Bookmark

My Faves

Click the bookmark icon to save all the stuff you love.

Congratulations to the 2019 Muddy Stilettos Awards Winners!

Meet our winners here

Muddy Stilettos Awards logo
Reader Treats Just For You!

Kids

  • Hey, parents, leave those kids alone!

    A new parenting manual urges us to back off and let our kids take the lead. Veteran teacher (and mother of three) Esther Wojcicki on why being a ‘panda mum’ is the way forward.

  • Is an independent school right for you?

    Choosing a school for your child can be one of the most important decisions of your parenting life, but have you considered going private?

  • St Edward’s School

    Muddy says: One of the very few city-based boarding schools in the UK, with a reputation for friendliness and inclusivity. A major school for IB in the UK.

  • Cute babywear

    Is there a new little prince or princess in your family too? Click this way for the cutest newborn clothes around. Awwww!

  • Tudor Hall, Banbury, North Oxon

    Muddy says: An small, friendly girl’s secondary boarding/ day school in North Oxon in a beautiful location, there's a welcome emphasis on 'joining in' and good manners.

  • Rye St Antony School, Nr Headington, Oxford

    Muddy says: A non-selective day/boarding school for girls 3-18 and boys 3-11 years a mile from central Oxford with a reputation for friendliness and a non-hothousy environment.

  • Moulsford School, Moulsford

    Muddy says: A highly-regarded boy’s prep school in South Oxon in a stonkingly lovely setting on the Thames, with a strong reputation for sport and extracurricular activities.

  • thorpe house school red brick building victorian black panels boys in uniform standing in front

    Thorpe House School, Gerrards Cross

    Muddy says: A small, friendly day school for boys aged 3-16 between Gerrard's Cross and Chalfont St Peter, set in 7 stunning acres and high on inclusivity.

  • modern school building with grass and trees in front

    The Manor Preparatory School, Abingdon

    Check out my update on this highly-regarded day school in Abingdon with fantastic ISI reports (excellent across the board) for kids 2-11 years old.

  • Stratford Lit Fest 2019: What’s on for children?

    Looking for a cultural family-friendly jaunt this spring? There's a brilliant line-up of best-selling and much-loved children's authors and illustrators at the 12th annual festival. Before you book, check out our top picks..

  • Ashfold School, Dorton, Mid Bucks

    Muddy says: This bucolic co-ed prep school for day pupils and boarders in the rolling hills of Buckinghamshire is family-oriented with a deserved reputation for its all-rounder offering.

  • Royal Masonic School for Girls, Rickmansworth

    A girls' day and boarding school with stellar results, that's perfectly placed for Herts and Bucks but also deliciously close to London.

  • Preparing for exams

    As exam season creeps gradually closer, we have this advice for students preparing for their GCSEs and A-levels - thanks to Ian Thorpe, the headmaster at Downsend School.

  • The 8 most important things to look for in a school

    ... and nope, exam results are not one of them! Here's the insider scoop on choosing the best school for your child from Emma Goldsmith, national Prep Head of the Year.

  • South Downs stargazing festival

    Find an event near you for a spot of guided stargazing or a family-friendly workshop over the 2019 Dark Skies Festival

  • Bloxham School, nr Banbury

    Muddy says: Bloxham School is an impressive co-ed day/boarding for kids 11-18 in a pretty North Oxfordshire, with a reputation for all-rounder education.

  • highfield slide

    Highfield and Brookham Schools, Liphook

    Muddy says: This pre-prep and prep school offer a whopping 175 acres of space for kids to run around in while they excel academically.

  • Kingswood School, Bath

    Muddy says: The only school founded by famous Methodist John Wesley (but it's not too 'religious'), offers a good-all round education with excellent results and pastoral care to match

  • Kingswood Prep School and Nursery, Bath

    Muddy says: Children can be children at this co-ed prep and brand new nursery with Scandi-style facilities and more, set in 100-acre of parklands overlooking the city

  • Meoncross slide

    Meoncross School, Stubbington

    Muddy says: This independent co-ed for ages 2.5 - 16, is situated just outside of Fareham and boasts a real family vibe and an epic Beach School.

  • The wonderful Wizard of Oz

    This isn't Kansas, it's Somerset, in a clever re-working of the iconic tale at The Brewhouse in Taunton

  • Review: The Comedy of Errors

    Local children take to the stage in the RSC's new First Encounters with Shakespeare production for 7 - 13-year-olds combining the floss, yoga and some frenetic family fun.

  • Inside The Haunted Castle

    Muddy intrepidly goes in search of the scariest thrills for Halloween at Warwick Castle on a family day out.

  • A Georgian stately home.

    West Hill Park School, Fareham

    Muddy says: A happy, romping countryside prep, where children develop in a kind, secure environment & gain regular scholarships to top public schools.

  • INSIDER GUIDE: FOLKESTONE

    This town has not only gained a reputation for its artistic heart - it's also making convincing marks on the foodie map. What more reason do you need to visit?

  • Horrible Histories talks to Muddy

    The family favourite is back in Sussex. Muddy spoke to co-director Neal Foster about what grisly goings-on are in store

  • 5 reasons kids should do yoga

    From teaching self-acceptance to creating balance and calm, here are five reasons why kids should have yoga in their lives.

  • How to grow happy kids

    How can you help your kids find the holy grail of happiness? We’ve found an expert who has previous in the matter…

  • King’s High, Warwick

    Muddy says: One of the UK's top performing independent schools for girls aged 11-18 chosen as The Sunday Times' West Midlands Independent Secondary School of the Year, 2019. This year sees the school moving into a stunning new spacious, green campus.

  • Great Ballard School, Eartham, nr Chichester

    Muddy says: This outdoorsy school near Chichester, with a gorgeous South Downs setting, has a bucolic, nurturing environment for children from two and a half up to 13.

  • Cambridge International School, Cambridge

    Muddy says: Looking for a school that puts huge emphasis on pastoral care, nurturing and individualised education? The Cambridge International School is building a strong, vibrant and unique community in the centre of Cambridge.

  • Awful Auntie – Live on Stage

    David Walliams’ number one children’s best-seller has its first stage outing – but will it meet fans’ expectations?

  • Hampshire Collegiate School, Romsey

    Muddy says: A new Head, palpable energy, passionate teaching staff, stonking grounds and a fleet of boats moored just down the road. If you haven’t considered HCS yet, here’s why you should.

  • South Downs stargazing festival

    Catch astronomy events throughout Sussex during the South Downs Dark Skies Festival this February

  • Planning a kids’ party? AAAAARRGHHHHHH!

    Stop right there, Mudsters. We've taken the pain out of your kids’ parties and found these super-fantastic bods who'll only go and do the whole lot for you. And I mean the WHOLE lot

  • Georgian building

    Twyford Prep School, Hants

    Muddy says: This Hampshire prep is a cosy school with a strong sporting pedigree and an impressive curriculum that encourages creative thinking.

  • Muddy Xmas Gift Guide #2: Young Kids

    The sweetest, most gorgeous young children's pressies this side of Lapland, with brands you won't find everywhere else.

  • Surviving the summer

    If the thought of six long weeks with the nippers has you reaching for the gin at 10am, don't worry. Children's life coach Lisa Parkes is here to help.

  • Autumn London Days Out with Kids

    10 fun things to do in the capital this Oct half-term.

  • Dorset House School, Bury

    Muddy says: A friendly family-feel co-ed prep and pre-prep school for 4-13-year-olds with flexi-boarding possible.

  • Muddy Eats: The Green Welly, Ditchling

    Handily situated for post walk or cycle refuelling this new family-friendly cafe sits at the crossroads in dinky Ditchling, just down from the Beacon (and if you’re about to tackle that in the upward direction you’re really going to need to fill your boots here first!) It’s been up and running a few months and […]

  • Get your skates on!

    Time to polish up your double toe loops and triple Salchows – or maybe just try and stay upright? Outdoor ice rinks are starting to pop up all over the place. Here’s a round-up of the best places to skate in the West Country and beyond.  So put on your bobble hats and mittens and […]

  • Great art in the great outdoors – Cass Sculpture

    Forget browsing quietly in a gallery, shuffling with the crowds or praying your kids will last five minutes before loud declarations of boredom. Cass Sculpture Foundation at Goodwood, near Chichester takes the whole thing outdoors, putting the discovery back into art and giving you and yours room to roam. I’d been meaning to get to […]

  • Muddy reviews: Flown, at Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

    The first thing I thought as I settled down to watch Flown at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre was ‘how are they going to perform circus stunts in a space that small?’ This excellent show from Pirates of the Carabina (great name!), on until Sunday, is an intimate form of circus – not in a big top but […]

  • The Muddies get behind the wheel…ooh-er

    Would you let your 12-year-old behind the wheel?  I did, *gulp*.  Too young to take conventional driving lessons but raring to go, the Muddies’ 15-year-old cousin has been learning to drive through the Young Driver training programme – and loving every minute.  My two (a few years younger) have been green with envy, until I […]

  • Hastings’ new world-class skatepark

    Hastings' Source Park, cleverly converted from a Victorian swimming baths, has dedicated sessions for kids, girls and over-30s.

  • Visit the house where Jungle Book was born

    The new live action version of Jungle Book is out in cinemas this week  – see the trailer here. Whether it will be anywhere near as heart-warming with CGI remains to be seen but it’s bound to rekindle a love affair with the story, and here in Sussex we have the very place where it […]

School Reviews

Our honest reviews of the UK’s best schools

Read the reviews

Little Black Book

Our handpicked selection of best local businesses

View the businesses
Home icon Back Home

The Urban Guide to the Countryside