Friday, 28 July 2017

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

P and I visited the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, a wonderful little museum packed with his possessions and full of displays about his characters and books. The museum is aimed at children ages 6 to 12 years old and divided into three parts — Dahl's life, his writing process, and an interactive, kid-friendly story centre. I am sure this counts as one of the activities in our book, Amazing Family Adventures, which wants a literacy adventure!
Dahl joined the Royal Air Force in Nairobi after the outbreak of World War II. Being exceptionally tall at 6 feet and 6 inches, Dahl was told by the flying officer that he was too tall to fly. The gallery draws children into this with a measuring stick showing the respective heights of various Dahl fictional characters alongside a life-sized cutout of young Dahl. P is trying to be as tall as Matilda!
The Story Centre encourages children to be creative with magnetic poetry and sticky note plots. There's also a stop-motion animation station, dress up boxes, and place to craft creatures. There is a model of his Writing Hut as the real Writing Hut was protected behind glass in one of the galleries. 
 We had lunch in the twit cafe! My scone was one of the yummiest I have ever tasted and was warm! P had a slice of Bogtrotters Cake.
 Roald Dahl loved to garden! P then did a workshop where she made clay vegetables!
 We then went for a walk following the Countryside Trail, exploring some of the Chiltern countryside that Roald Dahl loved.
 Below is Angling Spring Wood, said to be the inspiration for Fantastic Mr Fox,
 We then also visited the church where he is buried
 and the petrol pumps which inspired the filing station in Danny, Champion of the World.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Glamping Weekend

 We spent a long weekend at Cosy Under Canvas which is located near to Hay-On-Wye, and is a totally off grid site. As when you arrive you lose phone signal.  There are 7 domes across the site which can sleep between 4-6 people. I love that it's been kept so small as you don't feel cramped in and have some privacy. Each Dome also comes with a wood fired hot tub and it's own toilet. Inside is a bed. futons, bean bags, sheep skin rugs, torches, candles and holders and more. Ours even had a little hammock seat. There are gas hobs in the kitchen area so you can make a quick cup of tea and a very well stocked kitchen, solar powered lights, composting toilets and lovely warm wood-fired showers!

 We cooked every night over the fire and enjoyed roasting marshmallows!

 The girls enjoyed the freedom of exploring the site and spent a long time on the swing.
 We also loved the wood fired hot tub! It takes between three and four hours to get hot but amazingly the tub was still warm in the morning and the girls couldn’t wait to get back in.

We also spent some time exploring the surrounding countryside. We went for a walk from the campside, visited Hay on Wye where the husband enjoyed the rather nice beer shop and we liked the book shops. We also went for a lovely walk in the Black Mountains which included climbing Hay Bluff

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!