A Conker Encounter

This is my favourite time of year…autumn. I adore going on forest walks, seeing the beautiful colours, whilst feeling the freshness in the air. This year, it seems to have rather sprung up on me. We headed for a woodland walk whilst we were visiting The Vyne with the National Trust and spotted a conker tree. There followed our conker encounter.

The Vyne is a beautiful national trust property we have visited before, but each visit delivers something different. This time, we spotted pumpkins growing, which was great for the children, they’ve never been to a pumpkin patch. It’s fascinating looking at all the different sizes, colours and shapes.


After a walk around the house and a delicious picnic, we headed for a woodland walk. We had only got to the start of the walk when we glimpsed our favourite tree…a horse-chestnut and there were conkers all over the floor! Wow, this was childhood heaven for my kids! They screamed with excitement. I dug around the bottom of our rucksack in search of a carrier bag. I always have a spare bag for just such occasions. The children were in their element.


We have been conker hunting before, but only by the side of a road, this was so much nicer, hunting in the beautiful surroundings of woodlands. Even better was that it was so unexpected. It really was a close conker encounter, they were falling off left right and centre. I am very surprised none of us got hit, though one did fall within a whisper of my nose. It felt like I needed to be holding an umbrella for protection against conker rain!

The children collected so many. Following this, they were on a mission to gather all the ones still in their shells. They delighted in opening them up, all fresh and shiny. The oohs and ahs were deafening. Words can’t fully demonstrate how amazing my children found this experience. It was pure, natural, childhood fun bliss. It took all my persuasive skills to drag them away from that tree. On leaving it, my son said “that was sooooo AWESOME mummy, thank you so much for letting us do that”! That was a fantastic parenting moment, my children showing such appreciation for the simplest of things…nature!

The only problem with this experience, was we now had to carry our little treasures! For a while the children showed great initiative and held a stick with the bag on it between them. However, this didn’t last a long time and you can guess who ended up carrying them…mummy and daddy!

We carried on our walk, with Pinky stopping to tell an old couple all about her conker treasures. I couldn’t believe how proud she was to show these people. I am in awe of her confidence for talking to people.

The children climbed trees, played in dens and hid behind enormous leaves. Everyone had a fantastic time on our lovely autumn day out. Now to work out what to do with all these conkers!

12 thoughts on “A Conker Encounter”

  1. There are a bank of trees near the kids school and on the way home we get overloaded with conkers, pockets and pushchair basket full of them.

    I love how kids are so happy to play with nature. I think conkers are beautiful!

  2. Autumn really is such a beautiful time of year isn’t it. Nothing beats being outdoors on the crisp cold days, walking through the woods.

    I always love reading your posts of your family outside exploring together. I’d love to have a bigger family. It must be so much fun.

    It’s so lovely that they got so excited about the conkers. It sounds like you definitely did need an umbrella.

    We used to have a conker tree at the top of our school playground (until they got rid of it for an extension 🙁 ) and we used to LOVE collecting them to play with. We used to treat them like marbles most of the time.

    That’s so cute that your son thanked you. Definitely a proud parenting moment. 😀

  3. It sounds like a fantastic parenting moment 🙂 It’s great when kids actually thank you and tell you they liked something.

    I am a firm believer that nature is the best playground – not a room with a screen.

    My boy is only 2, but we like to collect conkers. There is a tree in our local park, but not so many conkers, as there is large competition. Finding one is a treat.

    Sadly I had to throw away all the conkers we’ve managed to collect over the last few weeks, as some worms got into the bucket I held them in and enveloped everything with a sticky white web.

    No conker crafts for us this year…

  4. That looks absolutely like loads of fun you’ve had. I hope there are still conkers out there for us to pick up as we haven’t done it yet this year.

    Love how they carry their treasures home, such a brilliant idea.

  5. Wow! I’m so jealous, we need a chestnut tree that has actual conkers, we found two conkers and that’s it so far!

    Lucky children and clearly they know it when they get so excited about finding and opening conkers.

    There are so many projects you can use them for! I’m still hopeful we’ll find some at my in-laws.

  6. Wow! I can’t believe how many conkers you collected! Awesome!

    So great to see them SO excited about collecting them and the compliments they gave you. I lived doing that when I was young so I hope my daughter has the same enthusiasm as your children!

  7. Can’t beat conker collecting so much fun. We made caterpillars our of ours and used them in a tray to do conker marbling.

    The rest are in a basket with the leaves and pine cones and other treasures we’ve collected 🙂

  8. What a perfect day 🙂 I currently have a car full of conkers, and keep hoping some amazing craft inspiration will come to me, so that we can make better use of them than car decoration!

  9. What a fab adventure! We have a big conker tree by us but have only managed to get 1 conker off it, we must’ve arrived too late! I hope you use them for some good old fashioned conker fights x

  10. Conkers bring back so many great childhood memories for me and I was so glad to see kids with them tied on string at school drop-off this morning – you rarely see them these days.

    Good old-fashioned Let-kids-be-kids fun!

  11. It’s great how excited your three were to get hunting for conkers in the woods, and lovely that Pinky was so proud she started telling people you bumped into them.

    It’s great that they were so happy with their finds that they even helped carry them, if only for a little while.

    I look forward to seeing what exciting activities you come up with for your bag of conkers, it looks like you really did collect loads.

  12. We collect conkers on the way to school-I end up with my pockets full! So far we’ve managed to make ‘conked creatures’ with Plasticine but that’s about it. Everyone looks very happy with their haul 🙂

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