Making our Christmas Wishes at Lapland UK’s Wishing Store at The Lexicon | AD

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We are lucky to have visited Lapland UK twice over the past few years and it really is a truly magical experience. When I was invited to visit their very first Wishing Store at The Lexicon shopping centre in Bracknell, I had high expectations and was really excited to see what they'd set up. The Lexicon is one of my favourite places to shop, with great stores and easy parking, and Lapland UK is just down the road from The Lexicon, in the beautiful Swinley Forest, so it's an ideal partnership. An extra touch which the LaplandUK Wishing Store offers is a storytelling session, which costs £5 per child. Of course, you are welcome to visit the store, and to write ...

Getting in the Festive Spirit at Hever Castle | AD

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Hever Castle has been one of the best discoveries we've made this year for our family days out. It was a recent discovery, as I tend to stick to National Trust and RHS gardens as we have membership so it's a 'free' visit, but Hever has fast become one that we love. And if you're an RHS member, you can often visit Hever Castle for free during the week - it was news to me! We loved our visit back in the summer, and there was so much that we didn't have time to see in one visit. So when we were invited to visit last weekend for their Christmas Alice in Wonderland Light Trail, we were all really excited. Hever ...

Autumn Delights at The Lost Gardens of Heligan Harvest Festival

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Every year I mourn the end of summer, but when autumn arrives, with it's host of golden leaves, orange pumpkins and golden light, I can't fail to be won around. Harvest time is such a wonderful celebration of all that autumn has to offer, and the Lost Gardens of Heligan always put on a beautiful harvest display. We've visited in autumn before, but this time it was just me and my husband, no kids! Our visit this year was in early October and the Barn was filled to the brim with pumpkins, onions, gourds, grains, and vegetables - it really was a sight to behold and I couldn't resist sharing some of the photos from our trip. There is something undeniably comforting ...

Family Fun at Carters Steam Fair | AD

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Disclosure: We were given a bundle of ride tokens in exchange for this blog post and promotion on social media Our visit to Carters Steam Fair last autumn was one of the highlights of our year. Their beautiful colourful rides absolutely charmed us all, and I've kept a keen lookout to see when they would be visiting near us this year, and I was thrilled to see they would be close to us again in Woking. If you've not heard of Carters Steam Fair before, you'll more than likely recognise them, as they've featured in numerous films and TV shows, including Paddington 2, and Call the Midwife. They've spent the past 40 years rescuing and restoring vintage fairground rides and taking them ...

Once Upon A Castle: A Visit to Hever Castle | AD

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This post is an advertisement feature. We were given free tickets in exchange for this blog post. Hever Castle in Kent is somewhere that I've wanted to visit for absolutely ages, and although I was able to have a very quick tour earlier in the year, I couldn't wait to return and spend a whole day there. It's the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, and supposedly one of the most haunted places in the UK. But forget about ghosts, the gardens and grounds are absolutely beautiful, and they have so much on offer for children that it makes a fantastic day out. We were lucky enough to visit for their Once Upon A Castle weekend, complete with smoke breathing dragon, Flame, ...

The Best Splash Parks in Berkshire

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I may be a Surrey girl now, but I grew up in Berkshire, and still spend a huge amount of my time over there. While Surrey may be more blessed with free splash parks, there are loads of splash parks in Berkshire if you're looking for somewhere to cool off this summer! Jocks Lane, Bracknell Jocks Lane is a fantastic park space, tucked away behind a housing estate in Bracknell. There is a splash pad, a cafe, a large play park, tennis courts, plenty of parking, and a zip wire in the playing fields at the back. It also backs onto a wooded copse if you need some shade to cool off. Free to enter and to park. Locks Ride Recreation Ground, Winkfield ...

Discovering Bournemouth’s Hidden Gems

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This is a collaborative post; our spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own. Last weekend we decided to make the most of the sunshine we've been having and head down to Bournemouth to enjoy the beach. It's a bit of a drive for us, so we've not explored the area much before, but it's a great place to visit, with lots of beautiful spots to visit and there are plenty of hotels in Bournemouth if you decided to stay over and make a weekend of it. We were asked to check out some of Bournemouth's hidden gems, so I did a bit of research to take us away from the tried and tested places and came up ...

Calke Abbey: The Beauty of Decay

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I've wanted to visit Calke Abbey for so long, but being near Derby and us living down South, has meant that a trip just hasn't been possible. But when I knew we were heading up to Alton Towers for a trip, I was really hoping that we could fit in a visit on our way home. Calke Abbey is a study in faded grandeur. At every turn there is peeling paint, crumbling brickwork, and overgrown courtyards, telling the story of an eccentric and introverted family who never threw anything away and who craved isolation. The National Trust have taken a 'repair not restore' approach to its work at Calke, and this has created an estate filled with beautiful textures and a ...

The Barbara Hepworth Museum: A Hidden Gem In St Ives

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On our most recent trip to St Ives, I was finally able to find some time to myself to head off to a spot I've wanted to visit for ages: The Barbara Hepworth Museum and sculpture garden. It was Barbara's studio for many years and she described it as "a sort of magic", and it really does have that feel to it. It's a tiny museum, tucked away in the back streets of St Ives, and the garden feels like an oasis, filled with her distinctive sculptures. As soon as you step up the museum's stairway and into the garden, you are met with a sense of calm. It was definitely one to make alone, without the kids in tow! Just ...

A National Trust for every month

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If you're a regular reader of Hot Pink Wellingtons, you'll know just how much I love a National Trust property. Their gardens are always absolutely beautiful, and they are guardians of some of the most famous gardens in the world, such as Sissinghurst and Stourhead. They are also wonderful places for families to explore and to teach children about nature and history. I have a huge list of favourites, but it's definitely true that each property has a particular season when the garden is looking it's best, so I've chosen a National Trust for every month of the year, so that you can visit at the perfect time. January - Devil's Punchbowl For me, January is all about a brisk walk, with ...