear and sunny as my iPhone weather report had led me to believe it would be but it was still nice and warm, if a little grey.

Durlston, DorsetDurlston Country Park, DorsetI cannot express how incredibly calm and relaxed I felt there. There is an amazing quiet and stillness to the place (despite the crashing waves against the cliffs below and the distant sound of explosions from the army training ground not too far away) and as you stare straight out into the big blue nothingness you can feel all your worries from ‘the real world’ melting away.

I can’t wait to go back on a really clear sunny day and see all the different shades of blue of the sea. Also, there was an information point that said you can spot dolphins sometimes. Apparently the best time of year for this is May so we’ll definitely be returning!

We wandered down the grassy lawn away from the castle and cafe and found the enormous stone globe that sits on the clifftop which dates back to 1887! Obviously the first place we spotted was our beloved San Francisco!

Durlston GlobeDurlston Globe close-upAfter that we meandered along the South West Coastal Path, past the Tilly Whim caves (which are now unfortunately closed to the public) and stopped just before reaching the Anvil Point Lighthouse before making our way back to the car park.

I can’t wait to take Huxley back when he’s older as they had loads of exciting events on. There was a stargazing evening where you could use their big telescope and talk to an expert which was only £2 or £3 and there were activities for kids that involved stomping around the forest and looking for bugs and stuff.


Anvil Point Lighthouse, DorsetWe then made the short drive to Worth Matravers to visit one of the oldest pubs in the country, the Square and Compass. It’s on a little hill and overlooks big wide fields and out to sea. Luckily the weather was nice enough for us to sit outside and enjoy the view. I’m not a massive pub fan and when I heard that they didn’t have tea I was a bit upset but as pubs go, I can imagine spending quite a long time at this one, sat out in the sun in the summer, munching away on one of their homemade pasties. There’s also a really cool fossil museum inside.

All in all it was the perfect day out with my little family and it taught me that we should explore our surroundings more often as we live in such a beautiful part of the country.

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