Our trip today ended up being closer to home than we had originally planned – snow was forecast and the roads were already a bit icy from bad weather this week.  We stayed fairly local and went to Rainton Meadows, near Durham.  It is a site  managed by the Durham Wildlife Trusts and has lots to offer for a family trip out – marked paths for walks, duck ponds, wildlife hides, highland cattle (which we didn’t get to see today), a fabulous play area, cafe and toilets.

We headed straight to Joe’s pond as Edith was worried that the ducks would be hungry.  The pond was partly frozen and lots of ducks and swans came to get the food (the cafe sells wild bird food if you forget to bring your own).

Rainton Meadows is one of those places that always makes me want to come home and learn how to identify birds by their calls – so many little birds calling and hopping around in the trees and there is a great variety of birds to be seen here for anyone who is into photography or bird watching.

We saw lots of families out and about today – some going for walks, some tobogganing on the hills and others heading to the ponds in search of hungry ducks!  We came back to the cafe once we were done walking and had some delicious home-made rocky road.  Dogs are welcome on site but need to be kept on leads, and they are welcome in the cafe too.  There is a lot more to explore here, so we will be back again – maybe in the spring.

There is more information on Rainton Meadows on their website, here:


Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

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