Last weekend, I wanted to do something a little different and I chose to go back to a place that I used to adore as a kid, a place I haven’t been to in years. I decided to go back to Aldenham Country Park in Hertfordshire. When I was there, I posted the obligatory tweet, to which I got a lot of response from people who also had visited Aldenham in their childhood, so it obvious that my fond memories of the park were also shared by lots of other people, so I thought I would let you all reminisce, or discover a new weekend activity for those who have never even heard of Aldenham!
Aldenham Country Park, close to Elstree and amazingly only 12 miles from Central London, is a not-for-profit farming, food, and education enterprise with plenty on offer for all the family. They have a onsite farm, nature reserve, vast woodlands, and a beautiful reservoir, all enriched with a long and intriguing history. They have many activities on offer which are perfect for little ones including; a a petting zoo, farmer experiences, pony rides and crafting events. They even offer Glamping and can host a variety of parties and events. However, the highlight of the park, and I think those that have been can also agree, is the 100 Aker Woods attraction! You can actually go exploring and visit Winnie the Pooh and the rest of the Disney gang! As a kid, I have such fond memories running around the fields, knocking on Piglets’s, Rabbit’s, and Christopher Robin’s doors. Be sure to stay tuned for more on this star attraction!
When we went last weekend, it was absolutely freezing but was beautifully bright and sunny, which personally is my favourite kind of weather. As we pulled into the car park I generally felt really excited, just like I was a kid again! This time though I wasn’t dragging my parents by the arm to go and see Pooh bear, I was cool, calm and collected!
The trail to the 100 Aker Woods was the muddiest trail ever! I honestly nearly sunk into the ground it was that bad, but hey we were in the countryside in the middle of Winter after all! It was also a really narrow lane, which I cannot remember as kid at all, so it was a bit of a squeeze when people were coming from the opposite direction. The excitement built regardless, with little sign posts along the way pin pointing that we were approaching the 100 Aker woods, which looked as if they were written by Pooh himself. When we got to the end of the trial, it was all exactly how I remembered it! There was a little map at the bottom of the field, indicating where all the various houses were, starting with Christopher Robin’s.
All the houses are within the trees and scattered around the field, all complete with the finest details, such as ‘gone away, be back soon’ signs hanging on the doors. As a kid, I never understood why none of them were never in, and I hoped that just once I would knock and someone would answer. It was all just so magical and I’ll be honest, the magic was still there all this time later. Most of the houses looked exactly how I remembered them, whereas some like Pooh’s and Owl’s houses had had a little revamp. You can now see Owl sitting in the tree, and you could also look into Pooh’s house and see him eating a bowl of honey.
There are various activities that kids can participate in, such as playing in Roo’s sandpit, although when we went it looked more like a pond, so probably best to wait for summer on that one! My favourite thing to do is to play Pooh Sticks on the Pooh Stick’s bridge. I mean it would be rude not to have a quick game! Aldenham now holds events throughout the year where kids can meet Pooh himself, which I think would have made my day when I was little!
Once I had finished being a kid for the day, we decided to say goodbye to Pooh and the 100 Aker woods and explore everything else Aldenham had to offer.We had a walk around the reservoir which was gorgeous. The sun was in our faces and it generally felt like Summer, or Spring at the very least! The playground looked exactly the same and was as busy as ever, and the little shop was still thriving, surprisingly selling lots of ice creams despite the weather!
Another fond memory of visiting Aldenham was going to the farm. The farm is only small but has all your usual suspects including Pigs and Chickens.
The farm used to be free, but now they charge a entry small fee which was £5 per adult with various family tickets also available. The fee is completely understandable as it contributes to the upkeep of the farm, but we sadly didn’t get to go into the farm as we had booked to go for lunch and we wouldn’t have been able to take our time and really look around.
The car park was around £4.50 which compared to other parks is quite pricey, but you can really notice where the money goes, the upkeep of the park is maintained throughout, and with so much on offer, it really is a small expense for the day. I can’t recommend Aldenham Country Park enough, it’s the perfect family day out, little ones will love it! Or, if like me you’re well into your adult years, it a great place to come and feel like a kid again, or simply to chill and take in the stunning scenery. Have you ever been to Aldenham? What did you make of what the park has to offer? Let me know in the comments! To find out more about Aldenham, be sure to check out their website for opening times and events here.