Local Adventures

When it comes to organising day trips and special treats we often think big and flashy and forget the simple pleasures that are on our very doorstep. Have you thoroughly explored your own town or city? Those in a rural area have a wealth of options available to them when it comes to such days. A few examples of great rural local adventures could include long walks for example nature walks, treks, forest walks, walks around the village, across streams and more.

People living in the city may also have green parks and areas yet undiscovered and if not we bet you have some wonderful sights to see. A trip to walk around your local church and to spot different types of buildings and architecture types can be just as fun as an afternoon in the garden. It is all about getting out of the house and exploring.

Have you visited your local tourist information office or website or like many others have you assumed these were just for tourists and those visiting from elsewhere? You might well be surprised at the number of local events and attractions that are available that may have escaped your notice. Some towns, for example, have Blue Plaque trails where you can follow a map to find all of the buildings that have a blue plaque which shows where someone special/famous lived or something historical happened. Cities often have art-related walks and trails to follow, you just need to know where to look.

The beauty of exploring your own local area is, of course, the lack of transport costs and the ability to pop on home if someone becomes too tired or the weather changes. Despite living in a place for many years you'd be surprised how many new sights you might see and quirky things you might notice when you aren't caught up in the daily juggle.

Why not take time out to see what you and your little ones can find to do on your doorstep? We have some great ideas for you and are sure you could think of a fair few of your own?

The last time you really explored your local area? You might be surprised at how much there is to see and do right on your very doorstep. We've put together a few ideas to get you started with local adventuring but why not contact or pop into your local tourist information centre as they are bound to have a number of great ideas you perhaps hadn't thought of.

Get out in the garden and encourage the kids to help you to weed and trim. The older ones can even help with things like mowing the lawn as long as they’re well supervised. Most children enjoy planting things, even if it just consists of sowing and nurturing a few pots of herbs most of which are easy and fun to grow.

You don't need to wait until your kids are old enough to ride. If you have a bike, fit it with a child seat and get on the move. If your children can already cycle, or have stabilisers why not go riding around the local park? If you’re feeling adventurous load up your bikes, and drive to one of the many country parks or forests for a change of scene. Larger country parks and National Trust forests offer bike hire, so you don’t necessarily need to own one to get going.

Explorers’ Walks
You’re not usually too far from a forest, country park or just your local park. You’d be surprised by how much fun you can have with your kids, just taking a walk and spotting animals, insects and birds. If your children are walk-averse tell them it’s an adventure and supply them with a map and compass if they’re old enough so they can be explorers for the duration.

For children who do like to walk, a simple nature amble will do, looking at the different trees, leaves and bark and discovering wildlife and different plants. You could make them a spotter’s sheet beforehand so that they can tick off each animal or plant they spot along the way. Or why not take some paper and crayons with you to do bark rubbings? If you collect leaves, twigs and other bits to take home you could make collages back home as mementoes of your fun day in the park or forest. In the autumn, go armed with plastic tubs, so you can pick blackberries from the verge, and take them home to make a pie or crumble or to collect up conkers and acorns.

Hunt for Bugs
You can do this in the garden or on one of your explorers’ walks. There are bugs everywhere, all you have to do is look. You can get the kids to draw them or you can take photos and then identify them together either on the internet or in a book when you get home. Try to find out what each caterpillar or larva will turn into.

Visit a Farm
Take the kids to a local farm; there are more and more of them opening up specifically for children and families. Your children can see the animals and many places offer the chance to stroke or even feed them. At certain times of the year most farms will let the kids hold a baby chick, feed a new lamb or calf or watch the piglets feeding. The kids will have fun learning about the origins of their food, such as eggs and dairy.

Play Poohsticks
Poohsticks is a sport first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner, a Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne. It can be played from any bridge over running water. Each player drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick appears first on the downstream side is the winner. The trick to ensure family harmony with this game is to make sure each competitor’s stick is individual enough to be recognisable without a squabble. The annual World Poohsticks Championships have been held at Day's Lock on the River Thames in the UK since 1984.

Hill Rolling
We all remember the fun to be had, rolling down a hill. Now’s your chance to relive that experience. While you’re out for a walk, choose a slope and challenge your kids to beat you in a rolling race to the bottom. If you don’t fancy getting covered in moss or grass, you can always suggest the children race, while you stand by as referee. You can try it again and again, to see who can go the fastest. Obviously, take care to have a quick check of the area, first to avoid any potential pitfalls, such as big rocks or twigs sticking out of the ground, or dog poo!

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