Furzey Gardens is exactly what it claims to be; “a haven of peace and tranquillity in the heart of the New Forest”. Not only has it got beautiful gardens with meandering walks, it is a fairy land with lots of hidden doors, fairy ferries, and lovely touches like miniature wellies outside a fairy’s home waiting to be put on. The trees are gnarled and interesting for the children, and there are also very intriguing and curious places and spaces to play. We headed there a few days before the children and I were due to leave the country to move to Sweden. I was in the midst of packing up our family home (solo), whilst juggling the children and home education after Dadda had flown on ahead 7 weeks previously. Whilst I was unsure about taking time out from packing, it ended up being the perfect place to spend a day at. It was so calming and peaceful there, and the children were so happy. We have been here previously (hence the varying age and clothing of our children in the photos as I have used them all!) and it has a very special place in our hearts.
We set off on a walk down towards the lake, searching out fairy homes as we went. Dotted all around the gardens are various interesting buildings the children can play in, thatched mini roundhouses with ladders going up to a little upstairs, a long tunnel to crawl through, a boat called Tiggywinkles to play in, and much much more. All blending in so nicely with the surrounding area.
We spent the morning meandering and exploring the first half of the trail, and arrived at the play area in time to stop for lunch. The children enjoyed going off and eating in the various den like places hidden around the picnic area. It really is such a wonderful place where children’s imagination can run wild with their play. Another beauty of the den like structures, is they are made so it is virtually impossible for adults to gain access, certainly in any way comfortably! Therefore giving the children a sense of it being secretive and hidden away from grown up eyes. The children can play without the grown ups interfering too much ;-). You can see from my photos how small the children are and yet how much of the space they take up. I had to just pop my arm in to take photos!
We did have one aim to achieve though in the day. I knew Furzey Gardens had a good supply of conker trees, and wanting to tick off “play conkers” from the National trust list “50 things to do before you are 11 3/4”, we went out collecting some to bring home. That’s a job for another day, but at least we have the supplies now! I have never seen so many beautiful, big, shiny, conkers. So if this is your thing too, make sure you head there in early autumn, you will not be disappointed.
We couldn’t leave Furzey Gardens without a visit to the beautiful tea room and shop. There are so many lovely things in the shop, a lot is locally made too. As for the cakes….well they are homemade and you really need to go and check them out yourself. I will say one thing though…you will be spoilt for choice!
We had such a lovely, relaxing day in the outdoors at Furzey Gardens. A huge amount of imaginative play was done by the little people, and the grown up, although tired and a bit under the weather, had a laid back, chilled out, restorative calming day 🙂 Not a lot of packing was achieved that day, but we are still riding high from the fact our home was let on its first viewing the day before, and it was the day Dadda purchased the new Swedish family car (so he can fetch us from the airport), a Volvo!!!!!