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Our Top Five Things To Do When Visiting The Lake District

29 October 2020

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Disclosure In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views and photographs are our own.

Although we haven't done a lot of travelling this year we have had some very nice days out and overnight stays and I think that has helped us get through this very strange year. One of our favourite places is The Lake District and whilst following local guidance it's been perfect to visit as there is plenty of open space to enjoy and no matter what the weather it's a beautiful place to explore. Here are our top five things to do and see when visiting The Lake District. 

Bowness on Windermere

Enjoy A Boat Trip On Windermere
Taking a boat trip on Windermere never gets old and we have been enjoying it for as long as I can remember. You can enjoy the stunning views of Windermere from a cruise that departs from either Bowness. Ambleside or Lakeside.

Red Cruise
Sail from Bowness to Ambleside or vice versa, and enjoy this 70-75 minutes round trip cruise.

Blue Cruise
A 45 minute circular cruise from Bowness, enjoy contrasting scenery of mountains, wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays.

Yellow Cruise
This cruise sails from Bowness to Lakeside or vice versa. The round trip takes 90 minutes.

Due to Covid-19 all cruises now have allocated seating and you can book up to between 7-10 days in advance. A face covering must be worn on board all cruises and it's advised to check the website before you travel for any updated information.

Grizedale Forest


Visit To Grizedale Forest
The Grizedale Visitor centre is a great base if you are planning one of the walking trails as it has plenty of parking, facilities including toilets and washing area, picnic tables to enjoy lunch or snack before you set off.

The centre also has a fantastic childrens play area, and a cafe area with outside and inside seating (although inside isn't available at the moment) serving food, drinks and ice creams throughout the day.  There is also a Go Ape centre here with climbing options in the forest and Segway routes if you would prefer this to a walk.

Railway Sign


Take A Steam Train Ride
You can enjoy the scenic views of the Lakes from the comfort of a Steam Train on the heritage railway. You can combine the yellow river cruise from Bowness and enjoy a 2 hour round trip. 

Your boat cruise will take you to Lakeside where you will then board the steam train to Haverthwaite Station.

Once at Haverthwaite you can enjoy a take away snack from the tea room, browse the gift shop, take a woodland walk and the children can enjoy the large playground area.

Due to Covid-19 all visitors on board must wear a face covering and as always make sure you check out the website for up to date information regarding your visit.

Walking through the woods

Walk Through Fell Foot Park
Fell Foot Park is a huge open space where you can enjoy walks around the parkland, meadow and lake. There is cafe open inside the park and they are working hard to not only provide takeaway snacks and drinks but to offer indoor seating too. 

There is a downloadable activity sheet available from the Fell Foot Park website including a tree trail and bird spotter challenge. 

The car park is open however parking spaces are limited and at the moment there are just two toilets open. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

Vegetable patch at Hill Top

Hill Top - A Visit Beatrix Potter's Home
A visit to Hill Top is a must for Beatrix Potter fans. Although the house is currently closed due to Covid-19 the gardens, shop and cafe are open. 

The gardens are beautiful all year round but in Autumn they are busting with vegetables, fruit and pretty colours. 

If you want to explore the area you can enjoy the Beatrix Potter Moss Eccles Tarn Walk. This is a gentle walk taking from Hill Top to Moss Eccles Tarn, one of Beatrix Potters favourite places to paint while her husband fished. 

Please do continue to check the website before your visit.

The lakes


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Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit 

Visit our Autumn Walks In The North West post for more walk ideas

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The Lake District is a beautiful place to visit with so many attractions and things to see and do and we never get tired of visiting and exploring. 

Michelle
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Snowdonia View Farmhouse

8 September 2020

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Snowdonia View Farmhouse


For the past few years every Summer we have come together as a family and booked a trip away for a few days. We have visited Simgill Cottage in The Lake District in the past which was a great base to explore the Lakes but this year we decided to head west and visit North Wales. Finding a property that can accommodate 14 can be tough but we managed to find Snowdonia View.

Snowdonia View is a large cottage farmhouse situated in Bryn y Maen with Conwy, Betwys-y-Coed and Llandudno being a short distance away.

On arrival Snowdonia View can comfortably park 4 cars at the side of the property and 1 at the front.

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Dining Room

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Kitchen
Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Kitchen


When you enter you will be greeted by a large hall/main entrance. This leads on to an open plan dining room with seating suitable for up to 16 people. The kitchen is to the right of the dining room and has everything you need for a self catering holiday. Just at the side of the kitchen are two utility rooms with washing machine and also another full size fridge.  The door from the utility leads on to the back garden.

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Living Room
Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Living Room

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Living Room

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Conservatory


Back to the main entrance if you turn left you will enter the living room which is a decent size and was more than comfortable for us all.  The living room has a step up towards the back of the room leading to a pool table area and then a door into the conservatory.  The living room comes equipped with tv and DVD player and a wide range of DVD's to choose from. There is also a selection of games and books too. 

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - downstairs bedroom


There is a bedroom downstairs just to the left of the dining area. It is a double bedroom with a fireplace, wardrobe, dressing table and looks out on to the back garden. We actually popped a single bed in the room too as there was plenty of space. 

There is also a small toilet room downstairs with sink. 

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - bathroom

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Triple Bedroom

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - Twin Bedroom

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - double and single Bedroom

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - twin Bedroom

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - ensuite

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - master bedroom
Upstairs consists of a master bedroom with double bedroom and ensuite, a double room which can also include a single bed on request, two bedrooms with two single beds in each and another room with two single beds and a third on request. There is one master bathroom with toilet, sink, bath and walk in shower. 

At the back of the property you could see horses on the field which the children really enjoyed. 

We all arrived at different times during our first evening but the property was ready and waiting for us. The owners do not live far from the property and the key was waiting for us on arrival. 

Check out time was 10am and within minutes of the check out time a van arrived which I think may have been cleaners so there is no hanging around. 

Snowdonia View Farmhouse - boy on rocking horse


Snowdonia View accommodated our needs perfectly. Some of the decor and furnishing was a little dated and could do with a freshen up but we definitely would return in future.  The property and gardens are very spacious and with 4 children travelling they had plenty of space to explore and play both inside and outside. 

For us Snowdonia View was the perfect base for us to explore North Wales including Greenwood Forest Park, Llandudno and The Welsh Mountain Zoo which were all a short drive away. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you stayed in a large accommodation venue? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts or check out Simgill Farm Cottages

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Michelle
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Air Unlimited Liverpool

16 December 2019

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Disclosure - We were invited to the relaunch of Air Unlimited. All thoughts, opinions and Photographs are our own. 

boy standing outside trampoline park
Over the past few years we have visited many trampoline and inflatable parks but last week we were invited to our first ever trampoline and inflatable park all under one roof at Air Unlimited

boy standing in a trampoline park
boy standing in a trampoline park
Air Unlimited has everything you want from a trampoline park. Lots of trampolines for bouncing fun, airbags and tumble tracks. The trampoline area is quite spacious and there are lots of trampolines to choose from.

boy standing in a trampoline park

boy standing in a trampoline park

boy standing in a trampoline park
Then you have the inflatable area. You can still enjoy lots of bouncing fun with the added bonus of tunnels, inflatable stairs to climb up and slides to whizz down on. 

boy standing in a trampoline park

boy standing in a trampoline park
Little J spent most of his time in the inflatable area. It's secluded away from the trampolines and once inside I couldn't really see him from the viewing area both on the mezzanine floor or on the ground however I would see him occasionally as he slid down the slide. 

Having both the trampolines and inflatables together is a great idea and neither area seemed overcrowded or busy. There was plenty of space and little J had a fantastic time. 

There are party rooms available too, so perfect for a child's birthday party and there is also a cafe upstairs which has a great selection of meals and snacks.

If you would like to try Air Unlimited for yourself then I am giving three lucky readers the chance to win an Air Unlimited Liverpool Family Pass

All you need to do is complete the entry form below


Michelle

Competition closes on Thursday 5th January 2020
Entrants must have a valid UK address. 
Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 
All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 
3 lucky winners will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 
Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 
The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 
The winners will not be announced on my blog or social media until they have agreed that their name can be displayed. 
The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 
This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 
The Prize : A family pass to Air Unlimited Liverpool 
Passes are valid for up to four people for a one-hour session
Expiry date for all passes is Saturday 29th February 2020
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Manchester Giants Basketball Party

17 November 2019

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Disclosure - We were invited to the a Manchester Giants Basketball Party for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own.

boy looking at a Basketball player
Little J's birthday isn't till March but already he has been talking about his birthday party. Birthday parties are such a big deal when you are a kid and over the years we have hosted and been to so many different parties. We've been to soft play parties, swimming parties, Nerf parties, football parties, there are lots of different party venues to choose from.  We were invited last week to a basketball party and for us this was the first time we have ever been to a basketball party and game so we were very excited.

The Basketball party was at the home of the Manchester Giants in Urmston, Manchester.  I had already read about the party and what was included but I didn't tell little J as I wanted it to be a surprise.

When we arrived we were shown to a cafe / seating area to wait until our allocated time which was 3pm. There was another party waiting too and after reading the information leaflet there is a maximum of two parties per time slot.

Basketball poster
We then followed the staff member to the basketball court area. Little J was really excited at this point and had no idea that for the next hour he would have a one hour basketball coaching session with the Giants coaches.

We were able to sit and watch the children on one half of the court as the coach did mini coaching sessions with them and little games. The other party I mentioned earlier was on the other half of the court.

boy on a basketball court
boy on a basketball court
The coach told all the children to get a ball and they practiced dribbling, tackling and shooting from different angles. It was lots of fun and all the children seemed to be having a great time. They finished with a game that involved two teams racing to their ball and trying to score a basket before the other team. They were joined by two Manchester Giants players which was amazing.

Once the coaching session was finished it was time for some food. The children headed to the cafe / seating area and were rewarded for their hard work on the court with Pizza, Chips and Juice. There was so much pizza and chips available so the kids could just help themselves once they had finished what they had been given. Afterwards they enjoyed birthday cake.

The children were given about 45 minutes to eat which was just the right amount of time as I could see some of them becoming a little restless.

boy overlooking a basketball court
A basketball game
Once they were finished their party meal we headed back to the court to watch the Manchester Giants take on the Newcastle Eagles. We have never seen a basketball match before but I have to say we all really enjoyed it. It's quick paced with music playing and a DJ/Compare talking on the microphone encouraging the crowd to get involved, it really was a fun and exciting experience.

All party children get to go on to the court which was an amazing experience. They all looked so happy.

a basketball player signing an autograph
After the game the Manchester Giants all stay behind and are quite happy signing autographs and having photographs taken which is a lovely way to end the party.

Included in the party is...

One hours coaching session on the court with Giants coaches.

Party Children run out with the players for a team huddle.

Match tickets on the day of the party.

Birthday child or group receives a Molten Basketball signed by the Giants.

A Giants T-Shirt for each child.

Pizza meal following the coaching session.

Parties take place on match days before games. The price for a party is £350 for 10 children and 2 adults, additional children are £35 per head. You can purchase extra adult tickets for the match at £10 each.

A Manchester Giants Party is a perfect choice for a basketball fan however we didn't know anything about basketball before we visited and absolutely loved it so I would say it's a great party choice for all.

Michelle
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What To Expect At The New Look Inflata Nation, Manchester

11 November 2019

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Disclosure - We were invited to Inflata Nation for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

inside Inflata Nation
Last year we visited Inflata Nation in Manchester and little J loved it, he loved it so much that he has continued to ask when we could go back. Last week we finally managed to return and it was perfect as it has had a refurbishment and is bigger than before with dual level inflatables.

For those that have never been before Inflata Nation is an indoor inflatable arena so is perfect for lots of bouncing fun.

Little J couldn't wait to get bouncing as soon as we walked through the door. Upon arrival you need to complete a waiver form (if you haven't already done it when you booked online). You are given a coloured wristband to show staff that you have bought and paid for a one hour time slot. If you book two hours you will be given a second different coloured wristband. Once checked in you can remove your shoes and place them in a locker and then head for a safety brief.

As soon as that is complete you head to the inflatable arena ready for your session. There are so many features to choose from little J didn't know where to start.

The new arena has lots of super slides to choose from

Two lane slides with a jaw dropping 7m near vertical drop. This was little J's favourite thing. He went on it 25 times. He just wanted to go round and round and round again. He is such a daredevil and the look of excitement as he slid down with his arms crossed on his chest, made me giggle.

Next to the vertical drop slides are dual bumpy slides. Little J didn't quite fancy these but John had a turn and almost flipped upside down.

The incredible tipping slide looked fun so I encouraged John and little J to go on it. It will definitely test your balance and skills as the slide inflates and starts tipping you down.

Inflata Nation, Manchester
Inflata Bubbles always makes me giggle as little J bounces from one to another.

Inflata Free fall is a new free fall activity for all thrill seekers. Take a jump off the 6m platform. You’ll be wearing a harness and clipped to a free fall device to help you land safely.

The new ball pit was another favourite of little J's.

There is also and Improved interactive obstacle course for trying out those challenging ninja style moves. Both John and little J tried this out and had lots of fun doing so.

Inflata Duel, the popular and hilarious gladiator podium is back however we were told it was reserved for a party only which was a shame. Little J was desperate to have a turn.

As well as the arena there is a downstairs cafe, party and viewing area plus an upstairs seating/viewing area too.

For more information you can visit Inflata Nation.

We really enjoyed our session and I would definitely recommend choosing a two hour bounce. It will give you time to take a break in between and have a drink as it does get hot in there.

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

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Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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Disney On Ice Returns in 2020 With Magical Ice Festival

8 November 2019

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A few weeks ago we headed to Manchester to watch Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic. We have seen Disney On Ice quite a few times over the years and we love it every time as it gets better and better. The highlight this year for us was Toy Story 4 and and the arrival of Forky on the ice. The kids went crazy and little J proudly held up his Forky plush to show support for one of his favourite characters. I am so pleased to see that Disney On Ice is making a return in the new year with a new show Disney On Ice Magical Ice Festival.
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Bill's Restaurant and Bar, Trafford Centre

7 October 2019

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Disclosure - We were invited along to Bill's to try out their menu. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own

Outside Bills Restaurant
Every weekend we like to try and get together and have a family meal out. This weekend we were invited to Bill's Restaurant and Bar at the Trafford Centre. Although we have seen Bill's a few times we have never tried it so it was a lovely treat for us all.

We decided to go for dinner but there are other menus to choose from including Breakfast, Lunch, Teatime and also a Dinner Set Menu which is £17.50 for 2 courses and £20.50 for 3 courses, Sunday-Thursday from 5pm. There is a separate Children's menu offering Breakfast and Lunch/Dinner options.

Inside Bill's Restaurant
If you have dined out at the Trafford Centre before you will know them most of the restaurants are in the Great Hall, Bill's is upstairs and has just recently had a refurb. The interior is really eye-catching with lots of bright colours and lighting. Whilst waiting for our meals we all enjoyed a great game of I Spy as there are so many furnishings and accessories dotted around. At the Trafford Centre Bill's there is an option to eat outside the restaurant or inside, our table was inside and it was quite spacious and fitted the four of us round it, no problem.

We had already had a little sneaky peek at the menus online so knew what to we were going to order once we got there,  however we all changed our minds once we were inside.

Fried Halloumi Sticks
To start we all chose Fried Halloumi Sticks. The Halloumi Sticks arrived on a bed of lettuce and what looked like chopped chilies, It also came with Bill's Chutney.  A portion of Halloumi was 6 sticks. They were nice and light and made a perfect started.

Steak and Eggs
For our mains John chose Steak and Eggs. Chargrilled minute steak with 2 fried eggs on a bed of fries.

Bill's Classic Burger
Big J had Bill's Classic Burger. The Burger is topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and spiced mayo served in a sesame seed bun and arrived with a pot of rosemary salted fries on the side

Pan fried chicken with Wild Mushrooms
I had the Pan fried Chicken with Wild Mushrooms. The pan fried chicken arrived with broccoli stems on top and a drizzle of mushroom sauce and creamy herbed mash. There was also a small jug of extra mushroom sauce if I wanted to top it up.

Little Bill's Breakfast
Little J chose a little Bill's Breakfast which includes sausage, bacon, egg, baked beans and toast. Little J chose scrambled egg.

When ordering both the burger and the steak we were asked if we would prefer medium or well done. We were also offered the choice of extras on the burger such as cheese, bacon, smashed avocado and with the steak we were offered a range of sauces. These cost extra.

If you want to choose a meal off the children’s menu you also get a dessert included however as little J went for the little Bills breakfast a dessert was not included in the price.

We were all impressed with Bills, not only was the food delicious but also the atmosphere inside the restaurant was nice and chilled and the staff were very helpful and friendly. The waitress asked us numerous times if our food was okay or whether we needed anything. Also just as we sat down and was handed our menus we were asked if we had any allergies. This is something we have never come across before and it was nice of them to ask. We have someone in our extended family who is coeliac and always has to ask for the gluten free menu so it was nice for them to check first before handing us the menus.

Bill's Restaurant
We would definitely pay Bill's another visit in the near future while shopping at the Trafford Centre or more locally Liverpool.

To find out more information or menus available you can head to Bill's

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Have you visited? Leave us a comment below and let us know about your visit.

Visit our Out and About Section for lots of travel posts

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful. 

Michelle
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Walt Disney World | Hollywood Studios Ride Guide and Spoilers

25 September 2019

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Hollywood Studios entrance
Hollywood Studios was very popular with big and little J on our last trip to Walt Disney World and I think we spent more time there overall than any other park. The new addition of Toy Story Land makes Hollywood Studios very popular so have a read of our ride guide and spoilers to make the most of your day.
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