Camp Bestival 2018 – Our Best Bits!

Although Camp Bestival was cut short this year thanks to the unreliable British weather, we still had an amazing few days there.

Here’s a round up of our best bits:

DINOSAUR WORLD LIVE

TJ is a massive dinosaur fan so we made sure we planned to see Dinosaur World Live on the Castle Stage. It didn’t disappoint. He was captivated by the model dinosaurs and listened carefully to all of the facts about them. The show was really good and captured his attention for the whole time.

I think his favourite was the enormous T-Rex!

ZSL GRUESOME NATURE

After visiting ZSL London Zoo a couple of weeks ago to experience their Superhero Academy, TJ was very keen to watch this show. We arrived early and got a space right at the front in the Greatest Tent on Earth. Again, the show was brilliant. We were told lots of gruesome facts about different creatures and the two presenters were hilarious. TJ was literally crying with laughter at some points.

INSECT CIRCUS

After a spot of lunch courtesy of Anna Maes,  we sat down by the Helter Skelter in the bright sunshine to watch the Insect Circus. This hour long show was full of acrobats dressed as insects performing a range of routines. It was really funny and TJ really enjoyed it. It was lovely sitting out in the sunshine and being entertained by some very talented gymnasts.

THE MAKE SPACE

TJ absolutely loves “making” so a trip to The Make Space was one of the things he was desperate to do. As the weather was nice on the Saturday, it was actually quite quiet in the tent and TJ was able to choose what he wanted to make and all of the materials were readily available to him. He settled for a cape and crown which he was able to do pretty much by himself. There was also the opportunity to Paint Your Own Rainbow which I may well be stealing to use in school!!

MEETING HEY DUGGEE

Since becoming a Beaver, TJ has started watching Hey Duggee on CBeebies. We were really lucky to be near to the CBeebies tent just as the main man was getting ready for a ‘Meet and Greet’. TJ was super excited to be able to give him a ‘high 5’ and pose for a photo with him. I love that even though he seems to be growing up really quickly, there’s still a little boy in there!

LIZZIE’S WAY

Last year, the Dingly Dell became a bit of a mud bath so it was really nice to be able to wander through it and to see it in all its glory. Ironically, TJ headed straight to the Mud Kitchen and spent ages making mud pancakes or digging for treasure. He loved it there and was more than happy to get his hands dirty.

SPINNEY HOLLOW

One of TJ’s favourite activities has to have been wand spinning at the Spinney Hollow. Last year, he made a pretty awesome sword so decided to make something a bit different this year. He has started to show an interest in Harry Potter so making a wand seemed pretty perfect. We booked this activity early on Friday morning and were lucky enough to get a space that afternoon. The cost was £15 which is incredibly reasonable considering you get about 30 mins of 1:1 tuition. He was very proud of his creation and I’m sure you can see why!!

DANCING TO CLEAN BANDIT

One of the reasons we love Camp Bestival is that it gives you the opportunity to throw routines out of the window. We loved covering ourselves in glow sticks and dancing away to Clean Bandit until it got dark and TJ ran out of steam. They were absolutely brilliant and really got the crowd going.

AND…..OUR ULTIMATE BEST BIT – ANDY AND THE ODD SOCKS

After seeing Andy and the Odd Socks perform last year, we made sure that we were in the Big Top in good time to see them again. They were absolutely brilliant. TJ stood right at the front with his friend M (My Two Mums) dancing and singing along to the now well-known songs. The atmosphere inside the Big Top was amazing and Unique is still one of our absolute favourite songs.

As you can see, we had an amazing time at Camp Bestival and made lots of memories together. It really is a brilliant festival and caters for children of all ages equally. I can see that every year, TJ will get to experience different things and we can’t wait to go again.

**Although we were given a family ticket to Camp Bestival, all views and opinions are our own**

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Making the most of things

Wow – I can’t believe it’s been so long since we last wrote a blog post! Life has been super busy recently which is why we felt the need to take a nice drive to Lulworth Cove after school last week.

With temperatures hitting around 26 degrees last week, a trip to the beach was a fantastic way to cool down after a busy day at school.

Lulworth Cove is only about 20 minutes away from us and the views are just breathtaking. The water is crystal clear and TJ loved being about to splash around for a couple of hours.

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Bluebells

If you haven’t already realised, we absolutely love taking photos and seeing how much TJ has changed over the years. We hardly notice the difference in him from day to day which is why we have certain family traditions when it comes to capturing photos.

One of our traditions is making sure we always visit a bluebell wood as soon as they come out in bloom.

Our first visit was when TJ was about 2 months old. We dressed him up in his little bear suit to take some photos – I’m not sure he was overly impressed but we thought he looked super cute!

2012

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The Dorset Mud Trail

A couple of months ago, we were really excited to see a post on Facebook about a new mud trail that was opening up close to Corfe Castle.

The Dorset Mud Trail, which opened to the public at the end of March, is based in the grounds of the Dorset Water Park and claims to be “the best active family adventure in Dorset, in any weather!”

We decided to visit the Mud Trail during the Easter holiday and chose one of the rare days that it wasn’t raining.

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A Little London Adventure

Whenever TJ is asked where he was born, he is super proud to say that he was born in London. Although we left when he was 3, he still has some fond memories of our adventures up there and we have been waiting for a spare weekend to take him back there for a visit. His topic at school is ‘Up Up and Away’ which is all about aeroplanes, kites, rockets and basically, anything that flies, so we decided that a visit to the Science Museum would be great.

Taking advantage of the lack of parking restrictions on a Sunday, we drove up early, parked at South Ealing tube station and took the underground straight to South Kensington. TJ loved travelling on the tube, taking in all the sights and sounds.

We got to the Science Museum just as it opened and the queue wasn’t too bad at all. We all loved wandering round looking at the exhibits. TJ especially liked the Space exhibition and even managed to complete some Home Learning in the aeroplane section.

We went on the Red Arrows simulator and also visited the 4D Apollo 10 Mission experience which were both great. We spent a good 3 hours wandering round the museum but I still don’t think we managed to see it all!

After a quick snack, we decided to pop next door to the Natural History Museum to see the whale which has replaced ‘Dippy’ and of course, the dinosaurs. The Natural History Museum is such a beautiful building and the exhibits are amazing. We have decided that next time we visit London, we will head there first and spend a proper amount of time there.

Once we’d taken a few photos (and visited the gift shop obviously), we got a bus to Piccadilly Circus. TJ has an A-Z book of London and it was great to visit some of the places featured.

After a very short walk to Leicester Square, we headed to the Lego Shop. We have wanted to go there ever since it opened and we weren’t disappointed. The displays are absolutely amazing. There’s a tube train, a red telephone box and Big Ben amongst other things. We all loved it and TJ got to spend the last of his birthday money on a rather cool Lego London Bus and a pick and mix box.

A visit to Leicester Square wouldn’t be complete without going to the M&M store and a walk through Chinatown which was beautifully decorated after the Chinese New Year.

After some dinner, we decided that we weren’t quite ready to travel home yet so we walked through Trafalgar Square, Horseguards and St James’ Park where we were lucky enough to see the beautiful pelicans.

We finished our day at Buckingham Palace just as the sun was setting which seemed a fitting end to a fantastic (and exhausting) day!

Let’s Climb a Mountain!

After a lovely weekend in Wales last year (read about it here), we decided to make a return visit this year with the aim of climbing to the top of Pen Y Fan – the highest mountain in Southern Britain (rather than the second highest mountain – Corn Du – which we may have accidentally climbed last year!!)

We spent the whole week leading up to our trip checking the weather forecast. Unfortunately, Saturday was looking like a complete wash out. Heavy rain, winds and flooding were expected so we decided to take a detour to Cardiff rather than heading straight to Brecon.

TJ is currently showing a real interest in Space and science at the moment so we decided to visit Techniquest in Cardiff Bay. It was fairly reasonable to get in and was full of lots of interactive, hands-on exhibits. TJ absolutely loved it and really enjoyed learning about the gas planets in the Planetarium.

 

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A cycle ride at Moors Valley Country Park

After spending the days since Christmas Day eating leftovers and having relatives to visit, we decided that it was time for some fresh air.

After a quick check of the weather yesterday morning to see that Friday was going to be a washout, we decided to get wrapped up in our new scarves and gloves to take TJ for a spin on his new bike around Moors Valley Country Park.

When we got there, the car park was full of people with the same idea as us. We headed straight for the cycle hire to get bikes for us so that we could cycle round with TJ – something we’ve never done before.

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Winter Sun

Luckily for us, we all finished work/school on Friday so we have a good week to get ready for Christmas. We kicked off our holiday yesterday with a trip to Brighton to visit family and drop off some Christmas presents (stopping off at Starbucks for the obligatory Gingerbread Latte!)

We visited my dad and grandad first and TJ was so proud to show everyone how well he could read now and managed to read all of Green Eggs and Ham which was super impressive.

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Pull a Pine – Arne RSPB Nature Reserve

Since moving to Dorset, we’ve made it our mission to explore as much of this beautiful county as possible. We stumbled across Arne about 2 years ago now and it’s one of our favourite places to go.

Every year, they host a ‘Pull a Pine for Christmas’ event in order to help clear away the pine trees to enable the rest of the plants and vegetation to grow properly. Last year, over 2000 people cleared 17 football pitches of pine! In return for helping, you get to take away as many Christmas trees as you like! It’s a completely win win situation.

Non-RSPB members had to pay a £10 entry fee with members only paying £5. When you consider that even the smallest real Christmas tree will probably set you back £25 in the shops, this represented incredible value for money and you are helping with conservation at the same time.

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