Fabulous Family short breaks in UK
Fabulous Family short breaks in UK
Here at fiveadventurers we love good value breaks and we are always on the lookout to give great ideas to families. We wrote a post a few weeks ago about the fantastic stay, play & explore package that is available through Go Leicestershire. Over the Easter holidays we had the opportunity to try out the family package that is available and we had a fantastic time. The package not only provides accommodation but also gives families the choice of 3 out of 5 local attractions within the price. One of things that really stands out for me is the fact that the price for the package is same all year round so doesn’t see a huge increase with the holidays and bank holidays. I think this is such a refreshing change as it means that families with school aged children are able to take advantage of a good value breaks and not be penalised for holiday in the school holidays.
So what did we think?
On the purchase of the offer, you are emailed three vouchers for the attractions alongside the hotel confirmation. The vouchers are valid until the end of the year so it gives you some flexibility to make the short break work around your family needs, i.e. if you decided to spend a full day at one attractions, you can use the vouchers for a future visit later in the year.
In the package there is four great hotel choices for families. We have previously stayed at the Hinckley Island Hotel and our review is here and we had a fantastic time. On this occasion we stayed at the Sketchley Grange Hotel in the outskirts of Hinkley and we were really impressed. On arrival to the hotel, the check in was swift and the staff were really chatty to the children which is always great as it allows me to complete all the necessary documents and check in can be done quickly and efficiently. I have stayed in lots of hotels since having our little adventurers and can say hands down this was the largest room we have stayed in so far. There were two huge beds, a travel cot and still ample space for all of our luggage. I know lots of families struggle to find rooms that accommodate families but this hotel is truly a fantastic choice for families. I also loved the fact that five of us could sleep in one room as we have struggled with the room sizes too.
I also loved the bathroom as this was a fantastic size and when you have three children under 6 years old, you will know that the bathroom tends to be a busy place, so lots of space is always welcome.
Our little adventurers love swimming so were delighted that there was a swimming pool onsite. The pool is a lovely size and warm so we could swim for a couple of hours without worrying that the children were getting too cold. In addition, to the normal pool, there is a small children paddling pool and a jacuzzi. We literally spent hours in the pool and could’ve have stayed for longer but swim time for children was until 7pm.
The offer includes breakfast and there was enough options for a hot and cold breakfast. I am not a breakfast person but Doc and Maya started the day with a hearty meal so it was a big thumbs up from them.
The attractions that are available in the offer are Conkers, Twyrcross Zoo, Stonehurt Family Farm, Twinlakes Theme Park and The National Space centre. We have visited Twinlakes in September and on this trip we decided to visit the zoo, conkers and farm as the children all love animals.
I have seen the zoo on various things and it looked like a fab day out. We decided to make this our first stop on the Tuesday morning. Before visiting the zoo we didn’t know much about it and only on arrival did we realise that it is the primary zoo for apes, with it being the only zoo with all 5 types of apes in the UK. The zoo has a number of different animals but for an ape fan, this zoo would be an amazing experience. We have visited lots of zoos over the years and this was as good as any we have been to and was a fantastic day out. The zoo is a great size so not too big for little legs but there is more then enough to see and do to last you a whole day.
The areas that we loved with the zoo were:
Feeding the lorikeets
This was a new attraction and we had such a fab time. You can purchase the feed from the shop at the entrance of the lorikeet section. It was only £1 a cup and was really reasonable, I would recommend that you buy one for each child (or adult in the case of Doc) as it is very difficult to then pass it on. As you enter the enclosure, lots of lorikeets will fly over and will stand on your hands, shoulders, literally everywhere. It is so awesome and the little adventurers loved it. I think its a really nice to have birds so close as you only often see them in shows so having them up close was really nice.
We love butterflies, nothing is prettier then the seeing them fluttering around. Maya is mesmerised by them and the Butterfly enclosure was great. There are lots of butterflies fluttering around and young children will love being up close to them.
Feel of the zoo
There was something very natural about the zoo for example the elephant area had a real Sri Lankan feel to it. They have added nice touches to the whole area from the statues to the Sri Lankan room area. I really enjoyed it and it was nice and felt that you were embarking on a real adventure with the children.
Conkers is a fantastic day out. Situated in the National Forest it is an attraction showcasing various aspects of the forest, nature, learning and the work that the reserve are doing to promote and protect the natural woodlands. For me its a great way to help our children get excited about the outdoors and encouraging them to really enjoy it. The attraction is split into three areas, first you arrive at an indoor area which houses a number of interactive activities for children to learn about the work the company do and interesting facts about mother nature. There is also an indoor play area where children can burn off any excess energy. Once you leave the indoor area, there are two outdoor areas to enjoy showcasing lots of fun and interactive play areas for families. There is an assault course which was aimed at adults and teenagers. I think a young children version would be a guaranteed hit with the numerous families with younger children that visit, I know my three would love to have a go!
The outdoor areas are huge and you can spend hours doing all the activities available. Our highlights of the day were the Rolls Royce sensory garden, the art & structure area and just walking around and getting the little adventurers to enjoy the outdoors. There is a short train ride to the second outdoor area but we didn’t really have a chance to explore the activities on the other side and was particularly gutted to have missed the barefoot walk.
I would really recommend a day out at Conkers. It is lovely for getting families outdoors and reconnecting with nature. It also offers families a chance to have a a unique and different day out compared to the rest of the family focused activities that are available.
Stone Hurst Family Farm
We decided to give the newest attraction on the stay and play experience a try so on the day of departure we headed over to Stone Hurst Farm. This was the furtherest attraction from the hotel so we had a little drive to get there. The farm is small and compact and you can spend a morning or afternoon there probably not much longer. The farm is very reasonably priced and with your stay and play package the animal feed is included with your entry. However, if you wished to purchase any additional feed it was only £1 a pack. There is also a tractor ride which is included within the admission and I think it is really good value as most farms charge additional for tractor rides.
The farm has lots of things for younger children to enjoy and explore, in addition to feeding the animals, they have a pet handling corner where Maya held a rabbit and guinea pig. They also had a chicken hut where the children could hold new born baby chicks. Zayn was super excited about this and waited till he could have a hold. Maya was fine holding the baby chick on her own but the younger children had to have an adult with them in case they dropped or decided to put the chick down.
The farm also has two lovely playgrounds, with ride along cars and tractors, slides and swings and also houses a museum to get the children interested and spend time looking around. A few of my favourite things were the haystacks in the barn which has rope swings for children to have a try. It is something very simple but I love old fashioned things like things and think they are a dying trend. The farm had additional fields that you can wonder around and few trees, stumps for the children to climb on. There was a huge haystacks pyramid in the field, we climbed up (little adventurers LOVED this) and even had our lunch there.
The other two attractions which are included within this package are Twinlakes Theme Park which we visited in September and our review is here and the National Space Centre.
Overall we had a lovely few days and really enjoyed our stay. I would wholeheartedly recommend this break to other families, it is fantastic value for money and combined with a lovely hotel stay it actually feels like a proper break rather then just going for days out! Here’s a short video of our fantastic time at Stay, Play & Explore Leicestershire. We at fiveadventurers thought the stay, play & explore Leicestershire offer Fabulous Family short breaks in UK