10 Easter Ideas For Bored Kids

If Easter has come around sooner than expected, don’t worry. The weather is mostly nice, but more importantly, there are plenty of outdoor activities that kids can get involved in safely.

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1. Easter egg hunts – Via Geocache

Mark down a location’s co-ordinates using Google and hide an egg there. Allow your kids, under supervision to use your smart phone or GPS device to locate the easter eggs, teaching them about navigation- and resulting in them being a bit worn out (until they consume the chocolate.)

2. Archery

If you want your kids to learn a great skill and for them to have some fun as well, then an archery course is an ideal day out. Get kids trying their hand at Robin Hood skills with a bow and arrow, with expert guidance from a tutor who can help them perfect their aim.

3. Swimming

Swimming pools are brilliant for kids who need to get rid of their energy and to cool down in the hot sun. Why don’t you check your local council’s website to find your nearest pool, and even book in for lessons if your children haven’t learnt yet.

4. Zorbing

If your kids are old enough and deserve a treat, then they will be thrilled with zorbing or water walking. This fantastic sport can help them with balance on the water, but really, it’s just a bit of fun!

5. Multi Activity Days/ Activity Centres

For young and old kids in the same family, choosing activities can be hard. We love Activity centres at GO Activities because they can offer something for mum, Dad, and kids alike. With high ropes swings, zip lines and more, these multi activity courses can also offer quad biking, clay pigeon shooting or kayaking, dependent on location.

6. Indoor Climbing

If the sun stops shining, rain needn’t stop play with a day on an indoor climbing wall. Book in and an instructor can show your kids the ropes, literally, so they can tire themselves out and have a really good go at climbing or bouldering.

7. Ball Games

If you have a local park, there’s nothing better than a few ball games, a picnic and a walk around the local area. Go online to see local walks around you – you can even grab the kid’s bikes and take them that way. Don’t forget a pocket full of change for the ice cream van!

8. The cinema
If it’s a hot day, there’s always the advantage that the cinema is usually air conditioned, and emty! Check online for rates for kids in the holidays and see if you can get a bargain on the latest blockbuster.

9. Camping

Head to one of the national parks if you have spare time and settle down for an evening of camping. Kids love the novelty and you can enjoy some quality time together roasting marshmallows by the fire and reading stories!

10. Fishing

If the kids are still after something to do- why not consider fishing? This is a step up from crabbing that most young kids do, and if theyare old enough to listen, sit still and enjoy learning, this can be a really interesting day. As an added bonus, if they are very good, you get a free dinner!

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Those Summer Nights – 5 Ways to Spend Them

Summer nights. (Oh well oh well oh well oh well oh..Ooh!) Sorry. Grease references are all over, we promise. As the clocks are ‘springing forward’ as opposed to ‘fall-ing backwards’ (top tip for remembering) you miss out on the morning lie in but you do get a lighter, longer evening. Here’s how to make the most of those longer nights. 

You might rush from work and consider a nice refreshing beverage, but hold off and do something first. You might even find your pockets are heavier with some cheaper, more memorable experiences out of the pub.

1. Star gazing. Get settled near your highest point (sorry, Norfolk) and grab a bottle and a picnic. Wait for the sun to set and then spot the constellations. Take a book with you so you have some to guide you as you look and enjoy the evening in a peaceful serenity under the stars! (Men, this is also an ideal way to propose. Just sayin’.)

2. A guided walk. Many of the companies we work with do evening walks so you can explore the hills in the darkness in safety. A trained instructor who knows the route can show you where to walk and some great sights. A brilliant way to spend an evening.

3. Go climbing. If you don’t know how, get a beginners lesson. They will show you how to attach yourself safely and how to climb up and descend, building your confidence. If you are already a climber, and advanced course could teach you how to lead climb, or recue climbing skills.

4. Take a flight. Be it a hot air balloon, or the cheaper and just as fun microlighting, a trip into the skies is something worth booking for those longer, lighter evenings!

5. Go biking. A dusky mountain bike ride is peaceful, but will still rev you up with those downhill, screamingly fast descents! Get a guided MTB lesson to show you extra skills your parents never taught you- or go it alone or with the family for a feeling of ‘time well spent’.

Abandon the TV and think outside the box as the clocks go forward, you won’t regret it! Have you had any memorable nights away from the TV in the great outdoors? Image

 

 

Interview With Mosaic

“For every person who goes to a National Park. There’s plenty who don’t know that it’s free, how to get there, what to do when you’re in there- there’s a bit of mystery about the countryside that we wanted to eliminate.”

Tasnim Niaz (Left) Explores the National Parks for Mosaic

So speaks Tasnim Niaz, who as a centre manager of Middlesbrough’s International Centre and champion of Mosaic, a group dedicated to helping minority groups backed by the Sustainable Development Fund decided to visit and write about the UK’s national parks for a free leaflet which can be found online and in tourist information areas of the National parks of Lake District, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Along with Azram Rafiq, Hamida Saleem and Naseem Mahmoud, Tasnim wanted to write something clear and concise to help express the key points from the vast radius of these areas.

Although from an ethnic background, Tasnim stressed that as 4 women from the community she wasn’t particularly targeting ethnic minorities, although statistics have show that less than 1% of outdoor users are have an ethnic background.

“We are four women from the community who want to show everyone how easy it is to get out. If we can explore and express how breathtaking some of these places are, maybe we will encourage others to do the same.”

Tasnim is very passionate about the outdoors, and her love of the National Parks is evident, as having been a community manager and a champion for mosaic for 10 years, she is often taking residents to the parks.

I asked her what the restrictions where to people getting out into the National Parks, and she was keen to stress it wasn’t just a race issue- it was a community problem where people aren’t sure how or why to go there.

“Living in Middlesborough you find it’s not just ethnic minorities but the white members of the community who are also unaware of what’s there.

You get comments like ‘isn’t it just for ‘posh people?’ or ‘what is it?’ People see these big signs saying ‘National Park’ but they aren’t sure if it is literally a big park, what it costs- and the problem is there isn’t usually anyone on the gate to ask. They don’t want to feel out of place either asking, or going in.”

I asked Tasnim what she would want people to take away from the Mosaic project and the booklet they have launched. She explained that it’s the why and the how of the National Parks, why they should go there, and how they should get there.

“We want people to know that you can get buses that go into the park and that all National Parks are not just about walking around aimlessly. We really want people to see it’s more than walking. You can go hand gliding, canoeing, climbing , boating, you can go to coffee shops, caverns, walk around gardens and visitor centres, you can look at little shops, museums, castles, fortes, old temples and abbeys.. There’s plenty for you to do in all sorts of weather conditions.”

The other part of the booklet is to make sure that people understand how easy it is to get out visiting all the parks.

“If you’re in one park, like the North York Moors you’re close to the Dales and only 1 and half or 2 hours from other parks. It’s about connecting people to what’s near them, making them aware of the transport routes and helping them make the effort to go out there.”

www.mosaicnationalparks.org If you would like to read more and download a brochure, then please use the link.

Have you felt intimidated by the outdoors? What else could be done?

Elaine

The Anti Glamping Movement

There are plenty of camping top ten’s that feature the best glamorous campsites. The top ten glamping sites. The best campsites with wi-fi, super showers, parking, onsite chefs and electricity for your Macbook.

But is this really what camping is about? Camping should be about getting out there and roughing it whilst you can surely? Before it’s time to go back home to the real world with its washing, bills, and your managing director BBMing, texting and ‘poking’ you.

Oak Cottage demonstrating real camping!

Packing up your tent, sleeping bag, pots and pans as well as your loo roll and a torch, you get a real sense of adventure when you are real camping, that many yurts, stylish pods and cozy guesthouses have eliminated.  Some campsites don’t even allow you to pitch your own tent! We think this is madness.

So as an antithesis to the other glamorous top tens- here’s a list of the Top 10 Real campsites from Camping Ninja, who know their stuff when it comes to idyllic, secluded but not boring, beautiful, ‘real’ campsites.

Wetherdown Lodge Campsite      

In the Roman invasion of Britain, Hampshire was one of the first areas to fall to the invading forces. If you feel ready to fall down, knackered to a weekend of sleep, stove cooked bangers and beans and relaxation, then might we suggest the idyllic Wetherdown Lodge in Petersfield, Hampshire. This is a great spot if you want to get away and explore the south of England. Based around one communal campground this has a fire pit and plenty of space for you to meet people, but it also offers private bays for precious alone time!

Surrounded by trees this feels like a your own little haven, and with wood supplied from woodlands, local charcoal, a straw bale building and solar power, this is far removed from the stresses of urban life.

Because the Wetherdown Lodhe is right near the South Downs National Park, you can easily get involved in walking, cycling and horse riding.

Dernwood Farm Wild Camping    

If animals make you coo with delight and the idea of a cow sitting under a local tree makes your heart sing rather than your mouth salivate, you’re going to love it in Dernwood in Heathfield East Sussex.  (And if it does make you salivate, the home produced beef and pork you can buy will sort that out…)

Nestled in  70 acres of ancient woodland 25 minutes away from Eastbourne, this campsite is also a farm, so you have animals like pigs, badgers, cows, rabbits and buzzards roaming around, and as well as a  chance to enjoy the peace and quiet the onsite falconry experiences, group campfires and real camping experience. A 10 minute walk from your car, this gives you a real sense of ‘getting away from it all’ – especially when you get to cart your gear to the pitch in a wheelbarrow.

Oak Cottage Campsite  

 

If you want to explore the Royal Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire without resorting to wild camping and an angry Tony Martin esque experience on someone else’s land, you need to try Oak Cottage.

Based in between the Wye Valley and the forest, this is a flat land area with wildlife, footpaths, trails and plenty of pitching space for your idyllic getaway.

Onsite eggs, milk or bread help you survive your long weekend, and the nearby sights like Go Ape for a spot of treetop climbing, Wintours Leap for climbing and Severn Bore for getting out on the tide surfing or kayaking makes this a great active getaway.  Horse riding, canoeing and walking, get back to nature at Oak Cottage.

Llechwrd Riverside  

If you’re determined to climb, walk or scramble Snowdon, then you don’t want to spoil your rugged, adventurous appearance you have with your new buddies by settling down in your wi-fi connected yurt for the evening. Llechwrd riverside is a traditional camping site that is right in Snowdonia’s National Park, so it’s spot on if you want to spend your time away climbing,walking, kayaking, cliff jumping and horse riding on the local trails.

Bring your mountain bikes and pitch up in the area known as Maentwrog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, a tongue twister that’s packed with beauty.

Wake up with a view of the River Dwyryd full of otters, kingfishers and other stunning animals, and spend mornings walking to The Rhaedr Cynfal waterfall and evenings on Felinrhyd Bach, pony trekking off the calories from your dinner or your ales from the nearby pubs.

Bush Farm Bison Centre    

 What’s the difference between a buffalo and a bison? You can’t wash your hands in a buffalo. Oh, and Bush Farm doesn’t have any buffalo. But they do have bison. And raccoons, in fact as well as a multitude of animals usually spotted across the pond in America, all living quite happily in Wiltshire, and a visit to Bush Farm is ideal for any animal lover.

Spend an idyllic weekend away getting active in 30 acres of oak woodland surrounded by bison, elk, raccoons, prarie dogs and Guanacos (a pretty looking llama- like animal) before walking in the beautiful area.

Pitch up and then trail the red deer and then have a more English experience with the onsite poultry, owls, rare breed sheep and pigs, chipmunks. Enjoy teas and cakes as well as the seclusion on site that many larger campsites lack and go home feeling refreshed.

Etherley Farm    

   Etherley Farm, found in Ockley, Surrey, offers a real camping experience for anyone wanting a good, country trip with a tent, a backpack and a stove. Found at the bottom of Leith Hill you are right on the cusp of the National Triust Etherley Farm Loop Walks.

You can collect wood from he store, get your kindling at the ready and before you know it youc an be cooking your store bought eggs, sausages and bread for a butty of champions.

There’s a local pub and some walks to do in Wisley gardens, Boxhill and Polsden Lacey but if you’re aftera  weekend of reading, relaxing and general R&R, Etherley farm is ideal.

Pleasant Rise Farm, Alfriston Campsite     

Pleasant Rise Farm in Alfriston, East Sussex just sounds nice doesn’t it? Luckily it’s name doesn’t deceive and this campsite is tucked away in the South Downs National Park right near the Cuckmere river, the quaint village of Alfriston and even the Drusillas Zoo.

Really natural and interesting, this has plenty of facilities but is ideal if you want to see the local nature and parks.

The walks to be found along the South Downs Way and a trip toWorld Nature Centre are also an ideal way to spend a day.

Roadford Lake      

 If water sports is your thing and you want a day of adventure rather than reading with your feet up, may we suggest a trip to Roadford lake in Lower Goodacre, Lifton, Devon close to the Dartmoor National Park.

A 3 star site, this is an amazing site if you want a clean, simple and perfectly placed campsite for a weekend of kayoing, canoeing, cycling, walking , indoor climbing, archery, surfing and more.

Based near a 740 acre woodland and with the local lake filled with boats, rowers and people, your mornings can be spent canoeing round the lake, or using the lake ferry, fishing off a boat or bank, as well as walking on water with ‘wowballs’ or exploring the Cornish coastline and seaside at Bude.

Stithians Lake    

 Stithians Lake Country Park in Cornwall is an ideal place if you want to get away from the stresses of everyday life. You can choose to spend your time chilling with fish on the dock (the famous trout weight around 4lb – great for that baguette you brought with you), spotting birds and lakeside walking in the beautiful area of Redruth or Falmouth.

If that sounds  like a schedule set to give you itchy feet and ants in your pants, then fear not. Sithians lake is fantastic for a huge variety of sports thanks to the nearby Outdoor + Active centre where you can try your hand at windsurfing, sailing, rowing and kayaking,

Families can use the cycle trail, go the seal sanctuary in Gwythian and check out Gelndurgan gardens, so there’s plenty to do.  Oh, and there is a absolutely lovely pub called The Golden Lion nearby. (But you have to cook on your stove at least one night for the real experience. Deal? Good.)

Lochranza Camping site  

 Stay at the Lochranza campsite in Arran, and prepare to feel very majestic all of a sudden. It must be the Scottish west coast wind, or maybe the sight of wild red deer, the medieval castle, the whiskey distillery or the beautiful setting, but Lochranza will make you feel a bit medieval yourself.

There’s hot water and plenty of clean facilities though, so you won’t get an experience worthy of a serf, but you can still keep up the face that it’s yesteryear with a trip to said distillery,  a walk or a cycle ride, a tour of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and a trip on the ferry to Kintye where you can sing Mull of Kintyre until it’s time to come back to the campsite.

The site itself is a great place to visit Skipness beach and castle, to play gold, and makes a base to get involved in fishing, kayaking and pony trekking.

Do you have any experiences of real campsites? Let us know!

Elaine