Three Boys and a Cat - Days out

Mini beasts, pirates and pancake suprise: life is never dull as Mum to three boys and a ballet dancing cat


Build a Den

Number four on the National Trusts list of 50 things to do before you are 11¾ is build a den. We did this over the summer at one of our favourite National Trust sites – Gibside. The people at Gibside had prepared an area of woodland especially for the activity, they had also built a campfire and had a supply of Marshmallows.


The boys choose the spot they thought would work best for our den and we set about collecting large amounts of sticks, logs, and twigs. It was hard work and everyone pitched in – even Toby.

It took us a good hour or so to finish the den – there were still a few areas that could’ve done with some more work, but the boys felt it was complete.

All that hard work called for a well earned picnic – in the den of course! Will declared that the cracks in the den made it the perfect hide for nature spotting, so we sat peacefully for a while just watching and listening.

Nest Building at Gibside

If your stuck for ideas on where to take the kids this summer, look no further than The National Trust. We love the National Trust. There are so many beautiful and historic places in the UK to explore, protected by The National Trust for our benefit. One of our favourite National Trust places to visit is Gibside (read about our Butterfly Count and Birdwatching adventures). They have free activities on everyday this summer for families. We had great fun last week taking the nest test.


Success! Our nest was perfect. The boys had so much fun building their nest. It was great fun learning all about birds and their nests, we got to look at some real nests too.

Steam and Transport at Beamish

One of our favourite places to visit is Beamish – an open air museum showing life in the North East in the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. Last week I blogged about going down the coal mine at Beamish. One of the things coal was needed for was steam powered transport, which is the focus of today’s post.

This is a replica of Puffing Billy (the original built in 1813 is on display in the Science Museum in London). We had great fun cheering Puffing Billy out of the Great Shed at Pockerley Waggonway, before taking a ride in replica Georgian carriages through the beautiful County Durham landscape (pulled by Puffing Billy). There are many areas to explore at Beamish, such as The Pit Village, The Town and The 1940’s Farm. You can walk between areas or you can ride on period transport – old buses and trams. We recently went to the Steam and Transport Festival at Beamish where we were able to see many different types of old transport.

One of my favourite has to be the old Blackpool Tram – Blackpool 31, built in 1901 and in service until 1984. Having spent the best part of my childhood in the area, taking a ride on an old Blackpool tram was really nostalgic. We love the old Edwardian Steam Railway. Our favourite part of the day is standing on the wrought iron footbridge bridge over the track as the steam train puffs along. You can get a really good view of the train – but watch out for the steam!

Thank You


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