Saturday 23 August 2014

Review: Sacrewell Farm

We were recently asked by Sacrewell Farm if we would like to review their farm park and campsite. I instantly said yes as it is conveniently within an hour of our home in Leicestershire, and as a family we were desperate to try out our new tent and awning.


Sacrewell Farm is located close to the A47 near to Peterborough, and is easy to find with clear signage. You drive up a reasonably long driveway before entering the car park. Sacrewell Farm have several different areas for people to camp in, some of which even come with electric hook up, which of course we opted for :). On arrival we checked in at reception; I was a little bit surprised to find only one person on reception dealing with visitors to the farm and campsite, so there was a 10 minute wait to be served. We were given a map of the plots and told where we could pitch our tent.

If you have been following my blog, you will be aware that we purchased a Vango Isis 500 tent with an additional awning. I was a little concerned that our tent may not fit on the pitch as it is very large when combined with the awning, however I need not have worried as people had far bigger tents than us. The awning itself was a great addition, and became Ruby and Lottie's playroom for the duration of our stay.

After we had pitched the tent, we decided to head for a look around the farm park (park entry is included in with the camping fees). Prices range from £26.00 to £32.75 for a family of 4.

Sacrewell Farm has a wide range of different farm animals for visitors to admire and feed, ranging from different breeds of sheep, pigs, chickens, horses and even a petting area that contains rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets and baby chicks to name a few.

Ruby and Lottie both really loved seeing the newly hatched baby chicks, and to be honest so did I, I could have easily have taken a couple home with me!

In addition to the farm, Sacrewell have a lovely play park that contains a wide range of play equipment that the children loved; Lottie particularly loved the wooden playhouse.

New this year is a renovated indoor soft play area, and wow it is amazing!! It wasn't just Ruby and Lottie who loved it, it was me and hubbie too!

After exploring the farm we headed back for our dinner, the campsite and the farm are both kept litter free and are of a very good standard. Drinking water and washing up facilities are located close by and there was plenty of hot water for the dirty pots from dinner.

The toilets and shower facilities were also of a very high standard and were much better than I had anticipated they would be. There is even a freezer for campers to use to freeze ice blocks or general food items, thankfully we had a cool box but otherwise this would have been really handy for us.

We decided to put the girls to bed at 8pm and I'm pleased to say they slept through until 7am, we cooked a full English breakfast before the farm opened and we spent some more time exploring. Ruby and Lottie were both keen to spend more time in the indoor play area which suited us as they have a coffee bar within the barn where hubbie and I could relax and drink coffee. Coffee was reasonably priced at £1.50 per cup.

Sacrewell Farm also hosts a restaurant and a shop; we didn't eat in the restaurante, but looking at the menu, there seemed to be a wide range of foods to cater to different tastes and budgets. The shop stocks a range of toys and I'm sure Ruby and Lottie would have spent a small fortune in their if they had have got their way!

So what was my overall impression of Sacrewell Farm? I loved it! The farm itself is great for children to explore and the added bonus of the play area is a massive success. The campsite had everything we could possibly need, it was clean and tidy and it wasn't too big so if you want to go, make sure you book in plenty of time.

Disclaimer: Sacrwell Farm kindly gave us free camping and admission to the park in return for a honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Thursday 21 August 2014

We did it! ... We bought a tent!

A couple of weeks ago, my mother and I were talking about the cost of family holidays and generally how expensive it was becoming to go away; coupled with the fact that now Ruby is at school, we don't have as much flexibility, and the only time to go on a family holiday is outside of term time but the premium for this is just silly.

We then started to discuss tents and caravans; for some time I have always fancied a caravan but because of the cost of them and having to take a driving test to tow one, its been put on the back burner; however camping - well I was not to keen at the start of it as we did had an experience a few year ago where I ended up with 3rd degree burns from a camping stove. This experience did not deter me though, but if we were going to purchase a tent there would have to be some stipulations, these included the tent had to be big enough so that it was not cramped and I would also need an electric hookup as well as my home comfort.

The best and essential piece of kit!

The task of finding a tent suitable for us was a bit of a minefield, there are so many different types available and all ranging in price from less than a hundred pounds to well over a thousand pounds. Once I had done a little bit of research it became clear that I wanted a tent that was tall enough for me to stand in as well as being easy to put up and would be large enough as Ruby and Lottie grow, it really wasn't that long before the brand new Vango Isis 500 caught my eye.

I spoke to several friends on twitter and facebook to get their opinions and thoughts as well as the lovely people from Vango who helped me to decide that yes, the Vango Isis would be a very good tent to buy. I love the tent because its big even without adding the awning, you have side windows so even if its rainy then you can look outside and the tent is still light rather than sitting in the dark, the living area is huge so can play with the girls, the bedrooms are fitted with a type of black out fabric that makes them darker and thus easier to get to sleep in. I would like to point out Vango have not asked me to write about how wonderful this tent is, but in my opinion its amazing and worth people knowing about it as I really love it. Ohh and how could I forget the tent even has a carpet! Who would have thought a tent comes with a carpet??

Our tent pitched at my mums

This last week or so has felt like Christmas as every day something new for our tent or a piece of camping equipment has arrived through the post. Never in a million years did I think we would own a tent and now we do I can't wait for the adventures we will have.

Friday 15 August 2014

Rubys 5th Birthday Party

Ruby turned five at the end of July and since being at school she has been invited to several birthday parties and was very adamant that she wanted to have a party of her own; I on the other hand was really not keen on the idea. My main worries were the cost and also it all being just a bit too much, but we decided a compromise; I told Ruby that she was allowed to invite up to eight friends around to our home for a small party.


Anyone who knows Ruby will know that she loves Disney Princesses, so it was very easy to pick a theme for her party. We do not live in a massive house, but a good size two bedroom end terraced house; I really did not like the idea of the children running around the home, so decided to come up with some activities that would keep them occupied. I am pleased to say that all of the children loved what we did.

As soon as the children arrived, they painted a jewellery box.

When they finished, they went outside in the garden to play as it was a really lovely sunny day; while they played, I cleaned up the table and got everything ready for our next activity.


Pita Bread Pizzas!

They played in the garden some more while the pizzas were cooked and the rest of the party food was set out.

After eating party food, the children all made bead bracelets and necklaces to go inside their jewellery boxes as well as decorating a tiara.


I thought when we planned the party that two and a half hours would be too long, but in actually fact we were rushed to sing happy birthday and for Ruby to blow out the candles on her cake.

Ruby had a lovely party and I enjoyed it too; there was very little mess to clean up afterwards so we all had a lovely day.

Monday 11 August 2014

Summer Holiday Giveaway

A month ago when the Summer holidays started I thought I had so much time to have lots of fun with Ruby and Lottie, before Ruby returned back to school; but now here in Leicestershire in just 2 short weeks Ruby will be back at school. I am not ready for her to go back, I want to have more fun with her. How are you feeling about the summer holidays? Are you like me or are you counting down the weeks until the start of term?

Well I might have something to help you. I was recently offered a #stressfreeholiday kit to use over the summer holiday and its good news for you my readers too, as I have a kit to give away! Contained within the kit is:

  • a book of 365 things to make and do - Ruby loves this book!
  • an ice lolly maker
  • a vegetable growing kit
  • a waterproof disposable camera - Ruby has loved to use when playing with Lottie in the paddling pool.
  • and a scrap book to record your summer holiday memories.

All you need to do to enter to win a StressFreeHolidayKit (from is to leave a comment at the bottom of this post, telling me your favourite thing to do on a holiday. Then you need to click on the Rafflecopter widget and confirm you have done this. You will then be offered the chance to do other social media stuff to gain extra entries but you don't have to do them.

Good Luck!

Full terms and conditions can be found on the rafflecopter widget.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Peppa Pig World

Life seemed to have been very manic in July, Ruby completed her 1st year at school, both girls celebrated their birthdays and there was also our wedding anniversary to mark too!

I found it very difficult to find a present suitable for Lottie; having an older sister means she has everything she could possibly need from Ruby, and we certainly do not need any more toys as we have a playroom bursting at the seams. After lots of thoughts and discussions with people, we decided to visit Peppa Pig World for the day as Lottie is Peppa Pig obsessed. Whilst looking on their site they had an offer on for two days into the park for the price of one if you book a short stay. There were numerous different hotels to pick from and suit every budget, we opted for the Marttiott Meon Valley, mainly because we wanted a hotel with a little bit of luxury as we very rarely stay away. As the days drew closer we were all really excited and whilst looking at the hotel online, I noticed that they had a very good special offer to stay at the hotel on a Sunday evening with a three course meal for two people; we decided to take up this offer as it would mean we would not have to travel down in rush hour on a Monday morning. In hindsight I am so glad we did this and if you are travelling for more than a couple of hours to get to Peppa Pig World, I would recommend staying for two nights. 

We arrived at the Marriott Meon Valley and were warmly greeted by staff; we did have a slight issue with our room, but the staff were very good and arranged for us to be upgraded to a junior suite. The junior suite had a double bed and a sofa bed in the lounge which converted into a bed for Ruby and Lottie. The room was spacious and I would really recommend booking the junior suite. After placing our luggage into our room we decided to check out the swimming pool at the hotel, it was lovely and clean and was very relaxing to unwind after driving.


After swimming we then went to the restaurant for our dinner; the Marriot Meon Valley has two restaurants, one of which is more your typical pub food and the other is a la carte, we opted for the traditional pub food and were very happy with the menu, as the food suited us as a family. 

We were fortunate that soon after arriving back to our room Ruby and Lottie settled to sleep easily and didn't wake until the following morning. Breakfast time at Meon Valley is a real treat I have never seen such an amazing spread of food. There were five different types of fruit juice, patisseries, fruit bar, full English breakfast and the chef was happy to make pancakes and omelettes to order. 

We arrived at Peppa Pig World just before it opened at 10am, and there were already people queuing to enter the park. The Peppa Pig section of the park is a short walk from the main entrance and on arrival you are greeted by the all too familiar Peppa Pig theme tune, well if you didn't know it before you go you will when you leave the park as it's played all the time, much to Ruby and Lotties delight!


The rides within Peppa Pig World do get busy very quickly and we made the decision to attempt to do half of the rides on the Monday and the remaining ones on the Tuesday. It worked well for us as by the time we had done this it was lunchtime so we headed off for lunch and went around the rest of the Poultons Park, at this time the Peppa Pig World part of the site was very very busy. 

It's safe to say that on Monday evening we had two tired little girls who went to sleep very quickly and come 8am on Tuesday, I was forced to wake them up so we could eat breakfast and be ready at the park for when it opened.

Tuesday was spent much the same as Monday, the morning was spent in Peppa Pig World and the afternoon in the rest of the park in which there is still plenty to see and do. Hubbie and I even took turns and went on some of the scarier rides.

The highlight for the girls was being able to go into Peppa Pig's Muddy Puddles area. As you can see from the following photos, muddy puddles is a water play area with jets of water shooting everywhere, Ruby and Lottie absolutely loved it!!

Would I go back to Peppa Pig World? I would love to, we all had a lovely time. The cost of our holiday on total was about £350 which included all our food, two nights accommodation and two days at Peppa Pig World. We could have done it cheaper by staying in a different hotel, but I was very happy with the amount that we paid, and I hope that visiting Peppa Pig World will be a memory that they will remember for many years to come. One thing to remember though... don't forget swimming costumes and towels for drying off after muddy puddles!!