Monday, 14 December 2009

Millets Farm, Frilford, Oxfordshire

Approx time: 20mins +
Paths: gravel, mud, footpaths
Points of interest: open areas, animals, PYO
Amenities: parking, toilets, cafe, farm shop, garden centre
Grading: any pushchair (but could be bumpy with a stroller)
Weather: Good for all seasons

Millets was once a small farm but has now gone more commercial with a large garden centre, shop, restaurant, cafe and craft shop.
Millets Farm centre has free entry. There is a small “farm yard” with pigs, goats, pony, cows, sheep, alpacas, ducks etc. does vary sometimes with more or less animals. Next to the farm animals is a good size children play area.
It won’t take you long to look round the animals but if you want to stay a few hours (and spend money) you could go round the garden centre or farm shop and have something to eat in the cafe.
In the summer you can do some PYO, great fun for all children.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Oxford University Parks (Oxford)

Approx time: 45 mins +
Paths: gravel
Points of interest: open areas, picnics, river, ducks, pond
Amenities: very limited parking within Oxford City Centre, toilet within park, cafes and shops about 20mins walk
Grading: any pushchair (but could be bumpy with a stroller)
Weather: big puddles after heavy rainfall and flooding. Good for all seasons.
Warning: open water along some of the route

A map of the park can be found at

We usually enter the park opposite Keble Road. There are a number of entrances from all corners of the park. There is a circular route round the park which you can follow so no explanation needed. Lots of large open spaces so worth taking a ball to kick around in the summer or other outdoor games. Collecting conkers and leaves in the autumn. Snowball fights in the winter! Any budding botanist will like picking out trees and plants, full lists can be found on the park website
Cricket can be watched in the summer and rugby in the winter.

5 mins walk south along Parks Road is the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers museum. Always worth a stop here as it’s free and great for children (and adults) of all ages.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Ock River Walk, Abingdon (Oxfordshire)

Approx time: 45 mins
Paths: mixture of footpaths, some main roads, some gravel, some mud.
Points of interest: river, old buildings, bridges, ducks
Amenities: Public parking off West St Helens Street (pay and display), pubs on route, town centre cafes and shops close by, toilets in car park
Grading: any pushchair
Weather: can be muddy after heavy rainfall
Warning: open water along most of the route
1. leave south out of St. Helens car park and follow the footpath to the right. There will be houses on your left and garages to your right.
2. few feet along there is a large tree and a footpath on your right leading to a bridge. take this.
3. this is now the ock walk, follow the path, it split at a few points but soon joins up to the main footpath. older children might like to explore. just over half way along there will be a bridge to cross. at the start and end of the walk there are displays boards.

4. at the end of the ock walk the footpath forks carry on ahead until the the main road.
5. at the main road turn to your right, Marcham Road, at the roundabout turn right (Ock Street).
6. Ock street has many old buildings and alms houses scattered down it along with some new houses.
7. turn right apon reaching Coopers Lane and The Brewery Tap pub. this used to be Morlands Brewery, the old buildings are now flats. at the end of Coopers lane you will retun to St Helens car park.
8. alternative route, don't turn down coopers lane but carry on until you reach Abingdon Town center for shops, cafes and restuarants.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Occombe Farm, Torquay, Devon.

Approx time: 10mins if the animals an hour for a leisurly stroll
Paths: gravel, boardwalks
Points of interest: animals
Amenities: carpark, cafe, shop, toilets, picnic area, play area
Grading: all types of pushchairs
Weather: depending on how far you want to go all weather
This is a farm but it features here as it is free (at time of writing anyway) and has a lovely walk with the bonus of animals too.
Occombe Farm has a lovely nature trail walk which is suitable for all pushchairs with boardwalks for the wetter areas. The walk is about 45mins , longer if you have little ones finding the clues. It starts off at the farm with cows and horses when we were there then walk down quite a steep incline but the path zig-zags to make it more accessible. This area had chickens and ducks roaming free and in the field next to it were baby pigs. At the bottom of the slop is the nature trail with a bird hide. You can buy a quiz type sheet from the shop (50p) which you can stamp as you go around. The website says you can also hire handsets for an audio trail (but we didn’t spot this).
There were details about activities such as feeding the animals but you will have to contact the farm directly if you want to attend these, some were free.
At the car park there is a shop selling local, organic and fair-trade produce and also a cafe.

Golitha Falls, Bodmin Moors, Liskeard, Cornwall

All the details about this walk said that this was suitable for those in wheelchairs, I think we visited at the wrong time of year, a very wet summer. This walk would be accessible using all forms of pushchairs if there had been a long spell of dry weather.

We started off with our pushchair, the route suitable for disabled access was a shorter version of the long walk but after about 5mins the ground was just too wet and muddy. Daddy’s shoes were also leaking it was that wet. We weren’t to be defeated though and went back to the car to get the baby carrier out. This meant we could do the longer walk (about an hour) with a few diversions from the path to avoid the really muddy bits.

Probably not suitable for very young children if you are doing the longer walk, after some wet weather as it’s a bit slippy and the path wasn’t marked out very well. There is a swing that goes out across the river at one point, i’m sure this has been featured on “you’ve been framed”. Daddy made a start at hooking his foot in but Mummy said he was stupid and didn’t want to sit next to a stink wet person on the way home if he fell in, so daddy had to sit that one out.
There are toilets at the car park and a good pub, Jamaica inn, about 15mins up the road.

Looe, Cornwall

Approx time: 1 hr depending on route
Paths: mud
Points of interest: picnics, river
Amenities:pay and display car park adjacent, toilets, shops, cafes and restaurants in the town, beach
Grading: baby carrier only
Weather: best on a dry day
Ok we were told that this was a lovely walk in a forest at the end of the Looe Millpond car park. What they neglected to tell us about was the steps. We set out with our pushchair with all best intentions to get only a ¼ of a mile up the track before we saw the steps going up into the forest. We forgot to take our baby carrier so no chance of turning round and starting again. I have been led to believe that this is a lovely walk in the woods so great for children and those in baby carriers. There are walks of varying lengths and a picnic bench at the half way point.
As we had paid for our parking we went into the centre of Looe and spent a while on the beach which kept little one amused for quite a while.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Albert Park, Abingdon (Oxfordshire)

Approx time: 20 minutes
Paths: gravel paths
Points of interest: open area for kicking a ball, picnics
Amenities: no public car parks close by, nearest are 10 mins walk, Stert Street Multi-storey pay and display or east saint helens pay and display, nearest toilets are in town center, 10min walk.
Grading: all forms of buggys and pushchairs, maybe a little bumpy in a stroller.
Weather: best on a dry day

1. No directions for Albert Park needed, there are entrances from all sides of the park and there is a footpath running around the park.

The Abbey, Abingdon (Oxfordshire)

Approx time: 1 hour
Paths: footpaths along most of the route, some gravel paths and 1 stretch of uneven grass
Points of interest: large play park for children of all ages, good areas for picnics (green key rated gardens), large spaces to kick a ball or play, outdoor swimming pool during the summer, paddling pool with jets weekends in the summer, weir, river, lock, museum, ducks.
Amenities: parking off the A415 (Rye farm, pay and display), pubs on route, town center shops and cafes, toilets at Abbey Meadows
Grading: ideally an all terrain buggy, can be hard going with pushchair or stroller
Weather: summer for the pool and water features, can be wet and muddy after lots of rain.
Warning: open water along most of the route

1. Turn right upon leaving the car park heading towards Abingdon town centre (up Bridge Street).
2. At the top of Bridge Street you will have the town center in front of you for shops and cafes and the impressive Abingdon County Hall Museum to your left (free entry and the roof is open in good weather), turn right at the church and go under the arch way.

3. After passing under the archway the town hall will be on your right, continue to the right for a short distance cross the road and on your left will be a small arch way leading to the Abbey Gardens.
4. Explore the Abbey Gardens, either going through the flower beds or the steps down to the Abbey Ruins.

you will soon come to a large open playing field with a pond at the bottom of the slope, follow the footpath through the grounds and to the right is a gate.
5. Passing through the gate you will reach a small car park and ahead of you will be a stream and bridge.
6. Cross the bridge and turn to your left. Follow this path all the way to the weir and lock (you may wish to divert here for the toilets, swimming pool, paddling pool, play area or feeding the ducks).
7. Cross over the weir and lock and turn to your right and through a gate (if you wish to avoid the uneven ground you may take the road but this is a very boring route).
8. Follow the river to the bridge, if you are all on foot you can go up the steps which will bring you out next to the car park, or carry on under the bridge to a slope the other side. Warning - taking the slope will bring you out to a busy road you will have to cross to return to the car park.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Trains, Steventon (Oxfordshire)

Approx time: 1 hour
Paths: footpaths along the whole walk, the route follows an uneven causeway
Points of interest: 2 level crossings (with regular highspeed trains), stream with ducks, cottages, farm land, play park, waterfall.
Amenities: parking at Steventon village hall, pub on route, village shops
Grading: all terrain buggy or baby carrier
Weather: suitable in all weather, great for conkers and blackberries

1. From the carpark cross the road and head up the slight slope to the left of the war memorial, The Causeway. Warning – this is a busy road to cross, keep children close.
2. The tree covered footpath runs beside some allotments and at the top of the path is a well equipped play park.

3. Cross the road to the right of the pub, carrying on along the causeway with the school to your right. You will soon come to a level crossing.
4. Beyond the crossing you will turn left into mill street where you can feed the ducks by the stream, just beyond this is a waterfall.
5. Follow the path into castle street, on your right will be an open field often with cows grazing.
6. Turn left into stocks lane and again cross the level crossing.

7. Once you reach the pub turn right and you are going back along the causeway to the car park.

Welcome to - a blog for walking mummies and strolling babies

This blog is about family friendly walks, in Oxfordshire. there will be photos of our walks, points of interest for older children and what type of buggy or pushchair is suitable for the majority of the walk.