Tin Box Traveller Diaries: August 2017
I love the summer holidays even if they aren’t always sunny. August was a bit mixed in terms of the weather but that didn’t stop us enjoying our family travels and, thankfully, the month ended on a sunny note. In fact, the August Bank Holiday weekend was the hottest on record in the UK. It’s times like this that make me happy we decided to have a UK staycation rather than head abroad. Here’s what we got up to at home, away and on the blog in August:
The amazing thing about living by a river is your view is always changing. Admittedly we don’t live right on the River Dart but we’re close enough to appreciate its wonderful sights on a regular basis. This weekend it was The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta – one of dozens happening across the South West of England over the summer – which made for more exciting river traffic than usual. We spotted sailing barges, gigs and steam boats aplenty over the weekend. But the action wasn’t just reserved for the water. The whole of Dartmouth town was bustling with food stalls, fairground rides and entertainment. You’ve got to experience it if you’re in South Devon next summer. Snippets of last night’s awesome firework display are still on my Instagram Story if you’re quick! 🎇 ⛵️ 🎇 ⛵️ #Devon #visitDevon #ukftb #familytravel #familytravelblog #trips100 #ftb100 #ukexplore #tinboxdevon #WestCountry #DartmouthRegatta #Dartmouth #uktravel #VisitEngland #regatta #RiverDart #boats #sailboat #riverlife #VisitSouthDevon #SouthDevon #travelherenext #lovelifeoutside #tinytravels #outdoorfamily #outfam #aDevonChildhood
Mr Tin Box had a big garden project on this month – to clear a space for the girls’ play house which they’ve been missing since we moved house in May. This took him most of a week and the Bank Holiday weekend but it was a job well done.
While Mr TB was slogging away in the garden the girls and I spent an afternoon at the beach and a day at the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta. Thankfully our hardworking working DIYer was able to take a break to join us for the fireworks that were the regatta grand finale.
Aside from projects at home we’ve been preparing for Tin Box Tot to start school in September. We’ve got her uniform, we’ve been talking about what happens at school and have been trying to get our heads around a new routine. All that’s left is to deliver her to the playground on her first day – eek!
And we’re off! Our summer staycation is a UK road trip covering 850 miles, stopping in four counties and towing our caravan for at least 20 hours over two weeks. Our final stop will be @justsofestival at Rode Hall in Cheshire. Are you doing any road trips this summer? And will we see you at Just So? Limited tickets are still available! #ad 🚙 🚦 🚗 🚦 #Familytravel #roadtrip #roadtripping #caravan #ukftb #familytravel #familytravelblog #trips100 #ftb100 #ukexplore #tinboxroadtrip #caravanholiday #camping #travelmomentswithkids #adventure #lovelifeoutside #explorerkids #tinytravels #outdoorfamily #outfam #JustSoFestival #JustSo #summerholiday #ukholiday #staycation
At the beginning of August we set off on a road trip around England with our caravan, Tin Box. In just over two weeks we covered 850 miles, put our legs down in four counties and had eight adventures of varying shapes and sizes. That’s not to mention our first family Festival, Just So.
Our first stop in Hampshire was so I could do a few days work in my company’s head office. While I was working the girls and Mr Tin Box revisited some of our favourite local attractions: the national motor museum at Beaulieu and Manor Farm Country Park. We also visited Itchen Valley Country Park together to test out the Tree Top Junior Course at Go Ape. Tin Box Tot loved this and we now can’t wait for Baby to be tall enough for us to tackle this kind of course together.
Our next destination was Iver near Windsor in Berkshire for a two night stopover. We stayed at a lovely little fruit farm with roaming sheep and Red Kites flying above our van. While there we saw the changing of the guard at Windsor and visited the enormous National Trust estate of Cliveden.
The Norfolk Broads where where we spent the main part of our caravan staycation with Tin Box Nana, Grandad and the Tin Box cousins. Here we stayed on a Caravan and Camping Club affiliated site just down the road from Great Yarmouth. It was surrounded by fields being harvested for hay – rural scenery at its finest.
From our Norfolk idil we visited Gorleston Beach at Great Yarmouth, Pettitts Animal Adventure Park which was a hit with the girls, Whiltingham Country Park outside Norwich, the amazing Bewilderwood woodland adventure, and hired a day boat on the Norfolk Broads. It was a brilliant week.
Our final stop was Just So Festival in Cheshire where we partied away the last weekend of our road trip in wellies and sun hats. The weather never really did work out what it was doing but it didn’t take the shine off what was a brilliant first family festival experience.
Phew, what a month!
Monkeying around! Our summer holiday has gotten off to a swinging start with a fabulous afternoon at @goapesouthampton in Itchen Valley Country Park #ad. Tot and Mr Tin Box tackled the Tree Top Junior course like absolute pros. What a great place for outdoor family fun. There’s more from our tree top adventure over on my Instagram Story if you’d like to take a look 🐵 🐵 🐵 🐵 #Hampshire #southampton #goape #highropes #outdoorfun #outdoorfamily #ItchenValleyCountryPark #Adventure #familytravelblog #familytravel #familytravelmoment #tourist #staycation #travelawesome #travelwithkids #myfamilyadventures #ftb100 #trips100 #ukexplore #travelinspiration #curiouslittleexplorers #tinytravels #explorerkids #freespiritedchildhood #littlefierceones #totsphoto #pottyadventures
As I’ve already alluded to, August was big on adventures and we loved it! Here’s the full run down of days out and experiences we loved in August, which I’ll link up to posts as I publish them:
- Go Ape, Itchen Valley Country Park, Hampshire
- Manor Farm Country Park, Eastleigh, Hampshire
- Beaulieu, New Forest, Hampshire
- Windsor, Berkshire
- Cliveden National Trust, Berkshire
- Beach, Great Yarmouth
- Pettitts Animal Adventure Park, Norfolk
- Bewilderwood, Norfolk
- Norfolk Broads, Norfolk
- Just So Festival, Rode Hall, Cheshire
- The Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth, Devon
- Canonteign Falls, Dartmoor, Devon
There’s snippets from all of these adventure on my Instagram account if you can’t wait for the full write up.
Could Baby be listening any more intently to her Daddy’s tall tales in the fairy woods? Not too much later she was curled up sleeping in our trailer while we watched the Tribal Tournament – the grand finale of Just So Festival. What a brilliant and exhausting weekend, and a buzzing end to our UK road trip. Thanks for having us @justsofestival! #ad #Freespiritedchildhood #littlefierceones #totsphoto #pottyadventures #ukexplore #familyfun #adventure #travelmomentswithkids #curiouslittleexplorers #explorerkids #tinytravels #welivetoexplore #justso #justsofestival #spellboundforest #rodehall #cheshire #tinboxjustso #festival #familytravel #familytravelblog #ukftb #trips100 #ftb100 #uktravel #cheshire
While I had hoped to keep the blog ticking over with pre-planned posts, August was a month where we did a lot more ‘doing’ than blogging. I thought I had a lot to write about before we went away and now I’m swimming in notes that need writing up. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for a time machine!
What little I did blog about in August included: what I packed for our summer staycation, my tips for road trips with kids, the Tudor-themed days at Compton Castle in South Devon, dog and kid-friendly days out in Cornwall, the Tree Top Junior course at Go Ape Southampton, tips for cycling with toddlers, and the portable pressure washer from Kärcher.
My most popular post for a third month in a row was my self-catering holiday packing list. Also doing well this month were a post I wrote a couple of years ago about crabbing at Lymington in the New Forest and where to find the Moor Otters art trail in Dartmoor National Park this summer.
In September Mr Tin Box and I are looking forward to reviewing a grown-ups night away at The Grand Hotel in Devon followed by a family caravan weekend at Seaview International Holiday Park in Cornwall. Later in the month I’ll be heading to the Britmums conference and Brilliance in Blogging Awards in London where I’m up for an award. Wish me luck!