Chatelherault. I'd heard about it, but didn't know at all what it was, just that it was reasonably close and might be a good day out with kids.
I was in for a surprise - so much so that I wondered how such a gem could have escaped me all this time. Maybe it is something about my antennae being directed towards the sea and the hills, going north and west rather than east and south.
Chatelherault offers a perfect day out for a family (or anyone really) - with beautiful long woodland and river walks, an adventure playground, a garden centre with some farm animals and the mansion itself which has a lovely cafe and an exhibition, as well as events for children of all ages.
Our plan was to have lunch in the cafe and then go for a short walk to leave time for farm animals and adventure playground, but we took a wrong turn and went on a long walk instead, which pretty much took the whole afternoon between toddler and post-c-section-mummy-wearing-baby. Lots of pine cones were collected, stones thrown into the river Avon, holes were explored for badgers and bears, mushrooms were discovered and sized up, and sticks were carried and used for drawing on the ground. Cubling carried her own baby (a bear baby girl by the name of Spencer) all the way, and both got a lot of fun out of jumping into muddy puddles. I'm very proud of Cubling for having walked all 4km up and downhill by herself.
A definite must for returning, the adventure playground looked too good to miss, I love garden centres anyway, and I'm keen to explore the exhibition in the former hunting lodge or even take part in some of the countryside events that are offered throughout the year.
Chatelherault is situated just outside of Hamilton and since 2005 has a train station with a half hourly service from Glasgow and Hamilton. Entry to the country park and all attractions is free.
This post is part of Outdoor Challenge Monday, which is hosted on 5orangepotatoes. If you want to take part, head over to check out how to. This post was brought to you thanks to my fabulous parents-in-law who took Cubling for a bike ride while Snowflake napped in her sling/wrap (what on earth would I do without the sling???). Blogging hasn't been such a precious activity in a long time ;)
Oh, and yes, I've noticed that I need a hair dye... Bottom photo taken by Goldilocks, aka Mr Cartside.