25 May 2017

Wild Play at Whinlatter Forest in The Lake District

On a recent trip to The Lake District, we chanced upon a brilliant play area for children. 

It was the Wild Play trail at Whinlatter Forest. It is just a few miles from Keswick and offers a wonderful play trail through the trees with swinging, splashing, sliding and climbing – and the best part is it's all for FREE.

Wild Play at Whinlatter Forest in The Lake District - near to Keswick in Cumbria.



24 May 2017

Eating Out at George's Great British Kitchen with the Boys

***REVIEW***
At the end of last year, me and hubby enjoyed a child-free lunch at George’s Great British Kitchen in Newcastle, whilst we did some Christmas shopping. What a treat! 

And indeed it was such a treat so that when we were asked if we’d like to do a family review we has no hesitation in saying yes. It was somewhere we thought the kids would like – fish and chips and a bucket and spade. Plus candyfloss – sounds like food heaven to me, never mind the boys.


Eating Out at George's Great British Kitchen in Newcastle with the Boys header

22 May 2017

Free Family Events and Activities In North East England During Spring May Bank Holiday Week

Just one week to go until it's the school holidays next week. Let's hope for a bit of sunshine so we can get out and about in North East England. There are some great free family events happening right across the region in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland and Durham. What are you looking forward to most?

Free Family Events and Activities In North East England During Spring May Bank Holiday Week

19 May 2017

Yo! Sushi - Trying Out the New Menu in Newcastle

***REVIEW***
Wow. Well, what can I say about Yo Sushi? I’m a big fan of sushi. It's fresh. It's light. I always feel like I’m being healthy when I eat it, yet I hadn't actually been to a Yo! Sushi restaurant before. 

The boys have eaten there. My hubby has been – so it seems like I’m the last person to try out Yo! Sushi. In this house at least. So what better evening to try their food out, than when they are launching a new menu. At least I’ll be the first in my family to taste these dishes!


17 May 2017

The Wonder that is Castlerigg Stone Circle - Visiting with kids

Have you been to Castlerigg Stone Circle? 

It is in the Lake District, located in-between Ullswater and Derwent Water, close to the town of Keswick. Less than a 2-hour drive from Newcastle-upon-Tyne - the drive is totally worth it.

The Wonder that is Castlerigg Stone Circle - with kids

15 May 2017

7 Ways to Enjoy National Vegetarian Week

National Vegetarian Week 2017 runs from 15-21 May, and it’s all about eating veggie for the week and still enjoying delicious, exciting food. 
To mark the occasion, we are sharing our favourite recipes and we’ve come up with a list of 7 ways to enjoy National Vegetarian Week. So why not make the most of some new ideas and meat-free recipes and get stuck in …

7 wats to enjoy national vegetarian week

Cooking Dinner with a Gousto Recipe Box

***REVIEW***
When I was invited to review a Gousto Recipe Box I knew it would be a challenge. Not because I don’t like cooking. Not because I find cooking difficult, In fact, cooking is one of my favourite past-times / necessities in life. But because I find it difficult to stick to a recipe. I love to experiment, put my own twist on things and adapt recipes to fit me and my family's tastes.

Cooking Dinner with a Gousto Recipe Box


However, I was also intrigued to discover how good a Gousto Recipe Box would be and therefore I would have to stick to the rules!

Fun STEM learning with Little House of Science

***SPONSORED POST***
Do you ever wonder how plants breathe? Think about the universe and the galaxy? How the stars got in the sky? Why is the sun so bright? How are bridges built? Then just imagine what your child is thinking about as they develop, grow and experience the world. Children love science and are inspired by it.
Both boys and girls are curious and want to learn about our world and how everything works and Little House of Science offers weekly maths and science workshops for children ranging from 3 to 11 years of age as well as experiential sessions for babies and toddlers from 6 months.


12 May 2017

Balloons InDurham - Everything You Need To Know

In two weeks time when you look to the skies above Durham City, it will be awash with brightly coloured balloons. The horizon will be lit up with hot air balloons galore as a weekend of spectacular bank holiday family fun comes to Durham. 

One of my favourite holiday experiences ever was taking a flight in hot air balloon across the Masai Mara in  Kenya. I'm also always very jealous of one of my favourite British Cities - Bristol with their fabulous annual balloon festival. So I was very excited when I heard the news that Durham was to get its own balloon festival here in the northeast.

Balloons inDurham - Everything You Need To Know


We preview the festival that will run from dawn to dusk with everything you need to know about Balloons InDurham.

10 May 2017

An Afternoon Tea with a Noveltea Twist

***REVIEW***
With 84% of the British population drinking tea and herbal infusions every day - that's over 165 million cups of tea consumed every day - it is no wonder that someone has come up with an alcoholic version ... and I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch last month.


The launch took place in Fenwick Newcastle, who are also the first retailer to stock NOVELTEA in their flagship store in intu Eldon Square. I love an Espresso Martini so after reading about this new product, I was intrigued as to what alcoholic tea would actually taste like.


An Afternoon Tea with a Noveltea Twist

9 May 2017

Northern Orchestra - Increasing Access to Classical Music

***REVIEW***
Last weekend, me and hubby went to a classical music concert. It was to see an orchestra that I had been working with as a PR client, however knowing my hubby likes classical music I suggested we went along.

Northern Orchestra - increasing access to classical music

8 May 2017

How to make Meat-Free Peking ‘Duck’ from Jackfruit

***RECIPE***

Jackfruit. What is it you may ask? I know I did when I first saw it on a restaurant menu. 

Jackfruit is a fruit. One of the largest fruits – up to 80lbs in weight - grown on a tree – a Jackfruit tree. Jackfruit is naturally vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, also low in calories and an excellent source of fibre. It is also the best vegan ingredient that I have ever seen for making meat-free alternative dishes to burgers, 'pulled-pork' and even more surprisingly Peking Duck!

But more than that, it’s also a healthy and sustainable vegan meat replacement. Or as I like to think, a healthy and sustainable meat replacement for anyone – not just vegans and vegetarians.

So here is my recipe to make Meat Free Peking ‘Duck’ from Jackfruit.

How to Make Meat Free Peking Duck from Jackfruit

5 May 2017

A Sunday Stroll (aka Pub Crawl) around Ouseburn (Newcastle)

One Sunday afternoon we had the opportunity to head out without the boys and enjoy a stroll around one an area that is fast becoming known nationally as a hip hangout - Ouseburn in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


A Sunday Stroll (aka Pub Crawl) around Ouseburn


3 May 2017

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories - Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

***REVIEW***
The Quentin Blake: Inside Stories exhibition is on at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle until 8 July. 

My boys love their art, love Roald Dahl and with an artist, for a dad, I knew this was something the whole family would love to see when we were invited along to review the exhibition. So during the recent school holidays off we went.

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle

1 May 2017

7 Things To Do This Month - May

May is not only the fifth month of the year but also gives us two bank holidays plus a week of school holidays too and it really starts to get warmer, lighter and we all start feeling better. So here are seven things to do with and without the family, to eat, make and also enjoy in May.

7 Things To Do This Month - May

28 April 2017

Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

***FREE EVENTS***
The month of May. One of the best months of the year. Many of our family were born in this month so we have a lot of celebrating to do. As well as the current UK Prime Minister being called May, apparently 9 UK prime ministers were actually born in May, which is more than any other month. Maybe one day one of us will be PM!

May also gives us two Bank Holiday Weekends, another week of school holidays and it really starts to get warmer, lighter and we all start feeling better. To celebrate here are some of the FREE family events and activities taking place in and around North East England in May, including Northumberland, North Tyneside, Newcastle, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Durham and Teesside.


Free Family Events and Activities in North East England in May

If you know of any other free events please email them to me and I’ll add them to the list.


27 April 2017

7 Tips on How to Protect Your Hair in the Summer Months

***SPONSORED GUEST POST***
The warmth of summer is always welcome. Longer days, plenty of sunshine, peeling away the layers of clothing are part and parcel of life with winter behind us for another year.

Heat and the sun make us feel so much better about ourselves but, the effects of the summer are somewhat tempered with a heavy dose of reality when we look in the mirror: overly dry hair, damaged by the sun, chlorine from days at the pool and salt water from days at the beach.

Fortunately, all it takes is a few changes and creating your own summer hair care routine to save your luscious locks from the dreaded summer dull-and-lifeless droop.

26 April 2017

Quick and Easy No-Cook Tasty Snack Bars - Perfect for Adults and Childrens Lunch Boxes

***RECIPE***
Now that many of us of trying to be more and more careful about what we eat, it’s a lot easier to find quick, convenient, and healthy little snacks readily available in supermarkets. 

However, they do come at a cost and the healthiest bars are not always the cheapest.

Did you know that it is really easy to make your own? A healthy treat, largely made from fruit takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. Something halfway between an apple and a chocolate bar, also handily sized for a lunch box and packed with energy in the form of good fats and natural sugar.


24 April 2017

Getting the Boys Writing for National Stationery week

***Review***
National Stationery Week runs 24 April - 30 April 2017, when the UK will celebrate its passion for handwriting and all things stationery. I think this is an important initiative. Writing is just as important as ever, and to help get involved we have been sent a big box of stationery.

National Stationery Week runs 24 April- 30 April 2017, in which the UK will celebrate its passion for handwriting and all things stationery.


21 April 2017

Have a Whale of a Time on the Way to Amsterdam

Did you know how much wildlife can be spotted from on board the passenger ferry in the North Sea?

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. We attended a recent event onboard to learn more about it, and you will be able to learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea too if you are sailing from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS King Seaways ferry, on a marine wildlife mini cruise. 

From dolphins to whales to birds, you’ll be amazed how many there are. And you can learn all about the wildlife that lives in the North Sea as you sail from Newcastle to Amsterdam on the DFDS KING Seaways ferry on a marine wildlife mini cruise.

20 April 2017

A Wonderful Family Day Out at New Lanark World Heritage Site & The Falls of Clyde

***REVIEW***
New Lanark World Heritage Site is one of 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Scotland. It is a beautifully restored 18th-century cotton mill located in the Clyde Valley, Just one hour south of Glasgow and Edinburgh, it welcomes over 300,000 visitors every year to experience over 200 years of social history and industrial heritage.

It has to be said, it is not a World Heritage Site that I had previously been aware of, but when offered the opportunity to visit and review, it caught my interest, and the combination of history, heritage, the outdoors, and the first trip to Scotland for my boys I thought would be enough to convince them too. And it was.

A Wonderful Family Day Out in Scotland at New Lanark World Heritage Site & The Falls of Clyde


19 April 2017

Win a Family Ticket to the Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle worth over £100 (May 20 & 21 2017)

*** GIVEAWAY ***
The Dacia Magic Weekend is a unique Rugby League event that is happening in Newcastle in May 2017. This popular event is returning to the city for the third year and 12 Super League teams will go head to head in 6 exciting games of Rugby League over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May.

Great fun for all the family, we have a family ticket (2 adults plus 2 under 16s) for the whole weekend to giveaway.

Win a Family Ticket to the Dacia Magic Weekend in Newcastle worth over £100


17 April 2017

5 Places to Trampoline in the North East

My boys recently enjoyed a school friend’s birthday party at a trampoline park in Newcastle and with news of at least two new trampoline parks planned for the region, I thought I’d take a look where in the north east you bounce around for a bit of fun.

5 Trampoline Parks to Bounce Around in the North East - Cramlington, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside


14 April 2017

Easter Biscuits - The Perfect Recipe for when you want an alternative to chocolate

If you're one of those people who doesn't like chocolate; can't eat chocolate, or just wants something a little different at Easter, then these buttery, lemon and fruit biscuits are easy to make and take very little time. The perfect recipe for an alternative to chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies.


Easter-Biscuits-when-you-want-a-change-from-chocolate


13 April 2017

Lightwater Valley - A Family Day Out in North Yorkshire with Angry Birds

***REVIEW***
Lightwater Valley is a theme park near Ripon in North Yorkshire, England. It is only eight miles from junction 50 on the A1 and less than 75 miles from Newcastle. When an invitation arrived inviting My Boys Club to review the theme park, it was an invitation we were not going to turn down and the hope of a great family day out in Yorkshire awaited us.

I didn't know this until this week but Lightwater Valley is best known for being the home of Europe’s longest rollercoaster - The Ultimate. More about the rollercoaster later.

Lightwater Valley Theme Park - A Family Day Out in North Yorkshire with Angry Birds


12 April 2017

A Vegetarian Alternative to the Traditional Sunday Roast

***RECIPE***
Easter is nearly upon us and apart from Christmas and New Year, it is one of the only other times of the year that many families have the opportunity to get together during a holiday period. The unofficial start to spring and the tourist season here in the UK, it also means that for the next six months our days will be longer, warmer (hopefully) and happier too.

With two Bank Holidays, for many people that means four days off work, as we hit the quarter-year mark. Whether you will be out egg hunting or waiting in at home for the Easter Bunny here is an alternative recipe for Vegetarian Loaf this Easter for any friends or family members who have decided to give up meat or if you are looking for a meat-free alternative to lamb on the dinner table.

A Vegetarian Alternative to the Traditional Sunday Roast

10 April 2017

Lambs so cute & cuddly - At a farm near you in the North East

Spring is finally on its way and with that brings lots of very adorable lambs being born in the British countryside. 

Lambs are just so cute and cuddly that its no wonder that sheep are so popular in nursery rhymes such as Little Bo Peep, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and Mary Had a Little Lamb. Millions of lambs will be born this spring with many of them here in the north east.

Lambs so cute & cuddly - At a farm near you in the North East



6 April 2017

North East FREE Family Events in the Easter Holidays

*** FREE EVENTS ***
With chocolate eggs, spring lambs, fluffy chicks and the Easter bunny as well as at least 50 free family events and activities in the North East during the Easter school holidays it is sure to be a busy time. 

So you can easily choose what your family are interested in they are handily grouped as: Easter themed events; Arts and Crafts; Tech & Sci-Fi; History & Heritage; Science & Nature; Food; Shopping Centre Entertainment; and Outdoor events.

As well as the amazing paid-for attractions and events that happen across North East England, here is this month’s list of free family activities and events to make our pennies go that little bit further these holidays.



If you have a free event and would like it included this month or in the future, please email me at myboysclub@debsharratt.co.uk

5 April 2017

Keepers Cafe, Dipton - 15 mins from 5 Top Family Days Out

***REVIEW***
Have you heard of Dipton? Do you know where it is? Close to where I grew up, it’s a small former colliery village in the Derwent Valley in north-west County Durham, close to Stanley, Consett and Burnopfield. 

It maybe doesn’t sound that remarkable, however, it has a great place to eat, Keepers Cafe, and is close to 5 top family attractions, including Hall Hill Farm, Gibside, Beamish Wild, Beamish Museum and Tanfield Railway. 

Is it sounding more like the ideal destination for a great family day out in North East England now?

My Boys Club reviews Keepers Cafe in Dipton, County Durham. A place to eat homemade food and buy keepsakes close by family fun days out at Hall Hill Farm, Gibside, Beamish Wild, Beamish Museum and Tanfield Railway.


4 April 2017

How to keep your phone charged & never miss a photo opp again

*** GIVEAWAY ***
***INCLUDES AFFILIATE LINKS***
As much as I love my smartphone there is always one element of it that continues to frustrate me. The phone battery. That dreaded phone battery, that never quite lasts as long as you need it to. Meaning you miss the opportunity to take that killer pic, the one that you know would just be so Instagrammable too.

There are lots of tips on how to lengthen the life such as turning down your screen brightness level, always connecting via wi-fi wherever possible; limit location services; turn on low-power mode and make sure you have downloaded the most recent software.

But what happens when these aren’t possible, or when you have already done all of this and the battery charge still won’t last all day – especially when you are taking lots of photos. 

How do you keep your phone charged so you never miss a photo opportunity again?

How to keep your phone charged to never miss a photo again - Askborg ChargeCube 5200mAh is compatible with both Apple and Android products including iPhone, Samsung, Nexus, HTC and more.

3 April 2017

Learning the Fun Way with Education Quizzes

***COLLABORATIVE POST***
I am lucky that both my boys really enjoy learning. It's not always without struggles and challenges, though. But they do attend a brilliant primary school, with teachers that still try to place as much emphasis on extra-curricular activities as they do the national curriculum, and both boys are thriving there. 

Their school, as well as mum and dad, of course, have encouraged and nurtured this joy of learning that they have. They can't get enough of TV shows like Horrible Histories, they love books full of facts and also have really enjoyed any online 'educational' game they have played - as well as a tonne of games that are just about fun! When we visited London last year my eldest didn't take the headphones off whilst on the sightseeing buses - he now knows so much about London - more than us. 

With this in mind, I was keen to show them a new educational quiz game we had been asked to review. It's right up their street.

Learning the Fun Way with Education Quizzes - online support for KS1, KS2, 11-Plus, KS3 & GCSE.


1 April 2017

7 Things to do this month - April

April is not only the fourth month of the year but also gives us April Fools Day, more often than not Easter, and school holidays too. It is also a month commonly associated with the season of spring. And here in the northern hemisphere, the nights start to get lighter, the days warmer and if you can dodge the April showers it's lovely to get out and about both in the daytime and evening. 

So here are seven things to do with and without the family, to eat, make and also enjoy in April.

7 things to do with and without the family, eat, make and enjoy in April.

31 March 2017

Testing out the Lunch Menu at Fat Hippo Durham

Whether the hamburger was invented in America or Germany (Hamburg to be more precise) there has been a proliferation in the number of burger restaurants in the northeast in recent years. The humble hamburger, a staple of western culture is no longer just available from street vendors, takeaway food outlets and fast food restaurants, eating a burger as a night out is now a thing, not just a meal to have with the kids, a quick bite or post-pub food. 

Testing out the lunch menu at Fat Hippo Durham

29 March 2017

April’s FREE Family Events & Activities in North East England (including Easter Holidays)

*** FREE EVENTS ***
There are over 50 free family events and activities in the North East this April including the Easter school holidays and Easter Bank holidays.

So with 30 days, five full weekends, as well as two weeks of school holidays, there should be plenty of time in April to enjoy some quality family events and activities. 

As well as the amazing paid-for attractions and events that happen across North East England, here is this month’s list of free family activities and events to make our pennies go that little bit further.


April’s FREE Family Events & Activities in North East England (including Easter Holidays)


If you have a free event and would like it included this month or in the future, please email me at myboysclub@debsharratt.co.uk

28 March 2017

A Family Day Out at Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, Northumberland

***REVIEW***
Although Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens opened in Northumberland in 2011, it is a local tourist attraction that both we and the boys were yet to visit. So when an invitation arrived inviting us to review the small zoo as a family, we said yes.

As well as providing a great family day out the aim of Kirkley Hall’s dedicated zoo team is to educate people about the various species of animals we have and their behaviours and habitats. So off we set to find out more. And knowing how much the boys love animals we were very much looking forward to it.
  
A Family Day Out at Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, Northumberland


27 March 2017

A Day at the Races, Newcastle Racecourse

***Review***
An invitation arrived in my inbox a few weeks ago to attend a day at the races. A bloggers day at the races in fact, at Newcastle Racecourse with Ladbrokes.

In the past, I have organised many corporate hospitality events at the races and I know it can be a good day out, so having not been for a few years, and offering the opportunity to meet up with fellow bloggers, I way happy to say yes.

A Day at the Races, Newcastle Racecourse


24 March 2017

5 Free(ish) Things to Enjoy on Mother's Day in the North East

Just in case you hadn't noticed, this weekend in the UK, not only do the clocks go forward, marking the start of British Summer Time, but it is also Mothering Sunday. 

Mother's Day is a traditional celebration honouring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

5 Free(ish) Things to Enjoy on Mothers Day in the North East including Adventure Valley, National Trust Gibside, Hall Hill Farm, Tyneside Cinema and Las Iguanas.

23 March 2017

Get Ready for April Showers with a November Rain Poncho

***REVIEW INCLUDES AFFILIATE LINKS***
It’s typical. Since my poncho arrived from new November Rain to review it hasn’t rained. I know unbelievable for British weather. It has been relatively dry (during the day at least) for over a week now! Plenty of wind mind – the March wind does blow!

“April showers bring May flowers” or so the song says. In early spring, as the jet stream starts to move northwards towards the UK, it brings with it strong winds and rain from the Atlantic. As we all know in one day the weather can change from springtime sunshine to winter sleet and snow – however, with my new Poncho, I’ll be ready for it this year!

Get Ready for April Showers with a November Rain Poncho plus 20% discount code.


22 March 2017

Roald Dahl's The Twits at Northern Stage, Newcastle

*** REVIEW***
Once we heard that The Twits live theatre show was coming to Newcastle’s Northern Stage theatre, we knew we wanted to go and see it. James and the Giant Peach was magnificent last year and we’d spent much of 2016 celebrating Roald Dahl that this was a must. We had been invited along to the opening night by Northern Stage but also bought extra tickets so the whole family could go together.

Roald Dahl's The Twits live theatre show at Northern Stage, Newcastle


21 March 2017

A Light Lunch Recipe: Tuna Rosti and Poached Egg

*** RECIPE***
One of the things I really like about working from home is that I have the option of making something light and tasty, to eat for lunch, and this recipe is one that I love. To be honest, the tuna rosti was first made as tuna fishcakes. But then I realised they could easily become a type of tuna rosti too. 

Either way, they are light, tasty, super quick to make and pretty inexpensive too! Great if you are trying to keep to a budget.

A Light Lunch Recipe: Tuna Rosti and Poached Egg


20 March 2017

A few hours in Brighton - What to See and Do

A work trip took me to Brighton this month. I didn't have much time to spare but with a sunny sky up above me, I thought I'd make the most of it and take a whistle-stop tour of what is renowned, to be, a hip and bohemian city, in Suffolk, on the southern coast of England.

A few hours in Brighton - What to See and Do including Brighton beach, Pier, Royal Pavilion, British Airways i360, The Lanes and ChoccyWoccyDooDah

17 March 2017

Dining In – The New Eating Out – Indian Family Feast

Our post about our Mexican Family Feast has been one of our most popular recipes ever. The boys continue to like Chilli and this month they have also come to love a good curry – albeit a mild one!

Dining in is the new eating out - My Boys Club enjoy an Indian Style Family Feast together.

16 March 2017

Getting Your Car Ready For A Family Road Trip

*** COLLABORATIVE POST***
As we move into Spring, and the sun comes out we are more likely (and more willing) to head for the car and embark on a family day trip or longer road trip.

But as it’s Britain, we have wellies, waterproofs as well as sun cream at the ready and a picnic, snacks and spare clothing. If you are like me, you make sure all family members are ready, been to the toilet etc. got their tablets, sweets and books for the journey. Then we make sure that our children are in the correct child seats - but have we checked that the car is ready too?

Getting Your Car Ready For A Family Road Trip

14 March 2017

A Delivery of Flowers and its not yet Mothers Day

*** REVIEW ***
It is always nice to get flowers, even when they are sent to you to review. 

That's what happened to me this week. Lucky me! Flowers already and it's not yet Mothers' Day!

A Delivery of Flowers and its not yet Mothers Day. We test out the 24 hour delivery service from Prestige Flowers.


13 March 2017

Starting at Easter - School Holiday Camps at Beamish Wild

*** REVIEW ***
It’s approaching the next school holidays, yes already. And as much as I love spending time with the boys when they are not at school, the school holidays do create stress for a lot of parents, who need to find childcare that is both affordable and reliable, and that the children will find fun and enjoy.

Over the past few years, many places have started up holiday camps, providing exactly what parents need – safe, dependable and entertaining - and at a price, we can afford.

Beamish Wild is offering new Holiday Camps starting this Easter and they invited My Boys Club along with other North East family bloggers to test them out. 

Beamish Wild is offering new School Holiday Camps


10 March 2017

WIN a VIP Pass to Durham – With Free Entry to Tourist Attractions for a Whole Year

*** GIVEAWAY ***

Durham is a stunning tourist destination in North East England that offers amazing countryside, a dramatic coastline & a captivating city and we have teamed up with This is Durham to offer our readers the chance to win a VIP Pass to Durham that lasts for an entire year!


The pass includes free entry for two people to many of the county’s top attractions and is worth over £400, although it's not available to buy – it’s exclusive to VIPs only.

Enter our giveaway now ...

9 March 2017

New Rating Service Opens Doors For Disabled Community

Like me, are you just so used to rating sites such as Trip Advisor, as well as various blogs and tourist destination websites and social media, that it has become second nature to research new places online before you go? 

A simple click and we can find out what people thought about a restaurant, cinema, pub, museum - in fact, any public place, and we can then check it out before we go? 

But have you ever thought about how you would find out about places if you or a friend or member of your family had a disability, and therefore had specific needs?



8 March 2017

Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral with Kids and Beasts!

*** REVIEW ***
On a recent trip to Durham, we decided to take the boys to see a new exhibition at Durham Cathedral called Beasts! 

With a Harry Potter artefact, elephants tooth, griffin’s claw and yes a unicorn's horn, all on display, in Durham in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Castle, I thought Beasts would be right up their street. What I hadn't counted on, though, was just how interesting they would find, the whole of the Open Treasure exhibition. 

They didn't want to leave ...
  
Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral with Kids and Beasts!


6 March 2017

EatDrinkSunderland from March 11 – March 19

*** REVIEW ***
Got to love a Restaurant Week and the chance to dine out, taste new flavours and try out new venues - without breaking the bank. The first ever restaurant week happened in New York City in 1992, but now they are commonplace all over the globe, bringing new diners to new cities, attracted by the opportunity to catch up with friends or family, whilst trying out new dishes in new venues or sticking to old favourites. And Sunderland is no different with its second Restaurant Week starting later this week.

From cafes to restaurants and traditional pubs to cosmopolitan bars, Sunderland Restaurant Week has something new for everyone to try. And between March 11 & 19 you will be able to eat out for £5, £10 or £15 at nearly 50 different venues across the city.

EatDrinkSunderland from March 11 – March 19 - Sunderland Restaurant Week


2 March 2017

5 Big Books for Little Kids on World Book Day

*** GUEST POST ***
Like many parents, my hubby is really keen on reading - both for himself and with the boys. So with that in mind, as it is #WorldBookDay today, I asked him about his favourite books for the boys ...

Experts tell us that reading to our children is good for them and who am I to disagree! 

So, in my role as super geek dad, it was obvious that I'd want my boys, aged seven and nine, to enjoy the same books I experienced as a kid... Even if it turns out I was a teensy bit older (teenager) than they are now. So sometimes we settle down in the evening to enjoy these bedtime stories ...

5 Big Books for Little Kids on World Book Day


1 March 2017

March FREE family events & activities in north east England

With 31 days in March and four full weekends, there is ample opportunity to enjoy some quality time with the family this month. As well as the amazing paid-for attractions and events that happen across North East England, here is this month’s list of free family activities and events to make our budgets go that little bit further.


And there are more than 20 of them ...

28 February 2017

Peru: A place I’d love to return to (with the kids)

If I mention the word Peru to my boys, they automatically think of and say Paddington. Who can blame them? Paddington has become one of most loved small bears around the world.

However, I would love one day for them to think of Peru as the mysterious, magical, special place that I discovered a few years before they were born, rather than a place where they think you eat marmalade sandwiches.


I'm continuing my 'A Place I'd love to return to with the kids series' with Peru. If you missed the first post in the series you can read all about our trip to Easter Island, and why I'd love to go again with the boys.

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