Things to do in West Sussex – Tilgate Lake, Crawley

Things to do in West Sussex – Tilgate Lake, Crawley

Things to do in West Sussex with children – Tilgate Lake

During lockdown, it is so hard to come up with things to do in West Sussex with your children, that

a; aren’t full of other people and

b; don’t cost a fortune.

Tilgate Park and Lake, in Crawley, is fantastic.  It is the perfect place to go to, especially for the evening, after a hot day in the sun.  It was away from the crowds and a wonderful place for the children to relax and enjoy.

Tilgate Park also has so much to offer .  It has a a couple of lakes, large green to play games or picnic, wooded areas, play parks, trim trails, golf course, cycle trails and  nature centre.  It also has a cafe, restaurant and a Go Ape high ropes course. In the summer it has some fantastic inflatable games plus boating on the lake and in the winter Father Christmas comes to visit.  There is so much to see and do, it really is a must if you haven’t been before.

About Tilgate Park.

 

The address for Tilgate Park is: Tilgate Drive, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 5PQ

There is one free car park near K2 and the rest are paying but procedes from the car parks do go back into the park!

Dogs are allowed in the park but not in the walled garden or nature reserve.

 

Our evening

This jetty was perfect for chilling out on but as we arrived a couple of teenage girls, also thought the same.

Unfortunately, for one, she managed to drop her phone through the slats of the jetty, into the water below.  As we had fishing nets, we offered to help, also because she was panicking her mum would be really mad at her.  We managed to locate the phone and helped to guide her underneath the jetty to pick it out.

I have to say, if this was my daughter, even if the phone had broken, I would’ve been so proud of her!  She didn’t hesitate to get down to her swimmer, to enter the water to retrieve the phone.  She even went under the jetty where there were all sorts of things lurking.

Having left, to give mum the bad news, we then had the jetty to ourselves. To enjoy the evening.  From across the lake we could even hear music, from someones stereo, and the air was so warm, as the sun started to set.  It was so peaceful!

Whether you want to walk, cycle or take your scooters Tilgate Park is great for burning of energy with your children.  It is also perfect for picnics and playing games on the large green.

THE OUTTAKES

All photo sessions are meant to be fun!

A little bit of photobombing while taking some photos.

Family Photo Sessions

If you are interesting in booking a fun, relaxed outdoor photo session, capturing the true personality of your family please visit my Home page by clicking HERE

Fathers Day Mini Session

Fathers Day Mini Session

Fathers Day Mini Sessions, Horsham, West Sussex.

Fathers Day is coming and we can all agree that 2020 has been a crazy year.  When we celebrated the New Year, none of us could’ve imagined that a couple months down the line we’d all be shut indoors, trying to keep our families safe.

Fathers Day Mini Sessions are for that special man in your life.  I want to help you remember Lockdown of 2020 and the special times that you had as a family.

This session can be purchased for Fathers Day and used at a later date.   I can provide you with a gift voucher to be given on the day and redeemed when lockdown is relaxed even more.

OUTDOORS

These sessions will be run outside, to ensure you are safe and to maintain a social distance.

If you have a large garden I can run the session from there, or alternatively it will be in a local beauty spot, such as Southwater Country Park.  Backdrops can either be natural or I can provide a plain one.

Who can be in the photos?

A  maximum of 6 people can be in the session.  This can be parents, children, grandparents, cousins, the choice is yours.  If you wish to have more people included, please get in touch so that we can discuss the options.

How does the session work?

Prior to your session we will discuss the best place to meet, normally in the Horsham area.  The great thing about outdoor sessions are that children tend to be more relaxed. Allowing us to get fun, smiley images.

Clothing plays a large part of the photos, therefore, I will give you some guidance on what to wear.  Although, ultimately, as long as you are all comfortable, it really doesn’t matter.

Being relaxed and having fun is definitely a main part of the session, as we really want to capture the love and happiness within your family.

 

PLEASE NOTE: These sessions are only valid until August 31 20120, unless lockdown is extended further.

What happens afterwards?

 

After the session I will edit your photos and provide you will an online gallery.  You will be able to choose your photos from the comfort of your own home, at your own leisure.

I do sell wall art and additional prints if you wish to purchase and photos for gifts.

For more information about Claire Wilders Photography please click HERE or you can email me at clairewildersphotography@gmail.com

Running 5km for the NHS.

Running 5km for the NHS.

Running 5km for the NHS to say THANK YOU!

Why did we decide to run 5km for the NHS during the Coronavirus Pandemic

 
Running 5km for NHS was our way of saying  THANK YOU because during Lockdown I feel very guilty but privileged to able to stay at home, safe, with my children.
 
Unable to work, as a non essential business, this to is a small price to pay.  At home I am able to spend time with my children: having fun, homeschooling and teaching them life skills.  All the while, others are out there risking themselves everyday and then coming home to their family….Still trying to keep everyone safe! 
 
 

Getting fitter during Lockdown.

A few times a week I have been able to get out for a run. Away from others and slowly building up my fitness. Something that lots of NHS workers have probably been unable to do, during this troubling time.

My children have been spent days with me, as a family: playing on the trampoline, cooking, taking the dog for walk; enjoying carefree days.

Saying thanks to the NHS.

My daughters football team, Southwater Royals Girls Under 13, challenged the girls to run 5km for NHS. So I decided my two children should attempt that challenge.

Having just built up to 5km myself, I told them we would just take it slowly, as neither of them had run that far before and nor had they done any training for it! Although as children they are constantly on the move. My daughter also loves athletics so she did have a head start in fitness. All because other people out there are working VERY hard to keep us safe.

running 5km for NHS

The 5km run for the NHS

We set off early morning and both children were quite excited. The start was tough because it took a little while to warm up and set our pace.

Before long we all settled into a good pace and we were all smiling and chatting. The route we did was great because it had 4 sections, which meant you felt like to were checking off the miles pretty quickly. It was also through the beautiful countryside around Southwater so really nice and peaceful!

Running 5km for NHS charity in Southwater

The final leg is where things got a bit harder but both children were still brilliant. Preferring to sprint, my daughter would run off and then went for us to catch up. Whereas my son, who doesn’t normally run took the slow and steady option. I was amazed by his determination because he didn’t walk even when he was really tired!

Running 5km for NHS charity in Southwater

What amazes me most is how normal they both looked when we finished. I’m really proud of them both because they took the challenge on without any complaints and it was a brilliant thing to do as a family. If anyone would like to give a donation to the NHS please click 5k for NHS

Running 5km for NHS charity in Southwater

If you would like to find out more information about Claire Wilders Photography and the services that we offer please click here

If you wish to keep up to date with future offers and information you can also like my Facebook page by clicking Claire Wilders Photography 

DIY Photography Backdrop

DIY Photography Backdrop

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY CANVAS PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP

Being on lockdown and having watched many photography training videos I decided to attempt to paint my own DIY canvas photography backdrop.

WHY?

Photography requires lots of equipment to keep photos current but none of this equipment is cheap. However, there are lots of ways that props can be made on a budget so I thought I would have a go at one. A new backdrop.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Paint of your choice – being on lockdown I couldn’t get to the shops and because I wanted it beige or brown I used some old fence paint. I used Ronseal One Coat in dark oak matt because that is all I had. I also used some old white matt emulsion.

A 12ft x9ft canvas backdrop. Click HERE to visit Amazon where I bought the backdrop

A fluffy roller. Click HERE to see which roller I bought.

Old trampoline cover to lay on the floor to stop it staining the grass. Tarpaulin or plastic sheets could also be used.

The Method

Being impatient when it comes to DIY I decided to just wing it! I laid the canvas on an old trampoline cover, so that the paint didn’t wreck the grass. I had heard of people priming the canvas or buying a primed one but I didn’t do either. Others had also pinned their canvas to the ground but I didn’t do this either. I wanted to use the texture and bumpiness of the grass to help me when adding texture to the canvas.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop
The start of the canvas

With the paint, I didn’t have a plan because again I wanted it to be random. Using a roller was easier because you could add a decent amount of paint to the canvas and then spread it around at random.

Mixing The Paint

To start off I added white emulsion to the paint tray and then added a small amount of fence paint so that its wasn’t too dark, as I wanted the centre to be lighter than the outsides. I also added a small amount of water to thin the paint down a bit. A few people have added fabric softer to the paint, so that the canvas is more supple at the end. I forgot to do this but the crustier feel doesn’t bother me. To paint the canvas I started in the middle but just slapped the paint on and continued all over the place until I emptied the tray.

DIY Canvas Painted Backdrop

Each time I filled the tray, the mixture got darker plus the paint wasn’t always mix it properly. Meaning there was bits of dark and light paint all over the canvas, to add to the texture. As it dried I did make certain areas a bit darker, as the white came through as it dried. Although this is better than the canvas coming out too dark. This day was also really warm so the canvas did dry quickly.

The Finished Product

As a first attempt I was really pleased with this canvas, especially as it only cost me the price of a backdrop. Which was £21. I did cut the backdrop down a bit as it was rather large for my space but the length is brilliant. There is a seem in the middle but with a wide aperture you can’t see it. Plus if you cut it down to make smaller backdrops, this won’t be an issue. TOP TIP… make sure you have the seam underneath.. you’ll notice mine is on the backdrop side! Something I didn’t think about in my haste to start painting.

THE VERDICT

I’m really pleased with the finished product. It cost me a day out of my time and was pretty easy to do. Both emulsion and fence paint seemed to work okay and I really like the texture it gives in both colour and black and white. Neither of these photos were taken with studio lights, the canvas was hung up and I took a quick photo of my son looking out of the window. Am I going to paint more? YES! Watch this space!!

If you’d like to see this backdrop in use during your photo session please visit my Families session to view details.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop
Where to visit around West Sussex in the Autumn

Where to visit around West Sussex in the Autumn

Autumn Photography Sessions in Horsham

Can you believe the summer is over and its only 11 weeks today until Christmas!

BUT… between now and then is my favourite time.. Autumn.   Autumn photography sessions are one of my favourite family sessions because this season is just gorgeous. The light at this time of year is just stunning and it is the perfect backdrop for your family.

Autumn Photography sessions Horsham

Around Horsham and Crawley there are some lovely places to spend a glorious autumn day with your family or dog. I thought I would share a few of my favourites, plus a few of my dedicated followers have given me their ideas too.

For more information on Family Sessions please click here

My favourite places to visit:

Tilgate Park, Crawley, is my absolute favourite park! No matter where I have lived no park has ever been as good as Tilgate.
Autumn Photography sessions Horsham

Not only is it absolutely stunning but there is so much to do.  Whether it is building dens and climbing the trees in the woods, walking round the lake and having a picnic or visiting the nature reserve. Other things to do here include Go Ape, play park, rowing boats, Smith and Western. It is so easy to spend the day here and is a wonderful place to tire out the children without spending a fortune. Parking is £1 per hour but all proceeds do go back into the park and for the nature centre it is only £4 for an adult and £3 for age 3-16yr olds.

Buchan Park is a place where I spend many days during my childhood climbing trees and having picnics.
Autumn Photography sessions Horsham

This is definitely a back to nature kind of place. There is ample free parking and its only a short walk to a beautiful lake and the perfect paths for kicking leaves or walking the dog.

Autumn Photography sessions Horsham
Sheffield Park this National Park is absolutely stunning in the autumn.

Family Photography Sheffield ParkThe colours around the lake are like no other. There is no tree climbing in the actual gardens but they do put on events for children to do throughout the year. However, there is a natural play area a short walk away and this includes a den area and soon to be replaced huge swing!

Southwater Country Park is another great park in the area.

The lake provides a great place for swimming and water sports during the summer and then year round is the Dinosaur Park. A great place to spend the afternoon with lots to entertain the children. In the summer it gets extremely busy with families picnicking either around the lake or in the dinosaur park but as the nights close in and days get cooler it definitely gets much quieter.Autumn Photography sessions Southwater Country Park

Petworth Park is another National Trust place which is home to hundreds of deer.

There is a paying car park (free for NT) which provides easy access to the park. It’s a beautiful place to sit and watch the deer or wander along the many paths around the park.

Wey and Arun Canal is not a park but it is a beautiful place to go for a walk

It’s lovely to see the canal boats and at Christmas you can even go one to meet Father Christmas. Canal boat River Arun

All of the above places are dog friendly, although most of them do require your dog to be on the lead.

I hope you like my list and feel free to message me with your favourite place

I will be running autumn mini sessions in various locations over the next few weeks so feel free to get in touch or like my Facebook page Claire Wilders Photography

Newborn baby photography sessions in Horsham..

Newborn baby photography sessions in Horsham..

Newborn baby photography sessions in Horsham.

Why have a newborn baby photography session for a new baby, isn’t life crazy enough without having to schedule in a photo shoot as soon as they arrive?

You are quite right, the first weeks are crazy and therefore go past in a blur.

However, by planning ahead, while you are pregnant, you will appreciate being having had a newborn baby photo session booked in. t They will last a couple of hours but the memories will be there forever. Babies grow so fast in the first couple of weeks and you very quickly forget how tiny they looked when they first arrived home.

This session allows you to capture those gorgeous features forever while having a few hours to sit back and relax!  Some parents have even been known to fall asleep because the studio is warm, they know their baby is in safe hands and finally they are able to relax for a few minutes.

How to book?

We are know due dates change so we book your newborn baby photography session for your due date.  When your new baby arrives we can then confirm a suitable date, ideally within the first 14 days.  We aim for that because this is when your baby still loves to be curled up, which makes posing easier.  You can still book a session after this date, some poses may just take a little longer.

Your baby is MY priority so the session is completely baby led!  If they need feeding or cuddles, we stop for a break until they are ready.  The session normally takes around 3 hours because your little one normally needs a few rests in between.  I also love to capture a few photos of you as a family so feel free to bring siblings along too.  

If you would like more information on booking a newborn baby photography session do not hesitate to get in touch or visit my Newborn baby page HERE