We stumbled across Greystones farm nature reserve by complete fluke and boy am I glad we did. The boys walked for miles with minimal whinging too so it must have been good.
Greystones Farm Nature Reserve
We’d planned to visit Boughton on the water and basically what happened was it was totally and unbelievably rammed. Everyone else had the same idea as me only there was fuck all chance I was staying in the middle of that. Social distancing was none existent and I’m not a people person even when there’s not a killer virus on the loose.
We buggered off back to the car with the intention of going home. Then on the noticeboard I saw a sign for Greystones Farm Nature reserve so off we went. Saved wasting the parking I’d payed for. It was a bit of a walk for the kids but they for some reason were in good spirits.
There is no parking up at the nature reserve apart from one or 2 disabled spots so you do need to park in one of the other car parks and walk in (we were in the one furthest away). You will eventually arrive into a farm (names a bit of a giveaway). There’s a courtyard with toilets (Open). A tractor for climbing on. A cafe (Was shut when we arrived) and a shop (Also shut at the time). In normal times it looks like it would be a great spot for lunch.
I’d seen on the map at the start that there was a wild play area near the water so we headed out that way. So i thought fast forward about 30 mins and everyone I came across I walked if they knew where the water was haha. Finally this one family gave me a map (no idea where they got it) And pointed me in the right direction. Did it help? Did it bollocks.
Exploring Greystones Farm Nature Reserve
Even though we were lost and I was standing in cow pats with sandles on (Kids found that highly amusing) there was so much to see. Greystones really is unique. Along the path they have information on the fences. For example the years were engraved in them with a description of the farm then. Trying to explaining what 100yrs BC meant to Clark opened a whole can of worms though.
We came across a hobbit house too. Ok it was a replica of an Iron age hut but it was cute and I decided now wasn’t the time to go into depths about the Iron ages. 1 because I don’t think I could and 2 we were still questioning the whole before Christ topic. Looks like homeschooling isn’t dead after all.
The Fort was shut to the public at the moment because of covid but i’d love to have a mooch round once its reopened. It’s a place to remember for when the kids start that topic in school too. Outside there was a nice little climbing structure with some lovely woodcarvings in too.
By this point I had the paper map and google maps on the go. I was covered in cow shit and the sun had got its hat on burning the shit out of my uncovered shoulders. I’d forgot to suncream myself up after the hassle of sorting the kids out. I love summer but I bloody hate suncreaming the kids!
River Explorer Zone
We’d been walking for what seemed like hours and we still hadn’t found water and this trip was turning into a wildlife documentary where the elephants have to walk for miles to find the watering hole. Some of them don’t make it. After lock down I’m now the size of an elephant and I was pretty sure we weren’t going to make it.
Just as we were about to give up and try again another day i spotted a couple coming towards us. One last ask for help and they pointed us in the right direction and told us it was only a field away. Hallefuckinglujah we finally made it. Like a mirage in the desert only not a mirage and in the middle of some fields in Gloucestershire.
The kids almost cried with joy they pegged it straight over and started ripping of their shoes. They were going in. There were a few other families in the area but nothing too bad that we couldn’t socially distance ourselves. There were stepping stone!!! how amazing is that. The water was clear, cool and shallow enough not to have to worry about them in the slightest. Perfect spot just in the nick of time.
I spent a lot of the time inwardly pissing myself laughing at a naked kid running round covered in mud. I’m not talking a bit either. He had painted his body in mud it was hilarious. Even funnier was when it was time for him to get clean. The water was so cold he screamed the field down. Stuff like that normally happens to me so it was nice to see another parent having to deal with that.
So Much Playing
We must have stayed playing in the water for a couple of hours the boys were in heaven. Next time we’re taking a picnic, buckets and out nets its a perfect spot. Time had flown by so quickly I hadn’t noticed the time. We’d ran out of time on my parking oops. Fuck it I wasn’t about to start running now. It was however time to crack on and get home. Elliot was not happy, he wanted to stay there forever.
Out came my trusty bribe….smarties. We dried up and off we went. The walk back was a bit of a mission too and sod carrying them. Hopefully the E numbers would give them the push they needed to make it back to the car.
Because of my shitty ability to read a basic map we had missed out on the wild play trail. I have a feeling it may have been down the woodland track area but don’t take my advise half the time i have no idea where I am. Most of my time seems to be spent lost these days.
Well the smarties must have done their job. We ended up back to the car and I didn’t need to carry anyone. Even better news was the lack of a parking ticket. Whoop winning a Monday that had gone right finally. As soon as we were on our way home the kids were flat out meaning I could sing along o the radio without Clark begging me to stop.
Greystones Farm Nature Reserve Stats:
Distance from Bicester: ]1 Hour
Sat nav: Coach and Car Park, 7 Station Rd, Bourton-on-the-Water, Cheltenham GL54 2AA Click to load sat nav
Wheelchair friendly: In parts
Equipment upkeep: 10/10
Facilities: Parking in bourton on the water, Toilets & Cafe when open
Age range: All ages
Fun factor: 10/10
Dog friendly: Yes
Pushchair Friendly: Not the best but doable I’d take a sling instead
Bikes and Scooters: No
Myself and the boys loved Greystones farm nature reserve. We’d much rather trek out there now that we know where it is. Yes Bourton on the water is lovely but its just too busy and I can’t be arsed with it all.
We missed out loads of other areas in the nature resever so make sure you have a good mooch around for me and let me know what its like
We will undoubtedly be heading back again. I can see this being a regular haunt if I’m honest.
I can see the parking being a bit of an issue for some people so it might not be for everyone but if you don’t mind putting in the steps then I’d highly recommend a visit here you wont be disappointed. If you are you can just shit off haha.
For a copy of the map you can download HERE
Have a look for more information on their website HERE
For more days out in your area check out my map HERE