The other thing that happens during this half term is we celebrate our wedding anniversary and this year we decided to go away for a few days and for the boys to stay with grandparents. In the past we've taken the boys to Coombe Mill - our favourite holiday destination - and spent a week in Cornwall, but this year we wanted to go it child-free. There are a few highlights that are worth knowing about if you are planning a UK break.
We visit Lappa every time we go to Cornwall, the boys just love it. By the boys I also mean Hubbie. It truly is the best family day out with steam, diesel and static trains (a cafe on sleepers is the latest addition). There is also a boating lake, crazy golf and a large playground and indoor play for the days when it's a bit too chilly to play outside. Not that anything stops our boys from wanting to go outside and play. There are seasonal events so this half term there is the Halloween Spooktacular and at we've also been at Christmas and seen Father Christmas there.
My first visit was when Eden first opened over 15 years ago and I was captivated by it then. I went back after a long time when we brought Brown Bear to Coombe Mill for the first time in July 2014. I had wanted to go back to Eden for years, but with it being so far from home I hadn't had the chance. Now I visit at least once a year if not more. That first year we took Brown Bear to Eden for Christmas and saw the best Father Christmas I think I've ever seen. He was so convincing I had to pinch myself.
My favourite thing to do in the colder months (apart from skiing) is ice skating and the rink at Eden is fantastic, set in a biome of its own outside the rainforest and mediterranean zones. I've taken Brown Bear skiing with me and he loved going round with Pedro Penguin. This visit was my first skate of the year and it's always the same - starts off with me looking like a foal finding it's feet and by the end I'm convinced I'm at an Olympic standard. I'm not. If you can make it to the end of the 40 minute session there is a snowfall that will leave visitors young and old with a magical feeling about the experience.
In my wildest dreams I imagine that I will study / volunteer at Eden and be a regular visitor here pretty much forever. I can hope can't I ?
There are some beautiful places to visit and we have only been to a handful of them so far. The ones I'd recommend visiting with children are:
Mevagissy is a really pretty vilage which has a model railway that Brown Bear loved visiting and there is a traditional sweet shop that drew my eye as well. If you fancy seeing some more here is a list of the top ten fishing villages of which Mevagissy is one: http://www.cornwalls.co.uk/top_ten/fishing_villages.htm
Padstow is pretty well known and hardly qualifies as a village any more, so it's often busy in the summer months. We still love visiting for the great fish and chips and ice cream that makes the boys' tongues go blue. This visit we went to Rick Stein's seafood reastaurant for our anniversary which was a treat. Not something that we would do with the boys - well not at this age anyway.
We love taking the boys to the beach and even in the Autumn there is plenty to see and do. In the Summer I took Brown Bear surfing at Polzeath beach. We both loved it and while you can still surf I'm not keen to get in the water when it's cold. Instead we like to walk and explore the rock pools. We've usually been lucky with sunshine even on the coldest days in Cornwall. Trebarwith Strand offers a lovely coastal walk to Tintagel and on the afternoon we visited the boys had a lovely time playing with boats and making footprints in the sand.
I can't imagine a time when we won't enjoy going to Cornwall as a family or as a couple. Not when there is so much fun to have and so many adventures yet to enjoy.