Sunday, 21 May 2017

Beaches of North Devon

For the last few years my Father in Law has owned a place down in North Devon and we've been lucky enough to stay there a couple of times. We went at Easter with the kids and although it was cold and windy the sun was shining and we made it to the beach every day. I thought it would be cool to share the beaches that we went to and what we enjoyed about each one so that if you are ever in the area you can choose which would suit you and your family best for a lovely day out.

Combe Martin

This is where the property is, it has the title of the UK's longest high street and the beach here is lovely. It's very pebbly which I think is a disadvantage but the kids love it for skimming stones and for rockpooling when the tide is out. Recently they've started renting out kayaks from the village so if you're looking for small and friendly then this might be the place for you. Car park is just above the beach and is very reasonable, there is also some on road parking but we've rarely been able to find a space. The chippy here is also fabulous:



Woolacombe

We've been to the beach at Woolacombe a few times and it's a huge expanse of sand and sea which is just incredible. The downside of this is when the wind is blowing it blows like a gale across it. There's a huge car park on the sea front which costs about £6 for the whole day and we've never had any trouble parking here. There are more facilities here so shop, toilets, rides to amuse the kids and a lifeguard station. It's also a great beach for surfing/bodyboarding and the kids like it because it's shallow for a long way out:



As you can see it was a freezing cold day but we threw on the wetsuits and got in anyway. 

Saunton Sands

J had done some research before we went this time and said that he heard good things about Saunton Sands so off we went. What an unbelievably beautiful place. We liked this as although there was a shop to hire wetsuits and buy ice cream there wasn't much else about from sand, sea, showers and beach huts. There's a huge car park hidden in the sand dunes and you have to be careful not to drive right by it. Again it was only about £5 for the day. You could hire a beach hut and /or wind breaks and deck chairs. This is definitely for the surfers, bodyboarders and kite surfers. Only downside was the trek to the sea when the tide was out but it was so incredible it was completely worth it!








Croyde

Awwww Croyde beach is definitely the family favourite. There are 2 car parks one on each side of the bay as well as very limited parking in the village. We always park at the Down End car park by the Croyde Surf Academy. There's parking, a toilet and outdoor shower and a very small cafe. It takes about 45 seconds to walk down the oath to the beach where there are two different beaches. One in a small cove and a bigger beach a bit further along. Like I say we all love it. Me because it's not too much of a trek down and back with all of the stuff and it's lovely and sandy, the girls because they can surf to their heart's content and the boys not only because it's shallow but also because there are plentiful rock pools so they never get bored.






Do you have any hidden North Devon treasures that we could seek next time?

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Review: Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Derby

One of the nicest things about being a blogger, in my opinion, is when you are asked to go on days out or to review things that are a perfect fir for your family so when I got an email asking if I would like to review a new adventure golf centre that had opened we said yes.


Now obviously at this point I'd forgotten that we are all super competitive, that me and the kids have no aim and that I have absolutely no patience at all but I'm sure we'll come to all of that later...... This was taken at the very start when the lovely people behind the desk had registered us and given us our equipment but before the above kicked in:


There are two different 18 hole courses at Paradise Island either Course 1 which is Mermaid Rock or Course 2 which is Shark Bay. Each course has it's own theme but the favourite of the whole KB family was Shark Bay. We started however at Mermaid Rock which is themed as a far eastern bazaar, temples and jungle with some very funky statues thrown in for good measure:



And even a snake charmer hidden away on hole!!


You can just see O lining up to take her shot in the background. We did score this round but we were pretty terrible. I think it took E 22 strokes on one hole and I wasn't far behind him!! (This is about where my patience started to run out!!)

So 19 holes later we grabbed new balls and made our way around to Course 2 - Shark Bay! This was such a lot of fun. The themes on this side were split into four different areas and first up was the shipwreck:


And then unfortunately littlest was eaten by a shark:


J had a fight with an Octopus in the second theme which was under the sea:


I scored a hole in one on this one! Whoop!!! 


Then met a shark whilst coming into land in section 3:


Next on theme 4 we hit the plains of Africa and a Cannibal Camp:




Then we were back through the cargo ship and back to hole 19 and the end of our Paradise Island adventure.

Entry can either be by timed booking or by just rocking up and paying your money. I would say that this is one of the only thing that lets it down as it was really busy when we were there (although this was Saturday lunchtime so probably to be expected!!) and we had people queuing behind us on every single hole which I found quite stressful. On a couple of holes there also isn't enough room for people to queue behind you so we had a couple of near misses at hitting them! When we go next time we would certainly try a different day or time. Some of the holes are also on the dark side so you can't always get a great view of what you're doing.... not that we're a competitive family *ahem*

Overall we had a great time and like I say the theme in Shark Bay seemed to grab the kids attention much more so than Mermaid Rock. We didn't see any staff apart from at the start but then I guess we didn't really need to. All of the kids got given different sized golf clubs that were perfect for them and after some arguing discussion managed to agree who would have which colour golf balls! The kids had varying opinions:

Oldest (14) said that it was a lot of fun and she loved Shark Bay but some of the holes could've been crazier...

Middle (10) said that it was irritating (mainly because he was rubbish at it!! Lol!!)

Littlest (8) said that it was one of the best days ever and that Shark Bay was awesome!


Paradise Island itself is really easy to find as it's located in the Intu Centre in the middle of Derby. There is loads of parking and it cost us about £4 for the couple of hours that we were there. The golf itself would have cost £30 for our family but we were there for at least an hour and a half  so did get our money's worth.

*Disclosure - We were asked to review Paradise Island Adventure Golf and didn't pay an entry fee in return for an honest review. We did pay for our own parking etc. All views, opinions and photos are my own.




Sunday, 7 May 2017

My Sunday Photo

Linking up with @photalife for my Sunday photo


Last Sunday my lovely bestie and I finally made it to Oxford for the day. We've been trying to get to the Bodleian Library for ages and it's just the most incredible place - in fact I could probably write a whole post just about the library but my favourite facts:

1) This room was used as the hospital wing in Harry Potter

2) Each little picture on the ceiling is old fashioned crowd funding!

Just amazing!


Photalife