I'm a Mum of two boys living in Oxfordshire, enjoying lots of fun activities and writing about them when I get a chance.
Published July 28th 2014
Race your ball to the finish
The National Trust property, Basildon Park makes a fantastic family destination for an easy day trip from London. They have wide and varied grounds but the highlight for my kids is The Great Ball Run.
The first time we visited, there was just one and we ended up spending most of our visit there. Created from old girders, running down a slope. You pop your ball in the top and watch it run to the end.
The ball run proved to be popular and on my last visit there was great excitement from the kids as there are several new additions located in different areas around the grounds. Having them scattered around means the grown ups also get the chance to explore and wander the beautiful gardens too.
The first one you get to is just through the entrance outside the gift shop. Created from drain pipes, they run down over carved wooden toadstools which are interesting in themselves.
Keep exploring through the gardens and you'll come to an unusual ball run which has been created over a pile of logs. After the ball runs down it finds different pathways along the logs.
My favourite is another drainpipe run propped on different pastel coloured stands. The kids can adjust the heights of the drainpipe to create faster or slower runs and then race their balls to the end. The ball runs area appealing for kids of all ages who will find their own way to use them. My youngest liked to stand near the end and run his ball a short distance. There are also picnic tables by this ball run so grown ups have the chance to sit down.
One of the really interesting ones involves an extra activity. You feed the balls into a box at the top and then pull out sticks until your ball falls through and runs to the end.
These activities kept my kids happy for hours and we enjoyed a lovely picnic in the gardens too. If you're looking for a great way to run off some energy and have fun then try a visit to Basildon Park.