We spend a lot of time at our local park (I never have been very good at staying in), so we decided to try somewhere new a few weeks back. The weather was looking a bit gloomy so we settled on Moggerhanger Park, which is only a 15-minute drive out from the centre of Bedford. It’s close to the villages of Willington and Blunham, and near to the town of Sandy.
The park is the setting for Moggerhanger House – a Grade 1-listed Georgian property designed by the English architect John Soane. Today it’s really popular for wedding receptions, although you can take tours of the house at 2.30pm on Sundays and Wednesdays if you just fancy a nose around.
We stuck to the grounds themselves, which span 33 acres of pretty gardens and woodland and are free to enter. There’s a circular walking trail that starts and ends at the Woodland Café – a lovely little place that was fit to bursting when we got there thanks to a combination of half term and slightly dodgy weather. Nevertheless, we found a table right at the back, where there are a couple of squidgy sofas (ideal for breastfeeding) and some toys to keep toddlers and young children entertained.
Food-wise there’s a kids’ menu with things like fish and chicken goujons and chips, and a regular menu with afternoon tea and cake options as well as paninis and doorstop sandwiches. The Husband went for ham egg and chips, and The Boy and I were very jealous when our ‘small’ chips arrived. (Yes, the miniature bucket they were served in was very pretty, but it didn’t hide the fact there were about 8 chips inside.)
Re-fuelled if not particularly full, we headed back outside to the playground. It’s a small one – one big wooden climbing frame and slide, one small slide, and one (yes one) toddler swing, all tucked away in a clearing on the edge of the woods. The Boy loved it, and The Girl even got a turn in the swing, but we’d have been in trouble if the place had been much busier.
I think for that reason we probably wouldn’t rush back to the playground at Moggerhanger Park, although I could see us making a return trip to the café as it’s so well set up for young families. The fact there’s no entrance fee makes a big difference, too. I just won’t be ordering the chips next time.