I love autumn because it is such a fabulous time of the year to get out with little ones. The air is crisp, so there is no danger of anyone over-heating, and there is something delicious about a thick layer of crunchy brown leaves under foot that can get even the biggest kid excited. And don’t forget the wellies! It never ceases to amaze me how much joy pulling on colourful boots can bring (and that’s just me!).
I recently took G. for a stroll in the Reigate Priory Park woods to take in all the new sights and sounds. Priory Park has some beautiful and amazing trees which are easily overlooked as so many of us hurtle to the play park. A number are even important enough to be recorded on the National Tree Register (see here The Mysteries of Priory Park’s Trees ). I was quickly sucked in to the magic of forests and remembered why I loved them so much as a child. They are big and imposing, but also eerily quiet and this struck me as soon as we entered the park from the Park Lane East footpath.
Not only were we going for a walk, but we were also on a special mission in search of fairies. I had heard that there are fairy doors in the woods, but I had never seen them. Armed with the vaguest of directions we headed off down the hill towards the beacon. There are three doors on the path that runs along the boundary of the woods and the park between the beacon and the pond.If you are coming down from Park Lane East, turn left at the crossroads at the bottom of the sandy path (if you get to the grass you have gone too far). If you are coming up from the park itself, head for the Beacon and turn right at the crossroads. No 20 is just on the right, then number 36 is on the left on a big tree stump. We found both of these, but couldn’t find No 10 which is apparently a bit further along on the right.
Accessability – There are paths throughout the woods and some are steep and muddy as you would expect. There is a tarred footpath that runs parallel to Park Lane East if you have any accessibility requirements and still want to visit.
Tip – If you usually park in the centre of Reigate to access the park, try parking on Park Lane East or Priory Drive where there is ample free parking. If you stick to the woods it is a totally different experience to going to the main park and you get some amazing views from the Beacon.
Want to know more/support the park then check out Friends of Priory Park