We have had a very lazy Easter holiday.
As we have only managed a couple of trips to parks and spent more time indoors than I would ideally like us to I determined that on Wednesday we would go out . I did very little research on line but decided that as Christchurch is only 40ish minutes away by rail and we've never been that is where we would go.
I vaguely remembered reading something last year (when looking for things to do during the summer holiday) that they have a splash park and I thought, among other things, we could check that out with a view to making it a family day out destination for this summer holiday, ever the optimist weather wise you see!
I roused the children from their beds a bit earlier than they are used to during school holidays, smiles from one and scowls from another, I'll let you decide which, and away we went.
'What's there?', I was asked during our train journey. 'The ruins of castle, maybe it'll be a good place for hide and seek like Netley Abbey,' I replied, knowing how much they enjoy our visits there full of picnics and games.
The picture below shows the extent of the ruins, it's just one tower on top of a huge mound!
'I thought you would have checked it out on the internet first mum, you usually do when we go out,' was T's comment.
Standing at the top this is the view to one side, a hotchpotch of houses
and this is the view on the opposite side, Christchurch Priory.
I found the information board very interesting, but I was the only one. The children had scurried down again once they realised hide and seek wasn't likely!
As well as the castle ruins there is the remains of the chamber block, both are owned by English Heritage.
On the green between the castle and the chamber block sits a bowling pavilion. There is a paving slab by the entrance to the green which reads Kings Hotel Tea Garden. The Kings Hotel is opposite the green and for me it conjured up visions of ladies dressed in their finery taking afternoon tea whilst sitting prettily under parasols, or have I just been watching too many period dramas?!
We followed the river side walk
round to where the splash park and playground are situated, passing swans and a floating blue plastic hippo as you do and decided that yes we would be like to return here in the summer with picnic and swimmers packed.
As always there we other little things I noticed along our way which I couldn't resist snapping.
Standing on a corner not far from the station was a pub and I really liked two of its windows. First off is how they used the ghost for 'spirits'
and secondly this one with its patchwork of glass squares.
Another reason for a return visit would be some of the shops. I did have a quick look around the charity shops, they didn't have an awful lot in them so I'm not sure I would bother next time. There are quite a few shops I would like to pop into though, the window displays of home wares and clothing were very enticing but the only one I did venture into this time was Lavender and Bay, lured down the side street it is in when I spied this hand painted CK motif on the advertising board outside.
And I'm glad I did as the lady in the shop was so friendly and told me about the ferry service which runs to a local beach in the summer, another possibility for a day out.
Finally a pretty bike complete with lush greenery outside another shop.
Whilst out T asked if we could buy a new toy for the cats so we bought a little orange furry mouse complete with a bell attached to a piece of elastic.
Well Malcolm has been mad for it. He has never really shown much interest in the other toys we have had for them. My handbag was sat on the floor with this just visible and he managed to knock it out of my bag and as soon as it was taken out of it's packaging he had leapt on it gripping it tightly in his front paws and pedalling away on it with his back paws. It doesn't contain catnip, but he is in love with it nonetheless. I'm sure Malcolm was just as pleased as I was that we went to Christchurch for the day.