On Sunday we decided to head away from the crowded beaches and instead planned a trip to Furzey Gardens in the New Forest.
The weather was scorching and we felt it would be a good place to go to offer the choice of sunshine or shade. We have been before when the children were younger and one of the things we had loved was the fairy houses dotted around the gardens at the base of various trees. This time the children would be old enough to enjoy searching for the fairies.
On arrival at Furzey Gardens the car park was fairly quiet with just a few cars. We paid our entrance fee (£7.00 per adult and free for under 4's) and off we set. We took the buggy as we knew the gardens were pushchair friendly - and it helped to carry the travel potty and our picnic!
The gardens themselves have a natural beauty. I don't know much about flowers or shrubs, but I love the variety of colours and the tranquillity of Furzey. With Oliver and Isabella in tow of course it was all about finding the fairy houses - and for any Ben and Holly fans this is a must!
Outside one of the tiny front doors we found "elf boots". We were sure that this was Ben Elf's house.
Eventually we came across some child sized houses and a treehouse to explore, as well as wooden tunnels and a swing.
There are various places to stop for a picnic, either at a bench, a sheltered seating area or just open grass to plonk down on a blanket. There is also a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating, toilets and a gift shop.
After our picnic we walked to the Bug Barn and Thatching Project and Oliver and Isabella found a small thatched cottage to explore.
Before leaving we also had a peek inside the 16th Century Cottage where 13 children once slept upstairs, although I didn't take my two upstairs to see the Furzey Oak Children (models) as Oliver is not keen on life like dolls and models. He was also slightly scared of the scarecrow that we found in the formal gardens.
We had a really wonderful visit to Furzey Gardens and found it incredibly relaxing as well as offering some welcome breaks from the sunshine.