Tuesday 21 July 2020

Bedgebury, Goudhurst, Kent - An Amazing Day Out for all the Family

Bedgebury Header

Back in April 2017, we visited Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest as we were going to try out the Go Ape course. Despite having lived only 30 minutes away for a good few years it was our first visit there and we were impressed. We all had an amazing day at the Forestry Commission site that is a 200-acre Pinetum and 2000-acre forest. I'd heard many times before that it is a great place for families to visit but I wasn't in a hurry to drive over and pay for parking as we ourselves live in 220 acres of glorious East Sussex countryside. 

It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago when we were due to head to Go Ape again that we made our next trip to Bedgebury, and it still is as glorious as ever. We need to go back as a family and take a picnic to spend a number of hours there walking the trails without the distraction of doing Go Ape and being tried afterwards!

I love that the Forestry Commission describe Bedgebury as a 'world of trees' and you can check out their website before you travel if you want to know more about all the tree species you'll see once there. If you like to be outside there is so much to do at Bedgebury and it is open 8am - 7pm daily at the moment -

Walking Trails

Again head to the website to download maps for various trails across the massive site. There are gentle strolls, nordic walking trails, seasonal trails, challenging health walks and calorie mapped trails. Normally you can pick up maps in the Visitor Centre too, but right now, due to Covid-19 it is closed. They are working on reopening it soon though and you can find lots of information on the website.

There are four orienteering trails for all abilities, they are professionally designed and affiliated to the British Orienteering Federation. The four different routes are suitable for children, beginners, intermediate and advanced.

Dogs are welcome at Bedgebury, but of course, you must follow the forest rules.

Sunday 19 July 2020

Planning to get Pregnant - 7 Things to Consider

Photo by Anna Pritchard on Unsplash
{This is a collaborative post}

Getting pregnant, having a baby and becoming a parent are something many of us take for granted. Growing up I had no desire to have children of my own; I didn't have any younger family members, so I never babysat and spent time around little ones and I just didn't think they'd be a part of my life. Roll forward a number of years and I found the right partner and kids very firmly become a part of my future.

I never realised what a rollercoaster it could be to conceive and then have a baby though, that knowledge only came to me through experience. In October 2002 when my husband and I were on honeymoon we decided to try for a child and I stopped taking the pill. Having been on it for around a decade I was led to believe it was going to take 6 months to a year for it to leave my system and for me to fall pregnant. Not so! It really is different for everyone. I fell pregnant on 31st December 2002 and had JJ in early October 2003. From planning to having a baby in my arms in just under a year, it was no wonder I thought the second child would come easily.

Things often don't go as expected though and when we decided to try for another baby about a year after having JJ, it just didn't happen. It took until late 2006 and having been off work for a while with neuralgia bought on by bells palsy to fall pregnant again. Then we discovered it was a twin pregnancy, probably due to my taking a super high dose of vitamin B12 (for the bells palsy) and also folic acid at that time, as well as being stress-free.

Wednesday 15 July 2020

Summertime Reasons to be Cheerful #R2BC

Time just seems to have been escaping me recently. The easing of lockdown has meant that the centre where I live is slowly re-opening and this means I've been busy helping my husband get things ready and also doing the social media. Add that to my regular work, looking after the house and trying to keep the kids interested in their education and I've been a busy girl. Here is my home looking really beautiful as I drove back in at sunset the other day -

I've had some great walks out in our grounds with my kids over the last few months. Sunset is a popular time, once dinner and tidying up is done, we head off and wander. The girls go on the swing, they teach me tik tok dances and they laugh at me, it's bliss!

Saturday 11 July 2020

8 Ways to Feel Better about Yourself

Photo by Ellieelien on Unsplash
{This is a collaborative post}

We've been living through such a strange and difficult time the last few months and as lockdown starts to ease and hopefully life becomes a little more normal again, it is good to think about what we can do to give ourselves a little boost. Many of us have been desperate to get our hair cut or our nails done, and those simple actions can make you feel more confident and ready to face the world. But I've also been musing some other ideas of what we can do if we are feeling a bit flat right now and as if we need to start to feel better about ourself again.

So how about these ideas? -

1.  Have a day to yourself

If lockdown has meant you've been home with those you love 24/7 then you might just be desperate for some alone time. Now that more places are opening up and perhaps you can get out as you have a babysitter, why not consider a day shopping in your favourite town. Or maybe taking a very long walk in a local country park, seaside or forest. Pack a flash and a picnic if you still want to stay away from people, or it might be your idea of heaven to be able to have a good coffee al fresco outside your favourite cafe.

Thursday 9 July 2020

Go Ape Treetop Challenge in a time of Social Distancing, Bedgebury, Kent

2 females on Go ape treetop challenge

It's my girls birthday next week and for quite some time they've been wanting to do the Go Ape Treetop Challenge. They've both completed the Treetop Adventure a few times and enjoyed it but as tall girls, they were ready for a new challenge. I have to admit, that I have never fancied going up into the treetops myself and had put off going as I assumed they needed an adult up there with them, what I now know is that if the child is under 13, they have to have an adult participating with them, but if they are 13 or over the adult can supervise from the ground. Perfect, I suspect we'll be going more often now I know that!

There used to be a minimum age for participation on the Treetop Challenge but now with new safety technology it is just a minimum height and any child can have a go (along with their supervising adult) as long as they are 1.4M (4FT 7”) or more.

The cost to do the Treetop Challenge is £25 for an under 18-year-old and £33 for 18 years plus. It's advised that the course will probably take around 2-3 hours. We arrived for a safety briefing at 9.45am, but it didn't start until closer to 10am by the time all participants had arrived and it probably went on until about 10.30am, because of the need to keep a distance from others.  We finished the course at 12.25pm, so that was just under two hours up in the air. It's great that there is no time limit and you can enjoy the course at a leisurely pace if you so wish.

3 females in the trees

Monday 6 July 2020

First-Timers’ Guide to Visiting Italy in the Summer

Photo by Flo P on Unsplash
{This post is written in collaboration with Emily Jones}

Even though there is a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19 right now, one can still plan and dream. It’s actually fun and refreshing to talk about going somewhere with your family, even if it may not be for a bit. One wonderful destination to go to is Italy, especially with kids. The food is incredible, the locals are friendly, the natural landscapes are stunning, there is so much history and culture here, and there is something for everyone.

So if you are looking to go to Italy for the first time, here’s your guide to visiting Italy in the summer!

Travel tips for Italy in the summer

Plan ahead
You know how important planning is to me and with so much to see and do in Italy, it is crucial to make a list of ‘must-see’ spots before you go. Especially when you are travelling as a family, you want to see the beautiful sites, visit some museums, and also experience life around the places you visit. Plus, while you are in Italy. you don’t want to be planning what next, you just want to make the most of your time there!

Sunday 5 July 2020

Recommended Self-Catering Accommodation in the South of England

In the wake of this pandemic, many people are rejecting the idea of holidaying abroad this year and will be staying in the UK instead. Whilst many of us are keen to get away and to start feeling a bit more normal, there is still a certain level of caution and worry around being away from home and being around too many people. For that reason, booking self-catered accommodation could be a great option.

Here are some recommendations of places we have stayed, in the south of England, and have really enjoyed, thus being happy to recommend them -

East Sussex - Blue Doors Cottage, Ashburnham Place, Battle

This comfortable cottage sleeps 5 adults easily, has a large private back garden, allocated parking and good WiFi. Nestled in the woods at the 220 acre Ashburnham Place it is a great place to holiday. You can walk or cycle the extensive grounds and enjoy all that Ashburnham Place has to offer.  It's only 8 miles from Bexhill beach and the towns of Hastings and Eastbourne are around 30 minutes away.

Blue Doors Cottage, Ashburnham Place

Check out the Ashburnham Place website