Remembering Jessica: A snowdrop walk at West Wycombe Park

Last year, Jessica managed her longest post-surgery walk when we went looking for signs of spring at a nearby meadow and spotted snowdrops. Life felt good; we were the other side of heart surgery; spring was on the way and we were starting to dare to look ahead a little. One year on and how very different it all is. Those signs of spring are a reminder that we are hurtling towards the first anniversary of Jessica’s death. Instead of spotting snowdrops with her, we are now planting them in her memory.

 

Sophie planting a snowdrop in memory of Jessica at West Wycombe Park - "Remembering Jessica: A snowdrop walk at West Wycombe Park"

 

We first encountered Child Bereavement UK in those first awful days after Jessica’s death. They were a source of information and books for us to try and help support Sophie. We’ve not really looked into the other support that they provide to bereaved families like ours yet. It’s good to know they’re there if needed though. They recently organised a snowdrop walk at West Wycombe Park. It seemed like a nice way to get out together as a family while remembering Jessica.

 

Hubby, Sophie and Thomas (in the buggy) at West Wycombe Park

 

West Wycombe Park is a Palladian country house and the home of the Dashwood family. It is owned by the National Trust and the gardens are usually open to the public from April to August. During February, the gardens seem to be open on selected dates for snowdrop walks organised by various charities.

 

Hubby and Sophie heading over a bridge at West Wycombe Park

 

Entrance to the snowdrop walk cost £3 for adults and £2 for children over 3. There was a children’s treasure trail available which cost £1. Sophie always enjoys looking out for things on a treasure trail. This one had different animals to look out for along the way.

 

Sophie finding Norman the Newt at West Wycombe Park

 

Having something to look out for often helps spur Sophie on when going for a walk. Spotting the next board up ahead gives tired legs a little boost. The animal signs were well-spaced out to provide that encouragement just at the right moments! It’s also nice now that Sophie can read some of the words for herself and she enjoyed learning a little more about each of the animals along the way too.

 

Sophie next to the sign for Olive the Ostrich

 

Sophie next to the sign for Walter the Walrus

 

I often carry Thomas in the sling on days out but now that he is getting heavier, we are beginning to use the buggy a little more. My back did appreciate the break from carrying Thomas this time although we would have been better off using the sling after all. It was a bit muddy for the buggy in places and there were a couple of steeper slopes which needed careful navigation. Thomas seemed happy enough in the buggy though!

 

Hubby with Thomas in the buggy at West Wycombe Park

 

The views across the park were beautiful, especially looking over the lake. It was a cloudy day with rain threatening but the sun did break through the clouds a couple of times. It came out just as we reached the Temple of Venus where we bought a snowdrop for Sophie to plant in memory of Jessica. Sophie chose a spot amongst the other snowdrops and I helped her dig a hole to plant our one. I thought about how much my big girl would have loved seeing all the pretty snowdrops growing around the park and how she would have enjoyed the walk and helping Sophie find the animals on the treasure trail. We were always at our happiest when getting out together as a family.

 

Sophie planting a snowdrop in memory of Jessica at West Wycombe Park

 

The trail finished at West Wycombe Village Hall where Sophie handed in her completed treasure trail map and received a goody bag. We timed our arrival at the village hall perfectly – we got there just as the first drops of rain started to fall and missed the heavy shower as a result! There was tea and coffee, homemade cakes, bacon rolls and children’s and adults’ tombola inside the village hall. Sophie was pleased to win a Captain America toy in the children’s tombola and a cup of coffee and some cake was much appreciated after the walk!

 

Sophie ticking Pippa the Panda off the list

 

Visiting West Wycombe Park – what you need to know:

Address:

West Wycombe Park
West Wycombe
Buckinghamshire
HP14 3AJ

 

Car parking is available at the west end of the village, a short walk away from the entrance to West Wycombe Park.

For more information click here.

 

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9 Comments

  1. March 2, 2019 / 12:23 am

    Lovely to plant a snowdrop in Jessicas memory. This looks like a great place for a walk and nice they had the trail to keep Sophie engaged. Mich x

    • Louise
      Author
      March 7, 2019 / 2:36 pm

      It was a lovely place for a walk and planting a snowdrop was a nice way to remember Jessica x

  2. March 2, 2019 / 8:14 am

    I love the idea of this and great to know support is there too. This is on our list to visit later this year #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      March 7, 2019 / 2:36 pm

      It’s a beautiful place to visit – I’m sure we’ll be back there again at some point.

  3. This looks like a beautiful place for a walk, and fun with the treasure trail. Lovely that you planted a snowdrop there in Jessica’s memory. It must be so hard with all your memories of last year, leading up to the anniversary of Jessica’s passing. Lots of love and strength to you and your family <3
    #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      March 7, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you Malin. It was a beautiful place and a lovely way to remember Jessica x

  4. March 6, 2019 / 9:39 am

    What a lovely way to remember your much loved daughter #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      March 7, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      It was a beautiful place and Sophie enjoyed planting the snowdrop x

  5. March 8, 2019 / 10:59 am

    Oh I love snowdrops. This walk looks wonderful and the bereavement charity certainly organise some thoughtful events. Planting flowers in Jessica’s name is a heartwarming remembrance; another permanent location you can pop to in a moment of grief or memory. #CountryKids

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