Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Before Mark and I were Married and lived in the Seychelles he took me to Warwick Castle. He had worked there when he was younger. We had a really great time there.

Flash forward a few years to when we had Arthur it was exactly the kind of place we were excited to show him when we visited the UK. We resisted the temptation on our previous trip as he was a little young to appreciate it.

This time around though, we knew he would absolutely love it. We had already taken him to Kenilworth Castle and he’d had a great time there.  I thought I’d share our experience with visiting Warwick Castle with our young kids!

Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

This year Warwick Castle had added a big medieval style glamping ground. While this was pretty exciting and is definitely something we will consider next time around, it did mean that the car park was now a long walk from the main entrance to the castle, not ideal with two young kids!!

We had managed to get vouchers for the park from some Cadbury’s chocolate. We (okay, mostly me) even ate a big bag of buttons on the way so we could have another one…..I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right, I am truly a hero.

It was a good thing we did have those vouchers because I was pretty shocked when I saw the entrance fees!

The castle is owned by Madame Tussaud’s (also owners of big theme parks like Thorpe Park and Alton Towers) and they have made some big changes since we had last been there. It definitely had a theme park feel to the place now.  Whether that is a good or bad thing, overall I’m still not totally decided either way!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

When it rains

We were pretty unfortunate with the weather as it started absolutely tipping it down not long after we arrived. Like everyone else we then headed inside the Great Hall and the rooms to take shelter from the rain. It was nice to walk around here, but didn’t appeal all that much to the boys. We had thought that Arthur would really like seeing all the suits of armour, but unfortunately he was really rather scared of them!!!  Freddie seemed to be enjoying it all though!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

I was a little concerned at this point that the day was going to be a wash out because there really isn’t all that much to do inside there, that would be suitable for the little ones!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Luckily for us, the rain did eventually ease up and we headed back outside. We took some lunch at one of the stalls as opposed to trying to get inside anywhere as it was packed!

Towers and Ramparts

After having a wonder around the grounds we decided we wanted to go up to the top so we left Freddie with Gran and started our trek.  In true bad blogger style I can’t remember the name of the walk that takes you around all the towers…..but the main thing to note about it, is that there are A LOT of steps.  Seriously, there are hundreds!  Its also really quite narrow and not a lot of railings on the internal steps.  Anything that was outside though felt secure with extra railings etc!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Now obviously thats because its a real Castle and health and safety was not top priority back in those days!  But, obviously its something to consider when deciding whether or not to try and take small kids up there!  Arthur, at 3, was not able to walk the whole way and definitely was getting restless on the busy steps.  The problem is that once you’ve started there aren’t really any ways out except the actual exit so that could be a bit disastrous if your kid decides to throw a bit of a wobbly!!  Luckily, no wobblies from Arthur this time but he definitely did need some help from Daddy at some points!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Aside from all that though, it was really nice to do that and there are some amazing views to be had!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

Playgrounds

After that we decided to let Arthur and Freddie stretch their legs a bit and took him to a kids park, Pageant Playground.  It was great in there with lots of different slides and walkways for Arthur to go nuts on!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

We then wandered round to the other new feature at Warwick Castle which is the Horrible Histories Maze.  This was something that we all really enjoyed, as we ‘got lost in time’

Arthur was playing it cool a little (read: totally posing for our new camera!) but he really enjoyed running around in there, finding all the different areas.

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Let me tell you, this was definitely something all ages were enjoying!  There was no way we were going to leave without having collected all the stamps first!!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Arthur clearly is no Mastermind but you didn’t have to be to enjoy the Maze!  It didn’t matter that he didn’t understand the history, he loved the whole experience of exploring the maze!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

I don’t mind admitting that I was totally down with taking the chance to turn it into a little photoshoot!!!

Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Shows and activities

There are loads of daily shows and activities at Warwick Castle, along with special events at different times of the year.  All the adults were excited about the Knights Tournament and really wanted to see the Trebuchet be fired.

With Arthur already showing that he wasn’t keen on Knights shows at Kenilworth Castle I didn’t have high hopes for Arthur being on board with this one.  Particularly since I knew it would be louder and flashier at Warwick Castle.  We tried our luck anyway but it didn’t take long for Arthur to get a little overwhelmed by it all.  Perhaps the long walk up the towers had not been such a good idea because he was totally exhausted.  I put him in the pushchair, left Freddie with everyone else and took him for a walk.  It wasn’t long before he was totally out (which is quite impressive for a boy that no longer naps!)

Freddie on the other hand, was apparently totally mesmerised and loved the whole thing!!

The knights.  Visiting Warwick Castle With Young Kids

 

Should you visit Warwick Castle with Young Kids?

In an annoyingly non committal answer; it depends.

For our kids, Id say Kenilworth Castle  was a little more suitable for them.  But, that was mostly down to Arthur being overwhelmed by the noise, business and in your face-ness that came with Warwick Castle.  There were other kids Arthur’s age that were soaking in the atmosphere!

I think that picking your day weather wise is very important, as there really isn’t all that much to keep the little ones entertained in the wet.

From what I gather, there are vouchers available a lot of the time for Warwick Castle and I would definitely take advantage of that.  You can also save 30% by booking online which is great and saves potential wait time when you arrive!

Next time we are in the UK, Arthur will be 5 and Freddie 3 (oh my!) and I think that they will get a lot more out of the day then they did this time around.

All in all though we did have lots of fun at Warwick Castle and there are plenty of great memories for us and the boys from our trip there!

Visiting Warwick Castle with Young Kids

Have you been to Warwick Castle with young kids?  Would you recommend it?

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Healthy Holidays: How to keep your family from getting ill

Healthy Holidays: how to keep your family from getting ill

Going on family holidays is always a great way to spend time together. However, there’s always the potential for your happy holiday to go awry. If someone in the family falling ill at home is difficult, it’s miserable when it happens on holiday. A stomach bug or even just a cold can throw off your plans. When an adult doesn’t feel good, they might be able to soldier on. But when one of your little ones is poorly, you can’t take them out sightseeing. The best way to keep everyone feeling in rude health is to take preventative measures. Stay healthy as a family when you next go away with these tips.

Healthy holidays

Image source

 

Choose Your Destination Carefully

Staying healthy on your holiday starts long before you leave. When you’re deciding where to go, you should think about any health risks you might encounter. The first thing you should consider is whether there are any current risks you need to take into account. For example, you might be wary of going to countries with the Zika virus at the moment. You should weigh up the things that any of you might catch, from stomach bugs to more serious illnesses. If you want to play it safe, you might limit your potential destinations to only the safest of countries.

 

Preventative Medication and Vaccinations

If you’re going to a country that might pose some health risks, you should make sure you’re ready. It’s easy to prevent a large number of illnesses and disease with vaccinations. However, you usually need to get them at least a few weeks before you travel. There could be a few things you need vaccinations for, including hepatitis, yellow fever, and rabies. It’s also a good idea to have boosters for your usual vaccinations, such as polio and MMR. Sometimes you may need pills to take, such as for malaria. Fortunately, you can easily order malaria tablets online. It makes it much easier to get ready for your holiday.

 

Be Careful with Food and Water

A lot of people are wary of eating different food or even drinking water when they travel. They’re right to be careful, although much of the time you don’t need to worry. The most important thing to do is check just how careful you need to be. In some places, you shouldn’t be drinking the tap water, but in other locations it’s fine. You might need to be more careful about washing fruit before you eat it. It’s usually a good idea to be careful about eating street food. If your stomachs aren’t used to the local food, there’s a risk of tummy trouble.
Healthy holidays
Image source

 

Be Careful of the Heat

If you don’t usually live in a particularly warm country, you’re probably not used to the heat. It’s important to be aware of the risks and how to protect everyone. Children, and especially those under two, are particularly at risk. Heat-related illnesses like heat stroke can be dangerous, so it’s essential to watch out for warning signs. You need to make sure everyone spends plenty of time in the shade and drinks enough water. When you’re out in the sun, get everyone covered up with clothes and with sunscreen.

 

Know Where to Go for Medical Help

It’s always a good idea to know where to go for medical help. In an emergency or even just when someone’s feeling under the weather, you don’t want to be frantically googling. At the very least, you need to know the emergency number in case you need an ambulance. It’s also useful to know where the nearest pharmacy is and where you can find an English-speaking doctor. A few useful phrases in the local language couldn’t go amiss, either. Just knowing a few body parts and how to say that something hurts is useful.

 

Get Out and About

Staying healthy during your holiday isn’t just about avoiding illness. It’s also a good idea to make sure you keep up healthy habits. Even though your holiday is a great time to indulge, you still need some vegetables now and then. Although you could relax by the pool for your whole holiday, getting out to do some things is a good idea too. Try to do some active things during your time away, whether it’s going for a walk or getting in the pool. It will help you make the most of your holiday time.

Keep your family happy and healthy while you’re on holiday by being prepared. You’ll all have a great time, hopefully without any illness.
Do you have any other tips that you would include to make sure you have healthy holidays?
Healthy Holidays

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My Expat Family 25

Hello and welcome to My Expat Family 25, the twenty fifth  ‘My Expat Family’ blog link up in the series

If you are new to the link up you might want to have a read of how My Expat Family started!

You may have noticed I’ve been absent for a little while, it wasn’t a planned break but I’m back and raring to go!  If you missed the last link up take a look there are loads of great posts to read!
How to join in:
  • You can start to link your posts from Thursday 13th October and I’ll leave the link up open until Sunday night.
  • As with all blog link ups they work best when the love is shared around, please do read, comment on and share as many of the other posts linked up as you can!
  • Please add the My Expat Family link up badge to the post you are sharing by copying and pasting the code from the box below into your post.
  • Tweet me the link to your post (@seychellesmama) and I’ll retweet for you as well!
  • I look forward to reading all about your expat family! Remember old and new posts are welcome!
  • Don’t forget you can also find us on Pinterest!  Check out and join the My Expat Family Pinterest board

Follow Seychellesmama’s board My expat family blog link up on Pinterest.

 

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My Expat Family.  A linky for expat bloggers!

 

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Pregnant abroad? 7 great tips to help you cope

Life doesn’t stop when you’re pregnant – and you may indeed have great fun going abroad during the nine months. Indeed, most airlines will let you fly up until 36 weeks. But it can be a daunting thought, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. Ive got seven great tips to ensure you and your bump have a stress-free, enjoyable trip.

7 great tips to help you cope with being pregnant abroad

1. Take regular breaks

When you’re travelling, be it by car, train or plane, make sure you allocate sufficient time so you’re not having to rush. It will only cause you unnecessary stress. Plus, you’ll need plenty of toilet breaks and taking time to walk around is good for your blood circulation.

2. Pack all the essentials

When you’re pregnant, you’ll want to have essentials within easy reach – so pack your bag well and take a decent supply of what you think you’ll need. Pack more of what you won’t be able to easily get elsewhere and tailor it to your own requirements – for example, I’d definitely add some more snacks to the suggestions in this graphic.

7 great tips to help you cope with being pregnant abroad
Source: The Complete Guide to Travelling When Pregnant

I’d also suggest taking a good book as the perfect remedy to any hormone rollercoasters and to distract you from any dodgy tummy issues.

3. Choose your destination wisely

You’ll probably find it a lot easier to relax on holiday knowing there are good facilities nearby – shops for any last-minute purchases and good medical facilities, for example.

What’s more, when you’re pregnant, your limits change somewhat. Whereas on previous holidays, you might have explored cities all day and checked out the local nightlife later, you might want to take it down a notch. Create an itinerary of the must-sees and don’t be afraid to say you need extra breaks.

4. Expect some attention

If you’re in your second trimester and have an obvious baby bump, people are bound to come and chat to you. Particularly in Mediterranean countries, pregnant women will be the centre of attention – so don’t worry if they’re addressing your bump, not you.

It will also work in your favour as the bump is internationally recognised and can make it easier to express your condition – including receiving any extra help you might need.

5. Check in with your doctor

Before you set off, it’s a good idea to make sure your midwife is comfortable with you travelling. Also, as Parenting says, some airlines might require a note from your practitioner that states your due date, and that you have clearance to fly. Make sure you check beforehand.

6. Be cautious of food and water safety

As Gadling explains, pregnant women are more susceptible to food poisoning than the average person, as the immune system is suppressed so it doesn’t reject the fetus. So make sure you stick to bottled water and eat in restaurants where the food is freshly prepared. Check out reviews and opt for popular places.

7. Relax

Let’s face it, there won’t be a lot of time for relaxing when your baby arrives. So make the most of your trip and take the time to chill out. You deserve it.

 

Did you travel when you were pregnant? Share your top tips below.

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UK trip Summer 2016: Kenilworth Castle

I have sat down with good intentions to write about our UK trip so many times.  We did so many different things that i felt that one post was not doing our trip any justice.

 

So instead I thought I would do a few posts about our best moments of the trip and share our favourite photos too!

About Kenilworth Castle

An absolute highlight for us was going to Kenilworth Castle.  If you have never been we can highly recommend!  The castle is 900 years old and is surrounded by beautiful Elizabethan gardens.

We took our visit while staying with Mark’s parents in Leamington Spa.  It’s a really short drive from there which was a definite bonus with the kids!

The castle is mostly ruins now but you can still get inside and explore.  Being an English Heritage site, there was loads of information around sharing the castle’s history.  Not that we got much time to sit and read any of that with Arthur keen to run around and explore!

 

It costs £10.10 per adult and £6 for 5-15.  I’m pretty sure the boys were free.  There is a family ticket for 2 adults and up to 3 kids for £26.20

English Heritage members get in for free.

 

Our trip to Kenilworth Castle

We planned our trip to be on a day where there was a Knights performance.  We thought that Arthur would be really interested in the Knights but on reflection he was a bit too young to be engaged with the ‘story’ side of it all.  The show took a while to get going and all he wanted to do was go and explore the castle.  We decided that while the crowds were sat watching the show that it was probably a good time to go and check out the castle anyway!

Arthur absolutely loved being able to run around and explore the ruins.

Kenilworth Castle Summer 2016

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle Summer 2016

Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle

There was loads of big open spaces and that was absolutely perfect for Arthur to run around like crazy!

 

Kenilworth Castle Summer 2016

 

Kenilworth Castle Summer 2016

 

Poor Freddie had already been struck down with his first ever cold by this point and so was not 100%.  He still enjoyed the fresh air and loved the big grassy areas to crawl around on.

Kenilworth Castle Summer 2016

He even came up with us to the top of the castle keep to take in the views!

Kenilworth Castle keep

Is it worth a trip?

In short, Yes!

We had a fantastic time at Kenilworth castle and we will definitely take the boys back again next time we are in the UK.  I would definitely recommend to anyone!  For us on reflection we would have been better to go on a day when there wasn’t any events on but if the boys were slightly older i’m sure they would have enjoyed that side of it.  In the end it didn’t effect us too much, apart from a bit longer queuing for drinks etc!

There are loads of areas that are pushchair accessible and lots of open spaces for kids to run around.

Events are being held at the castle all the time so take a look at their site for information on upcoming events!

taking kids to Kenilworth castle

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