Days Out – Morden Hall Park

One of my 2015 travel resolutions was to make the most of where we live and to visit places on our doorstep so on Sunday afternoon we pootled off to Morden Hall Park which is a short drive from where we live in London.  Master ATWWAH was anticipating a small playground type park so he was pretty surprised when we arrived to find there was no obvious playground and the place was huge.

It’s now a National Trust property although entrance is free every day and it’s open for 365 days a year.  The park was created by the Hatfield family who made their money from snuff milling.  Gilliat Hatfield Senior purchased Morden Hall in 1867 and created a deer park in the surrounding fields. His on inherited the estate in 1906 and left the park in his will to the National Trust with the stipulation ‘a fee shall not be charged…so that my Morden estate shall be open to the public’.

When you’re stood within its 125 acres it is hard to remember you are in London.  You are surrounded by trees and open skies and can follow the River Wandle through the park and under many a bridge.  There are also wetlands which attract wildlife including kingfishers, herons and dragonflies.

The main highlight of Master ATWWAH’s visit was the water wheel which we had to watch for ages.  Mr ATWWAH read out the sign which was alongside it explaining it hasn’t worked for about 200 years but that hasn’t deterred Master ATWWAH from talking about it non-stop ever since.

water wheel

Master ATWWAH’s new obsession at Morden Hall Park

Master ATWWAH also managed to seek out the playground as he worked out there was a small congregation of children and this could only mean one thing – playground.  It is really good though, not a garish primary coloured monstrosity in the middle of the countryside but a play area which is sympathetic to its surroundings including climbing frames and zip wires.

climbing wall

Climbing wall on a tree

exploring

Exploring at Morden Hall Park

On the day we visited there were thousands of midges flying around everywhere, I even swallowed one, urgh.  I then spent at least fifteen minutes coughing and spluttering and inspiring a rendition of ‘there was an old woman who swallowed a fly’, charming.  Master ATWWAH then spent a good deal of time with his hand over his mouth so as not to be ‘attacked’ by the midges.

Although we didn’t visit on this occasion there is a café, gift shop and second hand bookstore as well as different walks you can follow which take in other local attractions including Deen City Farm and Merton Abbey Mills.

The National Trust are also going to reopen the garden centre making it the first National Trust Garden Centre, this is due to open in the spring.

We’ll definitely be visiting again and there are lots of planned activities for families too including:

Cadbury Easter Trail, Friday 3rd to Monday 6th April

Follow the trail and explore the parkland with activities and games for all the family – and a chocolate egg to take home once the trail has been completed, £4 per trail

Launch of 50 Things To Do Before You’re 113/4, Sunday 7 June, 11am-4pm

Join in with a range of activities including minibeast hunting, wild art, den building and lots more, all part of the National Trust’s initiative.  £4 per child

– Family Theatre, The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny, Monday 27 July, 3pm

Join Peter and Benjamin in the rose garden for a magical performance of Beatrix Potter’s much loved stories.  To book call 0844 249 1895

Morden Hall Park is on Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD

Have you entered our competition yet?  Follow us on Twitter (@atwwah) and then share one of your childhood holiday memories here to be in with a chance of winning a travel themed kids activity box from The Rainy Day Box Company

 

1 Comment
Leave a Reply