The Best of Towcester – for Children
At first glance it might seem like there's not much about for children in the old Roman military town of Towcester, but you just need to look in the right places. I've got two boys (aged 5 and 8) and these are some of the things they enjoy to do in Towcester.
Walk through thousands of years of Towcester’s history… doesn’t sound all that appealing to a small child (or many older ones for that matter) but the Towcester Museum really is great for children! The Kids Zone is a fantastic idea with small boards up around the exhibits with the basic facts presented in a way that’s easy to understand and interesting for children. There is a dressing up area, worksheets, puzzles, drawing and colouring, and blocks for them to build their own versions of Towcester throughout the ages!
Perhaps the most important thing to children however is the gift shop… that is the key focus of my two boys whenever we visit anywhere! The important thing for parents is that it is very reasonably priced, with the gifts starting from about 50p so it needn’t break the bank.
There are loads of things to do for children at the new library, situated in the council building at the Forum in Moat Lane. Alongside the obvious book collections, there are comfy sitting areas, plenty of toys, and even a play house to sit and read books to the dolls and teddies in there.
There are also colouring areas and if you get there before the beginning of September your child (ages 4-11) can take part in the Record Breakers Reading Challenge. For every two books they read they get a set of stickers to stick in their record breakers leaflet and when they’ve read six books they get a medal and certificate. I can honestly say this is fantastic motivation to get them to read, my two raced through six books very quickly in order to get their medal and were so pleased with them! Have a look at summerreadingchallenge.org.uk for more information.
Bury Mount Walk
Bury Mount is an ancient monument hidden away behind the shops of Watling Street. It is all that remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle, erected in the late 11th or early 12th centuries.
The mount is fab for running up and down and there are great views of Towcester from the top. My boys loved racing around up there and if you can get them to run up and down the steps a few times, you stand a small chance of wearing them out a bit (although that doesn't often happen!). There are also some very friendly resident geese and ducks at the Watermeadows across the bridge and you've got Towcester Mill Brewery close by for quick refreshments after your walk, that one is more for the grownups!
Towcester Centre for Leisure
The centre is open 7 days a week and there are plenty of things to do there. For younger children the Mighty Atoms sessions are great fun (bouncy castle, things to climb and balance on, ride on toys and plenty of other toys to play with) and of course you have the swimming pool, and regular clubs that hold weekly sessions, including football. They also run holiday clubs so it’s worth checking out what they have to offer.
Zap and Toes - Children's Shoe Shop
You can find Towcester’s new children’s shoe shop in the Sponne Centre, open Tuesday to Saturday. It’s so lovely to go to an independent shoe shop where the owners are fully qualified fitters and not part-time school leavers that would probably still fit in the shoes they are selling!
In the last 7 years of buying children’s shoes I have never been to a shop where they get the kids to run and jump to test the shoes they are trying on rather than just walking… my boys certainly never seem to walk anywhere so it makes total sense to me! They have a great selection of children’s shoes and trainers that you won’t necessarily find on the high street – isn’t it nice to be different?!
Rory was certainly VERY happy he could get shoes in red, his favourite colour – and we’ve had so many compliments on them (not to mention he usually hates having new shoes and refuses to wear them for more than five minutes at a time – this is the first pair we haven’t had that problem with and it’s more of a struggle to get them off him!)
Jenny and Paul provide a really lovely personal service, nothing seems too much trouble for them. I will certainly be going back soon to stock up on new school shoes in a few weeks time.
These are a few of our favourite places to go in Towcester, leave me a comment here if I've missed anywhere your children love and I can run The Best of Towcester - For Children part 2!
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