We had visitors today! My Mum and Step Dad came up for the day so we decided to take them to Ford Park and the Hoad Monument. It really is such a spectacular view, I thought what better way to show them where we live than from up high.
We met them in the park and had a quick brew in the cafe before making our way to the path up the hill. We took a bit of a wrong turn, but that got the kids excited because there were a couple of climbers practising on the rocks above. Tom is getting more confident with scrambling up rocks and he is desperate to get his teeth into proper climbing (at least in theory). We got back on track and walked about 2/3 of the way up deciding to take a detour for the last leg and head up the grass to the monument.
It looked steep but in reality it was much worse!
Eventually we got to the top (in dribs and drabs) and found the monument was open. This turned out to be one of the rare occassions where we had left the bag with drinks in it in the car. We all headed inside the monument for a look around and found that the volunteers also sell basic food and drinks! It was nice to have a drink of water while we were reading about Sir John Barrow and the renovation of the monument. I wanted to go up to the top to see the view from the top floor, however on attempting to walk up the stairs past the first floor, I found out that my hips were too wide for the narrow staircase. Charlotte wasn’t happy as she was an inch too short for the height restriction but my Mum took Tommy up which made his day.
When we finised our drinks, we headed back down the hill rejecting the path and going down the side. Compared to the side of the hill, the path is flat! The kids enjoyed some death defying stepping but I think the adults were a little bit more cautious. Either way it was a quick route down.
Fun had (according to the kids): Two thumbs up (so I’m guessing a 10).
Tantrum level: Easily a 10/10 when Charlotte found out she coudln’t go to the top of the hill. Very awkward considering how quite everyone was in the monument.
Worth it: Always.
Worth knowing: The monument is staffed by volunteers and entry to it is free (although donations are very welcome). The snacks ranged from 30p-£1.00 give or take and drinks (including tea/coffe) were approximately £1.00. Souvenirs can also be bought from inside and the money goes to support the upkeep of the monument. The monument is only open during the warmer months and when the flag is flying at the top. Parking is free in Ford Park, an excellent place to base yourself and enjoy the area before you head up.
50 things achievements: 25. Make a grass trumpet, 28. Climb a huge hill.
Cost: 3 drinks and 4 penguins £4.20 or thereabouts.