With another weekend creeping up on us, I tactically decide that with the influx of visitors coming to Bournemouth, it might be a good time to head inland and spend some quality time with fun Uncle Kelvin and visit the zoo!
Marwell Wildlife Park is situated in the heart of Hampshire and is a fantastic place to visit with children. Marwell have done a brilliant job of catering to the needs of those with access challenges - the paths were a mixture of gravel and tarmac, all of which the Mountain Buggy terrain simply glided over. Once there we followed the recommended route, allowing us to experience all parts of the park and see all the animals.
As usual with our ‘educational’ outings, our first stop was the play park to get rid of any excess energy, ensuring maximum concentration for learning all about the animals! If I am being really honest, this was more about the children than me. I wanted to ensure that after traveling all this way (particularly in the heat), the animals received a little more than a cursory glance before Hannah asked, ‘Where is the play park?' This is a very common phrase on outings with Hannah and even young Joshua is starting to catch on… still, the wooden sculpture of them both riding a great white shark, did provide quite a good photo opportunity!
Once the children were ready to see the resident animals and had finished fighting with the great white, we started on our Marwell adventure. From perky penguins to the giant giraffes, Marwell had every type of animal that I had promised Hannah and Joshua they would see. The meerkats were a real favorite for Hannah, perhaps in observing their cheeky and playful nature she saw a little of her own spirit!
Joshua was definitely more taken with the penguins; in fact any animal that had a love of the water seemed to be more up his street. Again, another reflection of his own personality!
The Mountain Buggy terrain once again excelled itself throughout our trip; we loaded it up with stacks of food and water for our day out. The bottle holders ensured we had plenty of water within easy reach and the insulation actually kept the water surprisingly cool.
When it came to picnic time, Joshua thought it would be a fantastic idea to demonstrate to our fellow picnickers just how spacious the gear tray was - I am not sure if they were impressed or simply amused.
With half the park explored, Uncle Kelvin and myself were in desperate need of a coffee, so we decided to stop at another rest and play area on the recommended route. They really have planned the facilities very well here, just when you think you can’t go on, you see the welcomed signs of coffee and ice cream.
After his mid day power nap, Joshua was ready to explore the next play park with gusto, but poor Hannah was in need of a serious rest after all her running about. I suggested she take a sneaky rest in the terrain and she was happy to oblige. The buggy states that it can be used for children up to the age of six, and although Hannah no longer needs a pushchair, we did find that it came in handy today.
Not only was there plenty of space for Hannah to sit comfortably, it was also still easy and light to push and maneuver, even with the extra weight! Hannah’s rest didn’t last long as Joshua is very possessive over his terrain and he quickly clocked that Hannah was sitting in his seat and decided it was time for her to hit the road!
After taking in all the attractions, it was time to leave the animals in peace and head back to our beautiful home town of Bournemouth. With both children fast asleep in a matter of minutes, I started to think about the nice cold and refreshing glass of wine I was going to drink later that evening and our next family adventure…