It isn’t always easy to get the kids outdoors. “Come for a walk,” “Let’s get some fresh air,” are often met with rolling eyes and little enthusiasm. Thank heavens for Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Aker Wood at Aldenham Country Park in Elstree. I am unlikely to get anyone out of the house with the promise of a ramble in the countryside but the challenge of finding all the places on the 100 Aker Wood trail means that we can can blow the cobwebs away whilst looking for the next hidey hole, treehouse or stepping-stone. Anything to delay the inevitable questions that accompany any family day out: Is it lunch-time yet? Can we go home now? and What are we doing here anyway?
At the end of a winding path we came to Pooh Bridge and immediately started hunting for sticks for a few rounds of ‘Pooh Sticks’. The bridge has a few steps at either side but there is a flat crossing slightly further down stream so that buggies can cross and do the rest of the trail.
Once over the stream we discovered Eeyore’s Gloomy Place. We wandered up the hill and came to Pooh Bear’s House and Piglet’s House built into the trees.
Owl’s House is perched on top of a fallen tree that has to be climbed. Then you can run, walk or toddle up the field to find Roo’s Sandy Pit. Not far from the sandpit, you can even discover the North Pole! Rabbit’s House has seen better days, as has Pooh’s Trap for Heffalumps but the old, worn and tired displays can be forgiven for a missing sign here and there.
Pooh’s Thotful Spot was too windy for a picnic but offered a place for tired little legs to rest for a quick snack before we ventured on to find the Bee Tree (top tip: look up!) and the stepping stones over the stream at the Big Stones and Rox. We almost walked straight past Christopher Robin’s House and had to re-trace our steps to find it.
After a bite to eat it was time to visit the farm. Entry to the farm was £3 per person (which included animal feed) and children under 2 years old were free. The farm is compact and easy for little legs to get around. There were chickens and chicks, sheep and lambs, guinea pigs and rabbits, goats, pigs and dairy and beef cattle.
If you wanted to stay longer then there is an adventure playground and you can also book Pony Experiences. We opted for a walk around the Nature Trail, which was a short walk through the woods and along the side of the lake. Next time we will bring the bikes as this was perfect for a leisurely cycle and not too muddy when we went.
There’s lots to discover at Aldenham Country Park, just make sure that you keep £4.50* in correct change to exit the car park!
*Prices and all other information correct on date of publication.
To avoid disappointment check with the venue before you travel.
Aldenham Country Park is in Elstree, Hertfordshire, WD6 3BA.