Summer Fun in the Woods at Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory is about half an hour from our house yet it’s somewhere we have never visited. Until now.

We saw that over the summer holidays they had loads and loads of activities on offer to keep the kids entertained. Most of them were activities from the National Trust list of 50 Things to do Before You’re 11 3/4. We’ve been working our way through the list slowly but surely so having somewhere close by that makes ticking some of them off without having to plan them yourself is always a bonus.

In fact, we had so much fun we visited twice.

The first visit was for the geocaching event.  We took Luca and his friend Kieran.  After a quick briefing from the geocaching expert, we were handed our GPS device and sent on our way.  The boys absolutely loved following the compass and watching the metres count down to the geocaches before searching around to find the hidden container. Continue reading

The Gruffalo at West Yorkshire Playhouse

We all know and love The Gruffalo (and if you don’t where have you been for the past 18 years), so when we heard it was coming to the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to go.

The Gruffalo has pretty much been part of Luca’s life since he was tiny. He even has a few of the characters in teddy form. We have both the book and the film and no matter how many times we read or watch it, it never grows old.

It really is an iconic book of childhood now so we were really intrigued to see what the adaptation by Tall Stories would be like. As we sat and waited for the performance to begin Luca could barely contain his excitement.

The Gruffalo West Yorkshire Playhouse

It’s safe to say it really didn’t disappoint. It was lively throughout and the characters did a great job of drawing the audience in. There was lots of audience participation too, with the children having to help by roaring as loud as they could and filling in the infamous lines from the book. Continue reading

In a Nutshell – October 2016

Well didn’t October fly by in the blink of an eye?

Our October has been pretty full on.  There has been so much going on, both in the way of family fun and proper grown up stuff too.  I much prefer the fun but some of the grown up stuff has been pretty exciting.

So here is our October in a nutshell. Continue reading

Farmer Copley’s Pumpkin Picking

One of my single most favourite things about Autumn is pumpkins. We eat loads of them, I decorate the house with mini ones and we carve a fair few for Halloween. And we love to pick our own.  It’s just not the same picking one up from Tesco with your weekly shop, all perfectly round and perfectly orange.  So we were thrilled when we were asked to go to Farmer Copley’s Pumpkin Picking Festival.  Nothing beats tramping through a muddy field, deliberating over which colour, size and shape you want to take home.

Farmer Copley's Pumpkin Picking Festival - Continue reading

English Heritage Open Days ~ Ledston Estate

Every September sees the arrival of English Heritage Open Days.  With the help of lots of volunteers, English Heritage organise events across the country for you to discover your local history, culture and architecture.  And it’s all for free.   What’s even better is that these events are usually opening the doors to the unseen, such as Ledston Estate.

Ledston Estate is local to us yet because it is a private estate we have never explored it.  Until now.  Continue reading

Messing about on the river – York Marina Boat Hire

On Sunday we hired a boat from York Marina boat hire and spent the afternoon messing about on the river. It was an absolutely brilliant day together as a family and we made some truly fabulous memories as we sailed up and down the river Ouse.

We arrived at the marina at 12:30 and had our life jackets fitted before my Dad was taken down to the boat for a quick safety briefing and to make sure he wasn’t going to cause total havoc on the river.  I think they must have had a heads up from someone. Continue reading

Get lost at Farmer Copley’s Corn Maze

After our great day out strawberry picking we couldn’t wait to get back to Farmer Copley’s for the Corn Maze.  We went at the start of the week and as usual took Luca’s friend, Rowan with us.

We arrived at the farm around 11:30am and headed straight for the corn maze.  After a quick briefing by a Corn Ranger we headed off into the maze. Flag and game sheets in hand. The flag is for if you get totally lost, you hold it up and wave it around.  A Corn Ranger will then come and rescue you.  Neat huh?  The game sheets consisted of three different games plus the rubbings game for younger kids. Continue reading

In a Nutshell ~ July 2016

July was an absolutely jam packed month.  It seemed to go on forever but in the best possible way.  We did so much brilliant stuff.  So without further ado, here is our July in a nutshell. Continue reading

Holiday from home for cheap, our plans.

This year we are planning a cheap summer holiday from home. As you may know we are dreaming of owning our own home and this is a little closer to becoming a reality.  This means that we are on a real saving spree.  We aren’t having a proper holiday this year, no flights or far flung destinations for us *sob*.  Instead our two weeks off together will be spent at home making memories.

A holiday from home isn’t a new thing to us but we usually spend it visiting various places and maybe even renting a beautiful cottage or B&B for a few nights.   We always end up spending as much as it would have cost to go abroad really.  This year though we are doing everything on the cheap in an attempt to save as much money as we can. Continue reading

National Railway Museum York

During the first week of the Easter holidays we coincidentally all had the same day off. My mum was looking after Rhianna my niece, so we decided a day out was in order.  We all bundled into the car and went to the National Railway Museum in York for the day.  

I’ve been before when I was younger but never as an adult so didn’t really know what to expect, apart from a lot of trains.   For those of you that don’t know it is located really close to the station in York so you can either get the train there or you can drive as they have their own car park too.  The car park is £9 but you have until 6:30pm so you could go for a look around the museum which is free and then go into York itself on their little shuttle train thing, much cheaper than parking in York itself.  The museum is open from 10am-6pm every day, apart from the 24th, 25th and 26th December. 

By the time we had got Rhianna ready to go and actually made it to York, she’d decided she was hungry so our first stop was straight to the Dining Car Restaurant.  This is located between all the royal carriages and you can either eat in the Victorian inspired dining car or relax in the 1920’s lounge. There are tables in between these two areas too and these are equally lovely to sit and eat at as it is just like being sat on an old station platform surrounded by the beautiful trains and old fashioned detailing like the lights and the beautiful props placed all over the museum.  

The food isn’t cheap, I’d say it’s priced as you’d expect in a free museum, but it was worth the money.  Rhianna & Luca had macaroni cheese which was served in cute little individual enamel dishes and my mum and Ant had homemade sausage rolls. All were demolished fairly quickly and everyone said it was delicious.  We finished it all off with a cookie and a cuppa.

Once we’d all eaten we then went to explore. We discovered that as it was Easter there were plenty of free activities going on for the kids. Rhianna loved this and made herself some 3D glasses and went on a mystery hunt around the museum. We looked at lots of trains, went onto the footplate of a steam train to hear all about how they work, sat inside a bullet train (which are huge), saw the famous Mallard and the Royal carriages plus lots more. 

My mum was absolutely in her element as her Dad (my Papa) was a train engineer so she knows pretty much all there is to know about trains. He fixed the Mallard a few times and also worked on the Flying Scotsman. One of my mums proudest moments was when she helped to drive the Flying Scotsman when she was at work with my Papa one day. Unfortunately that wasn’t there the day we went as it is currently being repaired.  
I thought about my Papa the whole way round the museum, he loved his job and this clearly rubbed off on my mum, but I wish he could have been there to see his Great Granddaughter as she also loves trains and listened to everything my mum could tell her about them. He would have been so proud of them both.

 We also managed to squeeze in a quick play on the playground which is lovely and there are plenty of picnic tables too for a picnic in the sun on a nice day.  We had a ride on the miniature railway, which costs £1 per person and although is only a very short ride, 5 minutes max, the kids absolutely loved it.

As we got there late in the day we did miss out on lots of the activities they had on offer.  During the school holidays it is definitely somewhere that you could spend the whole day.  Even if you went on a normal day you could spend the whole day in York.  Park in the car park, wander around the museum and take the shuttle train into York as I mentioned above, there is so much to do in York you’d be hard pushed to find yourself at a loose end. 

We will definitely be visiting again, just with a few more hours to fill next time.