Review 2017: Farnham Park and Castle

We were recently on our travels to Richmond for a day out, pretending to be posh. Except we hadn’t realised that the M3 would be closed and would make our journey epically complicated, so once off the slip road we decided to head home and find somewhere else to go.

One of my friends had recommended Farnham Park to me and as it was on the way back I suggested we check it out. It’s about 20-25 minutes drive from Basingstoke. We had a brilliant time exploring just the park. We then went back a few months later with the same friends who took us to the Castle and Miss NHM and her playmate had a fantastic time!!!

Play

Farnham Park has an AWESOME wooden play park. It’s HUGE! We spent about 1.5 hours playing in the park, playing on all of the different wooden structures

We walked for miles and miles and still only did a fraction of the park. We completely missed one of the play parks which is a bit further round from the Wooden play park!

Mr NHM may or may not have played “I’m the king of the castle” on this structure! lol.

Castle

We then decided to go and look at the Castle. The Castle is free to enter but they ask for a donation.

We had a BRILLIANT time in the Castle! I couldn’t believe that it was free entry!

We spent about 5 minutes in the room which explained the history of the Castle. The children were too excited to stay any longer here as they wanted to explore the castle itself.


We did pick up a leaflet which explained “The Keep at Farnham Castle” and gave a short tour of what it all was.

I didn’t get many pictures of the Castle itself because I couldn’t get any without there being someone in it!!! But we spent ages in the Castle exploring and went down into the Central Tower and the Well. The children were fascinated with the Latrines, as children would be! lol.

We were incredibly lucky to visit on a day when the weather was absolutely glorious. As you can see, the views from the castle across Farnham were spectacular!

Tips

You can’t park at the Castle unless you have a disabled badge, so we parked in the car park which said it was for the Golf Course which was about a 5 minute walk away. There is lots of parking and it’s for users of the gold course and the park, but it can get VERY busy after lunch and people park in very haphazard ways, so be warned if you have toddlers who like to run of!!

The steps into the Castle itself are very steep so it’s not recommended to take a pushchair. If you can take a sling that would work although it is possible to park your pushchair down at the main entrance. It is a very steep set of steps into the castle though.

Definitely pick up one of the leaflets which explains where everything is. This helped us to ensure we’d explored everything.

Food

The Cafe is very independent to the point where dogs are allowed in the cafe! It’s like going back in time to 30 years ago when dogs were allowed everywhere! Which I love but I know lots of people won’t.

The price of food is really cheap and it’s very popular so you can sometimes queue for a bit. If you like golf, the golf shop is also attached. I can imagine the cafe being very busy in the summer with all of the requests for ice cream!

Facilities

There are toilets in the Cafe in the park and also really good toilets at the Castle.

Baby Facilities

There are baby facilities but the ones in the Castle are better.

Parking

As mentioned above, there is no parking at the Castle for the general public so you can either park in Farnham and walk up the hill or park in the golf course car park and walk round. You can either walk through the park and then along the castle ramparts to get to the castle or there is a path which is very close to the main road but has a flimsy fence. Keep a very close eye on little people as the cars go really fast.

Prices

It was free to park.

The Park is free to enter and so is Farnham Castle.

Rating out of 5

5 out of 5. Miss NHM and her friend absolutely loved the open space, the wooden playground and exploring the castle. Even better that the whole day out was free!!!

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Basingstones

This is such a brilliant idea!! Well done Rachel for setting this up!!!!

Basingstones

Whilst being away for a few days with the family, we came across a fab craze in Dorset which I think our children here in Basingstoke and Hants will absolutely love.

I have set up a facebook group called Basingstones.

Everyone can join in the fun, young and old, and anyone in between. You just paint a stone, write ‘Basingstones’ on it and hide it somewhere. Perhaps in one of our lovely parks here in Basingstoke, by a bench, under a tree, anywhere you like.

The idea is that someone will find your stone and smile. It may even brighten their day! Hopefully they will post a photo on our facebook group page so we can all see how far our stones travel.

Then our Basingstone finder can either re-hide the stone, or keep it and replace it with a new stone.

You can paint the stone however you wish, perhaps with a pretty pattern, a fun cartoon character, an inspirational quote or an artistic design, for example. Sharpie pens, permanent markers, nail polish, paints and varnish all work really well.

It is encouraging us as a family to get outdoors, be creative and spread some joy.  It has certainly kept us busy and entertained this half term break and without damaging the bank balance.

I hope everyone loves the concept as much we do and gets involved and has some fun.

Enjoy! x

Rachel

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Molly’s market: FREE ENTRY – Saturday 7th October 2017

A frequent conversation of mums with small children revolves about what can we do instead of going back to work to earn some money around our children, and one day during such a conversation our NCT group realised that we actually know quite a few people who have set up their own businesses since having children, and that we should support them as much as possible – and so the idea for Molly’s Market was born.

All the stalls are run by mums who have set up businesses, either things they make themselves or “shop” businesses like Usborne books, so there will be a wide range of goods for sale from handmade clothes, cosmetics and toiletries, children’s books, jewellery, crafts, greetings cards and gifts, to delicious homemade cakes – “byMum’sforeveryone“.

Entry to the market is free, with any profits going to Sebastian’s Action Trust – a charity which provides support for families of seriously-ill children. They have the UK’s only purpose-built facility that offers respite holidays to very sick children and their families, near North Waltham, which enables precious time to be spent together, a cause both local and close to our hearts as we all have small children.

Refreshments will be available and a raffle of items from the stalls, both in aid of Sebastian’s Action Trust.  Zingtastic will be providing a taster of their music classes to entertain any little ones, and KMS are providing taster massages for grown ups. And to top it off, a swap shop where you can pick up some children’s clothes for free, and donate your unwanted clothes!

Please come along to support some local businesses, raise money for a great charity and get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

 

Christ Church, Reading Road, Chineham, RG24 8LT

7th October 10am-12 midday

https://www.facebook.com/events/842596599232095/?ti=cl

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Fun Palace is back at Proteus Creation Space – Saturday, October 7, 2017

Saturday, October 7, 2017

to

Proteus Creation Space,

Council Road , Basingstoke , RG21 3DH

In case you haven’t come across the Fun Palaces before  – it is an opportunity for communities to come together across one weekend in October to join a free nationwide celebration of arts, culture and science.
Previous events have resulted in a great day of family fun with workshops and classes ranging from comedy writing, to trapeze taster session, arts and crafts to balloon modelling. Our 2015 event ended with a huge conga around the Creation Space!!

Some of the activities we will be holding for this year’s Palace of Fun include: Drama and Storytelling sessions with Debutots, make a Day of the Dead mask for the parade, get involved in a huge community doodle with local artists, join in the fun treasure trail around the Creation Space, bouncy castle and ball pit fun, all-day messy play with messy monsters, see how simple science can create fancy art in our ‘fab lab’, start your very own family tree and boogie on down with Pop Tots Family Disco!

Did we mention that the whole day is FREE?!?!?

For 2017 we want to invite as many families as possible to come on down to the Creation Space (infront of Fairfields School) and get stuck in to all the fun activities. We would also like to encourage anyone from the community who would like to get creative or have an idea they would like to explore with their fellow neighbours, to contact us and get involved with helping us make our Fun Palace the BEST EVER.

Everyone involved is giving up their time, energy and resources for free to provide a fantastic day of family fun, so if you feel you could help us in any way, and give back to your community we would love to hear from you.

The best way to get in touch is through Facebook messenger.

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Movin Monkeez free offering

 

Our aim is to get as many children ‘movin’ as possible! Therefore we’re launching a FREE online group for your little Monkeez! Some monkeez have more energy then others and some families like to encourage fitness in a fun way. If you fit into any of these categories then this could be a fab group for you…

Movin Monkeez operates in nursery/pre-schools, infant and junior schools across the UK and we want to spread our love for keeping fit and leading healthy lifestyles.

What do you get:

  • 7 days worth of challenges
  • a secret Facebook support group with video challenges
  • easy to follow exercises that can be done anywhere
  • a downloadable certificate of participation
  • some fun food challenges

If you would like to join then please ‘like’ this post and invite yourself to the group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/906722552814968/

The Movin Monkeez team
X

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Stripey Stork Wish list

I wish we had something similar to this but closer to home!

Stripey Stork wish-list (March 2017)

  • Cots and cot beds (with all fittings and assembly instructions)
  • High chairs (especially IKEA Antilop type)
  • Baby baths (free standing rather than over-the-bath style)
  • Girls clothes 4-10 years
  • Moses baskets (and folding stands)

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Ready Steady Mum’s – FREE Buggy Walk

We run 3 in different areas of Basingstoke. City centre, Tadley and Beggarwood.

More details are available on the posters below. Even though the classes have already started, you can still join them using the contact details in the posters.

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“Made in Basingstoke” – Summer 2017

BASINGSTOKE LAUNCHES SUMMER-LONG FESTIVAL WITH JAM-PACKED EVENTS PROGRAMME CELEBRATING THE TOWN’S FOOD, FASHION, ART AND CULTURE

21st June 2017:  Basingstoke is set to become Hampshire’s cultural capital this summer, when the town’s creative talent is celebrated in its inaugural ‘Made in Basingstoke’ festival, a jam-packed extravaganza of events catering for all tastes and age groups.

Running from 14 July to 13 August 2017 and comprising four themed weeks entitled Create, Taste, Discover and Make, the Festival will showcase the town’s artists, foods, attractions and people through a comprehensive programme of daily activities to be staged at key attractions, shops, museums and shopping centres across the town.

It will also celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen, who was born and raised in the area, with themed teas during the ‘Taste’ week and a host of activities during the ‘Discover’ week. These will include a walking tour, an amusing musical recital at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre; and a new exhibition called ‘Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the Ball’ at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery. In addition, visitors will be able to view a new bronze statue of the author, which will be unveiled in the town centre on 18 July.

Also, coinciding with the festival, is a new ‘Sitting with Jane’ free public arts trail and associated app featuring 24 ‘Book Benches’, each designed and painted by a different professional artist.

One of the highlights of Create Week (14-20 July) will be ‘The Mystery of the Star Eaters’, an immersive gaming experience for would be detectives and adventurers.  This interactive game will turn Basingstoke’s streets into a life-sized game board in which participants follow clues, question witnesses, solve puzzles and embark on a discovery around the town’s landmarks to investigate a mystery.

Other activities include: ‘The Create Market’, which will take the form of an expansive arts and craft market in The Malls shopping centre during the weekend of 15/16 July, complete with live entertainment.  There will also be art workshops hosted by local crafters and businesses including Paperchase, All Our Own Crafts, Eco-Workshop and the Red Lion Hotel, with topics ranging from decoupage to chalk painting.  Plus, music lovers can participate in a series of events at Dawsons, from open jam session days to digital drum workshops.

Next comes Taste Week (21-27 July), which will feature free cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs Phil Vickery and Jean-Christophe Novelli at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July.  There will also be a Taste Market focused on local produce and businesses as well as a Jane Austen cream tea party at the Red Lion Hotel.

Then, to celebrate Basingstoke’s historic past, is Discover Week (28 July-3 August) including a ‘Summer Raincoat’ craft session tying into the town’s heritage connections with Thomas Burberry, as well as an array of events celebrating Jane Austen (see above) and a Punch and Judy Festival. Visitors will also have the chance to experience a vintage makeover during a ‘Fashion in the 50’s’ masterclass, at the town’s Vintage Treasures shop.

Finally, during Make Week (4-13 August) there will be a range of free events for families, from the Summer of Literacy Reading Challenge, to Charlie’s story time and children’s crafts at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre. There will also be rides, slides and workshops and the opportunity to get artistic and create ‘selfie’ masks, perfect for sharing on social media, at The Malls Shopping Centre.

For more information and a full schedule of events visit www.madeinbasingstoke.co.uk and follow @inbasingstoke and use #LoveBasingstoke on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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FREE National Play Day – Wed 2nd August 2017

I’ve been a massive supporter of National Play Day since we attended our first one in 2011, a few months after Miss NHM was born.

It runs from 11am to 4pm at Eastrop Park.

It’s always a fab day out with LOADS of free things to do for children of all ages.

However, be warned that it gets really busy. I think they had 4000 people in Eastrop Park last year, so get there early to avoid the queue.

There is free parking at the Old Common on London Road with a free bus down to Eastrop Park for those who can’t walk up and down the hill.

I am SOOOO excited that I’ve been asked back again to host the “Splay the Rat” stall again. I LITERALLY didn’t stop from 11am to 4pm last year and although I know it’s going to be full on, I am really looking forward to it. Come and say Hello if you make it there!

Oh and amusingly, I’m not allowed to use pretend rats in case anyone goes out and tries to splat a live rat, so I’m hoping I get some more of these beautiful sea turtles who thoroughly enjoyed getting splat last year! lol.

These were my “rats/sea turtles” from last year.

Previous Posts about National Play days on NorthHantsMum

FREE National Playday on 3rd August 2016!

Date for your Diary: National PlayDay 2016!!

National Playdays 2015 and Basingstoke and Deane “Love Parks Week”!

It’s National Play Day 2014 today! Yay!

National Play Day 2014 Posters

National PlayDay – 7th August 2013 – Free Event!!!

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Sitting With Jane Art Trail revealed – Basingstoke’s Unique Celebration of Jane Austen’s Life on her 200th Anniversary

I keep seeing what my family is now calling the “Jane chairs” all over Basingstoke but wasn’t exactly sure what was going on with them.

So I was really pleased when a local Marketing company contacted me to ask me to share what it’s all about with the lovely NHM Community.

The trail maps are available in print in places such as The Willis Museum or available for download on www.sittingwithjane.com

Sitting With Jane

‘Sitting With Jane’ is a public art trail in Basingstoke, Hampshire that opens on 17 June. The trail is made up of 24 ‘BookBenches’, each designed with a Jane Austen theme to celebrate Jane Austen’s birthplace and home for 25 years of her life, 200 years after she died.

Each BookBench acts as a 3D canvas – making the finished piece, not only a work of art, but an attractive piece of street furniture that will be accessible for all to see and sit on, to contemplate the artist, Jane Austen or the scene and landscape where it is located. It forms part of a worldwide celebration of Jane Austen’s life, and the ‘Jane Austen 200 – A life in Hampshire’. Sitting With Jane is being organised by not-for-profit company Destination Basingstoke, with headline sponsor, Festival Place.

The BookBenches have been designed and painted by a range of artists and are being installed in locations around Basingstoke and Deane  borough as well as in Alton, Chawton and at Winchester Cathedral. The trail will take people on a voyage of discovery of original pieces art and locations that played a part in the Jane Austen story. There is free access for all whether they are Jane Austen or art enthusiasts or just want a free family day out.

A free to download app is now available to guide people around the trail, and a trail map is available at local outlets.

“This is the culmination of months of work and it is very exciting to see not only all the artists’ work, which is spectacular,  but to see the BookBenches installed into places that showcase the Basingstoke area’s heritage, past and present”, said Felicity Edwards from Destination Basingstoke.

“We are really excited to see Sitting With Jane coming to life for everybody to enjoy this summer. It’s such a creative and inclusive way to celebrate this important anniversary, and the artists have clearly been inspired by the Jane Austen story and its connections with Basingstoke. Following the trail the grand auction of BookBenches offers the chance to own a unique piece of art while helping Ark Cancer Centre Charity raise valuable funds.”, added Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art.

The ‘Wild in Art’ event, is delivered by Destination Basingstoke as part of their work to showcase the quality of life in the Basingstoke area, this project is in association with Festival Place. The project is funded entirely by sponsorship and all of the BookBenches will be auctioned with proceeds to charity on 15 September.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “Ark Cancer Centre Charity is proud to be the charity partner for Sitting With Jane, and a successful auction of the BookBenches is a key part of the event and our 2017 fundraising campaign.

“The charity will receive 75 per cent of the proceeds raised from the auction of the BookBenches on Friday, September 15, and all of that money will help to fund the much-needed local cancer treatment centre. By looking after, as well as enjoying, the BookBenches, members of the public will be helping to ensure that the best sale price can be achieved for each one at the auction, and the largest possible sum is raised for the charity, so thank you in advance for your support.”

More information about the companies and charities involved

Destination Basingstoke: Destination Basingstoke is an independent, not-for-profit company working with businesses and other partners to promote Basingstoke and the surrounding area for its quality of life and quality of business.

The idea for Sitting With Jane has been developed by Destination Basingstoke as a creative way to encourage visitors to explore in and around Basingstoke to enjoy everything the area has to offer from the superb countryside, great leisure and cultural offer as well as appreciate the wealth of local history and heritage – and especially the area’s strong connection with Jane Austen. The project forms part of the ‘Jane Austen 200 – A Life in Hampshire’ project led by the Hampshire Cultural Trust. The project is entirely funded by sponsorship with Festival Place the headline sponsor. Destination Basingstoke will not receive any of the income from the charity auction.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity is the charity partner of the Sitting With Jane event, and is raising £5million towards a unique local cancer treatment centre that will be built in the Basingstoke area.

The success of Ark Cancer Centre Charity’s £5m appeal will ensure a range of support services and complementary therapies are available alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments in a calm and uplifting environment.

The new centre is largely being funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT). It is earmarked for a location in the Basingstoke and Deane area, and if the preferred site near to Junction 7 of the M3 is approved, it will be easily accessible to everyone in the HHFT region.

The charity auction will take place on Friday 15th September – 75% of the proceeds will be received by Ark Cancer Centre Charity and 25% will be received by Wild in Art.

 

 

Wild in Art:

Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events, which connect businesses, artists and communities through the power of creativity and innovation. Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town and São Paulo and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Aardman Animations.

Wild in Art events have:

  • Attracted over 7 million additional visitors to host cities across the UK and worldwide
  • Contributed over £1.2m to local creative communities
  • Enabled over £10m to be raised for charitable causes
  • Engaged over 100,000 young people in creative programmes

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