Traffic Problems & Toddler Tantrums but a Terrific day

On Bank Holiday Monday we met up with our very good friends Chris and Sarah (from Run, Jump, Scrap) and their gorgeous Gremlin. We chose to head back to the wonderful National Trust Stowe to see what it was like there in Spring and on the whole it was such a wonderful day. It was';t without it’s challenges though as was bookended by some pretty bad traffic and well with 3 under 4s there is bound to be 1 or 2 tantrums during the day isn’t there?

The day started off well and of a couple of different routes, we chose to go via Milton Keynes, as we thought it was the fastest option. Unbeknownst to us at the time however there was a marathon on and loads of road closures. We were making good progress and then, suddenly, boom. Road Closed. No warning, no diversion, not even a reason why. Just got to a roundabout and the A421 was closed. We followed a couple of cars down a different road that seemed to lead to an alternaye route but all roads leading from there were closed too. We ended up down a dead end and waited our turn to do a u-turn. Then a parked car suddenly reversed, crashed into the side of our car – and drove off! We just sat there in shock and disbelief but gathered our wits enough to note down their number plate and take pictures of where we were and what happened.

We carried on and with thanks to google maps on my phone managed to navigate our way out of MK and on to Stowe where we tried to put it behind us for a few hours! We were lucky that despite forecasts for grey clouds we had a lot of sunshine and it was really really mild. The kids had a lovely time exploring and we had a lovely picnic.stowe 1

Monkey and Gremlin also had lots of giggles with bubbles and hiding under a picnic blanket together bless them haha.stowe 3

There was a lot of tree climbing going on which was lovely but also tricky when the kids are so little and there was one or tantrums at this point haha. All good fun though!stowe 2

We then came to a fantastic monument up a hill which the kids adored rolling down, climbing up, running down etc. We spent quite a bit of time here and enjoyed the sunshine and scenery.stowe 4

There was one brilliant moment where Gremlin was trying to roll down the hill but not really pointing in the right direction. Her Daddy tried to help only to be firmly told “no Daddy I can do it” and I have to admit when she hadn’t moved a few minutes later I did think to myself “Hmm are you sure about that??” hehe bless her.20160502_123331

We were having so much fun that I decided to try and get a group shot of us all using the selfie stick and capturing a frame from a video. As you will see in this unedited video, it did not go too well haha.

Three uncooperative kiddies with four desperately encouraging parents! haha love it all the same as just makes me giggle, especially the Gremlin’s face!20160502145349

I also loved trying to get a photo of all 3 of the kiddies smiling sat together on a bench… completely impossible hahastowe 5

a compilation of the best 3 shots however, is gorgeous!PhotoGrid_1462203422602

We had seen on the map that there was a cafe on the far side of the gardens so headed there. It was in one of the monuments which was so cool so we ordered and waited. Never fun keepung the kids entertained in those situations and the order seemed to be taking forever. So with stress levels rising we eventually asked what was going on, only to be told that there had been a power cut and they couldn’t fulfill our orders. Why they couldnt have told us that I have no idea! It didnt really make sense as hot drinks seemed to still be going out to other people so we didnt really get what was going on so eventually just got a refund. Thankfully we all had a few supplies left from the picnic to placate the kids and we started the walk back across to the entrance.

On that walk back it actually started too rain so maybe it all worked out for the best anyway. We eventually got back to the entrance, by which time LM had fallen asleep in the pushchair, and decided to make our way home. Thankfully LM transferred to the car easily and slept for another hour at least as the traffic on the journey home was terrible! A journey that should take a bit over an hour took over two so we were shattered and grumpy by the time we got home!

Still, none of that detracted from the fun we had with our friends. The police and insurers are on the case about the driver who hit us so hopefully we won’t lose out as a result of that either. In the meantime we look forward to catching up with Chris, Sarah and Gremlin again very soon!

And then the fun began...Mummascribbles
Best of WorstLife UnexpectedCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Little Miss’s first trip to the zoo!

We are really lucky that there is a little zoo not too far from us, called Hamerton Wildlife Park. We have been there loads in the past with Monkey, but the last time I went was when I was pregnant with LM, and she was yet to go. She loves animals though and getting out so it was time. We arranged to meet some friends there and headed off.

It was a beautiful day and LM loved running about everywhere and was so excited by seeing all the animals… Though I am pretty sure she wanted to cuddle the wallabies and lemurs!PhotoGrid_1460378460427

There are so many gorgeous animals there and many of them are rescue animals, which makes it much easier to see them caged. Monkey loved a very er “friendly” vulture and we got to see one of the tigers very close up which was amazing though also a bit sad to see him pacing.PhotoGrid_1460378777738

We had a lovely picnic lunch then both kiddies enjoyed a play on the fab playpark.PhotoGrid_1460378996569

We had another good wander after lunch to see some more animals and met this fabulous owl. He really took me by surprise when I turned and saw these beautiful eyes staring at me.PhotoGrid_1460380509192

We had such a wonderful day enjoying the sun and having fun as a family and with our friends.PhotoGrid_1460379559365

Do your little ones like the zoo?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Best of Worst

National Trust Stowe Gardens in Winter

We love a good day out, and that is one reason why we love being members of the National Trust. There are so many places to go that are great fun with kids. It is even better when you have friends who are National Trust members too as you can combine a lovely day out with having a good catch up with friends.

Last weekend was one of those days as we met up with our lovely friends Chris (who hubs has known since he was a kid)  and Sarah (who blogs over at runjumpscrap) and their little Gremlin at Stowe Gardens. The weather was thankfully kind to us and we had a really great fun day.

Enjoying the gorgeous sceneryPhotoGrid_1453804146597

Climbing the monumentsPhotoGrid_1453804408566

Puddle splashingPhotoGrid_1453804604030

Chasing bubblesPhotoGrid_1453804937962

Generally having a nice time running about and catching up.PhotoGrid_1453805129858PhotoGrid_1453805260393

Important things to note if you plan on visiting Stowe.

  • There is quite a walk from the entrance and visitors centre to get to the actual gardens. They reckon 10mins at adults pace (if that) but with little legs this can take a lot longer so it may be worth taking a buggy, that way you can conserve their energy for when you are actually in the gardens rather than just getting there and back.
  • The paths are very accessible for buggies which was brilliant.
  • The cafe itself is at the visitors centre so bear that in mind if you are planning on eating lunch there and maybe think about eating at the start or end of your visit. Otherwise you will do as we did and basically get to the gardens then turn back again to get lunch then get down to the gardens again!

I think next time we will actually take a picnic (weather permitting) as there is so many lovely spots to have a picnic throughout the gardens and then we could spend more time exploring.

We really did have such a lovely time and the kids enjoyed having a good run about while we were nattering and it was nice to get out and enjoy the fresh air. It was so peaceful there too and really did me the world of good. I look forward to visiting in the summer as I imagine it will be stunning!

National Trust Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire

We recently arranged to meet some good friends of ours who live in Newcastle. Being a good 4 hours away from each other we like to pick somewhere halfway to meet up for the day so Yorkshire is usually where we head, and as always we do like our National Trust places for a lovely family day out. This time we chose Beningbrough Hall as it looked like there was lots to do and see with the kids, and indoor spaces as well as outdoor areas if the weather turned on us (it is November after all!) and it did not disappoint.

Although it was lovely and sunny when we left home, it got foggier and foggier the further north we drove which made the journey interesting! It was pretty easy to find but it was really funny as we were driving up the long drive wondering where exactly the house was and it suddenly loomed up out of the fog right in front of us!foggy

We had arrived a little early and it wasn’t open yet so we headed to the little farm shop and cafe a short walk from the car park for a nice cup of tea and cake while we waited for our friends and chatted with some other parents with little ones. Our friends arrived and we headed in to the grounds, which are huge. The gardens were lovely, even on a gloomy day and the kids were loving exploring and basically having a good old run around after a couple of hours in the car!beningbrough 1

I believe there are meant to be some gorgeous views….. but on the day we went we could only just make out some cows and trees through the fog! Still it was very atmospheric (Hubs feels that “bleak” is a more appropriate word haha)beiningbrough 2

It was lovely to catch up with our friends and meet their gorgeous new addition, look at these gorgeous cheeks! LM loved meeting her too and the older boys had a great time together again.Beningbrough 3

We wandered over to the fantastic outdoor play area for our picnic lunch and to have a play. It really is an amazing lay area with a hige fort, boat, house, loads of swings, a den building area and some trikes and bikes that you can use. The kids had an absolute whale of a time and the fact that it was wet and muddy really did not spoil their fun! I was glad they all had waterproofs on though!!beningbrough 4After lunch we went into the hall itself for a look around. They have a lift which is very handy and small stroller buggies you can use as they ask big buggies to be left outside. As well as the more standard rooms and exhibitions they also had some fantastic interactive displays which were perfect for the kids. Because they had an exhibition on loan from the National Portrait Gallery of the Royal Family (which was fab) there was a portrait zone where you could dress up and set the scene to create your own portrait – great fun! There was also a fab playroom which the kids absolutely adored, of course.

Beningbrough 5When we headed back outside we had some lovely bubble fun and then some family group shots before it was time to head home.

beningbrough 6We loved seeing our friends and as always the National Trust delivered a fab place for us to do so. Beningbrough Hall had so much to see and do and I really look forward to going back one day, hopefully when the weather is nice so we can see those gorgeous views!!

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Fun with Friends

Last weekend we had a visit from some very lovely friends of ours who live in South London. We last saw them way back in July last year when their newest little one was just 6-7 weeks old so it was lovely to see them now, to catch up with how everything is and see how much both of their girls have grown. Plus of course we have a new arrival of our own that they were keen to meet.

Their little E is still as lovely and chilled as she was when she was younger and she is so cute and diddy. Her and LM are almost the same size – though of course being 5 months older little E is way ahead developmentally. She’s such a happy girl constantly smiling and so content sitting playing with toys and it was lovely to see.

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Monkey loved seeing their oldest, S, again too. He had been a bit poorly and grumpy over the weekend so we weren’t entirely sure how it would go but they arrived and he was so so happy at having a little friend to play with that he seemed to completely forget his grumpiness! S is such a cutie, just a little bit older than Monkey and they are so similar in so many ways. She was great following him around to see what he was up to and he did really well with sharing his toys and playing with her as well as alongside her.

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What was really nice was that they were able to stay for a while, often when we see them it is a bit of a flying visit so it was nice to be able to spend some time together to chat about life with another baby and all the challenges and happiness that brings! There was a really great moment while us Mums were with the babies and having a natter. One Daddy was dozing in the garden and we thought the other was playing play-doh with the older kiddies. In reality this was happening.

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The kids were playing together so well that Hubs had decided to have a rest too hehe. Who can blame him eh? Late in the afternoon we went for a walk so that the youngest 2 could get a nice nap while we all had some fun. It was just lovely and Monkey and S were running around having so much fun together, it really was adorable.

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They even got an ice cream on the way home, lucky kiddies :). They stayed for tea then it was time for them to head home. I’ve said before how much I value their friendship and I really, really look forward to seeing the kids grow and play together over the years to come :).

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
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