After a restful night’s sleep, we woke up in our tent on Sunday morning to the sound of the resident flock of Grouse in the distance as well as the delightful sounds of birds singing their dawn chorus. As we are National Trust members, we used our National Trust app to search for nearby places to visit. Winchester City Mill came up, so we decided to go there.

We drove into Winchester and found a car park near the City Mill. We went straight to the mill and as we walked in the smell of flour was almost overpowering. The mill is an example of an historic urban working corm mill. This is a great place to take children as there are many interactive displays. Super Tiddles and Duracell Bunny had a great time turning mill stones to grind grain to make flour. We also found another display where the boys found a button to press which activated a working model of the mill so they could see how the mill worked. We then found another activity which involved weighing bags of flour to see which one was the lightest. So, the City Mill is both fun and educational – what more could a parent want? There are also sometimes baking demonstrations in the mill. We weren’t lucky enough to see one, but I did pick up some recipe cards which I showed to the boys. Duracell Bunny said that he wanted to have a go at baking the Carrot Cake recipe and Super Tiddles agreed, so I’m looking forward to baking it with them on Monday and will let you all know how we get on. After we had finished enjoying all the interactive displays, Super Tiddles discovered a film showing in another room of the Otters which are often seen underneath the mill; He loves animals so he was in his element and spent ages staring at the Otters on the screen. Once we managed to drag him away, we all went down to the lower level to see the Mill Race. The River Itchen flows extremely fast underneath the mill and the boys were fascinated by it. Duracell Bunny made me laugh by asking me, “Who won the Mill Race”? After we had done all there was to do inside the mill, we headed outside to see a pair of Swans and their cygnet in a nest on the river. Super Tiddles whooped with delight when he saw them!

Winchester is a lovely city. After we left the City Mill, we headed to a nearby park (the name of which escapes me) so the boys could have a play while hubby and I watched them from a handy bench. After a while Super Tiddles said he’d rather be outside the playground chasing Pigeons, so he dragged Hubby off while I stayed with Duracell Bunny. After this we left the park and walked around the outside of the Cathedral. This small city is well worth a visit!

We got back to the campsite at around 4pm. It felt good to just be together and enjoying each other’s company without day to day distractions. We played frisbee for a while and then went for a walk. Later on, as the sun started to go down, other campers began to light campfires. We decided to light our own campfire. Hubby is an expert fire lighter so it wasn’t long before he had a roaring fire going. We sat round the fire chatting until it had died down enough, then we toasted marshmallows.

We all went to sleep together in the tent, a contented family.

I will wrap up for now but I will bake that Carrot Cake with the boys on Monday, so watch this space to see how we get on! 🙂

© Jane Gill 2016