A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park

“Where are we going today, Mummy?” is nearly always one of the first questions Jessica asks each day. Sometimes I can give her a definite answer: “preschool”, “Legoland”, “to the shops”. Some days the answer is simply “I don’t know yet” or the disappointing “nowhere”. This time though, I had plans for the day. “We’re going on an adventure!” was my response. An adventure that required puddlesuits and wellies. An adventure finding the clues on a winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park.

A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

This adventure would bring a little milestone moment – the first time going for a significant walk without taking the buggy just in case. I knew our walk would take us along muddy paths and next to rivers and that trying to steer the buggy whilst holding two little hands would make it too difficult. I was fairly confident the girls would manage – and we could always stop for a rest now and then if little legs were getting tired.

A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

We picked up our maps and clues from the visitor centre and headed out to follow the trail. There were pictures of baubles along the route, with arrows to show the way and Jessica enjoyed looking out for them, and the pictures of Christmas stockings that we needed to count along the way.

Heading off on our walk - A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love
The first clue – a Santa hat – was found hanging off a signpost near the Roman Well and the next – a snowflake hanging in a tree, a short distance ahead. Some of the clues related to plants that could be spotted along the trail; others, such as candy canes, bells and presents, were found hanging in the trees. Jessica loved trying to find them all and managed to spot a few of them before I did!

Looking out for clues on a winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

Sophie mostly just enjoyed the walk. There were muddy puddles to jump in, sticks to pick up, leaves to kick, stones to collect and gates to go through. She did get caught up in her sister’s excitement every time we spotted a clue but was fairly oblivious to following the trail otherwise!

Jumping in muddy puddles - A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

My favourite moment of our walk came when we took a slight detour off the trail to head to Denham deep lock, just as a boat was going through. Jessica is now at an age where she is more interested in what is happening and I enjoyed telling her about how locks work, describing it as being like a big bath which is filled or emptied to help the boat go up or down a hill. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to share some family stories – stories about the narrowboat that Grandma and Grandad owned when Daddy was Jessica’s age and the holidays they went on, as well as the narrowboat holidays that Mummy and Daddy enjoyed later on. It was so lovely to be able to share some of those stories with the girls and to see Jessica really taking an interest in it.

Watching a boat go through Denham deep lock - A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

After helping open the lock gates for the boat to go through, we then headed back to the trail and a walk along the river, stopping for a brief rest along the way as Jessica was starting to get tired and a little out of breath. Thankfully, we were almost at the end of the walk with just a few more clues left to find before we could hand in our completed treasure trail forms at the visitor centre. The girls got a chocolate each for finishing the treasure trail which they were very happy with!

Stopping for a rest during our walk - A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

I was pleased that Sophie coped so well with the walk. Towards the end though, she was clearly tired and looked like she was almost sleep-walking, so it wasn’t a surprise when she fell asleep before we’d even left the car park. She didn’t even stir when we stopped off at the office to see Daddy on our way home.

A tired out little girl after our walk - A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park - Little Hearts, Big Love

It was definitely the right decision to leave the buggy in the car for our walk – the area around the lock especially would have been almost impossible to navigate as the mud was so thick. Knowing that we can now go on longer walks without it is quite liberating – it opens up a lot more opportunities for exploring different places and going on adventures together in the future.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

16 thoughts on “A winter treasure trail at Denham Country Park

  1. So nice to go out without a buggy…it’s just convincing the kids they don’t need it! I love all the questioning stage as well. It gets a bit wearing, but it’s great to know that they’re interesting in discovering more.

    Great little trail – seems the country park are pretty good at catering for seasonal interest.
    Happy new year

    1. It was lovely to be able to leave it behind, and yes I agree the questioning stage does get a bit wearing at times too! Happy New Year to you too Emma 🙂

  2. A real milestone moment indeed and what a lovely day you had for your treasure hunt. I really wanted to do a christmas hunt with cluses like this at coombe Mill. but in the end the time ranaway from us with all the other things I had planned. Seeing your girls enjoy this one it is back on the agenda for next year. Well done to both girls and for you taking them on your own. A lovely adventure for those puddle suits and wellies. A very Happy New Year to you all and thank you for joining me for the first #CountryKids of 2016.

    1. Thanks Fiona – it was a lot of fun and we definitely made the most of some late December sunshine! Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  3. I am glad your buggyless walk went so well. And what an adventure it was. They look like they had a lot of fun and I love the festive touches.

    1. Thank you Keitha – treasure hunts are great fun, aren’t they? We always love doing them 🙂

  4. This looks like such a lovely walk! What a nice idea having the Christmassy items to look for.
    We are at the stage where we are starting to leave the buggy at home for some of our trips out – although not the journey to school as I worry that Freyja would be late if her little sister dictated the pace.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Thanks Karen. I can see how leaving the buggy can be problematic for the school run – thankfully ours is only a few minutes away so we can just about cope with toddler pace! 🙂

  5. Oh yes, I remember being able to ditch the buggy and it was great. I also remember NEVER being able to get the boys in those all in one suits!! Looks like you had great fun and here’s wishing you a Happy New Year and fabulous 2016 from Normandy. #CountryKids

    1. Thanks Rosie – it is certainly very liberating being able to ditch it! Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  6. Sophie and Jessica are such a mini explorers. They look like they had so much fun and high five to buggyless walk! 🙂 xx

    1. Thank you Melody – we had such a lovely walk and it was so liberating being able to leave the buggy behind 🙂

  7. We went on a long walk without the buggy the other day and it really was liberating! I love their matching puddle suits!! So cute!! x

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