29 February 2016

Toddling around Southampton: The Riverside Park

At first sight Southampton might not be the most glamorous city, but don't be mislead, this little port city has many and varied hidden gems. Surely, it doesn't present the charm once owned in the past, but still has much to offer today.  I believe Southampton to be a great city to live in, especially if you have young children. Southampton has incredible green spaces and playgrounds are spread all around the city, so is fairly easy to find one and let your little one enjoy himself while you try to catch on some readings... Or just loose yourself and play with him!

Today I will de writing about one of my favourite spots to go with my toddler, let me introduce you to to a hidden jewel of Southampton: Riverside Park.

I have been living in the city for a couple years now, but only last year I discovered this incredible lovely  park, which as the name suggests, is located around the river, River Itchen. This urban park is quite large, 32 hectare of pure pleasure for all ages, it has playgrounds, one skate park, one golf course, cricket pitches, football pitches, tennis courts.... And if you enjoy long walks, I do recommend you to walk along the River Itchen from this park all the way to Winchester. Sure, is indeed a long walk, it will take you a whole day but you will certainly enjoy the beautiful scenery that the Itchen's riverside has to offer.

Anyways, I as about to tell how how much both I and the little one enjoy Riverside Park.  This park
has so much for the little one to enjoy!

And theres always a new finding to discover.... Today it was a new public art piece that was greeting us while we were adventuring the park. I first saw it in our morning walk, while crossing Cobden Bridge we could see silhouettes of a pack of birds lifting of a tree:



Its a beautiful piece made out of mirrors that reflect either the sky, the tree branches, the light...:



After admiring the piece we began our long walk by feeding the ducks, gulls and swans...


We are not the only ones who love to feed the different birds. Today we also enjoyed watching the feeding frenzy!
If its Sunday on Summer months the little one can have a train ride on the mini-railways managed by Southampton's Society of model engineers....

The first playground of the Riverside park is located right next to the mini railways. Although this one does not offer many  playsets for the little ones, theres a slide and my little guy just loves the slide. Today we've continued to walk along the river and just admired some slight changes in the riverscape, the meanders of the river hide and show little surprises that we both enjoy watching.





Its a great opportunity to teach the little ones about nature, landscape, the different birds,... We've found a robin today:



We then reached other playground. This one is my little one's favourite as it has more items that he can play with.


And here is usually where we end up staying for hours.... Well, today it was just until lunch time as this was our morning walk. I still have much to explore in the Riverside Park. This was only a small area of it. However, just for this tiny bit that we already know we just love it!

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