Sometimes a day out doesn’t go as planned. We can prepare for the weather, or for accidents but we can’t prepare for the mood the kids are in.
My family stayed overnight so we decided to venture up to Brockhole on Sunday. Its near the top of Windermere and I have heard some amazing things about it, most importantly, that it’s great for kids.
We headed up there and decided we would save the park till the end of the day and that we would start with a walk. After several small arguments from Tom regarding the gift shop (I only went in for a map!), we were treated to a massive tantrum from him when we walked past the park. Calm explaining didn’t work, neither did the “if you are good, we can go later” argument.
Eventually he decided that walking with us would be better than standing and sulking and he soon cheered up when we reached the lake. He had his wellies one so he was ok to paddle a bit, Charlotte never had hers (unorganised parents) but we took her shoes and socks off and rolled her leggings up and she was away too. They played for a short while, maybe 15-20 mins but we decided we should probably carry on as we hadn’t got very far. We asked Charlotte if she was ready to come out and get dressed, she happily agreed until we started to dry her feet. Charlotte went nuclear! Full screaming, kicking, shouting and crying (just a full tourist boat turned up yards away from us!), but Tom was already out and some of our group had started to walk away so it was too late now and no way was I going to give in to her. Some how we managed to get her dressed but the tantrum didn’t stop. In the end Bob decided to sit with her until she calmed down, nearly 20 minutes later!
She was happy enough when we spotted a den at the top of a little hill and so we all went to investigate. The kids had a whale of a time balancing on fallen trees and running around the den. Once they had ran around for a while we carried on our walk following the path along the lake. When we spotted some picnic tables by the boat hire/mini-golf building we decided to stop and give the kids a bit of food (we never packed a full picnic, but a drink, some sandwiches, yoghurts and crisps seemed enough for now).
Tom took exception to the fact we weren’t playing mini-golf or going on a boat. At this point I was getting really frustrated. This isn’t like my two, they throw a fair few tantrums between them daily, but usually in an environment like this, there are very few. This had been almost constant since we started. We got him to sit on a table next to us until he accepted it wasn’t going to happen and he calmed down.
After food we walked to the house and the grown ups had a cup of tea, and everyone had a biscuit or some cake. We spent a long time chatting about all sorts and the kids to their credit, sat patiently and waited. They chatted amongst themselves quietly and calmed down. I had decided that we weren’t going to go to the park after what had been a stressful walk but their behaviour whilst wespoke earned them an hour on the park. After 3 do they don’t they need toilet trips, we headed down to the park where Charlotte only got stuck on one piece of equipment (truth be told, it’s usually Tom).
Brockhole seemed nice I must admit, but we didn’t really have the best time. I would like to say the kids were tired, but they weren’t they were just in one of those moods. It happens sometimes (although we’re lucky it’s rare) and all you can do is carry on. I wouldn’t turn around and go home, because often there is something salvageable at the end. And when it was calm and they were occupied it was lovely to watch.
On the way home we grabbed a chip butty and say next to the River Leven while we ate.
Fun had(according to the kids): Believe it or not a 140/10
Tantrum level: 10/10 Little ones all day but each of them lost it completely and for good periods of time. This was, in part because of all the things on offer that we weren’t doing.
Worth it: I think it would be. This time around, there were some lovely moments so I think overall yes, but only by a narrow margin. I can’t wait to come back and try again as it seems like such a shame.
Worth knowing: Nothing really. Plenty of parking and there is a tree top adventure there too so it’s a great place for a special occasion or a real treat day. There are toilets dotted about the park, as well as in the house.
50 things acheivements: 16. Make a daisy chain, 22. Explore inside a tree, 43. Build a raft.
Cost: Our parking for 3-4 hours was about £5.10. They have the pay later machines at Brockhole so you don’t need to worry about change. All of the activities cost money, check the website for more information.