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An honest account of a family walk with a three year old

Our picturesque family walk to Bat's Castle started with Arthur having a complete meltdown because he didn't walk to walk. He absolutely did not want to take any pictures of the deer on his new Kidizoom camera he got for Christmas. He wanted to go home.

Arthur showed his unwillingness to walk by claiming his legs didn't work and epically falling in the muddiest of puddles. And if that wasn't enough, he made himself cry so much he coughed and threw up a piece of strawberry from breakfast (yes, seriously.) I could have got stressed. I could have insisted we all packed ourselves back into the Land Rover and headed home. But, I looked at my other half and we had one of those 'we shouldn't be laughing but this is hilarious' moments. And all I could think was how lucky I felt that he was there to share this with me. This crazy world of parenting, where things don't always go to plan, where your kid doesn't always behave, where your efforts quickly turn into epic fails but no matter what, the love is always there.

The thing about three year olds is that their moods can change in seconds. A jelly bean bribe and a quick shoulder ride up the incline to Bat's Castle and we were dealing with a completely different child. He wanted to walk, no, wait, run! He couldn't wait to take photos with the Kidizoom (we posed for a few, only to find he'd actually taken selfies of his forehead...it's a great forehead though) and he wanted to make friends with the ponies. He was thrilled by the sight of the deer and excitedly watched as Josh tried to sneak close enough to get a good picture.

We got home and do you know what he said? He told us he'd had 'a really great day out!' The mud and strawberry vomit were long forgotten, replaced with the fun he'd had taking pictures of the ponies and sneaking jelly beans out of my pocket. And that's one of the lovely things about three year olds isn't it? They remember the highlights.

I was originally going to try and write this post with practical information about Bat's Castle but quite frankly, I couldn't tell you where we parked or how we got there because the epic tantrum kind of took over. Mum brain is real in these situations. And anyway, that's what Google's for right?

What I can tell you is that Bat's Castle is an Iron Age hill fort that was once home to a warrior chief (thank you information sign). Although I imagine some visit for its historical value, many will flock there for the panoramic views, which are simply breathtaking. I really enjoyed having a few minutes' peace at the very top, taking in the beautiful moorland, surrounding villages and coastal views, which span all the way to Wales. Just remember, you may need to bribe your kids - after all, they're unlikely to be as taken back by the stunning scenery, but you deserve to enjoy it!

What made it all the more enchanting was the sweet little Exmoor ponies and deer wandering free. They're relatively unfazed by the presence of visitors and I imagine they're pretty used to being photographed but as with all animals, I think it's important to show a little respect and not invade their space too much. That's what I'm trying to teach Arthur anyway.

Even though our family walk to Bat's Castle had a somewhat rocky start, we ended up having a really lovely time. So Arthur was right, it really was a great day out! Hopefully we'll have another walk there soon. Perhaps without the strawberry sick next time though...

Meg x

Meg x

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