Do you have a memory from childhood of a day out that stays with you even in adulthood?
Every year I used to visit my great Auntie Kathleen and Uncle Len who lived in Christchurch and they used to take me for cream teas in the New Forest and into Bournemouth to play in the arcades, but my favourite ever day out with them was a trip on the Noddy Train at Hengistbury Head – we even saw the driver have to remove an adder from the engine once.
Hengistbury Head is a protected and beautiful location which sports a huge array of wildlife and many scenic walks, but they can be quite tiring, especially for little legs. The land train (known as the Noddy Train to us locals) promises a tranquil ride though the woodland at the base of the headland on a tarmac road so the ride isn’t uncomfortable – that said it is very bouncy in places, much to the kids delight.
Although we have been to Hengistbury Head with Isaac and Eliza we hadn’t taken them on the Noddy Train before. With Sebastian adoring trains and glorious weather to boot we decided to head out there, roping in Abbey and her boyfriend Paul to help as hubby was working.
There are two land trains which run every 15 minutes so we didn’t have long to wait. The journey takes about 10 minutes with stunning views over Christchurch Harbour and Mudeford Quay. You get dropped off on Mudeford Spit where you can enjoy the beach, or walk up the steps onto the headland itself. The beach huts here are worth more than my house and there is one currently for sale for a mere £250,000!!!
Isaac and Eliza adored playing on the rocky groynes and there were a couple of hairy moments when a particularly big wave would roll in and threaten to splash them, whereas Sebby was happy playing in the sand dunes and finding sticks.
We spent a good couple of hours walking along the beach taking in the stunning scenery and testing out our new selfie stick before heading back to Hengistbury Head on the Noddy Train. No trip to the beach would be complete without an ice cream treat, even in winter!!