Thursday, 20 July 2017

Nothe Fort

At the weekend we went to Weymouth for the very first time there was so much to see and do we tried to cram in as much as we could in a short space of time.  One of the attractions we visited was the Nothe Fort which I would highly recommend, it cost £18 for the four of us which is good value for the amount of time you could spend at the attraction.  

Mind you we had to view it quite quickly as we had just over 1 hour and a half left before closing time because we found the fort late in the day unfortunately.  The ticket did give us entrance to the fort for the whole year though at that price, so we can come back again if we are in the area in the future.

The staff were very friendly, the boys were told about the mice they could spot around the fort and given a clue to start them off, at the end they were awarded with a certificate for their mouse spotting skills.  They found 46 each but I think there must be many more as the nice lady said that was a good start.  The mice are celebrating 25 years at the fort this year, so we saw a sweet birthday mouse with a balloon!

The mice are funny some of them are wearing little hats relating to the room you spot them in.  How many mice can you spot in the picture below?

Even without the mice spotting the boys were very enthusiastic to be here, its quite an educational experience, we watched a short film about the purpose of Nothe Fort and that helped us make sense of everything.  We learnt about how they kept gun powder and how it was handled safely, we also walked through the Nuclear Shelter (hubbie decided this is where we will hide in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse, although I think it would be to damp personally!).   Apparently it could sleep thirty people though and had ventilation and communication services - worth knowing just in case!

You really do learn so much about history exploring the corridors and reading the exhibits. 

The boys also liked seeing the giant guns mounted on the top walls and pretending to operate one of them.

We all got a bit creeped out walking through the ghost corridor, its very spooky and you do wonder if its really haunted!!!  Apparently Nothe Fort is one of the most haunted sites in the South Coast, I think if I had known that before taking the lead walking down the corridor I might not have been so brave... the underground passages are quite eerie and atmospheric. You do get a funny feeling walking through them.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Afternoon Tea at Château Rhianfa

For my mum’s upcoming 70th birthday I treated her to afternoon tea at Château Rhianfa.  I wanted her to feel completely spoilt for her milestone birthday and what better way than a fancy afternoon tea in a charming location.

My parents appreciated the pretty china teacups and saucers.

It was a generous spread with tasty finger sandwiches, quiche, gorgeous cakes and tarts, all priced at £19.95 per person.  Plenty of choice and lovely homemade treats in such an idyllic setting meant it really was the most perfect early birthday present.

From my mum’s positive experience of the place I would whole-heartedly recommend this venue for afternoon tea, I am slightly jealous I wasn’t attending myself, but it was a treat just for my mum and dad.  If you cannot manage everything don't worry the staff were only too happy to wrap leftovers up for you to take away with you.  My mum and dad enjoyed their leftovers at supper.

Château Rhianfa has incredible views across the Menai Straits to Snowdonia; it really is very well situated.  If you are in Anglesey on holiday you really must visit this impressive French-Chateau inspired mansion and attractive gardens.  It has such character.

The staff were very friendly and accommodating, they even printed out a leaflet about the history of the property as my dad was quite interested to learn more.  It's nice they go over and beyond in terms of service.

The property was originally built as a dower house for Lady Sarah Hay-Williams as back then title and properties would pass on to the next male heir and Sir John Hay-Williams only had two daughters with his wife.  It’s fascinating how times have changed.

It is such a grand house that is well worth exploring and with such care and attention to detail in developing appetising menus it’s a culinary experience not to be missed.

Afternoon tea is available every day between 2pm and 4pm.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Llynnon Mill Anglesey

I was excited to visit this windmill during our recent weekend break to Anglesey; Llynnon Mill is actually the only working windmill in Wales so it’s a bit special really.  Plus it does look lovely with its sails!

The mill was built in 1776 by Herbert Jones at a cost of £529.11s.op and at the time was considered high-tech!  Nowadays we have moved on from windmills which is a shame really as they are so attractive to look at, much nicer than the modern equivalent.

You have to pay to visit the windmill - a family of four costs £11, we didn’t stay long, but I still felt it was value for money for something a bit more unique.  Alongside the windmill you can also see two roundhouses (only one you can go inside at the moment to learn more about Iron Age farmers, the other is mainly used for school visits), there is also a family friendly walk (we didn’t manage this as we had already done a big walk that morning and couldn’t face another one just yet!) and a tearoom where we stopped for lunch.  The staff were very friendly both in the tearoom and the shop.  It wasn’t very busy so it was easy to get pictures without lots of people being in the way!

I would have liked to take lots more pictures of the windmill itself but it was a family trip and my boys were getting restless, eager to see what they would find inside.

Inside the windmill I wasn’t so keen on climbing the ladders although eldest didn't seem to mind neither did his uncle, all but the top layer is accessible, but it’s interesting just being able to visit somewhere a bit different and learn more about the inner workings of the mill.  

We learnt those milling had to stay close to the mill at all times with the only exception being to go to church.  It was hard work but the miller was very well respected in the community.

I am enjoying trying more varied attractions with my boys and not just the usual theme parks and farm set-ups to give them a wider experience of life as a whole.  So I was pleased our weekend managed to cover a jail, a lighthouse and this wonderful mill, not a bad combination really!