January hibernation done, and we are now getting excited about making the most of the (slightly) longer days to get out and about. When we’re on an outdoor adventure, one thing we love to take is a flask of Small & Wild, to make sure everyone stays nice and toasty!
Now as much as we love the idea of going out for a serious hike, those little legs do seem to prefer a bit of parklife, so we’ve done a round-up of some of our favourite green spaces that make for brilliant expeditions, big and small. These are guided by areas we know and love - please, please do tell us about your own favourite parks across the UK.
A treasure trove of fun in North London, Golders Hill Park is particularly brilliant for animal-lovers thanks to its butterfly house, deer park and free zoo. There is also a fascinating stumpery, which is a veritable haven for mini-beasts, and mini-people alike. Make a visit here into a full day adventure by heading into the Hill Gardens and the stunning Hampstead pergola.
With a view to enrapture the grown-ups, and plenty to keep the small people happy, Waterlow Park is a wonderful place to spend a wintery afternoon. It has three historic ponds which all seem to spill into each other, and a brilliant kitchen garden which is a fab place for children to learn about plants. Lauderdale House within the park often has brilliant family activities on – or for older kids, there is the atmospheric Highgate Cemetery over the road.
Brockwell Park is an awesome gem of a green space in South London, full of enchanting quirks with super family appeal. There’s an epic play-area which really does appeal to all ages, water-play for when it hots up and a gigantic sandpit – plus if you are lucky, the mini-train will be running. It never seems to lose its appeal! And when you’ve exhausted the small people – just head to the Lido café for a delicious refuel (although it is now so popular we definitely recommend booking ahead).
OK, so it was a toss-up between Dulwich Park and Peckham Rye, but when it came down to it there was no way we could miss out Peckham Rye as it holds very many special memories for team Small & Wild, being a place we have spent many a lovely hour with our small people. It is a magically varied park that really does transform with the seasons, from its Japanese garden to its hidden nature garden. It also has a great fenced in picnic area which means you can give the kids the freedom to roam, whilst enjoying a cuppa yourself!
This is a just a small, small selection of our fave parks near us, we would love to hear about yours - we’re willing to travel pretty far for a fab green-space adventure!