What an amazing day out!
Emma Owen, Director of Oakleigh Fairs very kindly gave me a family ticket for one of their fairs being held the weekend just gone at Morden Hall. I have to admit having never been to this area, yet alone one of the Oakleigh Fairs so was curious to see what it would all be like.
To get to Morden Hall took us under 30 minutes from East Sheen, so it is shocking that we have never been before. Without even the fair being present it is a place that we will definitely visit again.
It is a National Trust park located near the banks of the River Wandle in Morden, South London. It has around 50 hectares of sprawling land covered currently in buttercups and daisies, shadowed in areas for comfort by majestic trees, the River Wandle meandering its way through the vast area spanned by numerous foot bridges.
You can just turn up, bring a picnic blanket and plant yourself somewhere to relax for the day, en famille or not, or take a stroll through the craft, educational and gardening shops or get a cuppa at the cafe.
Now I move on to the actual fair, I was not disappointed at all, it provided something for everyone and all budgets.
There were lovely craft stalls selling hand made items….
If you are a doggie lover you would have had plenty of waggy tails waiting for a stroke, or better still watch the various canine activites including terrier racing.
Being an animal lover you would have had plenty to see donkeys, farm animals, ferrets. Most of which could be stroked and handled, the children especially took delight in this.
There was a plethora of tents, some of which housed retail items such as jewellery from all corners of the world, a real eclectic mix. There were craft items, imported items.
We now move on to the food for sale, oh boy there was a lovely variety from various breads, pastries, sausage rolls, different oils and vinegars, curries, turkish delights and more, too many to mention. Some were home made, some were franchise companies. We stocked up on some lovely fig vinegar, turkish delight, various rolls and breads. All of which I know won’t last long in the house.
Outside there were many stalls selling what I call Fairground toys, an area where the kids eyes would light up with toys on view and challenge activities to pursue.
There were children’s activities with fairground rides, balls to get in to on water and land to move around in and get exhausted, face painting, Jesters, blow up ladders to climb and slide down plus much more, my children were wiped out by the end….
I particularly enjoyed the re-enactments, I found the people there very passionate about what they were doing. Children were allowed to try on the various bits of armour, to touch the weapons, see old photographs and uniform.
I met one woman called Sandy who has a tent full of Anglo/Zulu warfare, these possessions having been passed down from generation to generation through her family. She does not sell anything yet does tours around schools for free educating children on this history. My children were enthralled with her stories. If you are interested in her coming to your school please use the contact form on my blog with your particular information and I shall forward details to her.
There were also skilled tradesmen showing their talents in ancient skills such as willow weaving, you will see below some of the amazing things that can be made…
The ‘Big Band’ provided a lovely backdrop to plant your rug and tuck in to all those tasty treats bought in the tents…
We didn’t get to see all the Fair, there were ‘Birds of Prey’ that we missed and the ‘Kondini’s stunts and extreme magic tricks”. You will see below the stall and some very ‘naughty’ mugs that they sold. Apparently they nearly sold out having retailed over 20 in just a short time span, it just goes to show what us ‘fair ground’ punters like to buy. Did I buy one? That would be telling.
We finished off totally exhausted but happy with some freshly squeezed lemonade, the home made cider having brought up quite a thirst.
I would recommend you look out for dates next year for this fair and diarize and perhaps if you have a weekend day spare pop by to Morden Hall it really is a great place to escape even if for a few hours.
As always, thank you for reading/viewing
© Justine @ LivinginEastSheen.co.uk