A Family Day Spent Exploring Temple Newsam Woods

I’ve been so quiet on here recently for so many reasons but I promise I am still actually here. I’ve been so busy training new therapists at work and if you missed it we are in the process of buying a house, so all of that has been pretty much taking up all my time.  Added to that both Ant and I have worked extra hours meaning I’ve had no time for anything but eating, sleeping and working really. Anyway, at the weekend we got some family time together for the first time in what feels like forever. I was really craving some family time too so it was very welcome when it finally arrived.

On Saturday night we made a plan to get up early and get out of the house. To find something to do together. Well Sunday came and we were up and ready to leave for 9:30am.  We decided as we are so close to moving now and every penny counts, that we would go find something free to do. The sun was out too so it seemed the perfect opportunity to head to the woods.

We went to Temple Newsam, a place that holds so many fond memories for me. I grew up just across the fields and spent so much time there as a kid. We had our bump and baby photo shoot there as it’s such a special place for me and so it gives me all the feels to watch Luca running around there. Exploring the places I know so well as I spent hours and hours exploring them myself.

We headed straight into the woods, letting Luca take the lead for which way we should head. On the way to the woods we stopped to play pooh sticks in one of the little waterfalls that join two of the ponds.

Then into the woods we went, searching for bears.

These woods and gardens at Temple Newsam were landscaped by Capability Brown and man that guy had vision. They are incredible, with all the different trees mixed together, making perfect dens for kids to hide in and clamber through. Some areas are so thick with foliage that when it suddenly rained really heavily we just stood under a tree and stayed perfectly dry.

Some areas of the woods were still covered with leaves and had a very autumnal feel to them. Especially the trees that were still clinging on to their golden leaves.

Temple Newsam Woods

Others parts had sure signs of spring emerging with little crocus popping their heads up and the first signs of the bluebells that will eventually flood these woods.  We also found other little bits of awesomeness, like the tree with a love note carved into it, which is so high up the tree now even Ant couldn’t reach it.  If you look you can see it was carved in 1969.  I wonder who Dave & Liz are?

We also found the tree with a hole in it. Another part of the woods that leaves me wondering.  How did it grow like that?  It’s a perfect photo opportunity though.  I’m a bit annoyed it came out with the focus slightly wrong though.  I’m still playing with my new lens and haven’t got the focus perfectly figured out yet.

Luca loved finding all the fallen trees and trying to balance as he walked along the trunks. He spent ages throwing sticks and stones into the stream that runs through the woods in a deep ravine. When we found a fallen tree across the ravine he was desperate to try walk across it, but it was too high for Daddy to help him and we decided we will have to come back in Summer to try so it won’t matter if he falls off and gets wet.

We hunted high and low for bears but didn’t find one. Just lots and lots of mud which we washed off our wellies in the steps the stream runs down by one of the other ponds.

Temple Newsam Woods

After our adventures in the wood came to an end, we headed back to the café for a steaming hot mug of coffee and a hot chocolate for Luca. Accompanied with caramel shortbread and gingerbread pigs. Temple Newsam also has a rare breeds farm, hence the pig.

I absolutely love it here, it really is one of my happy places and in the three hours we were there, we only explored a tiny corner of the woods and land that belongs to Temple Newsam. It will take us years to explore it all properly and I can’t wait to do it. To share some of the hidden secrets I have discovered in those woods and see the joy on Luca’s face as he discovers it all too.  And who knows, next time we visit we might even have a dog to explore with us.

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