A packed day of events at Camberley’s Poppy Launch Day


A great local event for those in the South of England :)

Originally posted on Lightwater:

Surrey Heath Borough Council have announced that,

3-Paper poppies in the village squareOn Saturday 1 November, Camberley Town Centre will play host to its first Poppy Launch Day in aid of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

Starting at 9am on Park Street, the event will feature entertainment and displays from Stagecoach Theatre Group, Camberley Martial Arts and Liberty Gymnastics clubs plus live 1940s swing music from The Three Belles and a solo artist Kay.  There will also be a static display of vintage military vehicles and motorbikes from the Riders Branch of the Royal British Legion.

At 10.50am a parade of the Royal British Legion Standard Bearers, the Royal British Legion Brolly Ladies, Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, ATC and representatives from the scouting organisations, will march the length of Park Street accompanied by the Deepcut Army Cadet Band.  At 11am a maroon will be fired, then the exhortation by the Mayor of Surrey Heath…

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A Spooky Day at Manydown Farm

Pumpkins at ManydownDear mummy, it’s nearly Halloween! Our favourite *cough* ….Mummy’s favourite time of year!

Our local farm, Manydown Farm just outside Basingstoke, Hampshire have a great range of children’s activities this Halloween Half Term.

It’s £8.50 per adult and luckily we have a discount voucher from the newspaper mailers. As I’m under 2yrs I go free :) Its a good thing to check out Manydown Family Fun Facebook page for offers too! We visit the week before half term to explore before the mad rush, the festivities go on until the 2nd November which is good.

Manydown Farm has been open all year…so far…and has a maze, animal petting, bouncy castles, outdoor adventure area, go carting and tractor rides all included in the price.

They also have a little cafe called Farmers Retreat on the site along with toilet facilities and picnic areas. As the farm is on a hill it can get a little exposed and windy, so wrap up warm and take a brolly. During the Halloween period they have set up a pumpkin carving tent and an additional indoor seating area for families incase the weather turns bad. We enter and pay for our tickets at the door and are warmly greeted by staff and a great Halloween scene. I’m fascinated by the pumpkins and tombstones.

I’m intrigued to find out what these big orange globes are and go to investigate, I tap them with my fist to see if they are soft, I can’t lift them as they are sooo heavy. Their skin feels smooth and I like stroking the pumpkins. We pick one to carve and put it on the table to return to it later.

Witches at Manydown FarmMy tummy is rumbling so we head to the cafe to enjoy a jacket potato, a mug of tomato soup and some cake and crisps. As we are in a tent, it can get cold so we keep jackets on and I can see steam coming off our food.

The cafe layout is a bit of a headache for my mummy as the baskets of crisps are out on display on the lower shelves, so I spend time going back and forth picking bags up, much to the weary despair of my mummy telling me to put them back! (It might be worth Manydown putting them up another run of the shelves so little fingers can’t get to them ) maybe replace them with fruits and other healthy snacks which I’m sure I wouldn’t go for. Plus the tent door was wide open and very exposed, the wind came through and chilled us to the bone.

Talking about being chilled to the bone….we head into the farm at see the 1.30pm showing of the Witches Storytelling Time in the barn and its a great sight! The witch sits in her rocking chair and greets us with a cheery hello she asks me to pick a book of the mantlepiece and I pick Room on the Broom for her to read for me by the fire, it’s like being in a witches cottage. I’m not too sure of her before she starts reading the book, as I think she’s going to eat me! But once I get comfy with my packet of crisps and on Grandma’s lap, we all huddle together and enjoy the story.

Manydown Farm HalloweenAfterwards Mummy sits in the creaky rocking chair and puts on the witches hat and I look on…..silly mummy! I think. More children arrive into the barn and we sit quietly and listen to the witch read some more stories.

The heavens open and we can hear the rain beat down on the tin roof, so we dash back into the cafe for a hot beverage and I get treated to a green cupcake with a scary pumpkin on.

Eventually the sun comes out and we go and explore the mini tractors and trampolines. We feed the goats and the sheep and spend over an hour in the field, mummy grabs our pumpkin and we head inside to carve it. It’s very late in the day and nearly 4pm and the staff kindly let us finish carving the pumpkins even though it’s the end of the day at the farm and they are getting ready to close.

Carving at Manydown FarmWe have great fun carving and I help my mummy with the pumpkin shavings collecting and putting them into the bucket provided. My mummy uses the utensils provided by the farm staff and cuts out a creepy face. The nice thing is that we get to keep the pumpkin and take it home with us! What I lovely reminder of our day.

A great day out and it’s nice to do something different.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Love Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Our family Halloween antics

Dear mummy, I know what you did last summer…..*cough* I mean last Halloween.

Dear mummy blog HalloweenEveryone that knows you, knows you LOVE Halloween, it’s a big thing in our house and you’ve been attending Halloween parties since you were a little girl.

Even when you were pregnant with me you were out in fancy dress, partying, drinking ginger beer!

Our first Halloween as a family last year was spent carving pumpkins with close family friends, decorating the house and getting ready for a fabulous children’s party. Over the last eight years you and daddy have dressed up as, Dog soldiers, pumpkins, witches, vampires, Sweeney Todd, Corpse Bride, Morticia Adams, the White Queen, Star Wars characters, zombies and the list goes on! I hope you like the flash-back photos I found off your computer! There are so many photos so I picked the best ones.

Baby Isabella Carving PumpkinsWhile I was browsing through your photos I also found our first pumpkin carving attempt, we had such good fun that day and can’t wait to try it again next week.

I love the fashion that’s around too, dark autumnal colours, neon greens and oranges and creepy spider and bat tops and leggings.

My favourite is my little ghost jumper from Bonnie Baby UK and the great selection from NEXT.

We hope that everyone has a lovely a Halloween this year, we’ll be prepping by baking spooky cupcakes, lighting candles for the carved pumpkins and going to parties.

love Bella x

Dear mummy Halloween 2


Hatchlands Park, National Trust

Dear mummy, last week we visited Just for Tiny People’s Open Day near Dorking and Guildford and decided to pop into Hatchlands Park, one of two National Trust properties on the A246.

Hatchlands Park tearoom Hatchlands is on the edge of the Surrey hills and a lot of families have been raving about the seasonal children’s activities they host. It’s only 45 mins away from London. We’ve already visited Clandon Park, down the road, on Mothers Day.

Hatchlands Park is a red-brick country house with surrounding gardens in East Clandon, Surrey, England, covering 430 acres and has been a Grade I listed property since 1967.

The Georgian Mansion was built in the 1750’s for naval hero Admiral Edward Boscawen. It is a family home and today its residents are in (we don’t know who they are), so the house is closed for visitors.

I’m sure the family don’t want people popping in to look at the great collection of musical instruments and paintings while they are watching telly. The property is famous for housing Europe’s largest collection of keyboard instruments associated with famous composers such as JC Bach, Chopin and Elgar. I’m like a magpie when it comes to musical instruments and gravitate toward anything they makes a big noise, so it is actually for the best I’m not in the house today.

Hatchlands Park CourtyardHatchlands Park also has five mapped walks and a parterre garden designed by Gertrude Jekyll. But today the weather is miserable so we head straight to the tearoom for lunch.

We enjoy some fine fare and warm up with hot jacket potatoes, fresh out of the oven…yummy.

A lovely man called Ray from the National Trust pops in to tell everyone that the cellar tours of the house are happening today free of charge, as visitors can’t gain entry to the house and the weather is so bad, it seems everyone is hiding out from the rain in the tearoom.

While we wait for the tour we venture outside and the rain is a light drizzle. I have fun jumping around in the puddles in the cobbled courtyard. Some of them are really deep and mummy tests them out to make sure I don’t get swallowed up by them!

Hatchlands Park PianosBefore long we hear the tinkering of ivories coming from one of the outhouses surrounding the courtyard. I run over making sure I stomp in every puddle on the way and find a piano, children’s books and activities in this stable barn.

Other children are playing on the piano and I wait my turn.

Finally I get to play on the keys, my small fingers gently prodding the cold keys, my mummy leans over and strikes some chords which I try to mimic. It’s great fun and the sound echoes around the empty courtyard and sounds eerie, the clouds have darkened again and everyone has gone inside for the cellar tour which is about to commence.

We queue up with the rest for the families on the tour and get a safety brief from the National Trust man Ray, he issues out safety helmets as it can get a bit dark down in the cellar and he doesn’t want us banging our heads on the low ceilings and old pipe work. I’m not allowed to be picked up or carried for that reason too, incase my mummy bangs my head, so I hold her hand and head into the darkness.

I love hearing my voice ‘echo echo echo’ and babble all the way down the stairs holding onto mummy and the side of the wall. It’s cold and damp down here and the National Trust have set up war-time scenes of when people used to live down here in war-time Britain when the bombings were happening. Cot beds and desks are set up so people could sleep and work here when’s the air strikes were happening. I couldn’t image it mummy, it seems so dismal and scary down here. The cellars have an eerie feeling…it was a humbling experience and we were glad we visited the cellars. Ray and Jenny, the tour host were very informative and friendly.

Hatchlands Wizaard WoodlandBy the time we reach the top of the stairs into the daylight the rain has cleared up and the sun is shining. We head towards the Wizard Wix’s Willow Warren in the woods….wow! that’s a bit of a mouthful!!

It’s a adventure area made using tree stumps and wood crafted into dens and an assault course for small people.

It’s great fun and we spend a whole hour playing.

My mummy sings to me in the den and holds my hand as we walk the wooden beams. Other children are running around in a fantasy land of dragons and wizards and we can hear them talking about motes and dungeons. The sun is shining and I go to take a break in one of the wooden huts, I feel so lucky to be out in the fresh air exploring and getting muddy.

By the end of the day I’m pooped and feel my eyes getting heavy, my mummy is a bit tired too having had to navigate the buggy over the hills. I must fall asleep in the car, as when I wake up I’m home. A really nice day. Thanks National Trust.


Love Bella x

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall