Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Sandwell Valley Country Park

Living in the city of Tipton, you wouldn't expect there to be much to do when the weather and you fancy going for a day out.. but in actual fact, there is quite a lot to keep you occupied!
One of our favourite places to go is Sandwell Valley, near the city-centre of West Bromwich. We usually opt for walking but there is a car park and also a bus stop very near the entrance.

Our first stop is always the duck pond! There is a small corner shop opposite the entrance where you can buy a loaf of bread ( I always opt for a Kingsmill white) and we head to see all the lovely duckies who flock towards the feeding platform to enjoy the food we bring. We were lucky enough to see some little ducklings last week too!

There is a large children's play park down a slope to the right of the main path and they have created one for smaller children/toddlers to the left so there is something for all ages.
They also now have a Go-Ape style adventure climbing attraction for children that is well worth taking a look at!

Next we opted for the Farm, Activity centre and Gardens but for this you will need to pay a small fee of £2 per adult. In the cafe inside, do the nicest cake I think I have Ever tasted and a bargain at £2.50 for a large slice and a coffee! The mister had a Bacon & Sausage sandwich & coffee and the total for both of us was only around £6.50. Absolutely bargain.
We saw so many lovely animals in the farmyard.. They had beautiful donkeys and baby piglets as well as chickens, ducks, rabbits and ponies. It looks so brilliant to take children to but as we're not entirely grown up yet we absolutely loved it.

We found a hedge-maze too which I don't think i've done one of since i was around 5 years old, so we had great fun making our way through that and as per, the mister decided to jump out and scare me.. Boo! Surrounding this are beautiful gardens filled with both flowers and plants. They actually grow a large number of salad, vegetables and fruit which they sell at the shop there so it looks excellent for fresh product and at great prices too - i'll definitely be keeping them in mind for the future. I was fascinated to find out they grew Bananas and Melons in heated greenhouses - i'm desperate to try one!

Back outside in the main park there was actually a school sports day going on for their last day of term but that is a rare occasion! There is a large patch of grass once you walk down the steps to the bottom section which is the perfect picnic spot and for taking footballs, a frisbee and other outdoor toys. There is a nature trail which leads out of the park and eventually to a little pond named 'Sot's Hole' and then again, eventually to a RSPB sanctuary but we decided to leave that for another day due to the 27 degree heat. It does look a  beautiful walk though and you pass fields with horses in which always come over to say 'Hello!'.


There are other activities for teenagers and adults too such as Mini Golf which is a favourite! 9 holes of fun for only £1.75 per person! It was nearly empty the day we chose to go so we spent around an hour 'perfecting our skills'. Next to that is a Tennis/Sports court where you can hire rackets/play tennis with your own gear and it can also be used for football. Lastly there is a Pitch 'N' Putt course which costs a respectable £4.50 per person (you can bring your own clubs if you wish) but if not it will cost £1 per person to hire them out plus a £5 deposit which you get back on return of the clubs. But still fab for the guys to have some 'man time'!

Overall it is just such a fabulous place to spend a day. There are acres of beautiful scenery and you don't even have to spend any money if you don't want to as it is free to get in. Just ensure you take a drink with you! There is always an ice cream van on site for your sweet fix too ladies! It is perfect for both couples and families of all ages with a wide variety of activities, lovely eating facilities and a friendly atmosphere.


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