Monday, 15 January 2018

Stanwick Lakes

Stanwick Lakes is one of our favourite places for some fresh air and exercise in Northamptonshire.  It suits both children (aged 7 and 10) and I love it too.

Stanwick Lakes is off the Stanwick roundabout on the A45 in Northamptonshire 8 miles from Wellingborough.  For Satnav purposes the postcode is NN9 6GY.  The site is open from 7am to 9pm (7pm in winter) and Visitor centre for information, snacks, toilets and indoor toddler play area is open 10am to 5pm. Car parking charges vary depending on time spent there and season.  Currently £2.50 in winter and between £3.50 and £5.50 in the summer. (Cash only parking)

The most impressive thing for the kids is the enormous central play area, with climbing frames, slides, swings, water play areas, sand and tunnels.  On either side is a walk/cycle track for you to explore.  One way takes you to the obstacle course for older children.  My 7 year old finds some parts challenging and its great fun.  The other way takes you on a nice loop and past a zip wire, tyre swings and rope bridge.  There are several bird hides too and lots of lakes.  The whole area is very popular with families, walkers, bird watchers, cyclists and horse riders (permit required).

In the summer months it can get very busy an I've often ended up in the overflow car park but in the winter it is quite quiet and a great way to blow away the cobwebs.  Do be prepared for mud though as in the Winter months (especially if we've had lots of rain) certain areas can get boggy especially the obstacle course area.  My kids love it though.  Mud and puddles equals fun.  Just remember a big bag to put all the muddy stuff in and maybe some spare clothes.

In the summer lots of families take picnics and the kids playing in the central area wear swimming costumes and run about for hours.  There's also a BBQ area next to this for super prepared families.  So take along a disposable BBQ, your sausages and enjoy!

Tyre swing

On a very muddy/hot water fun day!

The rope bridge

Zip wire fun

Beautiful views
The site also runs a holiday club which might be of benefit to some families.  It is run during Easter, May and Summer holidays providing activities for up to 23 children aged between 5 and 11 years. 3 time slots are available 9am – 3pm £22, 8.50am – 5.10pm £25 or 8.30am – 5.45pm £28.

Next time you are in the area I 100% recommend Stanwick Lakes.

Emma xxx

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Breakfree/Daily Mail Holiday Offer

Every year I book a holiday through the Breakfree/Daily Mail promotion and squeeze in a cheaper holiday to break up the year.  We usually go away for Easter or October half term.

I'd like to share with you the hows and top tips for anybody new to this holiday promotion.

Daily Mail Campaign booked through Breakfree Holidays

Collect five different passwords from the Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday.  The current promo started Saturday 30th December and booking online opened at Midnight Wednesday 3rd January.

The promotion will close on 26th February.

The booking codes you need for this current promotion are



You can also book for postal booking form which is in the Daily Mail.

Prices are from £15 per person and based on 4.  So the cheapest deal available is £60.  For peak holidays a supplement of £6 per person is added so the cheapest deal is £84.

Depending on the site you choose other supplements are added.  My advice is to always price up the holiday you are looking for direct with the holiday provider so you can see what savings are available.

An example of supplementary charges are £8.75 per unit per night for service charge, £12.50 per person per break for entertainment passes (under 5's free).  Most sites offer some dates with half price offers on these charges or even free but are always off peak.

If you have pre school children there are loads of dates and cheap deals available including Butlins Tots breaks.

Prices are higher than they used to be but you can still save money.  On the holiday I have just booked I have saved £133 and potentially £190.  I have booked a comfort van and from experience this means I will either receive a standard or deluxe van at Haven. 

There is an amazing closed Facebook group called Breakfreeholidays run by Jason Milner and Gillian Read.  They do a fantastic job of updating and running a huge page and its the best place to get codes and dates.

Here's a link to the Facebook group Breakfreeholidays

Breakfree also run a local paper promotion which starts today (3rd January)

Prices are from £10/£15.  Collect 6 passwords from your local paper.  Booking opens 6th January.  First code is CHUMS
Booking Link

I have used this before but do not know as much about the supplementary charges so make sure you read all the information before booking.

Happy holiday searching and hope you get what you want.

I checked just before typing this and most of Easter has gone but there was availability for May Half Term and some for end of August.  For the pre schoolers lots of availability.

Emma xxx