We were meeting up with Monkey’s godmum and her daughter at the beginning of the month and we try to find somewhere new to explore each time we get together. They live in Wiltshire, so we’re always on the lookout for somewhere that’s easy for both of us to reach. She suggested the Nature Discovery Centre at Thatcham and so off we set on a wonderfully sunny November morning.
I had got a bit confused because I thought there was a RSPB Nature Reserve at Thatcham, but apparently they are one and the same thing. It’s now run by Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust and I can thoroughly recommend it.
Firstly, parking is free which is always a great start as far as I’m concerned. We donned our wellies and walked to the visitor centre. Godmum and I always need a cuppa and a quick catch up before we set off on an exploration! The kids couldn’t wait to see what lay beyond the windows.
It was such a glorious sunny November morning that we sat outside on a picnic bench to enjoy a drink and a snack whilst looking out over the lake.
The children were fascinated by all the waterfowl. Ducks, swans, geese and seagulls were aplenty.
We noticed that there were a few different walks, all more than manageable for a 5 and 8-year-old. We decided to try the longest walk, the Open Water and Wetlands Trail – a 3km walk that would take us around the reserve and along the Kennet and Avon canal.
We were off. Sadly GodMum V’s inbuilt Sat Nav is as bad as mine, so we took a slight detour, but who cares! It was just lovely to be outside in the sunshine in November!!!
There had been a Halloween trail up during the week and Monkey and Miss M were busy finding the remnants as we walked.
The view over the water was lovely and we got to see some beautiful birds.
Monkey spotted some swans and we kept on walking.
The children would run ahead and we’d catch them up. I have to confess to getting a little panicky with Monkey near water, but I tried to let him have the freedom to explore.
The trail is an easy walk and we could sit and watch the world go by or stroll along at our own pace. It was so tranquil, a really lovely way to spend a day.
Monkey was in his element, water, nature, bridges and the prospect on a canal.
I liked the different aspects to this particular trails, lots to keep us interested as we moved to the edge of the reserve and wandered along the tow path of the Kennet and Avon canal.
We came up to a set of locks and watched as two narrow boats navigated through them. Monkey loves canal boats and is always fascinated when we see them on our trips out and about. Time to take a break and enjoy the action.
Mummy I’m hungry! Ok, let’s head back to the visitor centre and grab a bite to eat. He was off!
Over our lunch we discussed the various birds we’d seen on our walk. I wished I brought my bird book with me, but most we had an idea of what they were.
Here are some of the beauties we saw on and around the water.
After lunch the children explored the activities inside the visitor centre before heading outside to the wooden play areas. There are two for different age groups and the kids had great fun. I took a moment out to have a cuppa and look who came to visit!
We had a wonderful time at the Nature Discovery Centre at Thatcham, we will most definitely be back!