Friday, 31 October 2008

Half term fun in Somerset and Avon

We've spent a few days in the west country, and did a few very touristy things with the children.
The drive down meant I could complete a few more granny squares for my growing blanket (picture soon!) ...

On Tuesday we visited the SS Great Britain, which was towed back to England on the back of a barge from the Falkland Islands in the 1970s and restored. In 2005 they began an expensive scheme to set it into a perspex kind of cradle, so you could walk around the hull and look up and see the ship through a layer of water. It's apparently the first scheme of its kind in the world. We'd visited it just before this was about to be done, so were keen to see the result. It was very impressive, and we spent a fab time on and around the ship.


From the bow, below the water line...


Inside, there are lots of re-creations of what life on board would have been like 160 years ago. The children loved it. They could dress up...

Pretend to cook for the passengers...

Explore first class passenger cabins (as well as cramped third class dormitories)...


The attention to detail was amazing. There's much better pics on their website here, if you're interested in visiting - it's well worth it. It got a high vote from all of us, even if the children were a little bit spooked by all the wax dummies in the cabins!


Right down at the bottom is a recreation of a stables - complete with an awfully accurate manure smell and lots of neighing. It must have been hellish down there when the ship was under way...

On Wednesday we headed to Wookey Hole Caverns. You can walk through the first 9 caverns, missing out flooded 5, 6, and 7. At least I think that's right. They are spectacular, and we had a fabulous guide. You aren't allowed flash photography, so this is from their website - it's probably the most spectacular cavern you can access (number 9) as it has a narrow walkway, and is around 70 ft in height (it's called the Cathedral Cavern).


On the way out, you get to try out papermaking in England's only surviving Victorian handmade paper mill...And there's a little dinosaur park...

And (late edit!), thank you Dancing on a blade of Grass for reminding me! There are slot machines, which I have just remembered to add a pic of as we had great fun with these. They were all from the 60s and 70s, and took me right back - you could buy 25 pennies for £2, and the kids had a lot of fun with 8 pennies apiece. They kept winning, so it was difficult to move on!


We then headed for Cheddar Gorge. Now, there's a series of steps here, Jacob's Ladder, but it costs £4 per adult and £2.50 per child, plus around £3 to park, and Cheddar heaves with tourists and shops. It's not particularly pleasant. So we avoided the crowds, drove up through the gorge, stopping to take a picture:


then parked at the top and climbed up a part of the West Mendip Way. It was a beautiful (if chilly) walk, and the kids really enjoyed the views from the top. You actually end up a lot higher than going up Jacob's ladder, and we passed very few people.
This was the view from the top of the gorge, looking out over the reservoir towards the Bristol Channel. We could see Wales, but not in this photograph!



On Thursday night, we went for a treat in Bristol. Now, I lived in Bristol for a while, and I was stunned at the new Cabot shopping centre. I've never been stunned by a shopping centre before, but if you knew Broadmead in the old days, the Cabot Circus centre is stunning (although Broadmead is still there). So, on thursday night we treated the children...


We've had a fab week.
Right, I have to go and help carve a pumpkin. And warn the not-so-young-but-game-to-help-the-children-have-fun neighbours we're a coming! Hmmmm. Wonder why that could be?! ;-)

18 comments:

April said...

what a lovely half term treat!

April xx

thriftymrs said...

Looks like lots of fun was had!

dancingonabladeofgrass said...

I was interested to see the inside of the SS Great Britain. When I saw it years ago it hadn't been fitted out at all. Glad you had such a great time... did they still have the penny slot machines at Wookey?

Sal said...

Glad to see that you had such a fab time!;-)

Elaine said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful family time Lacey xxx

Nice to have you back though.

Love and blessings
xxxxxxxxxxxx

Trish said...

welcome home to you too sweetie, looks like you had a fab time xxx

Elizabethd said...

What a lovely time you all had. The ship sounds a wonderful learning experience.

TattingChic said...

What fabulous expeditions you take your children on! I want to grow up all over again; this time with you as my mom so I can go on these fun field trips,LOL! ;)

angel said...

Looks like you had the bestest time ever *clapping* and the icklies had more fun, your a lovely Mummy.

Anyhow........................

DONT EVER LEAVE US AGAIN........ co's your not ever ever ever allowed to go nowhere anymore EVER.

Seriously its good to have you home.

Oh and what the eck where you doing in the Fast Fast lane on that motorway!!! your supposed to be in the crawler lane only.......

Loads of love Honey ..........
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MelMel said...

What an interesting trip....i am so scared of wax dummies....eeekkkkk!

I'll be catching up properly soon....just doing jobs!xx

http://lavenderhouse.typepad.com said...

glad to see there was no steering wheel in the first picture! i.e glad to see you dont drive with your knees and crochet at the same time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love Emma x

white o'morn cottage said...

A great post. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you had a ball!

MelMel said...

Hell Lacey...hows you?
I'm good bit tired...but ok....am doing a new post soon!
Hugs Melxxxxx

Rose&Bird said...

Sounds like a great week! If you're down Bristol this way again, do let me know and pop in for a cuppa!

MelMel said...

You have an award..x

Marianne said...

Hi Trish,
Thank your for kind comment. I am already addicted to the forum LOL.
Bye,
Marianne

Country Bliss said...

Looks like great fun.
Yvonne x

Lesley (Notesfrommydays) said...

wow what a good half term wish mine had been half as good :-)
those waxworks were a bit spooky eek!
thanks for visiting my blog as well :-)
Lesley x