The last couple of weekends we have ventured out to Vogrie Country Park. Its about a 25 minute drive out to Gorebridge in Midlothian from the city centre. In my case, 25 minutes of peace as Elodie, my super active, can’t still still for one second, 3 (and a half) year old daughter somehow becomes relaxed and calm in the car.
Vogrie Country Park began its life as a country house for the Dewar family. It was built in 1876 by Andrew Heiton. In the 1920’s it became a nursing home for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. It was used as a control centre during the cold war for the government in the 1950’s. In 1982 it became Scotland’s second country park and is now managed by the Midlothian Ranger Service.
The grounds are beautiful and there are many different areas and paths to walk around including woodland, forest, fields and the River Tyne Valley. Excellent for dog walking and wearing out little feet. Wearing them out that is, until they see the big adventure play park and suddenly they forget that their feet are tired and their little faces light up with glee. Little kids are brilliant that way, it dosent take much to get them excited beyond belief. Just the mention of swings and they’re off! In particular there is a piece of apparatus in the park that spins around (and makes me dizzy just watching) which was a super hit. It reminded me of a fairground ride called the Meteorite, where the force from spinning fast would pin you to the sides.
There is a nice little café called The Cedar Tree in Vogrie House, which even has a conservatory that dogs are allowed into – always a bonus in the Winter. The café serves a small selection of breakfast items, sandwiches, baked potatoes, drinks, scones and other treats and is very reasonably priced. They also do a kids snack plate including sandwiches, carrot sticks, crisps, fruit and a drink – perfect for hungry little people after all that running, climbing, sliding and spinning.
The park is full of wildlife and during our visit we watched some fellow visitors catching newts in one of the ponds. The kids were intrigued by these little creatures for a few minutes – before running off in search of The Gruffalo’s house – always on the agenda when walking through the woods.
Just beyond the Gruffalo’s house (also known as BBQ area 1) there was an abundance of Snow Drops – a pretty little white flower, which surely tells us Spring can’t be too far away?
After 3 hours of fun in the Park, the little weary feet made it back to the car for a (peaceful) 25 minute nap during the journey home – just enough time to re charge the batteries and be ready for the next adventure.
Some Useful Info:
You need a £1 coin to park in the car park (although sometimes it seems to be free if the machine is not working).
You can pay with your card in the cafe but there is a 60p charge.
You can book a BBQ area for up to 30 people by calling 01875 821716.
For further information visit The Midlothian Council Website.