#southwestdaysout – The Bear Trail

#southwestdaysout – The Bear Trail.

On Sunday we went to The Bear Trail in Cullompton for the first time.

Isabelle and I had been looking at the pictures on facebook at all the mud covered adults and children. She thought it was ‘awesome’ and I wondered what on earth I should wear!

I opted for gym gear and trainers to make running, jumping and climbing possible.

The Bear Trail

At this point I should mention that the day before we went it absolutely bucketed down so it was definitely going to be an extra muddy day!

I am usually the bag carrier! Daddy is usually the one who does the physical stuff whilst I look after the bags/coats/picnic, but this time I decided that we were all going to take part and have some fun.

The Bear Trail

Our Visit

The Bear Trail was easy to find and there was ample parking when we arrived.

The carpark overlooked the trail where all the equipment was laid out in a wide open space with plenty of grass space in the middle, perfect for picnics.

Isabelle was very excited (and Daddy too) and were raring to go. When we arrived there were lots of cars arriving for a birthday party. All nicely dressed. Big mistake!

The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail

Inside the Bear Trail.

Aside from the trail itself there is a barn with inside seating, a kiosk selling hot drinks, sandwiches, cakes as well as freshly made wood fired pizzas, changing rooms, toilets and a shower area.

There is also a play area for the littles with a sandpit, but there is no age limit on any of the equipment. The ethos is that if you think you can do it – give it a go. You know your own child’s capability.

Not forgetting in the far corner there is a pen with some alpaca and ponies which when you’re having fun could easily be  overlooked, but we went over and gave the ponies a stroke.

The Trail

The trail has a selection of rope climbing frames, swing ropes, bridges, zip slides, tunnels, hay bales, stepping stones, tyres and more, all with a huge puddle of muddy water either before, after or underneath.

Off we went, and at first I think most people make some kind of attempt to stay out of the mud, but once you go in – you get stuck in. Isabelle had no hesitation and was a mud slick in minutes. Daddy closely followed whilst I lagged behind shop fresh clean.

After passing a fellow blogger who had got stuck in with her two boys I felt a bit of a wuss and with the help of Isabelle managed to get covered in mud. Squelchy feet and all.

You can go around the trail in order, but there were certain bits that we preferred so we made up our own route.

Some families set up picnics and had blankets and food laid out where the adults congregated and the kids were let loose to play. As it’s all open plan you can give the kids that bit of freedom.

We went round the trail for a good couple of hours before showering off and getting changed before being treated to a lovely lunch of a selection of wood fired pizzas, cakes and drinks.

The Bear Trail

About the Bear Trail

The trail set in Cullompton, Devon is about to celebrate it’s first birthday and was set in motion by Ben a former Army Man.

The trail is evolving and new obstacles are in the pipeline, as are better changing facilities. We thought lockers were a good idea to eliminate the trips back to the car.

The trail is kept as basic as can be – no flashing lights, music or bright colours. It’s all about getting outside and having good old fashioned fun.

All the obstacles have safety nets but it’s very much up to the individual’s capability. Isabelle is six and was capable of taking part in every part of the trail and made the most of it.

It’s an all weather day out. If it rains, you get muddier!

The Bear Trail

Info

The trail is open from 10 – 5pm. There are no time restrictions – you can stay all day.

Tickets are available at the entrance or online. If it’s the school holidays I would recommend booking beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Prices
Over 1 metre – £7.50
Under 1 metre – £4.50

Don’t wear your best clothes – they will get muddy.

Take spare clothes, shoes, towels and a bag to put all the muddy clothes in.

Food is available – the pizzas are awesome, but you can take your own. There are plenty of picnic tables and grassy areas to sit.

Bear Trail Birthday Party’s – You can host a birthday party at the trail with different priced packages to suit your budget.

All in all we had a great day so The Bear Trail gets the thumbs up from us.

To celebrate their first birthday they are having a Colour Bomb Run where you will be showered with the colours of the rainbow as well as mud – This is taking place on 23rd July and booking is advisable.

For you lovely readers we can offer 5% off the usual ticket price if you book online. Just add the code: BLOG5 at the checkout. 

The Bear Trail
One of my FAVE pics!

Have fun.

Lisa x

11 Easter Activities in the South West

11 Easter Activities in the South West

It’s Easter Holiday time and definitely time to get out and about with the kids. The weather should be a lot better, although Saturday was definitely a cinema day with torrential rain.

Easter Activities in the South West

We have a half work, half time off Easter Holiday’s this year but here are some great ideas to get out and about with the kids in the South West.

Easter Activities in the South West

1. Egg-citing Easter Dinosaur Egg Hunt 1st – 16th April – Seaton Jurassic.
£1 for a clue sheet – Just complete the trail and claim your prize!

Easter Activities in the South West
2. Easter Egg Hunt – The Miniature Pony Centre 14th, 16th and 17th April
As well as all the usual fun stuff to do at the pony centre including pony rides, indoor and outdoor play they are holding an Easter Egg Hunt with a fancy dress theme and entertainment from Dan the Hat and Jack’s Zoo.

Easter Activities in the SouthWest

3. Easter Activities at World of Country Life – 1st – 17th April
There’s loads of stuff going on at the World of Country Life including Easter themed arts and crafts, meet the Easter Bunny, Ferret racing, an Easter Egg Hunt and The Chicken Run (which is a surprise event).

Easter Activities in the South West

4. Crealy Mega Easter Egg Hunt – 14th – 17th April
Once you’re in, collect you map and go and find the stamps. Find all the stamps and receive 1 of 10000 eggs that they’re giving away!

Easter Activities in the South West

5. Exeter Racecourse Family Day 11th April
Lots of family fun including meeting Sid and Scrat from Ice Age, Dartmoor Ponies, Children’s races, facepainting, meet the jockeys and lots more.

Easter Activities in the South West

6. Easter Fun at Pennywell Farm – 15th – 17th April
Join in the Giant Easter Egg Hunt, Egg Rolling, Egg Tossing and guess the weight of the Easter Egg as well as meeting and feeding the animals. If you go on Good Friday before 11am you may be lucky enough to get a free hot cross bun with your cuppa.

Easter Activities in the South West

7. Easter Egg Trail at Powderham Castle – 14th – 17th April
Join in the Easter Egg trail and receive a chocolaty treat from Chococo!

8. Various Kids Activities in Exeter City Centre 11th – 14th April 
Join in with Easter Crafts, street food, face painting and balloons at various places including Sidwell Street, McCoys Arcade and Harlequins Shopping Centre. Many of these are FREE as well.

9. Easter Egg Hunt at Poltimore House – 9th April
Enjoy walking round the grounds, hot cross buns and let the children go and look for the chicken’s and eggs.

Easter Activities in the South WEst

10. Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt at Killerton House – 1st – 20th April
Search the grounds for the eggs and collect your Cadbury treat at the end. Don’t forget to visit the cool bear house!

11. Easter inspired crafts at Bunyipbeads – 4th – 13th April
Enjoy some Easter inspired decoupage, cross stitch and bracelet making. Booking is required and recommended age group is 6 – 16 years.

Whatever you do make sure that it’s Egg-citing!

Lisa x

You Baby Me Mummy

#whatwedidthisweek – 13.02.17

#whatwedidthisweek – 13.02.17

It’s half-term and the alarm clock is set to OFF!

It doesn’t mean that we get a lie-in but it’s so much nicer  not waking up to the sound of the alarm and having to immediately jump out of bed and get ready. Non-alarm days or weekends we’re usually woken up by Isabelle climbing over us so it could be a misplaced arm, let or elbow that awakens us.

It was a great start to the week as the sun was shining, albeit it the wind was biting. Up we got at a leisurely pace and off we went to Wildwood Escot for a day of Creepy Crawly Welly Walking, walking in the woods and eating flapjack (which I’ve posted separately about).

#whatwedidthisweek

We were really lucky with the weather as the following day it poured down with rain so we headed off to soft play in Exmouth. If you’ve been to Exmouth before then you will know that when it’s cold – it’s flippin freezing there! Isabelle had a really lovely time. We bumped into several people from school including Isabelle’s teacher. It ended with the filling in of an accident form as Isabelle got herself a lovely slide burn on her back and her arm.

#whatwedidthisweek

 

We finished off that day with MacDonalds and a trip to a local farm shop where the Ostrich took a slightly liking to me and followed me backwards and forwards. I tested this theory by running up and down and it copied me. I only received a couple of odd looks.

Wednesday we had a lazy day at home and made cupcakes and Carrot and Lentil Soup.

#whatwedidthisweek

Thursday we met up with a dog walker friend who is hopefully going to have Charlie when we go on holiday in August. This will be first time that we’ve left him so I’m a bit nervous as I don’t want him to think that we’ve left him. He had to meet the other dog that will be there at the same time as him to make sure that they would get along. I knew that Charlie would be fine as he’s such a friendly boy. He’s never shown any aggression to any other dogs or people, and just loves to play so I knew that he would be fine.

Isabelle had a playdate with a friend in the afternoon so I had a bit of a catch up with sorting washing and a little bit of blogging.

Friday was another dodgy weather day so Isabelle invited one of her friends over to play. It was the first time that her room wasn’t turned upside down and inside out. They sat and played pony hairdressers.

On Saturday we went to the cinema to watch the Trolls movie which we hadn’t got round to watching due to illness/being busy. I gave her a choice of pic n mix or Ice cream, and she chose ice cream. She opted for a two scoop tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. What flavour did she want? Phish Food, Caramel Chew, Double Chocolate Brownie? Nope she wanted vanilla. Really said the man serving. You just want vanilla? He tempted her into having one scoop of vanilla and one caramel honey.

The film was fab so we need to get it on DVD.

Today we went to Budleigh Salterton Beach with the pooch. The whole beach is just pebbles, no sand.

It’s really difficult to walk on pebbles as they move so running is almost impossible.

#whatwedidthisweek

Charlie wasn’t keen on the beach to start with, but I think it was because the waves were quite fierce and they make a lot of noise going back and forth over the pebbles. We walked down as far as the nudey beach, and thankfully there were no nudists for Isabelle to point at and laugh at (luckily for us).

#whatwedidthisweek

By the time we made it off the beach it felt like we were walking on fluffy clouds.

#whatwedidthisweek

It’s back to work for me tomorrow.

What have you been up to this week?

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

 

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best

#southwestdaysout – Wildwood Escot

#southwestdaysout – Wildwood Escot 

We used to be frequent visitors of Escot when Ryan was younger so it’s nice to be invited to take Isabelle, especially as she seems to quite like mud, walking in mud, squishing in mud, poking sticks in mud……..just mud.

Wildwood Escot

We started off in the Anglo Saxon Village which was really cool. It was all set out as a proper village with a kitchen area, bedrooms, fire places and is used as part of the Camp Wild setting which offers holiday camps for children aged 7 – 12 years.

Wildwood Escot

This February half term they have Creepy Crawly Welly Walks running twice a day which are definitely worth going on. We had a lovely guide who showed us some rather strange looking dried animals and skulls. Isabelle didn’t seem phased by the flat squirrel or hedgehog.

Wildwood Escot

We stomped through the park to a pond where we dipped to see if we could find any creepy crawlies lurking underneath. We found some little ‘slug like’ bugs on the leaves and further on we found some frog spawn which Isabelle thought looked like snot.

You know the saying that you learn something new everyday?

Well at Wildwood Escot they have a deadly predator laying in waiting.

It doesn’t have claws, sharp teeth and it doesn’t growl.

It’s called Hemlock Water Dropwart and is poisonous if eaten.

We then took part in making mud creatures using mud, twigs, leaves and anything else that we could find on the ground.

Isabelle made a squirrel, a squirrel house with a fire outside the front and an antenna on the top for the TV.

It was amazing seeing all the other children using their imagination to make creatures including an alien and a fairy.

After the welly walk we went to explore the rest of the park. There are some amazing climbing trees with really gnarly intertwined branches.

It was a lovely sunny day but the wind was quite biting so unfortunately we didn’t see the squirrels, but we saw the Lynx being fed by the keeper. There was one at the back, and we finally spotted the other one which was hiding in the giant tree trunk in it’s enclosure. They really are beautiful. I could just imagine one curling up on your lap.

The Wild Boar were all foraging for food and some were outstretched in the sunlight.

We went over to the Death Slide and Isabelle was really up for having a go. That was until she reached the top and looked over the edge, and then we came back down again. Ha ha. I was totally going to show her how it’s done but I had to help her back down the steps!

I really wanted to go and watch the Otter feeding, as they’re really interesting. They obviously know exactly what time feeding time is as they were all by the door that the keeper comes in whining in unison, and running round as a group waiting for their food.

They were given a selection of food including turkey meatballs and cherry tomatoes which was thrown all around the enclosure so that they had to look for it. They work really fast at getting the food!

A hanging type basket filled with straw and bits of food was hung up so that they had to rummage through the straw to get the food. It was really funny to see them find something like they were dipping into a lucky dip, run over to the water to wash it before eating it.

We spent some time in the outdoor play area where there are plenty of things to climb on, and then had a go on the rope swing where I very nearly took out a child. Oops.

Wildwood Escot

We had coffee and usually cake but we opted for flapjack which was so yummy and chewy (big thumbs up).

We found a tree where there were loads of wine bottles hanging. We told Isabelle that that’s where the witches lived and that they hung the bottles on the branches when they finished the wine.

Wildwood Escot

There are loads of picnic tables or space to lay out a picnic around the park which is what we would usually do in the nicer weather.

Wildwood Escot is the place for you if you like being outdoors where the kids can explore, use their imagination and play.

Wolves are moving to Wildwood Escot shortly which we can’t wait to go and meet. Wildwood Escot is a registered charity and your admission is treated as a charitable donation. You can support this further by adopting an animal to help ensure that the animals are cared for an fed as they should be as well as keeping the park going for people to enjoy for years to come.

For more information pop over the Wildwood Escot Website.

#adoptananimalweek

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

Wildwood Escot

#southwestdaysout – February Half Term

#southwestdaysout – February Half Term

February Half Term

It feels like we’ve only just got back into the swing of things following Christmas, and yet another school holiday is just around the corner.

I’m really hoping that the weather is on our side as we have a couple of outside trips to go on. Worse case scenario we go armed with wellies, raincoats and umbrella’s. Sometimes you’ve just got to go for it.

Here are some of the things that have made our ears prick up:

February Half Term

1. Wildwood Escot – Adopt an Animal Week

This is a great place to take the kids. All week they have animal talks including Otters and Red Squirrels.
What’s on this week? Creepy Crawly Welly Walks, pond dipping and making animal dens as well as all the usual outdoor fun.
Adult £9.50
Children £8.00 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

2. Crealy – Devon

What’s not to love about Crealy. There’s loads of stuff to do for all ages outside if the weather is nice, and if not you can hunch up with all the other mums and dads in the indoor play area and let the kids let off some steam. Meet the animals including Goats, Ponies, Monkeys and Meerkats. During half-term they’re running competitions for a chance to Win prizes totalling £5000 over the week. You can also camp, glamp or stay in a lodge in Crealy Meadows.
Adults £6.95
Children £6.95 (Under 92cm FREE)

February Half Term

3. The Donkey Sanctuary 

Named as one of the ‘Top Ten Family Day’s Out in Devon’. This is a lovely place to take the kids where you can meet the donkey’s and stay for a grooming session along with talks about the work that they do (which is amazing). They have a maze and an outdoor play area, and I hear that the food is absolutely delicious.
Adults FREE
Children FREE

February Half Term

4. Cofton Holiday Park

They are offering a Dip and Dine offer with swimming, sauna and steam (adults only) and food in Amelia’s where they serve a selection of hot and cold food. We’ve done this before where we’ve had a swim and then a cooked breakfast which was lovely.
Adults £9.00
Children £6.00

February Half Term

5. Pennywell Farm VIP February 

To launch the season’s opening, if you visit during 11th – 19th February you will be given a return ticket to visit as many times as you like during half-term. Take the little ones along for animal feeding, egg collecting, pond dipping, ferret racing and miniature pig racing. If you visit on 11th or 17th February Poco Drom will be playing which is always a treat.
Adults £14.95
Children £10.95

February Half Term

6. The Bear Trail 

A brand new adventure trail for kids and adults alike. The trail is for all ages and has a range of bridges, zip wires, stepping stones and ropes. If you’re kids like mud (who doesn’t) then this is great fun. Booking is advised.
Over 1 Metre £6.50
Under 1 Metre £3.50

February Half Term

7. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)

There are loads of workshops during half-term week including animation workshops, Family Collage making and a Chinese Trail. Most of these are drop-in sessions but pop over the to website to check to avoid disappointment.
Adults FREE
Children FREE

February Half Term

8. Prickly Ball Farm

I’ve been meaning to take Isabelle here for a while now. Not only do they have lots of hedgehogs that have been rescued, but they have other animals such as goats, pigs and ponies. Get involved with feeding and petting the animals. This February entry is only £5.00 (including half-term).
Adults £5.00
Children £5.00 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

9. Living Coasts – Beside the Seaside

During February Half Term they are having a Beside the Seaside theme including a Shipwrek Train, a Beachside Scene, Puppet Shoes, Mac the Penguin, daily Animal talks and more.
Adults £12.20
Children £9.15 (Under 3’s FREE)

February Half Term

10. Paignton Zoo 

Who doesn’t love a trip to the zoo! As well as all the Fab animals, this February Half Term celebrates the launch of Cold-blooded Creatures 2017.  There will be special talks, trails, Cuba the Croc mascot appearances and more!
Adults £15.40
Children £11.55 (Under 3’s FREE)

There are also lots of FREE things to do in the South West such as taking advantage of the many beaches. We love going to beach outside of summer time to find unusual things in the rock pools, and collect shells and pebbles . Put your wellies on, grab a bucket and a net and off you go.

Here are the Top 10 Beaches according to Visit South Devon.

Bantham Beach
Beer Beach
Bigbury on Sea
Blackpool Sands
Dawlish Warren
East Portlemouth
Hope Cove Beach
Sandy Bay in Exmouth
Slapton Sands and Torcross
Teignmouth

Lisa

www.babynotincluded.co.uk

 

#southwestdaysout – Open Air Cinema

#southwestdaysout – Open Air Cinema

Urgh I feel totally jaded today.

We went to watch The Jungle Book at the Open Air Cinema hosted by Exeter Phoenix.

We don’t normally do activities later in the evenings (especially a school night) with Isabelle as we know that we’d pay for it the following day due to her lack of sleep.

However, as it’s the school holidays (so technically only a school night for Mummy and Daddy) we thought it would be a nice thing to do.

We packed some snacks, a blanket and some warm clothes and off we set.

The gates opened at 7.30pm with the film starting at 9pm.

When we arrived at 8pm there was quite a lot of people already there and the screen was being put up. There were food and drink stalls at the back, and then the rows of chairs in front with the blanket area at the front.

We chose to sit of the floor with a blanket as we thought it would be much nicer to be able to huddle together when it got colder later on in the evening

We set ourselves up and Isabelle arranged the snacks and eagerly tucked in.

#southwestdaysout Open Air Cinema

 

It was a nice atmosphere with some people coming as they were, and other people bringing along cushions, blankets, huge overflowing picnic baskets and looking like they were setting up camp for a week. We even saw a family walk across with each child carrying a beanbag to sit on.

#southwestdaysout - Open Air Cinema

There was a bar there so Daddy and I could have a drink. I had half a pint of Fanny’s Bramble cider (Tee Hee) which was lovely. I loved the fact that there was food on sale, and even a Deliveroo pick up point. Looking around there were people with Dominoe’s Pizze, Macdonalds, gorgeously packed up picnics and there was even a couple behind us who had proper plates, glasses, knives and forks and napkins.

#southwestdaysout - Open Air Cinema

I was worried that Isabelle would get bored before the film started, but I think all the hustle and bustle of the people around us made the time fly.

The film didn’t start until 9.25pm and it was just starting to turn a bit chilly. However, snuggled up on our blanket we were absolutely fine.

#southwestdaysout - Open Air Cinema

The film was AMAZING!

#southwestdaysout - Open Air Cinema

We really enjoyed it, and it was a lovely experience for Isabelle.

We had a lovely walk home led by Isabelle by torch light and finally made it home for 11.40!

We would definitely do this again, and at £5.00 a head it was a total bargain.

It would have been even better if my alarm hadn’t gone off at 5.30am this morning!!

Oh and *tick* – Another one off the list.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk 

#southwestdaysout – Dartmoor – Fingle Bridge

#southwestdaysout – Fingle Bridge, Dartmoor.

We’ve ticked off another from our Family Bucket List 2016! We went to Fingle Bridge on Dartmoor.

Since getting the dog a couple of years ago we love finding new places to walk him and thankfully Isabelle loves a good walk as long as we have the following:

Drinks
Snacks
Mud/Sand
Water

fingle_bridge

One of our fellow dog walkers recommended Fingle Bridge as a place to go with the dog and the littles. Lots of opportunity to paddle in water, lots of mud to splash and splodge in and being woodland lots of stones, twigs, acorns and other things to fill our pockets with.

We started off at the bridge noting the HUGE pub with it’s lovely setting and garden.

What to do!

The route that we took was not the easiest of walk with lots of tricky areas, huge muddy patches (thankfully we all managed to keep our shoes on our feet) and narrow rickety steps to contend with.

This was great for Isabelle who at five is slightly more fearless than we’d like her to be.

Charlie (our dog) was amazingly well behaved and loved to explore his new surroundings. We kept our beady eyes out for families with food as unfortunately at only two he’s still a total scavenger and will gatecrash, steal and run!

Strangely there were canvasses dotted around the place which kind of looked a bit odd, but Isabelle quite liked looking out for them.

The walk took us a good couple of hours with a picnic stop along the way.

Isabelle found a walking stick along the way which she held onto until we found a waterfall so she sent it on its way out to sea and wonders what country it will end up in.

It was a lovely day and we ended it by visiting the pub at the start (Fingle Bridge Inn).  We may even have to go back for the Duck Race which takes place in April/May of each year.

fingle bridge

For a full list of #southwestdaysout pop over for lots of inspirations on days out with the kids.

Lisa x

#southwestdaysout – The day we found the Gruffalo

#southwestdaysout – The Day we found the Gruffalo

We’re quite lucky in the South West that we have a lot of places at our disposable to take the family. Although it gets a bit tricky having a 3 year old and a 15 year old, and now with the pup thrown into the mix don’t make for an easy family day out.

Thank goodness for Haldon Forest park!

We didn’t take the teen with us this time as he had other plans but off we trudged with Isabelle and the dog in our boots and armed with coats, umbrellas and treats for the dog.

When we got there, we had a little surprise as the Discovery Trail (the easiest at 1.5 miles) had been set up as a Gruffalo hunt with clues and things to do along the way. This was the easiest of trails so perfect for Isabelle and a nice walk for us.

#southwestdaysout

There were loads of families there and lots of people whizzing up and down on bikes for the different tracks (none of which I would try).

#southwestdaysout

 

There were ample places to stop if you were to take a picnic and pleasingly we didn’t encounter any rubbish, apart from one poo bag (why do people go to the effort of bagging it up only to leave it there!).

wpid-photo-4-6.jpg.jpeg

#southwestdaysout

It was dog heaven for Charlie who saw lots of other dogs along the way including a huge group of Shar pei dogs (belonging to several owners ? dog group).

We saw the Gruffalo’s den and met Mouse, Snake, Fox, Owl and sat on a singing seat. We also played on some giant wooden xylophones and hid from Daddy and Charlie in a maze.

And did we find the Gruffalo?

Yup and he wasn’t scarey at all.

#southwestdaysout

We ended the day with a gorgeous icecream and a bowl of water and treats for Charlie, then home for a roast dinner.

Think we’ll go for one of the harder routes next time.

Lisa x

www.babynotincluded.co.uk