Discovering Bookham Commons

January 20, 2014

Bookham Commons is a network of footpaths and bridleways set in 450 acres of ancient oak woodland, grassland plains, ponds and wetlands.

Cared for by the National Trust, Bookham Commons is one of the most thoroughly studies areas in Europe – the London Natural History Society has surveyed wildlife there since 1941.

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We took to the surfaced bridlepaths for this first visit rather than exploring the secluded pathways to the glades and streams. Although the latter looked beautiful and hugely tempting, the recent rainfall made it hard work with a buggy and a 3 year old.

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POD was so enthralled by all the muddy puddles she didn’t even need her coat – she running almost from the off. It was a miracle she didn’t slip over although she did come close a couple of times!

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Horses in a nearby field were a calming distraction. Despite being a distance away, she was apprehensive at first although she did warm to them. She then peered through a gate to have a look at a pony before returning to her puddles.

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There’s a lot to see at Bookham Common including a wide range of plants which attract large numbers of insects, in turn providing a food source for the birds. You can see rare Hawfinches or during the Summer, the Willow Warbler and the Nightingale.

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If you’re lucky you might spot the rare Purple Emperor or Silver-Washed Fritillary butterflies. Moorhen, Roe Deer, Sparrowhawk, Yellow Flag and Grey Herons also reside there.

The bird hide provided wonderful views across the ponds which were home to many ducks. POD attempted to be quiet but had to ask what the dried maggots she saw were and who they were for.

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She loved playing Poohsticks with Daddy and there were many opportunities to do so. A few times she threw her stick in with such gusto it didn’t quite make it down the river bank but she got the hang of it soon enough.

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In a nearby field a couple of donkeys came towards us to say hello. As with the horses, POD was wary of them at first but was soon chatting away to them asking what they were doing.

We also came across a few bird’s nests which was great as POD’s not seen any before.

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The buggy wasn’t used at all so POD’s little legs did become weary after a time. A ride on Daddy’s shoulders proved highly entertaining especially when his head became a steering wheel. POD then pulled his ears when she wanted him to go left or right!

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With so many wooded areas to explore at Bookham Commons, we’ll certainly be back. What a great discovery and a good one too given it features in the Doomsday Book.

We’re linking this post up with What’s The Story? the photography Linky that enables you to share the stories behind your photographs. The Linky for w/c 20th January 2014 is here.


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  • Actually Mummy... January 20, 2014 at 6:39 am

    POD is adorable and in her red jacket those photos are so striking. I can’t believe I’ve never realised you wrote a separate post to link up to your What’s the Story before now when I’ve linked. Sorry for not clicking before – will make a point of it in future.

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you Helen and don’t worry at all – my post is usually first but not always!

  • Sarah MumofThree World January 20, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Such beautiful photos! That big, old tree is amazing. Daddy’s shoulders are always the best way to get around! My daughter still has the odd ride and she is nearly 8!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I love that your daughter still does it every now and again!

  • Jeannette @autismmumma January 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Lovely photos and it made me laugh about her using Dad’s ears as a steering wheel. It sounds a fantastic place πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Thank you Jeannette – was highly entertaining the steering. She likes to amuse herself πŸ™‚

  • The Reading Residence January 20, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Looks like a great discovery, with so many gorgeous photos, too x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn – be great when we can explore a little more of it too πŸ™‚

  • Ninja Cat January 20, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Brilliant, nature is brilliant. I am glad she enjoyed herself.

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      It really is isn’t it Claire πŸ™‚

  • sarah January 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

    i love that big smiley face shot! perfect

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Thank you Sarah – would be great were it not for the unfortunate background!

  • LauraCYMFT January 20, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Looks like a fun day out. I love going for walks in our park as they have stables and Miss C loves looking at the horses. We end up quite muddy too.

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      We were absolutely filthy after this one – really muddy but great fun though. How great for Miss C to have horses to look at too πŸ™‚

  • Mum of one January 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

    She really is beautiful and I adore those red wellies

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Thank you very much, what a lovely thing to say πŸ™‚

  • WallyMummy January 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Looks lovely πŸ˜‰ and what a beautiful little girl she is xxx

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Aww thank you lovely πŸ™‚

  • Hellie's Corner January 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Lovely photo’s. I see she took her wellies off to hitch a ride!! πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      Thank you – Daddy removed the wellies before the ride. They were filthy though!

  • Laura Halls January 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    How beautiful is Pod?! the scenery isn’t half bad either πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you Laura, what a lovely comment πŸ™‚

  • Honest Mum January 20, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Simply beautiful stills! What a gorgeous day x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • anna m January 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    lovely pictures! and can’t believe how grown up pod is looking now compared to when I first came across your blog!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you Anna – she’s growing up way too fast!

  • Charlotte January 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Think I’m subconsciously stalking you – we went to bookham commons this week too! Although we didn’t get such lovely pictures πŸ˜‰ When did you go?

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:24 pm

      This is so funny Charlotte – we went on Saturday. Hopefully you didn’t spot me, I forgot to put my make-up on! Looked like a ghoul πŸ™‚

  • Mammasaurus January 20, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Oh she always looks to be having the best of times with you the lucky thing! And suddenly in these photos she looks older – I have no idea what it is about them that makes me think that.

    Will you be my mummy please?

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      That’s so kind Annie. She does look older doesn’t she *sniff* she’s got taller πŸ™‚

  • Kara January 20, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    What a beautiful place to visit. Your photo’s are stunning as always and I adore Pod’s cardigan!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you Kara – that cardi is a year old incredibly. It’s done so well πŸ™‚

  • Vicky January 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    What a lovely place for a walk – so atmospheric! Looks like you had some quality family time – and got some great pics πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you Vicky, was a great place for a walk – so much more to explore there too πŸ™‚

  • Vaichin January 20, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Wow! Looks like you had a brilliant day out in the sun as well πŸ™‚ Btw, what is it with toddlers and puddles? I am going to pull on my wellies and try jumping in them the next time we are out x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      That is such a good idea – let’s all jump in muddy puddles!

  • Swazi January 20, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    What a lovely walk – looks like you all had a wonderful time πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      It was great thank you – nice and chilled πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Bailey January 20, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Wow what a beautiful looking place – there’s always something different to see out in nature which is one of my favourite things about it. x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      It is wonderful Sarah – we love being outdoors. Does us the world of good πŸ™‚

  • Cass@frugalfamily January 20, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    What a lovely area to walk round – I’d love to have something like that near to us x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      It’s lovely Cass – we’re lucky there are so many National Trust places to visit locally πŸ™‚

  • mummy of two January 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    That looks lovely and so much fun

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Really was – a lot of puddle fun for POD!

  • Kate Williams January 20, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Gorgeous pictures!!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Thank you Kate πŸ™‚

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone January 20, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    What a wonderful place to explore, we were playing pooh sticks yesterday

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      So much more there Mary as well – we’ll have to wait until it dries out a little. Pooh sticks are just brilliant πŸ™‚

  • Astrid January 20, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Glad you had fun. πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      Thank you Astrid πŸ™‚

  • Tarana January 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Such a beautiful place! Nature and animals make the best combination for children. Your little girl must have had so much fun! (P.S: It may be me, but the link to this post from your linky seems to be broken.)

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Thank you and you’re so right – nothing better than being outdoors! POD had the best time in puddles and steering Daddy πŸ™‚

  • Lori January 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    You have so many lovely places nearby. Poo stick is so much fun and I haven’t even tried it with F yet. A good excuse to go adventuring this weekend x

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      So nice to have such a selection to choose from – little did we know when we moved to Surrey. You must get out with F for Pooh sticks πŸ™‚

  • Iona@redpeffer January 20, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Absolutely lovely pictures-The both look so happy and that one of Pod looking into the camera is gorgeous. And of course, I adore that tree πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you Iona. Such a rarity POD looking at the camera – she did it by accident I think! I meant to say there was a tree post coming πŸ™‚

  • Shell Louise January 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    I love Pod’s red cardi and boots πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • oana79 January 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    Magical place, wonderful, peaceful and happy pictures!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • The Egyptian Mummy January 20, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Gorgeous pics. POD looks like she is thoroughly enjoying herself!

    • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you, she really did have the best time πŸ™‚

  • Charly Dove January 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you Em, very kind. Pooh sticks is brilliant πŸ™‚

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  • Notmyyearoff January 21, 2014 at 3:30 am

    It looks like a beautiful place and it just have been so cute watching them throw sticks then rubbing to the other side quickly to see where they’ve gone πŸ™‚ you always make me want to explore my surroundings a lot more. Last year we did mostly witch related discoveries. This year I need to find more toddler friendly things πŸ™‚

  • Wicked World of Lucas January 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

    As always, stunning photos and what a lovely day out. Lucas loves playing pooh sticks with his Dad Dah too. #whatsthestory

  • Fritha Strickland January 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

    looks fantastic! I feel excited to get out into nature a bit more! x

  • Susie Dove January 21, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Exceptionally good scenery photos, Charly, and your little model looks gorgeous, as usual! Love the pictures with the PODfather too.

  • Claire January 22, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Beautiful pictures, looks like a great time πŸ™‚

  • Funky Wellies January 22, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    The look of happiness on your daughter’s face says it all!
    What a fantastic day out. πŸ™‚ xx

  • Emily @amummytoo January 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Gorgeous photos, gorgeous girl, gorgeous scenery, gorgeous red coat! Glad you had a lovely time – so nice to see such a smiley faced little one πŸ™‚

  • older mum in a muddle January 23, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Oh bless her! Right ear for ‘right’, left ear for ‘left’…. and you just can’t beat a good old game of pooh sticks. Love her outfit too – very merry among the browns and greens. X

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