Robin Hill Diaz

Exploring Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight

Last year we reacquainted ourselves with the Isle of Wight last year and have visited the Island on a number of occasions since. If you ask the kids their favourite places to visit on the island, without hesitation they will reply either Blackgang Chine or its sister site, Robin Hill Country Park. We had not heard of Robin Hill until we visited the country park last year and we were blown away by the award-winning 88 acres of beautiful countryside and forest and the kids could not wait to get inside the park, coming face to face with their mascots …

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Exploring Bolsover Castle with Kids

During our Stay, Play, Explore weekend in Leicestershire we were invited to hop over the border into Derbyshire by English Heritage and Mumsnet to discover the delights of Bolsover Castle. It took us just under an hour to get from Leicester to get to Bolsover Castle. I am a sucker for a beautiful castle and Dunnottar in Scotland is still my favourite, but Bolsover comes a very close second for the view from the road. Unlike many tourist attractions, there is free parking available just over the road from the entrance to the castle and we couldn’t wait to get inside …

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Kenilworth Castle

Exploring Kenilworth Castle with the Kids

Since visiting Scotland and some of its magnificent castles back in February, we have got a real thirst for history.

Visiting castles with children is lots of fun, not only do you get to pretend you are knights of the realm, or a real life princess, you can climb the ramparts, investigate the history of the castle, or simply take in the atmosphere. Most of the castles we have visited also have some of THE best hills for rolling down too!!

Over the weekend we were on a Stay, Play, Explore break in Leicestershire and were invited by English Heritage and Mumsnet.com to visit Kenilworth Castle which is located in the town of the Kenilworth, a short drive away in Warwickshire.

Kenilworth Castle was constructed from Norman through to Tudor times and offers a real “WOW” factor as it comes into view.

You enter the castle from a long track which is where they used to have jousting tournaments – cue some galloping children upon their imaginary horses racing up and down the track. Once inside the grounds there are many different parts of the castle to explore and the kids radiated towards the old Tudor stable block where they pretended to be put in jail.

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle has been linked with some of the most important names in English history and was a favoured residence of the Lancastrian kings. Today, with its Elizabethan gardens, its impressive Norman ‘keep’ and John of Gaunt’s Great Hall, it is the largest castle ruin in England, perfect for exploring.

Kenilworth Castle

The castle is sat on top of a large hill, perfect for rolling down and the kids made the most of the dry and sunny weather by rolling from the top to the bottom. The castle grounds are accessible for buggy’s and wheelchairs but if you want to explore the ruins, there are a lot of stairs to navigate – some modern wooden stairs with viewing platforms and some fun original stone spiral staircases so be prepared for some climbing.

Kenilworth Castle

There were lots of information plaques dotted around, explaining which part of the castle you were in, or looking at and giving you information about events that happened in the castle. Isaac especially enjoyed finding out all about what happened in the castle whereas Eliza and Sebby were content finding all the nooks and cranny’s and seeing where they could make their voices echo.

Kenilworth Castle

One of the castle’s most famous periods was the 16th century and Elizabeth I visited several times. In 1575 her and her entourage were lavishly entertained for three weeks with pageants, music, dancing, fireworks, hunting and feasting and there is a fabulous display of paintings and information about the event in Leicester’s Gatehouse.

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle is also home to the Elizabethan Gardens, a recreation of the garden built by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, for Elizabeth I’s visit in 1575. It is a stunning garden and I can only imagine what it would look like in the summer when all the flowers are in bloom.

Elizabethan Gardens

On our visit to Scotland we were intrigued by tales of the Civil War and here we discovered that Kenilworth was taken by the Parliamentarian army in the opening month of it. Although the castle didn’t see much action, the army wanted to make the castle untenable and so the north wall of the keep was destroyed and the outer curtain wall beyond breached. In the years after the Civil war the mere, that once surrounded the castle, was drained, trees were felled, and interiors stripped out and sold, leading to further destruction of the castle.

Kenilworth Castle

Visiting castles with kids opens up their imaginations and during Easter, English Heritage will be running a series of Easter Adventure Quests across the country, where families can meet a costumed character, solve clues and win chocolate rewards.

I really would recommend visiting an English Heritage property as a fun family day out and you can read about our visit to Bolsover Castle here.

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in return for writing this post.

Country Kids

Caribbean Cove

New Caribbean Cove at Weymouth Sealife

In December we visited Weymouth Sea Life Centre to see Father Christmas and whilst we were there we noticed that all the rides had been removed and were intrigued by what might be replacing them. Fast forward three months and the site has been transformed into a tropical playground that kids will adore. We were invited to be some of the first people to visit the new Caribbean Cove, which opens to the public on 1st April. It is set to be Dorset’s largest adventure playground, where children will be able to have fun exploring and learning about the importance of …

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Dinosaur

Finding T-Rex at the Natural History Museum

It is has been a good few years since we last visited the Natural History Museum and after enjoying a trip to the National Museum of Scotland back in February half term we decided a visit was in order. We arrived in time for opening at 10am forgetting that there is always a huge queue at whichever entrance you choose, not great when your children announce they desperately need the loo. Thankfully the queue was relatively fast-moving and hubby shot off to the toilet with the boys whilst I had our bag checked. Knowing that Sebby wanted to see the dinosaurs, …

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