Lifestyle

WILD SWIMMING

Sophie Clowes steps into the wild to give us a taste of swimming outdoors, whatever the weather, wherever you are

 

 

Everybody seems to be doing it. Finding spots outside in rivers, lakes, lidos and the sea to take part in a bit of wild swimming. Sophie Clowes tells us how she got the bug, and shares some incredibly useful advice on kit, books and Instagram accounts to follow before you dip your toe in the water.

 

It is a rainy lunchtime on a school day. It is also May 2020, and the country is in tight lockdown. Our children are trying their best with school at home, as are we. We are all tired and fractious and it’s difficult to know quite how to arrange our thoughts, how to focus, how to be. So, we say to hell with it and go for a family swim in a downpour. In the Thames. We laugh and splash and shiver with unalloyed delight, retuning our senses and resetting our focus so we are ready for another afternoon of lonely grind.

A year later, no more than a week has gone by without one or more of us easing ourselves into the swirling water of a high tide and being taken downstream by the swooshing current, braving the cold in just our swimmers. A punctuation mark in the sentence of lockdown, we’ve swum against the flow, we’ve squealed at the cold, had a quick dip, gone miles, swum at dawn and dusk and all the daylight hours between, double dipped, made friends both human and feathered, watched the seasons change and felt the water temperature dip to 2.2*C from the 20+*C of the hot summer months. We have delighted in this pulsing watery artery that helps keep the heart of our wondrous capital beating fast.

Swimming is many things to many people but more than anything else it is redemptive. There is a time and a place for every type of swim, from a squad session in a chlorinated indoor pool to a floaty holiday dip in a warm, salty ocean. I have tried them all, indeed searched for swims wherever I have been in the world. And yet, all this time one of the best pools has been right on my doorstep and I didn’t know I could go in, outside an official swim.

Getting in the river is a simple pleasure that is different every single time. The tide and current generously swoosh us along, faster than I could go at full-stroke crawl. It’s a clearing of the mind, it’s physiological experimenting, it’s discovering my body can adapt to withstand an ice swim (any water below 5*C, apparently), it’s soul food, it’s literally immersing ourselves in nature. It’s family time – we usually swim breaststroke and have had wonderful chats and laughs as we float along. It’s the slow familiarity of the tide times and the lunar cycle. It’s the unexpected and welcome increase in constant core warmth out of the water. It’s the temporary stinging cold, the visceral feel of the after-drop when it is as if icy water is slipping down your body’s core – a not unpleasant feeling and one that is as surprising as it is fascinating, in a geeky way. Swimming in the river is also contradictory: cleansing yet dirty-ish, cold-making yet glow-giving, exhausting yet energising. It reflects all the whirling variants of life. It is joy.

Is it allowed? Isn’t it too dangerous? Isn’t it too dirty? I have thought long and hard about all of this and tend to keep quiet about our swimming unless specifically asked. However, in this wonky year, when our health, emotions and finances have been buffeted like never before, I have come to the conclusion that the wonders and restorative powers of this beautiful stretch of water should be shared, leaving people to draw their own conclusions.

Who owns the Thames? The Crown Estate owns the river bed and leases most of it to the Port of London Authority (PLA) which is responsible for the foreshore right up to the high water mark. And yes, just as rowing boats, kayaks and SUPs can use it, so can swimmers, provided you do so at your own risk, taking every precaution to keep safe.

 

 

Of course swimming in the river is dangerous but, with a bit of knowledge, many of those dangers can be mitigated. We have come up with our own set of family swim rules, alongside those of the RNLI… We always walk into the water from a set of steps or slipway and we never go in without a swimming hat on and wearing a tow float. These both have personal practical benefits but, above all, they show you are in the water deliberately and are visible to other river users. We have discovered that the best time to swim is either side of high tide, in the direction of the tide. You must know your exact exit point before you get in, plus a second one in case you miss the first (we haven’t yet). Keep close to the bank, never attempt to swim across the river and remember it is your responsibility to ensure other river users know you are there. You should also know the significance of the red and green buoys, and, therefore, which side of the river boats will be on. Rowers go backwards and, however silly you think you sound shouting, “Look ahead, eight, swimmer!”, it’s going to be less awkward than being hit by an oar. I do swim alone but I always have someone on the bank for reassurance.

Tide times shift by about an hour each day and I find elemental comfort in following the waxing and waning of the moon and a slow accrual of tidal knowledge. Swimming in the river is a choice and with it you must choose to politely sidestep the naysayers and, in my case, the mansplainers. For that’s another joy of river swimming – it is there for everyone and is wonderfully equalizing. Which fits very neatly with a quote I found about equality itself, most notably used by JFK, “Equality is a rising tide that lifts all boats.” Oh, how I like that.

‘Ugh, it’s filthy!’ This is the one element that I waver on. Only once have I got in and thought that it wasn’t as clean as it should be. In reality, the water mostly feels cold and velvety and there is very little rubbish – it is fallen leaves or fishy tickles that make me jump.

What’s the worst that has happened? Well, I got out one day and felt a wriggling in my cleavage. I pulled my cossie away from my chest and found that I had actually caught a teeny tiny fish! Did I squeal? Of course I did! Did my children exit the river faster than ever? Yup! I flipped it out and it swam away…

We try not to put our heads under but on a hot sunny day we do. At a time of fear and uncertainty the ebb and flow of the river is a comforting salve, for nature continues on her merry way, changing her clothing with the seasons and the certainty that the blossom and green shoots will come again and that the ducklings and goslings will hatch is of great comfort.

Every swim is a little adventure that is full of beauty. Some days it’s choppy and feels like a sea swim, other days it’s like glass and you swim into the reflection. Often it feels like we slough off the day’s woes and come out of the river reborn in some way. There is something spiritual about being held by the water and there is thinking time on a swim. It is a physical and meditative practice with therapeutic qualities; less so with our children, of course, with whom it is a noisier, funnier affair. No two swims are ever the same, which in times of drudgery and monotony is an opportunistic pleasure that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. You never regret a swim, especially a lunchtime one in the pouring rain.

London swim spots

Please respect and protect your swim environment and know that you enter at your own risk. Please also be aware that lidos, lakes and pools might have number and time restrictions due to Covid.

The Thames. We have never swum further east than Dove Pier or further west than Strand-on-the-Green. Please be aware that there are sewage dumps in the Thames. Information is available online and rivers users are advised to wait at least three tides for the pollution to clear.

The Serpentine – membership to swim year round in the early morning, including the famous Christmas Day swim; pay as you go in the summer months. This is the oldest outdoor swimming club in Britain (royalparks.org.uk).

Hampstead Ponds (cityoflondon.gov.uk)

Docklands (loveopenwater.co.uk)

Hillingdon Lido (better.org.co.uk)

Brockwell Lido (brockwelllido.com)

Park Road Lido, Crouch End (fusion-lifestyle.com)

Shepperton –specific days only (sheppertonopenwaterswim.co.uk)

Hampton outdoor pool (hamptonpool.co.uk)

Kit

Tow float – a 20lt one is perfect for your own kit, 28lt if you’ve got to take your children’s stuff, too, or if your mission involves snacks! Swim Secure is a great brand.

Phone cover – Swim Secure again. I’ve never tested it outside of my tow float.

Shoes – for river swimming I can’t recommend Hot Tuna shoes from Sports Direct highly enough. You can’t feel you’re wearing them but you can put your feet down without suffering a case of the scaries and you can walk quite far in them too. All for a tenner. They won’t keep your feet warm – for that you need neoprene booties.

Gloves – 3ml neoprene gloves will save you from frostnip in the colder months and help you stay in longer.

Swim hat – for visibility above all else. Silicone ones will keep you warmer and are less hairpullingly sticky. Zogs, Arena or Speedo are the regular makes. Or, for some floral frippery, try a retro one such as FineSaratoga on Etsy.

Hammam towel – lightweight, pretty, and wearable, too, they also make an excellent rug or changing mat and dry superfast in the sun. Try Dar Leone (dar-leone.com) or Bohemia (bohemiadesign.co.uk).

Body glide – excellent for preventing wetsuit chafing.

Wetsuit – Fit is everything with a wetsuit. Go to a real-life specialist shop: try Sigma Sports in Hampton Wick or Ocean Leisure at the bottom of Northumberland Avenue. Good brands are Zone 3, Huub or Orca. (They are not cheap. They are cheap next to the price of a road bike.) It will feel like it is sucking the life out of you but once in the water your fears of having bought a too-small one will evaporate. Wetsuit technology is hugely advanced but these are for crawl only – you will damage your knees if you try to swim breaststroke in a hi-tech tri wetsuit.

For growing kids, ask friends for hand-me-downs. Otherwise, C-skins is an excellent make and will keep little bodies warm and buoyant.

Costumes – My 14-year-old utilitarian Speedo costume is still going strong! It goes in the river, the sea, a chlorinated pool and in the washing machine, it dries in the sun or on the radiator, hasn’t bagged, shrunk or thinned. It doesn’t give me a hungry bottom, is long enough in the torso, high enough on the legs and fits under a wetsuit with ease. But, frankly, I’d love something a little more whimsy without forfeiting the performance element. The hunt is on. You can spend anything from £20 to £220, neither guaranteeing a suit that will last more than a summer but here’s where to look…

Louise Mischa on en.smallable.com (bet you get distracted…)

Batoko.com

Deakinandblue.com

Davyj.org

Speedo.com

Supermarkets

Sports Direct

Books and films

Leap in by Alexandra Heminsley. Her description of learning to breathe correctly in the water by watching her young nephew blowing raspberries with his food is technically spot on!

I am an island by Tamsin Calidas. This is extremely raw but beautiful writing.

My Octopus Teacher – this Oscar-winning documentary touches yet again on the redemptive power of cold water. And has an underwater chase scene to rival Bond.

Instagram

@theoutdoorswimmingsociety

@caldamac

@lewis.pugh

@gillymcarthur

@ellachloeswims

@hemmograms

@lorrainecandy

@winniepoaty

@vivgroskop

@kate_rew

 

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FOOTBALL CLUBS & CLASSES

 

Image: Jakayla Toney

The City Kids guide to Football Clubs and Classes in London

 

Football fever will hit new heights in England as even those usually not interested will be glued to the box on Sunday night. As with all feel-good sporting occasions, there’s usually an upsurge in interest from parents and kids after the event, so we’ve put together a guide to football clubs and classes for kids in London. Some start for little ones as young as 18 months, while others offer those who already have silky skills the knowledge and expertise to take their game to the next level.

 

KIDDIKICKS

kiddikicks.co.uk

18m+

Twickenham, Teddington, Richmond, Brentford, Kensington, Kilburn, Stratford, Hackney, Stoke Newington, Leyton

 

PRO ELITE 

From 18m

Enfield, Winchmore Hill, Southgate, Cockfosters, Barnet and Whetstone

efacademy.co.uk

 

LITTLE KICKERS

littlekickers.co.uk

From 18m

London-wide

 

LITTLE FOXES CLUB

thelittlefoxesclub.com

From 18m

London-wide

 

WILL TO WIN

willtowin.co.uk

6-14yrs

Lammas Park, Ealing

 

FOOTBALL MAGIC

footballmagiccoaching.co.uk

Regular training, girls only, fitness, goalkeeping skills and holiday camps

3-14yrs

Dulwich & Bromley

 

SAMBA SOCCER SCHOOLS

sambasoccerschools.com

4-12yrs

Battersea, Chelsea, Fulham, Haggerston, Kings Cross, Hammersmith, London Bridge, Marylebone, Roehampton, Southfields, Wandsworth, Waterloo, Peckham, Shepherds Bush, Acton.

 

PDA FOOTBALL

pdafootball.co.uk

1 to 1 training for beginners or those wanting to improve their game.

Various locations

 

LITTLE STRIKERS

littlestrikers9.com

Weekly classes and holiday clubs.

18m to 6yrs

Clissold Park

 

SPORTY MINIS

sportyminis.com

Girls football from 4-8yrs, boys football 5-11yrs.

Colliers Wood, Tooting

 

PRIMROSE HILL SOCCER ACADEMY

primrosehillsocceracademy.co.uk

Boys and girls 3-14yrs, holiday camps and 1 to 1 training.

Primrose Hill

 

JACK WILSHERE’S NCF ELITES

ncfelites.com

Pathway to professional football. Ex-Premier League players part of the set up. Trial required.

 

CHELSEA SOCCER SCHOOLS

chelseasoccerschools.co.uk

Holiday clubs/soccer schools and weekly clinics for all abilities, plus player pathway to academy level.

 

QPR SOCCER SCHOOLS

qprsoccerschools.co.uk

Holiday soccer schools for 3-14yrs, weekly schools for girls and boys aged 5-11yrs, girls only 7-11yrs and mini superstars 3-4yrs.

Shepherds Bush, Hayes

 

FULHAM SOCCER SCHOOLS

fulhamfc.com

Holiday camps 3-14yrs, weekly clubs for boys and girls.

Bishops Park, Kingston, Epsom

 

WE MAKE FOOTBALLERS

wemakefootballers.com

4-12yrs mixed ability

Twickenham, Richmond, Chiswick, Isleworth, Heston, Hounslow, Kingston, Sunbury, Hayes, Southall, Osterley

 

 

SCHOOL OPEN DAYS

SCHOOL OPEN DAYS & TOURS

 

 

Schools are deep in planning to open up for in-person open days. Here’s our list of school open days, upcoming events and resources.

 

ACS SCHOOLS

acs-schools.com

COBHAM

acs-schools.com/cobham

 

HILLINGDON

acs-schools.com/hillingdon

 

ARTSED

artsed.onlineopendays.com

Recordings of Q&A and other resources via the link above.

 

BEDALES PREP SCHOOL, DUNHURST

bedales.org.uk

 

BRIGHTON COLLEGE

brightoncollege.org.uk

In person open days planned

College – Sat 2 October

Nursery, Pre-Prep & Prep School – Sat 9 October

CALDICOTT PREPARATORY SCHOOL

caldicott.com

Online appointments with Headmaster Jeremy Banks booked via admissions@caldicott.com.

 

CLIFTON LODGE SCHOOL

cliftonlodgeschool.co.uk

Saturday 9 October 2021 – 10am – 12 noon

Saturday 5 February 2022 – 10am – 12 noon

Saturday 7 May 2022 – 10am – 12 noon

 

COLLÈGE FRANÇAIS BILINGUE LONDRES

cfbl.org.uk

Bilingual International school from Nursery to Year 10

Enquiries to admissions@cfbl.org.uk or via our website link above

Virtual tour here

 

COTTESMORE SCHOOL

cottesmoreschool.com

 

DITCHAM PARK SCHOOL

ditchampark.com

 

DOWNSEND SCHOOL

downsend.co.uk

Virtual tour

 

DURSTON HOUSE

durstonhouse.org

 

EATON SQUARE

eatonsquareschool.com

Virtual Open Morning – Thursday 24th June

Book via the link above.

Read more about Eaton Square Schools here. 

 

EDGEBOROUGH SCHOOL

Tour – Contact Admissions Registrar, Mrs Christine Davis, at admissions@edgeborough.co.uk. or call us on 01252 792495

 

FALCONS GIRLS & PEREGRINES NURSERY

falconsgirls.co.uk

Private in-person tours on weekdays.

 

FRENSHAM HEIGHTS

frensham.org

Pre-recorded tour available in the link above.

 

FULHAM SCHOOL

fulham.school

Complete a booking form via the form in the link above.

 

HALL SCHOOL WIMBLEDON

hsw.co.uk

 

HIGHFIELD & BROOKHAM

highfieldschool.org.uk

Saturday 25 September

Friday 19 November

 

HIGHFIELD PREP

highfieldprep.org

To book a private virtual tour contact Registrar, Laura Chell, on 01628 624918.

 

IBSTOCK PLACE SCHOOL

ibstockplaceschool.co.uk

Follow the link above for recordings.

 

LEH SCHOOL

lehs.org.uk

Full details of events and how to register can be found under the Admissions section of the website.

 

LYCEÉ INTERNATIONAL DE LONDRES WINSTON CHURCHILL

lyceeinternational.london

Co-ed Independent Bilingual International School from nursery to Y13.

 

MARLBOROUGH HOUSE SCHOOL

marlboroughhouseschool.co.uk

Book above for virtual open days.

 

MOULSFORD

moulsford.com

 

ORLEY FARM SCHOOL

orleyfarm.harrow.sch.uk

 

PARSONS GREEN PREP SCHOOL

parsonsgreenprep.co.uk

Follow the link above to recorded videos.

 

PORT REGIS

portregis.com

Virtual tours available year round.

 

QUEENSWOOD

queenswood.org

 

RADNOR HOUSE

radnor-twickenham.org

Sixth Form Open Evening – Wednesday 22nd September

Whole School Open Day – Saturday 2nd October 2021, 13th November 2021 and 14th May 2022

 

ST BENEDICT’S

stbenedicts.org.uk

 

ST CATHERINE’S, BRAMLEY

www.stcatherines.info

To Register contact prepadmissions@stcatherines.info Registrar Sally Manhire on 01483 899757 or click to book here.

 

ST GEORGE’S ASCOT

stgeorges-ascot.org.uk

 

ST JAMES PREPARATORY SCHOOL

stjamesschools.co.uk

 

SHIPLAKE COLLEGE

shiplake.org.uk

Recorded Virtual Tour

 

SOUTH HAMPSTEAD HIGH SCHOOL

Recording available by emailing senioradmissions@shhs.gdst.net

 

TASIS

tasisengland.org

Follow link above for recordings and to book an online appointment.

 

THE FALCONS PRE-PREP

falconsboys.co.uk

 

THE MANOR HOUSE BOOKHAM

manorhouseschool.org

Recorded Tour

 

THE ROCHE SCHOOL

therocheschool.com

 

THE VILLAGE PREP SCHOOL

thevillageschool.org.uk

 

TORMEAD SCHOOL

tormeadschool.org.uk

 

WETHERBY PREP

wetherbyprep.co.uk

School tour available at here.

 

If you would like your school to be added to the list, please email editor@citykidsmagazine.co.uk.

Feature image: St Benedict’s Junior School

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FRENSHAM HEIGHTS

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The magic that is Frensham is hard to put into words. We allow children simply to be children and allow them to stay that way for as long as they want. We accept that sometimes they get it wrong and work with them to help them make better choices next time. We value and encourage individuality – it is what makes Frensham so special.

To find out more, look at  www.frensham.org or email hello@frensham.org to arrange a visit.

 

 

 

FAMILY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Travel Essentials for Babies and Kids

 

 

Family travel essentials for kids are exactly that: essential! Forget those key items that help keep the peace, mop up spills and allow for on-the-go toilet breaks and your trip could turn from a relatively (disclaimer alert!) relaxing success story to a blood pressure soaring fail. Apart from Calpol and Sudocrem (don’t forget those!) these are our favourite travel companions for a streamlined A to B.

 

You’ll never regret packing a large muslin! Great as a blanket, a sun shade, an impromptu towel or for making camps with.

 

 

Cotton muslin blanket, £19.99, H&M

hm.com

 

If you’re on the road or camping, this disposable potty will be a lifesaver. Great for number ones and twos, on-the-go and no need to add to land fill with a plastic version.

 

Hippychick Tron Disposable Potty, £8 (for a pack of 3), Hippychick

hippychick.com

 

Wipes on a journey with kids are definitely an essential! These biodegradable ones packed with soothing Aloe Vera are great.

Beaming Baby Baby Wipes 72 wipes

£5.95

planetorganic.com

 

Keep them busy with their own themed activity pouches. You can buy them individually or as bundles for more family members and friends.

 

 

My Busy Bots Activity Pouches (3 packs), £26.99, My Busy Bots

mybusybots.com

 

This soft, flexible baby carrier takes up less room and is great for keeping your hands free on long walks. Suitable from birth and comes in a larger toddler size too.

Tula Linen Explore Baby Carrier Mesa,  £154.90, Tula

babytula.co.uk

 

When you get to your destination a large roll of reusable bamboo fabric wipes is great idea. Soak with water or your favourite cleanser or cleansing water for a brilliant eco friendly wipe option.

The Cheeky Panda Multi Purpose Reusable Bamboo Dry Wipes Rolls, £3.99

cheekypanda.com

 

Stickers are a great way of keeping kids calm and quiet in the back. We love this travel themed set from Usborne.

 

 

Travel Sticker Book, Usborne, £6.09

worldofbooks.com

 

A cute metal tin containing magnetic figures and their suitcases who can be arranged on the friezes inside the box.

PETIT COLLAGE Little Travellers Magnetic Play Set, £12.00, A Little Find

alittlefind.com

Oil pastels are a fantastic, less mess high pigment way for kids to scribble and draw on a trip! Perfect for drawing on stones too. We’ve tried!

 

Oil Pastels Set of 48, £17.95, Liberty

libertylondon.com

Never underestimate how much room you’ll need for shampoos, sun cream and  calpol etc! This set of 4 wash bags in a handy carry case that can also be filled up are great!

Sunny Life Bloom Travel Bags – Set of 4, £35, Amara

amara.com

 

Transform new rooms and tents into fun and friendly spaces with this cool projecting storybook torch!

 

Moulin Roty Storybook Torch, £13, Kidly

kidly.co.uk

 

Give them their own suitcase for sense of independence and to create their own play zone wherever they go.

 

 

Olli Ella See-Ya Suitcase, £79.90, The Modern Nursery

themodernnursery.com

 

A lovely set of baby travel toiletries that won’t take up too much room. The cleansing water is great for freshening up and using on dry wipes.

 

 

Shea Baby Travel Essentials, £18.50,  L’Occitane

loccitane.com

 

A handy organiser to hang over the back of your car seat and keep everything the little ones need in easy reach. Brilliant!

Travel Car Organiser, £29.99, Zara

zara.com

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ORGANISE POCKET MONEY WITH ROOSTERMONEY

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Do you need to get pocket money sorted? Want to teach your children that money doesn’t grow on trees? Need some help to get organised? Introducing RoosterMoney, the pocket money app and debit card designed to teach your kids the value of money in a digital age. Read on to see how you can earn your kids an extra £5 pocket money!

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You can either use the RoosterMoney app as a virtual pocket money tracker for free, or you can upgrade and let your children spend their pocket money in the real world with The Rooster Card.

 

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WIN A SNUZPOD4 WORTH £199.95

Win a SnuzPod4

To celebrate the importance of a good night’s sleep, we’ve teamed up with Snüz, the brand committed to ensuring parents never need to take crazy measures to get their little one to sleep. Read on for details on how to win a SnuzPod4 worth £199.95!

 

 

Leaving those late night drives in the past, the winning bed side crib has innovative features including revolutionary new ComfortAir breathable system, as well as a mattress, complete with a breathable 3D mesh cover for enhanced comfort and support. The dual-view mesh windows and a new zip-down wall for bedside use, allows wall-down use overnight, keep mum and dad by baby’s side safely.

 

 

Other much-loved features include the lightweight removable bassinet and handy reflux incline to provide a gentle elevation to help soothe and comfort baby.

Safety tested to the latest Bedside Crib Standard, SnuzPod4 is a sturdy, dependable alternative to other cribs on the market. Allowing you to soothe your little one night and day, safe and sound. Now fitting more beds than any other bedside crib, SnuzPod4 is crafted with care to ensure only the best experience for parent and baby.

 

 

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SUMMER AT LONDON WETLAND CENTRE

There is plenty for children TO DO & SEE this summer at London Wetland Centre.

 

 

Kicking off with the GIANT LEGO® Brick Animal Trail, LEGO brick fans will enjoy exploring the grounds to find all of the 14 characters. This is the UK’s only collection of wetland animals made from the world’s most popular toy. In total, 253,728 LEGO bricks were used to make them. A brand new creature has joined the flamingo, otter, mallard and other favourites. What is it? You’ll have to go along to find out!

 

 

For the super curious, from 24 July, summer at London Wetland Centre is an opportunity to become a Wetland Explorer! There are loads of exciting wetland activities waiting for you, from pond dipping to an intrepid scavenger hunt. There is plenty of outdoor exploration and wildlife just waiting to be discovered. You never know what’s around the next corner of the reed bed, and there’s always the chance of a close encounter with warblers, dragonflies, damselflies, kingfishers, water voles and lots more.

 

 

Feeling adventurous? Test your balance and bravery at the centre Wild Walk. Take a journey beyond the usual paths and into the wildest parts of this incredible nature reserve. Meander through different wetland habitats, ramble along reed beds and hop across stepping logs. Make a splash and try your balance on wobbly bridges – It is a great fun for big kids too!

 

 

The Wetlands of the World is a relaxing and fun way of getting deep into the heart of WWT conservation work. Discover some of the animals WWT works to protect, such as the world’s rarest goose – the Nene. And don’t forget to take a photo with the lovely Otters.

For more information on all events, prices or how to book: wwt.org.uk

To find out more about this incredible nature reserve and the conservation work of WWT:  wwt.org.uk

Call 020 8409 4400 or email info.london@wwt.org.uk.

 

This is a sponsored post

SUMMER BBQ RECIPES

Suns out, brioche buns are out and we’re firing up the barbecue.

Is it your turn to host? Look no further, dust off the grill and whip up a spread in no time thanks to Jo Pratt’s super scrumptious selection of summer BBQ recipes. If you haven’t got a BBQ (who even are you), don’t worry as all of these summer recipes can be made stove top or in the oven. And some need no cooking at all!

1. VEGGIE BURGERS WITH ONION MARMALADE AND HARISSA & FENNEL AND RADISH COLESLAW

Get the recipe here

2. MAPLE AND MUSTARD PULLED PORK

Get the recipe here

3. BARBECUED APPLES

Get the recipe here

4. FIG, SERRANO AND CURD CHEESE SALAD WITH HONEY DRESSING

Get the recipe here

5. PADRÓN PEPPERS (PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN)

Padron peppers

Get the recipe here

6. STRAWBERRIES WITH VANILLA CASHEW CREAM

Strawberries with vanilla cashew cream

Get the recipe here

 

Jo’s books can be found at all good booksellers including Waterstones

Click here for more recipes>>>>>

SUN CARE FOR KIDS

City Kids Sun Care for Kids

 

 

Sunshine is incoming and holiday or no holiday, it’s time to stock up on that outdoor essential, sunscreen. Our guide includes some familiar faces as well as brands not always found on the high street, plus there’s plenty of choice for those wanting reef friendly ingredients. Here’s our round-up of sun care for kids: the best creams, sprays and roll-on products to keep children’s skin protected and happy…

Lancaster Sun Sensitive Face and Body Sun Protection Cream For Kids SPF50 150ml, £24.00, Look Fantastic

Great for: Water babies

This clever pump dispenses a fine mist of fast absorbing milky spray that gives high protection for sensitive skin and can even be applied to wet skin! It is also fragrance free, tear free and has inbuilt anti-sand performance. Oh, and it’s reef friendly too!

lookfantastic.com

 

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract ( 71ml ), £20

Great for: Teens

A gel-textured lotion that sinks in like a dream and smells absolutely gorgeous. Great for sharing with older kids who will love the delicious smell, the cool packaging and the reassurance that this is a coral reef-safe product.

cultbeauty.co.uk

 

Avène Very High Protection Lotion for Children SPF50+ Sun Cream for Sensitive Skin 100ml, £16, Boots

Great for: Sensitive and very fair skins

Avène’s products are fantastic quality and their kid’s suncream is no exception. It sinks in easily, leaving no white smears and gives great coverage. Developed for very fair and sensitive skins it contains their famous Avène Thermal Spring Water, which heals and soothes and is very water resistant while being ocean friendly.

boots.com

 

Alba Botanica Kids Sunscreen Tropical Fruit Clear Spray SPF50, £12.79, Big Green Smile

Great for: Fidgety Kids and eco-conscious families

 This yummy smelling, eco-friendly air-powered spray is super easy to apply at any angle and is especially great when you have a gaggle of fidgety kids waiting for a coat of sun cream! It contains no synthetic fragrances, artificial colours, harsh sulfates, parabens or phthalates and is ocean friendly.

biggreensmile.com

 

Soltan Kids Protect & Moisturise Lotion SPF30 200ml, £4.00, Boots

 

Great for: Excellent Value

If you know you’re going to be slapping on sun cream, all day long, week after week, then this fail-safe formula that gives great protection, smells lovely and is incredibly well priced is a great option. Extra retro points awarded for the smell that instantly transports us to a Spanish beach in the 90’s! 

boots.com

 

Nivea Sun Kids Sun Cream Green Coloured Roll-on SPF50+ 50ml, £8.50, Boots

 

Great for: Keeping track and getting kids excited about suncare

Keeping track of where you have and haven’t applied sun cream is never an issue with this tinted formula that leaves a distinctive green coating that gradually fades away. Kids seem to love coating themselves in this coloured goo, so bribery and chasing are not part of the process. The handy roll-on dispenser means that they can’t pour out too much cream. It comes in pink too!

boots.com

 

Jason Kid’s Natural Sunscreen SPF45 £12.99, Jason Natural Care

 

Great for: Adventurous kids and eco-conscious families

This tear-free, water-resistant and hypoallergenic formula was developed for children’s sensitive skin and provides long-lasting protection for kids who love to go on adventures. This product contains no oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten or parabens, is biodegradable and is reef safe.

jasonnaturalcare.co.uk

 

BabyGanics Mineral Based Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ 2 Oz (59 Ml). £11.90, Vitamins UK

 

Great for: Wriggly babies

If you’re worried about accidentally smearing cream in your little one’s eyes then you’ll be reassured to know that this is a tear free formula! A robust, mineral-based, water resistant sunscreen that rubs in easily and provides great high factor protection. Free from PABA, Phthalates, Parabens, Fragrances or Nano-Particles this is people and reef friendly.

vitaminsuk.com

Attitude Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free, 64ml, £16.99, Ocado

Great for: Anyone who prefers gentle, fragrance free products that are kinder to the planet

This fragrance free, mineral sunscreen is made with 100% non-nano zinc oxide which is considered one of the safest sunscreen options available. We love the fact that it’s non-greasy, clear and sinks in easily as well as being sustainable, biodegradable and reef safe. 

ocado.com

  

Childs Farm SPF 50+ Roll on Sun Lotion 70ml, £7.99, Boots

 

Great for: Babies and kids who like to apply their own sun cream

This water resistant roll-on sun lotion is super easy to use and is great for kids with an independent streak who want to apply their own cream. A lovely fragrance free hydrating formula that contains no artificial colours, parabens, SLSs or mineral oils. Suitable for babies and children from 6 months upwards.

boots.com

 

Saltee Sea & Sun Formula SPF50 Saltee Sea & Sun Formula, 50ml, £29, Saltee

Great for: Families who like to multitask

This gorgeous smelling sun cream with naturally derived UVA and UVB protection is light in texture and absorbs into the skin super quickly so that kids can run off and play ASAP. Brilliantly, the cream doubles up as an after-sun too and the cooling cucumber extract is great for hydrating the skin.

Reef friendly.

saltee.co.uk

 

Naïf Natural Skincare Baby Sunscreen SPF 50 – 100ml, £23, Smallable

Great for: Biodegradable packaging fans

This fab Dutch skincare brand for babies has created a gorgeous eco-friendly sunscreen that is super gentle on delicate skin and contains no harsh chemicals or ocean polluting ingredients. The packaging is made from Cane sugar so it’s biodegradable!

en.smallable.com

 

Green People Sunscreen Organic Children Scent Free Sun Cream SPF30, 150ml, £21

Great for: Families who love organic and eco-friendly products

Families who want the reassurance of a brand that is committed to using organic ingredients and preserving the planet will love this super effective, non greasy, reef friendly cream which is suitable for sensitive skin and prickly heat. It comes in fully recyclable plant-based packaging and for every sale, 20p will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society. Bravo!

greenpeople.co.uk

 

Need some sunnies? Click here for our sunglasses edit>>>

Header image: Leo Rivas

STATEMENT SUNGLASSES EDIT

Exceptional Spectacles

We’ve worked out a way of saying that we love summer without saying we love summer. We present to you, the statement sunglasses edit. From effortlessly cool, super sporty and mega fashionista vibes, you’re bound to find a pair (or three) that’ll suit your kids this summer.

1.RJ9062S transparent in grey and yellow, Ray-Ban

Buy now

2.Stella McCartney Kids, Black Snake Sunglasses from Children Salon 

Buy Now 

3.Mona Lisa White Printed Gemstones Sunglasses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

 

4.Babiators Keyhole Sunglasses, Kidly

Buy now

5.Sunnylife, Mini Summer Sunnies, Kidly

Buy now

6.Monnalisa Red Strawberry Sunglasses, Children Salon

Buy now

7.BONPOINT x IZIPIZI in Bouton d’Or Yellow, Izipizi

Buy now

8.Stella McCartney Kids, Round rainbow sunglasses with mirror lenses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

9.Ki ET LA Ours’on Sunglasse, Kidly 

Buy now

10.FLAK® XS (YOUTH FIT), Oakley

Buy now

11.Babiators Original Flowers Sunglasses – Daisy

Buy now

12.Beau Loves, White Mother of Pearl Cat-Eye Sunglasses, Alex and Alexa

Buy now

Do look out for more summer fashion. Prefer it in print? You can also read the our latest issue here, it’s filled to the brim with style ideas for the trendiest kids in town. 

 

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