This week, the girls started back to school, so our adventures will be reserved for the weekend/homework-free afternoons 🙂 While my older daughter had her first half day, my other daughter was off, so we went to her favourite shopping centre. She loves picking things out at the pound shop and we hardly ever do it, so I let her pick a couple of things. We went to the food court, which I actually really love because it has a view of the Belfast hills and the cranes. On a bright day, it’s a beautiful place to sit. We had some cookies and coffee/juice and she played with the toys that were open in the play area 🙂 When we got home, she helped me to make pizza dough for dinner.
At the weekend, we went to Montalto. I seem to forget about it until the Autumn and the fact we have membership 🙂 It was such a sunny morning and was very quiet, We went to the cafe to get some coffee/hot chocolate and then walked with it down to the adventure playground. The girls quickly made some friends and I got to read/drink coffee while they played for a while.
Afterwards, we walked to the lake and the girls looked for conkers, but I think it was still too early for them, even though it felt like Autumn there. There were plenty of leaves lying on the ground and seasonal colour changes. We visited the witch’s house and the girls knocked the door knocker. I still think they expect someone to answer 🙂 Then, we found a quiet spot to have lunch and the girls made a den under a tree they love. We went back to the lake and went to the little cabin that overlooks it. We didn’t see any swans that day. Then we did the Woodland Trail before going home.
That afternoon we went to Whitehead and walked along the coastal path. It led to some caves and we climbed to the top. The view was so clear and peaceful, even though I prefer not to get too close to the edge 🙂 There was a little lighthouse there too and a lot of steps to climb. I never manage to quite capture views like that on camera but it was beautiful.
The next day, we went for a walk at a quiet waterfall. There were lots of people gathering there to swim in it. We climbed up to see the little waterfall at the top. I want to go back there to swim some time too 🙂
The girls were off school again on Monday, so we went to Rowallane. On the way, we called in to see my parents and my mum had made scones and tea for us 🙂 We had a little tea party in the kitchen and then went for a walk. The girls insisted on going to the playground first, so we did 🙂 It makes me realise how much bigger they’ve got because they used to need so much help on the bridge and now they can do it unaided 🙂
I love the view of green hills and no people; I find it such a calming thing to look at. The girls climbed on stepping stones and then climbed up the big wooden crocodile. They had added some wood sculptures for kids to spot along the way as well. My daughter helped my other daughter to walk on some beams and they finished by climbing up a tree that lies on a slant against a hill 🙂
We went for a walk into the Old Wood part. The girls found some toadstools and thrones to sit on 🙂 We had to stop at the bandstand so they could dance on it and play games. They never seem to get bored of that 🙂 Then, they climbed some trees too and we had a picnic under one 🙂 It seemed to be the best place to find cover from the wasps 🙂
There were some pretty flowers in the Walled Garden. The girls insisted on playing hide and seek and while I looked for them I got to see all the flowers 🙂 There is a vegetable plot at the back of the walled garden and lots of things have appeared in it now. There were red cabbages, beetroot, courgettes and lettuce. The girls love reading the vegetable name markers and learning about new ones. We also went for a walk around the rock garden. The girls love it because of all the stepping stones 🙂 Then they had to have a go at climbing over the stile on their way back 🙂 We ended our visit with a trip to the cafe and I had visions of us sitting in the sun on the terrace like we were abroad, but the wasps descended on us and we had to run 🙂 We tried to move to a hill, but they found us there too, so we gave up and finished our treats in the car. At least there is music to listen to there 🙂