By now most of you will know how much we love taking family breaks. We are very lucky in the fact that our kids aren’t too worried about the where but more so about what there is to do.
Don’t get me wrong, the kids love going abroad and discovering new countries and places to visit, but as a family of 5 with 2 soon to be 3 kids at school full time, it isn’t always so easy to just jump on a plane.
This is where the staycation comes in extremely handy, we are very fortunate where we live and we have spent many weekends exploring our local area.
But we also like to explore new places within Britain, places we might not ordinarily have thought of. Both Alex and myself have very fond memories of these kind of breaks when we were little. A stick of rock, a 2p machine in the arcades, warm doughnuts on the beach, the cheese of the Blackpool illuminations, these are the memories that have stuck with us throughout our lives.
It’s for this reason we love to try and instil these memories into our children.
We have recently joined forces with Parkdean Resorts to help promote all of the amazing things you can experience in Britain as part of their #BestofBritain campaign.
Last year we took part in their Coastal Adventures campaign along the Norfolk coast, so it was great to get involved again in a new area.
Staycations are on the rise, and for good reason. It’s great to know that there really is so much to experience across the country and often you might not realise how much there really is to see and do within a couple of hours in the car.
Our weekend away consisted of visiting Skegness in Lincolnshire to experience what the area has to offer for families. We stayed at Southview Holiday Park which was fairly close by to the coast, a short 8 minute drive. It’s not somewhere that we had ever been to before, so it was all new territory for us to explore.
Of course we were blessed with a mixture of British weather, we had all the seasons in 2 days, but we found we were able to visit a range of places in and surrounding Skegness.
Our first destination was Bolingbroke Castle which is part of the English Heritage collection of historic sites. It’s the remains of a 13th century hexagonal castle and the birthplace of King Henry IV in 1367.
The boys are always fascinated to visit old ruins and see anything that’s steeped in history. Whenever we travel to different parts of the country, we’re always excited to see what historic places we can discover that we might not ordinarily get to see.
We had some glorious sunshine when we visited this site, not to mention that it wasn’t very busy, so it was nice to be able to look around at our leisure.
Every window, doorway and steps led to intrigue and I love to see how much the kids appreciate places like this.
Next we took a trip to Skegness beach, where despite the weather closing in on us, the beach was always going to be fun. The kids really aren’t bothered by the rain, if there is an opportunity to feel sand between their toes and the chance to bring half the beach back in the car with us, they will take it!
There was so many places to park around the beach, and if you are one of those people who never has change or your change gets used in the arcades, most of the car parks offer the text to park service, which is so much more convenient.
The beach was always going to be the main attraction for the kids and much like Great Yarmouth, we knew that Skegness would be a fun day out. My own childhood memories consist of trips to the seaside, so it’s always a little nostalgic to be able to visit places that have a similar feel.
Some of you might not know, like we weren’t aware, Skegness beach has several times won the Blue Flag beach award for cleanliness, something which became apparent during our visit.
It wasn’t quite warm enough to go swimming in the sea when we visited, but there were plenty of surfers enjoying the waves. As you can tell by our photos, the beach was fairly empty, but it was big enough that even in the height of summer, there is so much space that I don’t think anyone would be caught short looking for places to lay their towels.
We took a trip down to the beachfront where we collected seashells and paddled around in the water and then we walked along the pier where we had it all to ourselves!
A trip to the seaside would never be complete without visiting the amusements arcades. The first request is to always visit the 2p machines. Out of everything there is to do at the pier, amusements, rides, food, ice-creams, bowling, the list goes on. It’s always the 2p machines!
The kids always love having some money to choose whichever games they want to play. At this particular arcade, some games gave you the opportunity to win tickets which could be cashed in for sweets or toys depending on the amount of tickets you won.
With the smell of warm doughnuts in the air, we couldn’t resist sharing some while walking along the seafront. Such a simple pleasure but one that will always evoke memories and rounded up our trip to the seaside perfectly.
Sibsey Trader Windmill
Another great place to visit was Sibsey Trader Windmill. Built in 1877, it is one of the few six-sailed mills remaining in England.
One thing to bare in mind though is that the Windmill was damaged during gales last year, and its sail and fantail have been removed for repair.
Although the mill is not currently working, it is still open for visitors who can go up the mill tower to see the machinery and history displays.
Inside the Windmill is a little shop but you can climb the winding staircase to reach higher up. There is also a charming country tearoom selling produce using their own stone ground flour.
Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary
As a child I used to visit a donkey sanctuary that was fairly local to me, so I was very keen to visit the Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary for the children to enjoy.
You pay 50p for a little bucket of carrots so that you can walk around and feed the donkeys. The kids absolutely loved doing this, Georgie especially so, who was much less afraid of having her hand nibbled than the boys!
You also have the chance to adopt a donkey which costs £20 per donkey. All the money goes directly to help pay for food, veterinary costs, farrier visits, and a whole host of other general and everyday expenses.
They found it very rewarding and we all enjoyed our little trip to see the many different and some very noisy donkeys, who did very well for carrots.
If you are thinking of visiting Radcliffe Donkey Sanctuary check their website before your visit as they are closed January – March, but are then open on selected days and times for all of the other months.
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park
Lincolnshire Wildlife Park was by far our most favourite trip out during our stay around Skegness. It was the one we were looking forward to the most, so we allowed for the majority of our time to be spent here.
The Wildlife Park is unlike other similar places we had visited before, it is a family run Park which became evident to us during our visit. We happened to be stood watching the tortoises as the owner walked by, he overheard us talking about the tortoises and stopped to give us a little more information about the tortoises. It was a brilliant little personal touch which left us feeling like the visitors really are an important part of the day.
The park itself is set in over 16.5 acres of Nature Reserve, and they are now the UK’s premier Animal Rehabilitation Centre with over 2000 residents and home to The National Parrot Sanctuary, the world’s largest parrot sanctuary.
We were able to see so many beautiful and vocal parrots, and a lot of them weren’t behind bars. There were various parrots and birds almost within touching distance, which made it feel even more special, although I definitely wouldn’t recommend sticking your fingers near them or trying to touch them!
While Alex and Elliot were stood there gazing at one of the parrots, a lovely, sweet local lady stopped to talk to them. She was explaining that a lot of the Parrots & Parakeets were rescued, and that Lincolnshire Wildlife Park continue to re-home those that need their help.
Then as they finished talking to the lady, up walked a Parrot and calmly stood there at their feet, something which netiher of them had experienced before.
We also absolutely loved the meerkats enclosure which had a fantastic set up of little houses, like something out of an old Western movie.
As far as Wildlife parks go admission is extremely reasonable, £10.95 per adult and £9.50 for kids with under 3’s getting in FREE. They also do a family ticket, 2 adults and 2 kids for £38, or 2 adults and 3 kids for £45.
Overall the kids had the most amazing time, they made memories that will hopefully stick with them like ours have when we were younger.
There were some other places that unfortunately we ran out of time to explore, but these are definitely on our list for next time:
- Gunby Estate (National Trust) – Set in Victorian walled gardens, there’s plenty to do at this country house, including exploring the grounds or enjoying a family game of croquet.
Tattershall Castle (National Trust) – Discover history at this magnificent, medieval red brick castle. If you’re lucky, you may spot historic planes from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly overhead from RAF Coningsby, which is situated only a mile away.
Southview Holiday Park was an ideal location for exploring the places we visited, nothing was further than 25 minutes away from it.
If you are interested in finding out more about Parkdean Resorts #BestofBritain campaign, then you can do so by following this link.
While you are at it, why not get involved with your own #BestofBritain and share some images of your #BestofBritain adventures.
Nb. This is a paid post in partnership with Parkdean Resorts for their #BestofBritain campaign.