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By Hettie Eggleton Ideas to keep the children occupied

In the winter, staying near home is appealing, because the days are short and it is nice to get home quickly. We often go down t Bayards Cove in Dartmouth and have a little wander along the cobbled waterfront, look around the fort and out to sea from the steps, and have our flask of hot chocolate either in bayards cove Fort or on the benches and watch the lower ferry coming in and out. This is a really quick activity, that keeps us all happy and can be done come rain or shine and then we can hop back home on the bus. Also close to home, but a bit muddier and for older children or those in a backpack (not pushchair), is a walk in the woods high above the railway lines between the higher ferry and Kingswear. We usually board the higher ferry and then walk up to the public toilets, just up the road, and slightly to the left of the public toilets is a steep path up into the woods. Go up there and follow the route around to the right, up a bit of road (keeping right) and then through a small entrance into the woods and onto the path (this is on the right hand side of the road). Keep on going all the way through the woods and look out over the river (on your right), and when you come out of the other end of the woods, you are on a really tucked away little road with a few houses. Follow this road along and

you end up at the creeky bit of Kingswear (Waterhead Creek) with the grassy area that goes down into the water. Keep the water on your right and follow the footpath along to the road and you come out very close to Kingswear. This is one of my Family Favourites. At the moment Tom is too big for the rucksack but soon he will be big enough to walk it himself. It is a beautiful woodland walk, that doesn’t take too long from the public toilets at the higher ferry to the station in Kingswear and the foot ferry. Maybe check it out on an OS map before you go? Our local map is called OL20 South Devon and is in lots of shops in town. Make the most of The Flavel and the library in the

winter. For really little kids go to story time on a Monday morning from 10-10.30 and enjoy an excellent half hour of entertainment with Liz, who always chooses great books and does a fun sing along. My kids have always loved this. It is also great idea for Grannies and Grandads

too. For the older kids let them have a browse of the books, log them onto the library computers or get them a DVD to enjoy at home. The Flavel always have something family orientated

on, especially in the holidays when they have morning showings of films that are suitable for the younger audience. They are also holding Children’s Christmas Craft Workshops on December 7th

(book these) and of course

the annual pantomime. If you get the chance during the day, visit the Arts Café in The Flavel, and even better, go to the library, get a heap of books out for your children, and then go and sit in the Arts Café and read one of their daily papers while your children read their stories (I am always hopeful one day I might be able to do this!) All the details of films and events are at, and there is a tab entitled “For Kids”, to make it even easier to find the events to suit your family. Looking forward to

The Flavel

Christmas we know there will be wonderful events happening in our parish churches. Father Will is one of the most family orientated and welcoming vicars you could hope to meet, and for whatever reason, be it religious, or for

tradition and a sense of community, we highly recommend going to his services during the Christmas period. The first sunday of every month at St Clement’s Church (11am) is a lovely service which is specifically aimed at the younger members of the congregation. On all the other Sundays children are warmly welcomed and you never feel worried about your children moving around or playing with the lovely toys at the back in the church’s play area. My kids really look forward to going to church in Dartmouth. the first sunday in December will be the family service for the start of Advent (11am, Sunday, December 1st

). The Crib Service on Christmas Eve at 4.30pm, is always

crammed full, and any children that attend are invited to come dressed as their favourite character from the Nativity and join in with the service. Following this the Christmas Day Eucharist at 11am at St Saviour’s church

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