Conkers is a great family-friendly centre, in the National Forest with indoor and outdoor play areas, discovery zones and an amphitheatre. This coming 13th July 2015, they will open the High and Low ropes course which we are looking forward to go on. The High Ropes course has 15 aerial sections to complete while the Low Ropes course are for junior visitors to take on 10 different elements of adventure.
Although it rained non-stop, it didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves with the Bush Craft Survival session, Barefoot Challenge and other outdoor activities. After meeting up with others, we were divided into groups and were given a map to locate our own survival equipment.
Going through the beautiful well maintained park, we located our survival kit! Mr K was so pleased with finding it that he was adamant he would carry it to the next location to set up the tent. After taking the wrong turn a couple of times, we finally met up with the some of the other groups who already had their kits and had begun setting up their tents!
No time to lose, we all quickly found a nice spot and gathered the nearby woods to build our shelter! Mr K and Ms C were so excited and ran off to look for wood! But they had forgotten a rule! Mum rules in this household! I then gave each a task to do and so in no time, the shelter was up in 4 minutes! When we first built it, we had made the tent far too low to the ground and had to bend down to get in!
Ms C was happily sitting in the corner with this fantastic size insulated lunch bag, made from coated canvas in Brakeburn’s unique Anchor lunch box. This stylish lunch bag is easy to wipe clean and lightweight to carry around. It comes with two mini front pouches, embossed leather zip pulls and finished with woven Brakeburn patch. It is designed in Poole, Dorset and measures 13cm x 26cm x 20cm. I love that it is big enough to hold a family of four’s food and drinks along with a couple of snacks in it! The lunch bag is from Hintons Home and available to buy online and in store.
Then we learnt how to make fire by setting up a fire corner and building a good air flow area. We then went back to our tent and started gathering all sorts of timber. As the rain was quite heavy at times, we didn’t manage to find any dry timber around. So we had to use cotton wool as our kindling with a few small twigs. We both took it in turns to use the flint and steel to light the fire but we failed miserably! Both our hands were very sore.
Mr C did manage to light one up but the fire died before it had a chance to get going. Then we asked for the ranger to help and he gave us some dry wood which then meant we were able to start the fire and keep it going. Once lit, we had to build the sticks up like a tepee. We then swapped out fint and steel for a bag of marshmallows and chocolate biscuits to make s’mores. Last year, we discovered s’mores and loved them! It was such a great treat to have after a hard morning of orienteering, tent building and fire starting!
Later, we went on the 450m Barefoot Walk challenge and Mr K was keen to take it on while the three of us were happy walking beside him laughing at his funny faces and noises! This walk consists on the wonderful sensation of walking on timber, bark, coal, pebbles, wood and clay. Mr K was very brave to take on every single one and felt the mud oozing between his toes, sharpness of the stones and the chilliness of the water!
After lunch, we continued exploring the outdoor area even though the rain was unrelenting. It didn’t stop the children from sliding down the slides, playing at the swings and going through the maze four times. We finished off by going back indoors for more playing and some learning at the discovery centre. We all had so much fun and sadly had to go home before they closed! It was a truly great adventure and already the kids can’t wait to tell their friends all about it.
Did you know that there are new Stay Play Explore short breaks for families include Family Fun and Family Adventure? The breaks are £129 and offer savings of up to 40 per cent on standard admission and room rates. Do check them out at www.stayplayexplore.co.uk
Watch our little day trip video here:
Disclosure: We have received a family pass to write about this experience.