Category Archives: Travel & Days Out

Paradise Park – Cornwall

Days out in Cornwall

When we were camping in Cornwall this summer we visited quite a few attractions with one of our favourite’s being Paradise Park near Hayle in West Cornwall.

 

With August 2015 proving to be one of the wettest recorded in Cornwall we were forced to rethink our ideas of sitting on the beach all day and look for family friendly days out in the area around Sennen Cove.

Paradise Park Cornwall

Paradise Park was recommended to us as there is a massive indoor play area and with the weather being so unpredictable this was really enticing for 8 very damp adults and children!

Paradise Park Cornwall

As far as entry goes we thought it was really reasonable coming in at £34.25 for all three of us, £14.50 for an adult and £11.25 for a child but through getting some online codes we received a £6 reduction. If you can try and check before you arrive as their website always seems to have an offer going.

The park is primarily a bird park with over 140 species but there are also farm animals, otters and plenty of dinosaurs!

Paradise Park Cornwall

Paradise Park Cornwall Paradise Park Cornwall

We had a really enjoyable day here and if you can I would really recommend watching one of the display shows/talks. The birds are so incredibly cared for that they never fly off and are able to demonstrate some of the most amazing skills. We are still talking about the Kookaburra showing off his hunting skills with a rubber snake!

Paradise Park Cornwall Paradise Park Cornwall Paradise Park Cornwall

 

I will let our photos do the talking to describe what a good day we had!! If you are heading off to this part of the world for a half term break I would definitely recommend Paradise Park, especially as there is plenty to do whatever the weather.

Paradise Park Cornwall

Paradise Park Cornwall

 

 

 


The Family Travel Show Ticket Giveaway Comp

The family Travel Show, Olympia, London 2015

The Family Travel Show

Discovering the World Together

Olympia, London, 31st October – 1st November 2015

 

The end of this month sees The Family Travel Show being held in London. It is the UK’s first ever event totally dedicated to family travel adventures.

One of my best experiences travelling was when I visited South America and I know Ed loved Australia. One day we really want to go back to these places as a family to share how much we loved them and create new memories together. However time and finances mean this will probably be a long way off yet so events like The Family Travel Show are great places to get inspiration and ideas for travelling with your family be it in the UK, Europe or further afield. (You can read more about our camping experiences in the UK and France here)

The Family Travel Show will give you the chance to get face-to-face with the best family holiday providers and specialist operators all under one roof, take advantage of exclusive show-only offers and competitions, gather impartial advice and inspiration, and of course quiz the experts on those all important questions.

 

So if you’re looking to just research, plan or book your ideal family adventure, you can do all this and more at The Family Travel Show!

 

SAVE THE DATE – 31ST OCTOBER – 1ST NOVEMBER 2015

 

For more show information please visit www.familytravelshow.com

 

In association with The Family Travel we are giving 3 pairs of tickets to the show. Simply enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a pair.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 

**Competition winners will receive their tickets ahead of the show**

***THIS COMPETITION WILL END ON SUNDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2015 TO MAKE SURE WINNERS CAN GET THEIR TICKETS AND TRAVEL PLANS AHEAD OF TIME*****


Tyre safety

How often do you get into your car and drive off without giving the tyres a second thought? If you are anything like me then this is probably most of the time. However before we went away on holiday this year we did give everything a check over as we knew we were driving a long way and had quite a lot of extra load on the car. (!)

Subaru packed up

If I am honest we occasionally check our tyres, mainly before we take a long trip or MOT time, but not on a regular basis. October 2015 sees the start of Tyre Safety Month organised by Tyresafe  who are one of the UK’s leading tyre safety organisations, dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers associated with defective or illegal tyres. having a look over on their site was really interesting and certainly got me thinking. The tyres on your car are actually the only part of the car that is in contact with the ground so it makes sense that their care and condition should be of upmost importance.

Correct pressure, the right tread depth and tyres which are in a good condition are vital to our safety on the road. Taking just a few minutes to regularly check these items is a really good habit to get into. What’s more, these checks are essential to ensure you stay on the right side of the law and avoid fines of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points for each illegal tyre.

In 2013 Government statistics revealed that 11,00 tyre-related incidents took place on England’s motorways and major roads.

Living in the country means we use the car a LOT. We can’t just walk down to the corner for a pint of milk, it is either a 40 minute walk each way or 5 minutes in the car. This makes our car such a vital lifeline out here.

With winter around the corner checking your tyres is a great habit to get into. Tyre pressures can be checked when you fill up with petrol and the 20p Test is a simple check you can do at home.

point-s tyres

If you need your tyres checked over Point S have a network of tyre dealers in the UK with 213 branches owned by 106 independent businesses ensuring that customers receive the very best advice and service. they have a really handy ‘reserve and fit system’ which allows you to choose tyres online book to have them fitted at your local Point-S depot and best of all no online payment is taken, simply pay when the tyres are fitted.

 

 

 

 


Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech

 

Kidizoom Action cam From VTech Review1Last month we were lucky enough to get a Kidizoom Action Cam from VTech to have a play around with and post a review.

I am not sure who was more excited at the prospect of the Kidizoom Action Cam arriving as G and I waited patiently for the courier to deliver the parcel. The advert for the Kidizoom Action Cam seems to be everywhere and G was very keen on telling me all the things it could do before the camera had even got here.

I love taking photographs and recently G has developed an interest in taking photos on our phones or wanting to having a go with my Nikon (which fills me with dread, but I try not to be too precious) so having his very own camera was a big deal for him.

Regular readers will know I posted on here a while back on How VTech can make family travelling easier and the Kidizoom Action Cam was on the list.

Kidizoom Action Cam – Encourage children to take pictures of their holiday from start to finish with this action camera which captures photos, video and offers games. Giving kids their own (robust) camera encourages them to observe their surroundings and focus on what interests them. You might be surprised at the results from their knee-high view. With a waterproof case for underwater pictures at the beach or in the pool, and a mount allowing you to attach to a bike, children can capture action shots during any part of their holiday.

Handling the camera took G a while to master as it is quite small for his chunky fingers. However he soon began to understand that his fingers had to be away from the lens in order to take a picture. As you can see he was less than impressed with his first few efforts!! The Kidizoom Action Cam is aimed at 5-12 year olds so we guessed it would be a little tricky for him to begin with.

Kidizoom Action Cam

Or holding the camera still when taking the photo……

Kidizoom Photo 3

However by the time we got on holiday (You can read more about our camping in Cornwall adventure here) he had really mastered the camera and started taking some great pictures.

The camera retails at £49.99 so would probably be the type of thing you would purchase for a birthday or Christmas present. It can take videos, go underwater (this really does work as you can see in the video), there are graphics you can add to your pictures and a few simple games to plays, so you do get a lot for your money. It also comes with a handy mount that means you can attach it to your bike or helmet for some real action shots and video too.

You can see a much shorter version of the video the kids made in the pool (rather than the 5 minute version they loved making!) But it does prove it really takes great underwater footage!

 

4 star (358 of 406)

4 star (359 of 406)

When we were on the foreshore in Budock we had a ‘photo off’ and I have to say G’s were pretty good!

100_0031G with the Kidizoom

4 star (347 of 406)

One with the Nikon DSLR

Budock Vean Foreshore

G’s attempt with the Kidizoom

Budock Vean Foreshore Nikon

My attempt with my Nikon DSLR

I have to say we were really impressed and hope this new found interest in photography and videos really takes off. I have to say thank you VTech for making technology so easily accessible to our little people. I really can not recommend the Kidizoom Action Cam enough. We had so much fun with it and it is till being used lots now we are home too. I might start posting a Sunday Photo from G too. Watch this space!!

 

 

 

 

 


The Great British Picnic

Getting all our kit together for our holiday this week got me thinking about picnics and everything you need for a great British picnic. My dream picnic would look something like this picture I found in The Telegraph but realistically ours are more of a nice rug and a good spot.

Beautiful picnic picture

Living in the countryside we tend to enjoy picnicking by the coast or near water as it feels totally different for us.

Cherry Good JuiceCherry Good Juice recently did some ‘picnicking’ research to celebrate International Picnic Day.  It revealed the nation’s top picnicking preferences to uncover the recipe for the perfect Great British Picnic ‘Brit-nic’.

Apparently over 10 million Brits picnic at least 5x a year and according to this research we are a nation of traditionalists opting for a classic chicken salad on white bread with crusts left on…but they must be cut into triangles!

What’s more, we spend on average £29.55 on our picnic hampers, with 1 in 5 of us including luxury items on our picnic shopping list. Almost 1/4 of those in Northern Ireland and London are prepared to pay over £50 for the perfect ‘Brit-nic’.

My Top 3 Picnic Spots in the South-West

Cornwall beaches Fowey1. Readymoney Cove, Fowey, Cornwall

This is perhaps one of the most child friendly beaches I know. A small sheltered cove in Fowey where you feel you are in the setting for a Famous Five novel. There are plenty of rock pools to explore and when the tide is out plenty of beach to sit on.

 

 

Best picnic spots South West

2. The Front Beach, Lyme Regis, Dorset

We had the most  wonderful afternoon here totally unplanned when we were  in the area for my brother’s wedding in 2012. We were staying at The Alexandra Hotel and wandered down to the beach not knowing what to expect. We ended up having an amazing afternoon eating crab sandwiches from a little sandwich shop by the sea front and it was G’s first real beach experience as a toddler. Very happy memories.

south west picnic spots

 

 

 

best beaches in Cornwall for picnics

 

3. Pridmouth Cove Beach, Nr Fowey, Cornwall

Before we had G we used to love going on long hikes. When we visited Fowey one year we walked some of the South West Coast path and came across the spectacular beach of Pridmouth Cove. Pridmouth Cove is quite an isolated spot with access to the beach a 15 min walk from the car park. It is also the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, with the house on the beach serving as the backdrop for Rebecca’s beach hut escapades. I read Rebecca at school and it has been one of my all time favourite novels ever since. I try and re-read every 10 years or so. I think my Du Maurier obsession is why I love visiting Fowey so much.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

 

 

 

 

The most luxurious picnic I have been too was when I went to the Longborough Festival Opera, an annual event held a few miles away from us here in the Cotswolds. I was invited by my great friends, Barry and Finbarr who had prepared a fantastic feast for us to eat in the interval of the opera we had gone to see. We thought we were pretty organised until we started seeing silver candelabras coming out on the tables next to us!!

My dream picnic though is to book a ready made hamper from my favourite place in the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor and take off into their amazing grounds, with a bottle of something chilled and a good read.

Cowley Manor, Cheltenham

The picnic hamper menu just makes my mouth water reading it and although not cheap would be lovely for a special event. For me this has all the elements of a Great British Picnic.

COWLEY PICNIC HAMPER

£60 for two people

Graze

Ginger beer & vegetable crisps

Black pudding Scotch egg & Sausage roll

w Cowley ketchup

Manor smoked salmon & cream cheese

on sourdough

Tuck in

Roasted Poussin

w jersey royals & house dressing,

green bean salad w shallots & walnuts

Heritage tomato & Laverstock farm mozzarella salad

Keep Going

Fruit scones w jam, clotted cream

& a cup of tea

Elderflower & strawberry jelly

& a selection of Turkish delight, inspired by the gardens

Cheeses, chutneys & freshly baked crackers

Do you have any great picnic suggestions or places to go? If you had to create and organise your dream picnic what would it be? I would love to know!


The Camping and Caravan Club

The Camping and Caravan ClubIf you enjoy camping then it is well worth checking out all that The Camping and Caravan Club has to offer.

This week sees us getting everything ready for our holiday and we are really looking forward to a week away with friends. (Click to read my post on my Camping Must Have Items) We have chosen to stay on The Camping and Caravan Club site at Sennen Cove in Cornwall as we have never visited that far down into Cornwall and the beaches look gorgeous.

Sennen Cove Beach Cornwall

We had a test run in the garden with the tent and were amazed at how easy it was to put up and pack away. We sorted out and cleaned all our kit which has been in the barns for a few years and were pretty pleased with our little set up. All I want to do now is make some bunting and add some fairy lights to the awning!

Hi Gear Corado 6 Berth Tent

Annual membership of The Camping and Caravan Club is £37  per year and by becoming members we saved £50.40 off the price of our pitch compared to had we booked as non-members. As you can see it made total sense to join as we were already saving £13.40 before even considering all the benefits of being a member. (Click on the link to read more about these.)

The £37.00 annual membership is an online, paper free option that the club launched in spring 2014 and over 35,000 households have opted for this offer. The other thing with The Camping and Caravan Club is that they have recently invested over £4 million  into improving their sites in 2014/2015 with another £4 million planned for 2015/2016 so you know that you are going to get sites that are clean, well maintained and great value for money.

If you are new to camping the club has also launched ‘Ready Camp’ a Glamping option that looks incredibly similar to the type of tents we stayed in with Camping Indigo on the Ile D’Oleron. There are 17 sites currently offering this facility, all in great locations. The Camping and Caravan Club website has tons of information on best tents to match your needs, all the things you need to know before you go camping and they also deal with camping abroad too, which is a real bonus. As you can see I am really impressed with everything you get for £37.00 and would definitely recommend anyone who goes camping regularly to take a further look. I will be writing more about our trip to Sennen Cove in a few weeks time after our first stay as ‘club members’!

 

 


Outdoor Swimming at The Lido in Cheltenham

Yesterday we went with friends to The Lido, an outdoor heated swimming pool in the heart of Cheltenham. This was the first time I have taken G but as a child I used to go a lot. Growing up or living in Cheltenham, The Lido is something of an institution. No Cheltenham childhood is complete without memories of outdoor swimming at The Lido, trying to find a patch of grass when the sun is out and having fun with your friends.

The Lido was refurbished in 2007 and the trust that now runs the pool have done an amazing job of modernising the facilities whilst retaining the 1930’s vibe from when it was first built.

The Lido Cheltenham

As you walk in through the turnstiles you are greeted with the fantastic sight of the iconic fountain, the 50m pool and the art deco café at the other end of the complex. Children under 5 are free so I only had to pay for my entrance, a very reasonable £4.50 which has no time restriction, so you could stay all day if you wanted. Be warned though you do need to pay for parking but the charges are available to see on the website.

Lido Cheltenham main Pool

There are two pools, the main 50m swimming pool and a smaller children’s pool that is perfect for little ones. The depth goes from 0.5m to 0.8m and there is a small slide into the pool too. By the children’s pool is also a small paddling pool which has an elephant. The twin boys we were with who are 18 months old loved the elephant and crawling around in the shallow water.

Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham

Lido 3

 

lido 2

One of the great things about The Lido is the constant presence of lifeguards. Yesterday I must have seen at least 6 on duty with many other staff as well. This really provides you with a feeling of reassurance as they are watching all the pools at all times. My cousins were lifeguards at The Lido when they were in Sixth Form and then during University and I know that they had to do a great deal of training each year.

 

The Lido hosts some great events throughout the year, including open air theatre, all night swimming and on Christmas Day they open the pool for those brave enough to face the elements and work up an appetite for their Christmas Lunch.

Lido Pool (3 of 3)

The café, Café Lido is housed in a 1930’s style Art Deco building and offers a great range of sandwiches and snack meals. After a long morning swimming we tucked into delicious bacon sandwiches which really hit the spot.

Lido Pool (1 of 3)

G enjoyed his first visit to The Lido so much, he has already started asking me about when we can go next. I am so happy that he likes as much as I did when I was his age.

 
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Entertaining Elliot