Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Camp Bestival 2018 - A One Day Visit, Our Review

Last year, Camp Bestival was one of the highlights of our Summer and I knew that we would end up going again this year. As luck would have it, we were only able to go on the Friday (which is the first proper day) and this coincided with the Andy & The Odd Sock show AND the nice weather!

Unlike last year when I packed wellies, raincoats and black binliners, this time round it was sunglasses, sun lotion and plenty of water! We decided to leave nice and early again incase of festival traffic but we needn't have worried, we arrived on site around 830am and got parked straight away. The carpark was massive and we had a good 10/15 minute walk to the entrance but I'm just glad the ground was dry with no chance of my buggy slipping out of my grasp down the hill like last year!

Our first stop was the Dorset Farmers Market for breakfast because surprise surprise, the kids were hungry already! Randomly, on Elliot's summer holiday bucket list he wanted to have a croissant so he managed to tick this one off, it was a chocolate one too. I've no idea where his need for a croissant came from, we have had them before!

After brekkie we headed up to the Magic Meadow to get our bearings and start exploring. I have to say, it was so nice to be able to wander round freely and not be dragging the buggy through thick mud like last year! We didn't really have a strict itinerary - I know some people do at festivals, and you could go through the timings with a fine tooth comb and plan your whole day around who you wanted to see but ours was very much a laid back plan.

The Magic Meadow has a whole host of things to see such as the Bollywood tent, Caravanserai, The Wall of Death, climbing walls, the Love-Bot robot, the Big Top, trapeze and circus school, HMS Bestival (a life sized ship filled with entertainment), an inflatable church, a giant disco ball and the World's Biggest Bouncy Castle. And trust me, it's massive! Elliot missed out on this last year as the queues were too long so we decided to do this first - and luckily because it was still quite early in the day, he was straight on. He loved it!

World's Biggest Bouncy Castle 
We spent the next hour or so wandering through the Castle Field where we discovered the charity area tucked away in a quiet spot. Lots of great charities with stalls and most of them had something for the children to either win or do which is always a bonus! Elliot managed to win himself a big cup of fruit which was swiftly claimed by Erin! The kids spent ages at the Litter Free Coast stall where they got busy making medals and trying on different accessories for a photo. Elliot looked quite fetching in a blue wig!!

Next up was the area Elliot was most excited for - the lower kids garden. Here you will find the Science tent which plays host to lots of live experiments on stage, the CBeebies tent, facepaint, softplay, funfair rides, Insect Circus and Museum, LOL surprise fun, Family Traveller, lots of tempting food and drink vendors and Make Space - which is every arts&crafters dream! There is literally so much to see here that you could spent your entire day in the Lower Kids Garden and not be bored.

Number one on our list was a Duggee hug in the CBeebies tent. My children are obsessed with Hey Duggee and I've heard the Stick song more times than I care to mention! We queued up and as predicted, Erin freaked out at the sight of Duggee. She's not really a fan of a)things bigger than her and b)people in costumes! Elliot got his Duggee hug though and they both had a bounce to the stick song that Elliot sung....those poor people working in the tent, wonder how many times they heard "Stick!" over the weekend?!!

Erin is not impressed!!
We could have spent longer in the Lower kids garden but our tummies were rumbling so we headed up to the Upper Kids Garden which is where the Feast Collective is located. The Feast Collective is a celebration of exceptional, artisan food producers from across the UK and there is something to tempt every taste!

It does get very busy in the tent and I really struggled to get the buggy round due to the crowds, and it was SO hot. Paul got himself some kind of fish dish but I couldn't decide, too much choice! Me and Elliot decided just to get an ice cream - the heat does funny things to your appetite doesn't it. We also spotted Mary Berry at Zoe's Ghana Kitchen and she was filming - I have to say she looked a lot less sweaty and hot than us!

After a quick play in the circus area and a promise to come back later we headed for Dingly Dell. This is an area that I have heard so much about from fellow bloggers but we totally missed it last year! It feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the festival but there were so many things for children to do - plus being a woodland, it was very shady which was VERY needed on a hot day like it was.

Elliot was immediately drawn to the Kew Gardens area where he found a totally amazing interactive installation of a giant fungi. It was fascinating! It was musical, it lit up - I can only imagine that it looked even more impressive at night time.

Heading deeper in Dingly Dell we found Lizzie's Way which Camp Bestival describes as a woodland wonderland. Here we found a mud cafe, potions, woodland snaps, puppet show - so many things to fuel little imaginations.

There was even a wooden band area so of course Elliot had to pretend he was in the Odd Socks!

We could have spent longer in Dingly Dell but we had to get to the Big Top for the highlight of the day - Andy and the Odd Socks!

The Big Top was even bigger this year - and probably just as well because Andy drew a massive crowd. We were right down the front (as usual!) and it was a bit mad down there - I took barely any photos as I was holding Erin up on the barrier! It was a great show and the atmosphere was brilliant in the Big Top. We love the Dinosaur Football Legend Megamatch song and it's always entertaining watching the giant footballs bouncing around the crowd, not to mention the T-Rex on stage!

We were really lucky to meet Andy after the show, we were walking past the barrier and Elliot spotted him. There were quite a crowd wanting to say hello but Elliot was so chuffed that Andy came straight to him for a high five :)

After stopping at Shaken Udder for a delicious milkshake, we headed for HMS Bestival. Erin had a nap while I sat and enjoyed the entertainment on stage. The boys decided to try out the games in the Actual Reality Arcade. Think of your favourite childhood arcade games....but life sized! They were in their element and spent a good half an hour battling laser beams and space invaders.

Bollywood....Camp Bestival Style
After a quick mini rave in the Bollywood tent we decided to head back to the Upper Kids Garden to grab something to eat and it was nearly impossible to decide again! Everything smelt and looked so good but in the end I decided on a tandoori chicken wrap with chips, whilst Paul and Elliot got burgers. Obviously the food and drink prices are a bit higher than average but you do kind of expect that when you go to a festival. Most stalls were offering child portions though which was good to see.

It was lovely to have a sit down and watch the world go by for a bit. We actually bumped into some friends so it was nice to sit and have a chat whilst Elliot and his friend Willow showed off their flossing skills!

One of Elliot's favourite bits of last year's Camp Bestival was the circus area so we made a beeline for this after our food. Elliot literally could have spent all day there! He had so much fun walking the tightrope, attempting to ride a unicycle, balancing and bouncing on the giant balls.

After deciding not to run away with the circus, we headed for the Greatest Tent on Earth in the Lower Kid Garden where we caught the tale end of the ZSL Gruesome Nature Live show. Elliot got a bit upset when he realised he'd missed most of it so we hope we get another chance to see this at some point!

The crowds had thinned quite a lot by this point so we were able to take a look at the stalls - Erin was fascinated by the bubbles by Elliot predictably wanted to look at the toy stall! The staff were really helpful and helped him pick out a diabalo which was the right size for his height. He was a bit of a natural with it and had it spinning like he was a pro!

Our time at Camp Bestival was almost over for another year but on the way back to the carpark we stumbled across one of the parades. This is the first time we have caught one of these and what a treat it was. There was a nautical theme and the parade included a giant mermaid, pirate drummers, jellyfish, lobsters - even a shark! It really was a treat for the eyes and a fantastic way to round off our day at Camp Bestival.

It was a slow walk back to the car - the hill seemed a hundred times steeper going up! We had a fab day and I've no doubt we will be back again next year :)

Monday, 27 August 2018


Well, somehow we have almost made it to the end of the Summer Holidays - I know I say this every year, but where did the time go?! The long heatwave of June and July seems like a distant memory and now I'm seeing posts about Halloween and Autumn pop up on my social media. (It's still summer!!!)

Elliot is due to start in just over a week and will be going into year 1. Unlike last year when I was a bit clueless and just bought EVERYTHING I thought he'd need, this time round we feel like we know the score. My back to school shopping has been quite painless and even the trip to Clarks for new school shoes wasn't so bad!

If you're panicking a bit about the imminent school year, take a look at my essentials list and hopefully we will have you covered!

Yazoo Milkshakes - No Added Sugar
My kids love milkshakes and I was really happy to see that Yazoo have launched a No Added Sugar version of their popular flavours. These would be ideal for lunchboxes or even an after school treat. Also good for Mums - my favourite is strawberry ;)

Bacofoil - Zipper Bags
As a parent, I can't get enough of zipper bags and they come in useful for so many things especially packed lunches! They are tear proof and water resistant and come in a variety of sizes. I like to pop Elliot's sandwiches in a zipper bag and then he has something to put all his lunch rubbish in once he's finished - it makes cleaning his lunchbox so much easier.

Personalised Name Labels - Petit Fernand
I've tried a few different types of name labels including iron on ones, sticky ones and even sew in ones (who has time for that!). Petit Fernand labels are the best I've found by far, you can design the label right down to the colour of the font and I love that there are so many different images you can add to your labels. I personally buy the stick on ones as they are super quick to use and pretty much stay put even with rigorous washing.

Ace - Stain Removal Products (Can be purchased from your local Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose or Sainsburys)
I would never have put this as an essential prior to my son starting school but I didn't realise just how dirty he would get!! His lovely white tshirts were coming home grubbier and grubbier but this stuff literally is Ace, and so good at removing stains. I find that roast dinner days are the worst - I will pop a pic up at the bottom so you can see for yourself! (And it came up like new with a bit of Ace!)

School Uniforms from Pep&Co
When you think of Poundland, you wouldn't automatically think of school uniforms but did you know they have their own fashion label, Pep&Co? They have some fab school bits and you can pick up an entire uniform from £6 which is one of the cheapest on the market!

Able Labels - Personalised Pencils
When I was at school (erm...a few years back!), I was always envious of the children who had personalised stationary. Able Labels do lovely pencil packs which would be ideal for pencil cases and they are all hand personlised which gives a beautiful finish. I'm totally envious of Elliot's new personalised pencils!

Sistema Bottles (Various prices and can be found in all of the big supermarkets)
We've been through quite a lot of water bottles this past year but Sistema is the brand we keep coming back to. I love the fact they are sturdy and don't leak, but they are easy for little hands to open too. My kitchen is starting to look like a Sistema shrine because we have a bit of a collection of them, all in different sizes! 

Fluffy Llama notebook - Ryman (£5.99)
I love stationary and I remember being so excited about going back to school because it meant new pencil cases and notebooks! Llama's seem to be in fashion right now so this fluffy notebook would make you instantly cool and popular with your school friends. I'm wondering if (at 37) I'm too old for a fluffy llama notebook.....

I hope you're feeling organised about the new school year started. Do you have any essentials I may have forgotten?! 

Roast dinner lunch day - when stain removal is very much needed!! 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Why Should You Choose Artificial Grass

Why Should You Choose Artificial Grass
Having grass near homes and office workplaces are considered aesthetic. With the advent of science,
the trend of choosing artificial grass over natural grass is taking priority day by day. If you are skeptical
about choosing artificial grass over natural ones, here is why you should choose artificial grass.
1. Water Bill Saving
Grass does not grow anyway we want it to. To keep it in a healthy condition, you need to cut and
water it regularly. Getting an artificial grass sheet will reduce your expenses of water bills
tremendously with little to no effort on its maintenance.
2. Evergreen
Don’t get us wrong – natural grass is awesome at spring and summer but what happens during
autumn and winter? The grass starts to fade away. It turns brown and starts to disappear in the form
of patches. Now, your home doesn’t have the same beauty it had during the peak season of natural
grass. If you opt for artificial grass, it will maintain its look forever. Organize house parties, formal
dinners and earn the respect of your colleagues, praising you because of your beauty aesthetics.
3. Helpful for Dog/Pet Owners:
If you are a dog owner, growing natural grass is a big problem for you. Natural grass is not synthetically
prepared from machines and so, it hurts the paws of your dogs. Dogs love the even symmetry of
artificial grass because their paws feel them as a soft environment. They love to walk, take a nap on
artificial grass and leaving your dog in a better mood.
4. Necessity for Tenants and Landowners
Landowners need tenants to fill up their homes but one question constantly horrifies them: what if
the tenant does not take good care of the house and lawn? As for lawn, if you have natural grass,
you (as a tenant) would have to take care of it. This costs money and most tenants don’t spend on
grass, making it grow unevenly, from all sides. As a landowner, you can invest in a onetime artificial
grass patch and viola – you won’t have to deal with troubles of natural grass.
5. Outdoor Sports
Cricket, football, lawn tennis – all of them can be enjoyed on a single sheet of artificial grass. Thanks
to no cutting, no watering, no cleaning – you will have a consistently lush green field at your
doorsteps. So, you can play any game you want with family and friends.
6. Favored by Children and Weak Boned Adults

When children are playing and they fall on a hard patch of uneven natural grass, they can hurt
themselves. Uneven grass is also a problem for adults having weak bone structure. If the fall is
hard, they may suffer from a permanent bone deformation. You can reduce their injuries by
installing artificial grass.

**Sponsored post

Friday, 10 August 2018

Summer Holiday Fun at Mighty Claws Adventure Golf Bournemouth

Last June, we went along to the opening of Mighty Claws Adventure Golf in Bournemouth and since then it has been on Elliot's "Favourite places" list and somewhere that he always asks to visit.

Just in time for the Summer Holidays, we were able to go back this week for a round of adventure golf and some yummy food in the restaurant, The Kitchen Club!

Doing his best dinosaur impression! 
Mighty Claws Adventure Golf is located at Playgolf Bournemouth and just a ten minute drive from the seafront. As you work your way through the epic 18 holes of the Mighty Claws Valley course, you will spot scary animatronic raptors, a giant waterfall (although the recent heatwave has dried up the river somewhat!), a whole host of  ancient prehistoric creatures, ginormous T-Rex and even a smoking volcano!

Each hole gives you tips on the best way to get a hole in one - although if you're anything like me, you just whack it and hope for the best! Some are harder than others, you even have to hit the ball over the river in places which can be tricky. But if the ball plops in there are nets to fish them out with!

An exciting new activity to try this Summer is "Find your Fortune" Gem Mining. Grab your gemstone mix from the reception and race over to the water sluice and see what treasures you'll find as you wash away the prehistoric dirt! (This is £3.50pp or £3ppwith your Mighty Claws entry ticket)

We headed into the Kitchen Club after our golf and couldn't wait to get stuck into the pizzas which are all handmade and cooked in their fancy pizza oven. They are some of the nicest pizzas we have tried and always taste lovely and fresh! The staff were really helpful too - Elliot isn't a fan of cheese so he was able to have his half without, and he even got extra toppings to compensate.

The Kitchen Club have also recently launched a delicious new milkshake menu featuring yummy flavours including Strawberry Shortcake, Oreo Cheesecake and Chocoholic. I have to confess that milkshakes are one of my weaknesses so I was very excited to try them! As you can see, they got the thumbs up from Elliot :)

The celebrate the launch, you can get a whopping 20% off your milkshakes with your Mighty Golf ticket!

Mighty Claws Adventure Golf is open 7 days a week (except Christmas Day), 9am-930pm weekdays, 8pm weekends. 

Ticket Prices: Kids: £6.50, Under 4’s: £3 and Adults: £9.50. Concessions and group prices

Visit www.mightyclaws.co.uk / or visit their Facebook page @mightyclawsuk for more information.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018


Growing up with a big brother, it was inevitable that Erin would become fond of Elliot's toys at playtime. Of course she has her own big toy box full to the brim of age appropriate toys but right now, some of her favourite items include the plastic dinosaurs (of which we have many!) and the vehicles. She especially likes the "neenaws"! Fortunately Elliot has a big box full of vehicles so she is always sneaking off to Elliot's bedroom to have a rummage in his toys!

We were recently sent the Brio My Home Town Light and Sound Firetruck and as soon as it arrived, Erin was clamouring to open the packaging and play with it. In fact, she was so keen I didn't even get to take any photos of her opening it - bad blogger! ;)

Brio is one of those reliable brands where you know exactly what you are going to get. The toys are predominately wooden and always of a high quality - and they are the type of toys that never go out of fashion! Brio also guarantee that all their wood is from FSC certified sources - which basically means that all the wood they use is traceable and originates from responsibly managed forests.

The My Home Town range is a fantastic set, just perfect for sparking the imagination. Featuring farmers, policemen, camping sets, trains and much more, the figures let you try out different careers. The range is suitable for children 18+ which is great, so many toys are for 3+ and they are at that inbetween stage where they are growing out of the baby stage toys and not quite ready for the pre-school toys!

Our Light and Sound Firetruck is made of sturdy wood and plastic and features a working siren that is activated by a simple button on top. It comes with a fireman and fire lady - these are both wooden and have no moveable parts, these are perfect for little hands. There is a firehose which can be reeled in and out and the fire people can be popped into this. Lastly there is a removable ladder.

We were really impressed with the set and it has got a lot of play since it arrived. Erin loves pushing it around and turning the siren on, but Elliot has also enjoyed playing with it along with his other Brio vehicles.

I am sure this toy will continue to be a popular with Elliot and Erin and I'm pretty sure we will be adding to our Brio collection very soon!

The Brio My Home Town Light & Sound Firetruck is £24.99 and can be purchased from BRIO

Disclaimer: We received the product for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Our Sunny Days - June 2018

I'm probably going to jinx the weather now by talking about the glorious sunshine....but wasn't June lovely!! I'm sure June is normally wet and dreary so it's been amazing to have so many sunny days in a row. We definitely feel like we're getting lots of wear out of our summer clothes! 

Beach Days

Living on the south coast, we have an abundance of beaches on our doorstep. I have to admit, I'm not really a lover of sitting on a beach in the boiling sunshine with hundreds of other people jostling for a spot but we have enjoyed finding some smaller beaches recently which are much nicer! 

Erin loves the beach - she loves nothing more than pottering around with a bucket and spade. She also loves a paddle too but she's a little monkey - on several occasions (like today for instance!) she has waded in fully clothed! 

We also have a really nice park where the above beach pic was taken and there is a massive paddling pool - needless to say the kids love going in there! 

Garden Fun

We treated the kids to some new garden toys and a cool new paddling pool so they have been having lots of fun outside. Last year I made the mistake of getting a giant paddling pool that took forever to blow up, and then forever to fill up so this year we scaled down and got something fun that they could both use! 

Elliot's a bit big (and heavy) for the little slide, but there's always a solution...

Erin didn't realise she was directly in the splash zone!

We have also been having lots of bbq's recently - and doesn't food taste so much nicer when you're sat outside in the sunshine! As part of his Father's Day presents, we gave my husband a set of personalised BBQ tools (from www.personallypresented.com) which he has been getting lots of use out of. One of the reasons I like BBQ's is the fact I don't have to cook so it was only right he had his own tools!

Days Out

A few weeks back we decided to book tickets for Paultons Park (home of Peppa Pig world!) as a treat for the children. Elliot loves it there but it was Erin's first time and she was so excited to see all the Peppa rides! It was such a hot day though, it genuinely felt like we were back in Florida at the theme parks. 


Paultons Park is great for children, there is so much to do and you could easily spend two days there. I love that different age groups are catered for - Elliot was in his element in the Lost Kingdom with all the dinosaur attractions, while Erin loved the smaller rides in Peppa Pig World. And they both loved cooling off in the amazing splash park! 

Days out don't have to be expensive though. We have recently started doing a bit of geocaching - if you've not heard of it, it's basically like a giant treasure hunt. There are geocaches hidden all over the world and you use an app to find them. It's a great way of getting children outdoors! 

We visited a place called Holten Lee which is literally a 5 minute drive from our house but there were lots of geocaches there to be found. It's a brilliant way to explore new areas too - we've never visited Holten Lee before, despite living so close but we had a lovely walk in the sunshine and I'm sure we will go back. 

I heard on the news that this weather is here to stay until September so I'm hoping and praying that's true. The Summer Holidays start in a couple of weeks and it would be amazing to have 6 weeks of sunshine! 

Just chilling....

Thursday, 21 June 2018

A Half Term Break at Butlins Minehead

Our first family holiday to Butlins was back in 2014 - Elliot was a cheeky, wobbly toddler and the Just for Tots break was a perfect introduction to the quintessential British caravan holiday!

We've been a few times since then but recently we returned for the May half term holiday - it was our first time visiting in the school holidays and I was interested to see how it would differ from the term time breaks. (Aside from the price which was a very obvious difference!!)

Here's what we got up to...

Day 1

After packing what feels like 1,456 bags into the car, we leave Poole just after 10am in glorious sunshine and are on our way to Minehead. It's a clear run down and we arrive in Blue Anchor just in time for lunch. It's a bit of a tradition, we always stop at the Driftwood Cafe for lunch on our way down but it wasn't to be today - everyone else had the same idea so the cafe was packed! They were so busy that they'd actually stopped taking orders so we headed back up the coast to The Blue Anchor pub which had amazing views across the beach. It wasn't the best meal - we had to wait over an hour for our food and they got the order wrong about 4 times but they got there in the end! 

If you can't wear matching t-shirts on holiday, when can you?!
After a quick stop at Morrisons for some supplies, we picked up our welcome pack at Butlins and found our accommodation for the next 4 nights. Usually we stay in a private caravan but our usual one was booked so instead we opted for one of the log cabins next to the lake - so glad we did, it was lovely! We find it's much quieter staying here rather than at the hustle and bustle of the Butlins chalets and apartments. (Details of the private caravans and cabins can be found here

The view from our cabin - the french doors opened out onto this decking, what a lovely view!
After a quick unpack and change we headed back out and up to the entertainment complex. The weather was so hot, it actually felt like we were abroad and not in Somerset! 

Elliot couldn't wait to hit the arcade - he loves the grabber machines! My Dad had given him 5 bags of 2ps (one for each day) so he was itching to spend these in the 2p machines. Erin was just excited to be out of her buggy - and funnily enough she made a beeline to the puppet show which is exactly what Elliot did when he was that age! 

We spent the rest of the evening in one of the clubs. There was a Justin Fletcher disco thing with the redcoats so the kids had a whale of a time on the dance floor. Erin didn't sit still - she was chasing the lights on the floor! 

We stopped for a quick photo at the giant deckchair on the way back to the cabin and even at almost 10pm, it was so warm still. The kids certainly slept well that night :) 

Day 2

Today was all about having fun and not making plans! I'd like to say the kids had a lie in but they were up at the crack of dawn ready to go...thank god for CBeebies is all I can say ;) 

We headed up to the main complex and that's pretty much where we stayed for the rest of the day! What I love about Butlins is there is so much to do for the kids and you don't even need to spend any money if you're on a tight budget. We started off at a children's fencing lesson which was also included in the price of the holiday. Elliot's never done fencing before but he loved it! 

From there we headed to the fairground which is brilliant fun  -Elliot's favourite is the helter skelter and he made a beeline for this. All the rides are free too so the children can go on again and again. We also spent some time in the little ones fairground which is located inside. All the rides are suitable for smaller children, even Erin was able to go on. Not that she enjoyed it - her face is a picture in all the photos!

Soon our tummies were rumbling so we decided to eat at The Diner. Last time we ate there, the servers would get up and sing but unfortunately it looks like they don't do that anymore - a pity because it made for an entertaining lunch! Still, the food was really nice and Erin devoured a kids meal - I swear she eats more than her brother! 

The afternoon was spent playing in the parks, eating amazing ice creams from the ice-cream parlour, attempting to win on the grabber machines, meeting Teletubbies, watching puppet shows, more fairground fun and generally just having a lovely time. 

Scoops do THE nicest ice cream!
We rounded off the day by watching Dick and Dom's Circus Showdown which was pretty good - Elliot kept calling them Dick and Dong though haha!

Day 3

We woke up to rain - boo! So what do you do on holiday when it rains? You head to the indoor pool! Along with hundreds of other families all doing the same thing! The queue for the pool was ginormous so we spent a bit of time inside entertaining the kids until we were able to swim. The pool at Butlins is fantastic and it's something we always look forward to. There's a lazy river, wave machine, slides, toddler pool and loads more to suit all ages.

Elliot went off with Paul to go on the water slides while me and Erin bounced around the lazy river - she loved it! She has been swimming since she was a few months old so is very used to the water - the waves and splashing didn't seem to phase her a bit. She was absolutely zonked after going crazy in the water so we got out to dry off while the boys had a bit more fun on the slides. Erin was asleep as soon as her bum touched down in the buggy! 

We stopped off for a late lunch in the Firehouse Grill which is very similar to Nandos - we always eat here and it's always really nice! We like to get one of the family platters so we can have a bit of everything - Elliot surprised us by taking a liking to the ribs. Erin was just happy with a plate of chips as per normal! 

We spent a couple of hours back at the cabin to shower/get changed/let the kids recharge their batteries and we headed back up to the main area for that evenings entertainment.....which was only our mates Andy and the Odd Socks!! As you can probably guess, Elliot was bouncing off the walls with excitement - and even more so when we ran into Andy and the band literally as we walked into the Skyline Pavilion!

I have to say a big thank you to Andy and his team who are always so lovely to us. Elliot was invited backstage to say hello to Andy and the band and it absolutely made his day when Andy agreed to record a little video for him to show his school! (I wish I could say the same for Erin but she started screaming the minute Andy walked around the corner...sorry Andy!)

The show was great as always, we know the songs like the back of our hands now! Erin was mega tired but she was bouncing up and down to the music. One of our faves is the Dinosaur Football Legend Megamatch song and the kids love seeing the T-Rex running around the stage kicking the giant footballs! One of the balls came towards us - my husband was so busy trying to get it back in the air that he spilt his wine, oops!

Day 4

We decided to head away from Butlins today and went for a walk towards the harbour, stopping off at the train station to spot the steam trains.

If you're visiting Minehead then I'd definitely recommend going for a ride on a steam train - there's some lovely little villages along the route such as Wachet and it's a really great day out. We did just this on our last visit! We decided not to go on the train today but instead followed the coastal path which took us up to a lovely pub called The Ship Aground. It was lunchtime so it would have been rude not to stop for some fish and chips!

And what a lunch it was! Amazing food, friendly staff and really welcoming to the kids which is so important. I'm sure we'll be back at Butlins next year so this is somewhere we'll definitely be visiting again. Especially we were too full to try the puddings!

We walked a little further and found a large pebbly beach which Elliot and Paul went to explore - thousands and thousands of smooth rocks, I wanted to bring a bag of them home with me to paint!

After a quick play in the nearby park, we thought we'd better make a move as the sky was looking ominous and we kept feeling spots of rain....which turned into a torrential downpour! Silly me hadn't packed any raincoats so we did get a bit wet - the good old British Summer eh!?

On our way back we went via the town centre - there are the usual array of tacky gift shops, arcades and pubs so it's nothing special but I did stumble across a Rolys Fudge shop. Rolys do THE BEST FUDGE so of course we had to stop and buy some!! We also stopped at a really nice little ice cream shop called Scrumdiddlyumptious that did all kinds of wacky ice creams - Elliot chose the "George Pig" but was adamant it was a rat and even asked for the "blue rat cone please!"

It was a particularly wet walk back to Butlins with the rain pelting down again - next time I really must remember to pack rain coats! Fortunately I had spare clothes for the children so I was able to get them changed once we were back at Butlins but Paul and I were very soggy. We made a group decision to head back to the cabin and call it a (wet) day. It may have been out last night but everyone was feeling a bit tired...and the suitcases weren't going to pack themselves :-/

Day 5

Check out time for us was 10am but Butlins let you use the facilities for a few hours after so it's not a big rush to leave. We packed the car and headed up to the indoor fun fair to let the kids have a play - it was a good time to go because it was very quiet and Elliot was able to go on the giant slide again and again without queuing!

We had one last go in the arcade to use up our coppers and then we were on our way. Everytime we visit Minehead we try and visit Dunster Castle and today was no exception! It's a lovely National Trust property with some beautiful walks around the castle grounds. It's not massively big either so it's quite handy for a quick stop off on the way home.

We had a late lunch in Dunster (I won't tag the cafe as it was very disappointing!) and then started the journey back to Poole. Unfortuantely we hit really bad traffic near Yeovil and what should have taken us 2 hours took almost 5!

We had a wonderful 5 days away and Butlins was fantastic as always. It was a lot busier going in the school holidays but we expected this and it wasn't really an issue. The only thing I would say is be prepared to arrive at the clubs a little earlier if you want decent seats near the stages for the shows - the Dick and Dom show was absolutely packed out at Centrestage and people were struggling to find seats!

I'd always recommend Butlins as a family holiday - I'm sure we will be back next year! 

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