Let's be honest, the weather truly has been frightful and very wet over the last week and to be frank, we had had enough of the rain. We have always been an outdoorsy family and go out in all weathers but non stop rain just gets on my nerves.
We decided to head along to Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve and try out the Reindeer trail. Rainton Meadows is a fab place to head for a walk and it is in Sunderland, so it's only a 5 minute drive for us. The only thing I would say is if you are planning to go, go along earlier in the day as it can become quite busy. Today it wasn't too bad and we got parked in the main car park straight away. We had previously spotted the Reindeer trail and the boys were looking forward to taking part. You need to head into the visitors centre and ask for a map which is £2 and you get a pencil too. Once you complete it and answer the questions you get a little sticker. The staff are always lovely here and always chat with the boys. Today we were lucky to see a few gaggles of geese, ducks, swans, a rather large hare and of course the beautiful Exmoor ponies.
The map is easy to follow and the answers are on a round log hanging from something close by to an arrow. If you miss any on your way, the answers are easily found on a board back in the visitors centre.
Terrain here is fine, easily accessible but I would suggest sturdy footwear. It was quite muddy today after all the rain. The indoor hides are also closed.
We grabbed some food and decided to make a day of it and head down to Low Barns to try the trail there too.
Again, suggested £2 parking for non members, Toilets are open and the café is also open for takeaway. Bad part first, Elliot didn't get a sticker because they didn't have any... He wasn't happy. You have to get your map from the café/Visitor centre for £2
I always enjoy a walk around Low Barns and although the hides are closed, you can still see loads if you take the time to look around. We luckily spotted a Snowy Egret! Again loads of ducks, gaggles of geese and Toby thinks he spotted a kingfisher, but it flew off before I got there.
The trail is easy to follow, with clues and the answers painted onto a log slice. Terrain is great, accessible and only a tad muddy. My only issue here is people with dogs not picking up the poop. Today we ordered 5 hot chocolates, which weren't the best but it was warm.(5 hot chocolates came to £13, which I think is great value)
Need to know
*Maps with a small pencil are £2 each. Collect from the visitors centre (Don't forget your mask) Visitors centre is open 10-3 daily.
*Recommended parking charge of £2 for non members
*Follow the clues on the sheet to find the answer, which is on a log slice. (KEEP AN EYE OUT BECAUSE THEY ARE EASY TO MISS)
*Toilets are open
*Cafes are open for takeaway service
*Dogs are welcome on a lead but please pick up the poop!
*Sturdy walking shoes recommended
Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve
Low Barns Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre
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