A Mixed Day at Willen Lake

A Mixed Day at Willen Lake
A Mixed Day at Willen Lake
Some days you head out of the house with a plan laid out, only for things to change while you are on your travels; Today was one of those days as we had a mixed day at Willen Lake, combining a number of our families favourite activities, while never quite sticking to one.

 

DISCLAIMER – PHOTO HEAVY

 

A Mixed Day at Willen Lake

 

Plans hatched last night, would see us head out as early as we could muster and head to Willen Lake to attempt a bit of orienteering, following one of the permanent routes set out by the local Parks Trust. And for once our plans started as we intended.

 

We were up early and out of the door around 9 am, and were soon tucking into our McDonalds breakfast (yeah I know healthy us, the diet starts next week), a second bus ride later and the expanse of Willen Lake was stretching out before us.

 

Orienteering

 

Things went wrong early, as we couldn’t locate the starting coordinates, or rather we could, but couldn’t find the plaque on the wall of the buildings. Undeterred we decided to kick on anyway, much of the fun of orienteering for us is getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the company of the rest of the family as we do it, so were not overly fussed that we didn’t have the letters associated with the “post”.
Heading off we soon found our first post, and enjoyed the sights of Willen Lake from Go Ape to the miniature narrow Gage train that whistled as it passed. Things were going well. And as we approached post 2 the kids started taking over my cameras, so I was even able to impart a little knowledge. in fact the next few posts went very smoothly. And then the long walk started!
Gathered Around the First Post
Gathered Around the First Post

 

Happy to be Orienteering
Happy to be Orienteering

 

Family shot, photo by Bubs
Family shot, photo by Bubs
The gap between a couple of the posts was the entire length of Willen Lake, not an issue walking wise, but in the muggy heat of August (and there was me saying Autumn had arrived in my last post) things began to get a little boring for the little lady, the odd moment of wildlife not enough to focus attention much, and by the time we failed to locate the next post things were pretty much over.

 

Giving Up and Maze Running

 

Deciding that a few failures were enough, we gave up on the remaining orienteering, today just wasn’t the right day I guess, and instead the kids decided they would spend some time trying to master the maze beside the peace pagoda.

 

A useful hint, never turn left!

 

This killed 30 minutes or so while Zoe and I figured out the next step of our day out.

 

Tubs Maze Running
Tubs Maze Running

 

Bubs lost in the Willen lake maze
Bubs lost in the Willen lake maze

 

Walking the maze
Walking the maze

 

Always time for a spot of photography
Always time for a spot of photography

 

Pokemon to catch too
Pokemon to catch too

 

Hiding behind a thin tree doesn't work well
Hiding behind a thin tree doesn’t work well
Striking out with purpose
Striking out with purpose

 

Toby completing the Maze
Toby completing the Maze

 

Bubs completing the maze
Bubs completing the maze

 

celebrating victory
celebrating victory

 

sad to be caught out cheating on the maze
sad to be caught out cheating on the maze

Geocaching

Deciding to fall back on an old family favourite, we opened the Geocaching app and headed off up the hill to our first find. Located behind one of my favourite buildings in Milton Keynes, the Peace Pagoda, it wasn’t too log till Tubs and Zoe had found the small cache, complete with glasses??

Glasses at Geocache
Glasses at Geocache

Walking on, while looking out over the peace pagoda once more, we passed the monastery of the monks who administer the pagoda, well when I say passed, Bubs rolled down the hill into their driveway!

Bubs Hill Rolling
Bubs Hill Rolling

Heading north, making our way back towards Campbell Park and CMK (where we could grab a bus) we soon found our second Geocache of the day (and a huge spider!), and were quickly on our way towards the tree cathedral, and hopefully our third cache.

Tree Cathedral
Tree Cathedral

Finding the first part of the multi-cache we added in the co-ordinates to the second, but sadly, the bushes had recently been cut and we think the cache disturbed. an NF for us.
 
Deciding on a bus back rather than a continued walk, we headed across the estate, following the canal and soon realised I had led my family astray and the bus stop we were heading for was not accessible. Fortunately we managed to find a different one and were soon heading home once more.
 

Wildlife

 

There were a few opportunities for some wildlife watching as we walked Willen lakes banks, a few dragonflies zipped about, mainly Migrant Hawkers but a few Brown Hawkers as well. Birds included some nice close Great Crested Grebe and Cormorant and sadly a recently demised juvenile Common Tern.

 

Dead Common Tern
Dead Common Tern

 

Cormorant
Cormorant

 

Cormorant
Cormorant

 

Looking for a fish
Looking for a fish

 

Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe

 

Fish Caught
Fish Caught

 

Ebony and Ivory swans
Ebony and Ivory swans

 

Tortoise shieldbug
Tortoise shieldbug

 

Family Photos

And finally just a few family photos from our day out.
Sibling love
Sibling love

 

Bubs practising her photography
Bubs practising her photography

 

Not sure what has bubs so concerned
Not sure what has bubs so concerned

 

Tree Peeking
Tree Peeking

 

A helping hand
A helping hand

 

Tubs explaining something
Tubs explaining something

 

Zoe at Cathedral of Trees
Zoe at Cathedral of Trees

 

More photography from bubs
More photography from bubs

 

Bubs selfie
Bubs selfie

 

Family at monastery
Family at monastery
Zoe and I, photo by Toby
Zoe and I, photo by Toby

 

Other photos

Water skiing at Willen Lake (no idea who they are)
Water skiing at Willen Lake (no idea who they are)

 

Water skiing at Willen Lake (no idea who they are)
Willen Lake Water Skiing (no idea who they are)

 

Water skiing at Willen Lake (no idea who they are)
Water skiing at Willen Lake (no idea who they are)

 

Daisy
Daisy

 

Golden Buddha
Golden Buddha

 

Lions at Willen Lake
Lions at Willen Lake

 

Close Lion
Close Lion

 

One of the friezes around the Peace Pagoda
One of the friezes around the Peace Pagoda

 

Monks home
Monks home

 

Large toadstool
Large toadstool

 

Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake
Peace Pagoda at Willen Lake

 

 Pagoda
Pagoda

Linking to…

Potty Adventures

 

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2 Replies to “A Mixed Day at Willen Lake

  1. Oh we have days like this in the great outdoors too. Some days are just not meant to be are they. That said, you had a great fall back plan in geocaching and even managed to unearth those sunglasses. From that and your wonderful photos it's looks like things turned out well in the end. Thanks for joining us on #adventurecalling I hope you can again tomorrow.

  2. All things considered, I think that counts as a fairly successful family day out. Not everything goes to plan, but still lots of fun! Don't tell anyone, but we often partake of a McDonalds breakfast on our way out somewhere, breakfast of champions-we even had one before walking Ben Nevis. I drove past Willen Lake this week, it's definitely on my list for our next day out. It looks fab, love the tree cathedral too. Thanks for joining us #AdventureCalling

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