Exeter freelance photographer

Photographing the Secret Garden Children's Holiday Club, Ottery St Mary

Over the Easter holidays you might’ve seen that I’ve been busy with some beautifully sunny pop-up photography sessions on Beer beach in East Devon, and while I was behind the camera, my own kids went to a rather special holiday club at The Secret Garden in Ottery St Mary.

Summer and Sienna after a happy day, swinging over the stream at the Secret Garden!

Summer and Sienna after a happy day, swinging over the stream at the Secret Garden!

I’d known about it for a little while and had been keen for the kids to go but some of you will know that I have no less than four children and at £40 per day per child it was a bit of a consideration! But with a full diary of bookings for the week I thought I’d spoil them and book them in for a couple of special days that the owner, Jules Corkhill, was running - and as it turns out, it was well worth it!

The first special event was a blacksmithing day and at first I thought, ‘wow, can kids even do that?!’ – but I finished work early that day and my curiosity got the better of me so I popped in to join them for the last hour and it was great! Of course, I couldn’t resist getting my camera out and snapping some nice shots of the children at play.

I wondered how they would encorporate a furness into the day - would they come up with a makeshift forge in the garden? Who knew!? But it all became clear as small groups gathered around Jules’ chiminea in the garden, just two children at a time. I enjoyed watching my two girls heat up the copper and make it into bracelets, and even getting involved in hammering the metal. It was so lovely to see them producing something beautiful and also having fun and enjoying themselves in the process!

Aside from the bracelet-making, there was so much else to enjoy about The Secret Garden – it’s so unassuming from the front, a wooden gate in a wall which doesn’t look like much and then you go through and it opens up into this AMAZING huge garden. They’ve got a pet pig, a stream running through the garden with swings suspended over the water – and the children just loved running around having the best time, it was really lovely to see! I wish we lived there!

So, here’s some of the photos from their blacksmithing day and if you like them, do check out The Secret Garden for your own kids - I’ve linked up the website here.  

If you’ve got a special occasion or party coming up, or even just a summer’s day in your own garden, don’t hesitate to contact me as I’d be pleased to come and capture some beautiful photographs of your own family and friends for you to keep and look back on.

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