Quarry Bank // National Trust family days out

Gabe working in the kitchen of the Apprentice House at Quarry Bank

We have been talking about getting National Trust membership for a few years now and for one reason or another never got round to it. But when my friend Claire suggested we meet up for a family day out at Quarry Bank in Cheshire we finally bit the bullet and bought a family membership. Or rather my parents did – thanks for the early Christmas present! Read more

Rheged Dinosaur Encounter // When days out go wrong

Toby and his dinosaur skeleton model

Toby and Gabe love dinosaurs at the moment so on Saturday we decided to  go up to Rheged in the Lake District to catch the last weekend of their Dinosaur Encounter exhibition. The exhibition has been brought to Rheged by the Natural History Museum and features ten animatronic dinosaurs plus a few other activities. Read more

Family Days Out // Brock Bottom, Lancashire

Not far from the A6, between Garstang and Preston you will find Brock Bottom picnic site. It’s a name I remember from my childhood and I’m sure I must have been there before but I don’t remember it. We are always looking for new places to explore with the boys so armed with a picnic and the camera we set off on Sunday to see what was there.

Brock Valley Stone plaque

Unfortunately the information board which should have been on this stone was missing but if had been there it would have told us that this was the site of Brock Mill, a cotton mill built in the 1790s, along with 20 workers’ cottages. We actually didn’t see the remains of the mill as we set off in the opposite direction but I’m sure we’ll find them next time.

There is quite a small (but free) car park at Brock Bottom which was full when we arrived. We didn’t have to wait long for someone to leave so we could get a space though. There are a fair few picnic tables around the edge of the car park, and they all have a metal plate on the end where you can use disposable barbecues. On the disposable note though, there are no bins in the picnic area so be prepared to take your rubbish home with you. Read more

Family Days Out // SEA LIFE Blackpool

Last weekend, as Toby’s treat for reaching the end of his reward chart, we went to SEA LIFE Blackpool for a morning with the fishes. I lived in Blackpool for my whole childhood, and had spent plenty of time there visiting my parents until we moved back to the area last year but I have never been to the Sea Life Centre (as I knew it) before.

Anemone

SEA LIFE Blackpool is just along the promenade from Blackpool Tower and there’s plenty of parking in the pay and display car park behind. As it was a bank holiday weekend we decided to get there in time for opening so it wouldn’t be too busy. We actually had to wait outside for the doors to open and were the second people in there!

Grumpy eel at Sea Life Blackpool

SEA LIFE is fully pushchair and wheelchair accessible – there’s a lift to get up to the aquarium itself but once you’re up it is all on one level. Read more

Lions and tigers and dinosaurs at Blackpool Zoo

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for months! Back in May, after we’d been to Center Parcs, we went to stay with my parents in Blackpool so we could look at some houses. While we were there we took the kids to Blackpool Zoo with my mum. I’ve had these photos sitting on my computer ever since and just haven’t had chance to do anything with them until now!

At the entrance to the zoo there is a dinosaur section and after getting over his initial wariness Toby loved them.

Dinosaurs everywhere

T-Rex

Toby, daddy and a diplodocus

Of course there were lots of live animals too…

Giant tortoise

Toby looking at the tortoises

Tiger Tiger

Mummy cuddles waiting for the tigers

Giraffe

Meercat at Blackpool Zoo

Three generations

Sealions

Gabe slept for most of the time we were there but as you can see he wasn’t too impressed when he woke up!

Gabe not impressed with being woken up

Toby enjoyed himself though – he definitely liked the flamingos…

Flamingoes

Big grins from Toby

If I’m totally honest, although Toby did like looking at the animals he had the most fun walking along these benches in front of the elephant!

Walking on benches

Elephant

Blackpool Zoo is just round the corner from my parents house and my mum is a member so I’m sure we’ll be spending more time here now we live so much closer. Maybe next time we go Toby will be a bit more interested in the animals and perhaps Gabe won’t sleep the whole time!