As you may have read from my previous post, I did not travel far for Easter this year. On Easter Sunday, I walked to Duck Pond Markets north of Ruislip High Street and where the Old Barn and Manor House (Ruislip Castle) is located. I visited Duck Pond Markets for the first time right before Christmas soon after I moved to the area. Duck Pond Markets offers an alternating artisan market and a food market every other Sunday in Ruislip, and vendors for the market can travel to other locations on the other weeks.
Before arriving at the market, I have to walk up Ruislip High Street. Most shops were shut, but I did notice that a few coffee shops and cafes were open. One of them, Fields, is new to Ruislip High Street. I decided to pop in and had a hot chocolate and a croissant.
Duck Pond Markets and the Old Barn/Manor House is located at the top of Ruislip High Street, and the lower end of Ruislip High Street is where the Ruislip tube station (Metropolitan line) is located. The walk to Duck Pond Markets is nearly ten minutes from there. The Manor House is clearly visible once entering the area, and it is a museum and open free to the public. It's worth a visit.
Information panels are located around the Old Barn and Manor House area to inform about the history of the location and the site of the castle. There's also a panel for the duck pond, which was where the work horses would be washed after a day of working.
The Old Barn is a listed building and beautiful inside. Part of the market takes place here. As the day was Easter Sunday, the market was less busy with vendors and people, but there were still many gifts and other items on display.
Outside were a few vendors selling food items. These ranged from gluten and vegan baked goods, cheese, meat, treats for dogs, pies, honey, chutney and sauces, bread, sweets, cooked food, and coffee.
Inside the barn, children can play with the large selection of Lego; the table is filled with Lego. The Lego belongs to the son of the organiser of Ruislip's Duck Pond Market. Money can be donated, and he spends it on more Lego.
After wandering around the market, I headed outdoors to wait for the beginning of the Easter Egg Hunt, which was held in the grounds of the Manor House (called "The Orchard" although many of the trees are not fruit trees). The hunt started at 11:00, and the children were encouraged to dress up like bunnies or with fairy wings. The Easter Egg Hunt was held in conjunction with the organiser of the Ruislip Fairy Village. I will be covering this in another post, but many small doors for the fairies' houses are put up at the bases of the trees, and the fairies leave little gifts for the children. Unfortunately, someone keeps damaging the fairy village, and it was only re-instated on Easter morning. I do hope that the vandals leave it alone now. In addition to the easter egg hunt, the children could participate in a quiz. The Easter Egg Hunt attracted a huge crowd.
When it was time to begin, the children ran for it. The eggs were hidden very well!
The weather was quite nice with spells of sunshine, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I even helped the children to spot some eggs with my keen eye; some of the smaller eggs had been well-hidden in the grass, and my height was an advantage. A couple of the children I had helped had not found any of the eggs yet, so it was appreciated.
After the egg hunt, an Easter bonnet contest and parade was due to be held back at the Old Barn. I did not go to see it, but I did see a few of the Easter bonnets, and they looked very creative. My personal favourite one (that I saw) was a tall green one that was decorated like Super Mario Brothers. Okay, it is not as Easter-y as some of them, but I thought that it was creative.