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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Review 2017: Little Play Town

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Writer who wrote this review!!

Review 2017: Little Play Town

I was really excited when I saw that Little Play Town was opening in Odiham. We’ve been to Little Street in Frimley before and really enjoyed it. Little Play Town looked similar, focusing on role play with the play space divided into different themes, but it is much closer to us in Basingstoke – bonus! It opened early October and I visited with my 2 year old a few weeks later. We had a brilliant time!! There were serious tears from my little one when it was time to leave. We can’t wait to go again.

The play space is quite large and includes a building site, hairdressers, vets, firestation, race track, café, play kitchen and more. The space is immaculate and the toys are really high quality. As my friend said to me ‘the toys are the ones I would buy for my child if I had an unlimited budget’. It feels like a high quality, clean, safe place for little people to play. My son enjoyed exploring each play area and an hour and half seemed about the right amount of time for him to play with everything without getting bored.

Tips

Little Play Town run 4 x 1.5 hour sessions throughout the day 7 days a week so you book online (or just turn up and hope there’s space) for the session that you want to go to. At the end of the session everyone leaves giving the staff time to tidy everything up and get it ready for the next group. This means that at the start of each session everything is tidy and in the right place.

I wasn’t sure what age it would be appropriate for but I think I will take my 5 year old next time. I’m pretty sure he’d still really enjoy it. I would guess up to around age 7 would be ok.

There are no shoes allowed inside and adults and children all need to wear socks.

Little Play Town is upstairs and there’s no lift. You can store a pushchair upstairs but you’d need to be able to collapse it and carry it up.

Food

There’s a small café with a soft play space for pre-walkers. The café has good quality drinks and snacks, including some child-friendly healthier options. The café is next to the play space but you can’t see all of it from the café so with younger children you wouldn’t be able to sit in the café whilst they played.

Baby facilities

There are two toilets and a baby change area that is large and clean.

Parking

There are two pay and display carparks in Odiham that are within easy walking distance. Spaces on the street are free for 2 hours so if you can get one these are ideal. We went for the 9:30 session and on-street parking was easy. I can imagine it might be harder later on in the day or at the weekend.

It took me a while to find exactly where it is. The entrance is on the side of the building down the small driveway that goes down the side of the Bel and Dragon from the high street.

Prices

£5.95 for 1 child aged 1-7 years with one adult. £3.50 for an extra adult. £1 for a child under 1 year. If you only have a child under 1 you’d need to pay £1 for them and £3.50 for you.

Other info

Little Play Town also do children’s parties and are starting a children’s yoga class. More details on their webpage (www.littleplaytown.co.uk.

Rating

5 out of 5 – we loved it!!

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Review 2017: Beale Park

Thank you to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post.

Review 2017: Beale Park

Like many other afflicted parents, I have a boy addicted to trains. I made the mistake of promising a train ride all week, and today I had to deliver. Fortunately I live in an area where there are quite a few options that aren’t solely about trains, and today was Beale Park – a stunning wildlife park and gardens with a fantastic selection of children’s play areas. Perfect!

Beale Park website

Beale Park Facebook Page

About

Beale Park is a wildlife park and gardens about 30-40 minutes away from Basingstoke, between Lower Basildon and Pangbourne, by the River Thames. There are three main features to the park:

Wildlife:
The park has a collection of small exotic animals, farm animals and birds, including meerkats, wallabies, coatis, owls and peacocks to name but a few. The train passes many of these areas, which can be very useful for tired little feet, although the paths are pushchair friendly. There is also a deer park set in a large open space with picnic area and zip wire. We haven’t been that far yet though.

Attractions:
The park’s miniature train runs every day during their open season and your first ride is included with your entry ticket. There is an additional charge for further rides. There is an amazing Little Tikes Outdoor Village, indoor play area, adventure playground, paddling pool, sandpit, Roplay area and aerial cableway. To be honest, there is so much at the central play area alone, we could spend the whole day there and our boys would be happy (with a train ride of course).

Gardens:
We have so far managed to convince our boys that the way to the main play area is through the Jubilee Water Gardens. That’s not strictly true but the gardens are so stunning we don’t see the harm in being a little sneaky in order to enjoy the amazing walk. With a beautiful oriental feel, I can’t imagine leaving them feeling anything other than relaxed. There is also a ‘Dry Garden’ running alongside the inner lake making it a wonderful feature.

Conservation

Not only is Beale Park an amazing day out for all, it is committed to conservation of rare and endangered species, managing several projects and supporting others. Always a bonus having a great day out and knowing you are contributing to a wonderful cause.

Food

The Peacock restaurant offers a good range of hot and cold food and drinks. I was also surprised and impressed to see on our way out a table offering fresh milk for tea/coffee etc, including soya milk. I don’t know if they cater for special diets, but I will definitely be checking next time!

Tips

Don’t forget your swimming costumes and towels if you’re intending on using the paddling pool

We found it useful to eat early as the restaurant got very busy

It’s also worth keeping an eye out on their website or Facebook page for events

Facilities

There are two toilet blocks with baby change facilities in the park.

The routes around the park are pram and wheelchair friendly.

Parking

There is a large car park to the front of the park with no charge for parking.

Prices

Prices for low and high season can be found on the park’s website: Beale Park admissions

Children under two years old go free

Rating out of 5

Has to be 5/5, there is just so much to do and see

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Review 2017: Thatcham Discovery Centre

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Writer who wrote today’s Review!!!

About

Thatcham Discovery Centre sits within a reserve that has a range of different habitats including a lake, meadow and woodland areas and is adjacent to Thatcham Reedbeds. It also includes adventure playgrounds, cafe, shop and visitor centre with interactive wildlife and natural history displays encouraging visitors to find out about the local wildlife.
Around the reserve are a network of footpaths, ranging from small family-friendly walks to longer walks. A map of the reserve can be found here.

 

The Nature Discovery Centre offers a wide ranging and varied programme of events   throughout the year including hands-on wildlife activities, craft workshops, walks and talks.

You can find out more about the centre on the Thatcham Discovery Centre facebook page.

We had been told about Thatcham Discovery Centre before and so were quite keen to visit. The first thing we saw when we arrived was the adventure playground, which our toddlers loved! It is supposed to be for 8 years plus so they recommend younger children play in the other playground at busier times. Fortunately it was quite quiet so the boys had a really good run around whilst being nicely shaded from the sun on a very hot day! We did visit the other playground, aimed at 3-8 year olds, which was a good size but not shaded so we didn’t stay too long this time.

The centre itself covers a small area over two floors offering interactive displays including jigsaws, soft toys and brass rubbings. The area upstairs has a lovely view over the lake. There is a small shop selling a variety of books, toys and sundries.

In the centre there is also a cafe which opens up onto the lakeside, with tables overlooking the area. There was a limited menu when we were there, and a note apologising for the minimal food that day, but there was still a good amount available and the cake was amazing!

We didn’t go on any of the walks as it was too hot to be dragging toddlers around, but we will definitely be doing so next time. I am also keen to try out some of the events, especially the Bird of Prey event which looked very interesting.

All in all it was a great visit with lots still left to explore, especially with the events programme. Whilst the centre is quite small, it is free and offers a lot of information. The view at the lakeside is amazing, I could have sat there for ages. It is a great place for children to burn some energy, learn about nature, as well as being an enjoyable experience for adults.

Tips and Notices

The older adventure playground is a great place to go when it’s too hot to be out in the sun as it’s shaded by trees.

Dogs are allowed but not in the water and under close control.

No picnics inside during busy periods.

Centre Opening hours (including shop and cafe)

Summer (April-October): Open 7 days a week, including bank holidays. 10:30am-5pm
Winter (November-March): Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-4pm. Closed Mondays

Silent Space at the Nature Discovery Centre

8am-10am every Saturday and Sunday.

The Silent Space is a secluded meadow area that offers a wonderful spot for quiet contemplation – an opportunity to relax and enjoy this peaceful area within the busy reserve. Find out more here

Facilities

  • Lakeside Café serving homemade hot and cold food
  • Gift shop
  • Toilets, disabled toilet and baby changing facilities
  • Picnic facilities
  • Adventure Playgrounds
  • Bird hide overlooking Thatcham Reedbeds Nature Reserve
  • Signposted walk routes and seasonal trails
    Thatcham Community Orchard

Prices

Admission is free, donations welcome

Charges apply for special events (please see the What’s On web page for more information)

Parking

Car park is open from 8am every day with closing subject to seasonal changes.

Cost is £3 donation

Rating

5 out of 5

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Review 2017: Little Street – a unique play opportunity for little people

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post and to Little Street for inviting us along to their re-launch event!

https://www.little-street.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/littlestreet.co.uk/

About

Little Street in Frimley is a role play centre for young children. It is a miniature version of a town, giving little ones the perfect opportunity to try out lots of different experience and careers!

Open 7 days a week, Little Street offer four 90 minute play sessions a day for little people to explore their little world. Pre-booking is recommended as numbers are limited to ensure the best experience for everyone attending. Little Street is suitable for children up to 7 and even has a play pen for young babies as well as bumbo seats available for use.

My daughter (19 months) and I were lucky enough to attend the re-launch event after a recent refurbishment which has made way for a brand new vets and an air ambulance. As well as the new areas children can take a visit to Chicco’s cafe or Belle & Beau Beauty Salon. They can do their weekly shop at the (very well stocked!) supermarket.

There is also a construction site, complete with rocks, bricks and diggers and the Starlets Theatre, which has an Ice Cream stall, stage, musical instruments and many fancy dress costumes. In addition to this there are a variety of ride on toys which can be driven around the road. The attention to detail in each room is amazing, with appropriate wall stickers and fantastic props including animals in the vets, make up and hair products in the salon and many familiar items in the supermarket!

My daughter was a big fan of the new air ambulance and was fascinated by the rotors on top. She also loved the supermarket and kept taking any trolleys that she’d found outside the shop back to it!

The staff at Little Street were very welcoming and did a fantastic job of keeping the place tidy (and as much as possible items in the right rooms!) without disrupting the children’s play. It is very clean and everything is in great condition, you can tell it is very well looked after.

Food

The venue has a small café where you can purchase hot or cold drinks, cakes and healthy snacks.

Parking

There is some parking on site at the station for a small charge, or there is a car park a short walk away where you can park for free for 2 hours – ideal as the sessions you can book are 90 minutes.

Tips

Remember you and your little one will need to wear socks. Don’t worry if you forget as they do have some you can purchase when you get there!

It also has a handy buggy park – if you ask at reception they can give you a lock to secure your buggy in the shelter outside.

Rating out of 5

After wanting to visit Little Street for ages, we were so pleased that it lived up to and exceeded our expectations and we will certainly be going back in the future! It gets a fantastic 5 out of 5 from us!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Little Street. The NHM Secret Reviewers experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. She was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Review 2016: The Science Museum

Thank you very much to one of the NHM Secret Reviewers for this review of the Science Museum!

About

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I loved the science museum as a child and was very excited to take Small J and his Cousin (both 2) there for the day along with Nanny J.

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The museum is free to attend although they welcome donations and some attractions occur an additional cost but you can have a full day without the extras. You can visit 7 day a week between 10:00-18:00.

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http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk

We had a fantastic day, my hightlight was seeing the piece of the moon! The boys loved the garden, a sensory area in the basement for little ones including puppets, interactive lights and sounds, a construction site complete with pully system and their favourite a cascade of water with all kinds of obstacles they could put in its way.

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They floated boats down it, created dams and worked locks, squirted the boats (and us) and enjoyed every moment. (The museum even provide waterproof aprons for them). Other favourites inclused the top foor which was full of helicopters and airplanes and the agricultural area with lots of tractors and machinery.

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Food

We had a picnic with us and in the basement there is a large area with low steps for you to sit and eat, there was a few school groups but plenty of room for everyone. The museum also has plenty of cafes and a restaurant and 2 more picnic areas.

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Facilities and baby changing

The museum has plenty of baby changing facilities (including wheelchair friendly ones) and we found the free buggy park in the basement useful. I fed Small J in the picnic area and there’s plenty of seating around the museum for a rest and a feed. There’s also a cloakroom where Items can be left (including buggys) for a charge.

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Tips

I would recommend a carrier for a baby (or a tired toddler) as due to maintenance and new exhibitions being created not all the lifts stop at all the floors meaning we found ourselves having to walk the length of the museum with the buggy to find a lift stopping at the right floor. Next time I’d leave it in the buggy park and use the stairs.

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The cafe in the basement provide a jug of water so bring bottles for everyone.

Parking

Due to its central London location there is only disabled parking (which is still very limited), so if you drive to the museum be prepared to park quite far away. The area is served very well by public transport, the nearest underground station is South Kensington only a 5 minute walk away and there are plenty of bus stops near by.

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Rating

Overall we had a great day out and would give the Science museum a 5/5

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Review 2016: Danebury Hillfort

Last weekend we went to Danebury Hillfort for a walk and a picnic with friends.

My family used to walk the dogs at Danebury Hillfort when I was growing up, a loooong time ago, but I didn’t remember the site when we got there.

Danebury Hillfort is about 30 minutes drive from Basingstoke, just past Andover.

About

We had a BRILLIANT time exploring Danebury Hillfort.

It looks like there’s not much there but we had a great time with Miss NHM, running up the hill (her, not us!) and walking around the ramparts.

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There’s a lot to see and do:

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Miss NHM had fun exploring the wooden bivouac:

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The views were absolutely spectacular, even on the cloudy day that we visited:

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You can find out more about Danebury at the following link: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/danebury/

Tips

There are Exmoor Ponies roaming around but do not touch or feed them as they are wild ponies.

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Take a picnic blanket as there is only one picnic table (used to be more but they’ve disappeared) so if another family is using the table you will either need to walk to the bench at the top of the hill opposite the car park or sit on the floor.

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If it’s windy, take a kite as it’s a brilliant place to fly kites.

Food

There is no food available so you need to take your own.

Baby Facilities

Most of the paths looked ok for an off-road buggy but it would probably be better to take a sling with your little ones when walking around the ramparts.

Facilities

There are toilets in the car park at the top of the hill.

There are lots of signs up around Danebury Hillfort, explaining the historical significance of the site:

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Parking

When you arrive at Danebury Hillfort, don’t park in the car park at the bottom of the hill. Keep driving up the hill and there is a much larger car park at the top. It also has public toilets.

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Prices

FREE!!!

Even the parking is Free!!!

Rating out of 5

We give Danebury Hillfort 5 out of 5 because we LOVED the place.

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Review 2016: Chineham Splash Park

Thank you very much to one of the NHM Writers, Karen, for this fab review!

Thank you also to Michelle for the pictures!

About

Chineham Splash Park is a new, free water activity open between 10:00 and 19:00 until september. It is situated in Chineham park and also boasts a large field with a half pipe and outdoor trail gym.

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When we attended we arrived before 10:00 and the park was already filling up with excited children and parents with picnic blankets.

Once 10:00 finally came around someone pressed the activation button and it was only moments before all the shrieking children were soaking wet and running around in the water jets.

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Facilities and Food

There has also been a portacabin toilet that was added to the splash park in the past week. However, the park unfortunately lacks any other facilities but the Popley Spotlight centre are happy for people to pop in and use the toilets and they also sell refreshments.  Bare in mind that is a 5 minute walk away so if there’s only one adult in your group you’ll probably end up packing away your things.

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You might want flipflops or sandals for wet children to wear as well as extra towels or clothes to put on over wet swimming costumes for the trips to the toilets. Don’t forget your swimming costumes, towels and swim nappies as well as sun protection.

The area has several picnic benches but they are unshaded in the morning so bring a picnic rug or blanket and head under the trees.

Parking

There are around 20 parking spaces at the park and others in residential streets a bit further away

Tips

Our top tips are to consider bringing the buggy (or a shopping trolley) to load everything in for trips to the toilet, don’t forget your own potty to avoid a few and arrive early before it fills up.

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Older excited children might be a bit daunting for the little ones so bring a towel for yourself so you can encourage them in (and cool off) and a carrier if you have a baby.

If the water isn’t working, don’t leave, the council advise that if its been on constantly for a long time sometimes the reservoir will need 30 minutes to refill.

Rating

We enjoyed the splash park so it scores a 5/5 from the Johnson family.

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Review 2016: Beggarwood

I’ve been driving past Beggarwood for years and meaning to look in and see what is on offer.

Sue and I went (we met through the “NHM shift parents” group) with our two little ones  in November last year and we had a fab time!

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Review 2016: Beggarwood

About

I remember when Beggarwood was waste land. It’s not actually that long ago that the area became a housing estate, maybe 10 years ago?

The park itself is HUGE! There’s an awful lot there to see and do, a lot more than I had realised.

It would be a great place to have a picnic in the summer and take a cricket or rounders set to play with the children.

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There is a bike and scooter area with ramps to ride on.

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The play park is really big and has lots of different equipment which is suitable for children of all ages. 344

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We walked down to the bottom of the park and the children spent AGES in the maze (below).

Sue and I had a lovely chat whilst sat on the bench watching them.

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There are also a couple of areas with fitness equipment in, but I forgot to take pictures of those!

Tips

Park in the Co-op car park. We couldn’t work out if there was anywhere else to park!

Also, there is supposed to be an ampitheatre, but we couldn’t find it! lol.

The paths are suitable for bikes and scooters, but be warned that there are some big hills.

Food

We nipped to the Co-op to buy some snacks whilst we were there.

Baby Facilities

The majority of paths are suitable for pushchairs.

Parking

We parked in the free car park for the Co-op and the nursery.

However, if you know of somewhere better to park, please let me know!

Prices

FREE!

Rating out of 5

We had a lovely couple of hours exploring Beggarwood.

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Review 2016: Whitchurch Silk Mill

The team at Whitchurch Silk Mill very kindly invited me to visit the silk mill to see what was available for families.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I had no idea what the Silk Mill was about.

I went in October last year and would like to apologise to the team for not publishing this post sooner!

About

Whitchurch Silk Mill

Whitchurch Silk Mill is just outside of Whitchurch and about 20 minutes drive from Basingstoke.

It is the oldest silk mill in the UK still in its original building. I had no idea how historic the Silk Mill building was, it’s over 200 years old!

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Seeing the silk looms and how they were set up was really good because it gave you a sense of what it must have been like to work with the looms.

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I also learnt that silk from the mill has helped to create clothes for some major films, like Back to the Future III and the BBC’s “Tess of the D’Ubervilles!

Carpenters workshop

First I had a look round the Carpenters workshop which was great because there were a couple of exhibits on hand for children to play with, one called “ring my bell engineering” where you had to put the gears and bell together.

If I show that to Miss NHM and Mr NHM (he’s an engineer) I may never get them out of the workshop! lol.

There was also a video which you could choose to play which explained more about the carpenters workshop and had subtitles available if needed.

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Outside the Mill

The site on which the Silk Mill rests is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are very well looked after and it’s a wonderful place to wander round.

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It’s the perfect place for a picnic, as long as you keep an eye on your toddlers near the edge of the water ;-). (You can avoid the water if you need too, the river is only to one side of the site).

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I saw a Heron on the river whilst I was here (It’s at the end of the river in the picture above!)

Outside the Mill there are lovely big wooden tables and chairs that you can use if you don’t want to sit on the ground.

It was very peaceful being next to the river as it’s a very quiet area.

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There are lots of duck on the river at the front of the mill and lots of fish in the river.

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Silk Mill Process

I had no idea how fascinating the process was. I was given a tour of the mill by Lisa, one of the team at the Silk Mill and she was absolutely lovely and very knowledgeable.

(You don’t need to have a tour as there is enough information throughout the mill which explains the process but it was nice to have special treatment :-D.)

We started on the warping and winding floor which is the start of the process. Lisa showed me how it all worked and I learnt that silk comes from silk worms in China.

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The silk has to be swiftly wound onto the bobbins. The picture below shows some of the boxes of bobbins that were available that day.

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The oldest hand loom is from the 1830’s.

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Reed – someone has to pull through the reeds individually, up too 500!!

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Warping mill (d)

Some more things I learnt:

  • Creel – each bobbin has to go in the order of the pattern.
  • Warp thread – length ways thread
  • Warping mill – covered in thread
  • Beamed off onto a beana in the right orde

Activities for Children

I completely forgot to take a picture of the cute silk moth toys that are set up throughout the mill as a trail that you can follow them around the mill as they explain the process. I thought this was a really cute idea!

We also spent some time in the cafe and I was so impressed to see how much effort the team had made to keep children busy/occupied/out of trouble!

There was a whole area dedicated to children with bean bags, tables, paper, colouring pens and more.

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It’s obvious that the team at Whitchurch Silk Mill believe in the importance of children learning about the mill and it’s history in a fun environment.

New “app”

The Mill have an app – you’ll find it in your app store, it is free to download. Just search for Whitchurch Silk Mill.

This was put together by the EDGE Project supported by the Heritage Lottery. You can download it at home or using the Mill’s free wifi.

Tips

No flash photography, for obvious reasons.

They have a lovely shop which is stocked with lots of lovely gifts, so would be perfect to buy that unique gift for a special person.

The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holidays from 10.30am to 5pm.

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There are activity packs that you can borrow from the shop, the silk worm packs, which have activities for you to do with your children as you walk through the mill.

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Each bag has a board to follow around the mill which have lots of different activities to help keep your children busy!

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Sign up to their facebook page so you can find out about the different types of activities which are available.

They have a very active community at the mill and there are all sorts of events taking place with lots of events being suitable for children.

Food

There is a cafe (upstairs) and it’s really large for the size of the site and is big enough for school groups.

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They have lovely home made cakes, lots of different types of drinks and even a book library!

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I was also really impressed to see that sandwiches are made to order on site and the team make a concerted effort to use local products as much as possible, e.g. Jude’s ice cream…YUM!

Facilities

There is a stair lift for those in wheelchairs which has instructions on how to use.

Group tours are available but need to be booked in advance.

There is also an Exhibition space and demo’s from experts of all types use this space.

There are also workshops available if you would like to learn more about weaving at the Mill.

Baby Facilities

The actual mill isn’t very practical for pushchairs, so take your little one in a sling, or carry them around. However, you can park your pushchair at the entrance to the mill under the main stairs if you need to take your pushchair with you. This is a covered area so your pushchair won’t get wet.

There are baby changing facilities in the toilets in the shop.

High chairs are also available in the cafe.

Parking

There is disabled parking right outside the entrance to the mill.

Regular parking is across the little river in the Library car park and is free.

I need to warn you that it isn’t the “best” of car parks and can very full quite quickly, however, there are free car parks in the town which are just a few minutes walk away.

At busy times staff are on hand to help out with parking.

Prices

Adults: £4.50

Children: £2.50

Family tickets are available, for 2 adults and 3 children: £10

The cafe is free to use and so are the grounds.

The Mill is open throughout the year and opening times are Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm. They are closed on Mondays (except Bank Holidays)

Rating out of 5

It was fascinating to walk around and understand how the textile industry used to work.

I had no idea that we had such a historic site that was still in use, so close to my home!

I had a very interesting couple of hours looking round and seeing all that was available.

It’s obvious that the silk mill is a hub for the local community as there are so many local events that take place on the site. I know they also have a lot of brownie, scout and guide groups who visit and I can imagine that the home-schooling community would love the place!

I was also impressed with the amount of technology on site, including the TV screens that you could use to investigate more about the different processes.

What really impressed me the most about the Silk Mill was the little details. There has clearly been a LOT of thought that has gone into keeping children and their parents engaged whilst educating them at the same time.

I actually can’t wait to take Mr NHM and Miss NHM along to see the mill as I think they will both really enjoy it.

I know I did! :-D.

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Whitchurch Silk Mill. My tour of the site was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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