This is a review of our day at Staunton Country Park, in Havant, Hampshire. This is a fairly photo heavy post, as I really want to show all the things we saw and did today. All information included in this post is correct to the best of my knowledge at time of posting.
Today, Matt and I took Ezra to Staunton Country Park. It’s only a short drive from where we live, and relatively cheap, with Ezra being free due to being under 3, we only had to pay for us two (£8.50 each plus £2.50 all day parking, but they do take that off of the price you pay for the ticket in). We also bought a bag of animal feed to take round with us, which was 75p. As a side note, the place is as disabled friendly as a country park can be, walkways are wide, doors are push button to open and there is plenty of disabled parking.
We headed up there just after it opened (it’s open 10am – 5pm) and took a picnic and drinks with us. We parked up and were greeted by this really nice older gent who was letting all the visitors know there are two sides to see, but you had to cross the road to get to the other part, but we were not able to do that today as Ezra got too tired out. He was such a lovely man, and really represented all the staff we dealt with, as there were all lovely.
We went round to see all the animals. Ezra took great delight in feeding the animals, particularly the goats and sheep, although he did keep trying to put the little food pellets in their noses! The animals were really gentle and friendly and definitely knew that humans coming round means food! Some animals cannot be fed, but there are signs up telling you that, but other than that you can feed the animals freely.
There are plenty of handwash stations, well stocked with soap and hand towels and a fair handful of toddler step stools at each one so even the little ones can reach to wash their hands after feeding and/or handling the animals.
Ezra loved seeing the ‘quack-quacks’, mostly because there were three ducks playing together and quacking loudly. He also liked petting the Shetland pony, looking at the cows, pigs and donkeys and the fish in the glasshouse.
As we made our way around the animal area, Ezra was excitedly running from animal to animal. In his excitement, he tripped on the gravel and grazed his arm a bit. We came up to the play park and of course, he wanted to go in and play. So Matt took him to play while I went to the little cafe to see if they had any plasters, just to cover the cut to keep foreign matter out. Luckily they did, and the staff were really nice about it, didn’t even charge me, it seemed to come straight out of their box behind the counter too.
The play park itself was great. It really catered for kids of all ages. Ezra loved it. There was a tractor, a pirate boat, many slides and swings and bouncy see saws and bucket spinners. There was so much to do. Ezra was so upset when we made him leave for lunch.
Just outside the play park is a courtyard full of picnic benches (and the cafe I mentioned is just off here). We picked a table and sat down for lunch. After lunch we went back past the animals and headed for the greenhouses through the walled garden. Not many flowers were in bloom at this time of year, but when they are, it’s beautiful.
We went into the greenhouse. Tropical sounds are played, animal and insect noises. It is so hot and humid in there. We looked at the little fish and walked around and looked at the plants.
After leaving the greenhouse, we headed over to the little sensory garden. It’s so cute. Ezra really loved the wooden xylophone and the drums and kept flitting between them! It’s in a nice secluded area away from the animals and play areas and there’s a little picnic bench there too.
We then went on to explore the hedge maze. Ezra loved running ahead and picking which way to go. It wasn’t overly complex, it was enjoyable and easy to solve but enough of a challenge for younger children. Ezra wanted Matt to carry him out once we’d got to the centre of the maze.
Ezra was getting very tired by this point so we decided to head home after having a little look in the shop on the way out. The park actually have people with learning difficulties work there, growing plants and helping out. It’s something they are very proud of and I like how inclusive they are.
There was still the soft play barn to explore, donkey rides to have, the other side of the park to see and much more. It was well worth the money. If you are ever in the Havant area, it’s definitely worth stopping in. The variety of things to do and see means that this is somewhere we will be returning to time and time again.
See you next post!