The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Child-friendly

Top 10 Xmas books for kids ages 8-12

12 Dec 2016

Here you go, the second of the Muddy book guides to help you decide the best tomes for Christmas. As usual we’ve deployed the local experts, this time picking Sam’s brain at Books & Ink on her Top 10 fiction picks for kids 8-12.

Star Wars Galactic Atlas

This is the must have Christmas present for Star Wars fans of all ages.

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Peter Pan in Scarlet

6 Jul 2016

If the thought of impending seven weeks of child-led holiday madness is giving you the sweats (*breathe, breathe*), either because you have little people yourself, or because you want to keep other people’s children at arm’s length – or both! – be assured that your trusty Muddy Guide will be taking your hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze and leading you through the very best things to do in Oxon, Bucks and beyond every week through the summer.

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9 Oxon/Bucks pubs with brilliant gardens

5 May 2016

I’ve been to a gazillions of pubs in Oxon & Bucks on *cough* Muddy duty and have drawn together this scratch list, admittedly half cut late in the evening, but hopefully with a degree of knowledge and insight. Yeah yeah, I’ve probably left some goodies off, and if you think there has been a libellous omission, genuinely please let me know – I love to hear suggestions and much as I bomb around trying out new places, you are the guys who live and breathe your local areas. 

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Get your skates on

8 Dec 2015

You’ve booked the panto, and taken the kids to visit Santa, but – ah –  have you broken your wrist in time for Christmas yet? Here are the best venues for sliding, gliding, wobbling and hopefully not falling on ice.

Windsor on Ice, Alexandra Gardens, Windsor, 28 Nov – 3 Jan

Watch with awe as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip perform their famous take on Bolero around at this local ice rink.

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Bright Sparks Science parties for kids – kaboom!

17 Nov 2015

Looking for something a bit different to do for your kids’ birthday? Gadzooks, I think I have it! My smallest Muddy is well into science. He’s particularly interested in theoretical physics and the abstractions of physical objects to explain and predict natural phenomena. Not really, he’s six. He likes fart jokes and whooppee cushions (seriously, don’t we all?).

But this is the joy of Bright Sparks. It aims to enthuse kids about how science works whilst showing them all the fun stuff.

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Muddy eats: The Old Swan, The Lee

16 Aug 2015

Yes people, this is my incredibly glamorous car parked outside The Old Swan near The Lee (Great Missenden way). Muddy model/actor squeeze Jamie Dornan is inside ordering a drink for me (because I have lost all ability to think apart from X-rated thoughts and Mr Muddy has had to go to the moon for an extended business trip). My children are on holiday with, um, some extended relative or other, and – hey, can  you believe it?

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Oh I say! Stoke Park tennis camp for kids

25 Mar 2015

The last thing my 7 year old daughter said to me when I left her at Stoke Park (Stoke Poges) for a day’s tennis camp was uttered between tightly gritted teeth. ‘I don’t want to be here‘. Her younger brother, 5, who knows how to cajole me into a mid-afternoon treat, smiled beatifically, and chirruped, ‘I do!’

Did I try to talk her around gently about the importance of playing sport and trying something different?

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Mr Muddy, what a man!

19 Jan 2015

I had a hilarious email from a reader the other week requesting that I never show full photos of Mr Muddy as she likes the image of him in her head (borderline pervy but I like her style).  So with that in mind, here is Mr M at Oxford’s The Story Museum on the weekend, coyly obscured by his shepherdess’s hat and camping it up as The Mysterious Goddess of the Night.

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Last weekend for Geek is Good!

30 Oct 2014

Ooopsy. Well, better late than never. I visited the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford a couple of months back now to review the Geek is Good exhibition for the Ali Jones radio show, and then promptly forgot to put it on the blog. Now it’s the last weekend of the exhibition so you’d better read this quick!

I did put Geek is Good my Muddy Guide a couple of times, but it does deserve its own post really because it’s one of those small museums that does great things (the Oxford University Bate Collection of musical instruments is another) that somehow gets overlooked for the more obvious bony charms of the dinosaurs in the Pitt Rivers Museum down the road.

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Bumper Half-Term Guide

24 Oct 2014

Well, mes braves, are you ready to rumble with half-term? Those of you with kids, breathe a sigh of relief for your trusty correspondent has it all covered. If you’re unincumbered, fear not, there’s plenty for you to do as well. I’m going to lie own in a dark corner and attempt to recover from my exertions..

Do check back with the guide regularly as I will definitely add stuff as I come across it, and have fun!

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition