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Review: Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

They scamper, they play, they consume a massive amount of fruit. In the event your own little monkeys would enjoy meeting their animal kingdom counterparts, swing over to Trentham Monkey Forest, just outside Stoke-on-Trent. It’s a must-visit activity in Staffordshire.       We visited Trentham Monkey Forest with two tween girls, who loved every minute of it, especially spotting the babies and...

7 reasons to visit Aerial Extreme, Staffordshire

  Maybe it’s inspiration from the Monkey Forest next door, where 140 Barbary macaques run unfettered, scrambling through trees and doing their monkey thing, but the Aerial Extreme ropes course in Trentham Gardens stands apart from run-of-the-mill versions — with its location, its professional and high-spirited staff and its pure thrills.     The logistics: Unlike other ropes courses where...

iPhoneography: The Siddington Point-to-Point

They make movies about toffs in country houses and TV shows about vicars who solve mysteries in villages, but in my opinion to capture something indelible about Britain they should make a film about the British point-to-point — steeplechases so-named because they would take place from one church steeple to another – from one point of a steeple to another.     I started attending point-to-points with...

Trentham Gardens: Kid-friendly & full of life

  I don’t know if Trentham Gardens has a slogan, but it should, and that slogan should be, “Keep ON the grass”. These gorgeous extensive gardens in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire fairly thrum with life from the visitors enjoying the grounds. You don’t simply wander round admiring the plants — although I always find this restorative and relaxing. But here you find children tearing...

Review: Barbury Shooting School for kids

I come from Texas, so really I’m supposed to know all about guns. But since I won that riflery award at summer camp age 12, my shooting prowess has largely been on the wane. Don’t get me wrong — I love shooting (I did say I’m from Texas, right?), but the opportunities to practice don’t come along that often. When my 16-year-old stepson received a voucher from his grandparents for a...

Surrey: Family geocaching at Polesden Lacey

“Do you know what geocaching is?” I asked my 11-year-old, as we drove to Poleden Lacey. “You find things using a GPS. It’s boring,” she replied, staring out the window in the back seat. “How do you know? Have you done it before?” “I used a GPS once. It’s better if it’s just a map.” Ah, the enthusiasm of youth. After a wonderful Christmas break in...

Review: The Milestones Museum, Basingstoke

As another British summer arrives, the imploration on every parent’s lips is the same: I need rainy day activity ideas! We’re constantly on the lookout for interesting outings, especially as our teenager and tween are long past enjoying soft-play. We recently visited the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke and discovered a great afternoon’s outing that’s educational to boot. We were invited to...

Visiting Winchester: Things to do with kids

I blame the Mexicans. My husband and I had buzzed past Winchester on the M4 for years, always remarking that we should visit. The cathedral is one of the largest in England and we have a personal connection in that my father-in-law attended Winchester College. Still, visiting might have remained one of those things to do “one day” if not for dinner at Pitt Cue on Newburgh Street (just…go....

Cotswolds: Delicious food at the Upton Smokery

  One of the delights of the English countryside is farm shops. Countless times we’ve followed modest signs pointing to discover gustatorial Aladdin’s caves, full of luscious cheeses, tempting meats, fruits so beguiling they’re a little bit obscene. Often I’ll also pick up some bowls or interesting kitchen knickknack as a gift. When we visited the Uptom Smokery (@Uptonsmokery), I wanted...

Wales: Visiting the South Wales Miners’ Museum

Imagine the time period: It was the ’80s. We were collectively experiencing Purple Rain, we were wearing neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirts thanks to Wham!, and the miners’ strike was changing the face of that industry across England and Wales. Visit Wales sent Jenography and family to Wales to see what we could do and learn. We went to the Afan Valley, which is a beautiful area that’s a very easy...

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