Southampton Swing Watch

I’m launching a new mini-series! An incredibly niche, of little interest to most of my readers, mini-series! Hurray!

International readers can click away now. National readers can probably click away, although I will be going ‘on tour’ round the country… But local readers? Well local readers with small children stay right where you are (please, thank you) and let’s talk playgrounds together…

My 2 years 10 months old son loves climbing, jumping and exploring. His (and my) favourite places to do that are the playgrounds that nature creates – the sand and stones of the seaside or the fallen trunks and dens of the forest. Both of these places are well within reach of Southampton and we are also lucky enough to have a fabulous explorer-garden, but let’s face it, there is something about the colour-pop frames and the health & safety bouncy floors that makes the traditional playground a magnet for children and their parents.

And really, my son LOVES playgrounds. What small child doesn’t? He particularly loves fireman’s poles but will settle for playgrounds without poles (he can usually find something poley to slide down). And you know what, I’m starting to love playgrounds too – or at least appreciate them more than I ever have done. Free, fun and never far away…how lucky are we to live in communities that at least nod to the climbing, swinging needs of our little people.

A row of swings

I’m sure you’ve guessed where this is going…yes, I’m going to attempt to create a (probably not that useful) directory of local playgrounds – complete with my bad photography and waffly musings. I’ve run the idea past my son and I can confidently say we are motivated to do this project together (of course he is, there’s a swing in the title!). We will nobly use ourselves, and any empty summer days we find ourselves with, to trial and report back on the playgrounds of the SO environs.

Eek, we’re not starting today it’s pouring. I would; I pack towels for the equipment and I like the rain, but my son has developed my husband’s cricketing aversion to wet weather and would rather count buttons than swing today.

So are you in the Hampshire area – let me know if we should be checking out a playground near you!?

Bouncy, wooden, brightly coloured creature on springs

The Pramshed
Diary of an imperfect mum
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46 thoughts on “Southampton Swing Watch

  1. Our favourite park isn’t a million miles from you – it’s in Poole! 🙂 Called Whitecliff Park, there’s loads of green space, it’s right next to the sea (not the beach, but you can look at the boats), and the kids playground is brilliant. Stuff for big kids and little ones, but the best bit is a huge sandpit area, with a digger 🙂
    #triballove

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  2. I didn’t know you live in Southampton! It’s where I grew up, though I now live in Switzerland. We’ll be back there in the summer. It will be fun to follow your posts, and check out your playgrounds 🙂

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      1. I will do. We are planning on going to Peppa Pig world for the first time, although that’s a bit outside of Southampton. We usually go to the common as my mum lives very near there 🙂

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  3. I lived in Southampton all my life until just under three years ago when we relocated. All mine and my husband’s family are still there so we are down regularly! When we’re down we tend to take the children to the park in Botley as that’s where my parents are living now. It is quite a nice one if you haven’t tried it. X #forhteloveofBLOG

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  4. This is a fab and informative idea! I have always relied on the reviews of moms and children of the local playgrounds for that little extra bits of information. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll have great fun doing this! #triballove

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    1. Thank you! We made our first ‘official’ swing watch visit today. It was a lot of fun, and actually quite nice to think about our time at the playground in a different way. I love it when other parents tell me of ‘this great little playground’…you know it’s going to be good!

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    1. Thank you…mayflower park is definitely on the list to visit and Houndwell Park is my son’s absolute favourite place (possibly in the world). According to him it is THE Southampton Playground. I need to look into the Pleasure Park…is that the one near the municipal golf course?

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  5. Haha – love it! I will ask The Toddler for recommendations! She’s recently discovered basketball courts & her bar is now set quite high for what she expects of a playground!

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  6. Brilliant idea for a mini series and loved your opening paragraph, cracked me up!! our little one loves playgrounds too and has recently discovered the slide…hours of fun. If you ever need Brighton recommendations, I’d be happy to let you know where we spend all our afternoons 😉 xx #triballove

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    1. Ahh how lovely, mine has only just got used to the slide and he;s still not sure on really big ones…apparently they hurt his tummy! Yes, if we go on tour to Brighton I will definitely be in touch! Thank you for commenting and sticking longer than the opening paragraph! X

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  7. this is a fab idea for a series – you’ll have such fun (oo not meaning to sound like Miranda’s mum, I promise!. My three still love a park so if you ever visit a park with excellent facilities for older children tag me in it! I think it’s important for older children to have somewhere to play outside too – they love the swings with their friends – not just hanging around parks after dark being a nuisance! #familyfun

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  8. I actually think this is a good idea, I just wish I lived in Hampshire so it would be relevant for me! I’m always looking for new places to take the kids! I love your photography by the way! Good luck with your series #fortheloveofBLOG x

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  9. Oh I did enjoy reading this, you have lots of fun filled summer days ahead of you with the little man. How lucky he is. Enjoy your swing-venture, I just wish we were a it closer to try out your recommendations xx #familyfun

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  10. I think this is a fab idea! We often visit Soton as we went to uni there and a few friends have stayed in the area – it will be useful to know which parks to take bub to. Being in Oz at the moment all the parks we visit are amazing – clean, colourful, well maintained and fun whereas back home some are downright dingy. Maybe you could have a page where parents from all over the UK submit their park recommendations! #familyfun

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    1. Thank you for commenting and your idea is a brilliant one! I love the thought of submissions…hmm, I’ll see how this goes to begin with. We seem to go to a lot of playgrounds, I’ve already got three to write up! Not surprising to hear the parks in oz are good and yes some here are not good – but then I’ve also been really pleasantly surprised by lots. X

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  11. Fab idea. I’m sure your local readers will love it! Actually I think your photography is pretty darn good so don’t worry on that score!

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  12. Love this idea! I am soooooo far away from you so I can’t offer any suggestions, but just to say that someone in my area has done this (via a fb page) and I have found it super useful, so I think you’re on to something fab xxx

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    1. Ooo interesting – I hope I can make mine useful…I need to actually publish some now – I’ve don’t four ‘official’ visits already but nothing on here yet!!! Thank you for your kind comment X

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  13. What a great idea! I’m in Portsmouth so not far from you, and a stay at home mum to three, so my life is basically wandering around aimlessly hoping to find a new park… I know some great ones round here if you ever fancied visiting the best south coast city 😉 x

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    1. Ahh not far at all! I take my son to Portsmouth to watch the hovercraft mostly but expanding our horizons into playareas sounds like a good plan. We’ve got something else in common I do believe…something to do with names of our children…! Thank you for commenting X

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      1. Oh really?! Well there’s a good park off of Copnor Road called collage park and it has some animas living next to it that you can look at (chickens, rabbits, ducks, a couple of goats), my kids love it x

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