Back to school with Smiggle

How do you decide what to buy for children and how much is too much? It’s a difficult balance between always saying no and ending up buying things they don’t need. We’re not a family that always buys a new pencil case and rucksack for the new school year. By the same token, we rarely buy the girls things when we’re on a day out. Recently though, the girls have started to show more of an interest in acquiring things. So, we’ve given them birthday money to spend. They’ve started to have a couple of pounds a week in pocket…

View Post

Thursday photo #275

After another week of exploring the UK in our camper van, the girls have had yet more brilliant experiences. We’ve also had our fair share of mud. Thankfully, by the time we arrived in Northumberland the weather was on the turn. Unfortunately, they’d had weeks of fairly terrible weather before we arrived so the campsite was like a bog.  Body boarding A few years ago, we bought the girls a cheap body board each for a beach holiday. Dressed in their wetsuits, off they went into the sea. I can’t remember how old they were at the time, but neither…

View Post

A dog friendly family holiday at Lake Bala in North Wales

As an open water swimmer, there’s something appealing about camping on the banks of Lake Bala. Famous for the Big Welsh Swim, a dog friendly miniature train and a great a variety of water sports, Lake Bala has it all. But was it a good place for a family holiday with children and a dog in tow? We spent a week at Glanllyn Caravan and Camping Park on Lake Bala to find out.  Glanllyn dog friendly campsite, Lake Bala Every summer, we have a couple of weeks away in our camper van. This year, I insisted we go somewhere that…

View Post

Thursday photo #274

There’s something rather appealing about the unpredictability of the British weather. We’ve had a few days away this week, enjoying the scenery in Lake Bala. Of course it has rained, but I’m struggling to care. A stunning location, wild swimming a 30 second walk from our van. Spending our days outside with the odd dash indoors for a coffee or hot chocolate to escape the rain. It’s not everybody’s idea of relaxation, but we love it. Winding down You may have guessed from my blog that up until now, the school holidays have been somewhat busy. We’ve been loving every…

View Post

A family day out at the SS Great Britain

At the heart of Bristol’s vibrant harbour lies a boat with a tale to tell. The SS Great Britain was built right there in the Great Western Dockyard. This was where she would return 127 years later. Since then, the ship has been lovingly restored. Visitors can look around both inside and outside and get a feel for what life would have been like for those on board. This summer, the SS Great Britain Summer spectacular sees the incredible Invisible Circus entertaining the crowds. We visited this fascinating ship last week to see whether it’s a good family day out.…

View Post

Pirates and Mermaids at the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham

Sea Life centres across the UK are asking visitors to pick a side this summer. Will you help the mermaids or the pirates to hunt down hidden treasure? We headed to the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham yesterday to check out the event. True to form, my two chose opposing sides. They went the extra mile and dressed up as their chosen characters too. Pirates and Mermaids We’ve been regular visitors to the National Sea Life Centre for seven years now. Sea Life Centres are one of the few places that are just as good for babies as anyone…

View Post

Thursday photo #273

We’re nearing the end of our busiest fortnight of the school holidays. Since the girls finished school, we’ve had something booked in every single day. This continues until Sunday and on Monday, we’re off on holiday. We’re not lying on a beach holidayers, so we’ll undoubtedly be busy and active. But as yet, we have no plans. I can’t wait. The free day and the triathlon For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been quite looking forward to last Saturday. Nothing was booked in, so I thought we might stroll around a National Trust property with a picnic. Nothing too…

View Post