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Posts tagged ‘Days Out’

Beside the seaside! Beside the sea!

On Friday afternoon I was on the tube heading out of Hammersmith when a guy got on holding a bag of chips wrapped in newspaper and by the smell, I am guessing they had been smothered with vinegar and salt.

The smell that filled the entire train was just AMAZING and you could tell that everybody on the train was now envious of this highly unhealthy but mouth-wateringly delicious food.

Skip forward 24 hours and it’s a Saturday morning in January. It is a clear and sunny but very cold day. What are we going to do today?

My mind wandered back to the man with the chips. The thought of chips led my imagination to thoughts of sitting at the end of the pier eating chips from a newspaper because chips (and fish) always taste better at the seaside. Indeed the very smell conjures up images of beaches, amusement arcades and so on.

We’re going to the seaside!

Right now! Read more

A day out to the Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve

So the getting active, having fun and so forth continues at pace.

Today was an unusual Sunday in that we were all up quite early yet had nothing planned. The weather forecast was cold but dry so a day out was called for.

But where too?

By late morning we found ourselves at the RSPB saltmarsh at Frampton Marsh near Boston. Again, this is one of those places we drive very close to most weekends yet in five years, have never visited.

This is an area that the RSPB have developed over the last few years to attract huge numbers of birds and ducks and wow have they been busy.

Read more

London Science Museum – A Day Out

So in my last post (that did not contain any New Year resolutions) I did say that I intended to travel more, spend more time with the family and have more fun.

So true to my word, on Saturday morning you would have found all of us standing on a rather cold and grey Peterborough railway station platform all set for a day out.

Now when Sam was Five, he got wind of this place in London that was full of REAL dinosaurs! Somebody at school had mentioned it and of course that really got his attention. This magical place he was talking about was of course the London Natural History Museum and that sparked his interest in museums.

Since then we have been to the NHM a few times and of course there is the London Science Museum next door. Again full of tons of stuff that can keep a young boy amused for weeks on end.

Even better is that these museums are free making for a very cheap day out. They are even happy for you to camp out in the middle of the museum and eat your packed lunch.

So for those of you like me who probably last visited these places on a school trip when you were nine, they have certainly changed although just to keep you happy, this still lives right in the middle of the NHM

A dinosaur

But onto the Science Museum

London Science Museum

It’s worth pointing out that this place is huge. You could visit every weekend of the year and not even scratch the surface. They also keep adding new stuff and having various non permanent exhibitions throughout the year.

The latest addition is an area called Atmosphere. To quote the Science Museum themselves

The brand-new atmosphere gallery is a fresh and exciting way to make sense of the climate – the science of how it works, what it’s doing now and what it might do next.

In atmosphere you’ll step into a different world, with its own land, oceans, ice and, above your head, its delicate atmosphere. Follow the five fast games and see your actions played out before your eyes in this immersive and interactive gallery.

Explore our climate-changing world as you travel through the landscape.Go back in time to find key climatic moments in the Earth’s multibillion-year history. Uncover the secrets of ice cores and stalagmites, then head for the future to wonder at the latest ideas for a low-carbon life.

More than a hands-on gallery, atmosphere reveals some of the key instruments used by today’s scientists, reports on some of the latest climate news, and gives you the chance to dig deeper into the story of our changing climate.

The Science Museum developed the content for this gallery through extensive research and engagement with scientists and experts, including expertise from the Met Office as a principal content contributor.

I must admit, a lot of thought has gone into this and you can see why the kids think it is great

The Atmosphere Area The Atmosphere Area

The Atmosphere Area The Atmosphere Area

Now you can sit and debate the for and against arguments around climate change being man made or it being something that is going to happen anyway. Certainly there was a strong bias towards the argument that climate change is man made and that there is something we can do about it but you know what, when an educational exhibit can get Sam this engaged, focused and interested, you have to take your hats off to the people behind it

A very focused Sam

So moving beyond the Atmosphere exhibition to some of the longer standing areas, there is loads of stuff on how our lives have changed over the years

Stephensons Rocket

With large scale items such as trains and planes as well as space ships, cars and loads of hands on displays with levers to pull and buttons to press.

I am sure museums were not this much fun when I was Sams age and by the very fact that Sams perfect day out normally includes a museum (or Lego) these days then I think we have got him hooked.

So if you are visiting London (or if you live there) and regardless of if you have kids or not, you simply must go. Being free there is little excuse. The tube stops outside the front door, it’s open all year round, it’s inside so you won’t get wet and did I mention it’s free.

It’s even got a shop where you can buy the obligatory pencil if you want to recapture the memories of your last school trip.

You can find my full photo album from the trip by clicking HERE or on any of the images above.

Evergreens Miniature Railway

So it’s New Years day and my sister suggests a trip to the miniature railway at Stickney in Lincolnshire five minutes away from where she lives.

It was a bit cold and rather grey but what was surprising was the number of people there both visitors and enthusiasts.

So as you can see from the pictures, there are a loads of sit on trains in action suitable for all ages and once you have paid your £5 admittance (for 2 adults and 2 children) you can ride all day.

So leaving the cold aside, there was hours of fun to be had, the kids were happy and it was time to go home all too soon. For a fiver, I can’t think of a better value day out.

For more info, Evergreens website can be found here

 

 

 

A Day Out :: Pinchbeck Engine Museum

Pinchbeck Engine Pump House

On the outskirts of Spalding in Lincolnshire, as you drive along the A16 you may just see a small sign post to the Pinchbeck Engine Museum. I must admit that since moving to the area 4 years ago, we have passed that sign many times and every time we have said that we must pop in for a look.

So here is the history part.

Not that long ago, somebody thought it would be a good idea to drain the Fens (they are in the east of England) for farming. A similar thing also took place in Holland and it is by no coincidence that this area is known as South Holland.

So drains were dug and water was drained and something unexpected happened. As the land dried out, it sank. The result was that the fields around the drains ended up being below the water level and of course, water cannot flow up hill.

And so pumps were installed. At first they were wind driven and then steam took over once the steam engine was invented. Today these pumps are electric and are all over the east of England.

The Pinchbeck Engine Museum is one of the few surviving steam pumps and whilst it has now been replaced by modern electric pumps, it has been preserved.

The museum seems to operate little or no advertising and I have yet to meet anybody else who has been there. Indeed a quick look at the visitors book suggests that you will not be queuing to get in at any time which is a shame as this is a genuinely interesting attraction.

Pinchbeck Engine

So upon arrival in the empty car park, the pump house is located in impeccably kept grounds with a nice picnic area. As we got out of the car we were met by Ken who personally showed the three of us around the museum explaining to us what everything was, how it worked and the history behind it.

Essentially the Pinchbeck Engine is a large steam engine that drives a large water wheel that then lifts the water up into the river and it has all been really well preserved

Pinchbeck Engine

So overall, we were on site for about an hour. Entrance was free of charge (although there is a donation box) and it was a genuinely interesting and informative day out.

So if you are in the area (the A16 is a popular route to the East coast) then why not stop by? You will be glad you did.

There are a load more photos in my photo album which you can find here.

Pinchbeck Engine Museum On Bing Maps
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