From Ashford to Plymouth (and Cornwall) in a fortnight

So, Easter: how did you spend yours? 

I've just looked back over my recent photos and I think I know why this Pinot and Cadbury's egg is going down so well....we've packed in a fair bit over the last fourteen days.

Our adventures began in Ashford, Kent, via an overnight with friends in Chippenham - where I managed to leave my purse and my daughter's Kindle behind!  Time to pop on some sunnies and kick off your shoes: 

Thankfully we were staying with friends in Ashford, so we shared our budget for the five days of fun. 

First stop was Folkestone beach.  

Three kids and two Mummies meant lots of stops for tea and cake, and thankfully it was only a fifteen-minute train ride (we didn't have a car big enough for all of us on this trip). Quick stop in Poundland for sand equipment (buckets and spades) and I mistakenly picked up two drinks from Starbucks.  

At the top of the hill. 

I felt a tad uncomfortable walking to the beach, down the hill through the Creative Quarter with such a visual corporate image that I clearly couldn't carry with bags and children
Plus, there were PLENTY of caffeine stops at the bottom of the hill.  

AND I forgot the milk. 

But what's a day trip without adventure, hey?

The real sense of atmosphere, however, came with that very British conversation-starter; the weather. 

One minute the beach was like this: 

A lovely early Spring day, which can be enjoyed at the beach, without the need for too much SPF.  Perfect for chips and cups of tea. 

The next minute I felt like I was in a real-life-inspired Keane song, when the sea fog came rolling in: 

Never in all my years of living on the border of Devon and Cornwall have I seen this phenomenon - loved it!  

We celebrated our survival by enjoying tea and cake on the way back up the hill....after bribing our three darlings with all kinds of confectionery, providing they didn't moan about how big the hill was.  

They didn't, and they were suitably sugared-up for the return journey home.  

Where we enjoyed more tea and cake.  Before hitting the post-bedtime rum and Easter eggs. 

I'm a believer in down-time when trying to entertain Mini-Me, and more so when she's living with extroverted friends for a week.  So we had a quiet day at the park the following day.  

Ever tried to herd kittens? Only their shoes remained together.  

More tea and cake post-park visit.  

We found time for a spot of Easter egg hunting at the Ashford Designer Outlet (another chance for a spot of McDonald's Monopoly, which I've been a bit addicted to this month; anyone need a Trafalgar Square or Vine Street?).  

Alas, shopping with three children, at least two of which hate shopping (including Mini-Me. At the moment; we're in training), meant we walked straight past the shops, and took full advantage of the play park, the newly-opened Patisserie Valarie and said free Easter activities.

Time for another big day out, so we took the bus to the fabulous Port Lympne Safari Park (more language chaos, as the park name doesn't sound like I want it to).   

Tigers and rhinos and giraffes, oh, my.  

And a well-informed, fantabulous Dinosaur Forest, that wasn't at all scary, honest. 

And another big-hill-survival-afternoon-tea.

(No photos taken; too busy devouring chocolate). 

And then came the part of the journey I was dreading the most - travelling to London, and through London, on the Underground, for the first time with Mini-Me and all our luggage (I'm successful at failing to pack light, every time) from St Pancras to Paddington, in time to catch lunch and our Plymouth train. 

No problems at all; Mini-Me is a born traveller, and there was even time for a quick photo - wonder if anyone has had their photo taken at every Underground station?

Thanks to the dictionary and stationery I packed in the mini travel bag (and lots of snacks) the journey from London to Plymouth wasn't as arduous as I'd expected. 

ABC on the GWR

Once back in the South West we managed to head to Mount Edgecumbe, where I indulged in a little Austen-esque embroidery, while Mini-Me and MrS15S skimmed stones: 

We also fit in a little visit to Looe, on possibly the coldest day of the Easter holidays, and we didn't have any coats *that's how Westcountry I've become*: 

But it meant we could indulge in a little Fish and Chips.  Tucked in the back of Dave's Diner to keep warm: 

Add in board games for teaching numeracy and literacy, geography for distances and landmarks, and biology for animals spotted, and I think we've had a good practice run for the summer holidays.  All I need to remember: have ducky, will travel. Oh, and to try not to leave my purse behind.

I'd love to hear your favourite rememberies this Easter!


  1. Looked like a fab and busy Easter holiday. Ours was boring compare to yours! We didn't book anything, because I packed my job in, we need to be careful with money. But so far I am happy again, that's just proven money can't buy happiness! lol..

  2. Ah, so pleased you have your life back... No job is worth being unhappy over!