I’ve been pleading to go to Scotland’s National Mining Museum for a while now, and last week I finally persuaded the rest of the family.
The TripAdvisor reviews are good, and I have to say it lived up to our expectations – exceeded them in fact.
It’s really well designed around kids – lots of interactive stuff in the exhibitions, lots of space to run around in, a free bouncy castle, and a great soft play (additional fee for this) and playground next to the cafe. Apparently the guided tours of the colliery are excellent too but that’s maybe something for when the kids are older.
Ben most enjoyed operating the machinery and pressing buttons.
Ellie most enjoyed the bouncy castle and looking for cats.
And all of us enjoyed dressing up!
Here are some of the things we’ve been up to over the summer.
We’ve enjoyed the local parks and gardens.
We’ve explored Almond Valley (a great destination for young kids!).
We had our cousins come and stay with us.
And we (sometimes!) played nicely together 🙂
Two or three weeks ago we took the stabilisers off Ellie’s bicycle. We’ve slowly been teaching her to cycle by herself.
Yesterday, for the first time she succeeded 🙂
She was clearly chuffed to bits and I can’t say I didn’t feel the same way too!
This weekend we traveled down to stay at my Dad’s house for a few days. The kids love seeing their grandparents. Ellie spent most of the weekend playing with Noreen! We also got fantastic weather while we were there.
On Saturday we went to Quarry Bank Mill. It’s a National Trust property centred around an impressive eighteenth-century cotton mill.
We walked around the estate and then the playground.
On Sunday we visited Dane Meadow, which has recently been given a face-lift with some new paths, signage and disabled access. Oh, and some tree stumps which have handily been turned into seats.
Later that day we went to the Holmes Chapel fete, just in time to see a Hurricane fly-past. Ellie won a toy truck for her brother on hook-a-duck.
And then “auntie Charlie” came to visit with her dog, Henry. Ellie and Henry were best pals pretty much immediately!
On Monday we went to visit “Granny Carol”, “Granddad Clive” and “Uncle Tom”. We all went to Goostrey Home and Leisure in the morning, which has a lovely little play area.
Then I took Ben back for his nap, while Ellie and Jana went to my Mum’s house. Tom taught Ellie how to kayak…
… before they cleaned out the pond, and (to my great excitement!) discovered some newts.
We all had a lovely time. But when it was time to come home, we felt like this!
I’m not sure what Ben’s very first word was (though ‘mama’ is in with a good shout), but here are his first words. He’s built up a good little vocabulary.
‘Dada’ (only recently)
‘Tada’ (Czech for ‘here’)
‘Jeste’ (Czech for ‘more’)
‘Ne!’ (Czech for ‘no’)
‘There’ (when he brings something to show you).
We have been going through old photos to make a photobook of Ben’s first year (he turned one last August).
Here are some of the pictures we dug out.