Winter at Slimbridge

New Year’s Eve was a cold but dry day, so in the afternoon we headed out to Slimbridge WWT to catch the wild bird feed.


The girls had fun as usual in Welly Boot Land. The water is turned off there between December and February so thankfully didn’t have to worry about icy streams for the girls to slip on. They had loads of fun crossing the dry(ish) stream over bridges and playing on the roundabout and the slides.





We managed to get a short walk around some of the rest of the centre and feeling quite smug that we had managed to stop the girls getting soaked in Welly Boot Land, Freyja then insisted on walking across some stepping stones and proceeded to step into water, deeper than the height of her welly. After a change of shoes, socks and trousers, we went to see the water voles. They seemed far more sensible than my daughters as despite Freyja demanding they jump into their water, they were having none of it.


I then took Freyja to the Peng Observatory for the Wild Bird Feed. Rich took Emily off to the café and ate cake! The Peng Observatory overlooks a lake onto which wild birds gather for the regular feeds at this time of year. You can’t help but watch with amazement as groups of Bewick swans fly in in small groups and land so gracefully on the water. There are so many hundreds of birds on the lake, but when the warden brings out a wheelbarrow full of bird seed, suddenly hundreds more just appear out of nowhere. Freyja usually has a bag of bird seed when we walk round the centre, so she was a little disappointed that she didn’t get a chance to feed the swans, but fascinated to watch all of these wild birds jostling each other to get to the food.


The wardens who run the feed are very knowledgeable and will point out individual swans and explain how the work started by Sir Peter Scott on the beak markings on the Bewick’s enable the identification of each bird. They have many anecdotes and it has always been a really interesting talk. Freyja lasted 20 minutes and then she had had enough. She definitely wants to go again sometime though – although I think she is convinced that next time she will be in charge of the wheelbarrow.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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34 Responses

  1. I just commented on your summer post and thought the weather looked amazing for New Year!! he he. Wanted to head out with the girls today to somewhere like ths, but think it will be a museum day today x

  2. Looks like a fascinating place to visit, and with plenty to see and do, too. Nice to get out and about!

  3. 76sunflowers says:

    This reminds me of winter bird watching trips out as a child! Love the changes they’ve made at Slimbridge since my last trip about ten years ago – I must take the children especially as the boy got binoculars for Christmas 🙂

    • stoppingattwo says:

      Yes you must go – it is brilliant and so much more than the birdwatching so something for everyone. A lot of the hides are really kid friendly too!

  4. Natalie Ray says:

    Oh fabulous, I absolutely love Slimbridge, thanks for the reminder, we haven’t been for ages. Definitely going on my to-do list for the next few months. I love how you can really get close to the birds in their natural habitat. It’s great seeing the otters there too.xx

  5. stoppingattwo says:

    Heehee! Hope you get some better weather soon then 🙂

  6. Jaime Oliver says:

    oh wow i would love to see all those birds! 🙂 happy new year to you and yours

  7. This looks like a fab day out! I must visit the one by us soon too 🙂 That slide looks amazing! Good to see you had fun. Jess xx

  8. Louise says:

    Looks like a great day out – love the wild bird feed photos, sounds very interesting and your girls looked like they were having a fab time in Welly Boot Land 🙂

  9. Jenna says:

    I love that it’s called ‘Welly Boot Land!’ – what a great day out.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

  10. Coombe Mill says:

    Wow, this looks like a fabulous day out. Welly boot land sounds like the perfect place for kids to let off steam, although I think they make the right decision to turn the water off at this time of year, it’s far too cold! It’s a shame you didn’t managed to escape completely dry, although that makes it all the more fun for the kids. It’s great that you got to see the swans being fed, definitely a great experience. Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

    • stoppingattwo says:

      Thanks Fiona! At least Emily didn’t do her usual trick of sitting down in a puddlw of water and having a good old splash!

  11. Awww what a nice place to go too! Love the Peng Observatory. Looks like a cool place. #countrykids

  12. Ha ha that is something Joe would do, he always manages to get soaked every where we go x

    • stoppingattwo says:

      I told her the stepping stones weren’t a great idea, so at least it proves that “mummy’s always right”!

  13. Anywhere that is called Welly Boot Land gets a big thumbs up from me!!! Both mine would love this! x

  14. Mrs H says:

    What a wonderful activity for New Year’s Eve! It looks an amazing place. Sod the kids, I would love Wellyboot Land and Peng Observatory. Especially if you can get tea and cake. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  15. I’ve been to Slimbridge before – it is such a beautiful place and I am keen to go back and take some decent photos! It looks like a place Grace would love too #CountryKids

  16. Sounds like you had a wonderful day, apart from missing out on cake – I thought we were twins? 😉 ha ha!!
    Believe it or not, I used to go bird watching when I was aged 7 onward; at a place called Ashridge (NT) in Hertfordshire. I can’t wait for the girls to start exploring. xxxxx
    Kat | Beau Twins recently posted…I Have PND – What Next? – Postnatal Depression Resource GuideMy Profile

  17. Katie says:

    I used to visit Slimbridge every few years as a child but haven’t been there for decades! I absolutely love the idea of welly boot land, wish it had been there back then lol. I think I’m going to have to add this to my list of places I need to take the kids to this year. x
    Katie recently posted…My Captured Moment ~ Time for coffeeMy Profile

  1. March 30, 2016

    [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “trash”. Reason: Failed GASP Bot Filter Test (checkbox) *]
    […] show in town for mine was ‘Welly Boot land’. Thankfully Karen (a regular visitor in Winter or Summer, just take a look at her posts) had told me to bring wellies for the girls and a change […]

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