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.