Category Archives: Out & about

Happy Happy Half Term

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I’ve decided a happy post is way overdue. Although the memory of half term is already fading, I wanted to share with you a couple of the fun things we got up to. Half terms are always particularly welcome for me seeing as I work in education. The first half term is always the hardest in my line of work, so by the time the break in October arrives, I am ready for some time off.

It was Dylan’s first school holiday, which was exciting for him, although given that he has absolutely LOVED his first half term at school, I think he was a tad disappointed not to be donning his uniform as normal. Thankfully the weather gods were beaming down on us for the first few days. I was off work Monday to Wednesday and the sun shone every day. No rainy day activities needed….. hurray!

Bolton Abbey

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We visited Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire, about a 30 minute journey for us. My parents brought me here a lot when I was younger, but it was our first visit with the boys. I wished we’d brought them sooner because they absolutely loved it. It is a huge estate on the banks of the River Wharfe with a ruined abbey, woods, waterfalls, open fields and picnic areas. We only explored a little bit with them so plenty of reasons to return.

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We took part in the Halloween Pumpkin walk, which was a trail through the woods counting sparkly pumpkins suspended from the trees and finding ‘coffins’ with Halloween related things inside e.g. spiders, toads, ghouls etc. There was a quiz which we had to complete and for the first time, Dylan carried the worksheet and (with our help with spellings), wrote down some of the answers. It was a real ‘wow, he is growing up’ moment. Jude had been asleep in the car so took a while to get going, but eventually perked up and loved opening all the coffin doors and running after his older brother.

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Afterwards we had a picnic by the river. Picnics definitely rate highly in the list of Dylan’s most favourite things to do. Winter picnics are often better, with no wasps or flies to spoil the fun. It was so warm that even in the shade we sat with our coats off. The colour of the trees was stunning. It reaffirmed why Autumn is my favourite season by far.

Pendle Hill

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Anyone who lives in, or has visited our beautiful corner of East Lancashire knows the local landmark hill, Pendle. We see it every day on the drive to school and Dylan loves being able to name it (although he shouts out that every other hill in the area is also Pendle, so we have a bit of work to do there). Jude went up last year in the baby carrier, but Dylan has never ventured up. A couple of his friends have climbed it, so he was keen to give it a shot.

We had decided to keep Jude in nursery for one of his scheduled days. He was in the process of moving from the baby room up to Toddlers, so we didn’t want to break his routine. After we dropped him off we drove straight to Barley, the village at the bottom of the hill.

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To be honest, I wasn’t sure if Dylan would make it to the top. But he was an absolute star. Once we got on the steps on the path up, he was like a little mountain goat. I kept asking if he wanted to rest (not that I wanted to!?!) but he kept saying he was fine. We managed to get him to stop for a bit to have a drink.
Again being another beautiful, clear day, the views were amazing. You can see for miles and miles. Dylan made it to the top of the steps all by himself. We allowed him a bit of time on Adam’s shoulders whilst we made the final short walk from the stairs to the summit. A few homemade chocolate and banana buns at the top and we were ready to go back down. One of my favourite photos taken was of Dylan trying to play hide and seek at the top. It is pretty sparse up there, but he managed to find some long grass to cover him. Pity his hat was bright red and gave him away!!

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At the bottom, we treated ourselves to a pub lunch and sat by the log stove. I thought Dylan would be wiped out for the rest of the day but he wasn’t. Me? I was ready for bed by 3pm!

I’m hoping the weather will stay nice for us at the weekends to still get out over winter. I know we can still wrap up in waterproofs and wellies, but it is much nicer when the gloomy rain gives way to winter sun. Some more wonderful memories in the bank for us and hopefully for the boys, Dylan at least, to treasure. Happy days indeed.

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Those moments

Does anyone else ever get those moments? The ones where you just stop, take in your surroundings and realise just how incredibly fortunate you are? I’ve had a few recently. It probably helped that we went on holiday a couple of weeks ago and I’ve taken some leave this week too. The stresses and strains of daily life have on the back burner. I have stepped off the work treadmill for a short while and actually feel relaxed (well as much as is possible with a 4 year and 18 month old in tow).

So one moment in particular was on a steam train heading up the side of a mountain in Wales. Sitting with my husband and two boys, I looked at them and in that moment appreciated how lucky I really was. I wished I could travel back in time 5 years and show the newly bereaved, but also newly pregnant me what life would be like. I couldn’t have dreamed I would be so blessed.

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The times when we were on holiday when I had ‘those moments’ were in situations where we were either doing something different and special (boys + steam trains = absolute joy or boys + castles = bliss). Or we were just enjoying our company as a foursome (Jude insisting on spending most of a meal out high-fiving the three of us in between grabbing mouthfuls of food). Being on holiday allowed me to just concentrate on being with the family. Forget about the ironing and what was on the never ending to-do list at work. The most important decisions are centred on which beach to visit or whether to buy an ice-cream mid-morning or mid-afternoon!

I know in an ideal world we would spend more time appreciating the good things in life and counting our blessings. I forever see posts on Facebook about cherishing the little moments, making every moment count and that each day is a gift. I’m not against these at all, I understand the point that is being made. It’s just that reality does get in the way and sometimes it can be hard to cherish a toddler tantrum, a fussy eater or whingey moods.

I like to think that I am an appreciative person. That I am, in general, an optimist and a glass half full character. I do wonder sometimes if my loss has made me more thankful when it comes to parenthood. Do I hug them just that little bit tighter on occasion? That’s something I will never know.

Whilst having ‘those moments’ does make me think of Ewan, that’s a good thing. It’s important he remains an active part of me. It also makes me look at my rainbows, my rays of joy after the storm, and be truly thankful for every day, the bad as well as the good. They helped me to heal, smile and laugh and enjoy life again.

I’m off now to buy my lottery ticket for this week. I want to be on holiday all the time!

 

Back to Another Place

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Dare I ask if winter is behind us? At least all that relentless rain (pretty please!) Today has been the kind of day that half term dreams are made of. Sunshine and blue skies. Only the temperature gave away the fact that we are still in February. We all wrapped up well and headed out to the place I wrote about a few weeks ago; Crosby Beach in Liverpool. A memorable place we visited just after Ewan died.

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This was Jude’s first visit. We brought Dylan when he had only been walking a few weeks. I’d forgotten how great it is for children. Obviously as well as the beach there is a huge park, outdoor gym equipment, a lake (perfect for throwing stones) and a bistro/bar.

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Three years ago, the newly toddling Dylan absolutely loved the open space and at the time my dreams of a relaxed family picnic were dashed as he just wouldn’t keep still. Jude isn’t walking yet, although I don’t think it will be too long. He’s at that stage where if he’s in the pram, it needs to be constantly moving. Luckily there is a long promenade at Crosby beach, plus the sand is really firm so easy to push the pram on.

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Dylan didn’t pay too much attention to the statues (again) and instead concentrated all his effort on cracking shells with a big stick. 4 year old heaven!! It would have kept him entertained for a good couple of hours I imagine, but Jude was getting hungry and a bit cold because despite the sun, there was a biting wind.

I managed to steal the stick from Dylan long enough to get my (now) obligatory beach shot of my angel and two rainbows.

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We treated ourselves to lunch in the bistro. I had contemplated a picnic but decided it would just be too cold for the boys. It was great to have an hour to warm up giving us the energy to go back out in the cold for round two in the park.

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I love this place and couldn’t help but take photo after photo. We definitely need to come back in the summer, when the temperature is warmer and hopefully Jude will be running up and down, shunning my lovingly prepared sandwiches!

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So maybe I’m being a bit too optimistic in thinking the rain has ended, especially having looked at Wednesday’s forecast! At least I can revel in this wonderful day out today with my beautiful family. Five years ago Adam and I came on our own, encouraged by the sun, starting to heal and sowing some seeds of happiness. Those seeds have flourished and are now smiling and laughing with each other, and at us every day. Absolute bliss!

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Truly loving brothers

Our Super Scottish Holiday!!

And so begins my first ever holiday blog. I’m really looking forward to writing about our Scottish holiday, because hopefully in years to come I’ll be able to look back and fondly read through, recalling a lot of the detail that I will probably have forgotten.

It will be hard to cram it all into one post. Especially seeing as we have done so many wonderful things. My plan is to write a few more specific posts about some of the things we got up to (if I have the time!). We were only away for a week yet we managed to pack so much in, despite being pretty sleep deprived for a lot of the time. Poor Jude was been teething most of the week, which he shared with us most mornings around 3, 4, 5 and 6 am! Bless him, I can tell he was in such pain. It also means he was a bit crammed during the day, so it wasn’t always easy keeping him happy (lots of walking up and down in the Baby Bjorn helped though). Still, Dylan had a brilliant time. He has really grasped the concept of what a holiday is now and it is great to witness everything through his eyes.

We chose Scotland because it was almost 18 months since our last visit and 3 years since our last proper holiday. As I’ve written before, Adam and I love visiting Scotland. Whilst we want the boys to see the world which we have been lucky enough to experience, we also want them to appreciate the beauty of the British Isles.

Saturday

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The view from the cottage

Although it was only a 3 hour journey to Dumfries and Galloway, we built in a lunchtime stop at Tebay services to make sure the boys weren’t too fed up strapped in their car seats. I absolutely love this place. It’s so family friendly and is the most picturesque motorway services I’m aware of. Whilst Dylan was still asleep in the car, we managed to quickly set up his room and Adam laid out all the toys we had brought so he would be excited and hopefully take to the room without a problem. It worked, and he was more than happy to be on the first floor on his own. Even more exciting was seeing the sea from his bedroom window.

IMG_7137Carsethorn itself was a pretty small place. A few houses, a B & B and a pub. The beach is stone and shingle so Dylan was more than happy throwing stones into the sea. The bigger the better. We wandered down the beach to the pub and stumbled across a shark rock. This was heaven for a boy currently in the midst of an Octonauts obsession. There was also a wooden boat to fulfil his pirate appetite!

 

Dylan was pretty mortified when it was time for bed, but perked up when we told him he could come and visit the shark and boat the next day.

Sunday

Our plan for the day revolved round a visit to Dino Park, east of Dumfries. Our eyes lit up the day before when we drove past the sign. Given that most of the books and toys Dylan had brought with him were dinosaur related, it was a fitting location. And it didn’t disappoint. The park was full of various dinosaurs, with information plaques (and helpful phonetic aids to get the pronunciations right!). We had been warned that the noises would be triggered as we moved closer. At first Dylan was stunned and (although he wouldn’t like to admit it) a bit scared. He soon worked out that they weren’t real and was happy to run from one to the next. A dinosaur themed bouncy castle and an adventure play park were the icing on the cake.

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Monday

We drove out past Kircudbright to the Cream O’ Galloway activity centre. This was an absolutely amazing place and I can’t wait to write more about it. Being school term-time, we almost had the run of the place to ourselves. We packed in a walk with some cows and a picnic (always a winner with Dylan) before throwing ourselves onto Go Boing – a network of suspended aerial trampoline-like nets. It wouldn’t have been safe to take Jude on, so Adam and I had to take it in turns to jump around like fools with Dylan. We had so much fun and it was difficult to tear him away to explore the 3D maze and huge viewing tower. Given that the Cream O Galloway is an ice-cream company, obviously we had to sample the goods. Thumbs up from Dylan!

We treated ourselves to a meal in the pub in Carsethorn, the Steamboat Inn when we got back. As well as serving beautiful seafood, it was always desked out with various nick nacks including a huge shark mounting on the wall – guess who wanted to go and see it time after time?!? It was so nice to be able to have a sneaky glass of wine without having to worry about driving back anywhere. I was pretty chuffed with this photograph.

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Tuesday

Walking up to see blue skies and sun, it would have been rude not to head to the beach. Dylan had been asking ever since we arrived if we could make sandcastles. So armed with buckets and spades, another picnic (and various other paraphernalia!) we hit Rockcliffe beach.

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This is a great place for kids to explore – rocks to climb, searching the rockpools for sea creatures and of course, plenty of sand. The tide was well out, but we weren’t really planning on swimming! Jude was particularly crammed so we took it in turns to explore with Dylan. When it was my turn, we started making sandcastles, until Dylan decided it was much more fun to watch me make them and then for him to kick them over! Errr no Dylan!

Wednesday

Our first and only rainy day. But no matter. I had a particular place in mind to visit; the Cocoa Bean Company near Kircudbright. Another brilliant place to visit, this was a perfect place to spend a few rainy hours.

Jude experiencing soft play

Jude experiencing soft play

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Chocolatier in training

There was a café and soft play but the main feature for us was the chocolate making workshop. Again I want to write a lot more about this as it was such a great activity and Dylan cites this as being the highlight of the holiday. Great praise indeed.

 

 

The rain also cleared for us to spend some time in the outdoor play area. What 3 year old wouldn’t want to spend the rest of the afternoon on a pirate ship? We had to dig deep with our persuasive skills when it was time to leave.

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Thursday

P1100397It was a bit cooler and windier, but we still managed to spend some time at the beach again. We went out for lunch first to a nice wee village called Kippford. Jude fell asleep in the car during the 5 minute journey to Rockcliffe (typical) so Adam stayed in the car with him. We figured Jude needed to catch up on his sleep. So Dylan and I braved the wind and were determined to have fun. I initiated a game of football in order to warm up!

I took this photo below on Rockcliffe Beach.

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I’ve decided to try and write the names of my angel and two rainbows on every beach (or holiday) we go on. The first time I did it was in Whitby when we went for a break in April. I guess I want Ewan to know we are thinking about him. Dylan gave me a hand this time. He doesn’t know the significance yet. One day he will.

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Friday

On our last full day, we went on a bit of a journey. We drove nearly two hours up to Glasgow to meet up with my sister-in-law. She lives with my brother in the States so we only get to see her once or twice a year if we are very lucky. She was over in Scotland visiting her mum and it happened to coincide with our holiday, so we could resist the temptation to see her. Even just for a few hours.

The Kelvingrove in Glasgow
The Kelvingrove in Glasgow

 

She suggested the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, thinking it would have a few things to keep Dylan amused. She wasn’t wrong.

We had visited the Natural History Museum in London a few weeks earlier, which he loved, and there were some similarities. The Kelvingrove is a beautiful building (like in London) and given the huge variety of exhibits, it’s no surprise that it is the most visited museum in the UK outside of London. Oh and it’s free too!

Dylan particularly loved the natural history; animals, sharks and (of course) dinosaurs. I was intrigued by these floating heads. Maybe we didn’t take as much notice of all the exhibitions as we should have (too much nattering and catching up), but there is nothing to stop us going again!

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Back home after the two-hour drive, we treated ourselves again to a meal at the Steamboat Inn. Another glass of wine and possibly the best fish pie ever! To round off the holiday, we watched Braveheart back at the cottage.

 

Not including our weekend in Whitby, it was our first proper holiday as a foursome. Despite Jude’s disrupted nights and general poorliness, we still had a brilliant time. Just being together as a family without having to think about all the run-of-the-mill, day-to-day jobs, housework etc, is heavenly. We picked a wonderful spot to stay and this particular corner of Scotland has so much to offer for little ones. I can’t wait for our next break away.

A Scottish Love Affair

Later this month we are off up to Scotland with the boys for a week. Adam and I LOVE Scotland. In our 10 years together we’ve been countless times either camping, renting cottages or staying with friends, and there is still so much for us to explore. Even though, relatively speaking, it is only a small country, I feel as though we could have 20 different holidays in 20 different locations and there still be plenty more to see. I want to list some of the highlights of my experiences with you, and share why it is such a special place to us.

West Coast

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Me & Nessie

This has to be my favourite region. The scenery is simply breath-taking. It feels like a real effort to go to the Highlands and Islands and so the locals are really welcoming. You could drive for 10 miles and count the number of cars you see coming the other way on one hand. It is so incredibly remote despite being part of the ‘overcrowded’ British Isles.

The one downside is the amount of time it takes to get there. Even though we live in the North of England, it is still a good 7 hour drive. When Dylan went as a baby he got fed up with the long drives, even though we took breaks every couple of hours and built in an overnight stop each way. When they get a bit older though, we’ll definitely start to explore again. I’d love to take in a trip going from Skye to the islands of Lewis, Harris and Barra.

Mull

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Adam and Dylan in Tobermory

Dylan’s first journey north of the border was to Mull for a week when he was 8 months old. We were able to explore the island mainly with Dylan in the Baby Bjorn carrier (so much so that he refused to go back in his pram after the holiday was over!!). There are beautiful beaches, islands, walks and hills.

I love the photographs below I have taken of Iona (a tiny island off Mull). When I posted them on my Facebook page, some people thought we were in the Caribbean (ok maybe not with the cardies!).

Iona         Me and D

PrawnsThis picture was taken on Ulva, another small island off Mull. We explored the island with after taking a tiny passenger ferry across. The prawns were caught about 20 metres offshore. It was  one of the simplest, yet most delicious meals I’ve tasted.

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The view from our cottage in Uig, Skye

This was a particularly poignant journey, in more ways than one. We booked a short break to coincide with Ewan’s due date. I know about only 4% of babies actually arrive on their due date, but I couldn’t bear to be sat in the house, drumming my fingers and thinking of what might be. We decided to get away to take our minds off it. I don’t think it is uncommon for families similarly affected by stillbirth in a similar way to do this.

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Sunset over the Outer Hebrides

Our cottage was in the far north of the island, near a small village called Uig. It was March, so the weather was cold and bleak, with some snow still on the ground. But it was beautiful. My photographs don’t do it justice. During the daytime we explored the island, battered by the wind, rain and (some) sun, energised by the fresh sea and mountain air. I wanted to do lots of walking, but remember getting frustrated at being tired. Although how many people go hiking 8 weeks after giving birth?? Not many. At night we watched the sunset over the Outer Hebrides and then battered down the hatches in our little cottage.

Glen Coe

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Snow covered Glen Coe

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The Clachaig Inn

Wow – What a spectacular place. It’s pretty impossible to get to the highlands without going through Glen Coe so we have driven through a few times and it never fails to impress. It is often described as one of the most beautiful places in Scotland. We once stopped a night at the Red Squirrel campsite. It was a bit of a miserable drizzly night and we almost had an early night after our long drive and a bland pasta tea cooked on the camping stove. Instead we decided to head on up the road to the Clachaig Inn for a drink. There was a band playing covers and the place was full to bursting. I’m pretty sure sweat was trickling down the walls! It’s hard to describe but it was possibly one of the most unplanned and random, but best nights out ever!

The Small Isles

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Camusdarach overlooks the beautiful Small Isles of Eigg, Rum, Muck and Canna (great names!). We spent 3 nights at a campsite next to the beach. I would sit at sunrise and sunset each night trying to capture as many photographs of the islands as possible. We took a trip to Eigg one day and attempted to scale the Sgurr (the distinct hump shape). Unfortunately we never made it to the top. We were surrounded by swirling mist and at the point when we couldn’t see more than a metre in front of us and with a sheer drop into the Irish Sea below, we turned back!

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

I am so lucky to have visited Edinburgh on numerous occasions with friends and family. One of my brothers used to live nearby and a good friend married a Scotsman and ‘emigrated’ here so we have seen it from the perspective of locals as well as tourists. I have been to the Fringe festival and spent a memorable New Years Eve there. It was also the location of my first (and only so far) marathon! Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. It is beautiful, easy to navigate and walk around. There is so much to see and do. Again after plenty of visits I could still go back time and time again. Hopefully we will take the boys soon. I’d love to take them to Edinburgh Zoo to see the Giant Panda (and maybe a baby or two!).

 

This list is by no means endless, and there are lots of wonderful places I haven’t included. I’m sure I will get round to sharing some of our experiences from Dumfries and Galloway after our holiday, an area I haven’t really explored since a family trip when I was 4 years old!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my Scottish Love Affair. Are you a Scottish fan? Please share your favourite places. If not, have I converted you?

    

 

You Baby Me Mummy

Stateside and Steam Trains

This is my first Out and About post. One of the aims of writing my blog is to document (partly for me to read in years to come!) but also share the various fun things we get up to as a family. I love to write about places we visit and if we go on holiday, I’ve barely unpacked before I’m on Tripadvisor uploading photos and carefully composing my reviews.

So I am starting with our jaunt into Yorkshire last weekend. We are only 7 miles from the border so it isn’t too far or adventurous! We first paid a visit to the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway and then moved onto Billy Bob’s Parlour for food and play.

Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam railway

This was the perfect trip out for Dylan. Like most boys aged 3, he absolutely loves trains. Any type of train really. Steam, diesel, electric, miniature, toy. He isn’t fussy. It wasn’t our first ride on the railway. We visited 18 months ago for the Santa Special. Dylan was a tad too young to fully appreciate the experience and was more interested in trying to run up and down the platform than board the train. Oh and he cried when he met Santa.

Fast forward to Sunday and he was definitely much more interested in the build-up. Typically he had fallen asleep in the car but quickly bucked up at the sight of the train yard. Aboard the train, we sat in one of the old-style carriages (with a corridor) facing each other. It wasn’t too busy so we had one to ourselves. The seats were plush and velvety. We delighted ourselves in plonking down Jude on his own (only for a few seconds, he can’t sit up yet!). He looked so adorable.

The journey from Embsay to Bolton Abbey is 15 minutes. Ok, it’s not very long. But for the attention span of a 3 year old it was perfect. Jude sat on our knees for the journey and seemed to be taking in the passing scenery with great interest. Dylan delighted in shouting out everything he could see – cows, sheep, fields, trees, rivers. Unfortunately there weren’t any tunnels (his absolute favourite) but there were a few bridges which kept him more than happy.

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Bolton Abbey is a bigger station so we got off to have a bit of a walk, look inside the ticket office and watched the engine chugging back to the other end of the train. We decided to get the same train for our return journey. Jude paid less attention on the way back as he announced his hunger and demanded feeding.

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The ticket office at Bolton Abbey

The railway is run by volunteers and all those we met were friendly and welcoming. The guard who came round to check our tickets was happy to talk to Dylan and explain what he was doing. We didn’t use the buffet car (we’d brought our own snacks) but the prices seemed very reasonable. Both stations are in great condition given that they were built in the late 1800’s. I’m not sure if they were ever in a bad state of repair, if they were then they have been lovingly restored.

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The beautiful Yorkshire countryside from Embsay Station

The visit definitely got the thumbs up from both boys (even though Jude was less aware!), and given it is only half an hour away from home, I’m sure we will make a return visit, maybe at one of their themed events.

Billy Bob’s Parlour

A confession. Billy Bob’s is one of our favourite places at the moment. This was our sixth visit of the year so far, and is unlikely to be our last! Given its proximity to Embsay station (less than 2 miles), it would have been simply rude not to have combined the two in one trip.

After our first visit last year, I wrote a Tripadvisor review giving it 5/5 and said that it managed to combine two things that rarely go together – fantastic kids play area and amazing food. Usually soft play areas are great for the little ones, but offer up the usual fair when it comes to food – sandwiches, pizza, chips and the like. Alternatively you can find a great restaurant with fab food, for both kids and adults, but there is nothing to do to keep them entertained. Billy Bob’s can do both with ease.

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Starting with the play areas. There are two – outside and indoor (the barn), so you can visit in all weathers. We have been in July and January and Dylan has had an equally good time. I’ve no idea how much all the play equipment cost (probably a lot) – it looks amazing and appeals to both boys and girls. All carefully crafted by wood there is a plane, bus, train, digger, pirate ship, ark, castle (the list is not exhaustive!). There are swings outside and a huge slide in the barn (which the children have to climb huge bales of hay to get to the top), as well as an area for mini tractors and trailers. There is a separate area in the barn for older children too. Obviously I haven’t spent much time there yet but at a quick glance there are plenty of rope swings and more hay bales. There are plenty of places for adults to sit and observe, although of course they can always get stuck in with the kids on the equipment.

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And now onto the food. Excuse me while I drool for 5 minutes. Oh the food is amazing. Adam and I are busily working our way through the American themed menu. So far we have sampled pancakes, nachos, the Coney Island hot dog, burgers, pulled pork, onion straws and our current favourite, the Brooklyn Deli-wich (New York style bagel with pastrami, pickles and a tonne of other wonderful toppings). Every time we over-order, although we are getting a little bit better. The portion sizes are huge! Dylan tends to opt for pancakes or a puppy dog off the kids menu. The boys also fill themselves up with a huge banana milkshake. I have still yet to leave room for one of the amazing sounding desserts and only once think I have managed some ice cream (the parlour is the home of the Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream Company).

The diner itself is what I imagine most 1950’s American eateries looked like. There are booths that fit up to 8 adults and it has also recently been extended and houses a yellow American school bus… which you can dine in! We have yet to experience the this – maybe we will tackle it when we don’t have car seats, buggies or high chairs to contend with …. that’ll be in about 3 years then! The service is super quick and always with a smile.

We often arrive early, let Dylan have a play for an hour, eat and leave time for another play before heading home. On Sunday we took a risk, didn’t book and luckily we nabbed a table for 4pm. However usually I book via the website, which is a great new-ish service they offer.

We trundled back into Lancashire, full to bursting and happy with our afternoon’s adventures. Well almost everyone was happy. Jude cried solidly for 30 minutes which was a tad traumatic for us all (mostly for him). Bless him, he just wanted a cuddle!