Monday, 25 May 2015

Milton Manor

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Lovely! We visited today. We were there for 2.5 hours but could easily have spent four. There's a lot to do here: pony rides for £1.50; a three storey tree house;animals to see: alpaca, lama, sheep, ponies, chickens, a dog and a cat walking around; a swing hanging from a giant tree branch; a see saw; a giant chess set and a tea room. The guided tour lasted for about 45 mins. My children are old enough to tolerate this and I'm mean, so we did it. 

Entry: £8.00 adults, £2.00 children. Here are the opening times. 

The guided tour was fascinating. The stained glass windows in the chapel were originally installed in Steventon Church but were buried by a far sighted priest to protect them against iconoclasts during the Reformation, and dug up 200 years later whereupon the owner of Milton Manor purchased them. 

The house also has a lot of Meissen pottery and a piano made for Queen Victoria and her daughter in the drawing room. 

The tea room is in an adjoining building on the ground floor. This is because the water table is so high that the basement, where kitchens of great houses were usually built, was prone to flooding and so the owner built one on ground level instead. 

The pony ride was a generous one - all around the front of the estate - and was a bargain. 

Once again, as with Kingston Bagpuize House, take cash. I suspect the nearest cash machine would be in Milton Park Estate but I wouldn't know for sure. 

There is a lovely walled garden here, too. 

Milton Manor is in Milton Village, next to the Milton Park Estate, off the Milton Interchange at the A34. It is very easy to find but here is a map.

There is a lovely pub at the entrance to the road Milton Manor is on, and next to the Manor is St Blaise's Church, which has some fantastic stained glass windows. There is, elsewhere on this blog, an entry for the village playground. 


The chapel is not visible from the front of the house so as not to allow the villagers to see. The owners were, and are, Catholic and the permission to build the chapel was granted on condition that it only be used for family, that it should be on he first floor.

Standlake Park

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I'm not sure why we ended up here, but we did and we found the playground in the hilariously named 'Rack End'. 

Standlake is north of Kingston Bagpuize. To get there continue over the A415, over Newbridge where the Rose Revived sits next to the Thames. Turn right into Standlake, continue passed both pubs and the village shop on your right and then at the junction at the end of the road turn right into Rack End. You will see the recreation ground and park on your right. 

Didn't have time to sort out the loo stop, but I shall call the pubs and ask. 



Proper old skool merry-go-round! Unspeakably excited at finding this little gem, lol:) 

Kingston Bagpuize House 

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An extremely lovely pile. Great garden and from what visitors are allowed to see of the house, it is, in not very technical language, of the standard manor sort! You know, big rooms, fashionable Chinese wallpaper, plenty of glassware, etc etc.

The house is easy to get to. Drive past Millets farm, through Marcham and towards Southmoor. The House is on the A415 and can be found on this map

The House's opening times can be found here.

You must pay in cash. There is a cash point in nearby Southmoor - and also a pub with a playground. I shall enter that in the other blog. 

There is a tea room in the basement - not the easiest if you are on your own with a pushchair and a sleeping baby, but lovely once you are down there. I bought one tea, one hot chocolate and two slices of cake for under £10, so it is of the average price. The ladies in the tea room are lovely and very helpful. 

If you have a spare couple of hours and like me, enjoy gardens and their smells, you'll love Kingston Bagpuize House. My children like to run around playing hide and seek so all was well in the Mallows household the day we visited:) 


Wootton Playgrounds 

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There are two playgrounds here. One is located on the main road between North Abingdon Children's Centre and the shops, the other off the road virtually opposite and going off towards Boars Hill. 

The first is quite small, but it is in a convenient location. 
There is a pub virtually opposite should you need to use the facilities. 

You can find the playground here

The second playground can be found here. Take the road opposite the Co-op into Wootton village. The second playground/ recreation ground is on your right, opposite the church.


Opp Wottoon Church.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Prospect Park, Reading. 

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I'm from Reading and this is the park I went to most often when small. Myself and my siblings spent many happy days here. It is well worth the trip, if you haven't been, or if you are planning on visiting SavaCentre in Calcot and want something fun to do nearby. 

There is a load to do at this park. For a start, an ice cream van is ALWAYS here. There are, importantly, loos. There's a wood, a little railway which is brilliant fun and can be hired out for children's parties (my little cousin recently had his 6th birthday party here - there's a huge room for food etc). There is the refurbished Manor House Harvestor, which is impossible to miss as it sits atop the hill in the centre of the park, to round off the day when your kids are knackered and famished! Personally I like the Harvester because I remember what was there before - a great big hazard, a dilapidated danger pit. We had the police visit our primary school before every holiday to tell us all to steer clear of it. 

There is also a duck pond here, lots of lovely flowery trees, and a great hill for your children to roll down. We used to go with our sledge when it snowed. The horses are no longer in the paddock but this doesn't diminish the fun:) There is also a fair here annually. I once won a goldfish there - Sammy the Fish. It didn't last long:( 

Here is a link to the model railway website - with calendar! 

Google Map


A huge park. Very busy. I do find busy parks stressful because our kids are not always visible, but the equipment here is great. I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff I played on! 

Many trees were blown down in that great storm in the mid 80s. The whole wood looked like this!

My son is now obsessed with tennis so I've a feeling we'll be trying out more tennis courts! 

There didn't used to be railing around the pond:( Very sad.

 x100 better!! 

It really is glorious here! 

In case you get lost!