Family Postcards, Writing

POSTCARD – Creswell Crags!

Sometimes you find yourself with petrol in the tank and a few pounds in your wallet, frustrating however if you look around you occasionally find a little gem to visit if you are lucky. The first of these treasures was Creswell Crags, as with most children they find all things prehistoric fascinating and with that in mind we headed off to our destination.

Set just off the motorway in an area surrounded by points of interests and walks, for example Sherwood Pines, Clumber Park to mention a few that are highlighted in the local area. After a small drive we arrived at a tiny car park on an autumn morning around October time. As we arrived it was quiet and as my husband paid the £3 parking fee, I put my daughter in her buggy and ensured they were all wrapped up. After checking the Inhaler bag, an essential for us in this area as it can often be triggered by damp or changes of environment, we set off into the information centre.

Creswell Crags  is a spectacular magnesian limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire. as described by its website linked below, this year they invite you to;’ Walk in the footsteps of the Ice Age hunter and enter a world of fire and flint. Discover a legacy etched in stone with cave art 10,000 years older than the pyramids. Explore life on the edge of the Ice Age world.’

However as we arrived in 2016 it was somewhere we had heard of through one of our local schools and were unsure what to expect. As childhood fossil hunters, now with a handful of enthusiasts of our own we ventured inside. As you arrive you are met with a quaint little shop selling a variety of artefacts, gems and novelty products that you would usually find in a museum. I always found this a source of negotiation at every excursion, the battle over a toy each could take forever.

After several years of experience we set our boundaries in the car, I find if they understand that nothing will be purchased, whether it is down to financial reasons or not the debate is reduced if not eradicated making for a more enjoyable trip. I find the art is not to give in to that special item you would love to have! enjoy the day and stick to your decision as the consistency pays off.

On entering we were offered tickets into the museum itself, as it was an art exhibition and knowing their attention span we declined and headed off to view the archaeological and science exhibits that were available. It was also a pumpkin hunt, each one you found was added to the page to reveal a word and earn a prize, something else to focus as we ventured around the fantastic site.

The museum was a combination of interactive areas and visual historical representations. The children enjoyed their own experiences of an archaeological dig, searching in the sand for treasures, and I was surprised to see how engaged they were with the microscopes as we manoeuvred around the other families enjoying the experience.

On venturing outside we followed the pathway to the beginning of the first space which was a high fence with different carved and created plaques, the second pumpkin we found around this area and we continued to mark them down as we entered the first interactive area.

As you turned the corner the play area was amazing, if not a little scary as the mammoth climbing frames were extremely high above the ground. Despite reservations they played for a while clambering about the giant frame. Some of the visuals were rather entertaining, and as we made our way to the main walk out to the caves and crags we were already in high spirits.

The view as you enter really is spectacular, my children were all mesmerised “it’s just like Jurassic Park!” and it was for them which made them run along in excitement after being clearly told to hold to the path, a large expanse of water was set in the centre of the valley. As they have spent many a day wandering by the loch sides on previous holidays I was confident to let them roam, a little way ahead.

The caves were accessible as part of a school visit or tour, but for us we investigated as did others through the safety barriers. They were dark and the children really did not see much to talk about, but this we plan to address on our next visit if possible. For me the valley walk was wonderful enough and as we reached the end of the walk we set back towards the park to enjoy some lunch.

After a round of handmade sandwiches, and snacks they went to play for ten minutes as the area was quiet. By this time, we had several of the letters for the quiz and had found the word we had been looking for, so satisfied by our choice of location we set off back into the museum to hand them in.

The children returned with a few bags of sweets to share and a token gift from the museum. It really was a good day out and for the cost of the fuel, parking and a small picnic I would definitely visit again.

It is definitely worth a look if you are visiting the area, if you manage to complete the tour before dinner, there is always places to visit at low-cost in the area to fill your day without emptying your bank balance!

Happy Memories!

Cheryl

Ref; https://www.creswell-crags.org.uk

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