Habits for a Simple Life: Back to Nature

simple life
When I look back on my life in Ireland and ponder exactly what it was that made it such a wonderful, fulfilling and simple life, the thing that comes up time and time again was being outside a lot of the time.  It was something Gary and I were determined not to let go of when we moved here, but the suburban countryside hasn’t lured us with quite the success that the miles of sandy beaches near to us in Ireland did.  Gary often came home from work and off we went, to spend the rest of the day and often the evening at the beach which was less than 10 minutes away from where we lived.  We chose a beach which was, in the main, reliably empty of people and we had hours of fabulous play and peace.

Today we live over an hour away from the nearest beach, and it would be busier than its Irish counterpart and a shingle beach, rather than sand.  In addition, unlike Ireland, you are not allowed to take vehicles onto the beach, which means one must traipse all one’s clobber onto the beach (ahem).   We still love visiting, but it is a whole day event to make it worth our while.  So Gary and I have been looking into places we can go closer to home, where there is still a sense of space.  Living so near to London, space is at somewhat of a  premium and therefore a little harder to find.  To be honest we have come up with a few ideas, most of them on our door step.  But there is one particular place we visited and loved so much at the beginning of the year, we are determined to make going a weekly occurrence.

On T12’s birthday in January we took him to Wisley RHS gardens.  Now I have to admit to going for my son’s sake, not really in my wildest dreams imagining that I would enjoy myself.  I thought it was plants and that was it.  A glorified garden centre.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It is miles and miles of natural beauty, maintained impeccably, with pathways (so not to get too muddy – essential in these waterlogged days).  So last week we took the rest of the family to meet our new weekly destination, hoping they would love it as much as we had:

Wisley seems to go on forever
Wisley seems to go on forever
With the relaxing sounds of waterfalls....
With the relaxing sounds of waterfalls….
....and fountains, set alongside old manor houses
….and fountains, set alongside old manor houses
With beautiful ponds (and you all know how much I love my ponds!)
With beautiful ponds (and you all know how much I love my ponds!)
All the children loved it as much as we did!
All the children loved it as much as we did!
We saw new to us Egyptian geese with their florescent pink legs!
We saw new to us Egyptian geese with their fluorescent pink legs!
Some monster fish, in the very well stocked lakes
Some monster fish, in the very well stocked lakes
There are also incredible sculptures dotted around the place
There are also incredible sculptures dotted around the place
We all had a thoroughly lovely time with each other and in such beautiful surroundings.
We all had a thoroughly lovely time with each other and in such beautiful surroundings.
And can't wait to go back next week.
We can’t wait to go back next week!

We have bought ourselves a yearly ticket with the Christmas money Gary’s parents gave us (thank you Tom and Heather!).  This is going to become our weekly destination, to take time out from our studies and enjoy the wildlife, fresh air and each other, making lots of lovely memories along the way – much like we did in Ireland at the beach.

16 comments

  1. The posts you have written about Ireland have made me want to visit even more than I already do. As I have only seen pictures of Ireland, I can only imagine the beauty and simple life one could have there. It is near the top of my to visit list, just after Scotland.
    I’m glad you all have found such a beautiful place to visit each week! It truly looks wonderful!

    Oh, and I have to laugh. I love it when you post pictures of your family. It’s fun to see other “true” red heads! Around here, I don’t often see others with natural bright red hair! Not even my kiddos have red hair.

    Just read through the last few posts.
    Great posts!

  2. We love Wisley too! You’re right, it has so much space and natural beauty. The staff at the Clore Learning Centre are lovely too. We’ve done a few brilliant workshops there.

  3. What a lovely place to bring into your routine! I’m looking forward to when it will be light enough after evensong to go for a Sunday evening stroll in my nearby park (complete with boating lake and resident Canada geese) because green space is so good for the soul.

  4. It looks like it was amazing, I would love to go there and to Ireland one day! Well, I pretty much want to go everywhere- I have some gypsy blood! I spent most of my time outside and I too lived near beaches until the last 12 years or so and I completely understand. I also wanted my children to love the outdoors and be comfortable at the beach/woods/pasture, just wherever we ended up. So far so good, we get outside and pick up all sorts of things to look at or study. I don’t know if you are interested in this or not but, one of the things we use is”the Outdoor Hour Challenge” great way to study nature-she makes it easy and fun to study nature on her blog, we don’t do all of her “challenges” but always enjoy the ones we get into!
    Just to let you know we are getting ready to learn about Marco Polo and China and Thank You So Much for all of the work you did on that! My children are going to love it! Tonyia

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