Life of a Mum

Windmill farm park- Kibworth, Leicestershire.

Well the new farm park in our village has now been open 4 days and we’ve decided to give it a go. It’s still school holidays, and we got here at 11.30; so was expectedly packed.

Entrance is currently £5 each (with no time limit) and under 2s are free. This is an introductory offer; and I really hope it doesn’t rise dramatically. I’m guessing they’ll be an option of a yearly pass too; which with living only 5 minutes away, and it having both indoor and outdoor play options would be fantastic for us.

Top tip: remember your socks for the indoor play; we didn’t, but luckily they keep a stock at £1.50 a pair.

Dorothea headed straight for the indoor play area, themed; wait for it…… on a farm with a windmill; it’s really rather stunning. With a large softer play area for the under twos (but Dorothea loved it), with a slide, climbing areas and lovely houses for hiding in; all carpeted in squashy faux grass and foam mats. There’s also a larger play area for the bigger kids- with lots of climbing and hiding options. Seems lots of the parents were loving it too. The main attraction in here is the beautiful big windmill which the kids can turn a wheel to get moving. The walls are painted with stunning farm murals; so you really don’t feel like you’re sitting in a barn!

The indoor play area has seating and a small cafe surrounding the faux grass area. There’s more seating upstairs overlooking the play area.

The cafe seemed reasonable with cakes at £1.95-2.95 and coffee around £3. There’s kids meal boxes for £5.50 too. You can’t bring your own picnic inside, but there’s a picnic area out in the main farm area (and an ice cream shed too). It’s great to see healthy snack options including dried fruit and popcorn, and very little plastic too. Lucy told me the cakes are sourced from a local baker which is a nice touch too.

Behind the main play barn with animals to see and feed. At certain times during the day there’s staffed sessions to pet the animals; we got to hold a baby chick which Dorothea loves. Next time we visit I’ll make sure we stroke the rabbits and guinea pigs. Although a very new park- the animals seems very friendly and tame. Dorothea loved feeding ‘my friend Henry’.

Lucy tells me that there’s also some small class rooms that they are hoping to do activities/crafts in.

The outside play area is large and surrounded by animals to see and feed. There’s a large climbing frame/slide- in a sandpit with a cool water feature. Dorothea loved using the water pump to watch the water move down to each movable dam which eventually finishes in a small pool. There’s also a large swing and an enclosed area with small tractors to ride on.

There’s a big picnic area by the ice cream shed which you can bring your own picnics too. Some of the ground is a bit rough and ready with some puddles- so wellies or sturdy shoes are probably best. The outside play area isn’t sheltered or shady, so can get breezy/sunny depending on the day.

What I love is that there’s no shop! Meaning you can really stick to a budget for your day out.

I will certainly be visiting again, with a few friends for company I’m sure we could spend the whole day her. I think this park will evolve and grow with more animals and activities- I certainly think they’ve made a pretty awesome start.

https://windmillfarmpark.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/WindmillFarmPark/

Family time

National Trust

Yes I admit it we are national trust geeks. I don’t know anything else you can pay £100 a year for and have so many fab days out.

Here are some of our favourites- with pics of course.

Trelissick is probably our number one. It has a little bit of everything. It’s always on our ‘must go to’ list when we head to Cornwall; which is at least twice a year- and even though we’ve been about 6 times now we still want to revisit.

Trelissick Gardens- Cornwall

Stunning gardens, gorgeous house (especially at Christmas), beautiful views, massive trees, fragrant flowers and bugs to search for!

One side of the estate you have a glorious view out to Falmouth; if you’re really lucky you may have the little wooden folly all to yourself to admire the view. The wide open grassy areas mean there’s enough space to create your own picnic area and sun spot, but still be close enough to other families to make new friends.

A very close second place- bonus points for us as it’s within an hour of home. This estate is huge with a massive variety of things to see and do.

This one is perfect for families with little ones; as they have an awesome farm and play area. But grandparents won’t feel left out with the stunning country house and impeccably kept gardens.

Plenty of picnic areas- and a shady garden with deck chairs to sip a cold wine while the kids make new friends and run around in the trees.

There’s loads of areas suitable for cute photo opportunities; wagons, beautifully painted benches, expertly symmetrical topiary and shady woodlands full of places to explore.

Another one down in Cornwall. A beautiful castle on an island. The novelty is that it’s a tidal island; get there at the right time and you can wander across (but hurry otherwise you may be paddling), it was also fun for Dorothea to experience the short boat ride home.

This tea room is quaint with beamed ceilings and unbeatable views, the two shops are also a great browse.

The trek up to the castle is not for the faint hearted (they provide hip carriers to help with the little ones)- and probably wouldn’t suit anyone with any degree of mobility issues. But if you can get up there the castle is certainly worth a look!

If you can’t the gardens and small hamlet are pretty special to wander round. The little town of Marazion is also worth hanging around for; some pleasant independent shops and a nice play area and beach too.

Do be aware; this is one where you have to pay extra for parking.

Who can resist a national trust property with an epic maze!!!!

This one is perfect for sunny photo opportunities; and would also keep the kids busy.

This one made me feel like we’d been magically transported to a tropical country- the whole place was like a sun laden playground for the most awesome plants and flowers.

Again this one is in Cornwall; but surely all these spectacular recommendations must make you want to visit the best southern county!

Almost didn’t want to tell you about this one!

We just want to keep it to ourselves; the most glorious, picturesque and isolated beach. We’ve been lucky enough to have it all to ourselves.

Again this one is like being transported to a different country. Here we were making sand castles, splashing and stripping down to T-shirt’s in December!

The waves and rocks are amazing for the little ones to see. Rock-pools are to be explored, sandcastles to be built and pebbles to be skimmed.

Just above this beach hidden in the rocks is the infamous Minnack theatre- so Porthcurnoe is a cool place for a pre theatre picnic! (Or swim in the Summer)

Also called ‘church cove’- this ones quite a drive out in the sticks but certainly worth it. Another gloriously isolated beach and church.

This area seems to be bustling with wildlife; and there were plenty of birds for Dorothea to admire.

A lovely little stream runs down to the water. We loved donning our wellies, having a good splash and practising our pebble skimming.

There’s no facilities; so pack a picnic (or cream cake and flask of tea) and sit for a little while.

Back near home now. We were lucky enough to find this one by accident at Halloween!

The great thing about national trusts, is that the soon familiar leaf symbol pops up on all the road signs, and gives you a great few hours that you were not expecting!

Calke Abbey tends to have quite a lot of food fairs, which adds a little bit to your day out. The drive through the estate to the house is impressive- and must be at least a mile long!

The gardens here are awesome; we were so impressed by the Halloween pumpkin display- and again there’s lots of spacious picnic areas, and great big trees to play hide and seek.

Stowe is one of the most impressive of the national trusts! The architecture is outstanding and the grounds are huge.

The massive archways as you approach set the scene well, for what is about to follow.

This is certainly one you could spend the whole day at. Wandering around eager to see the next impressive monument or statue would impress anyone. Again great for picnics, picking daisies and off course making wishes by throwing pennies in the water.

We’ve only been here once- but it’s stayed in our memories. A beautiful but very long and wising walk down to a stunning country house and pretty gardens.

Yes another in Cornwall! I know, we are slightly obsessed!

Now there’s very little at Lizard point! But the trip is worth it for the epic views and the isolated chance of seeing seals in the wild!

Just look at the colour of the water!- yes it’s in England!

There’s a cool little shop that sells, earrings, socks and glassworks too!

Well I hope these ten have given you something to think about. What else can you get for a tenner a month???

We are long-standing national trust geeks and proud! So I will be showing you more- as there’s loads of our favourites to explore more and photograph.

NT web

There’s a fab app too!