Burton Constable Hall

Burton Constable Hall in the fog

I can’t believe we live 20 minutes from this little gem and in the nearly 13 years we’ve lived here we’ve never visited until today.

It was a lovely sunny day when we set off, it felt like spring was in the air and we were looking forward to a walk around the grounds in the sunshine. By the time we arrived a fog had descended that brought a chill with it. We were determined not to let it dampen our day though, after all we are from Yorkshire.

The magnificent house stands at the end of a short single track lane and parking to the left was plentiful. It was only a short walk to the entrance and the lady on the till was very pleasant and friendly. Only 3 of us visited today, 2 adults and a child, and it cost us just under £14 entry (the house doesn’t open til April so it was just for stables and grounds). I think Toby was free because of a half term offer, and we were kindly pointed in the direction of some free activities for children.

Toby took part in 2 of the activities, planting a broad bean so he could see it grow, and making a bird feeder using an ice cream cone, margarine and bird seed. The gents that were running these activities were also very friendly and patient. With his bag of goodies we left and headed for the stables which were open, and the sperm whale skeleton.

Sadly, this was a bit of a flop for us (dont let that put you off). I personally loved it but Toby was really creeped out by it for some reason and begged to leave. He didn’t like the sounds and I guess the cold stone rooms just didn’t sit well with him. He was fascinated by the sperm whale skeleton, probably helped somewhat by the fairly recent sad stranding of a number of sperm whales along our stretch of coast. Even after that, it did surprise all of us quite how long the skeleton was close up.

We left to walk around the grounds which was the real purpose of our visit anyway and it didn’t disappoint. They’re very well kept and there were numerous walks to choose from. As anyone walking with a 7 year old will appreciate though, you don’t always get anywhere quickly, and we didn’t actually get to complete a single one which was disappointing. We walked around the house and looked out over the old medieval village which once stood, wondering about the people who once lived there and what their life would have been like. We reached the small play area which is cute but aimed at small kids, and not many of them. There was a garden chess game which was definitely Tobys highlight of the visit. He loves a game of chess and played against his dad, and won of course!

The back of the house

I felt like you can see and feel the history in the grounds, there is still the evidence of the old moat and a tree that is several hundred years old, the stories it could tell.

After some climbing for Toby, and a rest for me and Dad, we walked over to the cafe for some lunch and a hot chocolate. I found it a little pricey but that’s not surprising for the type of place I don’t think, and to be fair the food was lovely with large portions and the staff also very, very friendly and helpful. My old quibble was the lack of seating, with the 3 free tables reserved already. I imagine this would be worse in summer but then I’d be happier to sit outdoors then too, and there was lots of free seating outside today.

We will definitely be back soon, and next time I think we will buy an annual membership as I think we will probably visit numerous times over the year. Dogs are welcome but we didn’t take ours today as she’s a bit of an idiot when she sees other dogs and is quite reactive. She is kept on a lead though and I think now we’ve done the stables we would probably take her in future. It’ll be a nice flat walk for our old girly. If you’re visiting Withernsea or surrounding areas this is a definite must visit!! 10/10 for me.

Spring is springing in the grounds of the house.

William’s Den

Today we had the pleasure of visiting William’ Den. We visited 4 years ago but have been keen to revisit since as the kids loved it back then.

William’s Den describes itself as the perfect day out, family fun and loads of adventure and it’s really not wrong. There’s so much to do and it’s impossible for the kids to get bored.

One of the favourites has to be the den building area, Toby dragged his dad and oldest brother over to build a huge den, there are sticks galore to make sure you can build the perfect base and don’t run out. In fact there were around 5 dens built or being built in the area.

There is an amazing natural themed indoor play area with water and sand. A brilliant area with so much included into one space, a lot of thought obviously went into designing this place. Toby spent most of the few hours we had in the indoor area because it was a bit cooler out than it has been recently. I think he would definitely benefit from taking a friend which we might do next time as dad and Sam were roped into everything again and had to follow him round. Tobys quite shy so isn’t likely to approach other children to ask them to play.

There is also a brilliant outdoor play area. An enormous space filled with tyre swings, basket swings, zip lines, sand areas, a little adventure play area and more. The whole place is free flow and you can change from indoors to out as much as you please. There are lots of seating areas around, plenty of picnic benches etc. I love the eco friendly natural theme of William’s Den and that is a huge draw for me. I hate to see plastic everywhere so this is perfect.

There is a restaurant on site as well as an ice cream bar area. We didn’t really use either although we did pop into the restaurant for some deluxe hot chocolates which were delicious.

All in all its a fairly pricey but fantastic day out. You can camp also which seems to offer amazing value for money and it might be something we consider in future. My only single complaint, and it isn’t even the fault of William’s Den, so it’s probably unfair, were the wasps. I guess that’s nature for you!

honeysuckle farm

This family owned and run farm is one of our favourite places to visit, a half hour drive along the coast to Hornsea and this little gem is set back up a country lane. At around £5-6 each to enter it isn’t bank breaking but offers very good value for money. There is also the option to buy animal and fish feeds as extras and a cafe with seating indoors and out. Our last visit was with Toby’s friend August 2021 and this is a little bit about it.

One of the first areas you come to when you enter the farm is the huge undercover straw bale play area where kids GO WILD. Around the edges are cows, goats and sometimes guinea pigs. The goats are entertaining and greedy. Toby and his friend laughed at them climbing on each other and trying to get through the fence to empty his cup of food. He learned pretty quickly to keep those little fingers tucked in and as straight as he can too. He spent far longer however running around on and within the straw bales. To be honest this would be a good standalone day out for us. He would do that for hours. Kids all seem to automatically join in with each other and make cute little friendship groups.

Next you reach a picnic area and small outdoor play area built into a small hilly area. There are numerous picnic tables around to sit and watch the kids climb the hills and run through the little tunnels. After this there’s a decent size wooded area, there’s a number of climbing frames in there, an aviary, and an infinite amount of swords, wands, den supplies etc. We spent some time in these outdoor areas whilst Toby and his friend attempted to build dens and find the biggest swords. What a wonderful place to be to feed their imaginations.

We moved on from here to a maze area, its not on the scale of other maize mazes but the kids still love it. It’s a lovely nature walk from here around the rest of the farm with opportunities to see and feed fish and sheep. There are also donkeys, who are pretty laid back animals so apart from a quick glimpse we didn’t spend much time with them. We saw geese, ducks and some cute little furry animals in an enclosure but it escapes me what the little cuties are. Before COVID there were horse and cart rides which were such a treat, these were not available on our last visit sadly but if they are on your visit it is most definitely worth doing.

Another smaller straw bale play area signals you have almost come to the end of your walk around the farm. Sit down and let the kids burn off any remaining energy before an ice cream/coffee in the cafe and then home.

If you have time left before going home I suggest a fish and chip dinner on Hornsea seafront, or if you are a bit more adventurous go a little further afield to Mappleton beach to do some fossil hunting. Always check the tide times though as it is possible to get cut off, and watch out for ordnance.

Hornsea Seafront

Cornwall – Why We Chose To Take Our Pandemic Holiday

Everyone has been affected by the worldwide pandemic this year, whether its directly by Covid-19 or indirectly. It hasn’t been an easy year, lots of people died, survivors lives changed forever, other people had to work from home, shops closed, kids told not to go to school and people panic bought toilet roll. Nobody would have predicted the events that were to unfold in 2020 this time last year.

At the beginning of the year we lost our beloved Grandad, he was one of the most important people in my life, housebound disabled we visited regularly to help him and my Nan who was his full time carer. We took her shopping every week and our eldest would sit with his Great-Grandad – Grandad-sitting. He never once complained. It hit us terribly, I’m in my late 30s and it’s the first death I’ve experienced of somebody close to me, and they didn’t come much closer. We weren’t even a week in to 2020 and I wondered how this year could possibly get any worse (I definitely tempted fate there!).

Me (in my mid teens) and my Grandad

Things spiralled again in February, our beautiful Siberian Husky – Spirit, who had been diagnosed just before christmas with Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM) was going downhill. Either his diagnosis was wrong, or the steroid medication he was on had allowed a pre-existing tumour behind his eye to grow uncontrollably. It put so much pressure on the back of his eye that it began protruding from the socket, I was terrified it would pop or come out (probably wouldn’t happen but you just never know). He eventually became blind in that eye. By the mid-end of February the tumour was starting to push past the eye ball and grow onto his face. He was obviously in discomfort and unhappy, it broke our hearts to have him put to sleep. To try give ourselves something to look forward to we booked a holiday to Newquay, Cornwall for the summer. We definitely deserved it.

Spirit before he got sick.

Unfortunately 2020 wasn’t finished with us just yet. We went into March still recovering from the loss of my Grandad and Spirit when my Dad was admitted into hospital, he was like a super-fighter. He’d been in hospital so many times and we’d had ‘the conversation’ about his chances, and every time he’d pull through. I believed this would be the same. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and I’d missed out on the last possible time I could’ve visited as I had a sore throat and had lost my voice. This was at the time we were being told that if you had a sore throat you should isolate for 14 days as we were learning how serious Covid-19 could be. I couldn’t risk passing it on if thats what I had so I stayed away, planning on going the following day if the ward allowed. Unfortunately he passed away the next morning. A week later we went into lockdown, the measures put in place meant we were robbed of giving our Dad a proper funeral. He was cremated alone, with a late service in August when it was safer. My anxiety was through the roof, I couldn’t imagine every leaving the house again, I ordered garden furniture ready for the summer, we planted fruit and veg and sorted the garden, we bought numerous pools, a swing set, and goodness knows what else. Everything that came through the door was washed to within an inch of its life. Luckily, working in school meant I was home most of the time now. I wasn’t timetabled to return until June, I believe a very nice thought from my senior management who knew I’d need time to recover. The time I spent at home gave me much needed family time, it was a difficult time but seeing my children whenever I needed to helped me to heal, they kept me busy. I would have nightmares, I was sure I was going to lose somebody else, especially going into April. So far we’d had a death a month.

An old pic of myself (aged around 1) and my Dad

Thankfully we’ve had no more deaths, I’m still terribly sad but I’m learning to deal with my losses. I returned to work, leading my own bubble in school, in June. I was terrified on my first day but once I’d done that day I was raring to go. That also helped me, it gave me other things to think about. We began to talk about our upcoming holiday. There’d been articles that some Cornish folk hadn’t wanted holidaymakers descending on them as they were rightly concerned about Covid. I get it, I really do, I live in a coastal town myself which quickly found itself in the same boat. We were fed up, we needed to get away and we’d done the right things up to that point, for everyone’s sanity we needed to take our holiday, Dad should’ve joined us on holiday which made things a little sad but he’d have wanted us to go, afterall he was looking forward to it himself. We social distanced as much as possible, we wore masks, we booked our slots in the pool, but most of all we relaxed and took in the beautiful sights of the Newquay coastline. It was good for the soul and my only regret was only booking for a week.

Some of my favourite pictures from Cornwall. There are more on my Instagram if you want to look.

This post was mostly for my own benefit but if you manage to read it all and don’t turn into a depressive mess I salute you. I hope it gives you a little insight into why it was important for us to take our holiday, everybody has an opinion on the right and wrong thing to do but we had to do what was best for us and we have no regrets. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who took a holiday during the pandemic, or if you didn’t why not? Keep it nice. Wishing everyone a wonderful end to 2020

The accidental holiday!

At the beginning of April I was boredom holiday shopping for the upcoming half term less than a fortnight later. Boredom shopping is never a good thing where I’m concerned. I was browsing the Eurocamp website when I came across a holiday for 5 days including the ferry for all 6 of us for £170. £95 for the accommodation (caravan) and the rest was ferry/cleaning deposit.

Goodbye England, hello France

I mean come on, how could I pass that up. I booked it there and then and excitedly planned for our trip. I wasn’t optimistic, I imagined all sorts of horrors would greet us on our arrival. Luckily I couldn’t have been more wrong, and after the 10 hour drive from Calais to Carnac (I’m a terrible navigator) we were relieved to see a wonderful little site.

Des Menhirs campsite

We stayed at the Des Menhirs campsite in Carnac, it was that time of year where realistically you could get hoodie/coat weather, or if you were lucky you could have sunburn weather, we were lucky and most days were low 20s. The pool was cool but didn’t stop people going in and then there was the water slides. Wow! The kids were up and down those all day long.

Carnac itself has a beautiful beach, some typically touristy shops, and lots of very friendly English speakers.


This was turning out better than our half board holiday to Spain 6 months earlier.

We visited Quiberon peninsula which is a short drive from Carnac where we enjoyed climbing over a rocky base, exploring crystal clear rock pools and beautiful views over the Bay of Biscay.

Crystal clear rock pools in Quiberon

My only complaint would be the accommodation, we had an ant infestation which was annoying but not the end of the world, and the vans were so close together you could hear children running around next door. It was my only complaint but for the price how could I really complain?
We would 100% go again, but I wouldn’t sail to Calais again. I’d spend a little more to sail to St Malo or Caen to cut down on driving time and fuel costs ( We spent over £400 in fuel alone!!). I would also pay a little extra for bigger accommodation so we wouldn’t be quite so cramped. If you don’t mind a caravanning holiday check this place out!! Your kids will definitely thank you for it.