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Top 5 Friday!

Last Friday of the Summer Holidays. This feels a whole lot more ridiculous to me because it is also only the third Friday the kids have been home and the end of only the second full week they have been here. Potty.

But still, we have managed to cram in enough adventures for me to compile OUR TOP 5 SUMMER HOLIDAY MOMENTS

5. Erddig Hall, Wrexham (National Trust Property)

We have been here before, and it is always a great day out. We particularly like the enormous, natural woodland play area and the carvings in the garden and woodland. We explored the house as well and it was good fun talking about everything we saw and learned together.

A touring art installation, we were invited to go see this by our friend Liberty who had seen it advertised. Immediately breath-taking, the Smalls adored it, pretending to moon walk, to swim on the floor in the moonlight, all sorts of mini adventures in the eerie blue light with the incredibly close moon overhead.

We even managed to get ourselves into a talk inside an inflatable planetarium that flew us through the solar system as if were on a space craft. They loved that too. It was a simple but entertaining afternoon that made a big impression.

3. Star Wars Pub Quiz!

Liberty’s idea again – we took the Smalls to their first ever pub quiz in town. It was Star Wars themed (though they threw in science and technology questions as well) so Arthur was our secret weapon and Teddy Boba Fett was our lucky charm. They worked, too as we came third even though everyone else’s teams were made up of grown ups who seemed to be taking it more seriously than us!!

 2. The Tempest, performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men at Alderford Lake

This was Tori’s birthday present – her first experience of Shakespeare on-stage. It was fabulous! Traditionally performed on simple but impressive staging, once Tori got over the shock of Shakespeare’s language presented at full speed, she was swept away by the magic and story.

We were so lucky with the weather. Earlier in the day, it had been hailing and the next day was solid rain but that evening was perfectly sunny and clear. We watched the first act with the stage bathed in a glorious sunset and then the second act in growing darkness as the moon rose full and golden behind the stage which was set up with the lake behind it.

There were bats flying through the stage lights, geese honking (sometimes not-so) softly over the lake and it took the whole thing to another level. I’m so glad Tori loved it because now I have a willing theatre buddy!

1. Kinver Edge & Rock Houses, Staffordshire (National Trust)

Houses built into sandstone cliffs, spectacular views, forest walks, caves you can climb in – we loved it here!

We explored the houses, had a biscuit at the cafe and then went off on a two and three-quarter hour walk through the woods, up and down hills of varying steepness (a couple were VERY) across the hill top with amazing views and there were even huge natural sandstone caves that are safe to clamber up into and explore. The Smalls had sword fights (they’ve not left the house without their swords most days), played all sorts of adventure games, identified plants and trees and, of course, moaned that their legs were going to fall off about once every ten minutes.


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