Remember at the start of the summer I had the kids write their bucket lists? Well we have been well and truly been ticking that list of one by one. It’s super fun and the wanes are super good as the bribing is fantastic. We have ticked off camping, swimming, going on the ferry, beach days, long nights, shopping trips etc.
I also added my own little things to do and see this summer and one of these to do lists was visit Oakfield park in Raphoe. So on the hottest day of the year instead of heading to the beach (I HATE SAND) I packed a picnic, the kids and off we went.
Our visit coincided with a teddy bear picnic day so the park was extra busy and there was park and ride facilities running from Raphoe town centre. I arrived early enough, I managed to get a space in the park.
Myself, 3 older kids and a baby cost 30 euro for entry and included a train ride.
As soon as we entered there was a huge queue for the train, we decided we would wait and hop on before the park got any busier. We waited maybe thirty minutes but was grand there was teddy bears stopping by for pictures and we got little maps so we planned our itinerary. The kids were so excited to see the little train pull up they leaped on shouting Choo Choo. Thankfully there was enough room for us all in the one carriage, the train chucked off and headed around the wonderful gardens, giving us a little glimpse of where to go and what there was to see. Which made the wanes even more excited, they knew they wanted to go here, there and everywhere.
The train didn’t take too long maybe 10 minutes, it was lovely. Back to the station and back to base we headed to the play area. The play area isn’t huge, it’s very petite. Perhaps that’s to add to the charm of the garden’s. Although I do think maybe a little more activity centre would be nice as majority of the people I saw had kids with them and there was big queues for the swings etc. We sat had our picnic in the blistering sunshine and fuelled up for the exploring ahead.
We headed off throughout wonderful walkways lined with trees, great shelter from the midday sun. Over little bridges, crossing lovely little lakes to find magic fairy trees. The kid’s where giving little tags to write their wishes and hang them on the tree. The whole area was just magical. I do hope their little wishes come true
We explored the castle area, Wow what a beautiful sight. This little castle on the side of a lake which is inhabited by ducks and swans. I’m not sure if you can feed the animals but our kids did and one mammy swan was none too impressed she literally attacked everyone, needless to say we ran ha
We walked through the forest, cooled down with the spray of the fountain, we found a maze, where the kids ran like looneys. They loved it, the freedom and excitement of finding new hiding gems was wonderful. A huge downfall I must say is the lack of facilities throughout the park. The place is 100 acres with only one centre area with restaurants, shops and toilets. I was bursting for the ladies but had to wait to get back around to the base plus our water spilled out all over, so we needed another drink. Again maybe this is for the charm of the area, I don’t know but I highly recommend loo’s and a shop at the bottom of the grounds.
Overall I do think it was a lovely, and I do recommend to go with your family for a wee day out, there are so many wonderful places to explore and it truly is super exciting. Some amazing picture opportunities. We spent five hours running around, in the lovely weather. Everyone with smiles on their faces and excitement in their hearts.
We had a fantastic day at Oakfield Park, it is truly beautiful and extremely well kept, plus the staff are lovely and very helpful which is a major bonus.
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Jade the farmer’s wife