Tag: North East

Perfect Family Friendly Glamping at Derwent View

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll have seen my post last year about our first time Glamping at Springhill Farm in Northumberland. We loved glamping so much we decided to give it another go this year- at Derwent View.

We decided to try somewhere else, but as I work every Friday and Saturday it was proving quite difficult to book up anywhere as most sites have a minimum 2 night stay at weekends. Luckily though, I noticed on Facebook that a local site, Derwent View, had some last minute pods available for a Saturday night and quickly sent a message to book up!

Prices for the pods start from just £50.00 per night for bronze up to £150.00 for platinum with a hot tub and they have one pod which is dog friendly. We opted for a gold pod which was £68.00 for the night, as these one’s have a TV/DVD which we thought would be perfect for the kids at bedtime. These pods also have two sofa beds which meant we had loads of room inside during the day and had really comfy beds to sleep on during the night.

This was the full contents of our pod ‘Lizards Lodge’ which sleeps up to a family of 4;

  • 2 Sofa Beds
  • Lights
  • USB Sockets
  • Night Time Heater
  • Dining Table/Chairs
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Fridge
  • Microwave
  • TV/DVD
  • Dustpan & Brush
  • Lockable Door
  • 1 Parking Space
  • Outdoor Picnic Bench
  • Outside Decking
  • Firepit/BBQ

When we arrived we were greeted by one of the owners, Margie, who took our payment and deposit (£30.00 which is returned upon departure once your pod has been inspected) and then showed us around. She showed us to our pod and then the toilet block and explained that they operate a ‘Leave it as you would expect to find it’ policy, which basically means that once you’ve done what you need to do, whether it be the toilet or a shower, make sure you mop up on your way out. That way it’s clean for the next person. This obviously works really well too as the whole building is always spotless! There’s also an outdoor sink for washing up.

Once we were unpacked we decided to have a little walk around as it was a beautiful day. The views over the Derwent Reservoir are absolutely stunning! We headed straight over to see the ducklings Margie had told us about- the kids were in their element being able to run free and spot all of the wildlife!

What we didn’t realise before we booked up, is that they also have a lovely little tearoom on site. As we headed up in a bit of a rush after I’d finished work, we thought the kids could do with some refreshment after all of the running around- and we’d been told that they had an alcohol license for the weekend! You can check in anytime from 2pm but we didn’t want to get there too late as the weather was gorgeous and we were only staying one night.

The next couple of hours were spent munching on toasties and crisps, drinking juice (and booze for me & G!) and getting to know the owners until the kids were so tired out and it was time for their pajamas! Although once they were in their pajamas they were back outside with their coats and shoes on running around exploring which we were happy to let them do as the whole area around the pods is fenced and gated off.

Clearly to G this quiet time meant it was time to get the fire lit. You can purchase the bags of wood and fire starter kits from the owners for £5 each. Keeps the blokes happy!

Whilst G was messing about with the fire, I set the beds up- easiest thing ever too- settled the kids into bed and put a DVD on for them. Within about 20 minutes they were both flat out! We were a bit worried that they wouldn’t settle not being in their own beds but it clearly didn’t bother them. One of the best things of being able to let them explore in the fresh air then!

This meant we had more time to sit round the fire and have a few more ciders before bed- that’s what I call finishing the day off properly! The site also operates a ‘low noise policy’ which means that whilst they’re happy for you to stay around the fire, use the hot tub etc at night, after 10pm they ask that noise is kept to a conversation level. Another reason why it’s perfect for families.

After a full, uninterrupted nights sleep, the kids both woke up at 8am! Check out is 10.30am prompt, so this meant we still had plenty of time to enjoy breakfast on the picnic table we had outside, pack the car up and have another walk around before heading home. Once we were all sorted and I’d given the pod a sweep, Margie inspected it and we we’re given our deposit back before we left.

We enjoyed our stay at Derwent View so much that we’ve already been back this past bank holiday weekend for two nights and enjoyed it even more than our first visit! We’ve even already booked up to go back for G’s birthday in August and we can’t wait!

Have a look for yourself on Facebook, Instagram and their Website.

Mother Hermit xx

 

Christmas Bazaar at Preston Park Museum

We visited Preston Park Museum in the Summer this year for their Great British Summer event and absolutely loved it. So when I noticed that they were having a Christmas Bazaar last weekend I knew we’d be missing out if we didn’t go for another visit! Whilst talking to my friend on Saturday evening I mentioned that we were going and invited Sarah and her family along- everyone loves a Christmassy day out!

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On Sunday morning we jumped in the car ready for the forty minute drive to Preston Park. Obviously the weather this time was totally different to the last time we visited so this time we were all wrapped up, ready for the day ahead.

When we arrived we headed straight through the gift shop, (which was super Christmassy!) and into another room which was filled with stalls selling allsorts of Christmas gifts and decorations. I had my eye on a few things but decided to hang on and see what else was on show as we didn’t really know what to expect.

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From this room we then exited into the replica 1895 Victorian Street which, exactly like last time, was abuzz with people, some dressed the part in Victorian wear. There were also a lot more stalls selling anything and everything from illuminating candles to cheese! The street itself was decorated beautifully and we could hear a brass band playing as we walked further along. Most of the shops were still open as normal so you could still pop in to have a look and all of the volunteers were more than happy to stop and chat and explain things for you.

We had a slot booked to visit Santa, aka Father Christmas, in his grotto so we pretty much headed straight there with our rather excited kids. Violet’s never visited Santa before so she was a little nervous! Mrs Claus was already there at the door to chat with us and keep the little ones entertained whilst we waited our turn. We didn’t have to wait long though, within five minutes he was ready for us and the kids were straight in. Violet was rather shy and nervous but seeing that look of sheer delight on her face was priceless!

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The grotto itself was amazing! It was all decorated and set up perfectly with a nice and toasty fire, a proper (real) Christmas tree and traditional decorations. I was pretty impressed with Santa too. He was really good with the kids, asking them lots of questions, answering any questions they had and they both received an early present from him too. We didn’t feel rushed at all and he offered to have some pictures taken with the kids which I thought was a lovely touch! Violet loves telling everyone she had her photo taken with Santa now- even though she doesn’t look too impressed on the photo!

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Next we headed over the courtyard to another room where you could make your own Magic Reindeer Food! I loved this one! It was set up with a line of tables and on each table was a different item so by the end of the line you had your very own finished bag of the food. Then on Christmas Eve the little ones can sprinkle this all over their garden, so the glitter will shine bright and guide the reindeer to their house- perfect little item for Christmas Eve boxes!

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The staff were really helpful with this activity and didn’t hesitate to help Violet whilst I took some photos of her.

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Next up, the donkeys. Now the donkeys made an appearance the last time we visited as they fit with the Summer and beach theme perfectly. Well, they actually fit with the Christmas theme too- if you stick some antlers on them! They looked super cute bless them! Both of the kids had a turn each and enjoyed it as they got to have a ride around the orchard. 
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After the donkey rides were done we were all feeling a bit peckish so headed off to see where the amazing smells were coming from. We found a couple of food vans selling hot food and luckily there wasn’t a queue so I headed straight for Blackwells of Norton for pie, peas and gravy! I have absolutely no idea why there wasn’t a queue as it was perfect comfort food for a cold day and at £3.50, an absolute bargain- I was expecting to pay a lot more!

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The blokes had burgers and hotdogs from another stand which were also pretty cheap at £3.00. They said they were good but as they’re men, no photo’s could be taken before they were inhaled! Typical 🙂

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After our lunch stop we then headed on to have a peruse of some more market stalls, passing some rather colourful entertainers on the way!

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There was another marquee full of stalls with all sorts of different items available to purchase for Christmas presents. I bought a gorgeous hot chocolate spoon for Violet’s Christmas Eve box, another hot chocolate mix for two, a brownie in a jar baking kit and a cupcake for Violet- this didn’t even come to £10 so again I was surprised with how reasonable the prices were.

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After another walk around and a few small purchases made by both families, we headed on out of the museum so the kids could have a good hour on the park to burn off some energy!

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All in all we had an absolutely fantastic day yet again at Preston Park Museum. The Bazaar was on for last weekend only, however they have lots more festive activities planned in the run up to Christmas and you can visit Santa every Saturday and Sunday until the 18th of December. A family ticket into the museum costs just £5.00 (2 Adults and up to 4 Children) and lasts the whole year, so you can visit as many times as you like! You can find their website here.

Have you visited before?

Mother Hermit xx

Strawberry Picking at Brockbushes

Strawberry picking. Something I’ve wanted to do for years, even before we had kids, but something we’ve never actually got around to doing. So a couple of weeks ago, after spending the night in Seahouses, as we were packing up the car getting ready to say farewell to our Wig Wam, the sun had finally decided to make an appearance, and we headed straight to Corbridge to go strawberry picking at Brockbushes Farm and Tea Room.

By the time we arrived Little V was on a mission to find the strawberries and couldn’t contain herself any longer, so we literally ran to the picking fields, paid our fee to enter, grabbed our basket and ran to our nominated area. 

We spent a good twenty minutes picking the biggest, juciest strawberries we could find through the rows of plants- basically until I realised how many we had in the basket because we couldn’t fit anymore in! Little V absolutely loved looking under all of the leaves to find the biggest stawberries and got so excited at the fact that she could pick them herself! 

By this point we were all a bit peckish so headed down to the tea room for some lunch. Can’t beat a latte and a cheese toastie break! We opted for a kids box meal for V which consisted of a sandwich, crisps, biscuits and juice- which was quickly inhaled- all that running through the fields gave her such an appetite.  

Unfortunately we didn’t get to try the famous cakes and scones as after a further twenty minute wait we were still without and couldn’t hang on any longer as the kids were restless and ready for home. Hopefully we’ll get to try them next time as we’re planning on going back for raspberry picking!
Our first family fruit picking experience was definitely a success and we had a great time. And what did we make with our harvest?! 

Strawberry Cake of course! 😁🍰


Have you been strawberry picking this year yet?

Mother Hermit xx