Half term, the kids break up from school for a week or two and and this involves carefully planning time away from work to make sure the kiddiwinks are looked after. You have to sit and think of things to do to spend quality time together on your days off together without breaking the bank and it seems that no matter how fantastic your time off, you’re always slightly relieved when the kids are finally back at school and normality resumes at last.
It seems that no matter how fantastic your time off, you’re always slightly relieved when the kids are finally back at school and normality resumes at last
Our half term started with BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend in Middlesbrough. We had tickets on the Bank Holiday Sunday and we were lucky to get two extra tickets nearer the time for the kids. They’d never been to a festival or concert before and although we were anxious about whether or not they’d enjoy it, whether it would be suitable for kids and whether they’d be safe, we needn’t have worried.
Mollie put on some temporary glitter tattoos (which lasted almost 2 weeks as she wouldn’t let us scrub them off in the bath)
The weather on the morning wasn’t the best, but the weather reports confirmed any rain should clear by lunchtime and luckily it did. We put glitter in our hair and Mollie put on some temporary glitter tattoos (which lasted almost 2 weeks as she wouldn’t let us scrub them off in the bath).
We arrived in time for the first performance and met up with some friends. Little Mix opened the show with a fantastic set which the kids loved and so did everyone else! We also watched Jax Jones, Zara Larsson, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Rita Ora. We danced and laughed for hours in the sun til our feet ached, then we decided to head home as the remaining acts that we most wanted to see perform were on really late. So we thought it might be better to get Oliver and Mollie home and to watch the live feed on BBC iplayer with a takeaway. I must admit it was a fantastic day and we didn't want it to end.
We danced and laughed for hours in the sun til our feet ached
A couple of weeks before the half term, I had planned a little surprise for the kids. An overnight stay at North Shire in a Shepherds Hut and a visit to some nearby places before and after. Dean wasn’t overly excited as he’s never been a fan of camping or caravanning, but ever since we went there pumpkin picking a couple of years back and I started following them on social media, I had been dying to book up.
We told the kids we were off on an adventure and packed up everything we needed including our pillows and duvets. We set off first to Whitby, arriving at lunchtime and just in time for fish and chips. We had a wonder through the streets and up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey and back down again. We popped into the arcades where we wasted a fortune in two pence pieces and as we left, it started to rain so we thought it might be a good time to get back to the car and make our way to North Shire.
We told the kids we were off on an adventure
It was only a 20 minute drive to North Shire from Whitby and as we pulled up, the rain eased slightly. The kids instantly spotted the Shepherds Huts and became excited about us staying in one, trying to guess which one was ours for the night.
It was Harry Potter themed with scatter cushions, large old fashioned trunks, a sign on the wall and a lamp shade
We popped in to the Green Dragon Café to pick up our keys and we were taken across to the Knight Hut, which was our home for the night. It was a fantastic bright purple colour on the outside and the only hut with its own little outdoor porch area. Oliver and Mollie absolutely loved the inside, as it was Harry Potter themed with scatter cushions, large old fashioned trunks, a sign on the wall and a lamp shade. The interior was a fantastic purple and pink and fairy lights hung from the ceiling.
We had our own fridge with a pint of milk in there ready for us, a kettle, cutlery, plates, bowls, cups and glasses and there were tea bags and biscuits also.
Outside of our hut was a lovely little park which the kids ran straight to, immediately making new friends. Myself and Dean sat in the porch area watching them play whilst we had a cuppa which was really relaxing.
We had a wonder around to see the animals, the new Groundkeepers Cottage and magical flying car. We then popped in to the Green Dragon café for cupcakes and chocolate frogs before going back to play in the park.
It was lovely all cuddling up watching a nostalgic movie with the fairy lights twinkling above us and it’s little moments such as this which I treasure the most
It got to about 8pm and it started to get a bit chilly, the kids were excited to go to bed so we got them inside and into their pyjamas. We pulled out the bed and all sat together watching the Goonies on the iPad. It was lovely all cuddling up watching a nostalgic movie with the fairy lights twinkling above us and it’s little moments such as this which I treasure the most.
Towards the end of the film, Oliver was already drifting off to sleep and so we all decided to get into bed. The bed was perfectly comfortable but I didn’t have the best nights sleep thanks to Mollie getting into bed with us in the early hours.
The next morning, we got up, packed our things away, said goodbye to the magical North Shire and headed off to the Old Chapel Tearoom in Castleton Village nearby for a full English breakfast. If anyone is ever in the area, I definitely recommend this place. It was so reasonably priced and the food was lovely!!
I also didn’t realise how competitive we all are! But in the end, I believe I won ;)
Afterwards, we stopped by one of our favourite places just down the road, the North York Moors National Park in Danby, with Crows Wood, a little wooded area with fairy doors hidden in and amongst the trees. After a lap of the wood and spotting a number of the fairy doors, some ducks, squirrels and a pheasant, we popped over the road to played in the fantastic park they, we found their mud kitchen and a large wooden dragon (Game of Thrones eat your heart out!), we played Quoits and found it very addictive, I also didn’t realise how competitive we all are! But in the end, I believe I won ;) We then celebrated my victory with icecream.
It’s the third time we have visited the North York Moors National Park and I absolutely love it, as do the kids. When the weather is nice, they have lots of garden games on the lawn. If this place had existed when I was young, I’d have never wanted to leave! I tell people about it all the time, especially when they have kids of their own and are thinking of places to go.
On the way home, we went back on ourselves ever so slightly and stopped off at Falling Foss, a gorgeous little tea garden set in such picturesque forest surroundings. I love this place and just had to call in with being nearby.
The first dance at our wedding was to ‘Rule the World’ so to hear that song sung live is just amazing and gives me all the feels
We finished our half term week with a date night to go and see Take That at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough, just myself and Dean. We have had the tickets for a while and were so excited to go! I have seen Take That many times, all around the country so it was just fantastic that they were performing in our home town. The first dance at our wedding was to ‘Rule the World’ so to hear that song sung live is just amazing and gives me all the feels.
Rick Astley supported Take That and my what a voice, when he belted out his rendition of Calvin Harris’s and Rag and Bone man’s Giant, the whole place went wild!
We got quite tipsy and as we were standing, we had a good dance. After the show, we walked into Middlesbrough Town Centre for a drink then we had to walk home due to a lack of taxis, eventually getting in at 2am. I felt fragile the next day but it was so worth it, what an absolutely fantastic night!!
We’re also really lucky to be surrounded by such amazing places. Up the Boro!!
Overall, we had such a brilliant week and I felt like for once, I totally won at half term. We were really lucky with having BBC Radio One’s Big Weekend and Take That in Middlesbrough, but we’re also really lucky to be surrounded by such amazing places. Up the Boro!!