Our Dorset Holiday 2016

Well we are home from our holiday, are up to date on laundry and life is getting back to normal. It is nice to be back in our own bed and to have more space for the kids. The cottage we were staying in is gorgeous and quaint and we are so grateful to our friend letting us stay while he is out of the country… But it is also very cosy to contain 2 children and not that child safe for our crazy climbing LM.PhotoGrid_1470663241686

We were lucky with the weather though and got out and about loads, as you may have seen on my previous posts, and we really did have a wonderful time as a family.PhotoGrid_1470662790957

Of course it wasn’t without its challenges and ups and downs though. Hubs was reading an article about something business related and in it contained this great quote.

“Becoming a parent is a wonderful thing, but it robs you of a certain freedom. That is: the freedom to do nothing. To sit around, to lounge, to waste time, with no responsibilities or duties tugging at your sleeve, no endless mental to-do list to tick off.
Last week, my wife and I took our two-year-old son on holiday. We had a lovely time. But, as every parent knows, a holiday with a toddler isn’t a holiday. It’s a job.
That job, beginning at dawn each day or earlier, is to entertain, or at least contain, an insatiably restless two-foot whirlwind of wants and demands. It’s fun. But there isn’t a moment of silence or solitude.
You spend six months looking forward to your holiday, so that you can take a break from work; then you spend your holiday looking forward to your return to work, so that you can take a break from childcare.”

It’s so true as holidays before kids are so different to holidays after kids. I imagine they continue to change and as they grow that you can have relaxing times. But when they are little it is a full time job keeping them entertained, regardless of where you are!

For hubs this was a working holiday and we are hugely lucky that he can basically work from anywhere with an Internet connection and can do some work out of business hours, which meant he was able to spend a few hours each day with us exploring Dorset and having fun with us. This made my life much easier than it is at home as obviously I am normally on my own with the kids all day when he is at the office.

There were challenges though as there always are with kids, especially with kids at different ages with different ability levels. Sometimes I really struggle to do something that makes both of them happy at the same time. One afternoon I got out the paddling pool thinking they would love it. Monkey refused to get in and LM lasted about 30s with constant attention then got bored. Sometimes I wonder why I bother as they are happier plonked in front of peppa pig or paw patrol!

They did enjoy our days out though and the beach was a real winner this year. On our holiday last September LM hated the sand so the beach was a stressful trip. It is lovely now as she adores the sand! Monkey is still very nervous of the water but he did go in the sea,  and LM hates the waves in the sea.. But they both love the sand and we were lucky with some lovely warm pools created by the tide going out which LM really loved. Its not a relaxing day as they do like us to be involved at all times but they were so happy so at least it wasn’t too stressful!PhotoGrid_1470663903480

By completely random coincidence some very good friends of our happened to be on holiday in Dorset at the same as we were. Jo and I met travelling in Argentina of all places about 9 years ago and we have stayed good friends but with living 2 1/2 hours away we don’t see each other more than a couple of times a year. Especially now there are kids to think about. Its pretty amazing though as our eldest 2 are 6 mths apart in age and our youngest about 5 mths apart and they all get on so so well.

We saw them more in the last 2 weeks than in the previous few years and it was so so wonderful. We had a couple of beach days together which were fantastic and made it a bit more relaxing as at least we could take it in turns a bit to be with the kids and the kids entertained each other a lot more which was wonderful.PhotoGrid_1470679856631

They also came for a play at our cottage one day, and brilliantly, when their relatives joined them for the second week and we’re able to babysit they came over one evening for a glass of wine and a natter without children interrupting us. It was so so lovely.PhotoGrid_1470680086351

Some of our other very good friends from home were also down in Dorset for a weekend at the end of their family holiday to Devon so the kids adored meeting up with them too for a day out at Monkey World. Again it helped having other kids for our kids to play with, and other adults for us to natter with. It also helped having a bit of solidarity when our little madam threw an almighty tantrum at lunchtime… And vice versa when their son didn’t want to eat his dinner. Much less embarrassing when you can talk about it with your friends rather than just have everyone in the place staring at you while you try and deal with it. They still stare of course but it definitely helped having company.PhotoGrid_1470680660728

Because our little lady really has tested us while we were away. If anything her behaviour has improved towards the end and now we are home but she was a nightmare at times and when she goes oh my goodness she is so loud. As one of the friends we met up with put it “she certainly has a voice!” and she most definitely does. She really struggled to settle for the first couple of days at the cottage and the tiredness from bad nights sleep and lack of naps really affected her so we were hugely relieved when she got used to her surroundings and started sleeping better.

Most of the other tantrums we had with her were around food… We had an absolutely disastrous meal at Prezzo one evening which was just a stressfest of her screaming and us scoffing as quickly as we could while paying £45 for the privilege. We had a couple of other lunches out which were better… mainly because they were places that served baked beans, and because I had a dairylea dunker ready as back up as I knew she’d at least eat some cheese if she decided they weren’t the right baked beans. (I never do this at home but sometimes avoiding the stress in a restaurant is so worth it). Hubs is adamant that we are having no more meals out until she is a bit older though as it just isn’t enjoyable!

On the whole Monkey was a really good boy while we’re away but he did get tired as the time went on “I’m so tired from all the days and days” which made him tired and fractious at times.PhotoGrid_1470681657311

I’m not trying to paint a negative picture of our holiday, just a realistic one. Its easy with all the smiles and golden sunny images for it to appear perfect, which of course it wasn’t. We had so much fun on the beach, with friends and on days out. There was lovely times at the cottage and on the play area. But when you have 2 children under 5 nothing is without its challenges, and even holidays can be hard work. So much as I loved it and in many ways I am sad that it is over… I am glad to be home. The kids were so excited when they came back to all of their toys and everything that is familiar. I am not terrified every second that LM is climbing on something or reaching something that she shouldn’t. She can go outside without tripping on a step and scraping her legs (almost a daily occurance while we were away).. Oh and at home we have a dishwasher (yippee)  and the ceilings are high enough for hubs to stand up straight without banging his head haha. So it is good to be home.

Do you find holidays with kids hard work or is it just us?

And then the fun began...
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Best of Worst

A lovely Holiday

My word of the week this week, is Holiday! We have been away with my parents and the kids for a lovely family holiday at the good old British seaside resort of Skeggy :). Well, to be precise we have been staying just outside of Skegness, in Burgh Le Marsh in some beautiful holiday accomodation at Jockhedge. I will write some more detailed posts when I get the chance but here is a quick summing up of what we have been up to over the past week.

We started off with just our little family and, as always on our journeys we try to stop at a National Trust place  for a break, and I have been dying to see Tattershall Castle with the kids for ages so we aimed for there. It was a beautiful day and we had so much fun. It’s a fab perfect castle and they put on some fab activities for the kids which were really brilliant.Tattershall

Then we explored our gorgeous holiday cottage and the fab facilities on site.jockhedge 1

Sunday was set to be another glorious day weather wise so we headed to the coast, As it was bound to be busy at Skeggy itself we found a quieter beach a little further up the coast, at Anderby Creek. What else can I say but that it was stunning. Absolutely beautiful, and the kids adored it. The tide was going out which meant there was a little creek between the sandy beach and the sea, and LM adored this. There were some very stoney bits of beach too but as the tide went further out the kids adored playing on the wet flat beach and both kids loved splashing – though the sea itself was a little scary for LM!anderby creek

Sunday night my parents joined us so Monday we all went into Skeggy. We had a very windy trip to the beach in the morning which was great fun but a bit chilly after a while, then we had a good round of Pirate Crazy Golf before hubs and I bought LM back to the cottage for a nap and Nanny & Pops took Monkey to the arcades.skeggy1

Tuesday was miserable, there was no other word for it, the weather was vile. But we headed to the Aquarium in skegness, which was lovely but LM was teething and under the weather and well it didn’t make for the best morning! thankfully we did have some nice moments though and as ever she loved some puddle splashing.Aquarium 1

Wednesday dawned wet again but thankfully dried up mid morning. So after some fun in the arcades we had another round of crazy Pirate golf. While LM slept that afternoon Monkey, Nanny, Pops and I walked to the windmill in Burgh Le Marsh itself, but unfortunately it was closed as we are a bit out of season. Still we had a lovely walk on what turned out to be a glorious afternoon, then had great fun playing out with the kiddies in the evening.skeggy 2

Thursday the weather was beautiful so it was back into skeggy again. We were perhaps a little over eager and got there very early when it was far too chilly,so we had some gorgeous hot drinks and cakes at a fab little cafe before heading to the beach mid morning when it had warmed up a little. It was still pretty windy but there was great fun building sand sculptures and flying a cool pirate kite then going for an ice cream.

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On the whole a fabulous but pretty exhausting week! How has yours been?

Mummascribbles
Life Unexpected

Clumber Park, Chicken Pox and a very short holiday!

A couple of weeks ago Monkey came down with Chicken Pox and though he is much better and his spots are nearly gone, it has been a bit of a waiting game to see if /when LM would catch them too. With an incubation period of up to 3 weeks, we knew it could potentially coincide with our weekend away in Yorkshire and after lots of um-ing and ahh-ing about whether to go or not we decided to go. And, well, what do you think happened? Yep she got poorly while we were away.

She had zero symptoms the day before and we thought that if she was coming down with it then she would probably have some cold type symptoms so got all packed up and ready. Woke up Friday and there was a few little spot like marks on her back but she was still fine and we were ready to go, so we headed off.

We broke the journey at the National Trust site Clumber Park. We do like to make the most of our NT membership and feel a stop off at somewhere like this is a bit more fun than just a service station. Shame the weather was wet and grey but we all had wellies and waterproofs so set off for a good explore.

We chose to do a simple walk as though we would love to walk around the lake there is no way little legs can manage it at the mo, not on such a quick visit anyway. So we explored the gothic Chapel, the pleasure ground and the lake.
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Monkey also enjoyed exploring amongst the trees where he found an amazing den that someone had made.PhotoGrid_1458655123309

For her part, LM was enjoying exploring and was still perfectly happy, and her usual, independent self.
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We stopped for food at the cafe and enjoyed a view out the window and LM loved sitting on a big girl chair.PhotoGrid_1458655523226

After lunch we visited the fab woodland play area where lots of fun was had. LM got cranky and it was nearly nap time so time to resume our journey North. There’s so much we didn’t get to see at Clumber, including an indoor play area but I am sure we will be back another time.PhotoGrid_1458655715481

We headed to our holiday cottage in the gorgeous village of Hutton le Hole on the south of the North York Moors, which is such a stunning part of the country. The village is amazing, so picturesque with a gorgeous little stream running through and we loved the cottage we stayed in as it was so full of character (including some very low doorways haha) , had everything we needed and wasn’t too expensive either so we really want to go back!PhotoGrid_1458656012705

We had a good explore of the village before heading out to nearby Pickering to buys supplies and have a fish and chips tea. LM wasn’t eating much which is weird for her but was otherwise fine. At bath time we noticed a few more spots but she was still fine in herself and both kids went down to sleep no probs.

The next morning however things took a turn. LM woke up at 4am really unhappy with a terrible high fever. She was suddenly covered in nasty looking spots and was clearly unwell. Cue decision making time and both of us feeling that we just needed to be at home for her. We obviously also felt guilty for coming away at all at this point but we really weren’t expecting it to get worse with such a bang.

So anyway we packed up and got ready to go home, while LM watched some TV and thankfully perked up with a bit if medicine. She even managed a bit of an explore around the village and a go on the trampoline in the garden. She is really not one to sit still!PhotoGrid_1458656316166

We re-questioned our decision again but still felt it was time to go. She slept in the car for nearly the whole journey home (bar a quick stop for a nappy change and to put on her coat as she was cold) which just never happens, to sleep nearly 3 hrs in the morning?? We got home and she was still unhappy and slept for another couple of hours in her bed. Definitely the place to be.IMG_20160319_100606

20160321_090535 (2)So it was possibly the shortest holiday ever and a long way to go for such a short amount of time… But we did have a nice time and it was worth coming home to where she is most comfortable. She has been very up and down and has so so so many spots poor thing that have been really really irritating her.

She does seem to be a lot better now though thankfully so hopefully we are coming out the other side and hey we never have to worry about chicken pox again do we? Unfortunately since we have been back Monkey has also had a tummy bug so it has really been a week of poorliness! So that is my word for this week. Poorliness. Here’s hoping that everyone is well for Easter!

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Our Holiday in a Nutshell

Last week we were on holiday. We had a lovely week in Menorca but it wasn’t without its challenges… life with 2 kids rarely is I think! Here is a little about our holiday, in a nutshell.

So it started off pretty well, Monkey loved the plane journey and was so excited to be flying bless him! LM was less impressed, especially by the delay when we were sat on the runway for ages! She did sleep a bit though thankfully and we survived the journey pretty well.journey out

The hotel was lovely we loved our apartment and it was in a great spot, not too far from the pool but not too close for it to be too noisy in the evening. We opted for a 2 bed apartment which was very spacious and meant that hubs and I would have our space once the kids were in bed, compared with previous holidays where we have been stuck on the balcony or in the bathroom while Monkey was asleep.hotel

The restaurant was nice enough and there was plenty of variety in the buffet. The downside was that the set times were a bit later than the kids normally eat so was a bit challenging keeping them going some days… and the restaurant environment was a little distracting for LM at times so the dvd player and baby jake came to our rescue at most mealtimes. I know there was other people judging us and I probably judged us too but it was worth it to he able to eat without juggling a wailing baby. At least there was lots of other families with small children there which was brilliant as lots of us in the same boat trying to keep babies and toddlers happy.restaurant

LM absolutely adored the pool and was desperate to be in there whenever we went near it. Both hubs and I had so much fun with her in there which was lovely.LM in the pool

We also sometimes set up a dinghy with some water and toys so she could have a play in there and she adored that too.LM dinghy

Unfortunately though Monkey was not a fan of the pool. It was very cold as the water was being constantly recirculated and really didn’t ever get warm. As a result, after the first day Monkey point blank refused to go in and if we attempted to coax him in we were met with screams, shouts and full on meltdowns. Joy. Such a shame too as the kids pool was great with slides in and so all the other kids seemed to absolutely love it.. and LM had absolutely no problem with the temperature. We did occasionally persuade him to play by the side of the pool or paddle a little… but it took a LOT of effort!Monkey and pool

There was a lovely little beach literally within 5 mins walk and it was gorgeous, really secluded and surrounded by bushes so very peaceful. The only downside was that it is a preservation beach meaning that they are not allowed to remove any of the kelp and seaweed that washes up onto the beach so the beach was covered. Monkey and Daddy still had a fab time building sandcastles and we got LM paddling for a bit… but sadly she didn’t much like the sand so wasn’t happy there for long.the beach

So we had one little one who didn’t like the pool and one who didn’t like the beach. Not exactly a recipe for a relaxing beach/poolside holiday. After a couple of days we realised we needed to do something else as the kids were driving us mad and we were getting snippy with each other.

Our first little outing was a trip to the capital Mahon to visit the market. Monkey had a meltdown to end all meltdowns and we ended up using the naughty spot on a random street corner while I walked a screaming LM up and down in her buggy to get to sleep. Not exactly the best start! We did turn it around though and had a lovely boat trip on the harbour and a nice lunch. I will write more about that in a seperate post though.Mahon

The following day was a very chilly day and we planned on going to the little zoo on the island which was really lovely as many of the animals have been rescued and have lovely big enclosures to enjoy. Unfortunately it poured with rain shortly after we arrived meaning we go soaked as we looked round. We still very much enjoyed it though, and because of the rain we practically had the place to ourselves. The kids loved looking at all of the animals and running from shelter to shelter!zoo

In the evenings after dinner we generally wandered around with the kiddies, Monkey made friends with other kiddies and LM loved toddling around. She really is a sociable little thing and kept going up to people meaning I had to have a few slightly awkward conversations, but for the most part people cooed over her and she basked in their attention! One evening after walking around she had a little cry but got over it and we didn’t think much of it. I carried her back to the apartment where I looked down and realised my shorts were covered in blood! She had a nasty nasty cut on her toe and we felt like terrible parents for not even realising. Poor thing.

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There was a mini disco at 8.30 every night that I am pretty sure Monkey would have loved as he loved dancing on the stage and dancefloor but LM was too tired to stay up for it and as they were sharing a room it was easier to put them to bed at the same time. So hubs and I took a few drinkies with us up to the apartment and either read our books, compared photos or just had a natter. Quite nice to have a change from tv and blogging that takes up our evenings normally!

The journey home was similar to the first and LM slept a bit on the plane but took a lot of entertaining the rest of the time. Monkey was really good but it was still hard work and by the time we had got our bags and the car and made the long journey home from the airport it was nearly 11pm. A very long day and I think we are still recovering actually!

It was a good holiday but it definitely had quite a few negatives unfortunately. I am not sure we will do the same type of holiday again at least not for a while, and hubs is adamant he doesn’t want to make a plane journey again until LM is around Monkey’s age, as he feels that the stress of the return journey wiped out the benefit of the rest we had gotten that week. I don’t feel that it was quite that bad but we do enjoy our UK holidays too so will stick with those for a while I think!

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Visiting Stonehenge in the rain

On our recent holiday down south we decided as it was only an hour or so from where we were staying in Dorset, that we would like to take the opportunity to visit Stonehenge. We picked a day and booked our tickets in advance for the Sunday and made our plans. It is run by English Heritage but National Trust members get free entry too (woohoo!) so if you are thinking of going it is worth considering membership of one or the other as tickets to Stonehenge are quite expensive in themselves. Sunday turned out to be a really wet and miserable day unfortunately, but we decided to stick with our plans and head over, hoping for a bit of let up.

When we arrived it wasn’t actually raining, though it was freezing! We had taken waterproofs for the rain but thought it should still be quite warm so hadn’t taken jumpers for hubs or I – big mistake as it was so cold, we ended up buying some rather fetching Stonehenge hoodies from the gift shop. (It’s actually quite amusing that most have my hoodies have been bought from a gift shop for the same reason, incl. one in NY and one in San Francisco, clearly I regularly under-estimate how warm I will be!).

We originally planned on heading straight for lunch, and then going out to see Stonehenge itself afterwards, but as it wasn’t raining we decided to make the most of the let up and head straight up there (thank goodness we did). So we had a ride on the bus with the kiddies and got to Stonehenge itself. There is a path part of the way round and then grass to walk around the rest of the site. You can’t get up close to the stones which is a shame but understandable.

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We had great fun taking some silly selfies of us all with Stonehenge in the background (or not, depending how good our aim was!).

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It was very bleak though and Monkey was getting a bit moany so we did have to have a good run around to keep him happy – I think a lot of other people there thought we were bonkers but Monkey was happy so that’s all that matters.

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It’s a shame the weather was so bad as we really didn’t want to stay there long and after one time round we went back to the bus and back to the visitor centre…. where, would you adam and eve it… there had been a power cut. The first one ever apparently. But this affected all lighting, the toilets, the exhibitions and worst of all the cafe!

After a bit of queueing and wondering what we could actually eat we managed to get literally the last 2 cups of tea they could get out of what hot water they had. We had sandwiches as there was no soup or any other hot food as obviously they had no power. Not good on such a cold day but at least we got hot drinks. By the time we had our food the rain had well and truly returned and the bus loads of people returning from Stonehenge were all soaked to the skin and poor things couldn’t even get a hot drink so I was glad we had come back when we had.

After our light lunch we wandered over to the exhibitions… where nothing was working so there wasn’t a huge amount to see.

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Lights off and blank screens, very disappointing!

LM needed some milk so we hung around a bit rather than just leaving and I’m glad we did stay as the power did eventually come back on. If she hadn’t needed a feed I think we may just have come away and we wouldn’t have seen any of it.

With the power working again there is a great display where you stand as if in the middle of the stones and see it through the years and at different seasons. All of the displays and videos were great when they were working too and really interesting.WP_20150726_13_23_56_Pro WP_20150726_13_25_54_Pro

There are some roundhouses to see outside and we did start to go out to see them but it was so wet that we gave up and just got back in the car to drive back to the cottage.

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The joys of british summertime eh? One day gorgeous sunshine, the next absolutely miserable.

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Our Dorset Holiday

You may have seen that we have just had a very lovely holiday in Dorset. We have been house sitting for just over a week for some friends of ours who live in a very cute, quaint little country cottage. It is picture postcard pretty but also a little run down with cracks in walls and damp ceilings and TONNES of spiders!

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It is also in the most gorgeous setting, on a farm in the middle of the countryside. The farmer’s (massive) house is nearby along with a few holiday cottages they rent out but otherwise it is just surrounded by fields, trees and rolling hills.

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Being on a farm there are lots of animals around too, cows, horses, sheep, dogs, a”barn cat” who is a mouser that lives in the barn. She’s also about 1010 yrs old, very gentle and so good with the kiddies! The little ones have loved stroking her and even when LM has gotten a little over excited and pulled her fur (eek) she has barely flinched! Lovely pussy cat.

animals

We had the real extremes of weather, from blazing sun to torrential rain and we obviously had some highs and lows. Some highs of the trip include gorgeously sunny days out to the coast and on steam railways to castles (posts about those to follow) and actually a wonderful day at Stonehenge which was in parts disastrous but also lucky and just good fun, despite being a very wet day! More of that to come in another post.

We did have some lows too, including the most disastrous trip to the beach ever. I was on my own with the kids while hubs got his head down to do some work and as the forecast was for sun headed to the beach. It rained a little on the way but hoped we were headed to blue sky. I had researched and found what I thought was a sandy beach not too far away. Then we arrived and saw this mountain of stones at the edge of a completely stony beach.

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Walked around a little and could find no sandy beach so at the lowest point I could find proceeded to make a few trips up and down the hill of stones to get me, 3 bags, buggy, both kids and a wind shield onto the beach. Only to be faced with an evem steeper decline on the other side of the hill towards the sea.

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LM decided she didn’t like the noise of the sea so I didn’t want to get any closer, though it was blimmin windy at the top of the hill! I started to set up the wind shield,and the heavens (which had been darkening but I had been ignoring in my task of just getting up the hill) opened. So we ended up huddled behind the windshield, both LM and Monkey crying because they were cold and wet,trying to eat a picnic. Then the rain stopped, a few more trips back down the hill later, more screaming from the kiddies,and I packed them back in the car. Disaster!! Talk about best laid plans!! My feet hurt so much after all the running up and down the stones barefoot (my flip flops made it even worse so had to go with bare feet) and that was by far the low point of the week.

Some of the best bits though were seeing my kiddies having a whale of a time on the playpark on the farm (which had an awesome boat swing that I want to get for our swing at home) and just in running around the cottage garden.

 

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Oh and watching Monkey jumping in muddy puddles on the very wet days!

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Lots of happy times and though hubs was working a lot of the time we also got a lot of time together as a family which has been very lovely. By the end I both didn’t want to leave and get back to normality, but was also looking forward to getting home and our creature comforts, family and friends.

And then the fun began...

Best of Worst

Picturesque

My word of the week this week, is picturesque, as we have been in a very picturesque part of the country. We have been housesitting for a friend in Dorset in a very picturesque little cottage.

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It has been such a lovely week, and we have seen some beautiful places and had lots of fun. It’s a semi-holiday as Hubs has been working from here but we have been able to spend a lot of lovely time together as a family. Plus there is something about being right out in the countryside that can’t help but make you feel at peace…. although the cockerel crowing at 5am every day is slightly less peaceful!

I have never been to this part of the country before and have very much enjoyed exploring it. Back to normal for next week so will write more about what we have been up to on another day. But for now, the internet connection is not great for uploading pictures so here are just 1 or 2 of the gorgeous places we have been.

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The Yorkshire Coast: Whitby & Runswick Bay

When  you think holiday, you very often think seaside or beach. Not all holidays of course but they do seem synonymous. For our holiday to Yorkshire I knew that most of our days would be spent exploring the countryside inland, but, Monkey does love the seaside so I wanted to see what the Yorkshire coast offered us in terms of beautiful beaches, and we were not disappointed.

We kept an eye on the weather forecast and chose the best day weather-wise to head to the coast, as we knew it may be a little chilly or breezy compared to inland. First stop was Whitby. Hubs had been before many years ago but I had never been and it was a gorgeous day and Whitby is a lovely seaside town and really picturesque.

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It is also very hilly! We were in Yorkshire so I know I shouldn’t be surprised but pushing the buggy up some of the steep hills definitely gave my legs a good workout compared to the flats area that we live in! We loved the view from the clifftops down to the lovely beach below and across to the aAbbey. After visiting Fountains Abbey we decided not to see Whitby Abbey up close and focused on the town itself, having a lovely wander round, and we stopped at a gorgeous child friendly café for lunch.

Whitby

We then headed a little further North up the coast towards a little place I had found called Runswick Bay. A lovely small fishing village in beautiful enclosed bay with a gorgeous sandy beach. It was a lovely day and with the bay being enclosed we were very protected from any coastal breezes and had a lovely time.

Runswick Bay

It was LM’s first time on a beach and she was good as gold lying in the shade of our wind protector while Monkey and Daddy had a whale of a time making castles and exploring the beach.

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It was such a beautiful spot and I was so glad we found it. The hill to get to the beach is massively steep though so worth bearing that in mind when thinking about carrying things/children.

 

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#YorkshireFamily with Yorkshire Tots

Lotherton Hall, nr Leeds

Last week we headed up the A1 towards Yorkshire for a lovely little family holiday. We wanted to head off first thing in the morning during LM’s first sleep but couldn’t get into the cottage until 3pm. We decided we would stop off along the way, but actually made really good time that morning and decided to carry on a bit further than the halfway point where we thought we would stop. The question was, where to stop?

SatNavs are great but I love a good map, and this is the perfect example of why. I got the map out and had a look for some landmarks and places where we could visit. I found Lotherton Hall, just off the A1 not far from Leeds and after a quick look online (thank goodness for mobile internet) decided it was the perfect place for a little visit!

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Entry was £5 per adult, 2.50 for children but under 5s go free which was great for us and compared to a lot of places we have visited I didn’t think the price was bad at all! (There is membership available too if you are local and there seemed to be a lot of mums with kids there who go there regularly.

So what is there? Loads! It’s a lovely big house which you can go round, though we found plenty to keep us amused outside. There are manicured gardens where you can play games on the lawns, a rock garden to explore, a lovely woodland walk with some adventure play areas amongst the trees (more on that later) 2 big play areas, a cafe and outdoor seating area, plenty of picnics spots, and to top it off a big bird sanctuary in the centre of the grounds!

LM woke up when we arrived so we headed straight to the cafe for some refreshment. the cafe was lovely and not too expensive, with a lovely sunny seating area. I was also really impressed to see a section of the stables set aside for indoor picnics on days when the weather is less than warm. So many places don’t provide indoor eating areas unless you buy their food, so I thought this was a nice touch.

We then headed to the main playarea, which is huge! There is so much to do for all different abilities and Monkey had a fab time climbing, though Mummy did have to clamber up and help him on one of the difficult bits, after that we kept him on the younger side of the playarea hehe. He also got his first ride on the zipwire swing and he absolutely adored it! Trying to get him to hold tightly enough was a challenge though!

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After a bit of a play we went for a wander and discovered the bird sanctuary! We had no idea it was there and it was massive with lots of lovely fascinating birds with many of them in really nice roomy enclosures. they even had a couple of condors and one of them was suitably impressing us by showing off his awesome wingspan.

lotherton hall bird garden

Then it was picnic time and we headed to a big field, which is where we discovered another play area! Spread across the field was all manner of climbing frames, swings, monkey bars, spinny things, two more zipwire swings and all sorts – and there was a lot of children out there enjoying the sunshine and having a lovely play on all of the equipment.

After lunch we took a stroll to get LM to sleep and had a little look at the deer park,  then wandered through the woods. Which is where we discovered lots of lovely wooden play equipment spread amongst the trees. Some of the wooden beams took hubs and I back to our childhood and we had a great time running across the spinning beam – miraculously I surprised us all and managed it on my first run across… but couldn’t do it at all when hubs tried to catch it on camera lol. Monkey thought it was great fun seeing Mummy and Daddy playing!

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We headed back to the field after that and had a bit more of a play there before deciding to head on to our holiday cottage

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We had a lovely time at Lotherton Hall, there is so much to see and do which to me makes the entry fee totally worthwhile. If we lived nearer I imagine we would go quite a lot as Monkey loved it too!
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A Change of Scenery

You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet here lately.. and that’s because we have had a bit of a change of scenery. For the last week we have been on holiday in lovely Yorkshire!

Hubs doesn’t like me talking online about going on holiday until after the event. I’m not sure why as I highly doubt any of my lovely readers are stalkers who would rob us the second we go away but as I can’t categorically prove otherwise I don’t argue the request.

Anyway,we have had such a lovely time. We have seen the ruins of castles, abbeys, & temples and have been to the seaside.

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We have spun in the sunshine, chased bubbles, eaten picnics, walked through the woods, built sandcastles and met up with friends.

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In some ways going on holiday as a parent feels a little like a busman’s holiday. You still have all the same things to do and children to take care of and it can definitely be stressful at times. I swear I packed just about everything imaginable, including the kitchen sink, but still somehow managed to forget things we needed and have had to buy! (Thankfully we are in Yorkshire though not on Mars so can buy things :)).

We still have a toddler to entertain and a baby who needs feeding, changing, playing with etc. but the change of scenery does do the power of good and there is no (or at least less) housework to worry about for the week. Hubs and I get to spend some time together, sharing the load of the childcare and we have had lots of lovely fun as a family.

Plus we have been to able to enjoy some gorgeous views of green rolling countryside and absorb a lot of history. There will be some more detailed posts about the fab places we have visited over the weeks to come :).

My word this week is scenery. How has your week been?

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