7 articles Tag uk

Best Family Days Out in Cambridgeshire

Best family days out in CambridgeshireEveryone loves a family day out, and it’s a great chance to bond and explore the world together. Cambridgeshire has a lot to offer in that regard, pleasing clans the world over decade after decade. There’re great transport links here too, so you can quickly get the train from Huntingdon to Peterborough, with very little fuss – you’re never cut off in Cambridgeshire.

However, if you need further inspiration as to what you can get up to here, here’re 3 good ideas for family days out in Cambridgeshire.

Punting in Cambridge

Punting is iconic of Cambridge, and Cambridge is iconic of Cambridgeshire. Even young kids can get involved if they’re positioned toward the middle of their parents’ flat-bottomed boat. You can explore all the small rivers of Cambridge this way, and ease into a serene and relaxing day spent drifting along the water with your loved ones.

Don’t want to do any of the legwork yourself? That’s okay! In Cambridge, you can take guided tours while punting, the same way you can clamber aboard an open top bus in most of the major tourist cities and have a guide inform you on your surroundings. It’s certainly a tranquil way to pass the time with your folks, so give it a go!

The Riverside Park

The Riverside Park can be found in Huntingdon, and here your family can enjoy a lot of different activities. These include walks along the river, hay meadows, canoeing, river cruising and there’s even an enclosed children’s play area for the day’s activities. The park has a nice and quiet atmosphere, so if you’re looking for somewhere to lay low and unwind, The Riverside Park is that perfect place you crave.

In the summer, you can also expect to find concerts and local bands showcasing their talents too. Therefore, there’s a nice laid-back vibe here that feels more like a gathering of village locals than a big bustling city park that’s teeming with strangers. In the end, you wouldn’t be the first person to swap a city for some country living, so pay a visit if it sounds like you’d all love it there.

Nene Park

Located in the heart of Peterborough, Nene Park is full of things to do for the whole family. It plays host to Ferry Meadows, which is one of the largest country parks in Cambridgeshire. Train rides, open water swimming, sailing, climbing and of course long walks, it’s all available here. There’s a lovely cafe to be found here too, so if you or your kids need a little rest at any point, you’re covered!

You can also tailor your day even further to your needs by utilising the Ferry Meadows events programme if you have a particularly big family on an ambitious adventure. Pick out what you want to do and get to it! In any event, there’s seemingly endless woodland, meadows and water to play in here, providing everything you need for a great family day out.

Days Out – Visiting Bristol

BristolGiven the fact that we’ve just got a new puppy, a foreign holiday is pretty unlikely for us this year. We are, however, planning a few day trips around the country (now that we’ve managed to rope some of our lovely family members in to look after Maureen for the day!) and one of the places I really want to visit is Bristol. I’ve got a fair few friends who live in or around Bristol, so I thought I’d ask them what the best things were to do on a day out in Bristol. Here’s what they said:

Jennifer from My Mummy’s Pennies said “Visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain and have a lovely walk around the quayside. We were there two weeks ago and really enjoyed it.”

Stacy from It Takes a Woman said “We The Curious is really good. Loads of experiments and activities and you can scan your wristband and access your results/photos etc when you get home…”

Liz from Me and My Shadow said “Do the Banksy trail – there’s an app!”

Aly from Bug, Bird and Bee said “We like visiting Cabot Tower at Brandon Hill. The tower is over 200 ft tall and looks out over Bristol. It’s smack bang in the middle of a nature reserve. There’s a big kids play park.”

Carolin from Mummy Alarm said “The street art south of the river is amazing. There’s so much to see on your own or on of the many street art tours and there are some really cool and quirky restaurants along North Street in Bedminster.”

Rachel from Rachel in Real Life said “For parks I’d recommend St Andrews Park and Blaise Castle. From Easter until September (maybe October, can’t remember) St Andrews has a paddling pool. Blaise Castle is near us and we go regularly. It has two separate play areas and loads of open space. Excellent value for money is Avon Valley. Reasonably cheap to get in and lots to do. Though again, mainly outdoors so best on a nice day.”

Cass from Frugal Family said “I went to Hestercombe Gardens yesterday – it was beautiful!”

My friend Becky, who isn’t a blogger but is a displaced Bristol native, said “Go and see a Rovers game!”.

Lots and lots of wonderful options of things to do! If you need transport while you’re in Bristol, why not give AA Taxis Bristol a call?

Exploring Northern Ireland: Family Travel Tips

Deciding on the perfect family holiday location can be a bit of a chore. Not only do you have to take budgets, time and activities into account, but you also have to plan for the whole family. It might seem obvious, but you have to make sure that each member of the family will be happy with the location that you have chosen. Otherwise, you might find yourself left with a group of grumpy family members ready to sulk throughout the whole break!

Of course, this is something we all want to avoid, so it is vital to get that all-important location just right. For the perfect balance between a UK staycation and an exciting trip abroad, why not choose Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland is great for an enjoyable family getaway, offering stunning scenery, plentiful sights and attractions and all the fun of travelling abroad without the long, tedious journeys and the worries of trekking the whole family thousands of miles across the globe.

As well as this, large parts of the country are off the usual beaten tourist trail, offering a quieter atmosphere and a chance to escape the never-ending crowds usually encountered at the most popular destinations. Add to this the sheer array of places to explore and sights to encounter, and it isn’t hard to see why Northern Ireland makes the perfect destination for a memorable family holiday.

Where to Go

With so many attractions on offer, it can be tricky to decide where to visit. A good place to start can be to get the whole family involved – set everyone loose to do some research, and come up with a shortlist of places to visit that everyone has contributed to and helped to put together. That way, you can easily put together a rough guide itinerary including places that suit everyone. Avoiding sulks and family arguments – what could be better?

Of course, as with any holiday destination, there are a few must-see sights. For example, no trip to Northern Ireland is complete without a visit to the capital, Belfast, or the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. If you do decide that you want to head out and visit some of the more popular attractions, a great way to ensure that you see everything without giving yourself a headache over excessive planning is to book yourself onto a tour. Head out on a Giant’s Causeway tour from Belfast, where you will stop off at all the most stunning, famous sights along the way, perfect for plenty of photo opportunities!

What to Pack

Of course, you are probably familiar with the seemingly endless list of things that need to be packed when you are preparing for a trip away with the family. But aside from the usual spare sets of clothes and toys to keep the little ones entertained, don’t forget to pack according to the season, weather and the length of your stay. Northern Irish weather is very similar to our own, so even if it’s forecast bright and sunny, it’s always worth packing a raincoat and brolly just in case! If you are planning to head out on your own to explore the beautiful countryside, it may also be worth purchasing a local map or guide book to help you throughout your stay. Getting lost is never much fun, but if you end up getting lost in an unfamiliar country with the kids in tow, it’s guaranteed to be even worse. That being said, with the proper preparations, there is no reason why you can’t get organised and have a fantastic time.

Although we may be reaching the tail end of summer 2017, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still get busy planning your next getaway. After all, Northern Ireland is a country that can be enjoyed throughout the year, and you never know where your travels might take you next!

Making the Most of Summer with all the Family

Summer is in full swing, the kids are off school and it is the perfect time to enjoy some valuable family time out and about together. So what are you going to do? You can do something cool like a trip in an RV. But make sure to take a portable ice maker with you because instant ice is always handy in summer.

As a parent, summer is an interesting time of year. We love having the kids’ home, but six weeks is an awfully long time to keep them busy! After the initial excitement of being off school for the summer wears off, there is still a month that is void in their calendars.

To avoid catching the boredom bug, which can result in a long, long summer for mums and dads, days out is a great way of breaking up long periods of nothingness. Kids can only sit around and play video games for so long, after all.

Trip to the Seaside

Who doesn’t look forward to a trip to the seaside in the summer? This is an annual tradition among many families who make full use of the summer holidays to take the kids up to the beach. Buckets and spades and watching the waves make for a fantastic day out, especially when you add ice cream into the mix!

In the UK, we are lucky to have many glorious beaches to spend the day or weekend, on the account of us being an island, and it would be rude not to take full advantage! Blackpool is a favourite among many families, who affectionately refer to the North West seaside resort as England’s answer to Las Vegas. While that may be overselling the area just a little, Blackpool is still a fantastic place to take the kids.

To the City

A day in the city, surrounded by shops and countless places to eat, makes for an exciting and, equally as, tiring day out. To make the most of a trip to some of the bigger cities in the UK, why not stay for a few days so as you can fit as much in a possible?

There are many hotels in cities like Nottingham, London, Manchester and Edinburgh (to name but a few) that are perfect for families looking to explore the local area. Depending on where you go, some hotels will also offer entertainment of their own, meaning that the hottest ticket in town may just be right outside of your hotel room door.

Of course, though, when you visit some of the biggest and most historic cities in the UK you don’t want to be confined to your hotel. Many attractions offer discount deals during the holiday season that families can make the most out of. Not only will children have a great time, they can also take away an educational aspect.

Going Abroad

It is no secret that travel agents and airlines hike up prices during the holidays. You might believe that it is too late to book anything for this summer, but this is where you would be wrong with many comparison websites and agents offering late discounts.

The only downside is that late deals generally offer little to no flexibility in terms of dates and rooms, hence why they are available at a discount. If you are able to find a package that works for you, however, you will be in line to make a massive saving on a holiday that would have otherwise come at a premium.

Whatever your summer has in store, ensure that there is something in store for everyone and that the children do not waste away their summer bored indoors. Summers are the time for making family memories, so do not squander the opportunity as it will be gone before you know it.

It is understandable that you may begin to worry about your vacant property while away for long periods of time, but the worry can be eliminated very quickly – there are many vacant property security solutions available right at your fingertips! It’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy your travels.

Schools Around the World

With the kids now back at school, we’re well on our way to being back in a routine (despite poor Sausage having been off for the first three days of this week with tonsillitis :sadface: ). Brantano has produced a number of infographics to illustrate what a school week looks like in various countires around the world; here’s the UK

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Another country that Husband and I really like the look of is the Netherlands. We’ve spoken at length about where we’d go if ever emigrated and the Netherlands is way up high on our list. We love their slightly more laid back attitude to life than the UK and their education system is definitely something which appeals. Here’s their school week:

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I think Sausage would get a huge kick out of not wearing a uniform to school! Also, Sausage actually started school age 4 so having an extra 2 years with them, allowing them to grow and develop at home rather than in a classroom must be wonderful. It’s interesting also to see the male/female ratio of teachers and how so many teachers in both countries tend to be female. Sausage has only has female teachers up to this point in her career, and I wonder how different her experience of school would have been if she’d had a male teacher?

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Japanese kids seem to have it pretty tough – Sausage would not be at all fond of the idea of maths drills and learning the 26 letters of the English alphabet is tough enough at the age of 4 – can you imagine needing to learn almost 100 times that many?! Mind blowing!

Where would you like your kids to go to school? Do you love the UK system? Is 4 way too young or were you pleased to get them in the classroom as soon as possible? Leave me a comment below.

If you are interested to learn more about education around the globe, Cognita Schools are the global leader in independent education.

Are We Fat Because of the Weather?

Exercising in the SunshineFor the last couple of days, Husband and I have been getting out on our bikes for a few hours. In fact, in the last 2 days, we’ve ridden 23 miles, which is a piffling amount for my Husband, who’s a lifelong cyclist, but it’s a huge achievement for me, someone who’s been on a bike probably twice in the past ten years. Sure, I feel a bit like I’ve been repeatedly kicked in the perineum, but I’ve discovered that I actually really love cycling. Yesterday, we rode to Belfairs Woods and around the dirt track and I was knackered beaming by the end of it.

On our rides, I’ve noticed a lot more people out and about, exercising and enjoying themselves. Yesterday, we saw joggers, walkers, cyclists, even a whole bunch of kids taking advantage of the number of free tennis courts that we have around our area. Everyone seemed happy to be out in the sun and their energy levels were infectious. I couldn’t help but wonder if the reason that everyone was engaging in healthier activities was the fact that the sun was shining?

You have to admit, here in the UK, our weather can be appalling – this latest spate of good weather has only just sprung itself upon us after one of the worst winters on record and there’s no denying that cold, wet weather makes us all want to hibernate. When the weather is rubbish, we all like to stay indoors and indulge in comfort food and it’s infinitely harder to find the motivation to exercise.

When your house is warm and cosy, the thought of pulling on your running shoes and pounding the pavements in the cold drizzle is wholly unappealing. The other issue is the fact that we run out of daylight hours before we get a chance to exercise. Anyone who works 9-5 will spend the majority of daylight at work and running in the dark is not my idea of fun (or safety). So, the other option is a gym subscription, but even our local council run gym is now over £40 a month for a basic membership, which is out of a lot of people’s budgets.

Having said all of that, I looked into the statistics and was surprised by what I found. According to the latest data, 61.3% or UK adults are classified as overweight or obese, which is shockingly high, but by the same token 60% of Australian adults are also in the overweight or obese category, which goes to show that there are definitely other factors at work.

Obviously, I can’t blame the fact that I’m fat entirely on the weather, but all I know is this: I have been so much happier exercising in the sunshine this past week and I don’t seem to be the only one. Would we all live more active lifestyles if we had year-round sun?

What about you? Are you more active in the sunshine? Are you a gym bunny all year round or do you hibernate like me? Leave me a comment below.

What Has Happened to the Top 40?

One of my earliest memories as a child is singing and dancing with my Mum to ‘Reet Petite’ by Jackie Wilson. It was re-released in the UK in 1986, so I can have been no older than two or three but I adored it and used to get really sad when the plasticine Jackie would melt at the end of the video!

When I think about it, many of my memories centre around music. When I was 6, I remember watching my mum get ready for her evening bar  job, backcombing her hair and squeezing into some seriously tight Levis, listening to ‘Ride on Time’ by Black Box. Around the same time, my Mum started seeing my step-dad and I fell instantly in love with him when he let me have free reign over his record collection. I’d sit for HOURS on a Sunday afternoon putting on album after album, being oh-so-careful with the needle on the record player, listening to John Lee Hooker, Santana, Van Morrison, The Who, The Cure…he had so many records and it was such an amazing musical education.

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