I love a long weekend or mini break in the UK. There’s something so fun and exciting about packing up the car and heading off on a journey together. (with compulsory long car journey Jelly Babies) Of course going abroad is amazing, but getting on a plane with small children often makes me nervous for weeks before hand. The beauty of a mini break is that I don’t get those feelings, we just head off and go.
While I love to go away just with my little family, it’s always really fun to go away with friends or extended family, especially when there are other children going too. Recently we went away with my lovely friend and Space In Your Case colleague Alison and her family to the Peak District. It was a fantastic few days and I took so many photos. (and a little video too)
When we were deciding on where to go, one big thing that we both mentioned was that we wanted to find a place that was practical for families but also stylish. You wouldn’t actually believe how hard that it is to find. Yet we eventually discovered an absolute gem over on the Sykes Cottages website- The Old Temperance Hall in Kingsley, Staffordshire. As soon as we saw this beautiful cottage we knew that was the one for us and we counted down the days till our stay.
Here’s our little trip to the Peak District in many photos!
The view as we pulled up!
We arrived at The Old Temperance Hall on Friday evening and immediately we were blown away, the website didn’t even do this place justice. It was stunning. Open plan, large with lots of wood and exposed beams, it was the perfect entertaining home. Alison wasn’t due to be arriving until the next day so Mr E, the girls and I settled in and made ourselves at home.
The Old Temperance Hall was perfect for families, with two distinct ‘wings’ with three bedrooms (including the master which you access via some private stairs) on one side of the house and two bedrooms and another bathroom via a staircase over the other side. It really was perfect as we hadn’t ever stayed in the same place as Alison before and it meant that you weren’t in each others pockets constantly. It would be perfect for big groups of friends or family groups.
Everything about the house is geared to entertaining and socialising, with a big open plan kitchen and living room. The owners have quite obviously lovingly styled this house, with lots of gorgeous attention to detail.
The girls were so excited to have a soak in this roll top bath and I must admit I was too.
Just one of the five bedrooms.
Spot the little people! I loved The Old Temperance Hall so much, it was such a beautiful place to stay.
The girls have just got these cute little Cath Kidston onesies and we wore them for the first time while we were in the Peak District. I now have to peel them off them to put them in the wash. Mads especially loves the dinosaur ones.
Later on the Saturday afternoon we were joined by Alison. The girls got on great (they are SO similar though!) and loved having each other to play with. The rest of Saturday was spent chilling out and getting important provisions (prosecco and chocolate!) from the supermarket. Then we put the girls to bed and Mr E made fajitas for us all.
Sunday morning we headed to a place called Trentham Gardens on the recommendation of another blogging friend Kerri-Ann. Trentham Gardens is absolutely beautiful- acres upon acres of parkland, adventure playgrounds, lakes, cafes, secret gardens and even a maze- you could most definitely spend a whole day there and not get bored. Indeed there was even a band playing on a open air stage while we were there.
The girls were in heaven on the adventure playground, there as so much to do for them including little ride along cars, a zip wire, ropes and a big climbing wall. There was even a ‘barefoot’ trail where you took off your shoes and squelched through mud, leaves, gravel and dirt. We didn’t try it but Mads really wanted to, there’s foot showers and lockers for you to put towels if you do brave it!
We were so surprised at our big girl climbing this big wall.
There was literally so much for them to do at Trencham and it was so nice for them to be able to explore and run around freely without us having to hold their hands or make them watch out for cars.
The maze was a great success and we tried to race the Daddy’s to the viewing platform at the top- unfortunately they won though!
She’s growing up so fast this little one and is such a happy, smiley girl.
There was a beautiful lake in the centre so we snatched a second while Mads was playing with Alison’s family to take our littlest girl to have a look at the ducks.
I love this photo of the two of us. She’s really at the best age.
Looking for ducks, boats and swans.
Lottie and Daddy.
It was nice to sneak a few minutes with her on her own.
Look at these happy smiles. Mads and G were having the best time on this swing, they didn’t want to get off. We spent a fair few hours at Trencham Gardens before heading home and having a relaxing evening together.
The following morning we woke up and decided to head off to Alton Towers. Old Temperance Hall is only 8 miles from Alton Towers meaning it is the perfect place to stay if you fancy going to the theme park. I love this photo of them watching the iPad in their PJ’s.
We loved Alton Towers, especially CBeebies World and I was shocked that it was really quiet considering it was the summer holidays. We had a fantastic day together, going on so many rides, Mads and G especially loved the Runaway Mine Train and we all loved the Water Rapids, even LL could go on them.
I love this photo of cheeky Lottie cuddling up to her sister. I didn’t take many photos of at Alton Towers, mainly because we were having lots of fun but I did take a few snippets of video which you can see here.
Old Temperance Hall also has a gorgeous garden and decking area, unfortunately the weather wasn’t great on our stay as I would have loved to have sat out there and watched the sunset.
On the final day we headed back to Alton Towers just for the morning, before saying goodbye to Alison and her family and taking a detour to the border of Wales to visit my Grandparents. Here are Mr E and I are enjoying the thrill seeking Postman Pat ride while the girls ‘drove’ us in the front.
‘Baa’ of course comes everywhere with us! The girls loved running around in their Nana and Grandpa’s garden after a long drive.
Baa having a drink. 😉
And giving Grandpa a kiss!
I treasure these moments so much- I adore this photo.
Overall we had such a lovely time in the Peak District. Old Temperance Hall was breath taking and a perfect place to go with another family. There was so much to do on a door step and it was nice just to take a few days out to relax and have some well needed family time. Alison and her family stayed on for a few days after us but it was great to have a couple of days away. The girls had so much fun and loved all the days out we went on. The Peak District is such a beautiful part of the world and we would love to go and revisit it one day.
I didn’t film a specific video about the Peak District but you can see some snippets from our last couple of days in our Week in Our Lives video…