When you have two children under two you’d think that finding different places to spend the day would be easy (oh how I was wrong) but without venturing up to the big smoke things can be really tricky. Also for my own sanity if I have to keep visiting the local park anymore than twice a week I think I’ll end up having some kind of mental breakdown. There are only so many times you can make small chat with fellow mums and take boomerang videos (you know the ones plastered all over everyone’s Instagram of your toddler going down the slide. We all do it, you know it, I know it. I’m guilty).
As a rule I’m not a very tolerable person. If employees are rude i’m not likely to rush back to spend my pennies (mamas on a budget of course!). I live in Kent (broken applause) and sometimes I forget what a beautiful area it is. So with the kids Nan and I took them to visit the Riverhall Himalayan Gardens which is located in Sevonoaks. I usually reserve judgement of new places but blow me down I actually had a laugh. And we only had 1 tantrum from Delilah (small victories count when you have a drama lama for a daughter).
We ventured around the den building area where Delilah explored and created her own little space whilst Nan and I enjoyed a nice walk pushing Indie in the buggy, up by the bluebells it was very hilly and bumpy so make sure you have your mountain style buggies with you. (I admit I forgot my bungee cords and campfire building set but luckily all it took was some sturdy pairs of wheels.) It was so lovely to get Indie out and let him enjoy the fresh air and it allowed Delilah to burn off that forever lasting energy (where the hell does it come from?!). Also if you keep your eyes peeled in the summer holidays and weekends (around 2-4pm) you might even spot the Yeti! Let’s all be honest though, that poor bloke or woman cavorting around in that costume just after midday is definitely not being paid enough. We salute you Yeti-thing.
The adventure playground was in another league in comparison to the local swings and to see Delilah’s little face light up in excitement was unreal. Even I got a little bit excited seeing some of it, and I’m not ashamed to admit how many kids I ran past aiming for the HUGE slide myself. We felt safe for Delilah to run free in the play area and just go crazy! There was also plenty of benches for you to have a pit stop and scroll through Instagram and pretend that you aren’t completely counting down the very last minutes until bed time so you can catch up on Hollyoaks. JUDGE ME SEE IF I GIVE A FFFFF.
We took a stop around the Himalayan hedge maze (mainly for me and my obsession of mazes). I was hoping to “accidentally” lose the kids in the maze just for like, a minute, to get a break. No chance. Delilah was this crazy ninja blur, only occasionally stopping to scream “MUM” in my face before tearing off down some other twists and turns. One can dream. (disclaimer I love my children, i’m just honest).
Entry was really affordable at £8.25 for an adult ticket and under fours free (loud applause) it was a bargain! They also offer season tickets which I recommend if you loved it as much as we did. Dogs are welcome also and I recommend wearing sensible shoes but if you forget they have a delightful selection of wellies that other people have worn you can borrow for free. I’m now lost in my own mind imagining an entire family inside the ticket area going “OH NO. OUR SHOES! WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THEM!”, laughing at each other’s socks. That’s when the wellies are produced and we all get the same sinking feeling whenever we visited a bowling alley as youngsters. Errrrrm….no thanks. I’ll go barefoot. Be one with nature and all that.
At the moment they are running a bluebell walk which is absolutely stunning. Bluebells are really special to me because I used to go for walks with my granddad behind their house and pick bunches of them and bring them home for my Nan. Since he died I’ve always felt a special connection to them and it reminds me of a happy memory. We met up with photographer and good pal Emily Brown took who some snaps of me and the kids. It created a beautiful backdrop for the pictures which went STRAIGHT on my Instagram (thank you!). Emily took my lovely maternity shot and was and still is fabulous to work with. She is so good at getting the children to engage with her and enjoy it as well, nothings a chore for her not even a stroppy Delilah! I truly recommend her for nice natural photos especially if you are like me and dislike the whole cringe matching denim tops posed family portraits. She actually takes a decent picture of you and your little monsters looking, well, not like monsters.
By the end of shoot the kids had had enough and weren’t playing ball because lunch time was approaching. Delilah was rubbing her belly yelling “I HUNGRY MUMMA!”. She is indeed her mother’s daughter. We took a break in the Riverhall Cafe where mine and Nan’s eyes lit up once we saw the selection of home made cakes and scones. My diet briefly went out the door at this point and we snacked on cake and coffee whilst the kids munched down. Silence lasted an entire ten minutes and it was GOLDEN. But if you want to bring your own picnic spread there are tons of picnic benches and good spots to bring a blanket with you.
They also provided free water for everyone (including dogs!) and next to the cafe they had a wendy house with activities and toys for kids which was so ideal. They had a little shop as well of really cool little things where I had to physically restrain myself from grabbing armloads of cutesy shop-junk and haul it over to the till.
Overall, 10/10 day. Spot on. What matters really is my kids had fun, and I had fun. Sometimes you forget as a parent what it means to “have fun”. You have to sit back, take the piss a bit and enjoy the little things. Like stank wellies, and beautiful bluebells.
Love Sophie, Delilah and Indiana x
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Edited by Ellie Jones- contact us for any editing needs.
This post is for Riverhall Himalayan Gardens and Emily Brown photography and the opinions in the post are all of my own.