We are really lucky that even though we live in the middle of Birmingham, we have some beautiful parks within a few minutes driving distance in the car. One of these parks is Sheldon Country Park.
Sheldon Park covers over 300 acres of open grassland and woodland. It is also home to the Old Rectory Farm, which is an old dairy farm dating back from the 17th century. Admission to the park and farm are free and it is great for a day out.
I have some lovely memories of that park. When Harrison was born, it was the first place I took him on m own. Every Thursday, I would put his pushchair in the car, and a couple of bottles and drive over. We would go and find a quiet spot in the shade, and I would lie him on his blanket, where quite often he would have a nap, whilst I read my book. We would then have a wander around the farm, stopping off in the tea rooms for a drink.
On Tuesday we went to stretch our legs, play on the climbing frame and have a look at the animals. Luckily, even though the play area was quite busy, we managed to park no problem. My mum and me would have been quite happy to have had a walk around the park, but as soon as the kids saw the play area, they were off like a shot.
The play area is a decent size and free from rubbish and graffiti that you often find in parks. There is a set of swings (although no baby ones), a big frame with ladders, crawling tunnels, climbing wall and a slide, a roundabout, a couple of rocking animals and a few other bits of play equipment (but I have no idea what you would call them!). Even though it was busy, it didn’t feel crowded.
After having a good run around and play on the equipment, we went and looked at the animals at the farm. There are pigs, birds, sheep, cows, horses and a Shetland Pony. It is only a small farm but it is lovely to have one in the middle of Birmingham, and especially one that is free!
We then went for a quick loo stop (lovely big clean toilet block – always a bonus!) and then to the tea rooms for a drink and something to eat. The tea rooms do a range of hot and cold drinks, and snacks such as burgers, chips, sandwiches and hot dogs, and not too expensive. We had a drink and some chips and sat in the lovely little garden (which does get quite busy on a nice day) under the parasols. My only criticism would be that there is one of those sit in rides on the garden, which spoils it a little, and kids are drawn to them like magnets. I hate those things – I wish they could be banned from everywhere!
We then went back to the play area which had quietened down a bit, most likely due to the ominous black clouds above. We managed another half an hour or so in there before the rain came along.
If you’re around Birmingham and looking for a nice cheap day out, then definitely pay a visit to the park!