As a 40 something who is working part-time at a local accountancy firm, bringing up my two boys and looking after my husband who’s a big kid himself as he requires more looking after than our two children sometimes, life can be hard, especially when you chuck in all the cleaning and managing our budget.
Getting some time to myself for a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate, as I’m sure you can imagine, is a bit tricky but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love a day out with the fam as much as the next working mum. I’ve been super busy recently, we’ve had a little break as a family when my hubby was finally home and now I’m back and settled back into a routine and the boys are back in school, I thought it would be about right to write up about some of our summer adventures.
This was a somewhat tumultuous time, getting the boys (husband included) to get all their stuff packed and together and then of course getting everyone in the car was another battle in of itself, but we did it eventually.
Of course, being the frugal woman that I am, we couldn’t just go out into the wild without a budget so I spent a couple of hours a few days prior working out what we were going to be taking out of the holiday savings account to spend. We were having ten days driving around the UK camping at various different campsites and staying at a few Premier Inns so the cost of accommodation was a varied one and then you add in the cost of fuel and food, it was a pricey holiday but that didn’t mean we couldn’t afford it. Budget right and you can afford almost anything. It just takes time and practice, make no bones about it, budgeting isn’t easy.
So, off we set to our first destination, the nearest one to us, the National Media Museum in West Yorkshire. There are interactive galleries located on seven different floors and as this is a gallery dedicated to the development and cultural impact of the internet, it’s something that the boys definitely had an interest in. An added bonus was that entry was free so this cost us zilch to get in!
After this, we headed north to North Yorkshire for the National Railway Museum (part 1). Once we arrived, we headed straight out to the National Railway Museum. My husband is a huuuuge fan of locomotives so he was happy but happier knowing that our next stop was County Durham where we were spending the night and he was getting the National Railway Museum (part 2).
Again, the admission to both these sites was free so it was a pretty cheap day aside from food and the hotel. We went out for some food that night which everyone was ready for after trudging around after my giddy husband all afternoon.
The next day, whilst still in County Durham, we figured it made sense to head out to the Beamish Museum which is a quite phenomenal 300-acre area containing reconstructed houses, shops and heritage buildings which contrasted life in the North-East of England in 1825 with the post-industrial period almost a century later. Fascinating stuff to say the least!
The afternoon was spent driving the hour or so up to Northumberland where we camped at Hadrian’s Wall Camping & Caravan site. This place was amazing and allowed us to explore Hadrian’s Wall at our leisure. We spent two days exploring the area before the next leg of our trip…
After our two nights up I Northumberland where we explored, our next stop was the seaside town of Blackpool. We went via the M6 and it took us almost three and a half hours to get there. We arrived just after 1pm and went immediately to our hotel and grabbed some fish and chips and sat by the front.
It was the kid’s first time in Blackpool and I don’t think they were too impressed but they were certainly impressed with the look of Blackpool Tower from a far and that was our next destination that afternoon with Blackpool Pleasure Beach coming the following day.
Blackpool Tower didn’t impress the kids too much, they enjoyed the view from the top but that was about it. It was all about the following day for them…
I have to say, Blackpool Pleasure Beach was one of the best days out with the kids I’ve had in recent times. Hubby and I found that little spark of a child that we didn’t know we still had in us when we took on some of the different rides the park had to offer. My personal favourite was the Big Dipper, it’s been a while since I was in Blackpool and the Big Dipper was my favourite back when I used to come with my friends and I enjoyed it just as much this time around.
The final stop on our tour was headed down to Chester for a visit to the infamous Chester Zoo. This, was absolutely the highlight of the trip for me. I love animals and Chester Zoo was just phenomenal and really interactive and educational. All the keepers were really helpful and my youngest, who had loads of questions, got everything he asked answered and he was super pleased.
We then headed back home after our day in Chester and after another two hours of driving, we arrived home having managed to stay under budget (only just, we have £3.02 to spare) and a great few days under our belts with a long weekend to recover before getting back into the swing of things.