Making the most of an inset day with a weekend in Somerset

So earlier this month we were really blessed by having an inset day on a Friday and thought we’d make the most of it by going away somewhere for some quality family time. We originally planned to go camping but a couple of days before we were due to go, our campervan broke down so we had to decide on something else.

We ended up booking a beautiful safari tent on Airbnb that was still available and we couldn’t wait to go. We set off early on the Friday morning and planned to stop somewhere once we’d got around the M25. Finley’s been obsessed with Stonehenge for a while (thanks to Go-Jetters) so we decided to stop there for lunch, and as we’re English Heritage members we knew we wouldn’t have to pay any entrance fee so that’s always a bonus. Finley was so excited to see it in real life and really enjoyed reading about the different types of stones that were used and also learning a little bit about the history and the summer solstice.

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We didn’t actually stop for too long, but had a little walk around the site, took some photos then headed back on the bus to the entrance. We let the boys have a little run around then got some lunch from the cafe. We couldn’t leave without a quick browse in the gift shop so Finley could pick something up to show his teacher and friends at school. He chose a children’s book all about it, a couple of postcards and two little mini stonehenge figurines.

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A couple of hours later and we finally arrived at the farm and it looked beautiful. There were three safari tents in one of the farm fields, opposite some cute little goats that they kept.

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It was just perfect and definitely just what we needed. It had the perfect mix of being in a fantastic rural location, back to basics living, but with those extra creature comforts that we wouldn’t have had if we had been camping. The interior was gorgeous, with lovely comfortable beds and the cutest little cupboard bed for Finley. The tent could be heated using the large wood burning stove, which you also used to cook on. Then there was a separate burner for heating the water for the shower and bathroom.

The boys had so much fun being free to run and explore in the field. They loved feeding the goats and went to see them each morning we were there. We had a lot of fun cooking on the stove and toasting marshmallows on the outdoor bbq. It got pretty chilly in the night and early morning, but we stayed so cosy with the burner on, it really did heat the whole tent.

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We found a lovely local pub for dinner the first night, and explored beautiful Lynmouth the following day.

We really had such a lovely weekend together, and came back feeling like we’d had some quality family time and much needed chill time too.

We will definitely be returning and hoping to plan another weekend on the farm for sometime in 2016

 

 

Our trip to The Peak District 

Way back in August we had a fantastic camping trip to The Peak District. We decided to buy ourselves a camper van at Easter, and we did a couple of days then, but this was our first proper trip – a whole week in the camper! We’ve not really camped much before this, apart from festival camping, but we really did have such a lovely time. I must admit, I do find it hard, the whole communal toilets and shower block thing, and the campsite we chose was really basic, but it was all fine. Of course I made sure I wore my flip-flops in the shower though! We stayed in a beautiful location, at a site called Shallow Grange Farm, it was so picturesque and on a working farm. As I said it was really back to basics, no restaurant, shop or leisure facilities, but actually I loved it. The boys were free to roam (although it was pretty hard confining a crawling baby to the van in bad weather) and explore the surrounding land, and they loved having that freedom. The weather wasn’t the best, but rain was predicted for the whole week, so we did well with just getting a couple of days of it.

There is so much to do, in and around The Peak District, so we were spoilt for choice. It’s somewhere I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now, so I did some research and jotted down all the must-do things. We went to the amazing Chatsworth House twice we loved it so much, visited Bakewell, Buxton and Matloch Bath, rode the cable car at The Heights of Abraham, and spent a day at Alton Towers. We of course went on lots of lovely walks too, and had a beautiful afternoon at Dovedale.

It really has been one of my favourite trips, we absolutely loved the area, and we’re hopefully starting to get the hang of the camping lark a little more, so will undoubtedly make our next trip even easier.

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DSC03568Family photo fail as usual

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{The Ordinary Moments 2016} #2 ‘Planning our travels’

So this is the first full year with Finley at school, and us having to travel within the school holiday’s. Therefore we probably need to plan a little bit further ahead then we usually would, as things just get so booked up. Saying that we are being very naughty and taking a week out of term time later this month for the husbands 40th birthday. I’m definitely not going to make this an annual thing, but we planned it before Finley started school, thinking it wasn’t really much of a big deal, and that if we were ever going to do it, then it would be best to do it whilst still in Reception. Now of course the time has come round and I do feel really bad about it, and am cringing letting the office know (as we haven’t yet!) But anyway, hopefully we won’t be too chastised and hiding our faces upon our return!

We’ve been talking about places we’d like to go and see, most of them within The UK, and i’ve been scouring rental websites and just generally thinking about how many holidays we have to fill and how much we want to be away. Of course I’m happy to have some lazy days at home, see friends and have a few days out, so not be away for them all. But it is nice to have quality family time away from all the daily chores in the house, and explore new places. We bought a camper van last Easter and plan to use this as much as we can, but of course when the weather gets a little warmer!

Thinking about the year ahead, we have the following plans for the first few months…

January

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The mentioned holiday later this month. Ski-ing in France for a week for the husbands 40th birthday. We’re going with another couple and their two children and staying in a beautiful chalet. It’s Finley’s (and obviously Hugo’s) first time ski-ing and everyone is very excited. Finley hasn’t seen proper snow since he was two and doesn’t remember, so he cannot wait to build a snowman and go tobogganing! The husband has had a fair few trips with friends since having children so is pretty good, and me? I have been only once, 11 years ago. And everyones favourite memory is how I made my boyfriend (the now husband) carry my skis back up a mountain as I had a mild panic attack about falling off the edge of the mountain, decided to give up and walk back up! So you could say I’m a little apprehensive… But honestly, I’m so looking forward to seeing some real snow (whats this rubbish we’ve had the last few years?!), eating french cheese, drinking mulled wine and relaxing with my family.

February

Nothing huge planned for this half term, but we will be going to our local theatre to see a show, and I’m sure a couple of wintery days out, hopefully one to a farm to see some early lambs being born

March

With it being a whole two weeks off school, we definitely want to get a few days away, and we hopefully booking a beautiful barn in Norfolk with some friends for the Easter weekend

April

With the first week of the month still being in the Easter holidays, we’re hoping for some Spring weather so we can get out for a couple of days in the camper. Not anywhere overnight, but some not-too-far-away beauty spots for picnics and fun

So that’s all we’ve got so far but I’m very much looking forward to the first part of the year, and planning all the trips and little days out

It’s going to be a great year

Linking up with Katie at Mummydaddyme

Our holiday to Sardinia – July 2015


It took us a long time to decide on where to go for our summer holiday this year. Our first holiday abroad as a family of 4 and we fancied somewhere different, but also not too far as a long-haul flight with an 8 month old might not be the all that much fun! We were travelling with our friends and their little boy who’s the same age as Hugo. We knew we wanted to do a villa holiday as it’s so handy with the littles, and Italy seemed like a great choice. None of us had ever been, but always wanted to go. (Infact, in our life before children, the husband and I decided to learn Italian and hired a private tutor…lets just say it didn’t go too well and we ended up never going to Italy!) In the end we decided on southern Sardinia. We’d heard great things and it also has some of the best beaches in Europe, so Finley would get his beach for his favourite pastime…digging!

The flight was pretty short, just 2hrs 20mins so wasn’t too daunting for us all. Finley was brilliant on the flight, and for a first timer, Hugo wasn’t too bad either! Once we’d landed we had such a long wait for the hire car, but luckily we found a gelato stand to keep the boys entertained!

We finally got the car, and headed to our villa. Unfortunaetly a couple of hours was spent with the children (and the grown-ups if I’m honest) being super tired and grumpy. The villa was in the middle of nowhere, and stupidly we’d decided to head straight there without stopping for some essentials en route. This meant once we arrived we had no drinking water – as the local water came from a well, and nothing to eat. Add this to the weather being 36°c and the babies having skipped dinner, it was not a pretty sight that’s for sure! Eventually all was ok as the boys were sent out for copious amounts of water, pizza and wine!

The Villa was just outside a small town called Villa San Pietro, which was just outside the larger town of beautiful Pula. The villa was lovely, with our own pool and large garden. Both of the boys loved swimming everyday, with the freedom of having a place just for us. The owners even had a huge box of Lego so Finley was overjoyed!

We spent most of our days swimming, relaxing, eating, playing lego and generally just having a really nice time.

We visited a couple of really nice beaches, Nora and Chia. Chia was absolutely beautiful, with white sand and turquoise sea. We would have loved to have spent a lot more time by the sea, but it was just so hot, so we found ourselves either heading there early in the morning, or after the strong afternoon sun.

We all had lots of very late nights, eating out, copious amounts of Gelato and watching the fantastic street entertainers.

It was an amazing week with our friends and we made some truly wonderful family memories.

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Takeaway pizza on our first night

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View from our villa

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the littlest

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the biggest

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Besties

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beautful Pula

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Gelato!

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Finleys heaven

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having the time of his life

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us

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the obligatory eating the sand pic

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my boys

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Pula market

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