Living in England you have to make the most of whatever the weather throws at you don’t you! We’d planned a few days out during the last half term and it meant that we would be going to the Hill End Centre in the rain. We were prepared with wellies and waterproofs and even a picnic lunch. We were going to have some outdoors fun no matter what.
It costs £3 per child over 6 months to enjoy the fun outdoors of the Hill End Centre, which is set in 62 acres in the Oxfordshire countryside. As soon as Monkey heard the words Mud Kitchen, there was no doubt about where we would be heading!
We’d gone with a friend with two younger children. Master O would be making mud pies and then be off to the sand pit and back again. But Monkey was determined. Mud, muck and mess were the order of the day at Hill End Centre in the rain!
When we finally managed Monkey to leave his cooking, we decided to explore a little more of the centre. There are some lovely little ‘hobbit’ style houses, but sadly these were locked on our visit but apparently they are open in the summer.
We practiced our reading as we walked up towards to the top fields.
The rain would come and go and I can only imagine how the view would look on a lovely sunny day!
As we headed up the hill Monkey spotted something in the distance. Mummy I can see mushrooms – really big mushrooms! I think they might be toadstools Monkey, a fairy’s toadstool ring maybe?
That was that and Monkey was off to investigate. He really loved the ring of toadstools. He went round and round counting them. Running in between them and trying to leapfrog them! We found a broken toadstool, he lifted up and look what we found underneath – a mini beast!
We headed back down the hill in search of some nature treasure, enjoying Hill End Centre in the rain and trying to decide where to have our lunch.
There are some picnic benches at Hill End but nothing really under cover. Uum, what to do? While we waited and hoped the rain would stop there was time for some music fun in the outdoor music room.
There were all sorts of things to make music with and on. The funniest moment was when Monkey and Master O decided to send apples shooting down the music pipes. Someone was at the top bombarding the person at the bottom with fruit. The kids loved it.
The weather was easing off a bit and my friend suggested a willow house that might provide some cover. We made our way to it, sat on some wooden sleepers and had our picnic. The rain held off enough for us not to have soggy sandwiches!
Then it was back to some serious mud pie making before the centre closed. We were the first group to arrive and the last to leave. A member of staff came out and gave the children a badge each, as he was so impressed that they had stuck to it all day, no matter what the weather did. Hill End Centre in the rain was great fun and I’m sure we’ll be back again, hopefully in better weather next time!