FREE Entry to Seaton Delaval Hall, Cragside and Wallington


In celebration of the National Lottery turning 25 this year, holders of a National Lottery Ticket/Scratch Card/Proof of Play (from any date) can enjoy FREE entry to selected National Trust properties on selected dates this Winter.





I LOVE strolling around National Trust grounds and looking at all of the beautiful houses in the build-up to Christmas and think this is an opportunity not to be missed! National Trust sites are the perfect spot for a Magical Winter Walk. 

The National Lottery has provided millions of pounds worth of support to National Trust properties across North East England and this is their way to say thank you.
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A Guide to Visiting Liverpool Christmas Markets & Lights

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When National Express asked us to pick a Northern Christmas Market to visit and write about, I immediately knew it had to be Liverpool. We visited the city last October Half Term and have been itching to return ever since. Christmas seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore more of the city.




I feel like a lot of people from North East England visit Edinburgh, York or Manchester Christmas Markets and really hope this post inspires a few of you to give Liverpool a try - we really had the best weekend.


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13 Reasons Why Ramside Spa is the Best Spa in North East England

Disclosure: I have visited Ramside Spa a few times this year - a mix of press visits & visits I have paid for myself. Some photos in this post are c/o Ramside Spa.

13 Reasons Why Ramside Spa is the Best North East Spa


It was love at first sight for me and Ramside Hall. I have visited a few times this year and can confidently say, it is my favourite North East Spa. I love it so much that I am thinking about treating myself to a 3-month membership from Jan-March when I am not so busy work-wise. The only thing that is putting me off is the pesky traffic on the A1 during rush hour.
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10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England

Disclosure - This post features affiliate links

10 Magical Winter Walks for Children in North East England

Do not let the cold weather put you off, winter is a wonderful time of year to wrap up and take a stroll with the family. In North East England we have plenty of magical Winter walks to choose from including:
  1. Kielder Forest 
  2. Low Newton
  3. Tynemouth to Cullercoats 
  4. Cragside 
  5. Wallington Hall
  6. Bolam Lake
  7. Belsay Hall 
  8. Hamsterley Forest 
  9. RSPB Saltholme 
  10. Snowman Trail in Middlesbrough  
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School Holiday Short Breaks at Potters Resort - A Review

AD - Post features a press trip from October 2019 


We all know that we love our short breaks. Nothing beats quality time away with the family and short breaks with the kids are something I prioritise. I am a definite believer in experience and memories over material objects.

Potters Resort Review


The problem is, with three older kids, holidays are an expensive business. The amount of spending money we can sometimes go through on food and activities is ridiculous (I will never forget the time we spent £130 on one activity at Center Parcs).
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Villa Pia Review - An alternative all-inclusive holiday in Italy

Ad - This post features a press trip from October 2019


Snuggled in the library on a rainy October morning with my slippers on, warm and cozy by the fire which had been going all day. I had a glass of red wine in hand, was just about to finish the final chapter of my book and was looking out through the shutters at the rolling Italian countryside outside. I could hear the kids in the kitchen next door tucking into a slice of homemade cake which the cook had just brought through for our afternoon snack and I remember thinking that this is the most relaxed I have ever felt on holiday. 

Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out prices and how to book.

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Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle - 2019 Review & Tips

It was never my intention to buy tickets to Santa on the Rooftop this year. We already have a full festive diary and lots of lovely Christmas events to attend BUT in the end, I was caught up in the frenzy of booking tickets and ended up booking tickets to take my 4-year-old nephew as I knew he would love it.

Santa on the Rooftop at Fenwick Newcastle Review


We visited Santa on the Rooftop in 2018 and had a wonderful experience so I hoped this year would be just as good.

There will be spoilers in this review!  
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10 Reasons We Love Potters Resort Family Breaks

Ad - Press Stay October 2019

Potters Resort Family Breaks are available across selected dates. Short breaks in the school holidays are priced from  £279 per adult, £179 per child aged 9-15, £169 per child aged 2-8 and £10 for under 2s. You get a lot for your money here. This price includes:
  • Full board 
  • 100s of activities for all ages
  • Evening entertainment 
  • Accommodation 
Potters Resort is in Norfolk - around a 5 hour drive from Newcastle and its right by the sea with direct beach access too. 

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Haven Berwick Upon Tweed Review


I have not been compensated to write this post, I stayed at Haven Berwick twice this Summer - one trip was part of a press trip with Visit Berwick and the other was a trip we paid for ourselves. This post contains affiliate links.

Haven Berwick Upon Tweed Review

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5 Reasons to Watch An Inspector Calls with Teens

We were provided with press tickets
An Inspector Calls is a play I remember studying in year 9. I loved it at school and it was probably my first introduction to a murder mystery type story. I was enthralled.

Fast forward 20+ years and I'd kind of forgotten the story so I couldn't wait to relive my youth. I took my theatre-loving teen Harry along for the show on opening night at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Scroll to the bottom of this post for booking links and tickets. 


10 Reasons to Watch An Inspector Calls with Teens

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The Best Days Out in County Durham for Kids

Disclosure - I have worked with some of the attractions in this post in the past. I have not been paid to write this post and retain editorial control.

The Best Days Out in County Durham for Kids


We've spent a fair bit of time visiting attractions across County Durham this year and it's fair to say that I've more than fallen in love with the region. In fact, I've been blown away by how much there is to do here.

It's impossible to include every attraction in this list and I'll update this post through time as I visit more attractions - please let me know if you have any favourites and we'll try to visit asap.
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Why are we obsessed with the perfect Santa?


Why are we obsessed with the perfect Santa?

Why are we obsessed with the perfect Santa?

This is a question I've been asking myself this year. With most premium attractions selling out before we even hit half term, I really feel as if our obsession with the perfect Santa is getting out of control.
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Angry Birds Adventure Golf at intu Metrocentre | Opening, Prices & Food

Disclosure - we were invited along to their VIP launch night with no obligation to write this post.

Angry Birds Adventure Golf Review at intu Metrocentre | Opening, Prices & Food


Angry Birds Adventure Golf has now opened at intu Metrocentre and is one of our top recommendations for what to do when it rains in North East England.

There are two courses - Bird Island and Pigtropolis. Both have 18 holes each. You can choose to play one course or both of them together.
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Chester Zoo & Blackpool Tower Bus Trip with National Holidays


Disclosure - we paid for a different National Holidays trip a while ago and didn't have the best time (you can read about it here). National Holidays invited us back as an apology and for the opportunity to give them another chance. I originally paid as a normal customer and was not asked to write this blog post. 

Chester Zoo & Blackpool Tower Bus Trip with National Holidays - A Review

National Holidays offer coach trips throughout Europe. There are lots of different options including city breaks, theatre breaks, guided tours, trips to top UK attractions and more.

There's no denying they are hassle-free and a convenient way to travel, especially if you don't drive. We booked the Chester Zoo and Blackpool Tower Trip in October - our party was made up of myself, my mam, Heidi (10) and Jack (8).

The cost of this trip is usually £99 per adult and £89 per child inclusive of return coach travel and transport throughout, entry to Chester Zoo and the Blackpool Tower Eye (or alternative), a 3-course evening meal, overnight accommodation and breakfast.

Because so much is included and we took packed lunches for breakfast & lunch plus our own snacks, we hardly spent any money across the weekend so I would say trips with National Holidays are a brilliant option if you're on a budget.

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Shakespeare for Tweens with RSC at Northern Stage

Disclosure - We have a mix of press and paid-for tickets to see this show

I struggle with Shakespeare sometimes - the language is often alien to me and if it's not a popular play, I struggle to follow what's going on at times. I don't think there's any shame in saying this. I also think this puts a lot of people off going to see Shakespeare and I can understand why.

Shakespeare for Tweens with RSC at Northern Stage
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Sunderland Festival of Light


The Festival of Light in Sunderland is moving to a brand new venue this year. Instead of the usual Roker Park, the new venue of Mowbray Park in the city centre (it's right next to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens) will host this month-long festival.

Sunderland Festival of Light
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Fontburn Reservoir | Family Walk & Play Park

I'm always looking out for new family walks to try and if they have a play park - even better. Fontburn has been on my list for ages. They received a new play area in 2018 and I'm annoyed that it's taken me so long to get here. We visited on a blustery Saturday afternoon in September and practically had the place to ourselves. 


Fontburn is near Rothbury in Northumberland and honestly feels as if it's in the middle of nowhere.

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10+ Easy Coastal Walks in North East England (less than 2 hours long)

A walk along the coast is a brilliant activity to enjoy with the family at any time of the year. Nothing beats a good dose of sea air. We're spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal walks in North East England and I thought I'd share some of our favourite easier walks by the sea. They're all less than 2 hours long (round trip) and most are pushchair and dog-friendly too.

10+ Easy Coastal Walks in North East England  (less than 2 hours long)


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Rose and Robin North East Tour | Accessible Family Theatre from £1.50

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I am delighted to share with you a brand new theatrical production aimed at children aged 7+ and their families (all ages are welcome) which will be touring North East England across the next six months.

Rose and Robin North East Tour | Accessible Family Theatre from £1.50


Rose and Robin is brought to you by Mad Alice Theatre, has been funded by the Arts Council and commissioned by Queen's Hall Arts. The show is fun, friendly and a real celebration of life and adventures. I love that the venues chosen for this tour are at the heart of communities and that ticket prices are very reasonable. You can catch the tour over October Half Term 2019 and February Half Term 2020.
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The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Autumn in North East England


Autumn is just the best isn't it! I've popped together some posts and information to help you get the most from the season.
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Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow Trail at Hamsterley Forest - Top Tips for Visiting


There's a new trail heading to Hamsterley Forest this year and it features one of my all-time favourite TV stars, Shaun the Sheep. Nevermind the kids, I am personally SO excited for this!

To keep up to date with ideas for things to do around North East England, join our FREE Facebook group here. 



Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow Trail at Hamsterley Forest - Top Tips for Visiting

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Ninja Warrior Adventure Park Wigan Review

Whilst staying at my friend's house near Wigan this summer, I was looking for somewhere for us to take the kids for the afternoon. I wanted somewhere that was close by, would be fun for the kids but also allow myself time to catch up with my friend. Ninja Warrior fit the bill and as huge fans of the show, I knew the kids would love it.

Ninja Warrior Adventure Park Wigan Review
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A Postcard from Perranporth Beach, Cornwall


During our trip to Cornwall in February, our favourite beach was Perranporth. Somewhere we just visited on a whim when the sun was shining. I'm so pleased we made the trip though as it was beautiful. 

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A Luxury Short Break in County Durham with Seaham Hall

Ad - This post features a press stay with Seaham Hall, I have retained editorial control.

A Luxury Short Break in County Durham with Seaham Hall

As Regional Ambassador for This is Durham this year, I am delighted to share with you what to expect from a luxury short break at Seaham Hall - the perfect destination for celebrating a special occasion and exploring County Durham. Steve and I spent 48 hours here in September 2019 and left feeling on cloud nine. I'd highly recommend if you're looking to stay somewhere a little bit special.
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20+ Ideas for things to do in Berwick-upon-Tweed

This post includes some experiences which were covered by Visit Berwick during our press trip in September and others which I have paid for myself. I have not been paid to write to post & Visit Berwick has no editorial control. The post features affiliate links for Haven.

20+ Ideas for things to do in Berwick-upon-Tweed (includes free and rainy day ideas).

Berwick-Upon-Tweed is somewhere I had not visited until this year despite being recommended to us on numerous occasions. I'm not sure why - I think my preconceptions were probably that there wasn't much to do there and it was just a market town with a few shops. Well, how wrong could I be? We visited twice over the summer - once as part of a holiday with my brother which we paid for ourselves and another as part of a press trip with Visit Berwick. Across our two visits, I discovered that there is loads to do in the town and I'd highly recommend planning a day trip or short break to Berwick sooner rather than later to see all that Berwick has to offer for yourself.
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What's On for Kids - October Half Term | North East England

Advert - Some of this article has been sponsored & I have worked with most of the attractions mentioned in the past. I have editorial control and have picked all of these events for inclusion.

What's On for Kids - October Half Term | North East England

Just to be awkward, all of the schools in North East England aren't off at the same time this year so my October Half Term guide runs from Friday 18th October - Sunday 3rd November. Please check your individual school holidays before booking anything.

If you're looking for more ideas for days out, why not join our FREE days out Facebook group here. 
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Ready Camp Horsley Review : Glamping near LEGOLAND and Chessington World of Adventures

I booked a short break for us at the Camping and Caravanning Club site in Horsley, Surrey this summer. It cost £350 for 5 of us to stay in the 6-berth glamping tent from Monday-Friday.

We picked this site as we wanted somewhere cheap to stay whilst visiting nearby Chessington, Thorpe Park and LEGOLAND. You can also bring your own tent, caravan or campervan here and electric hook-up is available.

During the summer holidays, it was only £70 more for us to stay in a pre-pitched safari tent than bringing our own with electric hook up so for convenience, we went with the Ready Camp option.

You can book online for Monday-Friday, Friday-Monday or Friday-Friday/Monday-Monday breaks. You pay £100 on booking and the balance six weeks before your trip.

Ready Camp Horsley Review : Glamping near LEGOLAND
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Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England


Blackberry picking is one of Jack's favourite pastimes - he loves it and asks continuously if we can go as soon as he spots the first green berries on the bushes during our walk home from school. It's something that our grandparents and parents did and a tradition I'm keen to pass on and keep alive.

Where to go Blackberry Picking in North East England & Easy Blackberry Crumble Recipe for Kids
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Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Tour Review

We were invited along to press night.  Photography Credit : Topher McGrillis

Welcome to the second instalment of 'Theatre with Teens'. Harry turns 13 next week (eeek!) and as we both love theatre, we slipped off to enjoy a mother-son evening at Northern Stage this week to celebrate a little early. 

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Review
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How to Explore Durham's Dark Skies with Kids this Autumn

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Did you know, the North Pennines Area Of Outstanding National Beauty, part of the Durham Dales, has more recognised Dark Sky Discovery Sites than any other part of the UK? If you've not managed to see a truly dark sky yet, you really are missing a treat and it's a wonderful, magical and exciting thing to see for all ages and something you could never get bored of. Autumn is a perfect time to experience Durham's Dark Skies and there are lots of events taking place across the region for you to get involved with:

How to Explore Durham's Dark Skies with Kids this Autumn - dark sky map Hamsterley Forest


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Shepherd's Retreats Review - Dog-friendly Glamping in Northumberland

Post features a press stay with Shepherd's Retreats. I have not been paid to write this & Sheperd's Retreats had no control.

Shepherd's Retreats Beadnell Review - Dog-friendly Glamping in Northumberland

Shepherd's Retreats are two Shepherd's Huts in Northumberland. Situated within walking distance of Beadnell (home to a lovely pub, glorious dog-friendly beach with plenty of watersports, restaurant and shop) and a short drive from Bamburgh and Seahouses, they're an ideal base for exploring some of the best parts of the Northumberland coast. 

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The Best Hotel Suite in Newcastle?

We're the kind of people who are happy to splash out on a super luxury hotel for a special occasion yet equally as likely to bunk up in a Travelodge. When looking for places to stay, it's all about value for money for us.

Hotel Du Vin Newcastle Executive Suite - Is it the best hotel suite in Newcastle?

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20+ Halloween Events in North East England


Lots of you have been asking for Halloween Event Ideas and are looking to book something now so I thought I'd put together a quick guide to some of the region's best events.

Please note I may have worked with some of the attractions mentioned in this post in the past but nobody has asked or paid to be included in this guide.

20+ Halloween Events in North East England


I'll try and add to this guide as I spot new events, don't forget to check out my full guide to October Half Term here.

If you'd like more ideas for events taking place or would like to post your own recommendations, why not join my North East Days Out Facebook Group? It's free and a lovely community of over 4000.

You can join here.  (you can also advertise your own events in this group every Friday)
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10 Reasons to Book a Festive Film Experience at Tyneside Cinema this Christmas

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1 - You're Supporting an Important North East Charity 

Tyneside Cinema is the North East's leading specialised cinema and digital arts venue with an interesting history. It's been an institution in Newcastle City Centre since 1937 and has been going for a lot longer than Fenwick's Window. As a registered charity and independent arts venue, I would like  Tyneside Cinema to be enjoyed for generations to come and always feel that Christmas is a time where I want to give my money to charities and independent businesses when I can. Booking a festive experience at Tyneside Cinema does just that and gives you all the festive feels.
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Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with kids in tow)

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If we're not travelling, Saturday nights are pretty much always the same for us. We'll order a takeaway or cook a family meal and relax in front of the TV. It's very rare that I'd make plans to head out on a Saturday night these days. But as the summer holidays were drawing to an end, I realised that I'd resorted to popping my hair in a 'mum bun', not wearing any make-up and wearing my 'comfy' clothes for the last few weeks. Not that there's anything wrong with this of course but I was craving an excuse to dress up. 

Date Night at Cote Brasserie Newcastle (with Kids in Tow). Children's Menu Review.
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2019 - A Summer Holiday to Remember


I set up my blog to help families enjoy days out together and record our own memories and experiences. We've had such a busy summer this year and I know I'll want to look back on the fun we had in years to come so apologies that this post is a bit of an indulgent post. This is the 4th summer I've been a work-at-home parent with the kids full time in the summer holidays and the first time I feel like I've finally got the juggle of work and fun just right. There's been a perfect mix of childcare sessions, family time and days out home too.



We have worked with some of the attractions and brands mentioned in this post but nobody has paid or asked to be included in this post. 

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A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast

This post features a press stay at the Seaton Inn Lane. All other costs were covered by ourselves. I have not been paid to write this post and the Inn Collection have had no editorial control.

A Weekend Exploring Seaham Beach & Durham's Heritage Coast


It's no secret that I love our beaches here in Northumberland. They go on forever, are beautiful and sandy and are always so quiet and peaceful. Because of this, I've never really had any inclination to explore any of the other beaches in our region and just preferred to visit my same old favourites again and again.
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Air Trail Tees Barrage Review

During our stay at The King's Head Inn, I was looking for things to do in the Teesside/Stockton-On-Tees area before climbing Roseberry Topping. We ended up visiting Guisborough Forest Walk, RSPB Saltholme and the Air Trail at Tees Barrage. All of these attractions are fairly close together and it's a good idea to combine a couple of attractions and make a day of visiting the area. The Tees Valley really impressed me with how many low-cost 'outdoorsy' experiences they have available to families and I'd definitely say that Air Trail deserves its place in my list of 'Best Family Days Out in North East England'.

Air Trail Tees Barrage Review
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A Low-Key (ish) Hen Party in Marbella

We spent three nights in Marbella (well it was actually Puerto Banus but I'm not going to split hairs) for Katie Jane Online's hen party at the end of June. Katie has had a house in the area for as long as she can remember, has lots of happy memories and friends here and couldn't wait to show us around.

A Low-Key (ish) Hen Party in Marbella
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13 Reasons to Visit Windermere Jetty with Kids

Windermere Jetty covered our expenses but have not paid/asked for this post and have had no editorial control. 

13 Reasons to Visit Windermere Jetty with Kids

I am always saying we need to visit the lakes more often - it's only a couple of hours drive from where we live in Newcastle and such a gorgeous part of the world. This year I promised we'd make at least one trip over there and on an overcast and windy day in the summer holidays, we travelled across the Pennines to explore Windermere Jetty.
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Can You Guess Britain's Favourite Florida Holiday?

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Our trip to Florida in 2017 was one of the best holidays of our lives and something which we still regularly talk about. We LOVE a bit of Florida chat in our house so when Ocean Florida asked me to take and share their quiz to try and guess Britain's Favourite Florida Holiday, I did not need to be asked twice. The quiz is based on actual customer data from bookings made with Ocean Florida over the past 5 years.


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8 Reasons Les Misérables At Newcastle Theatre Royal Is Not To Be Missed

We were invited along to press night.

Throwback to 2012 - I was a parent to three children aged 2,3 and 6 and nights out with the girls were few and far between. One such night out vividly sticks in my head and that's when I escaped to the cinema with my friends to see Les Miserables. At this point, I had no idea about the story or what to expect and was just happy to get out of the house (my friend was a huge fan and begged us all to go with her). 

Les Miserables | Newcastle Theatre Royal Review
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10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review)

Woodhorn is a former coal mine, museum and heritage centre near Ashington in Northumberland. It's super easy to get to (just off A189), especially if you are travelling along the Northumberland coast. Parking is free and an annual pass is just £7 for adults (£6.50 if buying multiple at the same time) or £6 for OAPs and students. Under 16s are admitted free of charge. We're annual pass holders and have probably visited Woodhorn 20+ times over the years. We love it and think it provides excellent value for local families. Here's why we recommend a trip:

10 Reasons to Visit Woodhorn Museum (A Review)
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Top Tips for Surviving Year 6 at School (& Smiggle giveaway)

This post features a mix of product placement with Smiggle and products we bought ourselves.

 Top Tips for Surviving Year 6 at School (& Smiggle giveaway)


Year Six is a big year for many children. In Northumberland's two-tier system, you are the oldest children in the school which comes with added responsibilities, it's the final year of Primary school and you may be saying goodbye to some of your closest friends if they're off to a different Secondary School, there's the anxious wait to see if you've been accepted to your first choice Secondary School, transition days to survive and that's before we even mention Key Stage 2 SATs. I've been through all of this with Harry a few years ago and now it's Heidi's turn to face the challenge that is year 6.
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Climbing Roseberry Topping with Kids

*This post includes accommodation and meals provided by The King's Head Inn. I have not been paid to write this post and The King's Head have had no editorial control.


Steve and I are both overweight and definitely not the fittest of people but we try not to let that get in the way of our adventures and really enjoy exploring the great outdoors with the kids. A few weeks ago, our sense of adventure took us to Newton-Under-Roseberry and the Tees Valley and if you followed our weekend on Social Media, you'll know we packed loads in. I was really impressed with just how much this area has to offer adventure-loving families and if you like to keep active with the kids in tow, I'd recommend planning a similar trip. You can watch highlights from our trip over on my Instagram stories here. 
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One Last Winter of School Runs


(Ad - this post includes a collaborative giveaway with Treads)

Where does the time go? Seriously where does it go? The last 10 years of my life have involved factoring the school run into my daily routine. From driving Harry to his nursery class on his first day of school from our flat in Wallsend and later struggling on crutches whilst pregnant (with Jack) with a baby Heidi in tow to drop Harry at reception and then later moving to Cramlington and learning to survive the 1 hour round trip (walking) in all weathers, I feel like I've more than done my time.

One Last Winter of School Runs  - Treads Madrid School Shoe Giveaway and Review
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Exploring the Southern Merlin Theme Parks with Tweens

We bought Merlin Annual Passes this year which allow us access to over 30 UK Merlin Attractions across the year free of charge. We have two premium and three standard passes and pay around £50 per month. I intend on making the most of them and getting our money's worth (we've already saved £900) so planned a trip down south for us to visit the Southern theme parks this summer. You can read more about paying monthly for a Merlin Annual Pass here.

Exploring the Southern Merlin Theme Parks with Tweens
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11 Top Tips for Visiting Brighton with Kids


11 Top Tips for Visiting Brighton with Kids


Brighton is somewhere I have always wanted to visit (I blame watching too many Location, Location, Locations in my early 20s). I am so pleased that we finally made a trip in July 2019 with our children aged 8,10 and 12. It's a place that really lived up to my expectations and somewhere we will definitely return to at some point. I just wish it wasn't so far away from us here in Northumberland. Today I am sharing 11 top tips which I hope will help you to plan a trip of your own.
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9 Reasons To Visit The Sill in Northumberland National Park


The Sill is the 'National Landscape Discovery Centre'. Situated in Northumberland National Park next to Twice Brewed Inn and close to Sycamore Gap, the Sill is a perfect spot to visit as part of a wider day out exploring Hadrian's Wall (Vindolanda, Chester's Roman Fort and Housesteads are all within 10 miles). Probably not a contender for the best family days out in North East England, but still definitely worth a visit. I'd recommend planning to spend around an hour here with children, perhaps a little longer if you tend to read every single exhibit/take your time or plan on enjoying a bite to eat.

9 Reasons To Visit The Sill in Northumberland National Park
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