A Sleepover At Alton Towers

A few weeks ago now we took the long journey to Alton Towers. I had not visited this theme park since I was sixteen and I was eager to see the changes and introduce the children to all the fun.

After a five hour drive we were more than happy to arrive at the Splash Landings Hotel. Its bright and cheery decor made for a warm welcome and once inside our family room we were pleasantly surprised by how spacious it was.

There were facilities to make a much needed cup of tea and before long beds had been claimed and we rested our heads in anticipation for a big day ahead. The room offered everything we need from cosy beds, a good shower and entertainment packs to keep the little ones amused. The only problem we encountered were our nightmare neighbours that keep us awake for half the night!

We headed down for breakfast and had a little bit more time to explore the hotel in the light of day where the children stood amazing by the huge waterpark that was housed in the centre of the hotel. Sadly we just didn’t have the time to try it out but it really did look absolutely amazing.

Time to fuel for the day we made our way to the restaurant to have our breakfast where there was a huge variety of food to choose from. From cereal and fruit to a full english breakfast.

The children loved being able to go an help themselves to cereal from the special machine and chose from the vast selection at the hot buffet. It was also a really refreshing change to have so much choice for Frankie and all his allergies.

Full to the brim it was time to head off to the park for a day of fun. There is a shuttle bus that you can catch to take you directly to the park but we chose to take the short walk.

Once inside we spilt up with Archie and Izzy heading off to the thrill seeking rides whist we stayed with the younger two and headed off to CBeebies Land.

CBeebies Land had been on our list of places to visit for a while now and as soon as I saw the boys faces light up as soon as they saw the huge, rainbow coloured welcome sign I knew that they were going to love every minute. They dashed back and forth for sometime before they finally decided on their first ride which as the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride that saw us winding through a little stream spotting all our favourite characters as we went, next up we took to the sky with the Go Jetters, played at being Postman Pat in the bright red van, took in the sights of the whole of Cbeebies Land with the ‘Get Set Go’ Tree Top Adventure.

We took a little break from the rides and took a walk around the much calmer Something Special Sensory Garden and found some familiar names in the walk of fame.

There was so much to see and do and so resfeshing to have such a huge area dedicated to preschoolers in a theme park as this is something that is so often missing.

A quick pitstop with our adrenaline junkies who came back buzzing from the excitement of the amazing Wicker Man and Oblivion. I think I was actually most exited that the two children they get on the least had spent some quality time together and enjoy each and every minute of it. Hot doughnuts are a must on a day out like this and we plotted up on the huge grassy area that was perfect to take in the pretty surrounds Alton Towers has to offer.

I was a little concerned that Frankie was going to be a bit left out when it came to the bigger rides but I needn’t have worried as there was a huge variety of family friendly rides that were a good middle ground for those that couldn’t enjoy the thrill seeking rides but still wanted something a little faster.

I loved that we could all take to the water in the River Rapids, Swing high and low in the Heave Ho and battle with our competitors on the Battle Galleons.

Fit to fall after a day full of fun and adventure we headed back on the monorail to the Crooked Spoon restaurant to fill our hungry bellies and rest our weary feet.

When we arrived I was really surprised at the laid-back, outdoorsy feel to it which was right up my street. The little play area directly outside meant that the children could happy play whist waiting on their food.

When in came to the food there was a great choose for both adults and children from juicy burgers and mouth water steaks to roasted summer vegetable carbonara and spicy Sri Lankan curry.

I opted for a classic prawn cocktail to start followed by a creamy chicken carbonara which came served with a beautifully crispy chuck of garlic bread. The larger men of the family dived into a huge bowl of loaded nachos that i couldn’t help but try followed by a mixed grill that definitely came with their seal of approval.

The little ones had a mixture of dishes such as soup and crusty rolls, fresh melon and delicious sausage and mash that they all devoured with not one complaint which is a rarity.

Im not sure how we managed but I couldn’t resist desert – especially cheesecake, and Izzy defintiy wasn’t going to turn down a gooey chocolate browniw with a side of ice-cream now was she!

The friendly, attentive staff who didn’t batter an eyelid when they had to clean up an entire glass of squash that was poured over the table minutes after we sat down and didn’t moan once about having to navigate the huge cuddly toys they had won earlier was a real bonus to a fantastic meal.

If I was to round up our experience of Alton Towers I would say it was a bundle of fun from beginning to end, thoroughly exausting and definitely worth a trip.

* We were invited to Alton Towers for the weekend for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

A Sneak Peek At The Land Of Tiger- Chessington World Of Adventure

On Friday we loaded up the car and set off for a very special sleepover – a stay at Chessington World Of Adventures to take a sneak peek at the new Land Of The Tiger which is open to the public on the 5th May.

Chessington is only a short drive for us but staying over at their fabulous hotel makes us feel like we are a million miles away. The children ran straight in the room and headed to the bunkbeds to stake their claim whilst I had five minutes with a coffee looking out at the monkeys playing in the park.

It wasn’t long before we headed over to get the evening started which we were all super excited about. Wild Asia was set to be our home for the night where we started the evening out with a few cocktails in the Explorer’s Outpost Restaurant and late night rides on the Kobra and the Monkey Swings.

Next up was the highlight of the evening as we all headed to the Land Of Tiger to be amongest the first few people to see everything it has to offer.

Once inside the huge wooden gateway we were greeted by the super friendly zoo keepers that spoke lovingly and passionately about the four new additions – Olga, Tsar, Kalinda and Kyra.

These majestic beauties have made themselves at home in their grand and innovative enclosure that is the first of its kind in Europe due to its overhead trails that gives you an amazing, up close view of them.

The children were amazed to see the Amur tigers passing through the walkways above their heads and then being able to get so close to them was an amazing experience.

I loved all the free space they have to roam around in and the different habits they can explore, there is even a huge pool for them to have a dip in!

The Land Of Tiger is also home to the new log flume ride – Tiger Rock that we were all itching to have a go on in the morning.

We finished off our evening back in Wild Asia enjoying good food, having a bit of a bumper car marathon due to the kids not wanting to get off and a lot of singing and dancing along to a fabulous band of child stars that absolute made the evening. It has to be said that Izzy was more than a little star stuck to be dancing alongside the likes of Sophie Ellis- Bextor and Jacqueline Jossa who plays Lauren in Eastenders.

I can honestly say it was a matter of minutes after the kids head hit the pillow before they were fast asleep in preparation for the next day.

Miracles actually happened over night as I had to wake them all up to start the day which began with an amazing breakfast with the choice of a full english, pastries, cereal, fresh fruit and so much more.

I had all good intentions of sticking to a bowl of fresh fruit, but my resolve cracked pretty quickly once I got a wiff of the bacon and saw the gooey blueberry muffins.

Full to the brim we headed back to the Land Of The Tiger to try out Tiger Rock. Oscar and Frankie were still to little to go on so Izzy and Archie raced while we waited at the bottom to watch their decent.

Seeing the glee on their faces as the boat past by let me know that it had been a hit an it was soon my turn to try it out for myself.

I clambered on board the boat and took the same familiar journey as the old Dragon Fall but I wasn’t expecting a very different surprise along the journey and I won’t spoilt the fun by letting on what it is, I will let you find out for yourselves. It was wonderful to travel along the watery pathways and spot the tigers from all different directions and it certainly takes your mind off the huge 15ft plummet at the end of the ride that sees you plunge into the huge, mist covered tigers head.

The excitement didn’t finish there as we made our way back to the entrance just in time to see comedian Romesh Ranganathan hand feeding one of the tigers that the boys would have loved to have a go at themselves.

After feasting on some ‘tiger churros’ and delicious doughnuts we whizzed around a few of our favourites like The Grufflo Ride before having to make our way home.

The Land Of The Tiger is a magnificent addition to an already amazing theme park and is something not to be missed. Sadly we didn’t get time to see the new Gruffly Grove stage show so we will be back in the next couple of weeks to see what the cuddly creature has in store and I will be letting you know all about it!

Spa Seekers Parents Retreat At Brooklands Hotel

It had been an absolutely age since I last had a spa day…and infact until the other week I had only ever visited a spa once before!

I always have big plans to get away for the day and switch off from the outside world and have some mich needed me time bit something always comes up as as is the same for most parents time for ourselves is out on the back burner.

So when I was invited along by Spa Seekers to have a day at Brooklands Hotel in Surrey I jumped at the chance…it is work after all!

I arrived and met up with another four lovely bloggers – Katy from Modern Mummy UK, Hannah from What Hannah Did Next, Carissa from Little Likely Lads and Rebbeca from AAU Blog.

Firstly we were shown around the hotel that was built on the old Brooklands racetrack and carries that theme very tastefully throughout the hotel. 

The rooms are all beautifully decorated with many of them having a stunning view of Mercedes World’s racetrack.

 

Once the tour was complete we settled down to a beautiful lunch and glass of bubbly in the hotels restaurant.

I had already been informed by a reliable source that the food was outstanding and they were not wrong.

I tried to be a little healthier and opt for a salad but the lure of the cakes from the afternoon tea was to much and my resolve faded pretty quickly.

Fit to burst we made our way to the BSpa where there attentive staff got us kitted out with the obligatory robes and slippers and gave us all the information we needed to enjoy our afternoon.

I had a massage and wrap booked in for later in the day so had plenty of time to try out the roof top hot tub that also had a brilliant view of the race track.

As well as the hot tub there is a choice of an indoor or outdoor area to kick back and relax in or a meditation room fully equipped with warm water beds and plenty of magazines to really switch off and take some time out.

I always get a little nervous when it comes to baring all for treatments but I couldn’t have been put more at ease by my lovely therapist.

She made me feel so comfortable that I could easily have drifted off to sleep during my treatment that left me we silky soft skin and thoroughly relaxed.

We all tried to drag our day out a little longer with a coffee and another dip into the hot tub before leaving.

With a whole range of treatments from massage to manicures there is something for everyone and it really makes for the perfect getaway for a group of friends or even a date with your partner.

This experience was just the tonic I need to give my frazzled mum brain a break from the bickering at home and my body some much needed tlc, and u won’t be leaving it so long next time.

If this sounds like the kind of thing that you would enjoy then go ahead and enter a great competition ‘here’ for touchable to win a trip for yourself.

*I was invited along to this event by Spa Seekers and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Creating Pandamonium At Chessington World Of Adventure

We were super excited to be invited to the press launch of the brand new show Pandamonium and the opening of the fabulous new Smokehouse restaurant at Chessington Worls Of Adventure.

I am always amazed with how many changes this great theme park makes from year to year and I have to say that they have excelled themselves with some fantastic new additions to the park this year.

We arrived at the Azteca Hotel to a cocktail reception where everyone got to have a catch up whist the children enjoyed getting their faces painted and getting up close and personal with some of Chessington’s animals.

  
From here we made our way to the brand new Smokehouse restaurant.  The restaurant was one of our former favourites where we would always have a pit stop to have a nice sit down meal where I liked a bit of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the park so I was a little aprehesive about the change.

I needn’t have worried as the improvements are more than I could have imagined.  They have created a cool, spacious welcoming restaurant serving gorgeous food.

   
 
We sampled creamy potato salad, crunchy coleslaw, melt in the mouth pulled pork, tasty beef brisket and a super yummy macaroni cheese.

As you can tell from our clear baskets the food was wonderful and this has easily become our new favourite. 

   
Next stop was the brand new Pandamonium show which is positioned just next to the newly improved ‘trail of the Kings’.

The children all sat egerly awaiting the appearance of the pandas.  I have to admit when the animatronic Giant Pandas took to the stage I was quite taken back by how life like they were.  They graced the stage whist the actors engaged with the children, feeding them fun facts whist making them laugh throughout.

   
 
After taking a look through the ‘Trail Of The Kings’ we make our way back to the hotel for a stunning Asian themed buffet complete with oodles of entertainment for the children.

   
 
The boys were complety wiped out so after saying good night to the iguanas in the hotel reception we made our way to our room to get some rest before the adventures of the next day.

   

   
 
The themed rooms were outstanding and I loved it as much as the boys.  There were a set of cosy bunk beds for the children to sleep in adjacent to the main bedroom but as predicted they found our bed way more appealing!

   

 
Up bright and early we filled up on a huge breakfast.  There is so much to chose from and the children love to be able to walk around picking exactly what they want and getting a cheeky visit from a Madagascar character!

Straight after breakfast we had a quick walk outside to say hello to the monkeys. I meen there are not many hotels stays that allow you to do this are there!

   
  

We got given some wristbands which allowed us ‘fast track’  to the rides for the first hour of opening.  This is a great idea and is available to everyone that stays in the hotel.  It gives you that little bit of extra time to get on your favourite rides first.

We headed straight for the Bubbleworks which has been a family favourite since I was a child.

  

Little Truckers was next on the list followed closely by Tombblaster.

 

As we only had the youngest two with us there were no big rides today so we strolled around looking at the animals and climbing around Dragon’s Play area. 

   

  

 

The last treat of the day was to the newly refurbished sweet shop.  There seemed to be so much more on offer and the bright decor was wonderful.

  

Chessington World Of Adventure has given us an unforgettable trip yet again and I would encourage you to get along this holiday to sample it for yourselves.

They are adding and improving all the time and with Go Ape and new a new glamping area being added soon this really is a trip not to be missed!

We were invited along to the press launch at Chessington World Of Adventure and these are all my own honest opinions.  

Mummascribbles</div

Our Birthday Boys Trip to The Seaside

Number four is a boy after my own heart and when asked what he wanted to do for his birthday he replied, “the seaside”

His first choice was Brighton which is my first love but with him wanting to take his new gokart we talked him round to Whitstable as I knew he would be able to ride freely along the seafront and make the most of his new toy.

We visit Whitstable a few times a year and stayed there last Easter.  I love the simplicity of this seaside town with its narrow streets housing pretty little shops, beautiful fish restaurants everywhere you turn and long stretches of unspoiled pebbled beaches.

   
   

One of the highlights of our stay last year was the breakfast at the Hotel Continenal so we got up extra early to get down there to fill up before our adventures.

   
 

Number four was a little disappointed that we had not packed his pyjamas for an overnight stay!  

Full to the brim we set off in a walk along the seafront along to Tankerton just outside Whistable.  We stopped several times to throw pebbles into the sea, investigate the beach huts and have races with the gokart.

   
    
   

After another stop for tea to warm up once we reached Tankerton we turned back and swapped the gokart for crabbing lines.  We had tried to explain to the extremely wilful number four that the chances of catching any crabs would be highly unlikely but there was no wavering and he stood on the edge of jetty shivering like mad but determined to catch a bite.

   

  

 

We finished the day with some hot chips and then headed back to the car after a very chilly but fun filled day. 
  

Monkey and Mouse