A visit to Hurst Castle was on the agenda for today, somewhere I have wanted to take them for a long time, but have needed to feel a little bit more confident the twins wouldn’t leap of the first lot of ramparts they climbed! Just getting to this destination is a whole adventure for little people, as once you have parked your car in the Keyhaven car park, you need to hop on the Hurst Castle ferry that takes you across to the castle in around 15 minutes. The clouds separated to reveal blue sky as we arrived at the ferry, and I had high hopes that we would at last have a little sunshine for our trip….that lasted approximately half an hour, but we had fun anyway.
When we arrived, our ferry driver noticed that the flag had not yet been hoisted, so he asked if the children would like to help him with that. That was quite an experience to kick the day off with, and they were thrilled (and I think it went up the right way up!). After that we just proceeded to make our way around the castle, investigating every room, cubby hole, shell storage area (which were in plentiful supply), and display. There were WWI displays, there were WWII displays, as well as Henry VIII and King Charles information, and lots about lighthouses amongst other things as well. I think the children have come home very keen on learning more about lighthouses and have quite taken to them. They had a good time learning about light refraction and how the different lenses helped the light move and shine, amongst a lot of history lessons 🙂 Now they just need to sort the historical order out of everything they’ve seen today, or else who knows what version of history they have swimming in their heads!
We had planned to go onto the shore after looking around the castle, and spend some time with the shingle, sea, and grasses looking at wildlife as well, however, the children all had much more stamina for all the displays, information, and steep wonky step climbing than I anticipated. Consequently we spent over four hours exploring the castle alone, by which time we needed to head back to the shore for the ferry to return to Keyhaven…it has a rough timetable, but it’s better to not be in a hurry to get back! Plus, having made the mistake of dressing for summer, all be it with hoodies and coats on, our toes were more than a little chilly by now, and even a huge mug of steaming hot chocolate hadn’t quite thawed them out!! We had such a lovely adventure though, the weather didn’t dampen our spirits or our day, and we feel quite proud of the adventures we can now achieve together…..even though I think I have used up slightly more heartbeats than an average day with the 2 four year olds running around the roof!! We are looking forward to returning soon, with the plan of walking the just over 2 mile route out along the spit, playing on the shoreline out there all day, and then catching the ferry back.