Nene Valley Railway

Last weekend we had a family wedding to attend in Peterborough, which is a good few hours away from where we live. Being a wedding we had plenty of notice to look for something to do the day after the wedding as we had planned to stay overnight and save the journey home in the evening.

We decided we didn’t want anything that was going to take up the whole day, we planned on travelling back by early Sunday afternoon. That meant we could still give the children dinner at home and do our normal bedtime routine. While doing the research on what to do near to where we stayed we came across Nene Valley Railway.

Nene Valley Railway is a 15 mile round trip on either a steam or heritage diesel train. The train journey takes you through Nene Valley countryside and 5 stations (including the one you start at). Throughout the year they do a variety of events as well if you wanted to get involved in one of their events.

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American Speedfest at Brands Hatch

Last year something caught my eye on a Facebook post,  I was intrigued and did a bit of research and we ended up going for the first time last year. We had such a great time that as soon as we were home we marked it on our calendar for this year.

The American Speedfest event at Brands Hatch is an American themed vehicle extravaganza, showcasing a whole selection of vehicles from vintage classics, to vehicles from film and tv. Not forgetting the highlight of the NASCAR Wheelan series races as well as live demonstrations from American muscle cars past and present. There’s live music, entertainment and food all helping to create a wonderful experience.

The event runs over both Saturday and Sunday in June, you can buy single ticket for either day or tickets for the whole weekend. They do have an area outside where spectators are able to camp for the whole weekend. If that’s your thing, I can imagine the atmosphere would be amazing.

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An Outlaws Escape – Centre Parcs Sherwood Forest

Last month we went back to Centre Parcs having had such a great time last year. We opted to try for a different location to see how that varied so Sherwood Forest came out as the one we were going to try, as Chris has fond childhood memories from there. If you want to read about our last visit you can find it in A break in the woods – Centre Parcs Elveden.

Sherwood Forest is over 3 hours away from us and we wanted to make sure we got into Centre Parcs at 10am just as it opens to make the most of the first day there. In order to do this we drove up there the day before which was a Sunday, so we could take our time and just stay overnight in a nearby Premier Inn.

This worked really well for us we could plan our stops on the way up for the children, (and me, I still get travel sick on longer car journeys even as an adult) and not have to rush our journey. The traffic was much kinder on a Sunday too.

Day 1 at Centre Parcs

On the Monday morning we got up, we were all suitable refreshed. We had a good breakfast at Premier Inn and checked out ready to head to Centre Parcs. The journey was just half an hour from the Premier Inn we stayed at, and we were so glad we had made the decision to do that. It meant we were all relaxed and fresh for when we got to Centre Parcs.

When you arrive you drive up to the check in hut and are given your accommodation keys and welcome pack.

If you didn’t know already when booking your stay you select the exact position of the accommodation you want so are able to select how far away you want to be from the main village. Or whether you want to be on the outskirts or by the lake etc

We opted to be on the outskirts, hoping we would get more wildlife visitors there. You can’t actually get to your Lodge until 3pm so once you check in you are guided to the car park to park your vehicle and then off you go until you collect your car to get to your lodge later on.

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Centre Parcs Sherwood Activites Reviewed

The last time we stayed at Centre Parcs Elveden I wrote a seperate post about the activities that we tried. I liked the idea of this as it allows for more detail, especially if there is an activity that you may not have tried before. If you would like to read that one you can find it here in Centre Parcs Elveden Reviewed.

Also if you want to read about our whole trip to Sherwood Forest then take a look in An Outlaws Escape – Centre Parcs Sherwood Forest

Woodland Lodge

The lodge we choose to stay in was exactly the same layout as the one we had previously stayed in. This was a deliberate decision to help us settle and we really liked the way it worked for us last time.

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The lodge was a quaint two bedroom, open planned style. As you entered your lodge, it opened into a small entrance with a door to the main bathroom on the right. Behind you was a door into a separate toilet. We never used this toilet again this time, so that door never opened. The main living area was directly in front of you with a modern, fully equipped kitchen to your right and lounge area straight in front. The bedrooms are off the kitchen and living area. Continue reading

Chessington World of Adventures

While Henry is not yet at school we had decided this year to make the most of any time outside the school holidays we can to go away. Purely because it’s cheaper for us to do so and most places will be less busy. As of September we won’t have that opportunity.

To start that off this year we went and had 2 days at Chessington World of Adventures before our holiday. We booked it in January when there was a special offer on which included the overnight stay and breakfast on Friday morning.

Day 1 at Chessington

Henry missed his session at playgroup on Thursday as that was the first day we had booked. We headed off just after 9 ( a little bit behind schedule, we had to turn back twice, I forgot a couple of things, oops) to miss rush hour traffic.

We hit a little bit of traffic that delayed us even further (bloomin’ M25) and we got there just after 10.50. We were staying in the Safari Hotel in a standard room, so we went and checked in straight away to save us doing it later on.

After check in we were advised to book in for dinner, so we did just that, the main restaurant however didn’t start serving till 6pm and that was too late for us, so we booked in at the Temple Restaurant, that opened at 5. We then walked into the park. If you are staying in the hotel you enter it from a different entrance which walks you through the Amazu.

Henry isn’t that interested in looking at animals yet so we skipped this area to go straight to some rides, we headed for the middle of the park to get our bearings.

That was when Henry saw his first ride that he wanted to go on, it was called Seastorm.

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A whole lot of Bricks.

Chris has always been a fan of Lego having had a lot of it when he was a child. As he still has a soft spot for it (ask a lot of males of a certain age you might see the same glint in their eye) we always thought we would take Henry here when he was the right age. When he turned 3 in March we decided this age might be a good time to go, we just had to plan it in. Theme parks are quite exhausting so we knew an all day trip, there and back again with a 6 month old in tow, may be a bit of a mission. The sensible option was to stay in the hotel the night before to make it easier and less tiring.

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Centre Parcs Elveden Reviewed

As mentioned in ‘A break in the woods’ I will write a more detailed review of the activities we tried and our accommodation. Bear in mind Henry is still only 3 so there was quite a lot we were not able to do as he is still too young.

Woodland Lodge

Our Woodland Lodge was a quaint two bedroom, open planned style. As you entered your lodge, it opened into a small entrance with a door to the main bathroom on the right. Behind you was a door into a separate toilet and through that was a cupboard which housed the boiler, safe, high chair, cot and cleaning equipment. I’ll be honest and say we didn’t open the toilet door till a couple of days in so didn’t even know this was here till then.

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