Help make Mothers Day magical, with Debenhams

I’ve no idea where the year is going already.

It seems like it was only Christmas a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s (almost) March. Not that it feels like it thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’! Come on Spring, let’s be having you!

Easter is zooming it’s way towards us (I have to say, this is one of my favourite holidays of the year, purely due to the fact there are Crème Eggs in the shops (yes, I know they’ve got smaller – so now I eat two in one go #noshame – but I still love them) and it is acceptable to eat Chocolate for breakfast once again.

Mothers Day 2018, UK: Sunday 11th March

Now it’s nearly March, Mothers Day is just around the corner and in order to get ready for it, I have very kindly been given the chance to buy a couple of Mothers Day gifts for my lovely mum, courtesy of Debenhams. I was gifted an £80 voucher to use on their Mother Day gift selections – a legitimate excuse to shop, guilt free! What a treat!

I love buying gifts for other people – I genuinely get so much joy from watching friends and loved ones open them…

Gift voucher for debenhams

“Motherhood is Unselfishness”.

I feel so lucky to have my mum here still.

My family

Mothers Day can be a very tricky time of year for lots of people. Many people no longer have their mum, some people find the day hard because they long to be a mum but things haven’t worked out that way. Life, it’s safe to say, can be a bit of a jerk at times.

With that in mind, I am going to try and make Mothers Day a celebration of being thankful in our house, yep, even the annoying bits like the kids making a mess everywhere and my husband leaving his sweaty-bum cycling kit on the bathroom floor.

I said try…I’m not going to promise anything.

S.H.O.P.P.I.N.G – We’re shopping!

We have a Debenhams store local to us and I will normally pop in there every few weeks when the kids are being compliant and aren’t having a meltdown about having to go shopping. I have to admit that a lot of my shopping is done online these days because of that very fact, as well as often being too busy to go into town.

The Debenhams homepage currently has a convenient link on it that will whisk you off in the direction of some lovely Mothers Day gifts and ideas; I had a browse around it myself last week looking for some inspiration for my mum. There is something for everyone on there; perfume, beauty products, knitwear, food hampers, watches, jewellery; you name it they probably have it! And, if you can’t find something to buy them, you could always get them a Debenhams gift voucher so they can go out and treat themselves at their leisure.

I asked my mum a couple of weeks ago if there was anything she would like for Mothers Day and, in typical mum fashion, she said, “nope”. I could have bet £1000 that this is the response she would give. Like a lot of mums, my mum is completely and utterly selfless and her response when I said that no wasn’t an option was, “well why don’t you use half on yourself and half on me?”

Erm, still no mother, it’s for you!!

The lack of ideas given by mum meant I had free reign which is both brilliant and mind boggling in equal measure…

She isn’t really into handbags, she isn’t particularly into makeup but will dabble a little now and again, she likes to go out and enjoy herself with friends and family and I am glad to say she looks after herself a bit better now and will get her nails and hair done if something nice is coming up – and rightly so, she does so much for us all that she really deserves some self-care and pampering. With that in mind, I decided to get my mum a BareMinerals ‘Get Started’ complexion starter kit (she always says she looks tired and pale so hopefully she can make herself feel a little more happy and confident by using this) and I also got her a really nice room diffuser by Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, which will look great in her newly decorated living room…that the grandchildren are (thankfully) yet to destroy.

I am sure that my mum will love her gifts from Debenhams. I also plan to pop to the shops and get her a nice bottle of Fizz, which she can enjoy all to herself, and a spring flower planter – me and my mum love Spring flowers and my Nan’s favourite flowers were Daffodils. I love having them in the house this time of year to remind me of her.

As well as being sent an £80 voucher to spend on my mum, I was also very kindly gifted a Smartbox Afternoon tea gift experience box for two. The Smartbox contains a voucher, which is redeemable at lots of different venues across the country, and entitles the recipient to a wonderful Afternoon tea experience, along with a friend. I plan to take my mum up to London for the day once the weather is a bit nicer (there are lots of super venues you can redeem your voucher at there, as well as all over the UK) and we can both enjoy our Afternoon tea together and, hopefully, do a spot of retail therapy, just the two of us – which rarely happens these days. She doesn’t know about this yet so I will present her with the voucher on Mothers Day along side all her other lovely gifts – I can hazard a guess this will be the highlight present for her, she really loves going for afternoon tea!

These gift experience vouchers are a brilliant idea for loved ones who don’t want ‘stuff’ and would rather have a nice day out or an experience instead.

“Things come and go, but memories can last a lifetime”.

Whatever you’re up to this Mothers Day, and whoever you’re spending it with, I hope you all have a lovely day and I am sending all my love to those who aren’t looking forward to it quite so much. May your day be filled with love…and hopefully a bit of booze too!

Disclosure: I was gifted an £80 Debenhams voucher and an Afternoon Tea gift experience in return for this review. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

 

 




Perfectly Imperfect…

I’m far from perfect but, then again, who is?

I’m fully aware I have flaws and that I am (as the phrase of the moment goes) ‘winging it’ where Motherhood is concerned, but am I trying my best? Sure as shit I am and surely that’s all that matters – isn’t it?

Well, I would have thought so, but there are always those few arseholes, smug arseholes at that, out there who have to lob in their two pennies worth every now and then just to remind you that sadly for you, your best still isn’t good enough. They are here as your handy morale crushers (everyone needs one of those right?!) sent to remind you that you’re doing it all wrong and quite frankly, I am fed up with them and they can stick their ‘helpful advice’ up their butt holes unless I’ve asked for it.

Nothing can prepare you for the emotional roller-coaster that is motherhood.

The judging from others and ‘helpful advice’ can start as soon as your little cherub pops out of your lady bits (or the sun roof). You are presented with no parenting manual but many of these ‘handy parenting books’ have been written just to let us know we have, in fact, been doing it all wrong from the get go. As far as I am concerned, most of them (Gina Ford I am death staring you) can Foxtrot Oscar. I was lent Gina’s, ‘Contented Little Baby’, book as a nervous and naive first time mother who had been blessed with a non-sleeper.  I shit you not folks, Luke our eldest didn’t sleep through the night, not even once, until he was 18 months old. The first full nights sleep co-incided with him spending his first night in his ‘big boy bed’ (his converted cot bed) and myself and Mr Knutts questioned why we hadn’t done that sooner as we mourned the loss of a year and half of sleep. The fact of the matter is, it was probably just co-incidence that he slept through that same night but we did kick ourselves for not de-caging the miniature monster sooner.

Back then, when everything was chaotic – and smelt of sick and baby shit – I wasn’t sure why her book made me feel so uncomfortable, especially as a few of my other new mummy friends were raving about it, so I did try the routines and her approaches to sleep but, if anything, I cried as much (if not more than) Luke did. The guilt at leaving him screaming in his cot for hours at night (I’m not joking, it was literally hours some days) whilst going in and out every 5/10 minutes to give him reassurance that I hadn’t just abandoned him was horrendous and exhausting. I ended up feeling broken, and it’s no surprise I found those first few months with Luke overwhelming. Had I just done what my maternal instincts were saying, laid next to him, put him in bed with me until he had drifted off to sleep, not listened to half of the ‘helpful advice’ it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as traumatic. In the end, I gave up on following Gina’s demands and did what felt right for me. That may not have been the ‘right’ course of action, nor what the ‘helpful advisors’ or parenting manuals suggested, but it was what worked for me, and in hindsight, I should have done that from the very beginning.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the advice, a shoulder to lean on and support of my friends and family, but I didn’t like the judgey-mc judge-faces out there who seem to crawl out of the woodwork as soon as you become a mother. Everyone has an opinion on everything and sadly, some of those people didn’t know when to keep that advice them themselves which ended up with me becoming a worry head. Worrying that I hadn’t heated my child’s milk up for them (thankfully he wasn’t fussy and drank it at any temperature), worrying that I hadn’t taken him to our local rhyme time group to sing Old McDonald had a farm in a circle of other screaming babies from birth, worrying that he hadn’t said his first word at 8 months. It was a world of constant stress and worry.

By the time Zak came along, we figured things couldn’t be much worse than they were with Luke so we were fully prepared for a crap time of things again. As luck would have it, and it was luck, nothing to do with experience or Gina Ford, Zak was a sleeper. I’m not joking, he slept ALL the time. He was just so different to Luke. He would self soothe, happily be put in his room for a nap, sleep for a solid 12 hours and be happy as larry when he was awake during the day.

Screw you parenting manuals and ‘helpful advisors!’

 As time went by, we realised Zak wasn’t speaking very much. He was happy, developing socially and emotionally but no words were coming. By the time he was 3 and a half, he still wasn’t saying much and we had to seek advice from medical professionals regarding a possible speech delay. Once again, the judgey-mc-judge faces were out dishing out their ‘helpful advice’ and I was left feeling like it was all my fault.

Maybe it’s because he slept so much as a baby?

Maybe his ears aren’t working properly?

Maybe you haven’t spoken to him enough?

The guilt creeps in and you, once again, feel like a failure as a parent.

After a long wait, some speech therapy and lots of perseverance at home, Zak began talking age 4. He had a lot of catching up to do, and he still gets a bit confused with his words every now and then, but on the whole, he’s fine and made me proud as punch last week by speaking brilliantly in his class assembly at school.

I will never forget the first time he came home from pre-school and ‘sang’ me a song he had learnt that day, “1, 2, 3, caterpillar,” – four little words, but he was saying them and it was wonderful…

Moving on to the present day, we have very much just ‘let things be’ with Ben. Life is different now. The older two are busy at school, they have clubs, we are hardly home. Ben didn’t get to have a routine that he chose thanks to school runs and things (Gina Ford would be eye rolling me right about now). If he was asleep at 2:45pm, I had to wake him up to get him ready to go out on the school run and that was that. He is a fairly good sleeper, we have hit and miss nights still but that’s kids. We don’t stress about things with him like we did with Luke and I have to say, we are probably much happier for it. People also dish out less advice the more kids you seem to have, presumably because they assume you’re now ‘an expert’ in all things parenting.

The fact of the matter is, we aren’t experts, we just give less of a fuck about what other people think of us and our parenting/life decisions. It’s taken a while to get to that point, but it feels so much better this time around than it did with Luke back in 2008 when we were worried parenting rookies.

This ‘give less of a fuck’ mentality is something I need to adopt in more aspects of my life now.

I worry way too much about what other people think of me personally and I really shouldn’t. I find it almost impossible to say no, through fear of upsetting people or letting them down, and I need to stop feeling that way. I also find it hard to tell someone when I think they have stepped out of line, or said something I disagree with because I hate confrontation. The fact is though, sometimes people do annoy me and say things I think aren’t right and I shouldn’t feel nervous about airing my opinion when they clearly do it so brazenly without fear of repercussion.

Putting myself out there in the form of my blog has been both a blessing and a curse.

I love being able to write, to have my own little space on the internet. I don’t write for likes and shares, I write because it makes me feel better and I am able to write things down that I would never normally be able to say. In that respect, it’s great, but because I do write and share my life so honestly, I can also come under fire quite a lot. People with loud voices and strong opinions often feel a desire to drop a smug little, ‘Well I wouldn’t do that,’ or ‘we don’t do it like that’, comment in here and there without a thought about how that might be received by the person it’s intended for. This person may not know you, they may not even read your blog, but they love to share their two pennies worth and ruffle a few feathers. They seem to have adopted the ‘give less of a fuck’ attitude pretty well and I’m now of the mindset that it’s fair game to engage in scribed combat if they feel the need to comment on something, even if it’s trivial.

I don’t pretend to be the perfect mum.

I don’t pretend to be the perfect wife.

My house is often a mess, but that is because it’s lived in.

My washing pile is sky high, but that is because we are lucky and have a busy and full life.

My kids don’t pull their weight around the house as much as they should but hey, they’re kids! I don’t recall having to do much more than keep my room tidy and do some washing up every now and then as a child and I think I turned out alright (and let’s face it, getting the kids to cook me dinner is just a recipe for disaster and a surefire way of ensuring at least one of us spends the evening on a visit to A&E).

I shout at my kids to tell them to shut up when they’re being too loud, so I’m shouting at my kids for shouting. Yep, I know, the irony isn’t lost on me there either.

I cry at TV adverts because having kids has made me emotional about everything.

I drink a Gin and Tonic a couple of times a week because being a mum, wife, homemaker and general life-keeper-togetherer is bloody tough and it makes me feel better.

I haven’t polished my kids school shoes once since September and do you know what, I don’t care. They have shoes on their feet and look vaguely smart most days.

I give my kids sausages, waffles, baked beans and peas and class it as a winning, well rounded, nutritious dinner.

So, what I have come to realise is that I am perfectly imperfect, and do you know what? I kind of like it like that.




The 73 Questions Vlog Tag…

I’ve done it. My first official ‘Vlog’. Eek!

I hate my face.

I hate my voice.

Therefore Vlogging isn’t something that comes easy to me.

In order to kick off my vlogging exploits, I have been tagged in the 73 questions tag by the lovely Laura from Dear Bear and Beany. You can see her Vlog answering her questions here. Lauz is so lovely and is only just delving into the world of YouTube herself so be kind to us both…or else.

(It’s an empty threat, I don’t do violence but I would come to your house and drink your alcohol cupboard bare).

So, without further ado, here is my ugly mug chatting shite and battling with a toddler to SHUT THE CHUFF UP!!!!

Enjoy!

(With copious amounts of Gin to get through it)


 I am tagging some other bloggers so they can take part.

These are:

Reclusive Fox

The Mum from Brum

Emma and Family

Amy and Tots

Bell and Bear

Mummy Miller


Here are your questions!

1. What’s your favourite movie?
2. Favourite movie in the past five years?
3. Favorite Hitchcock film?
4. A book you plan on reading?
5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?
7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?
8. iPhone or Android?
9. Twitter or Instagram?
10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?
11. What’s your favourite food?
12. Least favourite food?
13. What do you love on your pizza?
14. Favourite drink?
15. Favorite dessert?
16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
17. Coffee or tea?
18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?
19. What’s your favourite band?
20. Favourite solo artist?
21. Favourite song?
22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?
24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?
25. To be or not to be?
26. Dogs or cats?
27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?
28. Best gift you’ve ever received?
29. Best gift you’ve ever given?
30. Last gift you gave a friend?
31. What’s your favourite board game?
32. What’s your favourite country to visit?
33. What’s the last country you visited?
34. What country do you wish to visit?
35. What’s your favourite colour?
36. Least favourite colour?
37. Diamonds or pearls?
38. Heels or flats?
39. Pilates or yoga?
40. Jogging or swimming?
41. Best way to de-stress?
42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?
43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?
44. What’s your favourite flower?
45. When was the last time you cried?
46. Do you like your handwriting?
47. Do you bake?
48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?
49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?
50. Who do you miss most?
51. What are you listening to right now?
52. Favorite smell?
53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?
55. A sport you wish you could play?
56. Hair color?
57. Eye colour?
58. Scary film or happy endings?
59. Favourite season?
60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?
61. Hugs or kisses?
62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?
63. Where were you born?
64. What is the farthest you have been from home?
65. Sweet or savoury?
66. Lipstick or lip gloss?
67. What book have you read again and again?
68. Favourite bedtime story?
69. What would be the title of your autobiography?
70. Favourite sound?
71. Favorite animal?
72. Who is your girl crush?
73. Last photograph you took?


Good luck folks and I can’t wait to see your videos!

Thanks again to Laura for the kick up the bum to have a go at the Vlogging lark. It might be my one and only time, but at least I can say that I tried!




Beers to your door with Beer52 (plus a discount code!)

Do you ever get to a point where you just don’t know what to get someone as a gift?

I have well and truly hit that point.

Regardless of Christmas being just around the corner, I am always stumped with what to get my husband. He is one of those chaps who, if he wants something, he just goes and buys it. A few thousand pounds worth of bike? Buys it. New gadget? Buys it. So, by time Christmas or birthdays for him come around, I am literally at a loss as to what to throw money at.

The other week I was contacted by Beer52 to see if I would like to review one of their Craft Beer gift boxes. I’m not a beer fan but my husband? Well, let’s just say he quite likes it so I said that I would love to.

The guys from Beer52 kindly sent the box, which contained 8 different craft beers (you can also get one that contains 10 if you wish), and I left it on the kitchen side for my husband as a surprise for when he got in from work. The timing of the delivery couldn’t have been more appropriate because we sadly got broken into during the night that week and my husband’s car was stolen. The beers were literally the perfect tonic at the end of a truly crap week for him.

 Once his gaze had fallen upon the box of goodies sat waiting for him, like he had just seen the holy grail, he was over the moon and couldn’t wait to crack one open. Think of it as a selection box for thirsty and exhausted adults.

Visit their website here!

BEER52Selection

Inside the box were 8 different craft beers, a magazine all about what’s occurring in the craft beer world called ‘Ferment’ and a beer friendly snack of Chili flavoured seeds.  Rather wondrously, the front cover of this edition of Ferment had a Deer with a Beer on the front of it. Appropriate eh?! (If you’re regular readers of my rambles you’ll know that my Christmas story is called, Deer with a Beer. You can read them all by using the search function on my blog page or by clicking here for the first installment).

Each beer has a description on the label to tell you all about it’s tasting notes and I loved looking at all the different artwork on the bottles themselves. These little craft breweries really do pay a lot of attention to detail and as well as making a good product, they’re aware that they need something that’s also appealing to the eye. My personal favourite was probably by To øl.  They are a Danish Brewery and their bold, no holds barred attitude is brilliant. Just look at what they put on their bottle label…or not as the case may be.

Fantastic, eh?!

So my husband hasn’t managed to drink them all yet, but he did share a few of them with a friend the other night and the feedback I got from them both was very positive, if not a little bit drunken and ‘to the point’. As in the response I got was, “I like this one”.

Insightful aren’t they?

Sarcasm aside, the chaps genuinely did enjoy their beers and one that was made with orange zest was a favourite of my hubster.

At Beer52 there are loads of different ways in which you can purchase a beer box for someone. You can gift in the form of an instant email gift card, a gift card which will be sent in the post or you can order a box of beer to be delivered.

The gift voucher which is sent immediately to their email address is PERFECT as a last minute Christmas Gift idea and also for those with family or friends who are further afield. Avoid any festive embarrassment by pinging one of these bad boys to someone quick-smart!

With regards to having a box of beer delivered, you can either purchase this in the form of a one-off box or you can get that special someone (or yourself – go on, you’ve earned it!) a subscription. You can choose from one month (a one-off), 3 months, 6 months or 12 months subscription meaning that you could potentially give someone the gift of beer to their door for a whole year! How popular would you be then?! It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

The price for a one-off case is (at the time of writing) £24 which works out at £3 per beer which I really don’t think is too bad considering it’s  a hassle free service and you’re receiving lovingly made, craft and small batch beers that you cannot buy in your local supermarket. I know my husband loves the novelty of discovering new beers made by small businesses so this aspect really appealed to him.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Beer52 and cheers again for the sample box guys!

via GIPHY

If you want to get £10 off a subscription to Beer52, you can do so by using this code:

BEER52 Voucher


 Disclosure: I was sent a Beer52 box for the purpose of this review. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.



A Knutters Day Out: Wookey Hole (with #MamiaDaysOut)

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
―Roald Dahl

Dark Caves at Wookey Hole, Somerset

The end of Septmeber sees the culmination of a busy time for my family.

My brother, Mum, Dad and middle lad all have their birthdays within 3 weeks of each other and it’s often a bit of a crazy time of year! Fun, happy, memorable (the bank balance has taken a hit the size of Australia) and bonkers…

My Dad and my middle one have birthdays one day after the other so we used this as an opportunity to have a family day out at Wookey Hole, Somerset. We live in Surrey, so this was a bit of a drive for us, but we had planned it in advance (by that I mean I had looked on Google Maps at just how far it was, questioned my sanity, and then told everyone my grand plan whilst keeping my fingers crossed they wouldn’t think I had completely lost the plot…) Luckily, they all seemed up for it, none of us had been before, so we stocked the cars up with sweets, water, a picnic (including some ‘on the go’ snacks from Aldi’s Mamia Range for the toddler), clothes for all weathers, iPads and other brain-numbing electrical devices and set off in search of the Wookey’s hole…sorry, Wookey Hole. We weren’t looking for Chewbacca’s butt hole…


The drive down there really wasn’t too bad. It took just over 2 hours and the kids were amazingly well behaved in the car (thank you god of Apple!). They spent their time looking at interesting things during the journey which helped – Stonehenge, playing I-Spy, Pokémon Go and studying a squashed fly on the windscreen.

We had pre-booked our tickets online because you can save about £3/person by doing it this way. This might not sound like much but, when there is a large group of you, the savings made are enough to buy some Ice Creams at the end of the day…or Wine!

You can book tickets by visiting the Wookey Hole Website, here.

We arrived at about 10am, this is when it opens, and parked in the main car park which was easy to find and right near the ticket entrance. There are clean toilets and baby changing facilities in the car park which is fab when you’ve had a long journey and are all needing a Jimmy Riddle (cockney rhyming slang for piddle…you can thank my Nan for that one). The toilets are signed ‘Witches’ for the ladies and ‘Wizards’ for the Gents. The kids thought this was hilarious, as did I – Wizards, wands, boys, wands out…you get the gist 😉

We showed our online booking email to the ticket desk and they gave us our tickets. It was then a short, 5 minute stroll, from the ticket office to the cave entrance where you wait and queue for your tour.

The walk up to the caves is really pretty and gives you a glorious view of the gorge in which the caves are set.


In brief, Wookey Hole Caves are a series of limestone caverns and caves in the village of Wookey Hole on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills  near Wells in Somerset, UK. The River Axe flows through the caves and you get to see it at various points on your tour. Wookey Hole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for both biological and geological reasons. The temperature in the caves is a constant 13’c all year round so it feels cool in there in the summer and warmer in there in the cold of winter. Regardless of when you visit, it is advisable to take a jacket with you.

The caves have been used by humans for around 45,000 years, which is demonstrated by the discovery of tools from the Palaeolithic period, along with fossilised animal remains. A corn-grinding mill operated on the waters of the River Axe as early as the Domesday survey of 1086. The waters of the river are used in a handmade paper mill, which now houses the main part of the alternative attractions there such as a soft play, an exhibition on the history of Wookey Hole caves, a circus and a Victorian Penny Arcade. The paper mill is the oldest in existence in Britain and it began operations circa 1610. You can still see how the paper was made after the cave tour by going into the old Paper Mill itself which is included in your ticket price, and you can also buy some handmade Wookey Hole paper in the gift shop at the end.

The low, constant temperature of the caves means that they can be used for maturing Cheddar Cheese, the famous Wookey Hole Cheddar…oh, and wine! Basically, I would be quite happy living in these caves. A good temperature all year round, fresh water, peace and quiet, glorious cheese and wine. When do I move in?

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The caves are also the site of where the first cave dives in Britain happened. Since the 1930s, divers have explored the extensive network of chambers developing breathing apparatus and novel techniques in the process. The full extent of the cave system is still unknown with approximately 4,000 metres (13,000 ft), including 25 chambers, having been explored. Part of the cave system opened as a show cave in 1927 following exploratory work by Herbert Balch. As a tourist attraction it has been owned by Madame Tussauds and, most recently, the circus owner Gerry Cottle. The cave is shrouded in legend due to the Witch of Wookey Hole – a roughly human shaped stalagmite which you see in the first cave (along with another that looks like her pet dog near it) – legend says a witch was turned to stone by a monk from Glastonbury and she remains trapped in the caves until this day. Who can blame her? She knows where the good cheese and wine are at… 😉


The tours run every half an hour, so 10am, 10:30am, 11am etc. I am unsure of when the last tour is but details can be found on their website.

We arrived about 10 minutes before the second tour was due to start so waited for that one. It really wasn’t very busy and there were lots of little ones there whose parents were also braving the caves with a toddler. We were all in it together at least!

A young lady came along selling glow sticks for the kids to use in the caves so we bought them one each in the vain hope that if they found the caves too dark and scary, their little glowing stick might cheer them up…clutching at straws maybe but I thought it was £2 (each) well spent to be honest.

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The friendly tour guide arrived promptly and led us into the caves after a small health and safety talk. It’s best not to think about caves and tunnels collapsing too much as you enter the caves, you’d probably turn around and run the other way if you imagined how many tonnes of rock were above your head.

A model witch greets you as you enter the caves and then it’s down some steps into the dark of the caves.

The caves are not suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs, those who aren’t sure footed (no gin before you go in) and a backpack baby carrier is also pretty useless because you have to crouch under some very low overhangs at points. Ben, our toddler, is 2.5 and he managed fine holding our hands.

Also, wear good shoes because it does get VERY slippery in there. No stilettos or flip flops…


 The caves are beautiful. They’re other worldly, mysterious and awe inspiring.

Yes, they’re lit up with coloured lights which some people don’t like because they think it’s tacky, but because the caves are used for events and weddings, they need these lights to create an ambiance. I quite liked it if truth be told and the kids thought the coloured lights were, quote, “epic”.

The tour lasts roughly 40 minutes and takes you in about 5 caves. There is so much information to take in and interesting things to that you could easily stay in there longer. Truth be told, the tour did feel a little rushed and we could have done with a little longer to linger and look in each cave before moving on, but with lots of people waiting for the next tour, it’s understandable as to why you can’t stay in there too long. see and it’s truly amazing to think Stone age man lived in these very caves you’re walking in, you’re literally following in their footsteps. It really captivated the adults and the kids and my eldest declared Wookey Hole better than Legoland. High praise indeed!

The toddler was amazingly fine in the caves. He stayed with his best buddy, Grandad, for most of it and loved putting on a hard hat like Bob the Builder so we could go in the newest cave to open. It’s only been open for a year (at the time of writing – September 2016) and so you have to wear a hard hat at the moment in case any rock falls happen (keep calm Gemma, keep calm. It’s only a few hundred thousand tonnes of limestone above you, no need to panic…)

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After the main feature of the caves is finished, you exit out into the bottom of the gorge and can walk around the beautiful grounds. The river flows with crystal clear waters, there is a Yew Tree which is thought to be over 1000 years old and there are some enormous dinosaur models to discover…oh, and a giant King Kong. Obviously. The toddler thought it was great and was shouting ‘Dinosaur!’ as much as George Pig would be on a day out at the Natural History Museum.

There is a 4D cinema there, which you have to be aged 3 and over to go in. It’s dark and loud and the seats move/shoot air out so if you have kids that are of a nervous disposition, I’d give it a miss but we went in with our 8 and 7 year olds (Nanny and Grandad hunted for more Dino’s with the toddler whilst we were in there) and they loved it. There was a bit of an odd moment where something poked you from under your chair which caused me and my husband to burst out laughing like naughty children. My son said there might be a ‘Slow Poke’ from Pokemon Go under our seats…which didn’t do anything to stop our hysteria! Pahahahaha!!!!


We then headed into the old Paper Mill for a look about.

There is an exhibit on how paper was made, another on the diving equipment over the years which has been used to explore the caves (one of the old divers loved his bottle of Aldi Mamia Apple and Blackcurrant Juice incidentally) a soft play, a mirror maze, a circus, a Victorian Penny arcade and a shop. There is certainly plenty to do in there!

We didn’t watch a circus show but we spent an hour in the old Victorian Penny Arcade and the kids were totally amazed by using the old coins and machines.

Our favourite parts of the arcade were Victorian Table football, a psychic future reader (think the movie Big…), a sweetie grab machine and a puppet that looked possessed who tells you something interesting about what might happen to you called Charles…


 After buying some Wookey Hole cheddar, a couple of souvenir cups and a wind up torch for the toddler (yep, that’s what he chose out of the whole shop!) in the gift shop, we made our way out of Wookey Hole and went back to the car park to get our picnic.

There is a Mini Pirate Golf course there but this costs extra and we didn’t play because our tummies were rumbling too much!

We sat on some picnic tables near the Wookey Hole hotel which is there (we didn’t go in but it does look like a lovely place to stay for a night or two if you were driving a long way to visit. They also have some wooden lodges you can rent which looked fab) and tucked into our picnic. The kids had decorated Grandad a birthday cake which I took with us and we all sang happy birthday and stuffed our faces with it. Ben tucked into some of his Aldi Mamia snacks (he especially enjoyed the Rice cakes and fruit pouches) and then we went and hunted for conkers to burn off some of that cake. During our conker hunt, we found an ENORMOUS one, bigger than any I have ever seen before, and it filled my eldest son’s hand. Inside were 2 very big conkers which have now been added to our collection of 200 or so which are currently sat in our fruit bowl because apparently the smell of a conker scares spiders away and my eldest HATES spiders…life with kids eh?!


I think it’s safe to say my dad and Zak had a lovely day – I hope it’s one they treasure forever. I certainly will.

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Thank you to Aldi (and Britmums) for the items from  Aldi’s Mamia Range which we used for our day out. Our toddler scoffed the lot so it’s a thumbs up from him and, because it’s all organic and really reasonably priced, it’s a thumbs up from Mummy too!

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We would thoroughly recommend Wookey Hole as a day out for families, you really could spend the whole day, and maybe even a weekend, here. Educational and a traditional (slightly eccentric) British day out. Perfect.

We drove home via Cheddar Gorge just to have a look but we didn’t stop because we needed to get home. This is somewhere I would certainly like to go back to because from what we saw of it, it was STUNNING. Our little island we call home really is quite a special place you know…


 Disclosure: This post is an enrty for #BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia. I was sent a hamper of Aldi Mamia products in return for this review.