Our Adventures in 2015
As we get to the end of 2015, I thought I would do a summary of our fantastic year of adventures. We have had lots of days out, small breaks and holidays in the UK with one big trip in summer. Being a Scouts Leader, my Saturday mornings are now dedicated to making a difference to the lives of 40 children so its been difficult to plan much time away. However, we are hoping to change this in 2016 so watch this space. Below is a recap of our adventures in 2015 🙂 many thanks for reading along, our year has been amazing and it would never have been possible without you all!
We started 2015 with a great day out at South Lakes Zoo which is one of our favourite zoos and we always visit over January for Maya and Zayn’s birthdays. It’s fantastic value and a great day out. The extra activities are really affordable like animal feeding for £1 and I think it is a little more unique then the other zoos in the UK.
January is always a crazy month with lots going on with birthdays, but we started off the new year with a snowy walk around Entwistle reservoir with our local youth group. It was a gorgeous day out and the children loved the views, exploring the woods and being part of a large community walk.
With school aged children, holidays are restricted at school holidays. This February we had a wooden log cabin booked in the National forest. We had booked a 4 bedroom lodge for a stay with the family but life got in the way and we ended up going on our own. The location is great for lots of adventures and I love the lodges are the most disabled friendly from all those we have visited. The national forest is a treasure trove of activities and a perfect base to explore all the activities that are on offer in the area.
During our stay we explored the woodlands of the national forest and also
Visited the National Forest Adventure Farm (which after Hatton Country World is one of the best farms we have visited)
Visited conkers, a great day out in the woods, discovering and enjoying lots of new things. It’s one of the more unique days out you can do!
We visited Hicks Lodge to do the The Gruffalo Child’s walk which was really great to see. We had done the Gruffalo’s walk in Delamere and I love showing the little adventurers as many different places as possible.
On the way home we even managed a little trip to Alton Towers! Alton towers used to be my favourite theme park for under 4s (before Cbeebies) ans the rides aimed at younger children were always quiet. Alton Towers is still a great theme park but it is huge and often queue times are crazy. If you have a cBeebies fan, you will love it, just get there early!
In the last weekend of the month we took my nephews and the little adventurers for a day out at Crocky Trail. We had a great time and the attraction is such a lovely return to some old fashioned fun! We all returned home mucky, dirty but smiling from ear to ear.
The last adventure of the month saw our brave Maya talking about being a scout to an audience of over 250 people. I was super proud and for someone who had just turned 6, I think its an amazing achievement!
We kicked off March with Maya and I visiting The Lowry to watch Sing-a-long-a Frozen. Maya had a Frozen party in January and this was such a great way to see the film and get the children interacting. Maya loved the show and its highly recommended if the show is on near you. The boy adventurers had a day out in Legoland Discovery Centre and Sea Life Trafford which are great little inclusions to the Merlin Passes.
I had a night out with Doc and we went to watch Dara O’Briain live, the man is so funny, my sides ached from all the laughing, we had a fantastic child free night out!
We had close friends weddings over the Easter break (two weddings one weekend after another) so the most of March was spent in preparation for these big days. The first wedding was in London so at the start of the Easter holidays we drove down to London and stayed in Wembley. The wedding was gorgeous and my little adventurers looked so beautiful in their traditional outfits.
We broke up the journey back up north with a stay in the Holiday Inn in Birmingham star city. My bestest buddy is a Brummie and we spent the day with her and her gorehous children.
My little adventurers adore the Gruffalo and when we saw that there was a Gruffalo experience, we had to take our little adventurers down for the trip. My littlest adventurer was mesmerised and I love the hand pose as we hunted for the gruffalo!
The second wedding was the following weekend in Peterborough. the children loved the Holiday Inn in Peterborough and it had a lovely pool area, we didn’t get much chance to explore much but I think it would be lovely base for the nearby area. After the wedding we set off to have a try at the Stay and Play Leicestershire. I love this initiative. you get to stay in 4 star hotel, and choose 3 out of 5 attractions with a 1 price all year round, £129 for 1 night or 209 for 2 for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids. We stayed in the Stretchley Grange which was a lovely hotel set in the Hinckley area and close to the attractions included in the scheme. During our stay we visited the Twycoss zoo which was a great day out and had a really lovely ethos to zoo. We loved the bird feeding and the butterfly area which was very different to the others we visit. We also visited Stone Hurst Family Farm which s a great way to spend the day.
We were invited by the National Trust Yorkshire to help with the filming of the NT Yorkshire video. It was such a fantastic experience for us all and it was great to be involved. We set off on Saturday to Scarborough and the little adventurers had a great time playing on the beach and enjoying seaside fish n chips!
On Sunday morning we drove over to Ravenscar and started our crazy day of filming. Doc loved the drone and the expereince really showcased us the fanatstic places you can see in the area. We will be returning in 2016 to hunt for those fossils 🙂
May was a super busy month and we had weekends filled with adventures! We took my Beavers and cubs for a 3 mile walk in the countryside which was great for the children, Lancashire has many stunning places to visit, and we often overlook these.
We decided to explore another of the local parks in Clitheroe and took our little adventurers to do the Sculpture Walk in the Ribble area. The walk was great and we got to see lots of the area which we would have often missed.
We visited the Geronino festival over the second Bank holiday weekend, and visited Tatton Park. Geronimo is the newest family festival to hit the scene and we had a fantastic day and there is so much for families to do and enjoy! Something for everyone and all different are catered for! We cant wait to return this year.
We had a our first trip away to Scotland. On the way to Scotland we decided visit Grizedale in Cumbria and do the Superworm trail. Grizedale was beautiful and we will definitely be returning to explore the area.
We were the Argyll Holidays Active Family runners up and won a holiday to Argyll. We started out journey to Argyll with a ferry to Dunoon. It was a gorgeous start and we knew right away we would love it here. Argyll holidays is a great place to stay and explore the area, you can choose to have a holiday parks holiday (we tried the activities in Hunters Quay) at their main sites or like us use one of their smaller sites as a base to explore the area. .
We totally fell in love with Argyll, the whole area is gorgeous beyond words and the sweeping glens and luscious locks will truly steal your heart. We spent a week in the area and spent our time exploring castle ruins, taking a sky ride up Ben Nevis, hunting for Loch Ness, exploring Sea Life and with a great day in Inveraray, visiting the Jail and town.
On our way home from Scotland we decided to visit Hadrian’s wall. It was also a bucket list item for me and it was lovely to see the little adventurers enjoying the wall and I love giving my little adventurers a hand on history lesson!
We ended the month with a walk to the top of Pendle Hill, unfortunately we made it only halfway up as Doc had an injured foot and we didn’t make it all the way up! we will be back to do it next year!
June was a quiter month for us as we spent the majority of the month fasting for Ramadan. However, we did have lots of adventures on the way! One of the theatrical highlight for us this year was seeing Wicked at The Lowry. I loved the show and it well deserving of all the accolades that it has received. We took Mata and my neice along for this and had a great evening out at Wagamamas and finishing with a world class show!
Our last session of Scouts for the year saw us take our children to Ski Rossendale. The ski slopes are outdoors and it is such fantastic value for money and highly recommended, younger children can try tubing, others can try sliding down the slopes and they can even ski!
We ended the month with both purchase propecia boys still not at school we took them Chill Factore to try out the Mini Moose Land. This was the first time that Zayn had seen snow and it is a great indoor snow area. We would return two more times in the year to rry the different activities that are on offer.
Being married to a scientist / engineer I am always on the lookout for Science related events and in the last weekend of June we had a science overload with firstly me taking Doc out for the night to a graphene (the material is amazing!) event at MOSI. We ended the month with a visit to the Lancashire Science Festival which was an amazing day out. For tittle budding scientist this is a must attend event and we will definitely be returning next year!!
July was another packed month which we started with a day trip with friends to Lyme Park. I adore the grounds in the area and when we visited thy had a Gruffalo walk and lots of Julia Donaldson items which our little adventurers loved.
It is a great place for a full day out with the family. We also visited the Imperial War Museum North and loved exploring their new Blitz exhibition. This was the first time that we had visited the museum and were really impressed with it.
We were invited back to the Chill Factore to try out their taster snowboarding /skiing sessions and rock climbing activities that the attraction offered. The rock climbing was great and it was crazy ow fast some of the other people have managed to do the activity in. The taster session i think would be perfect for those looking to go on a ski holiday and getting their little ones used to the snow!
August was our super busy travelling month, we literally spent the whole month on the road or travelling! We kick started off the month with a theme park road trip. 13 of us with merlin passes set off to London to try out the biggest and best theme parks in the country. We missed out on the trip to Warwick Castle as we visited friends in the Warrington. We based our stay in Woking (Surrey) as it was close by to all three theme parks and meant to the travel times in the morning would not be much. We began the theme parks with a visit to Chessington World of Adventure and I have to say that this was one of my favourite theme parks under the Merlin Pass as it offers lots for the whole family from young children to crazy teens! I particularly loved that the more adrenaline rides still had quite a low height restriction so apart from one ride Maya at 6 years old was able to go on all the rides.
The next day we visited Thorpe Park and had a great day. This was our teenagers favourite theme park and there is lots for older children with lots of rides that will have your heart racing (as a parent).
We decided against visiting Legoland on the third day and headed back north via the Bicester Designer outlet village. I am not a shopper but if you are, there are some great labels at great prices. Our theme park activities didn’t end there and we visited Blackpool Pleasure Beach. This was the first time I had visited Blackpool and I was really impressed! The theme park is perfect for all the families!
Our last adventure before we head off to our 3 week trip was Trapped up North. We weren’t sure what to expect and I think we freaked ourselves out more then we should have!
The last 3 week of August we had the most amazing trip in the Far East. We visited 5 different areas and each was like a mini holiday.
Bangkok, was the first destination and despite the hustle, bustle and the hot temperatures we all loved Bangkok and loved how child friendly the place was!
Chiang Mai was amazing and we were truly spoilt by staying in an amazing place like the Dhara Dhevi. These three days we got to see lots of Chiang Mai (still so much to see and do) it should be on any family itinerary for Thailand. We tried rice planting, visited some stunning temples, visited the Poo Poo Pater Factory (so cool!), the 3D Art in Paradise museum and had massages galore.
Krabi, no trip to Thailand is complete without a trip to the beach. We visited Thailand in their monsoon season but places like Koh Samui were working out to be so expensive. Instead we tried our luck at Krabi and were really lucky with the weather and it meant that we visited the resort at its quietest and everything was perfect for families!
Sentosa Island, the three days we spent on Sentosa have left a lasting impression on my little adventurers. We tried so many different activities, each so different but still so much fun. We tried lots of gorgeous foods and totally fell in love with the State of Fun!
Singapore, this is one of my favourite cities in the Far East. Its perfect for families on their first visit, it is clean, efficient and gives you a easier introduction to life in this end of the world. We spent 5 days here and tried so many different activities. From the Singapore Zoo (amazing!) to the Garden of the Bay, to the Night Safari to little India. Singapore is a great city and a perfect addition or stopover!
As soon as we returned home, Raihan was starting reception, I felt very old having two school aged children! The first few weeks were just settling back into life at home, but for y birthday we took the little adventurers to Formby. To have a day of sand sledging and walks in the forests. It was out first time in the area and we were blessed with gorgeous weather! highly recommended especially if like us your sledge has never been used!
The following weekend Doc and I had our first night away without the kids. I was in the finals for the MAD blog awards and we decided to make it a little trip to London.
We had a great couple of days away (even though we felt like we were totally missing something with kids) and the next day we got to spend 5 hours in the amazing WB Studio Tour. It was even more magical then I had expected and loved every minute of it!!
The last Sunday of the month, we took the little adventurers to Brockholes Nature Reserve, perfectly located just off the M6 so ideal for a stop off pointif you are journeying north. We had a great enjoying the autumn sunshine and the children loved trying some pond dipping!!
October was another month jampacked with weekend trips. Our first adventure was visiting the local police headquarters open day. It was so interesting to see all the different vehicles, speaking to officers, children having real hands on experience with all the equipment, understanding how it all works and was a really interesting insight. Definitely visit you local stations open day.
We then had a lovely weekend away glamping at Lantern & Larks. It was an amazing weekend away and I loved having the chance to get away from it all.
We finished the weekend with an afternoon in Beacen Fell which is a gorgeous woodland to the North of Preston. Its a great place to really get the children back connecting with nature.
Whilst on nature, we had the North West Reptile Society attend our session and they brought some fantastic reptiles for the children to see and play with.
Obviously our animal fix ws not complete as visited one final zzoo this year and went to Blackpool Zoo which was Raihan’s favourites because of the dinosaurs. I love Blackpool Zoo and think its a perfect size and great miz of animals fr young children.
Half term weekend started with us having a great day out at Toytopia, the little adventurers loved it.
As we didn’t go away for the holidays we decided to have a weekend in London and visited Warwick Castle at night on the drive down. We have lived in Warwick but never been in the grounds at night, the castle looked even more stunning then normal.
Halloween we spent in Legoland and we were blessed with glorious sunshine. We did all the rides in record time in the morning and finished the day with one of the best fireworks displays I have seen.
I started the month by having my first night away on my own as I was visiting the WTM. The event was amazing and got my wanderlust raised to crazy high levels.
We had a relatively quiet month in November with the children being unwell, but we managed a trip with Maya and my old niece and nephews to visit Santa and try out the snow park in Chill Factore. I loved this activity and the children ranging from 20 – 6 years old all had a wonderful time.
We finished the month by Maya and I going on a sleepover with the Beavers to Blackpool Tower. Within the sleepover we got to watch the circus (fantastic), private use of the Jungle Jims play area, the beavers got to sleep on the circus floor and in the morning we had breakfast in the Ballroom. Unfortunately the tower was shut due to high winds but we will be back in 2016!
We have been on official wind down this month and have been honestly truly exhausted! We had a great evening out at Winter Wonderland (It is on until the end of the week) and the little adventurers loved all the rides and shows.
We watched Mr Popper’s Penguins at The Lowry which was a great alternative to a festive panto.
Other then that we have been just taking it easy and getting over various ailments and busy planning for 2016. We might end the year with a quick visit to Blackpool Tower on 31st to mark the end of the year in true Five Adventurers style!
So that was our year, I cant believe how much we have done, its been a fantastic year 🙂