Tuesday 13 January 2015

Mountain Warehouse keeping kids warm outside this winter

We have had some really up and down weather so far this winter. We got our winter gear and then it went mild, but thankfully by the time the temperatures fell at Christmas we were ready for them.

When we received our Mountain Warehouse catalogue I think Charlotte said want, want, want to just about everything in it. Those very kind people sent us a really fluffy arctic softshell jacket, an owl hat that has made all her friends jealous and some winter walking boots. Every item got a big thumbs up from both of us.
fully kitted out
The hat has a nice fleecy lining, the cute owl ears and long tassels that all girls want at the moment. It said one size fits all, she is 6 nearly 7 and it is very stretchy so it would go up and down of this age.

The arctic softshell jacket is so soft and fluffy inside, really seems to keep her toasty warm. It's got a really lovely print, not too much pink but still girlie enough for her. I brought a size 7-8 and fits her well and should last next winter as well. There is inside and outside pockets (extra leaf and twig storage), the zip goes up really high so not cold around the neck and has a fluffy chin guard. The fluffy layer goes behind the zip so no cold air blowing through there. Not been out in any good rain with it but the odd light shower and it was no problem. The cold winds at the weekend, she said she was plenty warm enough.
very fluffy warm coat
We have put the kids chill winter waterproof boots to the full test (except no snow test). These are more winter walking boots than snow boots I would think. They have an isotherm layer so keep your feet toasty from 7 to -5c I think it was. They are seriously grippy with some great tread on the bottom, the velcro fittings are a godsend compared to having to tie laces on her old boots and they are great at fitting to her slim ankles. They come up quite high with plenty of support.  She is a 12half fitting and went for the 13 with walking socks and plenty comfortable and warm. No complaints from her. She has covered them in mud from day one and even with her slight turned in foot walk not worn or scuffed the fabric on the outside yet.
first muddy trip out

I wouldn't say they are fully waterproof due to getting rather wet whilst unsuccessfully building stone towers on the beach to avoid the waves (in 2c temperatures). They were slightly damp at the end inside but she never noticed. I'm sure if I waterproof sprayed them they will be back to normal and they had got damp before this with no problems.
stone towers on the beach

A lot of the clothes above are now available in the Mountain Warehouse Sale if you are wanting a few warmer layers for this winter, or thinking ahead and buying for next, they get a big thumbs up from us.
Thank you

Saturday 10 January 2015

Ardington Planets, Ardington, Wantage, Oxfordshire

This is a lovely village walk that can be made as long or as short as you like that also involves a little bit of physics fun.

Approx time: 1 hour
Paths: grass, mud and open roads
Points of interest: planets, standing stones, stream, pond, sundial
Amenities: off road parking in the village and local pub and tea rooms
Grading: all terrain or pushchair on a dry summer day as one slope
Weather: all seasons

route map (please click for larger image)
We last did this walk on a wet spring day as part of arts week, we have now gone back on a cold wet winter day and enjoyed it just as much.
We often park across the road from the Loyd Lindsay rooms. From here we walk a bit further along High Street and turn left at the war memorial and seat.
memorial seat
Carry along Well Street with the church on your left hand site. This is a lovely village church where we have stopped and looked at some of the very unusual graves. At the last house on your right there is a field with a footpath running through. Take this route (There is a sign saying that the field will be closed on the 25 December) across the field and see if you can find some ducks to feed at the pond on the way. We only managed to feed some very well fed fish instead!

well fed fish pond
 As the field ends and joins another there is a turn to your right crossing a stream (it was shallow enough to paddle with our wellies on) which leads to a row of old barns and if you look into one of them an old mill wheel.

mill and stream
 Pass through the row of houses and at school road turn left, cross over and a but further up is Ardington Woods.
Just so we don't forget where we are
There is a circular walk around the woods, starting from the stone in the middle of the row of trees.

description of the millennium sundial and planetary model
 This stone will explain the standing stones (a sun dial) and also the solar system that you will find as you head up the hill.
sundial stone
 Children will love running from planet to planet and hiding behind the stones. Each plant has its name and also size along with a few other details. Behind one of the sundial stone's is also a chart to help you tell the time.
the sun with planets around
 Carry on to your right again another clearing the woods, carry on through, another right and right again and you will soon be back were the woods started.

sun setting over the Chilton's
 Take a left onto School Road and you will soon be back at the car. We often head beyond the car to the play park as an end of walk treat. There is a village shop and tea room along the way if you go during the week or on a Saturday.
 I would love to know the history of why this position was chosen for a sun dial and solar system, I am guessing its because of the local science parks but can not find any details.

Little Pluto

I'm joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall