Monday 29 April 2019

Spending Time with my Girl at Arlington Bluebell Walk, East Sussex

Tween girl in bluebell woods

A couple of years ago we visited Arlington bluebell walk as it a family. It was mid-May and the bluebell season was coming to an end but we loved our visit and I've been meaning to go back ever since. This year I was ahead of the game and we visited on 20th April just as the bluebells were really coming into their own, but there was still evidence of the beautiful white wood anemones. So it made for some interesting pictures with both the white and blue flowers.

Bluebells and wood anemones

This year the bluebell walk and farm trail is open from 11th April to 19th May (10am - 5pm each day). I'd definitely recommend a visit, and it is so much more than just pretty woods with lots of bluebells.  You can choose from five walks of differing lengths, and each has a unique view and some pass through local working farms so you may see horses, cows, sheep and chickens. The walks are really varied with lake views, fields, rivers, woodland and farms.

Bluebells in the wood

Field View

Horse in a field

Cows in a cattle shed

Lake view

Dogs are welcome
Dogs are welcome on the walks and this was a big plus from the point of view of Miss M, that I took with me. She is dog crazy and we got to meet loads on our walk, which made her very happy. It just happened on this day that no-one else felt like going out when I announced where I was going and this meant I got some lovely one on one time with Miss M.

I do think it is really important to have one on one time with each child, and I've written about this before so I really appreciated this opportunity. Sometimes the one on one time is with the aim of talking to them about something specific, others it is because I think they need a bit of a boost as they've seemed down or troubled, or other times, like on this day, it is just a case that circumstances orchestrate it.

Bluebells at eye view

Bluebells in the woods

An opportunity to talk
It was very useful when we were sat together having our pic-nic, that Miss M started to point out women with different body shapes, making comments like 'look mum, she's quite big, but looks really good in her shorts', as it opened up a whole conversation about body shape, body image and being glad that we are all different. We talked about self-acceptance, how your body shape changes as a girl goes through puberty, and trying to shake off what others may think of us. It was a great conversation and I was so glad we had it, especially when it was just natural with her starting it off.

Mother and tween daughter

Petting Farm 
Like with most great opportunities to talk, it was over as quick as it started and Miss M was keen to go and see the animals at the start of the walk. There is an open barn with farm animals, including babies that you can pet and she loved spending time with the farm animals.
Petting farm animals

Bluebell Barn Cafe, run by local charities
The bluebell walk and farm trail is accessed via Bates Green Farm, where you'll find the petting animals, a second hand book shop, plant stall, various charity stalls and the large bluebell barn cafe. The cafe has seating inside and out, and is run by local charities. Across the opening period there are different charities who take responsibility for specific days and they run the entry booth and cafe. On the day we went it was the JPK Project running it and their homemade cakes and scones were delicious. Miss M had a brownie that was just £1 and I had a cheese cone with butter for £1.80. My can of Diet Coke was £1.50 and there was plenty of free tap water to help yourself to.

We had a picnic so we just had a cake to finish our lunch off, but if you wanted you could have had jacket potatoes, sandwiches, salads, quiche or the special on the day we went was macaroni cheese for £4.50. Generally we found the prices reasonable and the quality really good.

I don't know how the money gets split but it is great to think that some of my entrance fee and the money made in the cafe goes to the charity who has provided the food and manpower that day.

Arlington bluebell barn cafe

Useful Information
Cost:  Adults £6.00, Seniors £5.50 (60 yrs+), Children £2.50 (3-16 yrs), Family £15.00 (2 adults and up to 4 children).
Address: Arlington Bluebell Walk Bates Green Farm Tye Hill Road Arlington, Polegate East Sussex, BN26 6SH
Telephone: 01323 485151
Location: The site is easy to find by road as it is off the A22, just follow the brown tourism signs Parking: There is loads of free parking in the field opposite and also a pic-nic area
Public Transport: It would be quite difficult to access the site by public transport as no buses run there
Access:  There are loads of mobility scooters and wheelchairs you can borrow free of charge on-site and one of the walks is fully accessible.

Why not pin this post for later?

Bluebell walk pin

I'm linking this post up with Louise for Country Kids.

Country Kids linky

Disclosure:  None necessary as we paid for everything ourselves. I have not been instrcuetd what to write and I remain honest. 
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