We live in a lovely part of the world, particularly at this time of year.
When the rhododendrons and the bluebells come out, there are some fantastic places in West Kent and the surrounding area where you can go and see them in all their glory.
One such place is Riverhill Himalayan Gardens near Sevenoaks. Although only a 15 minute drive from my house, I have to confess we had not been there before. Before we had children we were National Trust members so stuck to places we wouldn’t have to pay again for, and since becoming parents we’ve not really had the time or energy. With a fair amount of steep hills and uneven ground, we had been told it was not especially buggy friendly so we’ve put it off, but with the kids now a bit older (21.5months and THREE AND A HALF YEARS – where did that even go??) and able to walk a distance buggy-free, we took a trip on Good Friday to check it out.
We did our first ever Easter hunt last year at a very cold, wet and windy Kent Life (weather not their fault).
We took a picnic, because we weren’t certain of what was on offer or how much it would cost, and found a nice spot to sit and eat.
If there is one thing that toddlers love, it’s a picnic. I think they may have romanticised the idea a little but never mind. For all the cocktail sausages and slightly-warm cheese it was a lovely setting, and we enjoyed ourselves.
To be honest we should have read the instructions telling us to go to the Wood Garden where the bunny hunt was, but we didn’t, and it was only after we’d made our way through the ‘Jungle’…
The Whingelets got very excited coming across each bunny.
The big one named herself Princess Bunny Hunter (or ‘Princess girl who follows and finds the bunnies’ but that wasn’t as catchy) as she tried to copy the numbers down with varying success. Between us, we found most of the bunnies.
Whilst hunting for the remaining few, we came across the maze; it’s still in its early stages with the hedges starting to grow but it’s an impressive maze (yes, we went wrong).
We then decided that it was time to head back to have a cup of tea, and we happened across all but one of the remaining bunnies on the way, as well as some stunning bluebells, rhododendrons and azaleas.
After a nice loose leaf cuppa and a chat to one super stylish Alison of Not Another Mummy Blog who happened to be there hunting for bunnies too, we went off in search of the adventure playground. Although really aimed at older kids, as you can see we had a bash anyway…
Three minutes after we arrived, the big one announced she needed a poo and so we sensibly cut our losses and made our way back to the toilets and the car.
We very nearly didn’t leave the overflow car park as our poor huge-but-only-1.6l car just didn’t want to go up the hill. Thank goodness that we chose to go in the afternoon when all the cars around us were gone! It could have been very unfortunate. With hindsight, we should taken the dog along – well behaved dogs on leads are welcomed and we saw loads while we were there.
We’ll definitely be heading back – they host a yearly schedule of events which are worth checking out.
Thank you to Riverhill Himalayan Gardens for letting us visit for free, we will definitely be back, although we won’t be parking in the field. All words and pictures are my own.
If you fancy visiting, go to their website for more information.