Thursday, 6 June 2013

A day out at Brooklands

Nestled between the South Downs and the sea in Lancing lies Brooklands Park; a rather old-fashioned little set-up boasting a golfing green and boating lake amongst its attractions.  We visit often, with friends and with family, and have done for many a year.  I also have vague recollections of visiting Brooklands as a child.

Many fond memories have been created at this park, particularly since Jasmine was small.

Admittedly, Brooklands is not as brilliant as it could be.  Organisation is questionable and it probably hasn't reached its potential in many a year.  But there is huge charm about the place.  Even when, as today, much is closed.  The boats were stationary, the horses out to lunch, the tractor on a job and the paddling pool free from water.  Even the train broke down mid-circuit, although Sonny thought this excellent as it afforded him the material to invent another story about Thomas.
Still, the park was a huge draw, as it always is.  The children love to swing and slide, run and chase, climb and, inevitably, fall, spin and whirl, and make lots of music in the brilliant oversized instrument area. 

Following our fun in the park, we headed to the café (via Pooh Sticks bridge) for ice cream and drinks.  Again, better organisation would enhance the café experience, but you cannot grumble at the price.  During our time out in the café's small outdoors area, we talked about coming back when the pool is open and how much fun that will be; also about the ponies that Jasmine has ridden in the past and that it is a shame that the soft play area has been inexplicably closed for a long while.

We spoke about the improvements that could be made to Brooklands, but also about how much we enjoy it as it is.  Just being outside is a huge plus point for the children, which really proved true as the day wore on and they tired of the park.  Instead, we opted to stay for a while longer but to explore the grass beyond the park.  Here, I watched the children roll and run downhill, laughing hysterically as they went, climb trees and thread picked daisies to make chains.

This was one of the loveliest ways to spend an afternoon - simple pleasures in the fresh air, beneath a beautiful blue, cloudless sky.  Granted, it could have been done anywhere with a hill, some trees and a patch of daisies but, for my little family, Brooklands will always be a special place to visit.

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