Family adventures: The Forest of Dean part 2 | AD

  (read part one here)

Sunday morning we all awoke to the sun filtering through the trees had a had another lazy breakfast before taking a little walk with the dog round the woodland trail right behind our cabin.

We followed the path through the woods, passed by runners on a morning jog and other dog walkers and spied yet more cabins nestled in amongst the trees. We had a little play and climb in a clearing before continuing on the loop that took us right round and back into the site. This is what I loved most about the Forest Holidays setting, that it was so easy just to step out the door and be immersed in the woods and nature.

Our plans for the day included a trip to the near by Beechenhurst lodge for a walk around and to have a go at the Go Ape they have on site there. Theo actually visited this place for his birthday back in January, where he and two friends and Rob travelled up just for the day to have a go, this is what originally inspired us to discover the Forest of Dean further! Seeing as Rob went last time Theo wanted me to join him, which I did thinking it would be easy but in actual fact I quickly realised that I'm not too keen on heights! This was actually only the kids trail, so I definitely wouldn't be able to do an adult one! Who knew that getting older meant that these fears suddenly creep in without you knowing?! Theo had a great time though, even though he was still a little hesitant - maybe he was picking up on my vibes! The staff were all really friendly and understanding that some people need a little more time and really tried their hardest to make you feel at ease! It definitely makes for a great place to take kids for a birthday or special occasion, or just something fun to do on a day out. Prices are £19 per person and you get an hour up in the trees and it is pretty fun (even if you are a bit afraid of heights!)

After having our fill of the heights we met back up with Rob and had a little lunch in the cafe on site and met up with my mum whilst we played in the park which was lovely for both the boys. We then went on a little walk around the grounds which has a sculpture trail and a mini 'Zog' trail for kids which you could purchase a little activity bag for for £3 in the cafe. Rohan had a little sleep whilst we navigated around and did the trail and the pup loped around having a whale of a time! There is a sculpture trail which we tried to follow in parts, but we either got a little lost or the sculptures were no longe there as we didn't see any which was a shame, but by this point the weather was just starting to turn so we decided to head back to the lodge for dinner.

We had bought ingredients for a BBQ and even though it was tipping it down we decided to have it anyway, but just eat inside, but if the weather had been nice there is a big table on the outside decking which would be perfect for sunny evenings eating surrounded by the forest. We of course had another dip in the hot tub, even in the rain!


On Monday it was time to pack up our lovely lodge and leave, even though we all agreed that we could have definitely stayed for a week and explore more! We were definitely sad to leave, so much so that we decided to stop off on the way home just to make the most of it, plus the weather was pretty lovely so it felt a shame to waste the day seeing as it only takes an hour to get home.

We stopped off at Goodrich Castle where we've been a few times before so we knew it was a good place to spend a few hours. It's set in a beautiful grounds and scenery and it's so interesting to read all about the history of the castle. Rohan had a little wander around whilst Theo and Rob climbed up the towers and we just soaked up the quiet morning!

We had an early picnic lunch back at the cafe and shop area before reluctantly heading back home. It really was such a great way to spend the weekend, and really made us have quality time as a family doing things we all really enjoy. I didn't really realise how easy it was to get to this area from Bristol, especially now that the bridge is toll free and there's just so much more to do here, so we'll definitely be back to explore further, next time even bringing our own bikes maybe!


Our trip was in collaboration with The Forest of Dean tourism board, our accommodation, travel and activities were gifted as part of the review but all words and images are my own. 

Family adventure: The Forest of Dean part one | #AD


Last Friday we packed up our bags, picked everyone up from school and nursery ready to hit the road and drive the short distance from Somerset/Bristol to the Forest of Dean. It couldn't have come at a better time, Rob had been away all week for work, our weekends have been all over the place and it really felt like we needed to reconnect as a family. Planning holidays usually takes quite a bit of effort for us (like most families!) but we really have to consider travel time as Rohan doesn't do very well in the car for long distances, so travelling for just over an hour to somewhere we've not really explored before was perfect.

We had the whole weekend ahead of us to unwind, explore and spend time together all in a beautiful setting. Whilst even though it's so close we've not really properly explored this area before, more skirted around the edges whilst visiting my Mum, who lives not too far away in Malvern. It's always been one of those places I'd heard of but not realised that it was quite so close as it is!

We were lucky enough to be invited to spend the weekend at the Forest Holidays Park near Coleford, which proved to be an excellent base for lots of exploring, as all of the places we visited were less than 15 minutes drive from here and there was so much to do. We were staying in a woodland cabin and realised that this meant it came with a hot tub, much to all of our excitement! I don't think we've ever quite been the family to holiday in places with hot tubs, or know anyone with one, so it was still a total novelty. The cabin itself was beautiful, with so much open space, floor to ceilings windows that perfectly framed the view of the forest behind. There was a wood burning stove, a fully equipped kitchen, and in our two bed cabin we had an en suite bathroom as well as a main with a bath. There was everything you'd need to stay a week or more! It definitely exceeded our expectations!


Once we'd settled in and unpacked we ordered some pizza from the main reception (which had it's own bar and cafe), to be delivered to our cabin so we could enjoy an evening in. We brought our own food too for the rest of the weekend, which really helps to keep costs down, but having one little treat on the first night was great. Once we'd settled Rohan into bed we enjoyed dinner, then hopped into the hot tub that had been warming up all day. It was a perfect way to unwind and really feel like we were on holiday, that and a glass or two of prosecco! 

The next morning after a lazy breakfast we headed a short drive away  (under 10 minutes) to Pedalabikeaway Cycle Centre to hire bikes for the morning and explore the forest on two wheels. The service was brilliant as they checked and fitted all of our bikes, including swapping to a trailer for Rohan as we felt he'd enjoy it a little more this way, and give Onyx a rest if he needed it! We were soon all set up and on our way, deciding to take the ten mile family trail round the forest. It was a great distance for us, taking around an hour and a half (with a few stops!) and provided us with such stunning scenery. The trail was also relatively quiet, with us being the only users on it for good portions, which was great to feel like we could spread out and go at our own pace. Onyx ended up running the whole way with us, he was definitely a tired pup at the end of the day! The views were just beautiful and it's so relaxing cycling through the woods, it really reminded me of a place we used to go to as a family for cycling over in Norfolk. 


Once we'd returned our bikes we headed back to the cabin so Theo and Rob could head off for a forest survival session located onsite. They spent a good few hours with an expert who talked them through all sorts of skills, giving tips and advice as they walked along through the woods. Theo seemed to take so much of it in and came back chatting about all that he'd learnt, especially about fire lighting and wanting to get his own steel and flint. After building a camp fire and having a go to light it, they finished off with hot chocolate. I think they'd definitely recommend having a go at this! I just think it's so important for kids to get out in the woods and immerse themselves in it, and learn some new skills along the way.


Determined to explore as much as possible, once Theo and Rob had returned we jumped back in the car to go up the road to Puzzlewood Forest. Unfortunately they don't allow pushchairs on site, and the forest isn't accessible to wheelchairs, something which isn't very clear from their website and we were only told when we turned up, so something to bear in mind to plan for if you want to visit! It's a shame it isn't more disabled accessible, but I do understand that it's an ancient natural woodland. If we'd known we would've taken our back carrier so we could all visit the wood, but Theo and I just had a wander round instead. That being said there was a lot to do for Rohan without visiting the woods themselves, so he was happy. When we arrived we headed to the cafe for a late lunch, and sat outside in the lovely picnic area surrounded by trees. The area had a mini music garden and a great hill for rolling down which is perfect for keeping kids entertained whilst you wait for food, we stayed in this area for quite a while as it really relaxing in the late afternoon and not too busy at all. 

After lunch (which was nice and well priced!) we wandered over to the playground and farm area and said hello to all the animals which was very fun...I always have a soft spot for goats! It was actually quite nice not to have the pushchair for a few hours as I think it encourages Rohan to be out on his feet and engaging in the world a little more, he is too heavy to carry in our arms constantly and I like seeing him wander about as much as possible. After the mini farm we headed to the barns where they have a few activities such as a maze that Theo and I tackled and a toddler area with lots of ride on cars and scooters which Rohan had a lot of fun on. Whilst he was entertained here Theo and I headed into the magical forest itself where we followed small winding paths taking us through the woods and off on tangents around and under the roots of these old trees. The woods was dark and mysterious, covered in moss and smelling of damp earth. We followed steps leading through between towering rocks and held hands as we explored round scary corners. It was so quiet and still, except for the occasional rustle of the undergrowth where we managed to spot little mice travelling through their tunnels and poking their heads out occasionally. The watched squirrels dart from tree to tree and just stood and marvelled the ancient trees and the magical surroundings. You can see why it's been used as a backdrop for so many films. 

After we'd wandered around a while and managed not to get too lost we made our way out of the forest as it was nearing closing time. We definitely could have stayed a lot longer and explore more of the woods. I think we'll add that to our list of something to visit again, this time with a carrier for Rohan! 


Despite their faces they did enjoy themselves! We made our way back to the cabin ready for an evening of hot tubs, eurovision and the log burner...sounds good doesn't it?


Come back for more soon!




We worked together with Forest of Dean & Wye Valley Tourism board for this post, in exchange for a review of local attractions and accommodation. Our cabin, entry to places and travel has been covered in exchange for the review, but I've not been paid for my time or opinions. All words and images are my own. 

May Camping


Last weekend we packed up for a little bit of camping in Dorset, but before I get round to sharing that I thought I would show you pictures from our first trip this year. We made a total last minute decision on the first bank holiday weekend in May, as the weather was supposed to be lovely. We flipped a coin and everything! We just went for one night, picked a place off of google in Devon, packed up the minimum for one night and headed there in the car.

The campsite was amazing, it had a small pool and great play park, but the best was the view from the camping field (away from all the caravans too!) They had electric and water points, but just up the brow of the hill the most amazing view of the sea opened up in front, and all you could see was blue. We saw the sun set on the first night, and the sun just after it had risen in the morning..not that we planned too, but camping equals early rising. I can't say I minded too much though.

The trip came at just the right time, I needed to reset. The sea always helps me do this, and I sat for a long time just looking out and enjoying the silence. We'll definitely be back, and I'm hoping that perhaps if September is nice, we may be able to squeeze in one more trip!






May Camping


Last weekend we packed up for a little bit of camping in Dorset, but before I get round to sharing that I thought I would show you pictures from our first trip this year. We made a total last minute decision on the first bank holiday weekend in May, as the weather was supposed to be lovely. We flipped a coin and everything! We just went for one night, picked a place off of google in Devon, packed up the minimum for one night and headed there in the car.

The campsite was amazing, it had a small pool and great play park, but the best was the view from the camping field (away from all the caravans too!) They had electric and water points, but just up the brow of the hill the most amazing view of the sea opened up in front, and all you could see was blue. We saw the sun set on the first night, and the sun just after it had risen in the morning..not that we planned too, but camping equals early rising. I can't say I minded too much though.

The trip came at just the right time, I needed to reset. The sea always helps me do this, and I sat for a long time just looking out and enjoying the silence. We'll definitely be back, and I'm hoping that perhaps if September is nice, we may be able to squeeze in one more trip!






France holiday part three: Paris and the Eiffel Tower


After a few days of relaxing and getting settled in we wanted to head out and seeing as the holiday park is only just over an hour away from Paris we thought it would make a great day trip. I would love to spend more time in Paris, as I've only been when I was younger and of course, it's Paris, but I feel I'd like to have a bit more time there without kids first. But saying that Theo has wanted to go and see the Eiffel Tower for a long time, so without making a whole separate holiday we thought it would be a great opportunity to combine it with this one.

We also decided that it might be too much to do more than this in one day, as it's that thing where you want to fit in as much as possible but don't end up spending enough time anywhere and feeling completely rushed and drained. In fact trying to do anything with children makes you realise sometimes you need to be realistic and not over do it! I'm so glad we made this decision before hand as it made the whole day fairly relaxed. We drove to the outskirts of Paris and parked our car and took the train the rest of the way to Gare De Nord.


By the time we'd navigated the trains and made our way to the station we were all pretty hungry and hot. I didn't really do any research on where to go before hand, which may have been a good idea, but sometimes things work just by winging it and this time we were lucky! As we emerged from the subway station there were a whole host of restaurants on the streets around the Eiffel Tower, but much like in other cities we thought that they'd be super over priced and perhaps not the best food, plus they were right next to the road and pretty busy. Instead we did a quick search online and found a pretty well rated local pizza place a short walk across the park. (Thank goodness for the internet right?!)

Turning the corner on our way to the park we suddenly caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower peering out between the trees. It hit me that we were in Paris and everything felt exciting. The streets looked so typically Parisian, and it was just joyful to be walking the quiet shady residential streets taking it all in. We stumbled upon corner bistros and busy streets and found our way to the park in front of the tower. For a Sunday we were pretty surprised that it wasn't ridiculously busy, and enabled us to get a pretty good view. We crossed the park and found the restaurant, just a local pizza place with a really friendly owner, who accommodated us and the pushchair really well. After Rob having to walk Rohan around the block a few times to get him to sleep we managed to eat lunch and all felt much better, even though I felt as though I was coming down with a bad cold which was pretty annoying! But nevertheless we made our way back to the park towards the Eiffel Tower.


Once we'd figured out how to get into the entrance we made our way to special assistance, as my sister needs mobility help, and we were unable to climb the stairs with Rohan. The staff were pretty helpful, and we managed to be able to get a carers discount and help getting to the lift and so forth. We were only able to go up to the first level, but actually this was all we needed really (plus we couldn't afford the cost of going up any higher!) Theo was a little hesitant at first about the height but soon got over his fear and really enjoyed looking through the railings at the view and using the telescope. We of course posed for a few photos and made our way round the whole platform to take in the view from all the different angles. Rowie was so sweet and loved being out of the buggy and able to pull himself up and look out the little gaps just perfect for his height!


After a while and once we'd seen everything we made our way down, we took the lift whilst Rob and Theo took the stairs





France holiday part three: Paris and the Eiffel Tower


After a few days of relaxing and getting settled in we wanted to head out and seeing as the holiday park is only just over an hour away from Paris we thought it would make a great day trip. I would love to spend more time in Paris, as I've only been when I was younger and of course, it's Paris, but I feel I'd like to have a bit more time there without kids first. But saying that Theo has wanted to go and see the Eiffel Tower for a long time, so without making a whole separate holiday we thought it would be a great opportunity to combine it with this one.

We also decided that it might be too much to do more than this in one day, as it's that thing where you want to fit in as much as possible but don't end up spending enough time anywhere and feeling completely rushed and drained. In fact trying to do anything with children makes you realise sometimes you need to be realistic and not over do it! I'm so glad we made this decision before hand as it made the whole day fairly relaxed. We drove to the outskirts of Paris and parked our car and took the train the rest of the way to Gare De Nord.


By the time we'd navigated the trains and made our way to the station we were all pretty hungry and hot. I didn't really do any research on where to go before hand, which may have been a good idea, but sometimes things work just by winging it and this time we were lucky! As we emerged from the subway station there were a whole host of restaurants on the streets around the Eiffel Tower, but much like in other cities we thought that they'd be super over priced and perhaps not the best food, plus they were right next to the road and pretty busy. Instead we did a quick search online and found a pretty well rated local pizza place a short walk across the park. (Thank goodness for the internet right?!)

Turning the corner on our way to the park we suddenly caught a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower peering out between the trees. It hit me that we were in Paris and everything felt exciting. The streets looked so typically Parisian, and it was just joyful to be walking the quiet shady residential streets taking it all in. We stumbled upon corner bistros and busy streets and found our way to the park in front of the tower. For a Sunday we were pretty surprised that it wasn't ridiculously busy, and enabled us to get a pretty good view. We crossed the park and found the restaurant, just a local pizza place with a really friendly owner, who accommodated us and the pushchair really well. After Rob having to walk Rohan around the block a few times to get him to sleep we managed to eat lunch and all felt much better, even though I felt as though I was coming down with a bad cold which was pretty annoying! But nevertheless we made our way back to the park towards the Eiffel Tower.


Once we'd figured out how to get into the entrance we made our way to special assistance, as my sister needs mobility help, and we were unable to climb the stairs with Rohan. The staff were pretty helpful, and we managed to be able to get a carers discount and help getting to the lift and so forth. We were only able to go up to the first level, but actually this was all we needed really (plus we couldn't afford the cost of going up any higher!) Theo was a little hesitant at first about the height but soon got over his fear and really enjoyed looking through the railings at the view and using the telescope. We of course posed for a few photos and made our way round the whole platform to take in the view from all the different angles. Rowie was so sweet and loved being out of the buggy and able to pull himself up and look out the little gaps just perfect for his height!


After a while and once we'd seen everything we made our way down, we took the lift whilst Rob and Theo took the stairs





France holiday part two: pedalos & pools and the beach!


(read part one of our Eurocamp holiday here!)

Friday

After our little trip to the supermarket to stock up on French goodies we decided to check out the pool. We'd passed it on our way in and had a glimpse at the water slides which I know Theo was dying to go on, so we changed and made our way over. The sky was looking a bit heavy so it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

The pool complex had this great glass roof that could be opened or closed meaning it as perfect for if the weather wasn't too warm or raining, or feel like you were still outside if the weather was nice and sunny with the roof open. Inside (if the roof was closed!) they had a large pool with lots of different steps, jets and a little jacuzzi area, this was pretty good for playing games and letting Rohan have a good kick around. There was also a dedicated baby/toddler pool which had its own dedicated little slides which were great, it was also the warmest pool. Then inside there were two different types of slides, a twisty one that went outside and in the dark then a really fast slide that three of you could go down in a row. None of the slides were that busy and each had their own plunge pool at the end. We were pretty surprised at just how fast the fast one was, but for a 7 year old, he was in his element. In addition to the inside pools there was also an outside part that had a lazy river with bridges and ramps. There is also the main bar and restaurant located by the pool, which looked pretty good.


After a few hours Rohan had had enough so we left Theo and Rob playing in the pool (honestly Theo could've stayed in all day) and walked the short way back to our home just as it decided to start to pour down. I love that cosy feeling of once you're all dry of sitting and watching the rain pour down. We sat on the decking under the canopy drinking tea and relaxing before the others returned and we started dinner.


Once we'd eaten dinner and the rain had cleared up, we decided to explore the campsite a bit more. I knew there were a few lakes and we wanted to get our bearings and ended up doing nearly a complete lap of the park. I love going out for an evening walk and it was a great way to get a feel for the place. Just past the swimming pools we found the fishing and boating lake, there was also a great play park by here where Theo played for a while. There was also a covered ping pong place, as well as extra things like trampolines, mini go cart track and other things you can pay extra for (we didn't actually get time to try any of these out, yet another reason to stay a little longer next time!)

It was so peaceful walking around the park, seeing families out together and it really felt like we were on holiday. I love how bedtime routines aren't as strict and it was great not having to worry about getting up early for school and our daily routine.


We saw that you could hire out pedalos too, so made a note to come back the next day and chose which one we wanted (I wanted the swan or flamingo but Theo chose the dragon!)

We then found the beach lake, complete with a beach side bar and restaurant too. I loved how there was the option of having this beach to go to as an alternative to the pool, and we couldn't wait to come back the next day and try it out too.


Saturday

We managed to check out the Eurocamp kids club and sent Theo off for the morning session of games. It's always a bit of a relief having a few hours break and I know it does Theo so much good to be around kids his own age for a while. They actually had kids club for all ages (from 6 months to 17!) including Rohan, but we didn't get round to doing one with him, but next time we will definitely check it out as I'm sure he'll love it. We spent a few hours just relaxing back at the holiday home having a slow morning until it was time to pick him up again. We had a little lunch back at the home before gathering up our beach things and heading to where we'd explored the evening before.


First stop though, the pedalos. The sun had been teasing and trying to come out properly all morning, and decided too just as we got out on the lake, so it was pretty hot, especially with all the pedalling! I think it was the first time Theo and I think he really enjoyed giving it a go, Rohan seemed to enjoy it too as it's pretty relaxing when you're not the one having to pedal and can just watch the water, and he looked very cute in his life jacket! We had half an hour (which Theo got a bit panicked about keeping to?!) which was actually the right amount of time for us all especially Rohan.


So next stop, the beach! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the beach most of the time. I love being close to the water and being able to swim in the sea, but I have a slight phobia of putting my feet down, unless it's super clear. I also am not the biggest fan of the sand to have to sit on, I don't mind playing in it, but I HATE it when it get's all over your things especially if you're trying to eat.

But luckily the pool had lovely grassy banks with sunshades to lay your towels down, which meant that no sand went near our belongings and the sand was just there to play on. As the whole beach and lake are man-made the sand was lovely quality too and not gritty and horrible. The water was great too, and had a good gentle slope which did actually get pretty deep right out in the middle, I don't think I could stand up (but was also a little afraid to put my feet down to test!) You were also able to take your big inflatables out on the water which was great for floating and playing games. It was also pretty big so even though there were lots of people playing and swimming it didn't feel overcrowded at all.


Theo loves being buried in the sand, so of course we had to do this. Rohan on the other hand was all about the water, and this holiday seems to have really cemented the fact that he is happiest when he's in it. He had no fear about shuffling into the water and just wanted to splash around! We do have a baby float for him but I think he wants to be free now! We just need to find him a float to put around his waist to keep him a little more upright as there was quite a lot of face plating the water going on!



It was so good to see the boys being able to finally play together in the water, they loved splashing and chasing each other (Rohan's actually pretty fast and was able to bumshuffle even in the water!)


We all were able to get in and play together, and after a while Rohan and I just sat and watched Theo been thrown in the water over and over again by Rob, much to the delight of them both. Rohan just sat giggling.

After a while we got out and treated ourselves to an ice-cream from the bar, as well as some chips and a beer whilst we dried off. They did more food too, but there wasn't much option for vegetarians (as a lot of it was rotisserie chicken!) but we did note that they did crepes too! We had such a fun afternoon hanging out at the beach, and the best part of it was that we didn't have to pack up the car after and drive home. We just walked the short way back and got ready to have a bbq!

It was a really great day, and we ended it by drinking wine and playing card games together on the decking.


I also made a little video of our days so check out that!

France holiday part two: pedalos & pools and the beach!


(read part one of our Eurocamp holiday here!)

Friday

After our little trip to the supermarket to stock up on French goodies we decided to check out the pool. We'd passed it on our way in and had a glimpse at the water slides which I know Theo was dying to go on, so we changed and made our way over. The sky was looking a bit heavy so it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.

The pool complex had this great glass roof that could be opened or closed meaning it as perfect for if the weather wasn't too warm or raining, or feel like you were still outside if the weather was nice and sunny with the roof open. Inside (if the roof was closed!) they had a large pool with lots of different steps, jets and a little jacuzzi area, this was pretty good for playing games and letting Rohan have a good kick around. There was also a dedicated baby/toddler pool which had its own dedicated little slides which were great, it was also the warmest pool. Then inside there were two different types of slides, a twisty one that went outside and in the dark then a really fast slide that three of you could go down in a row. None of the slides were that busy and each had their own plunge pool at the end. We were pretty surprised at just how fast the fast one was, but for a 7 year old, he was in his element. In addition to the inside pools there was also an outside part that had a lazy river with bridges and ramps. There is also the main bar and restaurant located by the pool, which looked pretty good.


After a few hours Rohan had had enough so we left Theo and Rob playing in the pool (honestly Theo could've stayed in all day) and walked the short way back to our home just as it decided to start to pour down. I love that cosy feeling of once you're all dry of sitting and watching the rain pour down. We sat on the decking under the canopy drinking tea and relaxing before the others returned and we started dinner.


Once we'd eaten dinner and the rain had cleared up, we decided to explore the campsite a bit more. I knew there were a few lakes and we wanted to get our bearings and ended up doing nearly a complete lap of the park. I love going out for an evening walk and it was a great way to get a feel for the place. Just past the swimming pools we found the fishing and boating lake, there was also a great play park by here where Theo played for a while. There was also a covered ping pong place, as well as extra things like trampolines, mini go cart track and other things you can pay extra for (we didn't actually get time to try any of these out, yet another reason to stay a little longer next time!)

It was so peaceful walking around the park, seeing families out together and it really felt like we were on holiday. I love how bedtime routines aren't as strict and it was great not having to worry about getting up early for school and our daily routine.


We saw that you could hire out pedalos too, so made a note to come back the next day and chose which one we wanted (I wanted the swan or flamingo but Theo chose the dragon!)

We then found the beach lake, complete with a beach side bar and restaurant too. I loved how there was the option of having this beach to go to as an alternative to the pool, and we couldn't wait to come back the next day and try it out too.


Saturday

We managed to check out the Eurocamp kids club and sent Theo off for the morning session of games. It's always a bit of a relief having a few hours break and I know it does Theo so much good to be around kids his own age for a while. They actually had kids club for all ages (from 6 months to 17!) including Rohan, but we didn't get round to doing one with him, but next time we will definitely check it out as I'm sure he'll love it. We spent a few hours just relaxing back at the holiday home having a slow morning until it was time to pick him up again. We had a little lunch back at the home before gathering up our beach things and heading to where we'd explored the evening before.


First stop though, the pedalos. The sun had been teasing and trying to come out properly all morning, and decided too just as we got out on the lake, so it was pretty hot, especially with all the pedalling! I think it was the first time Theo and I think he really enjoyed giving it a go, Rohan seemed to enjoy it too as it's pretty relaxing when you're not the one having to pedal and can just watch the water, and he looked very cute in his life jacket! We had half an hour (which Theo got a bit panicked about keeping to?!) which was actually the right amount of time for us all especially Rohan.


So next stop, the beach! I have a bit of a love hate relationship with the beach most of the time. I love being close to the water and being able to swim in the sea, but I have a slight phobia of putting my feet down, unless it's super clear. I also am not the biggest fan of the sand to have to sit on, I don't mind playing in it, but I HATE it when it get's all over your things especially if you're trying to eat.

But luckily the pool had lovely grassy banks with sunshades to lay your towels down, which meant that no sand went near our belongings and the sand was just there to play on. As the whole beach and lake are man-made the sand was lovely quality too and not gritty and horrible. The water was great too, and had a good gentle slope which did actually get pretty deep right out in the middle, I don't think I could stand up (but was also a little afraid to put my feet down to test!) You were also able to take your big inflatables out on the water which was great for floating and playing games. It was also pretty big so even though there were lots of people playing and swimming it didn't feel overcrowded at all.


Theo loves being buried in the sand, so of course we had to do this. Rohan on the other hand was all about the water, and this holiday seems to have really cemented the fact that he is happiest when he's in it. He had no fear about shuffling into the water and just wanted to splash around! We do have a baby float for him but I think he wants to be free now! We just need to find him a float to put around his waist to keep him a little more upright as there was quite a lot of face plating the water going on!



It was so good to see the boys being able to finally play together in the water, they loved splashing and chasing each other (Rohan's actually pretty fast and was able to bumshuffle even in the water!)


We all were able to get in and play together, and after a while Rohan and I just sat and watched Theo been thrown in the water over and over again by Rob, much to the delight of them both. Rohan just sat giggling.

After a while we got out and treated ourselves to an ice-cream from the bar, as well as some chips and a beer whilst we dried off. They did more food too, but there wasn't much option for vegetarians (as a lot of it was rotisserie chicken!) but we did note that they did crepes too! We had such a fun afternoon hanging out at the beach, and the best part of it was that we didn't have to pack up the car after and drive home. We just walked the short way back and got ready to have a bbq!

It was a really great day, and we ended it by drinking wine and playing card games together on the decking.


I also made a little video of our days so check out that!

Eurocamp holiday part one! Our holiday home, the park and childhood memories.


When I was a child my overriding memory of holidays were being squashed in the middle seat in the back of the car (I was the youngest therefore had the last choice) watching the French countryside whoosh past the windows. To this day I can't listen to Simply Red or eat cadbury's eclairs for the overwhelming feeling of carsickness to overcome me. I remember playing eye spy, word association games and eating the powdered sugar from the bottom of the sweet tin. We'd take our pillows from home and make little comfy nests in the back seat. The car would be full and hard to see out the back of and on the way home our feet would rest upon cases of wine. I remember driving up in the early hours of the morning and waiting in line with cars and lorries before finally being able to drive into the belly of a great big ferry. I remember the metal smell and the clanking noises as you emerged from the car and raced up the stairs holding those cold metal railings. We'd go to the deck and watch the land disappear behind a trail of froth.


Some years we took longer ferry crossings, where we'd try and sleep on the benches. We'd have activity books, packs of cards and happy families. One year we took a particularly rough crossing on a hover craft, the only one that decided to sail that day. I think my sister and my dad were the only ones on the whole boat who didn't throw up and the waves came up higher than the windows. It's fair to say that we never took the hover craft again.

Once in France we'd drive until we reached our campsite for the next a couple of weeks. We'd stop at the side of the road stopping places and hope that the toilets wouldn't be the hole in the ground kind where you'd have to squat. The parking always had picnic benches and smelt of pine trees, we'd stretch our legs before cramping back in the car to continue our journey. We'd pass by fields of sunflowers, poppies and corn, the occasional Chateaux on the horizon. Towns would look different and the highlight was always going to the big french Hypermarkets. We'd spend hours there, looking at all the fresh produce, bagging up cherries and being able to press the symbol on the weighing machines. We'd always be allowed to choose a bar of chocolate, the own brand, wrapped just in clear cellophane. I'd always choose either hazelnut or one with rice crispies in. We'd stock up on biscuits and if we were lucky got a Pez dispenser. We used to look at all the bikes and toys lined up and I remember using our 1 franc coins the get bubblegum and plastic rings from the little machines.

I remember the excitement of driving into the holiday park, finding the eurocamp reception and waiting in the car until my dad reappeared with the courier who would cycle ahead of use to show us our home. We'd usually stay in the tents, which had separate bedroom compartments and red framed metal beds. We'd roll out our sleeping bags and place our favourite toy we'd brought from home on the bed. There'd be a little kitchen and a big door to the outside sitting area complete with white plastic table and chairs and the classic Eurocamp red and green umbrella. Sometimes we'd take our bikes and set about exploring the row and begin to make friends with the other children near by.


We'd go to the kids clubs where we'd have our faces painted, we'd play board games and sports. Other days we'd spend all day by the pool, and always hoped for a park that had water slides. The campsites would be in big pine forest and be hot and sunny. I remember visiting French towns, walking around gardens and old houses. Sometimes we'd visit a beach and meet up with family friends who happened to be staying in the same area as us. The days were always long and my sisters were always my playmates. My parents would make friends with other English families and we'd share meals. I remember always eating artichoke, pistachio nuts and trying olives for the first time. We'd stay up late and listen to the crickets and hunt for fireflies. The holiday seemed to last for ages, and honestly I loved them. We did do other holidays, and were lucky enough to visit the USA a few times as well as Greece and Italy, but I will always associate my childhood holidays with France and Eurocamp.

-

Last year when we went to visit my sister in Barcelona we decided last minute to book a Eurocamp break a short distance from Barcelona. It was the first time we'd been back since I was a child and honestly I didn't know what to expect. But we had a great time, and Theo loved it and asked to go back again the following year.

We hadn't really thought about where we would go this year, and since we found out that Rohan is due to have potentially a few surgeries at some point this year, it made it really hard to plan and commit to putting money down. So when Eurocamp contacted me at the beginning of the year about visiting one of their parks, as part of a review, there was no hesitation at all. We wanted to try out another park anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity.


We've been thinking of trying to take Theo to visit Disneyland Paris for a year or so but trying to work out a way to do it. We can't afford to stay at one of the hotels or just go for a few days (we hardly go abroad so really need to make the most of being in a different country!) so when this came up we decided to combine the two and pick a park close to Disney. This also meant that we were just over an hour outside of Paris, and Theo has been obsessed with visiting the Eiffel Tower for a long time after seeing it in various books. We also wanted to find a park that emulated those childhood memories and had to have a good pool seeing as that's what Theo loves doing (and now Rohan too!)

As a note we could've chosen a park anywhere, and in the future now that we've got Disney out of our system, I'd love to be able to visit a different part of France or another country. Eurocamp have places in parks all over Europe and I'd love to visit Italy, more of Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Holland, Germany and all over.

We stayed at a park called La Croix du Vieux Pont, near the town of Soissons just an hour or so north -east of Paris. The park was also a really good distance from Calais which meant that after a short ferry crossing it was only about a 2 hour drive to the campsite (it took us more than double that to get from Bristol to Dover!) which was ideal for us, as Rohan is still young and being stuck in a car for long journeys isn't that enjoyable.

When we arrived we drove around a little trying to find the Eurocamp reception. Going back as an adult and being in charge of knowing where to go is such a different experience! We eventually found the right place and picked up the keys to the mobile home we'd be staying in. I was a little disappointed we didn't get shown to our place by a courier, one because of childhood memories, but two (and most importantly) we weren't quite sure if we'd got the right place straightaway and there was no eurocamp branding on the home so it took a little while to confirm that it was the right place, which would have been nice not to have the stress of trying to find it. Last year at the other park we stayed on we were taken to our mobile home and all was fine.

But once we'd found it we set upon exploring and unpacking. The mobile home was pretty new and modern and the facilities were great. We were staying in an Azure holiday home which claims can sleep up to 6 adults, but in all honesty I think 6 would be a squeeze. The living area was slightly smaller than I was imagining, and the space in the bedrooms pretty limited. Theo and Rohan shared a room, with a single bed and a travel cot set up. The other room had two single beds, but very limited space in between them, so would make sharing with two adults fairly cramped! The main bedroom had a great king sized bed, but again not a lot of room around the edges. But all the rooms come with a great amount of storage, so you just had to make sure that all your things were put away to avoid feeling over cramped. But if you were a family of four, five or even six (two adults and the rest children) I think the space would be fine. 

The rest of the living space was pretty well thought out. There was a separate toilet and massive shower room, which actually was really good as our previous holiday home had a pretty small shower room. It meant that it was actually a better place to get ready than the bedrooms. The kitchen was pretty well equipped, and the appliances all modern. Something that differed from our last place we stayed in, was that there was a proper fixed table (the other had a moveable pull out table around the sofa) with six chairs, which was great for being able to share meals inside with. It did eat into quite a lot of the living space though, so I'm not sure whether it was for the best or not, but it was good for food preparation.  One other thing to mention was that the main bedroom door opened right onto the kitchen and the chairs would often get in the way of the door being able to close so made it a little annoying! The rest of the living space was taken up with an L shaped sofa which was comfy, but perhaps didn't have the best covering to make it feel cosy. I might also add that it didn't have air conditioning, just a fan, and even in June it was quite warm, but I think that at some campsites they do come with a/c so it's worth checking if that's a big deal for you (I know in Spain last year in August it was definitely needed!)

 It was all quite easy to keep clean which is good. We also requested baby items and it came with the classic ikea highchair (always a winner!) and a booster seat. Luckily we bought our own washing basket which doubled up as a baby bath which we used for Rohan an just sat him on the deck with! Because the holiday home was modern a lot of the features and building materials were also environmentally friendly, which I thought was a positive step. Another great feature was that all the windows had pull up black out blinds and mosquito nets, which made it easier to keep the light out of the boys room when they eventually went to bed, and we didn't get bitten once!


The best part of the holiday home was the great covered decking area out the front of the home. It was fenced and had a gate which meant it was perfect for Rohan to be able to be out there too without us worrying about him going down the steps. It also had a large table with lots of chairs and we spent most of our time out here, eating meals, playing games and storing our swimming things and shoes. It There were a few thunder storms whilst we were there, and it was great to be able to still sit outside and watch it whilst the rain poured down but be kept dry. The campsite was also brilliantly laid out meaning that each pitch had their own front garden, with sun loungers and a bbq, which had a lot of space and offered great privacy. I loved how much green there was, and each of the pitches in our area had their own willow tree. We also had a some very friendly ducks and little birds who liked to come and visit us daily and I just loved how peaceful it was. 

We did really like our accommodation despite of the points I've mentioned. I think having less space is to be expected from mobile homes, and all the beds were really comfy and like I mentioned the storage was great. The homes come with all the basics you need for cooking and eating, and the beds with pillows and duvets. You have the option of adding on bedding and towels for an extra cost, which we did as it was just one less thing to think about and take up room, but you could easily just bring your own too if you were on a budget. You can also purchase an essentials pack which includes things like washing up liquid, oil and sponges, again great to not have to think about these things, but also easy to pick up at the supermarket. 

We were given a welcome pack explaining bits about the park, such as opening hours of the shops, restaurant and pool. From memory and our last experience we did have a courier come round to our holiday home to check that we'd settled in ok and ask if we had any questions or needed anything, which we were disappointed to find that they didn't do here. We did have to go back to reception a few times to find out information, and whilst they were helpful it would have been nice to feel a little looked after and not forgotten! We had to go and ask about the kids club and certain questions about the park which could have been answered if they'd come for a check up. Anyway, on the whole they were friendly and perhaps some people prefer to be left alone to just get on with their holiday! (It may be different on other parks, as it was last year for us)

The park itself was really good. It was well laid out and easy to walk around and discover all it had to offer. It had all the facilities you could need, such as a well stocked shop and bakery with fresh bread daily. It had a gift shop which sold toys, clothes, postcards and stamps, a few laundrettes with self service machines and toilet blocks dotted about. There were also play parks, the pool complex and then a few different lakes. One of the lakes was for fishing and you could also hire out pedalos (which we did but will share later!) a smaller lake which was for swimming and surrounded by sand with a beachside bar and restaurant to get snacks, meals, ice-cream and drinks. There were quite a few really good play parks dotted around too. There was the main bar area and restaurant also, located by the pools, but again I'll write a little more about the pool later! 

What we loved about the park was how green it was, each path and road was carefully thought out, and there were lots of trees, bushes, hedges and loads of beautiful beds full of flowers. There were climbing roses all over the place and it was all so well kept and looked after. The whole place was really clean too and it was a lovely place to walk around. There is also part of the local river than runs by the bottom of the park and an entrance to what looked like a formal park just by our home. We ran out of time to explore properly, as really I feel we needed longer than a week, what with having two days off the park going out and about. Really if you take out the two days for travelling we only had five full days, when really at least 10 days would have been the perfect amount. 


Once we'd settled in and unpacked it was pretty late so we had our first dinner sitting on the decking and played some games. We were pretty excited to explore the next day, and recover a little from the journey. We visited the local supermarket about 20 minutes away and stocked up on all we needed for the week. We planned to eat mostly at the holiday home to save money (as we needed to save for our outings!) as well as picking out some childhood favourites, and maybe going a little overboard with chocolate and biscuits...

I'll leave it there for now and share a little more about the pools and beach, and what we got up to whilst on the park, as well as share our trips out! 

I made a little video of our first few days too! Keep an eye out for more soon! 


We were gifted our accomadation, travel and extras in return for a review, but all my thoughts, opinions, images and words are my own.

Eurocamp holiday part one! Our holiday home, the park and childhood memories.


When I was a child my overriding memory of holidays were being squashed in the middle seat in the back of the car (I was the youngest therefore had the last choice) watching the French countryside whoosh past the windows. To this day I can't listen to Simply Red or eat cadbury's eclairs for the overwhelming feeling of carsickness to overcome me. I remember playing eye spy, word association games and eating the powdered sugar from the bottom of the sweet tin. We'd take our pillows from home and make little comfy nests in the back seat. The car would be full and hard to see out the back of and on the way home our feet would rest upon cases of wine. I remember driving up in the early hours of the morning and waiting in line with cars and lorries before finally being able to drive into the belly of a great big ferry. I remember the metal smell and the clanking noises as you emerged from the car and raced up the stairs holding those cold metal railings. We'd go to the deck and watch the land disappear behind a trail of froth.


Some years we took longer ferry crossings, where we'd try and sleep on the benches. We'd have activity books, packs of cards and happy families. One year we took a particularly rough crossing on a hover craft, the only one that decided to sail that day. I think my sister and my dad were the only ones on the whole boat who didn't throw up and the waves came up higher than the windows. It's fair to say that we never took the hover craft again.

Once in France we'd drive until we reached our campsite for the next a couple of weeks. We'd stop at the side of the road stopping places and hope that the toilets wouldn't be the hole in the ground kind where you'd have to squat. The parking always had picnic benches and smelt of pine trees, we'd stretch our legs before cramping back in the car to continue our journey. We'd pass by fields of sunflowers, poppies and corn, the occasional Chateaux on the horizon. Towns would look different and the highlight was always going to the big french Hypermarkets. We'd spend hours there, looking at all the fresh produce, bagging up cherries and being able to press the symbol on the weighing machines. We'd always be allowed to choose a bar of chocolate, the own brand, wrapped just in clear cellophane. I'd always choose either hazelnut or one with rice crispies in. We'd stock up on biscuits and if we were lucky got a Pez dispenser. We used to look at all the bikes and toys lined up and I remember using our 1 franc coins the get bubblegum and plastic rings from the little machines.

I remember the excitement of driving into the holiday park, finding the eurocamp reception and waiting in the car until my dad reappeared with the courier who would cycle ahead of use to show us our home. We'd usually stay in the tents, which had separate bedroom compartments and red framed metal beds. We'd roll out our sleeping bags and place our favourite toy we'd brought from home on the bed. There'd be a little kitchen and a big door to the outside sitting area complete with white plastic table and chairs and the classic Eurocamp red and green umbrella. Sometimes we'd take our bikes and set about exploring the row and begin to make friends with the other children near by.


We'd go to the kids clubs where we'd have our faces painted, we'd play board games and sports. Other days we'd spend all day by the pool, and always hoped for a park that had water slides. The campsites would be in big pine forest and be hot and sunny. I remember visiting French towns, walking around gardens and old houses. Sometimes we'd visit a beach and meet up with family friends who happened to be staying in the same area as us. The days were always long and my sisters were always my playmates. My parents would make friends with other English families and we'd share meals. I remember always eating artichoke, pistachio nuts and trying olives for the first time. We'd stay up late and listen to the crickets and hunt for fireflies. The holiday seemed to last for ages, and honestly I loved them. We did do other holidays, and were lucky enough to visit the USA a few times as well as Greece and Italy, but I will always associate my childhood holidays with France and Eurocamp.

-

Last year when we went to visit my sister in Barcelona we decided last minute to book a Eurocamp break a short distance from Barcelona. It was the first time we'd been back since I was a child and honestly I didn't know what to expect. But we had a great time, and Theo loved it and asked to go back again the following year.

We hadn't really thought about where we would go this year, and since we found out that Rohan is due to have potentially a few surgeries at some point this year, it made it really hard to plan and commit to putting money down. So when Eurocamp contacted me at the beginning of the year about visiting one of their parks, as part of a review, there was no hesitation at all. We wanted to try out another park anyway, so this was a perfect opportunity.


We've been thinking of trying to take Theo to visit Disneyland Paris for a year or so but trying to work out a way to do it. We can't afford to stay at one of the hotels or just go for a few days (we hardly go abroad so really need to make the most of being in a different country!) so when this came up we decided to combine the two and pick a park close to Disney. This also meant that we were just over an hour outside of Paris, and Theo has been obsessed with visiting the Eiffel Tower for a long time after seeing it in various books. We also wanted to find a park that emulated those childhood memories and had to have a good pool seeing as that's what Theo loves doing (and now Rohan too!)

As a note we could've chosen a park anywhere, and in the future now that we've got Disney out of our system, I'd love to be able to visit a different part of France or another country. Eurocamp have places in parks all over Europe and I'd love to visit Italy, more of Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Holland, Germany and all over.

We stayed at a park called La Croix du Vieux Pont, near the town of Soissons just an hour or so north -east of Paris. The park was also a really good distance from Calais which meant that after a short ferry crossing it was only about a 2 hour drive to the campsite (it took us more than double that to get from Bristol to Dover!) which was ideal for us, as Rohan is still young and being stuck in a car for long journeys isn't that enjoyable.

When we arrived we drove around a little trying to find the Eurocamp reception. Going back as an adult and being in charge of knowing where to go is such a different experience! We eventually found the right place and picked up the keys to the mobile home we'd be staying in. I was a little disappointed we didn't get shown to our place by a courier, one because of childhood memories, but two (and most importantly) we weren't quite sure if we'd got the right place straightaway and there was no eurocamp branding on the home so it took a little while to confirm that it was the right place, which would have been nice not to have the stress of trying to find it. Last year at the other park we stayed on we were taken to our mobile home and all was fine.

But once we'd found it we set upon exploring and unpacking. The mobile home was pretty new and modern and the facilities were great. We were staying in an Azure holiday home which claims can sleep up to 6 adults, but in all honesty I think 6 would be a squeeze. The living area was slightly smaller than I was imagining, and the space in the bedrooms pretty limited. Theo and Rohan shared a room, with a single bed and a travel cot set up. The other room had two single beds, but very limited space in between them, so would make sharing with two adults fairly cramped! The main bedroom had a great king sized bed, but again not a lot of room around the edges. But all the rooms come with a great amount of storage, so you just had to make sure that all your things were put away to avoid feeling over cramped. But if you were a family of four, five or even six (two adults and the rest children) I think the space would be fine. 

The rest of the living space was pretty well thought out. There was a separate toilet and massive shower room, which actually was really good as our previous holiday home had a pretty small shower room. It meant that it was actually a better place to get ready than the bedrooms. The kitchen was pretty well equipped, and the appliances all modern. Something that differed from our last place we stayed in, was that there was a proper fixed table (the other had a moveable pull out table around the sofa) with six chairs, which was great for being able to share meals inside with. It did eat into quite a lot of the living space though, so I'm not sure whether it was for the best or not, but it was good for food preparation.  One other thing to mention was that the main bedroom door opened right onto the kitchen and the chairs would often get in the way of the door being able to close so made it a little annoying! The rest of the living space was taken up with an L shaped sofa which was comfy, but perhaps didn't have the best covering to make it feel cosy. I might also add that it didn't have air conditioning, just a fan, and even in June it was quite warm, but I think that at some campsites they do come with a/c so it's worth checking if that's a big deal for you (I know in Spain last year in August it was definitely needed!)

 It was all quite easy to keep clean which is good. We also requested baby items and it came with the classic ikea highchair (always a winner!) and a booster seat. Luckily we bought our own washing basket which doubled up as a baby bath which we used for Rohan an just sat him on the deck with! Because the holiday home was modern a lot of the features and building materials were also environmentally friendly, which I thought was a positive step. Another great feature was that all the windows had pull up black out blinds and mosquito nets, which made it easier to keep the light out of the boys room when they eventually went to bed, and we didn't get bitten once!


The best part of the holiday home was the great covered decking area out the front of the home. It was fenced and had a gate which meant it was perfect for Rohan to be able to be out there too without us worrying about him going down the steps. It also had a large table with lots of chairs and we spent most of our time out here, eating meals, playing games and storing our swimming things and shoes. It There were a few thunder storms whilst we were there, and it was great to be able to still sit outside and watch it whilst the rain poured down but be kept dry. The campsite was also brilliantly laid out meaning that each pitch had their own front garden, with sun loungers and a bbq, which had a lot of space and offered great privacy. I loved how much green there was, and each of the pitches in our area had their own willow tree. We also had a some very friendly ducks and little birds who liked to come and visit us daily and I just loved how peaceful it was. 

We did really like our accommodation despite of the points I've mentioned. I think having less space is to be expected from mobile homes, and all the beds were really comfy and like I mentioned the storage was great. The homes come with all the basics you need for cooking and eating, and the beds with pillows and duvets. You have the option of adding on bedding and towels for an extra cost, which we did as it was just one less thing to think about and take up room, but you could easily just bring your own too if you were on a budget. You can also purchase an essentials pack which includes things like washing up liquid, oil and sponges, again great to not have to think about these things, but also easy to pick up at the supermarket. 

We were given a welcome pack explaining bits about the park, such as opening hours of the shops, restaurant and pool. From memory and our last experience we did have a courier come round to our holiday home to check that we'd settled in ok and ask if we had any questions or needed anything, which we were disappointed to find that they didn't do here. We did have to go back to reception a few times to find out information, and whilst they were helpful it would have been nice to feel a little looked after and not forgotten! We had to go and ask about the kids club and certain questions about the park which could have been answered if they'd come for a check up. Anyway, on the whole they were friendly and perhaps some people prefer to be left alone to just get on with their holiday! (It may be different on other parks, as it was last year for us)

The park itself was really good. It was well laid out and easy to walk around and discover all it had to offer. It had all the facilities you could need, such as a well stocked shop and bakery with fresh bread daily. It had a gift shop which sold toys, clothes, postcards and stamps, a few laundrettes with self service machines and toilet blocks dotted about. There were also play parks, the pool complex and then a few different lakes. One of the lakes was for fishing and you could also hire out pedalos (which we did but will share later!) a smaller lake which was for swimming and surrounded by sand with a beachside bar and restaurant to get snacks, meals, ice-cream and drinks. There were quite a few really good play parks dotted around too. There was the main bar area and restaurant also, located by the pools, but again I'll write a little more about the pool later! 

What we loved about the park was how green it was, each path and road was carefully thought out, and there were lots of trees, bushes, hedges and loads of beautiful beds full of flowers. There were climbing roses all over the place and it was all so well kept and looked after. The whole place was really clean too and it was a lovely place to walk around. There is also part of the local river than runs by the bottom of the park and an entrance to what looked like a formal park just by our home. We ran out of time to explore properly, as really I feel we needed longer than a week, what with having two days off the park going out and about. Really if you take out the two days for travelling we only had five full days, when really at least 10 days would have been the perfect amount. 


Once we'd settled in and unpacked it was pretty late so we had our first dinner sitting on the decking and played some games. We were pretty excited to explore the next day, and recover a little from the journey. We visited the local supermarket about 20 minutes away and stocked up on all we needed for the week. We planned to eat mostly at the holiday home to save money (as we needed to save for our outings!) as well as picking out some childhood favourites, and maybe going a little overboard with chocolate and biscuits...

I'll leave it there for now and share a little more about the pools and beach, and what we got up to whilst on the park, as well as share our trips out! 

I made a little video of our first few days too! Keep an eye out for more soon! 


We were gifted our accomadation, travel and extras in return for a review, but all my thoughts, opinions, images and words are my own.

So that was Summer; part three


We arrived back from our Cornwall holiday for a quick pitstop back in Bristol before heading back East, to my hometown for a friends wedding and to see my dad. It's always a weird sensation going back with my little family, showing them the places of my childhood. It was the first time Rohan had been there too, so that was good to feel like we were introducing him there. We spent a few days there before Rob, Rohan and I headed to Mersea Island for our second wedding (two in two weeks!) and had such a great time.

We passed the rest of the time spending it on little day trips to castles, walks around parks and climbing trees. It was a good Summer. Our first as a family of four and we felt so lucky to be able to take a holiday all together at last!




We decided to spend the last part of the holidays and bank holiday weekend down in Devon for one last little trip and mini holiday. Going down to Teignmouth is always such a treat, it's our little holiday home, where we know we can escape to when we need to most. We get to stay with Rob's grandparents where we're always made to feel so welcome and do all those lovely seaside holiday things. We played on the beach, went to the pier, swam in the lido, went to the zoo and of course played on the pier. It felt like we managed to snatch a little more of the summer before it was September once more and summer was over as quickly as it began...(other than it being a ridiculously warm September!)


So that was Summer; part three


We arrived back from our Cornwall holiday for a quick pitstop back in Bristol before heading back East, to my hometown for a friends wedding and to see my dad. It's always a weird sensation going back with my little family, showing them the places of my childhood. It was the first time Rohan had been there too, so that was good to feel like we were introducing him there. We spent a few days there before Rob, Rohan and I headed to Mersea Island for our second wedding (two in two weeks!) and had such a great time.

We passed the rest of the time spending it on little day trips to castles, walks around parks and climbing trees. It was a good Summer. Our first as a family of four and we felt so lucky to be able to take a holiday all together at last!




We decided to spend the last part of the holidays and bank holiday weekend down in Devon for one last little trip and mini holiday. Going down to Teignmouth is always such a treat, it's our little holiday home, where we know we can escape to when we need to most. We get to stay with Rob's grandparents where we're always made to feel so welcome and do all those lovely seaside holiday things. We played on the beach, went to the pier, swam in the lido, went to the zoo and of course played on the pier. It felt like we managed to snatch a little more of the summer before it was September once more and summer was over as quickly as it began...(other than it being a ridiculously warm September!)


So that was Summer; Part One


So that was that, Summer has passed in a hazy blur once more. I think we spent more time by the coast than we did in the city and for me that's always a good thing.

Not long after school broke up we packed up the car (with A LOT of stuff) and headed South for a week of camping in Cornwall. We drove to the Lizard Point, an area we'd both not really explored since we were children and made it our home for the week. We went camping last year in our bell tent but had to cut it short due to my horrible morning sickness in early pregnancy with Rohan. So we were determined to make it work this year, with a five year old and a baby. We definitely upped our camping game though and even had a pitch with electricity which helped!

The first few days we were gifted great weather, so of course were drawn to the beach. I think we may have started with the best as we visited Kynance Cove just down the road and joined the crowds as we walked over the beautiful heather topped cliffs down towards the sparkling blue sea. We managed to find a spot and pitch our beach shelter just in time for Rohan to have his first three hour long nap on the beach. Sometimes there's nothing more comforting than the memory of falling asleep on the beach, still being able to hear the noise of the waves crashing, the shrieks of playing children and conversation all around you.

We paddled in the crystal clear waters, jumping over waves taking in the beauty of the scenery. After a long afternoon with the picnic complete we climbed to the top of the cliff to have our first cornish cream tea and ice cream whilst looking over the bay.

The next day was followed by much of the same, we headed to a different beach armed this time with a wet suit and a body board and tried our hand at surfing the waves a little. Theo was apprehensive at first, and after a little (massive) meltdown, I manage to persuade him how fun it was and he gave it a go eventually, and did really like it! Rohan had another mega beach nap and we stayed until the the sun started to hide behind the forming clouds and evening was drawing in. That evening we went to get fish and chips and eat them by a harbour side. The perfect holiday day.

We might just skip over the next day, as it rained ALL day. It was hard to believe that the day before we'd been laying on the beach and applying suncream. We spent the morning on the campsite at the indoor pool and play area before attempting to visit a very wet Falmouth and go to a museum. To cut a long story short, the museum had a massive queue as the rest of Cornwall apparently had the same idea, and it was pretty expensive to go in, so we admitted defeat and found a cafe for some cream tea and hot chocolate before trudging back home again for a cozy night in the tent!

The rest I'll save for another time!



So that was Summer; Part One


So that was that, Summer has passed in a hazy blur once more. I think we spent more time by the coast than we did in the city and for me that's always a good thing.

Not long after school broke up we packed up the car (with A LOT of stuff) and headed South for a week of camping in Cornwall. We drove to the Lizard Point, an area we'd both not really explored since we were children and made it our home for the week. We went camping last year in our bell tent but had to cut it short due to my horrible morning sickness in early pregnancy with Rohan. So we were determined to make it work this year, with a five year old and a baby. We definitely upped our camping game though and even had a pitch with electricity which helped!

The first few days we were gifted great weather, so of course were drawn to the beach. I think we may have started with the best as we visited Kynance Cove just down the road and joined the crowds as we walked over the beautiful heather topped cliffs down towards the sparkling blue sea. We managed to find a spot and pitch our beach shelter just in time for Rohan to have his first three hour long nap on the beach. Sometimes there's nothing more comforting than the memory of falling asleep on the beach, still being able to hear the noise of the waves crashing, the shrieks of playing children and conversation all around you.

We paddled in the crystal clear waters, jumping over waves taking in the beauty of the scenery. After a long afternoon with the picnic complete we climbed to the top of the cliff to have our first cornish cream tea and ice cream whilst looking over the bay.

The next day was followed by much of the same, we headed to a different beach armed this time with a wet suit and a body board and tried our hand at surfing the waves a little. Theo was apprehensive at first, and after a little (massive) meltdown, I manage to persuade him how fun it was and he gave it a go eventually, and did really like it! Rohan had another mega beach nap and we stayed until the the sun started to hide behind the forming clouds and evening was drawing in. That evening we went to get fish and chips and eat them by a harbour side. The perfect holiday day.

We might just skip over the next day, as it rained ALL day. It was hard to believe that the day before we'd been laying on the beach and applying suncream. We spent the morning on the campsite at the indoor pool and play area before attempting to visit a very wet Falmouth and go to a museum. To cut a long story short, the museum had a massive queue as the rest of Cornwall apparently had the same idea, and it was pretty expensive to go in, so we admitted defeat and found a cafe for some cream tea and hot chocolate before trudging back home again for a cozy night in the tent!

The rest I'll save for another time!



Cornwall adventure

 photo IMG_6877_zpsgh2soujg.jpg

Since we found out the results and things have somewhat calmed down a bit I'm trying to get myself back into some sort of normal routine. That means finally getting round to finishing some posts that have been sitting here half written before everything was interrupted with multiple trips to hospitals and all the stress that came with the last few weeks. It's also lovely to look back on the parts of Summer that we enjoyed, in a sort of unaware blissful haze.

Now that the days are drawing in, the trees are turning and Autumn is well and truly making itself noticed it seems hard to think just over a month ago we were still hanging out at the beach.


We were lucky enough to be invited to stay once more at Trevella Park for a mini break before school started. We hadn't been back to Cornwall for a few years since our last stay (instead heading way north to Scotland for our summer holiday last year!) and were really over to moon to be able to spend a few days right at the end of the summer, as a family of three, before the big start of school.

We were staying in a mobile home once more, and Theo remembered our stay from last time and was super excited to get there and explore. On our first day we took advantage of the morning sunshine and went for a swim altogether in the outside pool, before deciding to make the most of the weather and drive down to St.Ives. I can't recall ever visiting before, so I was looking forward to exploring this well known little seaside town.


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6871_zpsbfhmh5gf.jpg
 photo IMG_6872_zpsizrt4d6p.jpg
 photo IMG_6875_zpsmkkqodgg.jpg
 photo IMG_6880_zpszool6uey.jpg
 photo IMG_6896_zpsic42uaav.jpg
 photo IMG_6905_zpsrfmwnqnd.jpg


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6918_zpsshmuzf1h.jpg
 photo IMG_6922_zps2xbpc33b.jpg
 photo IMG_6927_zpszfobmgxl.jpg
 photo IMG_6938_zpsfirr1llp.jpg photo IMG_6932_zpsahh8foza.jpg photo IMG_6948_zpsmcoaacr8.jpg photo IMG_6939_zpsxcoodoeg.jpg


We stayed for a little while longer before packing up and dusting off our sand covered feet we decided to have a little visit to the Tate which stood just above the beach. First stop was obviously tea and cake overlooking the beach below.

 photo IMG_6962_zps7krmzpcv.jpg
 photo IMG_6969_zpshbkplhid.jpg
 photo IMG_6975_zpsri5f81ot.jpg


Although we like to visit museums with Theo we've not really ventured much into the world of art galleries with him, and I had to say I was a little nervous (especially after filling him with a massive cake) how he would react and behave. But I had little to worry about as the space is just so interesting and engaging that we had no trouble at all. There was a little trail for kids to do, which Theo took to with great enthusiasm, trying to find all the segments of pictures throughout the galleries. I was really impressed with the exhibitions and loved the interactivity of most of them.

 photo IMG_6976_zpszzagxlzl.jpg
 photo IMG_6981_zpszmikvhmt.jpg


After we finished up there was just enough time to have a little walk around the town as the shops and cafes shut for the day. What a beautiful place St.Ives is, and definitely on our list of somewhere to go back to!

 photo IMG_6983_zpsxjcxb6xm.jpg
 photo IMG_6986_zpsv0f2jn3e.jpg

Cornwall adventure

 photo IMG_6877_zpsgh2soujg.jpg

Since we found out the results and things have somewhat calmed down a bit I'm trying to get myself back into some sort of normal routine. That means finally getting round to finishing some posts that have been sitting here half written before everything was interrupted with multiple trips to hospitals and all the stress that came with the last few weeks. It's also lovely to look back on the parts of Summer that we enjoyed, in a sort of unaware blissful haze.

Now that the days are drawing in, the trees are turning and Autumn is well and truly making itself noticed it seems hard to think just over a month ago we were still hanging out at the beach.


We were lucky enough to be invited to stay once more at Trevella Park for a mini break before school started. We hadn't been back to Cornwall for a few years since our last stay (instead heading way north to Scotland for our summer holiday last year!) and were really over to moon to be able to spend a few days right at the end of the summer, as a family of three, before the big start of school.

We were staying in a mobile home once more, and Theo remembered our stay from last time and was super excited to get there and explore. On our first day we took advantage of the morning sunshine and went for a swim altogether in the outside pool, before deciding to make the most of the weather and drive down to St.Ives. I can't recall ever visiting before, so I was looking forward to exploring this well known little seaside town.


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6871_zpsbfhmh5gf.jpg
 photo IMG_6872_zpsizrt4d6p.jpg
 photo IMG_6875_zpsmkkqodgg.jpg
 photo IMG_6880_zpszool6uey.jpg
 photo IMG_6896_zpsic42uaav.jpg
 photo IMG_6905_zpsrfmwnqnd.jpg


We of course headed straight for the beach and made a little camp for a picnic (a seagull managed to snatch a sandwich out of my hand though!). The beach was so vast and beautiful, with the tide right out and perfect for paddling. The crystal clear water was so inviting it was hard not to just get drawn in and just spend hours gazing out.

 photo IMG_6918_zpsshmuzf1h.jpg
 photo IMG_6922_zps2xbpc33b.jpg
 photo IMG_6927_zpszfobmgxl.jpg
 photo IMG_6938_zpsfirr1llp.jpg photo IMG_6932_zpsahh8foza.jpg photo IMG_6948_zpsmcoaacr8.jpg photo IMG_6939_zpsxcoodoeg.jpg


We stayed for a little while longer before packing up and dusting off our sand covered feet we decided to have a little visit to the Tate which stood just above the beach. First stop was obviously tea and cake overlooking the beach below.

 photo IMG_6962_zps7krmzpcv.jpg
 photo IMG_6969_zpshbkplhid.jpg
 photo IMG_6975_zpsri5f81ot.jpg


Although we like to visit museums with Theo we've not really ventured much into the world of art galleries with him, and I had to say I was a little nervous (especially after filling him with a massive cake) how he would react and behave. But I had little to worry about as the space is just so interesting and engaging that we had no trouble at all. There was a little trail for kids to do, which Theo took to with great enthusiasm, trying to find all the segments of pictures throughout the galleries. I was really impressed with the exhibitions and loved the interactivity of most of them.

 photo IMG_6976_zpszzagxlzl.jpg
 photo IMG_6981_zpszmikvhmt.jpg


After we finished up there was just enough time to have a little walk around the town as the shops and cafes shut for the day. What a beautiful place St.Ives is, and definitely on our list of somewhere to go back to!

 photo IMG_6983_zpsxjcxb6xm.jpg
 photo IMG_6986_zpsv0f2jn3e.jpg

Win a Trunki!

win a trunki
win a trunki

Hola from Barcelona! We've arrived and made our flight safely and have spent the day hanging out and recovering. I feel slightly exhausted from all my travelling recently, which means I made a few mistakes with the travelling part and forgot a few vital things. I seem to have been jetsetting a lot recently and one important thing when you're travelling around lots is packing well. I tend to make lists before of all the things we need to pack and tick them off as I go. Now I'm a super bad over-packer, I recently took five, yes FIVE pairs of shoes away for a weekend...that's bad. I'm seriously hoping that Theo doesn't pick up my bad packing habits, but I am keen for him to get into helping and planning himself what he needs! Travelling alone with a child is also a bit of a headache as invariably it will be me who has to lug around all the cases and bags. So I was delighted when we were given the chance to try out a Trunki, which meant he could pack his own case as well as have the fun of wheeling it around and riding on it at the airport. 

Theo chose the Benny the cat Trunki and even if we're not going anywhere sometimes we like to pretend we're going on adventures and pack it anyway. Here's a little video of one of our games! 



I'm hoping we'll go on many more (real and imaginary!) adventures with Benny, and I was so thankful for it on this trip! 

And so I'm happy to announce that I'll be giving away a Trunki to a reader and all you have to do is scroll to the bottom to enter! Good luck! 
 photo IMG_3629_zpsfvs2voq6.jpg
 photo IMG_3544_zpsxbxg5ysk.jpg
 photo IMG_3543_zpsyrjggrnu.jpg
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3545_zpst4hkpzhj.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3571_zpsxaollfdo.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3654_zpsgkjdarep.jpg
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Trunki!

win a trunki
win a trunki

Hola from Barcelona! We've arrived and made our flight safely and have spent the day hanging out and recovering. I feel slightly exhausted from all my travelling recently, which means I made a few mistakes with the travelling part and forgot a few vital things. I seem to have been jetsetting a lot recently and one important thing when you're travelling around lots is packing well. I tend to make lists before of all the things we need to pack and tick them off as I go. Now I'm a super bad over-packer, I recently took five, yes FIVE pairs of shoes away for a weekend...that's bad. I'm seriously hoping that Theo doesn't pick up my bad packing habits, but I am keen for him to get into helping and planning himself what he needs! Travelling alone with a child is also a bit of a headache as invariably it will be me who has to lug around all the cases and bags. So I was delighted when we were given the chance to try out a Trunki, which meant he could pack his own case as well as have the fun of wheeling it around and riding on it at the airport. 

Theo chose the Benny the cat Trunki and even if we're not going anywhere sometimes we like to pretend we're going on adventures and pack it anyway. Here's a little video of one of our games! 



I'm hoping we'll go on many more (real and imaginary!) adventures with Benny, and I was so thankful for it on this trip! 

And so I'm happy to announce that I'll be giving away a Trunki to a reader and all you have to do is scroll to the bottom to enter! Good luck! 
 photo IMG_3629_zpsfvs2voq6.jpg
 photo IMG_3544_zpsxbxg5ysk.jpg
 photo IMG_3543_zpsyrjggrnu.jpg
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3545_zpst4hkpzhj.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3571_zpsxaollfdo.jpg
win a trunki
win a trunki
 photo IMG_3654_zpsgkjdarep.jpg
a Rafflecopter giveaway