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A fantastic weekend at Haven 

Published July 12, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We took a much needed long weekend break to Presthaven sands over weekend. 

I have been to Presthaven a few times. The most memorable one being when I was 15 years old. A lot has changed at Presthaven sands since then and it seems to have had a very recent overhaul and redo as everything was extremely clean and updated. The one thing I vaguely remember from my teenage holiday which has not changed much is the sand dunes and the long path leading to the beach. 

I don’t drive so rely on trains to get us to places. Prestatyn is the closest station to Presthaven and a taxi from the station takes about 10 minutes and cost just £7.00 each way.

I had booked the weekend break a few months ago, I paid just over £250 and was extremely lucky to get a nice last minute upgrade to one of their new model prestige caravans. These are the more expensive caravans to stay in but come with added extras like a dishwasher, large television, blu tooth surround speakers, full size fridge freezer, en suite toilet room in main bedroom and our beds made up on arrival. Our caravan was just lovely, I can’t be 100% sure but it looked completely brand new to me. Sparkling kitchen area, absolutely spotless and even wrappers on the toilet seats! 

Prestige also allows a 2pm check in instead of the usual 4pm. This meant we got our keys before the queues arrived.

Presthaven sands is huge. Finding our caravan was a bit tricky even with clear instructions from reception. We found the location but were unable to find our number. We located one of the lovely cleaning ladies who kindly escorted us to the correct one. Navigating the park is easy as everything is next to each other. The arcade just past reception with 2 entertainment rooms (live lounge and carousel bar)  connected to the arcade. The sports hall/activity zone and pool is literally opposite withe park areas in between. Behind the reception area is the mini mart shop with the outdoor activity area at the side. Access to the beach is via a path near the shop.


There is so much to do at Presthaven sands. Some of which is included in the initial booking price and some activities require activity passes which are best pre booked or booked on the day of arrival because the activities seem to get full very fast. 

The inclusive activities include the play parks, an indoor fun soft play type area and the pool area. 


Our break away was made all the more perfect by the glorious hot sunny weather, this allowed us to take many nice strolls around the park as well as the children being able to go on the play parks and kick a ball about outside the caravan. The hot weather also kept our time in the arcade to a minimum. The arcade is great, lots of machines and a few £1 a go ride on’s for the little ones but if not careful we can spend way too much in them so arcade time was limited to evenings, prior to going in the clubs.

The swimming pool facilities at Presthaven were particularly impressive. We counted a total of 4 pools. Two indoor, one of which has a big flume water slide. An outdoor heated pool with smaller slides which is literally hidden from view, it can only be accessed via the main pool. And the final one being the lazy river. This is a fast moving winding pool which pushes you round and there’s a small pool area in the middle too. Obviously taking photographs in the pool is forbidden or limited and I wouldn’t want to risk wetting my phone anyway. So here are a few pics of the pool area that I managed to find on the Haven websites. 


My children absolutely loved the pools. Again the sunny weather made it all the more better, allowing us to make full use of both indoor and outdoor pool areas. The main outdoor pool even has sun loungers and tables incase you fancy a sun bathe instead and there is also a sauna indoors too. I did not use this as it is only for adults and I could not really leave my kids alone in a pool area.

I am always slightly apprehensive when deciding whether to fork out extra cash for extra paid park activities as I have no idea whether my children will enjoy them and find them fun. I was given many activity passes as part of my upgrade and I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to try out most of the activities. I did not partake in any of them myself but left it to my children to take part in them all weekend. It was non stop from 8.30 am onwards both Saturday and Sunday.

The activities vary in price. Activity passes can be purchased in bundles or separate but each activity requires a different amount of passes. The activities include many sports and also new “Nature Rockz”

The Nature rockz activities are all about outdoor exploration and seem similar to activities that are completed at cub scouts or brownies. The nature rockz activities which we took part in included – shelter building, firelighting and bug hunting.

There are probably too many other activities to mention but some we took part in included – fencing, archery, roller skating, rock climbing, kayaking, turbo jets, pool parties, & aerial adventure. The latter being a huge zip wire obstacle course which both Ryan and Jordanna did several times. I wouldn’t of minded a go of it misled but unfortunately Izebella is just too young. Have a look at our adventures video to see my children taking part. 


The majority of the activities on offer are for older children (mainly 8+). They do have a few sports activities for younger children of Izebellas age too and she was able to do both mini archery and mini fencing with foam swords. Some of the water activities also start from 4 years like turbo paddlers but Izebella is not yet confident enough in the water on her own (without me by her side) but maybe next holiday she will be. Nature rockz are also more for slightly older children but Izebella was able to go on the bug hunt walk with myself and join in with the shelter building at the end. When the older two were busy doing something we went on the parks of the soft play instead.


Presthaven sands does not offer any sort of food board basis. It would be great if it did, the Mini mart shop is not too expensive. We stocked up on bread and sandwich items mainly. They also sell microwave burgers and a few frozen/fresh food bits. They have a hot shelf too and the bacon barms are lovely for breakfast and only cost £1.40 each (they have sausage barms and sausage rolls too). There is a Burger King, papa John pizza and a chip shop all on site so plenty to choose from if hungry. We did not buy from the pizza place but got a meal for all 4 of us for £15 from Burger King and chips with gravy for supper one night. 

There main restaurant is Mash & Barrel. We are there on the Sunday as we had a complimentary voucher. The food there was great, although perhaps slightly on the expensive side for larger families. I certainly could not afford to eat there more than one night. 


I had the double chicken fillet burger (minus the cheese) it was delicious and really filling. Me and the girls still managed a big sharing desert too. 

As for night times! We had a choice of two clubs to go in, both with constant entertainment on. Party dances and fun shows for children, followed by singers and then more dancing. 

Lots if opportunities to meet the Haven characters including the loveable Anxious the elephant and Bradley bear.


The clubs were also open at various times during the day for photo meet and greet character sessions along with other free games and activities. For those who love bingo, it’s on most nights in one of the clubs and those who hate it can just sit in the other bar. 

I don’t drink alcohol when away with just my children so I can’t comment on prices. A large jug of juice for kids cost £1.50. Popcorn and crisp snacks can be purchased too at pretty reasonable prices and of course plenty of those flashing toys to buy from the club toy shop.


The music is always loud especially if sat close to the stage. The clubs fill up really quickly and I imagine it will be difficult to get a seat during busy school holiday times so it’s best to try and arrive as early as possible.


Yes those old party dances we boogied away too at Haven when kids are stlll going strong! 

The beach is a short walk up a sandy path, over the sand dunes, surrounded by greenery and nature. There is a protected area sealed off on the beach path containing a protected species of toad. We got told about this area on the bug hunt. The beach is okay, very clean but there are warning signs for sinking sand and a big puddle when we went so it’s a case of finding a safe dry area.


Haven grounds are also good to walk around in the sun. Always clean and with a few palm trees scattered around and flowers it almost felt like we were abroad. 


I need to give a mention to Ant and Dec too. Izebella absolutely loved these guys and especially so Dec in particular! No I’m not talking about the guys on celebrity jungle but I am on about animals of some sort!


Yeah Ant and Dec are two donkeys and for just £3.00 will take youngsters on a short ride around. As you can see Dec made Izebella one happy little girl. 

And finally how could we forget the big deck chair! It has to be the main park feature as you just cannot miss it and everyone just has to sit inside it.


The staff, entertainers, cleaners and managers all seem to work incredibly hard to keep the thousands of guests entertained.  They are lovely and chatty and always really approachable. I found the activity leaders especially friendly and seemed to go that extra mile to keep my kids safe and happy. 

We had an absolute ball, possibly the best weekend in a long time. Real family moments and memories spent at Presthaven sands. This place has to be the best holiday park in the U.K. we have visited so far (and we have been to a fair few) it was absolutely amazing from the accommodation to activities and entertainment, all helped by the nice weather and amazing staff. We did not want to come home. A long weekend just was not long enough and we cannot wait to go back again one day soon.

Thank you Presthaven sands! 

Blackpool pleasure beach 

Published June 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Over the two long half term weeks, we did an overnight trip to Blackpool. One of the days there, we got to visit the pleasure beach. We have been before but this was really Izebellas first proper visit where she was able to go on the rides and enjoy it. 

It’s hard to believe but the Pleasure beach has been open for over a hundred years. The first rides were there back in 1896 meaning it has also survived both World Wars.

Blackpool pleasure beach is conveniently located on Blackpool’s South Shore and accessible via the promenade. The biggest ride; known as the Big One is a massive 213ft high and can be seen from miles away. 

 

There are 41 rides in total at the Pleasure Beach spanning a 42 acre area, 10 of which are roller coasters. The rides seem to change often with old rides closing and new rides being built. I still remember going on Noah’s Ark when I was a child. I loved that ride! There are a few rides that are still going strong after many many years including the Grand national, River caves, Alice in Wonderland and the Ghost train. These are rides which I went on as a child and now my children enjoy them too. 


Nickelodeon land is a fairly new addition. It opened in 2011 and consists of many rides for younger children, or those not brave enough for the bigger rides. There is a watershoot type ride along with the Spongebob splash bash which I got absolutely soaked on. It’s a moving ride with water guns. Good job it was a hot day. 

We all enjoyed the Wallace and Gromit thrillomatic ride. It’s like something in between Alice in Wonderland and Valhalla. It’s a rollercoaster in the dark with Wallace and Gromit scenes but without the speed and big drops (or water), so younger children can ride with parents. 


Valhalla of course is one of the newer white knuckle type rides which has height and age restrictions so younger children cannot go on this one. It’s a huge boat type veichle which takes you for a ride in the dark, sometimes pitch black. There are biggish drops, speed, fire, wind, chills and water; lots of water. They even sell ponchos because most people end up soaked. It is one of my favourite rides.


For the thrill seekers there are many other fast rides and rollercoaster including the Revolution, Big One, Infusion, Ice blast, and avalanche. Ryan won’t go on any of these and of course Izebella is far too young. Jordanna and myself love them. Obviously I was unable to go on many fast rides with being on my own with Izebella but; Jordanna seemed very eager to go on the Grand National ride. This happens to be one of Blackpool oldest rides and has been there since 1935, with a few facelifts over the years. It is an old style wooden rickety bumpy rollercoaster and is one of the first rides to come across as you enter the attraction. 


We were in luck, as the queues were not huge despite it being half term and a hot day. Ryan took Izebella for me and we only waited about 10/15 minutes. Taking Jordanna on was probably a big mistake as she was crying and feeling sick from the first dip. Poor girl! 

Their wild mouse rollercoaster, also another old traditional ride is one of only two in existence today. Many have been replaced with the more modern metal type coasters and the only other one is in Australia. I have been on this, it is very scary and especially so at the top. The cars are small and they shake and bump and jerk all over. The track is thin and when the cars turn corners it feels like the agile thing is going to come tumbling off. Certainly not for the faint hearted. 

The Big one is also extremely scary. For me it’s more the height than the speed. The first  dip does a very strange angled twist as it drops you and from then on it’s not as bad, just fast. 

For a modern day funhouse type experience there is Impossible. 

Impossible is a walk through attraction with an optional ride at the end. It has many optical illusion and magic type things to view and children of all ages will like it. 

As well as all the rides, The pleasure beach also has many places for food & drink, arcades, gift shops, prize stalls and lots of features for photo opportunities. 


If visiting for a long day or stopping over in a hotel there, then it’s a good idea to take advantage of the lockers which are located inside and just outside the venue. These cost just a few pound and available in big and large and saved us carrying bags with us on a hot day. Also with all the recent terrible attacks, Pleasure beach is very strict with security. They have metal detectors and bag search everyone. 

A family ticket to the Pleasure beach can work out expensive. For me to buy wristbands online for myself and 3 children; the cost is about £90. That’s just for one day visit. Booking online is slightly cheaper but it is best to look out for offers and discounts which they do regularly and it is usually advertised on tv when they do. A lot of places often offer discounts on wristbands throughout the year including newspapers and websites. People visiting the park, who do not wish to go on any rides still need to pay a small fee to gain entrance. 

Own food is not permitted in the park. Visitors can go to the area outside to consume own food and re-enter the park when finished. There are many restaurants and places for food. We found Burger King and got 2 adult & 2 child meals for just over £18. 

Blackpool Pleasure beach has its own designated train station behind the park. Trains run hourly towards Preston. 

We had a lovely visit. All of us enjoyed it and came home very tired. 

See more and book tickets at the Blackpool Pleasure beach website. 

Blackpool tower visit 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Last week we made one of our yearly visits to Blackpool tower. I say yearly because we have been going there at least once a year since starting this blog. 

We chose a perfect day to go to Blackpool too (Wednesday), the sun was scorching and the day was just lovely. We set off early at 9am and got to the tower for 10.30am just after it opened.

As we were spending the night in Blackpool this time, we managed to get round all seven attractions connected to the tower – Tower eye & 4D cinema, Jungle Jims, Dungeon, ballroom, Sealife, Madam Tussauds and the circus and all in that order too. 

Our first stop was the tower eye and Izebellas first time at the top of the tower. This was also my first experience of the 4D cinema which I have not been able to visit previously due to time or Izebella being too young. Unlike other 4D cinemas you stand up in this one and lean against a bar. It doesn’t last too long and the effects are really good. Then it’s onto the lift and up to the glass floor. 

This can be a daunting experience as it does feel like your going to fall through it. However the glass is really thick and safe to walk or sit on. The views were amazing and especially so with the nice weather that day. 

The lift does not go to the very top of the tower. It stops at the glass floor level. There are another 3 staircases to climb to the maximum public height which is very close to the very top. These are spiral metal staircases and very narrow and it did make us tired climbing all the way up, but we made it. 

Then down to Jungle Jims for an hours play. This place is probably older than me. Tho it’s been revamped and redone many times over the years. 


After a quick lunch break it was back to the tower, round the back entrance and straight in the dungeon. We had been to the dungeon a few times before so knew what to expect but I did notice a few more scares and people jumping out had been added. Unfortunately no pictures or videos are allowed in the dungeon so no actual pictures by myself from this part. It is worth a visit, nothing too scary, odd few jumps but it’s more of a tour through the dark ages with some great acting. Jordanna was scared, Izebella was brave and poor Ryan got picked out but the judge to go on trial. 


As both my girls love dancing; a brief visit to the tower ballroom was in order. The tower ballroom has also been an attraction at the tower for many decades and still retains its original features. 


The dance floor is huge but gets filled quickly and they often have various shows and entertainment on along with the organist and free ballroom dancing. 

A short walk from the tower is Sealife which is part of the tower attractions. My kids love this place. It’s a great opportunity to see different species of fish and marine life and they are always adding new things to it. There are opportunities to touch star fish, crabs and even giant snails. Walk through a shark tunnel with sharks and huge fish swimming above and around, see jellyfish, seahorse and other amazing creatures and even stand and crawl through marine tunnels. 


And a few minutes from sealife is Madam Tussauds, the famous wax works. My kids were really excited by this place and spotted a few new celebrity additions. As well as a few old favourites such as this guy. 


Bear Grylls even got me a rare nice photo of all my children together.


Some of these figures look so real and alive that you half expect them to jump out at you. There are many sections of Tussauds to see and it’s easily an hour all round in there. 

At 7pm we went back to the tower for the 2 hour circus show. Again just like the dungeon photography and videos are forbidden. It’s a great show with trapeze artists and acrobatics and Mooky the clown and Boo are still going strong making everyone laugh. 


The circus does need booking on arrival with 2/3 sessions per day and is a 2 hour long show with a break.

We had an amazing but tiring day at all the tower attractions. We took a lot of photographs but far too many to show here individually. So instead I’ve made this video slide. 

Blackpool tower have many ticket options including the “Big ticket” which gets you into all seven attractions. These cost £45.00 per adult and £32.50 for a child over 3 years. There are other ticket options if you only want certain attractions. Booking online is cheaper than paying on the day and tickets can be booked directly on the Blackpool tower website.

A day at Blackpool zoo

Published April 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

On Wednesday we took a family day out to Blackpool zoo. We have been before but Izebella was very little then so probably doesn’t remember much from her first trip.

Blackpool zoo is located close to Stanley park and costs about £6.00 by taxi from the centre of Blackpool. I believe there are also a few buses that take you straight there. There are signposts throughout Blackpool directing drivers towards the zoo too.

The first thing we saw when we got into the zoo was a big dinosaur area. Of course these creatures died millions of years ago but they are really big and lifelike. Once past the dinosaurs it’s time to meet some very much alive creatures like this gorgeous guy. 

Many of you may know that I absolutely love tortoises and even have one myself, tho he is much much smaller than this giant species. I would absolutely love one of these in my garden. 

Blackpool zoo has so many animal species including big and little mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and even a few bugs. Here’s just a few I managed to snap.


I found the big cats fascinating, being so close to them and only separated by a wall of glass. 

There are lots of monkey type species including gorillas, these are kept far away for obvious reasons but can still be easily viewed. There is an orang-u-tan enclosure where we could watch them  high up and Amazonia where small monkeys are in the trees all around us and often jump down right in front of us along with tropical birds flying around. 

There are lots of really interesting and unusual animals too such as Tapirs and other animals rarely seen. 

The small farm area is great for kids. It’s located in a barn and contains pigs, sheep, goats, llamas, donkeys, rabbits and a few other more well known farm friends. They even let you hold and touch smaller animals at certain times of the day and feed them.

We spent a good 4 hours at the zoo, walking around, seeing the animals, farm visit, sea lion show and dinner at the restaurant. A family meal deal consists of 2 adult meals and 2 kids with drinks for £18.00. It is similar to McDonalds with choices of burgers and nuggets so not too bad a price. 

There are toilets located all around the zoo, gift shops, and a park area too. 

Adult tickets start from £13.99 depending on date and child tickets are slightly discounted. It is cheaper to book online prior to arriving and discounts are given on family tickets too. 

Find out more at Blackpool zoo.

West Yorks adventure 

Published February 19, 2016 by Bizzimummy

On Wednesday we took a trip over to West Yorks. Our first train stop was Halifax and a visit to the children’s museum Eureka. None of us had been here before and the kids loved it. There are many galleries to enjoy and everything is hands on, therefore no looking at things through glass here. The museum boasts a realistic Marks and Spencer’s shop along with a post office and a bank with a cash machine. Eureka even have their own bank notes. 

 
There’s even a garage with full size trucks and cars, a digging pit and a realistic modern house. 

   
There’s a big garden type room with strange looking plants and a big play space just for the under fives. 

Ryan really enjoyed the “All about me” rooms on the second floor which is a massive walk through the human body and health. 

 
They have a doctor /dentist set up with reception and even a realistic baby scanner. Izebella is inside a mouth here. 

 
There is lots more to explore at Eureka and it’s easy to spend several hours in there. There is a cafe too which we went too. The queue was huge and food a little pricey so it may be best bring own packed lunches. 

 
There is a gift shop too which is not too expensive. Then more exploring and a bit of fancy dress too. 

    
 

Once Eureka was done we jumped back on the train to the nearby city of Bradford where we checked into the Holiday inn express. This hotel is conveniently located just across the road from Bradford interchange station. It’s inside a leisure complex with cinema, bowling and restaurants next to it. 

The rooms were lovely with a big double bed and a big double sofa bed. Both beds already made up for us. It was very clean too.  

 
I paid just £51 for a night here for four of us which included a lovely breakfast too. This included sausage, egg, beans, cereals, yoghurt, fruit, toast, croissants, hot and cold drinks.  

 
After checking in we had a walk around Bradford, found a pound world to stock up on munchies and a McDonald’s as a nice treat. We also found the National media museum too. This is free entry with several floors starting with cameras, then onto TV and history. We spotted a few well known characters along the way like this scary one. 

 
Ryan even had a go at videoing a tv scene. 

   
The games room is full of old and some well remembered video games that can be played on, there is a gallery displaying games consoles from the 1970s onwards. It’s a good place to visit if in Bradford.

We had a great time and it was lovely to get away for the night.

 

 

 

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BeejuBoxes.Com

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Welcome to the Fox's den. Musings by Carmen Fox.

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Australian criminals and their Crimes. Con artists, scum bags, murderers, corrupt cops, pollies, rapists and paedophiles will find themselves in this blog. It was expanded to also cover those that ought to be charged for their idiotic disgusting behaviour. Usually high-profile people who think they are above the law

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