So in a bid to keep Tinki happy and achieve some errands I enlisted a little bribery. If we were good while mummy did the boring jobs, the bank, post office etc then we could have a picnic in the park for our lunch and play on the play park. Well I had no idea the fantastic experience I was about to unleash.

Ousebank3At the end of the Newport Pagnell High Street behind the Brooklands Centre is the Ousebank Gardens. A grassy spot with picnic benches and a small play park with fairy doors. The star attraction I soon discovered though is the river that the gardens are on the banks of. This part of the Ouse is calm and shallow so shallow that even little ones can wade through with the water going up no more than to their knees making it the absolute idea spot for some pond dipping. As the 15 or so children we met were busy doing. There are steps than lead down to the water and a small concrete ledge enabling those not brave enough to head right into the river to experience the thrill of looking for fishes and getting their toes wet.

The water is clear enough to be able to spot passing fishes although I wouldn’t suggested venturing further than the concrete ledge without shoes as there was some bits of metal fence on the edge of the water.


Tinki adored playing, watching the older children play, skimming stones and even seeing a dog bound pass him having a wee swim. It was like something out of the famous five and felt like a day a million miles from home and a world of computer screens and hustle and bustle. I even unplugged from social media for a few rare moments to just enjoy the experience -I’ve never paddled in a river before so it was exciting for us both.

If you are planning to give it a go and I would strongly recommend that you do, then make sure you pack towels, shoes that can get wet, a change of clothes or even swimwear and a net to go pond dipping. Although all these things seem to be sold in the bargain shop across the road from the park.

After a sandwich and a climb on the climbing frame we headed home where Tinki was so plum tuckered from the day he slept for hours!