Keeping Fit At Go Ape

A month or so ago now, I was invited by the team behind Simply Health to visit a place of my choosing from the list they provided and see just how many calories can be burned and steps taken whilst doing these activities. I was helpfully provided with a Fitbit for this challenge and was given the following options of places to visit:

  • Up at the O2
  • Go Ape
  • Escape In Time

All were very intriguing and something I would love to do but I eventually settled on Go Ape and headed off with a friend to test everything out. Now let me tell you, I am not a big fan of heights so this was always going to be a challenge for me. However it is a challenge I jumped into wholeheartedly and faced my fears as much as possible. I was interested to see how many calories could be burned and how many steps could be taken. Whilst some things didn’t take much energy, the netting sure proved a challenge as I struggled to get from it and onto the ledge – I probably burned the most calories here!

Due to being strapped up in a harness and having to use my hands to keep me safe at all times with my safety line, photos were obviously a no go – since both myself and my friend were strapped up and we had no one else with us, I’m afraid we had no one to take pictures but I do have this certificate which I am very proud of!

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Simply Health have recently spoken about how wearable tech can help when trying to make exercise a little more fun and I certainly agree. I found the whole experience fun (whilst a little frightening and challenging at times!), especially looking up the data on the Fitbit later.

So what did swinging about in the trees do for me? Here’s a list of everything my Fitbit told me…

  • I burned 224 calories overall – I think most of these were probably when I was stuck on the net and panicking, haha!
  • I took 1229 steps overall from the office to the finish of our activity
  • I covered 1.2km
  • I was fully active for 41 minutes
  • The activity lasted for around two hours – 41 minutes is for where I didn’t stop moving but a lot of time was spent catching my breath, panicking on netting or catching my bearings

I was very pleasantly surprised at these results. Whilst I didn’t burn as many calories as I perhaps would have doing some other activity, this definitely gave my muscles a workout and my mind too as I pushed through my fear. After experiencing such a different way of getting exercise in, I am very keen to try other more unique avenues of exercise. I really enjoyed myself and am very proud of myself for giving it a go.

Do you use wearable tech when exercising? Do you find it motivates you more? I definitely think my Fitbit inspires me to be more active – I am very competitive with the other ladies from Slimming World!

A Fitbit and entry to Go Ape was provided FOC for creation of this post

My Favourite UK Beach Holidays

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Although I do love going abroad for a holiday, nothing quite beats a good old holiday in the UK. I’ve been taking UK breaks for as long as I can remember and we try to go once or twice a year even now so that Jack has a similar experience to what me and Steve had when we were little.

With Summer approaching, we’ve been thinking about where we want to visit this year on a short break. We are already visiting Greater Yarmouth in October but it would be nice to go somewhere else before then. Here are a few of my favourite UK beach holidays to go on – do any of these places hold a place in your heart?

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Isle Of Wight

I had never been to the Isle of Wight before last year but I know my parents went plenty of times before I was born and loved it. They are actually going again in a couple of months and I am so jealous. It is such a beautiful island and I especially love spending the day down at Shanklin beach – we get to enjoy the sand and the sea before visiting the amusement arcade…tons of fun! Of course, you’ve got to fit a visit to Blackgang Chine in there too!

My aunt lives on the island and has made me aware of some other beautiful spots that I need to check out so I certainly plan on taking a break there sometime soon.

Tenby

When we visited Wales back in 2014, we were advised to stop off at Tenby beach as it was meant to be beautiful. We had an amazing day here and I am keen to get back to Wales sometime in the future. I’ve only been to one small area of the country so I am keen to get around and explore.

Woolacoombe

Devon is one of my most favourite places in the UK and Woolacombe is a favourite place to visit. With a gorgeous award winning beach and tons of things to do (including a number of walks around the coast), there is something for all the family here. In terms of where to stay in Woolacombe, whether it’s a lodge, caravan or camping you’re after, Woolacoombe Bay Holiday Parks has something for every family with fantastic facilities right next to Woolacombe Beach. Visit their website at www.woolacombe.co.uk and youll see why they are so popular with family holidays in Devon.

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Camber Sands

This place will probably always have a place in my heart. Steve’s parents originally owned a caravan down there and then we did – then we both sold up due to rising costs. However we used to go down once or twice a month to spend the weekend when Jack was smaller and we loved nothing more than taking a walk on the beach in the morning and enjoying the sunshine. Camber is only a small little village but their long, stretching beach is something to be marvelled at.

With Steve’s parents potentially moving down to that area, we will probably be spending a lot of time down there in the future.

Greater Yarmouth

Finally my usual haunt. I haven’t actually been back to Greater Yarmouth since I was pregnant with Jack so October will be Jack’s first experience of the place. I don’t know how much has changed in five years but I am looking forward to taking Jack to the Pleasure Beach and then looking down on the sand from the rides above before heading onto the beach and enjoying ourselves! I can’t wait.

These are just a few of the places I love in the UK that I have visited and enjoyed over the years. I remember how much I loved visiting the beaches with my Dad and doing all the different things you can do – building a sand castle, visiting the rock pools, skimming stones. Now that Jack is getting to an age where he can understand more, I am keen to get him enjoying UK holidays just as much as his parents did when we were little and I am hoping he has similar great experiences like we did. We’ve also got to visit my uncle who lives on the seafront near Clacton. So many beaches, so little time!

Where are your favourite places to holiday in the UK? Have you got a favourite beach that you like to head to when Summer rolls around? Why is it your favourite? I’d love to know!

This is a sponsored post

Get Yourself To Willows Activity Farm This Half Term!

Willows Activity Farm is one of our favourite places to visit in the school holidays. It is just down the road from us and offers such fun things to do! We visited just before Christmas (read more about that here) and we were recently asked if we would like to see what they had going on this half term. Of course, we couldn’t say no!

You may have seen some of my Instagram shots from when we were but this week is actually lambing week so as well as some other fun half term activities, we also got the chance to see some baby lambs up close and personal and if we were really lucky, some being born!

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Some of these lambs were just a few days old and we even saw some that had been born very early that morning! We stood in the lambing marquees for quite some time as when we got there, a ewe was in the full throes of labour. We did end up standing there for quite some time because she seemed to be sabotaging herself – she’d push really hard and she’d get somewhere then plonk herself back down to get comfy and the lambs feet would disappear again. In the end the farmer had to help her deliver but it was a truly beautiful moment and I am glad we waited for it.

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If you look carefully, you can see the baby lamb next to the ewe on the left. As you can imagine, Jack had plenty of questions and once we left the sheep marquee we set about answering all of them whilst also going to visit the other animals that he desperately wanted to see.

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We even saw a baby calf who was just three days old – so incredibly beautiful! There is so much to do this week at Willows Activity Farm – they have tons of things on for the February Frolics lambing event with funfair rides, fleecy arts and crafts, the magical Ice Rink, lamb bottle feeding, storytime, sing-a-longs, puppet shows, learning about lambing and so much more! Plus there are still a multitude of things to do at the farm all day including visiting the lambing marquee, the agility play trail, visiting the farmyard, the under 5’s play area and a whole host of other things!

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We didn’t do much on Monday as I really wasn’t feeling well and Jack was starting to suffer the effects of a cold too. However we did manage to attend a few of the lambing events, especially a lamb being born in the lambing marquee which is the one thing we really wanted to see! Jack really enjoyed himself and is already asking when we are next going back!

I think our next trip will be to visit the brand new Peter Rabbit Adventure Playground, opening on the 2nd of April 2016. Sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun! If you live in or near Hertfordshire, be sure to visit Willows Activity Farm this half term. You won’t be disappointed.

We received free entry in order to review the half term events

My UK Travel Bucket List For 2016

I have written a travel bucket list in the past but I always tend to focus on foreign countries and historic landmarks, I often forget about exactly what this country has to offer. This is bizarre in itself as I love a stay-cation in the UK and even owned my own caravan down in Camber Sands for a while. Whilst we may not get abroad next year, I plan to visit a couple of places in the UK to holiday, catch up with friends and just generally get a better feel for my country. So where do I want to visit?

I definitely want to go back to Wales, in particular to Cardiff. When we visited Bluestone last year we briefly popped into Cardiff on the drive home as it was on our way but I wish we had been able to spend more time there. Wales itself is such a beautiful country and I would love to go back. We had fun on the beaches (see below) and also had fun visiting the little towns too!

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Another place I would love to go back to is Cornwall. I originally visited when my friend lived there and although she doesn’t live there anymore, I’ve always wanted to go back – it is such a scenic part of the country, the views are absolutely breathtaking and I love the community feel. It is definitely somewhere I would like to take Jack.

Steve would love to visit Scotlandin particular Loch Ness which I am not surprised about in the slightest. It is something I have heard him talk about for many years and I think next year could be the year we possibly visit Scotland itself.

Something I experienced once when I was younger and which I am desperate for Jack to experience is the illuminations in Blackpool. I love the place despite only having visited once and would love both Steve and Jack to experience what I did as a child – and come on, who can resist Blackpool Pleasure Beach?

Finally two other places I would love to visit are Birmingham and Cambridge for a few days. I have friends in and around each place and would love to spend a couple of days getting to see them all and having a catch up whilst seeing what each place has to offer.

Where in the UK would you most like to visit – what’s on your travel bucket list?

In collaboration with Travelodge

Seeing Santa at Willows Activity Farm

Willows Activity Farm in London Colney is just up the road from us yet until the other weekend, we had never been (and after Steve’s hospital stay, we almost didn’t make it this time but luckily fate worked in our favour and we managed to go). We, plus a handful of other bloggers and their families, were invited to visit and try out their Santa Spectacular experience. We took Em’s son Ben along too and here is what we got up to…

First of all, we all gathered together to find out what we were doing for the day. I caught up with Lilinha for the first time in ages and finally got to meet the beautiful Sian and her gorgeous family after many years of talking via social media! We then made our way to the beginning of the Santa Spectacular experience. We queued up to meet Santa which was fantastic – Willows Activity Farm really pulled out all of the stops. There aren’t any pictures of me and Jack with Santa as Steve didn’t think to take any but we do have a fantastic shot of Steve and Ben with Santa. The whole process that goes into meeting Santa was so magical – the children each have a red token which they hand to Santa’s Elves before visiting Santa and telling him what they want. He then gives them a magic key and they post the key in a box to be allowed into the toy shop to choose ANYTHING they want. Let me tell you, telling a child they can have anything they want leads to a lot of time spent with them choosing!

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After all the children had seen Santa and chosen their toys, it was time to visit the brand new elve’s Teddy Bear Workshop where the children could create a bear. This was something that they both loved although we did have to help them quite a lot as it was quite fiddly and they, especially Ben, are still so tiny! Each child received a certificate with their bear which they could take home to keep and there was even the option of buying outfits for your bears too.

The rest of the day was completely up to us – there were still plenty of Santa/Christmas themed things to do such as the ice skating but if we wanted to, we could also go off and visit the animals, ride on the tractor etc. With so much planned, we had to refuel and armed with the food voucher Willows kindly gave to us, refuel we did. Our food was super yummy and as you can see, the boys really enjoyed theirs!

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After our filling lunch, it was time to visit the animals. After all, when you visit a farm you have to go and see the animals, right? We spent plenty of time in with the animals, buying some feed for them and even cuddling them when it came to the guinea pigs…

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Jack loves visiting the farm and he already wants to make this a regular occurrence with Ben – he loves animals and he finds something so exciting every time about visiting a farm. After spending some time with the animals, the boys wanted to ride on the tractor wagon thing and so we ventured out to find it. We just missed it and waited patiently for the next time it came around which wasn’t too long after. The wagon was playing Christmas songs all the time, the person driving must really love his job. The boys loved sitting on it and even sat on Steve’s lap at one point so they could see more of what Willows Farm had to offer.

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All in all, we had a fantastic day enjoying the Santa Spectacular at Willows Activity Farm. Hurry, its still on until the 24th – trust me, you will love it! You can find out more here.

We were gifted free entry to the farm and its events for this post