Days out, Family, london, Uncategorized

A day trip to London (with kids)

Has your child been pestering to visit London since covering ‘The Great Fire of London’ topic at school? My eight year old daughter had asked for a good year, on and off, to visit London, and finally I took it upon myself to take her there for the day.

It started badly. I had booked for us to travel by coach, and when we were ready to depart at 7.45 am, the coach door decided it didn’t want to close. An hour later (after an engineer had fixed the door) we were on our way.

The rest of the trip was truly brilliant. My daughter absolutely loved every moment. We visited the ‘Natural History Museum’, followed by the ‘Science Museum’, cherry picking the bits we wanted to see in each Museum. They are literally five minutes walk from one another, so it was easy to spend half of the day in one before heading to the other.

The dinosaur exhibit, and the Mammal display, was incredible, and I was definitely more excited then my daughter as we walked around (I couldn’t believe how big the blue whale actually was!). After coffee in the on-site café (good cappuccino’s), we headed to the ‘Science Museum’.

Any parent heading to the Science Museum with young children must take note of the fact there is a really good play area in the basement of the Museum. We didn’t find this until the end of the trip, but it was by far the best part for my eight year old daughter. They have water play and sensory toys to keep little people amused, and it was generally far more interactive then a lot of the other displays available. Although the museum was a great day out, we definitely preferred the History Museum, as it was far more interactive, and had more interesting displays, in comparison to the Science Museum. However, I would still recommend both to families looking to visit London.

After a busy day we headed back to our coach, picking up a few pasties on the way as an added bonus! Despite the fact our coach was delayed for two hours coming home, we still had big smiles on our faces when we arrived home. I loved every minute I had there with my daughter, and I will definitely return at a later date to see the parts of the museums that we missed!

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Days out, Family, Parenting, Uncategorized, Wimborne

Dorset Top 5 Easter Holiday activities on a budget

I thought I would do a quick write up on Dorset attractions to consider for the half term. If you’re like me, it’s good to have a few ideas to call upon when at a loose end! Here are my top 5 ideas of places to go on a budget:

  1. Hengistbury Head – You can park up on one of the free roads towards Southbourne sea front and walk along the beach. This location is a great place to fly a kite or search for shells and stones on the beach. Bring a bucket and the children will be entertained for hours (you might even get to enjoy a book to yourself!). If you want to spend a bit of change, head towards the @Hungry Hiker café for an ice cream, or catch the train that takes you up to the top end of Hengistbury head spit. It’s £1.80 one way for an adult, and £0.60 for a child.More information: http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/Parks/ThingstoDo/Hengistbury-Head-Land-Train.aspx
  2. A day out to Lymington can also be enjoyable with children, we had the pleasure of going yesterday in fact. If you park near to the Harbour you can walk to the park that sits next to the estuary. It’s great fun for those that like boats (my little lad loved it!). Bring a picnic and sit in the park, or head into the shopping area where you can buy some delicious pasties from @thepastyshop there. We end up taking a walk around the Lymington-Keyhaven nature reserve, starting at the car park next to the Mayflower Inn. In the summer you can also bring your costumes and enjoy the seawater swimming pool on the seafront. Here is a map link for those of you who haven’t been before: http://www.lymington.org/naturereserve.html.
  3. Visit Stewarts garden centre at Holt, Wimborne. They have a play park hidden away around the side of the garden centre which is lovely for younger children. They even have a few animals there such as ducks and pigs, and it’s completely free to go in. We tend to bring a picnic, or grab a light bite to eat in the café inside the garden centre.
  4. Park for free at Pottern Park on the outskirts of Verwood, and take a 25 minute walk into Moors Valley. The walk itself is beautiful, taking you past the lake and river on the way in. There are a few benches too, so occasionally we’ll have a picnic before arriving at Moors Valley. Fabulously FREE!!!
  5. So many options, and I’m starting to think I should have done a top ten list, but my final suggestion is going to be Upton House in Poole. The grounds are great to walk around here, and they have a coffee shop and toilet facilities. During the warmer months they have a splash area in the walled garden so the little ones can cool off whilst the parents can get the picnic blankets out. We tend to feed the ducks, and take a walk along the pathway on the edge of the harbour. The play area is small, but kept natural with trees to climb through etc.IMG_0449
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    The play area at Stewart’s Garden Centre – Holt
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