It's coming up to the end of British summer time so we thought we'd make the most of the dry sunny weather and do something outdoors but something different to the usual parks. It was around 18-20°C -too cool for an enjoyable beach day so we decided to try the Box Hill Natural Play Trail in Surrey
It's a bit difficult to find on google maps as putting box hill nature trail doesn't quite take you to the right place as does the postcode:
Tip: enter Box Hill View point and the visitor centre and car park is just round the corner.
Tip: use Ringo to pay for the carpark. A full day's car parking was only £4.20. Much cheaper compared to the price at the machines.
At the beginning of the trail the visitor has a small shop to buy drinks and food (sandwiches and cake) and plenty of water fountains to fill water bottles but there's nothing else on the trail so bring all you need with you although the trail really isn't very far should you need to go back to stock up.
On and on
We had two active 4 year olds and two inquisitive 2 year olds. The trail route was just the perfect length. Even though it was only 2 miles long the trail had lots of trees and play structures to play. We were lucky it was dry but I can see that it can be really slippery when it gets a bit wet and muddy. The trail can take anything from an hour to a whole day. We spent about 4.5 hours in the trail but could have easily spent longer.
Just as you enter the trail (or at the end of the trail) there's a large open expanse of grass that you can have a lovely picnic. We saw some families starting a barbeque but I'm not sure if this is completely ok so check with the visitor centre just to make sure it's allowed. We ate our picnic on the trail. There were really cute rustic benches, seats and tables carved into logs that we sat and ate from. It was brilliant as there as no worry about causing mess.
Sleep baby sleep
Our youngest boys still nap from time to time so we took a buggy with us and carried my little one in a baby carrier - although there was too much excitement for him to nap fast. He eventually dozed off in daddy's arms. While we all took a rest and sat on a log the older boys spent an age climbing and exploring. The trail is totally level and buggy friendly.
There were no bins on the trail so we taught our boys about biodegradeable waste and litter. There's a fantastic recycling centre when you return to the visitor centre.
Tip: bring a bag for your rubbish and tissues for toilet trips in nature!
If you are hungry and not packed enough food there's a small cafe serving light food and sandwiches as well as fabulous pubs a short walk or car ride around the visitor centre.
We actually forgot to visit the view point just around the corner from the visitor centre so make sure you save a bit of time at the end to enjoy the amazing scenery of Surrey.
Box Hill Natural Play Trail was a fabulous day out in nature. The boys said it was one of the best days and best of all for us - it was very budget friendly (except the very essential end of trail ice cream).