Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family travel. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Blackgang Chine on the Isle of Wight

We first visited the Isle of Wight twice as a family and both times we took a trip to one of the island's most famous attractions - Blackgang Chine.  Blackgang Chine is a unique place, built along a crumbling cliff top, set firmly in the past and combining lots of different and unrelated zones, I have spent a lot of time wondering who came up with some of the ideas! The moment you walk in you feel like you have gone back in time, but it is a fun day out for all the family and if we visit the island again we will definitely go back!

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

It cost us £80 to enter as a family of four (under 4s are free so we didn't have to pay for the little two ) and we spent a whole day there (11am-4:30pm) and got to see the whole park.  

Our favourite 'zone' is the Cowboy area which is set up as a mini street with different shops and buildings to play in as well as things to climb on, sit in and a cafe.  All four loved running around and exploring and the nachos were delicious.  There is a bin that talks to you when you put rubbish in, coffins to 'try out for size' and lots of little quirky things to discover.

In the centre of the park is a play area that consists of two pirate ships, both with guns that shoot water across at each other.  They are connected by a walkway and there are some swings on the side.  The boys loved battling with the water guns and Cora loved exploring.

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Since our last visit about two years ago, they have added an underwater kingdom which was fun to walk through with a singing crab, coloured lights and a giant whale at the exit.  We also visited Rumpus' mansion (a mansion that has been taken over by naughty gremlins), the crooked house, a fairy castle, land of the Dodo's and a dinosaur walkway.

We got lost in a maze and all four children were spun around many times on the pirate barrells ride.  The day we visited was overcast and chilly but dry and the park was really empty so they could go on as many times as they wanted.  There was a bouncy walkway which I thought was really entertaining and the park is set with a backdrop of beautiful sea.  

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine is the UKs oldest theme park which first opened in 1843 but the attractions have been moved several times as more of the coastline (including the original chine) has fallen into the sea.  Some of the attractions remain unchanged since as early as the 1960s and it all adds to Blackgang's eccentric charm.  If you visit, make sure you explore fully.  We almost missed some of the strangest sights like the little pet shop next to the pirate ships which was entertaining for us all and the talking bins never fail to raise a laugh.  Make sure you sit on the bench with gnomes at both ends and listen to their conversations too!

We loved our visit and seeing the new attraction, even though the Weather Wizard from our last visit is no longer there .  I think we will definitely return because really, there is no place quite like it!  Unfortunately my camera battery died very early on in the day so I have very few photos but there are plenty more on my post about our last visit to Blackgang Chine 

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

Blackgang Chine, isle of wight

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Thursday, 3 May 2018

Rookley Park on the Isle of Wight Review

We have just come back from a weekend at Rookley Park on the Isle of Wight.  Rookley Park is situated in Newport in the centre of the island which means you are never more than half an hour away from anywhere.  The holiday park has recently been taken over and is in the process of a huge revamp with the aim of making it the first luxury holiday park on the Isle of Wight.

Our first impressions of the park were that it was definitely a work in progress  and my children's favourite thing about the place was watching the diggers.  They weren't disruptive or in the way and most of the renovations were either already done or planned for the future.  There is a variety of accomodation including lodges, cottages and caravans.  We stayed in a three bedroom caravan a short walk from the main building.

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

Our caravan was modern and clean with a spacious living room.  We often choose caravan style holidays as it means we can put the children to bed and still have a living area to stay up and have adult time in but  as Cora is still so little and still in a cot, she had to sleep in the living room as there was no space elsewhere.  We usually choose caravans with a decking area outside so we can sit out there but there was none available at this park.

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

Unfortunately we visited the sunniest part of the UK just after a day of rain and the concrete area our caravan was situated on didn't dry out completely even two days later (ideal for puddle splashers but not great if you stupidly forgot to pack your own wellies and only have sandals!).  The grass had been recently mowed but there were clumps everywhere which made it difficult to keep the caravan clean.

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

The park has a newly refurbished clubhouse with a bar, restaurant and function rooms.  There was also a small arcade, an activities room where the kids clubs were held, an indoor swimming pool and a playground outside.  The park was situated around a fishing lake which was fun to watch although the children were very tempted to get stuck in when they saw unattended fishing rods!  

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

We did two of the activities that are charged as an additional extra.  The clay craft was £4.50 per child and the children were each given a lump of clay to create into whatever they fancied.  Both of my bigger boys took part in this but after about five minutes they had created their creatures and were done.  Some of the older children seemed to be making much more intricate creations so I think this is one for the creative kids!

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

The second activity we did was the tie dye which both boys loved.  It was £7 each and they could take away the t-shirt or tote bag they had made for that price.  It was a very hands on experience and better suited for one parent to one child (which we found out after Archie covered his clothes in fabric paint!).

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

The arcade room is in need of some updating and there was nothing for little children like the 2p machines.  For older children there were driving machines and a couple of the grab a toy ones.  The playground outside was definitely aimed at over 3s, however there were 3 rockers out there too which Cora loved playing on.  

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

The swimming pool looked clean and every time we went passed it was empty.  We didn't manage to try it out as we do struggle to take all four swimming but for anyone not crazy enough to have 4, it was centrally situated and open from 9am until 6pm every day.

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

On the Saturday night there was a children's disco in the entertainment lounge and it was one of the highlights of our stay at Rookley park.  There were games like musical bumps and statues where prizes were given out for the best statue or the fastest bump rather than children going out which we loved as it was really inclusive for the smaller ones.  We could order meals and drinks in the room and the children loved it.  There was evening entertainment at the bar each night with vocalists and musicians which started at 8pm in the main bar.

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday

We loved that Rookley Park made a great base for exploring the island and we spent an afternoon at Carisbrooke Castle and a day at Blackgang Chine (Post coming soon).  The Isle of Wight is such a lovely place with so much coast and natural beauty and we will definitely return there.  Rookley holiday park grew on me during our stay, but I would say that there wasn't a lot for under 3s and the park does need more work to be at the standard they are hoping to achieve.  I am looking forward to watching their progress!

rookley park, aria resorts, isle of wight caravan holiday


I have an exclusive 20% off code valid for the Summer Holidays! Use code TMA20 at the checkout*


Terms & conditions: Online bookings only. For new bookings only. Subject to availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. For stays at Rookley Park only. Valid for stays between 1 June 2018 and 31 August 2018. Must be booked by 31 May 2018. Offer code TMA20 must be quoted with booking. These terms may change at any time without notice.


We were provided with our accomodation and ferry crossing in exchange for our honest opinion.









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Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Carrisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight

We visited the Isle of Wight last weekend for the second time as a family and decided to explore the English Heritage site 'Carisbrooke Castle'.  Set in Newport, in the middle of the Island, the castle was once a military fortress, a king's prison and a royal summer residence.  We didn't know much about it when we turned up but it fitted our criteria of looking interesting to explore and having space to run around in.

The boys' favourite thing about the castle was the opportunity to walk around the castle wall taking in the sights of the island.  We could see for miles and we walked around almost the whole outside.  Inside the castle there is a museum which we didn't manage to see, some donkeys who you can see turning the wheel if you pop by at the right time, a little passage into the front wall where you can find dress up costumes and Princess Beatrice's gardens amongst other things.  There was a small tea rooms which is an essential for a family day out and fields to explore with giant cannons which the boys could not resist climbing on.

It was a great place to spend an afternoon and it reminded us of our love of exploring places like this enough that we purchased a membership for the English Heritage sites, so we will be visiting lots more castles over the coming year!

Here are a few photos from our afternoon



Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight

Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight
Carisbrooke castle, family fun on the isle of wight
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Monday, 16 April 2018

Crealy Adventure Park Review

I hadn't heard of Crealy Adventure Park until we were asked if we would like to come and check it out and judging by the website it looked perfect for young families like ours.  My children are 6,5,3 and 1 and the park was advertised as fun for 0-12 with rides, playgrounds and soft play areas.  We were glamping on site at Crealy Meadows and ended up spending two whole days at the Adventure Park.

Crealy Adventure Park was the boys' dream place.  The mix of child friendly rides, themed outdoor playgrounds and indoor spaces where they could bounce around was perfect for them and they loved seeing the animals and exploring everything the park had to offer.  If your child is over 92cm then there is almost nothing they can't do and one of the best parts of the week for us was being able to say yes to Finn so much.  He is used to having to wait whilst his brothers go on rides he is too small for and suddenly he was big enough for everything and he loved it!

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

The park is a mixture of indoor and outdoor which meant as the weather changed we could choose different activities.  Outside the boys favourite ride by far was the driving school which they must have done at least 8 times.  We went during the Easter holidays but the weather forecast wasn't great and we never had to queue for longer than about 5 minutes which was ideal!  Finn loved the Roman themed rollercoaster although his big brothers were too nervous to go on it and my highlight was shooting the boys with water as they played on the water ride.

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Indoors there were three rides including two that Cora was able to go on.  Although she is nearly 2 she is particularly short so her options were limited but there was plenty for her to do with the soft play areas.  There was a huge soft play which was perfect for even the biggest kids and parts were too challenging for my 5 and 6 year old still.  There were drop slides, long slides and all sorts and a seperate area for smaller children.  

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Also indoors was an animal barn where you could feed the rabbits, guinea pigs and goats.  There was a bug area and regular shows throughout the day where you could learn more about the insects, reptiles and mammals.  We caught the bug show and the kids loved learning about the tarantulas and touching the stick insects.  All three boys were mesmerised and the woman doing the show was really entertaining.

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

The downside to being in an adventure park was the food and there was limited choice (pretty much burger, halloumi in a bun or a chicken burger with chips).  I have two children who don't eat chips and there was nothing for them.  We did spot a salad and subs area but it was shut for the duration of our visit which was dissapointing.  There were picnic areas so I would suggest bringing your own food if you have fussy eaters or dietary requirements. 

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Whilst we were there, there was a free Easter Egg hunt you could take part in and the children loved following the clues to collect stamps and then trading them in for an egg at the end.  The hunt seemed to be on all week which was nice and the clues helped guide us to parts of the park we hadn't explored yet.

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

The children absolutely loved Crealy Adventure Park and it was amazing to be able to stay on site. I was exhausted at the end of every day (as were the children!) and it was great not having to go too far.  We spent 4 nights glamping on site at Crealy and had two full days in the adventure park which was perfect for us.  There were areas we saw a lot and a few bits we didn't manage to get to still.  I would recommend the park, especially if you have children between the ages of 3 and 9 as there is so much for them to do.

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com

Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com



Crealy adventure park, Devon, family travel blog, themummyadventure.com
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We were invited to visit the park and offered our accommodation and park tickets in exchange for a review.  All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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