Sandford Park Secrets

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If I had to rate this week in terms of annoyance on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 12. The kiddies have been cooped up with chicken pox, which means no nursery, no toddler groups, no park trips, nothing. And to top it all off the weather has been blimmin' lovely!

I am exaggerating a little… I did sneak out a few times for fresh air, and our salvation? Sandford Park. No, not the one with the play area where there is a chance of Bertie’s overzealous bear hugs infecting other children; instead we went hiding in the OTHER Sandford park on the opposite side of the road.

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This time of the year is the perfect time to enjoy what is truly Cheltenham’s most beautiful park (in my slightly biased, local opinion). There are a few different entrances - our usual route is via the Bath Road entrance (between the car park and Wetherspoons), and this time of year they turn the fountains on which are lovely, and a huge hit with my two.

The park has some cute little bridges, streams, ponds and waterfalls, so if your child is one for running off and is likely to attempt a Tom Daley impression, I would suggest reins… just for your own peace of mind. The wiggly paths in and around it are a lot of fun for the kids to scoot on but they are quite hilly so brake-use is key!

Our favourite park game is 'fishing' - in other words - 'sitting on a rock with a really big stick dipping into the water', and the best part of this game is - you have to be quiet, otherwise you’ll scare the fishes! Fun for the kiddies, relaxing for moi.

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There are actually lots of little gems in this park, if you head round to the High Street entrance, not only is there the lion’s head fountain but The Edible Garden. This lovely idea was put together by the people of the charity Transition Town teaming up with the council, to help people learn more about growing their own veg. And in the meantime anyone is welcome to help themselves to a few salad leaves, some beans and maybe a courgette if you’re lucky!

As if this wasn’t enough there are trees for hiding and climbing, tons of squirrels for spotting even the odd friendly neighbourhood cat or two that comes to say hello. It really is a fabulous place, right in the heart of town!

Hannah, May 2017

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