Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth | Review

Merrivale Model Village

Whenever we go on holiday in the UK and I’m planning days out, I’ll often try and find a model village nearby. I think they’re so interesting; the time & effort that must go into them, and walking round we all feel like giants! We love spotting country famous landmarks, and also places that are local to the model village. We’d visited Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth as a couple, years ago now, but the boys had never been.

Welcome to Merrivale Model Village,one of Great Yarmouth’s best-loved attractions, a fantastic model village set in an acre of floral landscaped gardens on the sea front.Take your time to discover this captivating model village and its charming inhabitants. … Sit back and relax in the beautiful gardens surrounding Merrivale model village and be enchanted by every-day life in miniature. Read more

A day out at Rand Farm Park

I may have mentioned before but on a Tuesday we go to a play group involving soft play and sensory activities. The group is funded by the local community centre and at the end of the block of sessions, if there are enough funds available, then we get to go on a trip. At the end of last year’s sessions at Christmas we had a country park and Father Christmas visit; this time we were lucky enough to get a trip to Rand Farm Park. I’ve wanted to take the boys for ages but we’ve just never got around to it so I was really excited.

When we arrived I was quite surprised as I didn’t realise how big the whole place was, definitely a lot bigger than any other farm park we have visited. With the farm itself, activities within the farm, eating areas, an indoor soft play area, and the addition of a huge adventure playground which spans four acres in itself, you can imagine how big the farm park is.
As we only had a few hours as some parents had to be back for school pick up, the first thing we did when we arrived was visit the animals. Our lovely play group leader (Sharon) bought us all some animal feed so we fed some of them. We visited some cows first and I must admit I’ve always been too scared to feed larger animals as I’m scared they’re going to bite me or something (wimp!) but I thought that if I actually did it then J wouldn’t be so scared to. He wasn’t keen on feeding them and I don’t blame him either as my hand was covered in snot afterwards, yuck! It was pretty cool feeding a cow by hand though! Hubby had a go too. N wasn’t so keen on the size of them as he had a bit of a cry, bless him.
We then headed to see the rabbits – which J was rather taken by – and some chickens, and then J stroked a guinea pig. 
After this was the barn area where there were so many cute baby animals! There were piglets, lambs, kids, and we managed to see some calves who had just been born that day; they were still stumbling about and still had their umbilical cords attached – that was pretty awesome to see! 

We saw tortoises, chinchillas, parrots, and visited the hatchery too. N was much more relaxed in here and found the chickens rather amusing!

Before we had our own lunch we stopped back to see the babies being fed. There were other school trips there who fed the lambs so J didn’t get chance, but he was able to help feed the older calves instead. I’ve fed them elsewhere and they really do gobble those bottles down!
We decided to catch the train ride into the fields before lunch too as we wouldn’t have had time for the next one.
We finally had some lunch – which I never actually captured a photo of as I was too hungry – then we found the brilliant bouncing pillows in the adventure playground. It was actually the first time I’d been on one as the other two times we have visited places with them, hubby & J have been on and I’ve stayed with N as he was too small. So it was N’s first time too, and he absolutely loved it – we all did! 

The boys fell asleep on the way home as they were exhausted from the fun!

We had so much fun and will definitely be visiting again as a family. The staff are so friendly and helpful with any questions about the animals, and there is so much to explore – the only extra cost is the purchase of food (we didn’t purchase any food so I can’t comment on that). It is more than worth the £9.95 entry fee, with family and season tickets available.
Our rating – 5/5
We visited as part of a paid for group and I wasn’t asked to write this review, I just wanted to share our experience! All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

Christmas magic, dinosaurs, and playground fun

On Monday we visited Brigg Garden Centre as they now have their huge Christmas shop open and it was a tradition we had to visit with my mother-in-law before she passed away. I wanted to take J & N to see all the Christmas pretties (okay, maybe it was me who wanted to see them) and they have recently had a new play area built so we though we could make a little afternoon of it and J could have a play after we’d had a (long) wander around.

They usually have some kind of magical display in their Christmas Land and I couldn’t wait to see what it was this year. It really was magical this year…

I think we must have spent about an hour just looking around the Christmas stuff, I just have to look at everything and wish I could buy the whole shop! I found an amazingly beautiful tree if anyone can spare £999 to buy me it? No? Never mind…

Once we’d finished there, we had a quick look around the main shop then went outside as they have a polar bear band which is fantastic; we also got our photos taken with a polar bear! (Though husband is rubbish at photos so he chopped his head off!). You can also visit Santa (but we’re waiting until December for that) and they have a train ride, but J wouldn’t have wanted to stay on it so we didn’t bother.


A video posted by Stacey (@staceyg_nobodysaiditwaseasy) on

We had some fun with the magic mirrors… (I want that skinny one at home – I can be slim every day then!)

We also met some dinosaurs living among the plants… I thought J would be terrified but no, he wanted to stroke them!

We then nipped outside to the new play area which I knew J would love as he loves being outside and it’s very difficult to drag him away from a play area! We told him he could have a ‘special juice’ (Fruit Shoot – I know, I know) which did the trick though! Best of all, it’s all free (except Santa and the train ride). We’ll definitely be back more in the summer though it will be mega busy then – I usually just visit for Christmas Land!

Stockeld Park – The Summer Adventure

I’ve mentioned a couple of times previously that we very rarely plan days out as we never know when hubby’s day off is going to be, so any time we get the chance to do something fun, I’m very eager. We were recently invited to Stockeld Park for the VIP preview of their Summer Adventure opening, and I couldn’t wait to take my boys! After watching the preview video on their website, I was so excited.

Stockeld Park is located on the A661 between Harrogate & Leeds, not far from Wetherby. (In fact we drove through Wetherby and it also looks like a lovely little place to visit). It is owned by Peter & Susie Grant who live there with their five children. Life never stands still as they are always working to ensure that the park continues to provide fun for everyone.

There is so much to explore & do at Stockeld Park – so much so that in the time we were there we didn’t manage to explore everything. Woodland with the Enchanted Forest containing sculptures and themed adventure playground areas; lots of green field space to run around; go karts; a giant inflatable pillow; a giant inflatable slide; an outdoor roller rink; a maze; an electric scooter trail; and an indoor area for rainy days.

On arrival we were greeted with a drinks reception and a goody bag (with a BBQ dinner to follow), which led onto the huge green area – and it really was green & lush considering the hot sunny weather we have had recently. There is a marquee with extra seating which houses an ice cream parlour, and plenty of space to put a picnic blanket down or benches to sit at & eat.

N wanted feeding pretty much as soon as we got there but as soon as J saw the open space in front of him, he wanted to be off. One of the first things he spotted was the huge inflatable slide which he managed to drag Daddy on numerous times! I watched from a distance and thought it looked so much fun – I wasn’t so sure though when J dragged me on! For the unfit among us it takes some climbing up, and then it’s so high once you get up there and fast to go down, but if I was a kid again I would have found it amazing!

After we’d had dinner N was asleep so I strapped him to me in the carrier and the big & little man discovered the giant inflatable pillow – now I have been on one of these before and wanted to go on this one but obviously couldn’t, but it was so funny watching hubby & J on there! I think they must have spent a good 20-30 minutes on there just bouncing and having fun. 

J went to explore some more and headed towards the go-karts which were just a bit too big for him, so daddy took him on one (I think Daddy was secretly excited at this). The track is quite small, but as it turns out, J wasn’t so keen and actually tried jumping off half way around so Daddy had to cuddle him to keep him on until he’d pedaled all the way around! Next to all of the above was the little ‘wooden park’ with a few different tractor climbing frames & slides which J spent a while on (Mummy & N even had a sit on one).

As we arrived a little late these were the only things we really managed to do as we couldn’t drag J away from the inflatables, though I wanted to go and explore the Enchanted Forest as I think J would have loved it – from the images on the website you can see that there are toadstool houses which I was going to tell J that it was a certain fairy village! I think he would have also absolutely loved the play areas in there.

We popped inside on the way out to nip to the toilet and discovered the activities to do inside. There is another (smaller) inflatable pillow so you don’t have to miss out if it’s raining; a huge bouncy castle; retro games; giant lego; and a play house. All of this is located next door to the large Woodland Cafe, and though I didn’t go directly inside I had a peek at the gift shop which looks quite substantial too. (Though I didn’t notice the prices of food or gifts).

The signage around the park is fantastic; as well as signposting all of the things to do, it’s really fairy tale which all adds to the magic & adventure for the children.

Would we go back? Yes, without a doubt! We were already discussing this before we left as we would love to explore everything the park has to offer, and I think we could really make a full day out of it – the park is open from 10 am to 6 pm (8 pm on Saturdays). The cost of entry to the park is £12 for adults and children alike – under 2’s are free so any age over that is this price. A family ticket (based on 2 adults & 2 children, or 1 adult & 3 children) costs £42. I think this is reasonably priced for the amount of activities & exploration there is for everyone. (There are also other bonus activities going on over The Summer Adventure period so be sure to check them out here to best plan your visit).

We were invited to attend this event as VIP’s but all thoughts & opinions are honest & our own.


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Afternoon at the Hall

Today we had an impromptu visit to Normanby Hall Country Park. We were originally going to a farm park but when we got there, it was closed (doh!). We decided that we weren’t just going to head back home so we thought we’d go there and let J burn off some energy. As it back to school week, it was pretty quiet apart from a few older people having a stroll and parents with babies/toddler. I like quiet, so I was pleased!

There is so much to do at Normanby Hall for both children and adults, including a play park, nature trails, tree climbing, a farming museum, walled garden, sunken garden, a tour of the Hall itself, and much more (including beautiful photo opportunities)! We headed to the park first, though I wish we’d gone on the way out as we couldn’t drag J away!

I left Daddy with him and went for a wander with N (who I was wearing). We came across this gorgeous peacock and of course I couldn’t resist some photos.

After Daddy had managed to drag J away, we headed to the main country park so he could have a run around. We should have taken a ball if we had known we were going (we really must keep one in the car for occasions like this) but J befriended a little girl who he played ball with for a little while! When he left her he decided he would keep taking a few steps and then roll around on the floor. He nearly had his first go at climbing a tree too after Daddy showed him, but he chickened out!

Once again I left Daddy & J to it, and headed for a wander around the sunken garden. All the times I have visited here I have never actually been in there and had a proper look. There are some gorgeous flowers and colours so I had to take a few photos. It is a lovely place for just sitting and taking in the scenery & fresh air. Also for feeding hungry babies!

We would have wandered further but it was getting on and we wanted to be home for tea. Next time we will plan in advance and take a picnic, and make a day of it. We did have to stop for an ice cream on the way out though!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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