Today we visited an absolutely magical place, Arlington Bluebell Walk. I am a real sucker for woodlands and flowers. Put the two together with stunning dappled spring light, a red-headed daughter in a princess dress and I'm in my idea of heaven.
A short drive away from Lewes, past Middle Farm, with good parking and facilities, it made for a wonderful morning out with one child and a baby in a buggy.
After paying our entrance fee, armed with a handy map and Lena pleased as punch with her free quiz and silvery pencil, we had a lovely leisurely stroll.
The scenery is breathtaking, well preserved and tranquil. That is if you're able to block out the shouts of my little girl as she spots three ducks in one of the ponds.
The website has a useful update section advising what colours are carpeting the woodland floor each day. I have been on "bluebell watch" for weeks now, just itching to go as soon as the first buds exploded. Given that bluebells are only out for a very short time this felt truly special. Luckily, our timing meant that we saw white anemones too.
There are seven walks on offer, all of which are clearly marked en route. We stuck to the shorter walk with a path suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Both the City Jogger GT and the Bugaboo Bee 3 wheels coped well. I wasn't sure how Lena would fare on the walk so I brought the Manduca carrier with me and she happily popped in and out of that. Given that she's fast approaching 3 years old, I was impressed with the carrier.... as well as my ability to have her on my back whilst pushing a buggy up a slight incline..... I felt the need for my very own theme tune, in all honesty.
After our walk we stopped off at the light and airy tea room. It is a neat converted barn with a great selection of cakes run by local charities. There are also tables outside that are perfect for picnics. Although there are some really lovely looking benches dotted around the walk that would be great to nibble a sandwich on whilst taking in the scenery.
Next door to the tea rooms there is a small barn of animals. Although a curly-haired goat is clearly confusing for both children and adults alike as it took a while for us all to stop calling it a sheep.
I was also relieved to find a baby change toilet big enough to fit a buggy in. I've spent far too much of my time with chronic back ache after changing babies in the boots of cars on days out like these, so I was pretty chuffed that this facility exists.
The only let down was the farm shop. I understand it's in the process of being improved which is exciting. For now it had a few bits and pieces but nothing to sate the appetite of a farm shop addict like myself.
It's only open until the 10th May, so if you're in the area I'd highly recommend a visit. In my opinion the proof is often in the journey home..... you'll notice it was pretty quiet!