There'snothing better on an autumn day than going to Kew for a family day out. The leaves on trees and shrubs are starting to turn and very soon the gardens will be awash with the season's bright colours.
We spent the day there recently with friends and the children had a brilliant time exploring the trees, making dens and climbing the new attraction, the Treetop Walkway.
This great new addition to the gardens is not one for the faint-hearted because of the number of stairs you need to climb to get to the top - I was in need of oxygen by the top step!
The walkway takes you up 59ft around a purpose-built wooden path high above the tree canopy. You get the most amazing views of the gardens and the surrounding areas.
While I was trying not to feel nervous and clinging on for dear life, the kids dashed around laughing at the look on my face!
Kew is very well set up for families, with the fabulous play area Climbers and Creepers, plenty of decent toilet and baby changing facilities and lots of places to get good-quality refreshments. The cafés and restaurants serve really good cakes, but be warned, they are on the pricey side. Fortunately the portions are very generous and big enough to share.
There aren't many places in and around Hillingdon where children get in free but at Kew Gardens, although it costs £13 for an adult, children under 17 are admitted free of charge. Annual membership is worth paying for if you think you might visit more than four times.
Don't be mistaken into thinking Kew is a summer-only destination. There are many indoor greenhouses and attractions, so it's good for a visit all year round.
I'm off to leafy Hayes tomorrow (Thursday) for the first in a regular monthly interview slot with DJ Karen Moore on locally focused radio station 91.8 Hayes FM.
Karen is a mum of two from Ruislip and on Thursdays between10am and noon she broadcasts a live family programme that covers issues to do with family, children and the local area, as well as news, guests and music. It sounds a lot for just a two-hour show!
I'm very excited to be invited on to the programme as a guest for a chat about local issues for families.
You can tune in on your radio or listen online at the website www.hayesfm.org.
I'm wondering how I'll come across, as my voice is quite high pitched - on the Sunshine magazine answerphone, I sound at bit like Mickey Mouse!
Cathy's top event
THE Hillingdon Special Educational Needs Parent Forum is holding its second annual conference on Tuesday, October 14 at Uxbridge Civic Centre.
The conference is aimed at families with children and young people up to age 25 who have special educational needs or disabilities.
Key service providers will be making presentations, lunch will be served and there will be the chance to visit an exhibition and to meet service providers.
To book a place, call Nikki Barber on 01895 277 001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.