Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Wet walk round Wicken Fen

This afternoon we went for a walk around Wicken Fen. It started off slightly overcast but then the heavens opened and we got soaked - mainly because it hasn't rained for so long we were unprepared.

We enjoyed watching the sparrows near the cafe!

 Then we went for a walk around the fen.

 We found one of the herds of free roaming Konik ponies.

 There were many beautiful flowers out.
 and then we hid from the rain!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Whipsnade Zoo

We enjoyed a fantastic day out at Whipsnade Zoo.The zoo is about an hour and a quarter from Cambridge. You can pay to take your car into the Zoo itself (it’s not cheap (£25 on top of your ticket price) but if you have small children, loads to carry round or little ones who won’t walk too far but refuse the pushchair it would say it’s worth it). However we used the free parking and walked round the site. There is one part where you need to drive through but there is a steam train we took instead!

The zoo is very large (600 acres to be exact, and home to over 2500 animals) and we spent all day wondering round - we had to get back for a dance lesson so there was plenty we didn't investigate such as the children's play area (which P looked at longingly and looked fab), the children's zoo area and the many keeper talks/animal feedings!

You can’t help but look at the views across the Chilterns from the zoo - it’s a wonderful sight. We loved the animals loose round the grounds!

One of our favourite parts was the walk through lemur area. They were very active and jumping around, leaping from one side of the path to the other!

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

30 days wild - Day 13 Penny Walk

Today P and I went for a walk in the sunshine. The idea of a Penny Walk is that every time you come to a junction, one tosses a penny. Heads you turn right and tails left. We had a great walk, although we decided at a certain time we just had to head home!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

30 days wild - Day 11 Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Today we went to the Lee Valley Hockey Centre to watch England vs Netherlands. It was such fun to watch amazing hockey! The girls really enjoyed it as well!

  We then had a quick wonder through the beautiful Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, bustling animal habitats, waterways, colourful flowers and insects.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Quarry Bank Mill

On our way to the Lake District we stopped off at Quarry Bank Mill. This fitted in with adventure 31 - travel back in time (from our Amazing Family Adventures book), enabling the girls to find out about victorian working conditions!

Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire, England, is one of the best preserved textile mills of the Industrial Revolution and is now a museum of the cotton industry. The mill was started in 1784 and over the following one hundred years, harnessed water power to drive the machinery which prepared the yarn for spinning, but later moved on to steam power in order to power the actual looms. We went inside the restored industrial building into which much of the original machinery has been replaced.

You can trace the whole process through from the arrival of the sacks of cotton bolls through to the cotton being prepared as yarn, to it being loaded onto the looms and made into different fabrics
The clattering noise from just one machine is pretty deafening: multiply it to reflect the fact that in the 1830’s there were over three hundred looms operating, and the cacophony must have been terrifying!
We then visited the The Apprentice House where young apprentices who arrived at Styal Mill in the 19th century  were housed. The guided tour talked about life these children had - who were very lucky compared with their friends who were not chosen to go with them but who were left in the Liverpool workhouse.The girls had a taste of the life of an apprentice, trying bed making, emptying chamber pots, writing with a slate pencil copying copperplate handwriting and seeing real live leeches in the medicine cabinet!
 We then had a quick wonder round the very beautiful gardens!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Amazing Family Adventures: Fun days out and action-packed weekends


I have ordered this book from Amazon and I will use to plan some fantastic days out for us! The book begins with easy and approachable adventures perfect for families with younger kids, such as foraging and fossil hunting, and progresses into more challenging adventures, such as wild swimming, surfing and wilderness survival. The adventures range from an afternoon trip to the farm to camping excursions, so can be used for spontaneous half-term day trips or for summer holiday ideas. Each activity comes with suggestions of NT places to visit for the adventure, and the ideas take in woodland, beaches, mountains and parks.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Badminton Horse Trials

Yesterday we went to Cross Country day at Badminton.  It takes about 3 hours from Cambridge, although the last few miles takes a long time (it added about 45 minutes) just to get in to the ground! I have always loved watching it on the television but actually going gives you a real feel for how large the jumps actually are and how tight some of the turns are!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Review of our April to do list

Review of our April to do list:
  • Enjoy a trip to Herefordshire
 We had a great trip. The highlight for me was our walk on the Breacon Beacons and canoing down the Wye.

  • Visit some National Trust Places in the Spring
Locally we went to Wimpole and Ickworth and whilst on holiday we visited Stowe and Croft Castle

  • Attend the Cambridge Literary Festival
P and I went and had a great time, although I did not enjoy queuing for over an hour to buy Jacqueline Wilson's new book.

  • Go to Kew Gardens
Sadly, we couldn't fit this in!
  • Enjoy some Easter baking
We made easter biscuits, chocolate nests and P made some low sugar sweets from her science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Literary Festival

On Saturday, P and I went to Cambridge Literary Festival (I was going to take E but she had a gym competition and the older 2 were (supposedly) revising). We heard the amazing Jacqueline Wilson talking about how she got in to writing and how the Jackie magazine (for those of us of a certain age) was named after her!
 We also heard Mark Lowery - who was very very funny but maybe slightly old for P.

Monday, 17 April 2017


We re-visited Stowe in the Spring which was just as lovely I remember it with all its quirky temples and follies!

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Holiday in Herefordshire

We had a week in the lovely Herefordshire countryside.  In glorious unseasonably hot (where we got burnt as it never occurred to me to pack suncream) we walked in the Brecon Beacons completing the glorious horseshoe ridge walk which including joining the hordes at the top of Pen y Fan.

 We found tadpoles!!!
The next day we went back and did the waterfall walk which we had done a few years ago. It allows you to actually walk behind Sgwd yr Eira which is amazing.

 On my mum's birthday we visited Croft Castle. We went inside the castle which is set up to reflect life there in the middle part of the 20th Century before getting to explore the parkland including the beautiful old oak trees and the bluebells just starting to appear!

 We visited the stunning Tintin abbey
 and the girls enjoyed the junior Go-Ape course in the Forest of Dean. (P said it was the best thing she did this holiday).

The big 3 and the husband vanished to try caving at the near by Clearwell Caves, but as P is too young we stayed and explored the Forest of Dean where we walked the Sculpture Trail (which I remember walking with my dad years and years ago) and the Gruffalo trail.