So it was wetter than an otters pocket and we needed something to do. Sod being stuck indoors all day with my own kids. I knew that bad weather meant quieter outdoor areas so I decided on a quick visit to St James Lake in Brackley to feed the ducks.
St James Lake Brackley
Why didn’t we visit jubilee lake in Langford? Yes I know its closer but with the Oxfordshire monsoon it had flooded and all the paths were under water. As much as Elliot and Clark would have loved that I wasn’t taking the risk of a involuntary dip.
When i say it didn’t stop raining I mean it didn’t stop. Not the pissy annoying rain this was the fat drops heavy kind that drips of the end of your nose rain. Well it would have if I didn’t have my giant pink flamingo umbrella with me anyway.
It was a really easy drive from Bicester and only 16 mins away. Cant believe we haven’t been before either. Although I don’t think we’ve explored much of Brackley yet. Parking is roadside so don’t be dicks and be courteous of the residents. I have no idea how busy it gets when its sunny. If like me you go when its pissing it down you’ll have no issues parking.
I must admit I wasn’t really sure what to expect but i know it wasn’t an actual lake. Round these parts place have a habit of calling large ponds lakes. Not St James Lake though its bloody massive. You cant miss it and if you do you need your eyes testing.
Feeding The Birds At St James Lake
As soon as we walked through the gate I could tell that the lake is very well looked after. Bins everywhere including dog poo bins (so no excuse for lazy twats) and the paths were in great condition too.
The boys were off. Straight to a little area with a fence in front of the lake. This is where all the ducks were. When I say ducks I mean geese and swans too. There were loads. We particularly enjoyed feeding the geese while Elliot laughed at their honking (that’s what geese do right?).
Its a cracking little area for the kids because there’s a fence so they’re less like to take a dip. Meaning you can relax a bit more. Maybe its just me but my arse is always in my mouth when Elliot’s around water. No fucks are given from this child when it comes to danger.
After feeding half the food we decided to head for a walk round the lake. Even though it was pissing it down it was stunning so i can only imagine how lovely it is in the sunshine. On the plus side we saw 1 runner that’s it. The whole time we were there we basically had the place to ourselves.
Exploring The Lake
Another thing we loved about this lake was the gym equipment round the outside. Its like a kids adventure trail to keep them going with minimal moaning. Apart from the fighting over who has a go first. I was kitted up to the eyeballs with hand sanitiser too so we made sure to clean afterwards.
There is so much room for roaming and playing around the lake. Not only that but there are so many benches so its a great walk for older people or people with mobility issues that need to take a break a bit more often. My kids think they have mobility issues but they’re just lazy buggers at times.
We came across a lovely area near the top of the lake. There was an awesome bench with a view, a piece of “gym” equipment and a little bridge over the stream. Normally i’d have sent the kids over the bridge to test it first (hahaha) however it would have been really mean of my to send them over when it was that wet. It looked more slippery than my ex.
The swans had followed us the full length of the lake. The geese and ducks had given up after a short while the fickle bastards. We rewarded the swans with the rest of the food before heading round the last half of the lake.
As we rounded the corner the boys were on the lookout for the next piece of gym equipment to test out. Right near the area where a few picnic benches were there was a small gathering (if trees gather).
well it was right by these trees that I first noticed a splash of colour. Oh yeah I’d found some fairy doors. I didn’t even know there were any round here either. So I called the kids over and we tried to find them. We did count but I cant remember how many now.
On the way in the kids spotted a slide. I told them they could go on the slide if they walked the whole way round the lake without moaning. Do. not. say this to your kids. The slide is on someones garden. Clark understood but Elliot couldn’t quite get his head round it.
All this time Clark had been hoarding a piece of bread in his pocket. He likes to eat the stuff more than the ducks. So they had one last feed of the ducks. Elliot had a paddy because we had ran out of duck food. After calming him down all the while getting more and more soaked we buggered off home for some lunch.
St James Lake Stats:
Distance from Bicester: 16 mins
Sat nav: St James Lake, Brackley NN13 7EQ Click to load sat nav
Wheelchair friendly: Yes
Equipment upkeep: 10/10
Age range: All ages
Fun factor: 9/10
Dog friendly: Yes but to be kept on leads
Pushchair Friendly: Yes
Bikes and Scooters: No bikes allowed but didn’t say about scooters
St James Lake in Brackley is an absolute gem of a find. If you want a no frills day out then this is your place. Its great for exercise, duck feeding and fairy spotting. If you want to take the kids scooters then do so the paths seemed perfect for it. Although it does get a bit more gravely towards the top end of the lake so might be harder there.
I think from now on this is going to be our go to duck feeding spot its lovely. A great space too which makes it easier to socially distance yourself too. Even the boys managed to get round with zero moaning. Mostly thanks to the “gym” equipment but still a great morning out despite the weather.
For a bit more information check this website HERE
For more days out near you check the map HERE