We met at the Chinese Pagoda in Victoria Park. It was a beautiful blue sky and the park was scattered with autumn hues. We had twelve families join us for this wild walk, our biggest yet! We looped around the lake and onto the canal down to Mile End Park. Our picnic spot was under the old windmill in a secret nook surrounded by ponds.
We set up camp and ate our picnics. Some children played skipping rope games on the decking by the ponds. A couple of children found a secret passageway and one by one everyone followed, plunging into the bullrush reeds! "What are they?" a child asked, they reached their hand out to touch them and POOOOOOF! The bulrush reeds exploded into a cloud of fluff! POOF, POOOF, POOOOF!
Mile End Park is a magical place if you let it be. Especially when twenty children are screaming with joy and launching handfuls of autumn leaves into the air! There's a number of secret paths and hideaways to explore. One small pathway through trees near the Mile End Climbing Centre is often used by Forest Schools. The floor was lava... a monster was lurking in the undergrowth... We were only safe if we all balanced on the tree stumps!
We crossed the canal and headed into Meath Gardens. This is a beautiful, quiet park with a number of play structures and a big wide pitch. Up until this part of the walk, the children had not had access to a playground. They'd found play structures in the nature around them and had had a whale of a time! Of course, they all loved the playgrounds in Meath Gardens too, especially the monkey bars and swings!