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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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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Sealife Adventure Southend and arcades.

It’s official we have made a start on The Bucket list 2018, it’s a small start, but it’s a start nonetheless. While we wait for the weather to improve a bit, we are still very much doing indoor activities.

Henry has got really into watching Octonauts lately so the obvious choice for us was to take him to our local Sealife Adventure in Southend-on-Sea. We had told him in advance about the visit, so he was looking forward to it, he wanted to see some manta rays, sharks and of course a blue whale!

EHH! I did have to tell him quite often leading up to the visit that you don’t see blue whales in a sealife centre. I’m pretty sure he didn’t believe me.

For visits like this we often check prices first online to see if there is a discount for buying online and luckily there was. We opted for the family ticket of 2 adults and 1 child (Mollie is under 90cm so they don’t charge), the price is £32 on the website, when we entered the ticket option it then gave us the discount. So if your planning the visit its worth checking first.

Slightly behind schedule we got there just after 10am, it’s quite a simple entry process as we had the tickets already we just had to get our wristbands, which allows you access all day. That’s worth noting, you may want to come in and out, there are various feeding displays scheduled throughout the day.

As you enter the attraction they have added 2 new outdoor exhibits, meerkats and penguins you actually go above these first. If you are expecting to spend a lot of time here, looking at lots of displays etc, word of warning, its a small.

For us much of the actual exhibits went by in a bit of a haze, Henry would look at one tank and within a minute or so he was off to the next one. Honestly I think we got round the whole thing in record time.


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Bucket list 2018

We have now started to plan where we would like to take the children over the next year, and attempting to see where we can fit those things in. Sort of a bucket list. Some we have visited and really loved, so it’s a must to go back. I thought I would share some of the places we are aiming to go, have a read you might find something of interest;

American Speedfest, at Brands Hatch, we went here last year a little bit on the whim, I had heard they showcased the Disney Pixar Cars there the year previously and Henry loves them so we thought we would try it. Unfortunately they didn’t have them last year but they did have the Dinoco Car from the movie. As a day out goes it was amazing, way better than we expected. I’ve not ever had an interest in motor sport but hearing all the Nascar racers start their engines and rev, was quite phenomenal. The noise, I’ve never heard anything like it. It was Fantastic, we are already trying to sort tickets. YES!

Audley end railway, a wonderful place, and we have been several times. it really is one of those places that has an element of magic about it, its the type of atmosphere you need to experience for yourself. Its turned out to be one of my favourite places to visit as a family, I look forward to it every year.

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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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A Break In The Woods – Centre Parcs Elveden

Last week we had a family break to Centre Parcs Elveden , in Suffolk. I have never been to a Centre Parcs before and my husband recommended it as he uhad been to various ones when he was younger. I was a little dubious about staying all in one place without ‘venturing out’ as I had always done on family holidays when I was younger. But I thought we should give it a try to see what it was all about.

Day 1 at Centre Parcs

On Monday we arrived at about 1 o’clock slightly behind schedule, blame the hair straighteners for being too hot to pack in the case. Entry into the ‘drive in check in desks’ was quite quick considering there appeared to be a queue. We had paid an extra £35 for early entry into our lodge, which allowed us about an hour before the majority of other guests arrived at their lodges. That way we could avoid everyone taking their cars back at the same time. We parked the car in the car park and headed into The Village Square to have lunch before our early entry.


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