The New Mum’s guide to Hersham
First of all, congratulations on your new arrival. Not only is it spring – a special season to have a newborn, but Hersham is a wonderful place to spend those precious, and often very blurry, early days with a baby.
The ‘transition’, if we may call it that, from being childless to your baby’s mother is something that nobody can prepare for. Even at the best of times, having to uncover the unique world of babies can take a while – it’s a far cry from being able to jump on the train into London at the drop of a hat.
I’ve been a mum for just over a year now, and as well as having a new baby, I was also new to Hersham. Needless to say, I had to find my way around pretty quickly. But I was chuffed to discover that Hersham, and the surrounding area, is packed to the brim with great places to check out with a baby in tow.
Time is of the essence and energy is a precious resource. I get that. As a parent, there’s nothing worse than a wasted opportunity to refuel and refresh. To instead feel even more worn-out is so achingly frustrating that it’s easier to go without and stay in. There will certainly be days when it really is best to try and sleep when baby does. Annoying, but true. But when there is gas in the tank and a baby to show off, then, thankfully, you don’t need to venture too far to get a dose of the world beyond the nursery.
So, here it is: my top-5 for all the new mums (and dad’s, grandparents and carers) lucky enough to reside in KT12.
- A spot of stress-free shopping
Aside from the godsend that is online shopping, there are times when we all just want to get out of the house and have a browse. The fresh air and a change of scene really can make all the difference some days. However, the thing with babies is they only have x amount of minutes before a feed is due or a change is needed. So where to go is a big decision. After all, it’s got to be worth it. Hersham is very fortunate to have both a Waitrose and a baby-friendly Costa, within very close proximity to each other and the Village Green. It’s a perfect combination – need I say more? If that’s not good enough, or if it becomes a bit boring, then just a short 15-minute car journey away is Morrisons in Weybridge. Not only does it have a great café there, but the baby-changing facilities are fab! I’m a huge fan of their children’s line, Nutmeg – handy for stocking up on some much-needed baby clothes. Trust me, there aren’t many places where it’s possible to get the weekly shop and have a nice cup of tea, not to mention comfortably tending to the baby, all under one roof.
Hersham is a friendly village with a strong community feel. What’s more, it’s full of young families and it offers tons of opportunities to meet people at a similar life-stage. Specifically, there are some really great places were you’re guaranteed to make a friend or two: The Burhill Children’s Centre is a wonderful resource to have on our doorstep. The Jitterbugs classes there are great fun, and very popular. As well as that, Tuesday morning Rhyme Time sessions at Hersham library are also fantastic. If that’s not enough, then there’s a wide range of baby classes and coffee mornings taking place throughout the village, such as those held at the Hersham Centre on The Green, and at The Gems baby groups held at St. Peter’s Church, all with a very warm welcome. My favourite baby group was Baby Sensory held up at St. Mary’s in Oatlands. Easily some of my warmest memories were made at there.
- Walks to blow away the cobwebs
Sometimes, when baby just won’t sleep, there’s only one thing for it: a walk with the pram. Often these walks can be quite long, but fortunately we have some lovely roads in the area that are just great for winding around with a sleeping baby. Offering the walker a chance to clear their mind while doing so. Whether it be lapping the Village Green, or even around Back Green on Burhill Road and Pleasant Place, or taking a stroll up to Squires Garden Centre (I’ve spent many a sleepy-walk cruising that place), there’s plenty of choice. When the weather is fair and it’s not too muddy (and if you’ve got a more robust buggy) then down by Hersham Riverside, behind Waitrose, is a pretty spot. Further afield, there are countless parks and commons to make more of event of it: Hampton Court Riverside, and Painshill Park in Cobham, are particularly beautiful.
- Babies that lunch
Going out with young children takes considered planning. Keeping them entertained and among others who are understanding of the fact that it took three hours to leave the house is one way to try and secure a pleasurable experience. For this reason, soft play centers come into their own. Hersham is resident to Piglets Play Centre on Burhill Road. Put simply, this place is a really lovely little spot for the whole family to enjoy, as well as being a playdate-dream. A short car ride away, in Esher, is The Play Café, located in the grounds of Sandown Golf Centre (within the race track). I think this place is the best soft play by a long shot, and its really good for little babies because it has a sweet little baby area, safely tucked away from the more daring crawlers and walkers.
- Stealing some me-time.
For a new mum to get a chance to treat herself to a long, hot bath, is tough, let alone to get out and away from it all for a breather. Whether you’ve got half an hour or a half-day to spend at your leisure, there is something for you to do to replenish the soul. Lifestyle Natural Health in Hersham offers a wide range of holistic body treatments, including a 10-minute head massage, making it that little bit easier to treat yourself. If you’ve a little more time to hand, then may I suggest The Brooklands Spa at The Brooklands Hotel in Weybridge. It’s a little oasis and it’s so close to home that a treatment or two is entirely justifiable, doing yourself, and your new family, the world of good.
If such things are out of the question, then may I suggest kicking everyone else out of the house; they can enjoy the area, while you, dear mama, take a well-earned soak.
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