LinguaTastic Languages for Babies and Toddlers

Linguatastic Facebook Page

I was absolutely gutted that I didn’t find out about the Baby and Toddler Linguatastic classes until it was too late for Miss NHM.

However, we enrolled her in German with Linguatastic when she started in YR and she thoroughly enjoyed it (Linguatastic do language classes for all ages).

Unfortunately because of her health issues, her energy levels couldn’t cope with it at the time but I still rate the LinguaTastic classes highly! Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitterFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!

NHM Readers Recommend: Getting Around with Kids without a Car

I recently had a question from a NHM Reader that I asked the NHM Community to help with: “For medical reasons I have been told I need to permanently stop driving. With 3 young children (1, 4 & 6) the thought of not being able to drive is utterly frightening and I am really struggling with it. I would really appreciate hearing from mums who don’t drive and how they find doing normal day to day things and special school holiday things without driving. I have no idea how we can continue with swimming, Beavers, football etc. I don’t have family to help and I don’t know what I am going to do!”

Thank you to the NHM Community for all of your responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers Recommend: Getting Around with Kids without a Car

Kathryn said “I don’t drive (hubby does) and was a sahm for the first 18 months of my second daughter’s life… Both of my girls love the bus. I found we were quite well connected, live in Popley, had nursery in town centre and attended various baby groups all over Basingstoke. I downloaded the network map on my phone so I could always check which buses went to somewhere before committing to going. Just had to allow time for longer journeys and the possibility that I couldn’t fit on the bus with the pushchair and having to wait for the next one… But it is doable”

Claire M said “I grew up in a family where my mum didn’t drive. I didn’t miss out at all, you will probably find your kids will become more independent as a result when they get a bit older. Trains are pretty good these days too with the 4 for 2 deals etc. As long as you live close to public transport you will be fine”

Claire D said “I have a 5, 3 and 2 year old (and an almost 18 year old). I am learning to drive but obviously currently dont. When I was with the kids Dad he drove but I still had to make my own way about when he was at work. I rely on buses, taxis and trains. I still am able to get to work and back and take the kids to school etc. I shop online, go and do small shops and also occasionally get lifts to do slightly bigger shops. I get by. It can get stressful, but the norm for me.

I also often have to navigate London with my 5 and 3 year old on foot and my 2 year old in a pushchair. When I have the pushchair, I find my route with buses and plan in advance. When I am lucky to have a babysitter for my youngest, I get the tube. Recently I had 4 London visits with the kids, to places that I didnt know, in two weeks. I survived, 2 visits were after night shifts.

Also a rail card is a great thing to have. £30 for a year and you get quite a saving on train tickets with it. They also do “buy one get one free” deals on entry tickets to places in London when travelling by train with a rail card

Ruth saidI was going to recommend this too! 🙂and google maps – if you select directions, and the little bus/train icon before putting in where you want to go, it gives you all the bus/train route info plus how long to walk at each stage! And if you can afford to invest in a Merlin card then there is lots to do in London when they are a bit older, plus sealife centre in Weymouth on the pass is a great day out on the train. I remember doing all sorts by public transport with my mum as dad was the only driver and worked pretty much the whole summer hols”

Kate said “There is a service called ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ who are happy to transport kids and support anyone with getting out and about. Driving Miss Daisy Whitchurch

Katie said “Speak to other parents at clubs and see if you can get lifts for your children from them. We share lifts to most clubs and would give lifts to non drivers as we are going anyway.”

Hannah said “I won’t lie it is tough sometimes but my boy is only 3 1/2 And used to only going to places on bus/train with me. My OH drives but tbh if he is working a Sunday he has to miss his rugby because we can’t get there. I would definitely see if there are other parents who could help out with clubs etc”

Zoe said “I don’t drive and have the same age children as you. My husband drives but is only around the weekends so we rely on public transport and walking throughout the week. Don’t think my children miss out because of me not driving. I guess it depends where you live and how far away the clubs etc are from you?”

Kelly said “I do drive but my husband doesn’t anymore due to complications with his type 1 diabetes. You may be entitled to a free bus pass as you have had to stop driving for medical reasons. Online food shopping is vital too it saves carrying bags. As for clubs maybe ask friends to help or move lessons to the weekends so youre not getting home too late with tired children on public transport.”

Sharon said “I don’t drive, and live in the town centre partly for that reason. I do spend a fair bit of time finding activities I can access as a lot of these are out in the ‘burbs. To be honest I limit bus use as I find this a pain with my youngest (2) needing a buggy for longer journeys (and all the stuff we still have to cart around!) – there often isn’t room on a bus for us so I always go one bus early to allow for a fall back plan. We do the things we can get to. My mum or husband help with one-offs if they are around. We arrange further days out when hubby or parents are around, which to be honest works nicely as these are often too expensive to do often anyway! Best of luck sorting out the clubs side of things.”

Mindy said Consider doing your sums and working out what you save on insurance, petrol etc and giving yourself a budget for taxis for some trips”

Mata said “I don’t drive and neither does my husband. We use public transport and taxis. We choose everything based on non-driving: where we live, work, what activities the kids do. Not driving is hard in Hampshire, especially in more rural areas. It is not too bad in Basingstoke. And the norm in London.”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Bus and Train Journeys for Kids

An NHM Reader recently asked “My daughter wants to go on bus/train but I don’t know of anywhere from Basingstoke to really go that has something at the other end worthwhile doing with 2-3 children. Good way of avoiding some of the wet weather!!”

Thank you to the NHM Community for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers Recommend: Bus and Train Journeys for Kids

Victoria said “We like going to Bramley on the train and the bakery-simple but the kids love it. The other place is Whitchurch silk mill but it’s a little trek from the station to the town-my 3 and 6 year old walked it though”

Wendy said “You could feed the swans on the Thames at the back of Reading station or there’s this 10 min walk from Southampton parkway You could also just get the bus to Chineham and go to the library.”

Holly said “There’s the new WWF centre in Woking…/living-planet…/plan-your-visit

Mo said “You could take the Newbury bus and go to 4 kingdoms – as bus stop right outside entrance..”

Stacey said “Only a short journey but you could take the purple bus from town to the leisure park – lots to do there – Milestones, bowling, skating, swimming, food etc”

Lianne said “Little Street in Frimley is really good. I think you have to change trains though to get there from here”

Katie said “We quite enjoy getting the bus to/from Sainsbury’s and popping into Sainsbury’s cafe. Or you could just choose something from Sainsbury’s to take home?”

Lindsey said “Train to Winchester…loads of coffee shops, the library, the cathedral, there are usually buskers on the high street.”

  • Becky replied  “I was going to suggest Winchester!”

Karen said “Milestones.(or swimming/ice-skating/bowling/cinema) Get the shuttle bus from town. Hatchwarrren Sainsbury’s and go to pets at home or beggarwood park. Train to winchester – the library is a few mins walk or there’s the water mill you can visit. Little street frimley although the train to the weybridge one is more direct. To Andover and it’s about 10 minutes walk to the shops and there’s a play place inside (role play sorry I forget the name) Bus to chineham park (6) and walk behind Lidl and you’ve got playdays on stewart road or change to the number 4 and go to chineham for the library they’ve got crafts from 10-12 today.”

Colleen said “If you’re looking for a big day out, Portsmouth is direct train from Basingstoke and you have the spinnaker tower and historic dockyard right next to the train station. Eastleigh lakeside railway is short walking distance from Southampton airport parkway station, and has a miniature train, country park and a v reasonably priced cafe.”

Kim said “Look up the Watercress line. Some lovely journeys on it and you can take a picnic on the train.”

Sasha said “We take the bus to town and do the discovery centre or play den at the sports centre or go and get eggs from the market on a Friday. Keep it simple and have fun”

Joanna said “We love getting the train to Winchester, it’s a really pretty train ride and there is a really nice library and play park in Winchester”

  • Colleen replied “And the sweet shop… mine like a trip there.”

Amanda said “We used to do train trip to reading just to do Disney store, it’s not there anymore but for the kids it’s more about the trip than anything. As long as we visited the sweet shop in the Harris arcade before getting the train back they were happy.”

  • Pauline replied “There is a pop up Disney store in the Oracle at the moment.”

Larissa said “Winchester is lovely to wander about and the sweet shop near the train station always a winner”

Ruza said “Start your your day of exploration off by bus to the train station. Children are so excited by this because. We have then been to London just to walk along the embankment, the London eye was a bonus. Highly recommend SeaCity museum which is a short walk from the station.”

Samantha said “Train to Bramley and there is a lovely little coffee shop just next to the train station. Drink and a biscuit and then back home!”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Great Summer Holidays with Kids

An NHM Reader recently asked: “I was wondering if you could ask everyone for recommendations for great summer holidays with kids? Our specifics are a big sandy beach, hotel with kids facilities, but in a place that’s not too touristy & heaving in the summer. This may be a big ask!” Many thanks to the NHM Community for their responses, listed below in no particular order.

NHM Readers recommend – great summer holidays with kids

Wendy said “If you don’t like it too busy consider the end of August rather than the start. We stayed in mestral and llebeig in Menorca. Quiet resort. The buildings are spread over three sites, one apartments around the busy noisy pool, one side apartments around the not so noisy pool and food and entertainment plus trampolines etc across the road. It’s not the best resort if you like restaurants (as there aren’t that many, although a few good choices for breakfast) but if you like all inclusive it works. Another thing to look at would be a villa that’s owned by a hotel that lets you use their facilities. There are lots of these in Menorca.”

Louise said “  Claire is great at finding family holidays to suit and has two children of her own”

Lizzy said “Alcudia is amazing in Majorca massive long sandy beach (miles) with really shallow calm seas. Lots of family friendly hotels. Look at Zafiro hotels. Nearer old town side is less touristy. Not been over summer holiday but been quiet in other holidays.

Edie said “Would highly recommend Tots To Travel. All their properties and hotels are perfect with kids and they give you all the kit and toys so you don’t need to bring anything apart from clothes. All their pools are gated for child safety too. You pay a bit of a premium but I think it’s worth it. We’ve just booked our next holiday with them – berry farm in Brittany. Can’t wait!

Catherine said “This place was recommended to me by a friend who has 3 and 6 yr old:

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Glamping in Devon: The Best of Both Worlds

Do you like the idea of camping – being at one with nature and in the outdoors – but dread the idea of sleeping on the floor and trekking across the field to the toilet block in the middle of the night? Or perhaps you had a bad experience as a child and vowed never to go again? If any of these thoughts sound familiar maybe you should think about trying glamping – AKA glamorous camping.

We have just launched Valleyside Escapes; a luxury family-friendly glampsite in the historic village of Bickleigh-on-Exe in Devon. We have three safari-style tents which sleep up to six. There is a king-sized bedroom, a twin bedroom and an enclosed cabin bed which can sleep two children, or adults! At the back of the tent, accessible by both bedrooms, is a bathroom ‘pod’ containing a walk-in shower, toilet and sink – so no getting spooked if you need the toilet in the middle of the night! The beds are comfy and made with premium quality bedding – you may feel like you’re in a hotel room – but just remember the walls are canvas so you may need to bring some ear plugs if any of your friends or family snore!

In the living area there is a small kitchen with fridge freezer and gas hob – so you won’t need to wait hours for the camp fire to start before you have a tea or coffee in the morning, and if you don’t want to have a BBQ every night you can also whip up a quick bowl of pasta. There is also a lounge area for putting your feet up and chilling out.

The best bit though is the outside – a veranda overlooking the beautiful Exe valley countryside with rolling patchwork hills and you can even see a vineyard! It’s a great backdrop to enjoy a family meal together or just sip on an ice cold beer or wine and take in the scenery. For the children there is a play area with swing, slide and various balancing beams and tyres to keep them amused, for a little while at least. The whole family can join in playing the various garden games that are also provided and really make the most of the space and being together.

There is also nature on your doorstep…we have sheep grazing in our Orchard and in our lower pasture, you will see and hear all sorts of different bird song including pheasants and peacocks and the odd fox or rabbit may drop by as well.

If you want to get out and about locally there is a pub and bistro within 200 metres and even more within a short drive – a night off cooking is definitely in order. There is also the Devon Railway Centre a two-minute walk away, with train rides, model railways, play areas including a soft play, ball and sand pit! There are numerous other attractions in both north and south Devon that can be reached from Valleyside Escapes that make it a very accessible and convenient base.

If you have never been glamping then now is definitely the time to give it a go – embrace being outdoors with the added comforts of home. We hope guests will leave Valleyside Escapes relaxed and with some special holiday memories to cherish forever.

As this is our first season we are offering discounted rates.  Further information and booking can be found on our website: or give us a call on 01884 855538 and you can also follow us on facebook, Instagram and twitter.

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Louise recently posted on “Louise nhm Smith”: “Good Evening Everyone! I can’t help myself but I saw on a friends fb that she’s looking for ideas for keeping a toddler quiet on a long aeroplane journey. My initial suggestions were the Playmobil 123 motorbike and “pip squeak” crayolas with any of the Usborne activity books. I’ve also wrapped toys up as that was a nice distraction for at least half a minute! What would your suggestions be?”

Members of the NHM community responded with the below, many thanks for your contributions!

Thank you very much also to Juliet for putting this post together!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Toddlers on an Aeroplane Journey

Fiona says “CBeebies app with games and stories on.”

Sarah says “Aqua draw”

Beckie says “I have taken colouring, plasticine, stories, iPad, snacks, duplo etc. I have just bought some travel activity books on amazon for our holiday. That might be worth a look.”

Lisa says “We had Julia Donaldson activity sticker books”

Abigail says “A new book that has lots to look at such as Richard Scarry books, Where’s Wally or Just Imagine and You Choose by Nick Sharrat and Pippa Goodhart.”

Becky says “My friend wrapped little presents up for her son to unwrap every hour”

Skye says “iPad and don’t worry about a child making noise. It’s a flight not a day spa.”

Lucy says “Def sticker books, keeps mine entertained for hours… and snacks that take forever to eat.”

Wendy says “Wallpaper border is very good to use as drawing paper on planes. My friend also has tips on his travel blog.…/

Caroline says “Cbeebies app works really well for our daughter”

Marie says “Does she have a tablet? Mr Maker has a good app and there is a peppa pig paint and draw one that my little boy used to love. If she’s into watching movies maybe there will be a kids movie on the flight?”

Colleen says “Tablet, headphones, battery pack.”

Bridget says “We travelled over 10 hours to the US with our 19 month old on Feb and I brought her some toddler headphones because the airlines often have the buds and I thought they would be bad for her ears. Also if you are travelling from Heathrow Terminal 3 they have an excellent family lounge which is free. It has a quiet room, soft play areas and loads of toys. Was so good for tiring our toddler out before the flight. Also make a pack lunch because if your baby is under 2 and travelling on your lap they won’t get any food on board so think ahead. Snack attack things are great, raisins, cheesy ritz etc”

Karen says “When we went on a long car journey I bought various new toys to buy us time… Aqua doodles, toy car, cheap baby doll (which had odd bits with it), new book, fuzzy felt books, craft pack from Baker Ross, basically a variety of different things to buy a bit of time”

Jeni says “Shape sorter eggs. I have two sets of them for each car and they entertain mine for a good while”

Rachel says “We’ve flown abroad twice recently (2 & 4 first trip, 3 & 4 the second)….they have their own tablets which were great as could download films/cartoons in advance. Colouring books and crayons (small) were appreciated by my daughter on both trips, along with some crafty bits. My son (younger) played with a selection of vehicles the first time (free with a magazine we bought for the plane), the second time he just wanted to watch the on board entertainment. Pack some snacks too, things you know they love. I packed too many bits the first time….I followed all the advice I could get and packed EVERYTHING. Completely forgetting to take into account the fact that my children are individuals, and my daughter enjoys sitting and colouring/drawing/making but my son gets bored of those easily.”

Rachel says “I’ve heard tablets can’t be used on all flights but phones can so make sure you have some apps on your phone too!”

Lauren says “Crayola colour wonder packs are great as the pens don’t have ink in them! Keep snacks handy!!”

Kelly says “I’ve been known to take small pots of playdough for the lap tray and a couple of cutters. Small puzzles. Mini Etch a sketch type thing. New books that they haven’t seen before. Daughter had a baby and little blanket. Def snacks. Lollys! Don’t normally like them but for take off and landing they’re great if ears are an issue. Made sure we had a pillow and blanket as soon as we got on too.”

Bridget says “If you have a lap baby (under 2) call up the airline and ask for a bassinet set, these are on the bulk heads so you get extra leg room which is helpful. They can’t 100% guarantee and they will tell you to ask again at check in to confirm but it’s always worked for me. The bassinets are great for letting babies lay down and sleep comfortably. They can take up to 25lbs which is about 19 months ish”

Sarah says “Usborne sticker activity books helped us on flights when the girls were little. Good distraction for take off and landing.”

Marie says “I’ve recently done a 13hour flight with a 6 week old and a 3 year old. My biggest tip is to travel over night. Our flight left at around 9pm. The baby was easy. Slept most of the way and only woke to be fed.  The 3 year old was my biggest fear. But with his own tv and kindle. It kept him occupied for the first couple of hours. Then he slept for 7 1/2 hours. The remainder of the journey he was mesmerised with the games and cartoons on the entertainment system provided. We had cars/books/toys etc in a bag but he barely touched these. Sticker books were a life saver when he started to get fed up. (Don’t forget pull ups or nappies, saves any accidents). Of course snacks are a given. We are planning the same flight (returning to England) for Christmas and again plan to come overnight. My son I’m not worried about but my daughter will be 15 months old this time and I’m dreading it. Easier when she was a baby!”

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Review 2016: Cornish Yurts

Cornish Yurts

I’ve blogged about Our Yurt before on NorthHantsMum but I thought it was time I did a Review about it. Although I’m only publishing this review because Polly, who runs the place, has agreed that we can have “our” Yurt for every May half term for the next 10 years :-D.


We have been visiting Cornish Yurts for the past 4 years. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those people who went back to the same place every year, but when you find your little piece of heaven, it’s hard not to keep going back!

The sense of excitement of our impending Yurt holiday starts about three weeks before in our house. I’m excited about relaxing, Mr NHM is excited about cooking over an open fire and Miss NHM is excited about the beaches!

It takes about 5 hours to drive from Basingstoke to Cornwall and we always try to go early to avoid the traffic. We used to stop at Exeter Services on the way down but we’ve found a new place to stop now which is almost half way.

When you arrive at the Yurt you can drive your car up to unload but then the rest of the holiday your car needs to remain in the car park. You also get a lovely welcome from the farm dogs. Sprocket is definitely our favourite.



When you arrive you get a “welcome pack” which includes local scones (normally still warm!!), Cornish fairings, a pot of locally made jam, the local paper (perfect for making fires with! Lol) and a pot of Cornish cream in your fridge.



There are two yurts in an acre of land.


As you can see there is LOADS of space to run around and play


Each yurt has a picnic table and chairs outside the yurt and has a place for a fire


Mr NHM with “Derek” his Dutch Oven

The kitchen hut is a shared space with the other yurt but each yurt has its own fridge. There is also a washing machine, kettle, toaster and every piece of kitchen equipment you would need whilst camping including a sieve and two huge hugs that would be great for squash or cocktails.


There are platters in the kitchens so you can prepare your food in the kitchen and easily carry it back to the yurt.

Each yurt also has it’s own private bathroom with sink, toilet and shower.


The yurts are on a working dairy farm and if you are very lucky one of Polly’s girls will give you a tour of the farm. We STILL haven’t had one BUT Miss NHM (5 years old) did get to go out hay bailing with AJ, the farmer, and is still going on and on about it. If you ask her what she wants to be when she gets older, she says “be a farmer on the cornwall farm”!!


Each yurt sleeps six people and has two double sofa beds and two single sofa beds.


Each yurt also has a wood burner that is made out of an old oil drum and tyre and has a fire guard


The Yurts have a wooden floor throughout and a wooden porch. There is a covered porch at the entrance where we store wood.

Each yurt also comes with its own wood. There is extra cost for this and Polly requests that you don’t waste the wood by leaving the fire going indoors or outside unnecessarily.

There is also an outdoor cooking area and each yurt has its own BBQ.



There is an outside chess set, swing ball, a set of swings and a fairy table.



Love that there is a washing machine in the kitchen hut.

Love that if it rains it makes absolutely no difference as you are still camping but there’s no risk of everything getting wet.

Love having private shower and toilet, so we can leave our stuff there.

Love that there’s only two yurts and so much space that Miss NHM becomes feral!!!


We use “Derek” Mr NHM’s Dutch Oven, my small slow cooker and occasionally the BBQ on site.


Fire extinguisher in the yurt

Private bathroom – toilet, sink and shower

Chest with a file with suggestions if things to do in the area

Games set with lots of different types of games like chess and backgammon in each yurt.

There is also a large chest of drawers for storing items with a couple of rugs in, just in case it gets cold, a small table and a large rug on the floor so you don’t get cold feet.

Each yurt has electric and our yurt has a lamp in it.


Each yurt has its own rotary line.

The kitchen area also has tea lights, books of relevance like “Cornwall with kids”, a Dutch oven cooking book (Mr NHM is now in love with his Dutch oven after he got one for Father’s Day last year. The yurts used to have one but it wasn’t looked after properly by people staying here :-()

A 4 slice toaster and kettle in the kitchen

Washing baskets

Outdoor games like jeronimo

Baby Facilities

Very amenable to babies however you do need to be careful with toddlers near the fire. We took Miss NHM for the first time when she was 2.5 years old and it was fine because she learnt pretty quickly that the fire was hot and she needed to stay away from it.

You also need someone who can build a fire to be there, otherwise it will get cold pretty quickly in the evening times.

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Places we love to visit whilst here

Rosskillys. Fantastic ice cream and grounds you can visit for free. They also have farm animals you can buy food for. The pigs are very vocal!! Also do wood fire pizzas on Wed evening.

Poldhu beach – a short drive from the yurts. On Friday night they do wood fire pizza’s from 5pm to 7.30pm.

Kynance cove –  check the tides though as we had to wait for the tide to go out for two hours last year. Had a fab time playing on the rocks though. Also, not a great place for pushchairs as it’s a 15 minute walk if you don’t walk down the cliff face and then you have to carry your pushchair over some of the rocks. People do it though!

Kennack sands – this can become filled with chav’s as its very close to a caravan site.

We always ask Polly for her recommendations on places to go. She’s a font of local knowledge.


When you first arrive you can drive up to the yurt to unload but your car must remain in the car park until it’s time to pack up.


Extremely reasonable.

Rating out of 5

10 out of 5!!!

We absolutely LOVE staying here. It’s all the little details that make it so awesome, from the moment we arrive and Sprocket comes to greet us at the door and then Polly comes out to give us massive hugs. It really is our home from home!

Although, this time we didn’t get any scones because Polly was off to china for her birthday, and knew that it was “us” and we wouldn’t mind. I did mind as I was looking forward to those scones for weeks before!! Sorry Polly, I lied!!! lol.

You may think I’m crazy for sharing this with you, as there’s a risk it might become so busy that we can’t get in, but don’t worry, I’ve done a deal with Polly that we can always have “our” yurt during May half term. Whoop!!!!

If you do decide to book, make sure you tell Polly that you are booking via NorthHantsMum.

Hope you have an awesome time as much as we do!!!

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Review 2015: Centreparc’s – Sherwood Forest

We went to Centreparc’s at Sherwood Forest in March of this year and I made a couple of notes about things to remember in case we are lucky enough to go again.

They might be useful to you and, after a NHM Reader contacted me asking me if I had any recommendations after our holiday at Centreparc’s, I thought I would add them as a post.

Several of these notes will also be relevant to other Centreparc’s in the UK.

Review 2015: Centreparc’s – Sherwood Forest

  • Arrive for 2pm. You have to queue for 30mins on the drive into the site anyway. They open the barrier at 2.30pm ish, so you can get into your apartment early. However, you can arrive from 10am, so if you can get there earlier and don’t mind leaving your things in the car, then this could also be a good plan.
  • Go swimming as soon as you arrive. Don’t even unpack. Just dump your stuff in your accommodation, park the car in the car park and go swimming. It’s the quietest it will be during your stay.
  • Dining in is free delivery on Mon and Fri. £2.75 delivery for the rest of the week.
  • We took our slow cooker with us. Great to come home, after a busy day, to a cheap, cooked meal with limited effort in the morning.
  • The Pancake house gets packed so get there before 11.30am or after 1pm
  • Most restaurants are heaving from 11.30am to 1pm and you have to wait at least half an hour. You couldn’t reserve tables when we went because people were reserving them and then not turning up. All literature says you can reserve, so check when you get there.
  • Scooter – very handy but bring a lock for it.
  • Don’t over book yourselves like we did (something every morning and afternoon. You need some time to relax!)
  • Pottery was wicked and we have something to keep as a memory but it’s really early in the morning!!! Plus quite expensive. Was worth it though as it was a lovely family activity to do together.
  • Need £1 for swimming lockers which you get back. We had a locker each, with coats, bags and shoes.
  • Twlight spa was awesome. We organised babysitting through Centreparcs at £6.50 an hour. Miss NHM loved the girl who came to sit for her.
  • Geo caching was a brilliant way to explore the site. It takes two hours and is 5k though. All on road so you can use the pushchair.
  • Very set up for children. Every restaurant on site has a microwave for heating food, a soft play area and parent/ toddler and baby changing rooms. The staff are very used to dealing with families with young children.

Top Tip: YHA Holidays

If you are looking for a reasonably priced holiday, have you checked out Youth Hostels recently?

There has been a dramatic change in the way Youth Hostels are structured in the UK over the past couple of years.

Most of the rooms are private rooms so no more dormitories, many are en-suite and they cater specifically for families.

Most of them also have self catering facilities (only the very small ones don’t) and many have restaurants on site that use local produce.

You no longer need to leave your room during the day either.

We are hoping to go Youth Hosteling in the autumn and spring next year, because I’m not a big fan of camping with a little one when the weather might be dubious.

Some of the best holidays I’ve ever had were with the YHA.

When I was 13 my family went on a weeks adventure holiday at the Wye Valley hostel which included:

  • orientering on bikes
  • a night kayaking down the River Wye
  • abseiling off a bridge into a boat
  • caving
  • horse riding in the brecon beacons
  • a medieval banquet at Briaval Castle

The two adventure holidays that we did when I was 13 and 14 were by far two of the best holidays I’ve ever had. Only my travels to Peru and Kenya compare!

There are several Youth Hostels that are just over an hours drive from here. One’s we are hoping to visit in the near future are Littlehampton and Alfriston.

Next year we also might try the new Youth Hostel campsite at the Eden Project.

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Yurt Camping!

We’ve just got back from a couple of weeks holiday. Hopefully you didn’t notice I wasn’t here, because the wonderful Abigail has been making sure that you all still see the posts that were scheduled in advance. Thank you Abigail!

This was my first two weeks holiday in a long time and it was so good just to down tools and get away from my computer and work laptop!! We spent the first week in a static caravan on the cornish coast, but the highlight was a weeks camping in a Yurt!


It was an awesome experience and if you like camping and want to try something different, I highly recommend it. We had a lovely wood burner in ours, so I would recommend going with someone who knows how to build a fire. This is the place we stayed:

Also, if you are going with little ones, I would suggest only going with immobile babies or little one’s that can understand the concept of “hot” and “fire”. Miss NHM picked up very quickly that she needed to stay away from the fire, which took a lot of pressure off.


We found our yurt via the “Cool Camping – with kids” book. There is a website too and I’ve discovered that one of the campsites now has tree houses, which look wicked!

I also wanted to apologise to those people who sent messages these past two weeks. I haven’t replied because I’ve been relaxing on a beach in deepest, darkest Cornwall :-D. I’m back now, so normal service should resume very shortly.

Thanks for your patience!