Friday, 18 January 2019

What are you watching on Netflix? in Partnership OLED televisions Panasonic

Winter for me is all about telly.  I quite like hibernating especially after Christmas when all the festivities are over and the fairy lights are down.  Snuggling up on the sofa with a blanket, cup of tea and shutting the cold, dark world out. 

The OLED televisions by Panasonic offer ultra-powerful Studio Colour with a sleek design to deliver pictures that represent the filmmaker’s vision more accurately than any of their TVs before.  If you love films or just TV in general and are after a late Christmas present then this might just be for you.  If you would like to know more about the next generation OLED televisions then click here.

As I said Winter and TV go hand in hand for me and I have recently been obsessed with Luther and binge watched from series 1 on Netflix over the last few weeks.  I quite often find that I don’t get into a series until later than everyone else but obviously Netflix, BBC iplayer, ITV player etc let you watch on demand when you want.  I was a little disappointed with series 5 of Luther.  It was far too much Luther/George/Alice and not enough actual police investigating stuff.  I'm still bereft by the departure of DS Ripley and series 1 was definitely the best for me.

Another series I love and frequently binge watch is RuPaul's Drag Race.  Series 2 to 7 did disappear from Netflix but on 3rd November they all reappeared! Hallelujah.  I therefore have hours and hours to get me through to spring/summer as I was late to the Ru Paul party and have only watched 3 series.

I've heard loads of good things about You but haven't watched it yet. Have you? (pardon the pun!) Is it worth getting into?  Also, Black Mirror but I’m not sure if that’s a little bit too out there for me.

What is your binge watch go to?

Emma xx

Disclaimer: This is a paid collaboration with Panasonic OLED televisions.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Disneyland Paris Tips Travelling by Eurotunnel No Meal Plan

The Disneyland Paris for Brits Facebook group is amazing and virtually every question I've pondered was answered by some kind soul.  However the precise planning of some did make me have a mini panic attack so these Disneyland Paris tips are for the Eurotunnel no meal plan, winging it families like us!

If you want to meet characters and eat at specific restaurants you must book/plan but my children aren't interested in meet & greets so we went pretty free & easy apart from Buffalo Bill's which we did prebook.
We travelled by Eurotunnel and anyone panicking about driving really don't. It is very straight forward from Calais. A26, A1, A104 and A4. The last part is fully signposted. The motorways were much clearer than England and speed limit in places was 130kph which is 80mph. It took approx 3 hours. Whilst driving we listened to Skyrock which alternated between a French song and English - beware though they do not edit out swear words! One song came on frequently and we learned where to turn the volume down briefly.  Luckily the kids watched a DVD for half of the journey so weren't even listening much.
Toll was €18.80 there and €22.10 back. Large gap between tolls so don't worry you haven't missed it.
We stayed at Cheyenne texas stowaway room.  It was smaller than expected but we were rarely in it. As others have said no kettle or fridge.
We did pop to Val de Europe (10 minute drive away) once and had a cheaper lunch and got a few bits in Auchan (Supermarket) but with no fridge the food shop limited. We did get 5 croissants & 5 pain au chocolat for €4.50 which did 2 breakfasts on the go. 12 small bottles of water was €2.04. There was a massive Primark if anyone wants a cheap Disney jumper or ears.

Disneyland Paris

Cheyenne has a general store but very expensive. An idea on prices Vittel water/Coke/Sprite €3.69 and Kronenbourg can €4.99 and packet of sweets €3.99.
A shuttle bus is provided from Cheyenne and drops you by the station and you then pass through security but we preferred walking.  It was nice to have a little peace and the walk past the lake and Disney balloon was lovely.

Disneyland Paris Balloon

Now to the park. Use your extra magic time. 8.30am the park opens for hotel guests. Do plan this as can take time to get through the security and park entrance.
Depending on age of children Fantasyland is good and can get 5 rides done very quickly. We headed straight to Buzz twice (kids favourite ride) and Ratatouille once. Queues minimal. Unfortunately Crush's Coaster broke whilst we were in the queue and although magic time and initially small queue ended up in it for over 90 minutes!

Disneyland Paris Buzz

Crush's Coaster was a wierd one for us. I thought you would be in a blue underwater scene with turtles swimming about and maybe a little splash. However it is mostly VERY dark and quite loud. My 8 year old HATED it and cried - not quite such a magic time. Just a warning for others.

Disneyland Paris

Stitch Live was a surprise big hit as was the Studio tram tour. The stunt show was fab, make sure you arrive on time as we got there late on 1st attempt and weren't allowed in.

Disneyland Paris

Buffalo Bill's was brilliant and our whole family loved it, the food was pretty good too and we were all full. No need to arrive an hour early though 30 mins will be fine.

Disneyland Paris Halloween Goofy at Buffalo Bills

We also ate dinner at Annette's and Rainforest Cafe (walk in no booking required) both were nice. Fueute del Oro in Frontierland was good for lunch and brilliant Coco decorations as we were there during Halloween.

Disneyland Paris Halloween Coco

We loved the illuminations at 10pm and would have liked to have watched twice but the 8 year old couldn't keep awake that late the following day. The Halloween parade was brilliant and I actually preferred it to the main 5.30pm parade. We didn't watch the villains show as my children weren't bothered although I would have liked it 😊

Disneyland Paris Halloween Minnie Mouse on Parade
Obviously the parades and special shows will change depending on the season.  Always check the times.  The hotel should give you a leaflet with them all on.

Disneyland Paris Halloween Main Street
Take comfy shoes, be patient and most importantly have an amazing time.  If you travel during the winter months do take plenty of warm clothes.  Layers are probably best and it gets very cold queuing especially for little ones.
Hope this helps some of you. Happy Disneyland Paris holiday.

We have been twice now and I thought that would do but I would happily go a 3rd time.

Emma xx

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Sunday, 30 December 2018

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire

As a parent I have spent many, many hours in parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire.  Some are regular haunts others not so often.  I have ventured to more and further as after 11 years it does get a tad boring.  

To help you here is a list of all the parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire I have visited or heard about. I've tried to give a little information about each and parking information if known. We are lucky to have a vast about of open spaces in Northampton and woodland walks.

Abington Park, Northampton
Park on nearby streets. Play area, tennis courts, bowls, café.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Abington Park

Racecourse, Northampton
Some free car parking off the Kettering Road near the pavilion.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Racecourse

Bradlaugh Fields, Northampton
This was an old golf course, now popular for dog walkers and sledging in the snow.  There is a barn that is run by volunteers so only open at select times, small play area and lots of open space.  No parking. Some visitors use the Morrison's car park or park on the street near NSG.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Bradlaugh Fields

Boothville Park, Northampton
Park on or near Burford Avenue and there's a little path. A nice enclosed play area and space.  A mixture of new and old equipment.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Boothville Park

Elliot Park, Sywell, Northampton
This park is off Webbs Lane park nearby and walk up.  Really nice play area with a good mixture of equipment including zipwire, multiple swings, slides, roundabout and sand pit.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Elliott Park

Abington Vale, Northampton
Two small play areas near Bridgewater Drive and Milverton Crescent.  The 1st is only really suitable for pre schoolers.  The other has limited equipment but lots of space near the allotments.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Abington Vale

Boughton Pocket Park, Northampton
You can access via Howard Lane.  Lovely wooden play equipment.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Boughton Pocket Park

Eastfield, Northampton
Several entrances via Kettering Road, Booth Lane North, Grange Road and Greenfield Avenue.  We access on a path next to Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Large space with basketball court, small new play area, zipwire, climbing frame and lake.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Eastfield

Rectory Farm Pocket Park, Northampton

Earls Barton Play area, near Harrowick Lane, Northampton
Play equipment includes skate ramp, basket swing, zip wire

Scaldwell Park, Northampton
Near the High Street and East End in Scaldwell village. Playing field and play area with sand pit.

Hardingstone Recreation Ground, NN4 6DH
Closest road is Glebe Way. Square playing field in Hardingstone Village with play equipment.

Kingsthorpe Recreation Ground, Northampton

Milton Malsor Village Park, NN7 3AF
Lovely enclosed park in Milton Malsor.  Park on the verge or streets nearby.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Milton Malsor

Radlands Plaza, Northampton
Skate Park off Bedford Road.  There is free but limited parking.  open all day every day,  Floodlits turned off at 9.30pm.

Beckets Park (also known as Midsummer Meadow), Northampton
Off Bedford Road and near the Skatepark and Marina.  Play area and cafĂ©.

Great Billing Pocket Park, Northampton
Penfold Lane.  Small play area next to Billing Parish if this is open toilet's can be accessed. Small car park is also available for use.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Great Billing Pocket Park

Hunsbury Hill Country Park, Northampton, NN4 9UE
Large park with Drover's Café for refreshments.

Parklands, Northampton
Devon Way.  Car park and community centre are next to the small play area.  Large fields where football is regularly played at weekends.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Parklands

We are lucky to have lots of Country Parks near Northampton.  All country parks have car parks and facilities.  The parking charges are currently £3 for up to 4 hours and £5 for over. For more information click on the link

Sywell Country Park, Northampton, NN6 0QX

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Sywell Country Park

Brixworth Country Park, Northampton, NN6 9DG

Irchester Country Park, Wellingborough, NN29 7DL

Fermyn Woods Country Park, Kettering, NN14 3HS

Barnwell Country Park, Oundle, PE8 5PB

Billing Aquadrome, Crow Lane, NN3 9DA
You can walk on site for free or pay to park.  Several small play areas are dotted around the site and multi use court. Northampton caravan site with fairground. The Venue has food, drink, toilet's, swimming pool and small soft play area. For more information click on the link

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Billing Aquadrome

Salcey Forest, NN7 2HX
Near Quinton Village. As the name suggests this is a forest with a small play area and The Forest CafĂ©. Perfect for woodland walks and space.  The Treetop walk is currently closed. £1.50 for an hour and £4 all day parking charges.  Often has Gruffalo trail or similar.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Salcey Forest

Stanwick Lakes, Wellingborough, NN9 6GY
Huge play area, walks and lakes.  The main play area is massive and the walk each way has some play equipment to keep the kids amused.  Toliets, cafĂ©, bike hire. Parking charges vary depending on time of year.  Winter is £2.60 and peak summer £5.60.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Stanwick Lakes

Wicksteed Park, Kettering, NN15 6NJ
Although this is mostly known as an amusement park which you need to pay for there is actually a large free play area for the kids to enjoy.  You do however need to pay to park 2 hours £3, 2 to 3 hours £4 and over 3 £6. For more information on Wicksteed click the link

Daventry Country Park, NN11 2JB

Fineshade Wood, Corby, NN17 3BB
Large woodland with play areas. Parking £1.50 for an hour, £4 all day.  Often has the Gruffalo trail or similar.

Castle Ashby, NN7 1LQ
Grounds, menagerie, cafĂ© and play area.  You have to pay to enter the grounds but can use the cafĂ© and play area with no charge.  23rd March to 4th November £8.50 adult and £3.75 over 5's. Under 5's are free. Family ticket £21 which is for 2 adults and 3 children.  5th November to 22nd March reduced facilities and £5 per car charge. Special events throughout the year.  For more information click the link

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Castle Ashby

Rushden Lakes
Well known for it's shops Rushden Lakes also has a nature walk and small play area.  The boardwalk sometimes has water sprinklers on for the little ones to enjoy and for a charge you can hire canoes, peddleboats etc. FREE parking for 5 hours.

Welland Park, Market Harborough
A little further afield but a lovely play area with cafĂ©, toliets and tennis courts. Two FREE car parks with spaces for 28 and 22 cars.  You can access them via Welland Road.

Emberton Country Park, Olney, MK46 5FJ
Located near Olney village a large flat area with play areas and small caravan & camping site. CafĂ©, toilets and fishing.  £4 parking charge April to October and £2.60 November to March.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Emberton Park

Harrold-Odell Country Park, Bedfordshire, MK43 7DS
Lovely park with cafĂ©, toilets and amazingly FREE parking.  CafĂ© open 9am to 4pm daily.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Harrold Odell

East Carlton Country Park, Market Harborough, LE16 8YF
Another country park and another with FREE parking!

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - East Carlton

Delapre Abbey, NN4 8AW
No play area but loads of open space to run around and climb trees.  Free parking.  Only need to pay for entry to the house.

Embankment Splashpark, Wellingborough, NN8 1LD
As the name suggests this is a splashpark.  Only open in the warmer months usually Easter to October half term.  This is FREE entry and parking. Usually an ice cream van or food kiosk open but not guaranteed. Toilet's are available.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Splashpark

Randall Close Park, Irthlingborough
Small play area off Randall Close.  Park nearby.

Central Recreation Ground, Irthlingborough, NN9 5TT
Large play area in Irthlingborough.  New equipment recently installed.  Gym trail too. Park nearby Scarborough Street.

Les O'Dell Pocket Park, Irthlingborough
Small play area. Park nearby.

Rushmere Country Park, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0EB
Woodland and sculpture trail. Famous for the big chair! Special events throughout the year Treetops CafĂ©. Parking is £3 For more information click on the link

I have got videos on a few parks or days out in Northamptonshire on my channel if you fancy a browse or some inspiration.

Wootton Recreation Ground
Curtlee Hill near the Wootton community & sports centre. Multi use games area and play equipment,  Big playing field.

Victoria Park, St James, Northampton
We parked on Muscott Street but others are nearby. Small enclosed park with some new equipment.  Big playing field and multi use court.

Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Victoria park

Semilong Park, St Andrew's Road near Uppingham Street
Small play equipment park ideal for pre schoolers.

Upton, Clickers Place near Upton shop.
Small play equipment park.  Upton Country Park is a few minutes away which is a huge field ideal for a walk, bike ride and kicking a football about.

Parks and Playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Upton

Dallington Park, Dallington Park Road/Harlestone Road.
Play equipment and large playing field.  The play park is split in 2 with one side more for toddlers/pre schoolers. 2 basket swings and large dragon swing.  Car park is available and was very easy to park.

Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire

Errington Park, Ryeland Road, Duston
Small play equipment area and large playing field with multi use games area. Several entrances onto the field we used Park Avenue.

Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - Errington

Old Duston, behind St Luke's school.
Pathway off Millway takes you to a small park and playing field. Can also access via Melbourne Lane.

St Crispin's Park, St Crispin's Drive/Frank Large Walk
Car parking available.  Play equipment and large playing field.

Parks and playgrounds in Northamptonshire - St Crispins

Roade Village, near Stratford Road/High Street
This has been refurbished and Churchcroft has a new toddler play area (I am unfamiliar with the area so unsure exactly where this is.  A picture is shown on the village website.

Moulton Village, near Church Street/Church Hill 
Small play equipment area/park.  Appears no parking but maybe able to use the co-op but check parking restrictions.

Spratton, Smith Street near Spratton Sports and Social Club
Parking available, large playing field and some play equipment.

Brixworth, Froxhill Crescent near St David's Clubhouse.
Parking available, play equipment and playing field.
2nd small play area is located on Spratton Road near junction with St David's Road.

Harlestone Firs, Harlestone Road, NN7 4EW
Not a park or somewhere with play equipment but great to get the kids in the fresh air. and enjoy a woodland walk and some open space.  Parking is available over the road.

Harlestone Firs

Bassford's Recreation Ground, Raunds, Wellingborough, NN9 6EY
This is adjacent to Raunds Town Cricket Club.  Gym and play equipment so suitable for all ages. Large playing field. 

Amos Lawrence playing field, Raunds, Wellingborough
Large playing field and skate park.

Webb Road Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
New equipment was installed July 2016 and creation of a dog park.

Saddlers Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
Smaller park aimed at children under 8. Dog exclusion zone.

Saxon Hall Play area, Raunds, Wellingborough
Had equipment especially for under 5's.  Dog exclusion zone
Saffron Road Recreation Ground, Higham Ferrers, NN10 8ED
Multi use court, skate park and play area.

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