The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Kid-friendly

Up the highest tower in Oxford. Fancy a look?

29 Feb 2016

Went into Oxford last Monday to take my kids to the Andy Warhol exhibition at The Ashmolean Museum – because those bratlets will be cultured, goddamit. But I entirely forgot that all the museums are closed on a Monday (even in half term which seem a bit daft). Cue some quick thinking and a change of plan.

Which was a scurry up St Michael in the North Gate tower, on the corner of Cornmarket and Ship Street.

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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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A beautiful walk in Burnham Beeches

10 Nov 2015

Just a quickie really to let those of you who aren’t in South Bucks know about Burnham Beeches, one of the loveliest, most family-friendly spots for woodland walking I’ve come across around these ‘ere parts. The image above was taken by me, no filters or funny tricky photoshop stuff. This is really what it looks like!

I’ve driven past the sign for Burnham Beeches scores of times, but I’m usually tanking it elsewhere in the car so never get around to detouring off for it.

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REVIEW: *Brilliant* family getaway near Bath

17 Oct 2015

I always get a tingle when I find something I know Muddy readers will love too and whoa, I’m feeling it big style on this one. If you’re looking for a family break with younger kids, this is totally it. Last weekend I went down to Woolley Grange, about 6 miles from Bath with the Muddy clan and it pretty much ticked every box. A triumph of relaxation frankly.

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KIDS: River & Rowing and a fab lunchy

7 Sep 2015


You can always rely on the River & Rowing Museum to provide gloriously silly fancy dress with their holiday activity program. Having elbowed several children out the way to get at the goods (don’t get sniffy, at least one of them was mine) , I threw on this polyester gold lame number.

This little piece of Tutenkhamun loveliness is part of the Epic Egypt family exhibition that’s been running all summer.

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Try this: Cool camping in Longridge, nr Marlow

10 Aug 2015

Excited to tell you about this because it is a great option for low-hassle camping – and lord knows in the not-very-tent-friendly Muddy family we like the sound of that!

I’ve wrote a few weeks ago about the children’s activity days at Longridge (nr Marlow) that run through summer (see my post here), but it’s also worth telling you about the Family Activity Weekend I just went on with the Muddy ankle-biters.

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(Mr) Muddy goes ape…

11 May 2015

Have you ever looked up at one of those tree-top climbing forest adventures and thought, yeah, I’d love to put down my cappuccino and muffin and spend an afternoon hoiked in a harness in the trees? Possibly not, but actually, having fobbed off Go Ape duties to Mr Muddy the other week, I really regretted not having a go myself. No, I mean it! It looked like a lot of fun.

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Ready for your triple salchow? The best ice rinks

24 Nov 2014

Ready to don your ice skates, mittens and bobble hat and venture out for some ice-skating? Here we go then! The best rinks in Bucks, Oxon and beyond for your delectation.

Millets Farm Centre, Frilford, near Abingdon, Sat 29 Nov – Sun 4 Jan

One of the more established rinks in Oxfordshire, Millett’s Garden Centre is open 7 days a week, with a bigger outdoor rink this year, a viewing area so your children can watch you fall on your rear, and a heated ice rink cafe so for a conciliatory mulled wine afterwards.

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Muddy visits… Chastleton House (Nat. Trust)

21 Oct 2014


I visited Chastleton House when I was staying at Bruern Cottages in the Cotswolds a few months back (yes, the 5 star cottage holiday thats up for grabs on Muddy, have you entered yet?!!). Chastleton House is only a few miles from Chipping Norton so very much on the Oxfordshire side of the Cotswolds, very accessible for a day’s visit, and it’s really worth a gander if you someone who likes National Trust-style days out – not least because from the beginning of November your chances to visit substantially reduce as it’s only open two out of five weekends in Nov and two out of four weekends in Dec.

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New hotel crush: Stoke Park (Bucks)

20 Oct 2014

It’s not often I’m left short of words, but even my Muddy mouth was silenced by Stoke Park on the weekend. Because let me tell you, it’s flippin’ amazing. A red five star hotel (that means it’s five stars but with extra twinkles) with one of the best spas in the country, and a three rosette restaurant. Even better, it’s close with a leafy home in Stoke Poges only 10 minutes from Beaconsfield, 30 minutes from Oxford and an hour or so from West/North Oxon.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition