I think, at the grand old age of 28 that this was my very first visit to the circus! I really don’t have any memories of going to one before but in case I did, I apologise to my family if they did take me! Given I hadn’t been to the circus before but had heard many things about them over the years, I wasn’t too sure exactly what to expect. I was hoping for a big circus tent, lots of entertainment and some tense, mouth-dropping moments. Luckily, Paulos Circus provided me with all of these!
We arrived at Darts Farm in Topsham and parked easily – there’s a big field with tons of room. I was very excited to see it was a real big top circus tent and we collected our tickets easily. As it was a Thursday night it wasn’t too busy when we arrived and we were able to choose from plenty of seats. It certainly filled up as we got closer to the show time though, so I would recommend arriving early if you want seats close to the front.
There were popcorn, cider and fizzy drinks on offer and we couldn’t resist a bag of tasty popcorn to munch on whilst we watched the show. There’s no interval or breaks during the show so you have to buy these bits should you want them before the show starts – always good to know I think as when you go and see a show you don’t want to be caught out when you realise there’s no interval so you won’t be having an ice cream. This has definitely happened to me before – devastating!
Let the Show Begin!
The show started with some face paced stunts from Los Sanchez – a trio who take on the wheel of death and tease you, leading you to believe they are going to fall off! It was pretty impressive to watch them run around, jump and leap over the giant wheels; I couldn’t stop thinking “but what if they fell?!”
Next came something just as nerve-racking to watch – knife throwing! This was entertaining to watch but I’m glad I wasn’t the lady having to spin on a wheel whilst having knives thrown at me! James Bond eat your heart out for sure!
Laserman was up next which I think was both mine and Nathan’s favourite part of the show. The lights were super colourful and bright and timed perfectly to some foot tapping music. At one point I did think I might need to put my sunglasses on through as the lights were so bright! So if you have sensitive eyes like me maybe bear this in mind! It was quite hard to take pictures of the lasers and lights as they moved so quickly so do excuse some of the blurry pics!
Next, we met Mr N, a friendly, funny chappy who you meet several times during the show. He enjoyed getting a young lady up from the audience to bring her on stage –so if you’re not up for a bit of audience participation then pick your seat wisely! Mr N was pretty funny, got quite a few laughs, especially from the children who found his dancing very comedic!
As if that wasn’t enough there was juggling and an aerialist who performed a beautiful routine high up on a hoop. I wasn’t able to get any decent pictures of the hoop act but it really was quite a sight to see Ms Aurelie dangling, swishing and swopping through the air on an LED rainbow hoop!
All of the acts are introduced by the fab ring master who gets the audience going and has a funny sketch with Mr N which made us laugh. We enjoyed the Michael Jackson throwback too!
The show ends with a brilliant finale involving the return of Los Sanchez who balance themselves, a chair and a bicycle on a tightrope – no mean feat I don’t think! This was the perfect way to end the show and get the audience feeling nervously excited. It definitely added a real sense of drama and I could hear children gasping in terror/awe all around me.
For £7 per person, I think Paulos Circus is a great show and fun for all the family. There’s entrainment to suit all ages and lots to keep children gripped and amused. The costumes and makeup were brilliant and the loud, pumping music really get the audience going too. The show lasts about an hour and 15 minutes and is fun and entertaining.
Don’t let your children be like me and get to 28 years old having never been to the childhood tradition of the circus! Take them to witness the magical spectacle that is Paulos Circus and I’m sure they won’t forget it!
Paulos Circus will be down in Newquay, Cornwall for the rest of summer until September 8th so be sure to go check it out! Check out their Facebook page for dates and further info!
*** Our tickets to see the show were provided to us by Paulos Circus free to charge in return for this blog review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own***
Have you ever been to the circus? What’s your favourite circus act to watch? Let me know in the comments below!
A sunny afternoon in June took me to The Wood Life – a family run, luxury glamping experience in the heart of Devon. Located near the beautiful village of Kenn, a few miles outside of Exeter, you arrive at the site through some very narrow lanes and are awarded with some amazing countryside views.
Welcome to The Wood Life
After navigating my way down the narrow lanes and passing through a working farm I arrived at The Wood Life Glamping and was warmly greeted by hosts Amanda and Matt. Amanda led me to my home the night and lovingly showed me around. The Orchard Wagon site is secluded and private and offers the most wonderful views of the Devon countryside. Amanda was able to tell me about the old orchard site, other The Wood Life ventures and ensured I had all I needed for my solo one-night stay. I immediately fell in love with the area and was excited to explore the Shepard’s Hut and Bathing Wagon.
After Amanda left me too it and I unpacked the car, I spent ages looking around the wagons and taking photos – the place was just so photogenic and Instagram worthy!
A Delightful Shepard’s Hut
The Shepard’s Hut is the sleeping area and is just simply stunning. Opening the hut’s stable doors you are greeted with the welcoming sight of a beautiful handmade wooden bed, made up with crisp white sheets and comfy looking cushions. The bed is really well spaced and is positioned differently to many other huts I have seen. The bed is vertically placed, allowing for space either side for individuals to climb in – no clambering over your partner in the middle of the night or being squashed up against the wall! I was amazed at how much space there was in the beautifully decorated wagon; as well as the full-size double bed there was room for a foldable table and chairs, soft chair, table with a kettle, and a fridge.
Mains lighting is provided as well as plug sockets and cute lantern bedside lights. I loved how organic the place felt and enjoyed looking at the huge local map situated on one of the walls – it’s always nice to learn a little about where you are visiting and the nature that’s surrounding you.
A Bath with a View
Next to explore was the separate bathing wagon. Wow, what a magical bathroom this was! I couldn’t believe how beautiful the wooden decorated the wagon was and how stunning the built-in bath, sink and toilet were. Clean towels and toiletries were provided and everything was super clean, even the compost toilet!
The bath was beautiful and had the most incredible views of the countryside – I’ve never had a more relaxing bath with such beautiful views. You can open up the windows, so you can admire the view better, breathe in the smell of countryside and bathe listening to birdsong. I did have to work for the warm bubble bath though as you are required to heat the water for the bathroom using the wood burning stove – this was quite an experience and took me a little while to get it going (Nathan normally sorts out the fires, but he wasn’t with me this time!). The bath is well worth the wait and the perseverance though, and I think I enjoyed the luxurious bath more knowing I had worked for it!
Cooking and Chilling
My private, little glamping site also had a lovely place to sit outside and chill. Rustic table and chairs were provided, and I enjoyed sitting with a cup of tea and book enjoying the views in the late evening sunshine. A fire pit is available to cook on – I used the chopping wood and axe provided to chop wood for a fire and cooked some beef burgers. There’s something so magical about getting back to nature, making your own fire and cooking over an open flame (I might have used some of the provided firelighters to help get it going but still!) All pots, pans, crockery and cutlery are provided, and I enjoyed my burgers with some coleslaw and salad – yum yum! I sat eating them outside in the peace and quiet – it really is very tranquil, with only the sounds of the birds and cows to be heard.
If you don’t fancy the fire pit or the weather isn’t too good, then there is the option of cooking undercover at the kitchen and washing up area. There’s all you need to do some cooking, including a two-burner stove and cupboards to keep your dry food in. There are plenty of fresh herbs too which you are invited to pick. There’s a washing up area with sink, drying rack and all you need to clean the pots and pans. A Dutch oven is also available for use if on those colder nights guests fancy cooking up a stew, casserole or chilli over the fire pit. I think if I had been staying more than one night then this is certainly something I would have tried.
Location and Price
The Wood Life is situated in a great location to allow visitors to make the most of exploring Devon. The exact location is sent to you after booking but as the website states, it is close to Exeter city centre, surrounded by Haldon Forest and is only 3 miles from the South West Coast Path. Both the cute seaside town of Dawlish is within easy reach, as is the wild and rugged Dartmoor.
As well as offering the Orchard Wagon site, The Wood Life has a Woodland Camp which offers a cool and cosy looking safari tent situated in private woodland and sleeps up to 6 people. With its comfy interior, cooking facilities and kiddie favourites of a tree house, sea-saw and swing, it sounds ideal for family holidays. You can find out more information on The Wood Life website by clicking here.
Amanda and Matt are really interested in sustainable woodland management and a lot of the wood you see used at the site was sourced locally by Matt who offers woodland skill course and makes beautiful unique wood and glass tables. Knowing the stunning bed had been crafted the owners using local wood gave it such an organic and homemade feel which I loved.
Whilst I was lucky enough to stay for free, a night in the Orchard Wagon typically costs £100 which I think is very reasonable given its uniqueness and luxury feel. More information can be found on The Wood Life Facebook page.
Having experienced such a wonderful, relaxing, comfortable stay and having a bath with the best view ever, it is easy to see why The Wood Life was featured in the Guardian’s 10 best luxury campsites! It really is such a peaceful and natural place – I felt so relaxed and rested during my stay that I was so reluctant to leave! The visitors’ book is full of high praise for Amanda and Matt and details wonderful reviews of the glamping site – I’m glad I am not the only one that just totally fell in love with the place! Whilst I visited for the purposes of my review and was alone, I can see how the site would be so romantic if there with a loved one. It was shame Nathan was working and couldn’t join me, however, I really valued the quality me-time and the chance to really unwind and chill out!
I came away from my stay at the Wood Life having enjoyed a relaxing, peaceful woodland glamping experience. Both the sleeping accommodation and bathing wagon were beautifully decorated and furnished to such a high standard. The bath provided me with the most awesome countryside views and the homemade wooden bed allowed me to have such a comfy sleep. Chopping wood, cooking on the open fire pit and eating al fresco really took me back to basics and immersed me in nature. Situated against the backdrop of the gorgeous countryside and woodland forest views allowed me to enjoy an evening of pure relaxation and soak up the naturally tranquil atmosphere. Working to light the fire and heat the bathroom water provided me with a bit of challenge and made the bath all the more enjoyable knowing I had needed to work for it – I gained an odd sense of satisfaction from it!
In all seriousness, I had such a wonderful stay here and would return in a heartbeat! I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Wood Life for a luxurious, romantic glamping stay and hope guests continue to enjoy all the site has to offer.
•••Whilst my stay was provided by The Wood Life on a complimentary basis, all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own***
After staying for a couple of nights in glamping pod at nearby Andrewshayes Holiday Park we took the short drive to Wildwood Escot which is in Ottery St Mary, Devon. Wildwood Escot offers a fun family day out and can be enjoyed by all ages. You can even join for the year and receive membership for as little as £3.50 a month – find out more information here.
We certainly made use of the map!
Wildwood Escot is well signposted, easy to find and located on the Escot Estate. On arrival, we parked up in the large car park and were warmly greeted by the staff at the entrance. The ladies in the shop told us a little about Wildwood and gave us a list of the day’s animals feeds and talks. We were just in time to see listen to the red squirrel talk so we headed to their enclosure first.
Red Squirrel Encounter
The red squirrels can be seen in their walk-through enclosure. We arrived just as a little red squirrel was nibbling on some nuts being given to her by one of the parks keepers. She soon scampers off though and we had to be quick to try and track her movements! The keeper was friendly and knowledgeable and happy to answer my questions. You can have kid’s parties at Wildwood Escot (how much fun would this be?!) or get up close with some of the animals through private feeding sessions. Find out more on the Wildwood Escot Twitter page.
Peacocks and Roses
Next, we made our way further into the park admitting the roses in the gardens and the beautiful peacocks wandering around. Peacocks are such beautiful birds aren’t they – simply stunning!
Such beautiful birds
Meeting the Inhabitants
We passed wildcats, wild boar and owls to find the wolf enclosure.
The Wolves Dinner
The talk for the wolves was detailed and interesting and we got to see the 7 strong pack of wolves being fed. The wolves soon disappeared once the food had run out, so I was pleased we got to see them – I think if we hadn’t attended the feeding session it would have been unlikely we would have seen them. You can see some awesome pictures of the wolves and other animals of the Wildwood Escot Instagram feed.
After looking at the list of talks for the day we saw there was a little gap before the next talk. This meant it was time to visit the Coach House Café where we sat outside and enjoyed a cheeky pasty and chips each for lunch. The café sells a range of hot food, sandwiches and cakes and plenty of drink options. There’s seating both inside and outside so you have a choice if the sun is shining.
Time for a Show
After lunch, we made our way to the bird of prey area. We took our seats on a bench and before long a falcon was flying around and being fed its lunch. The display began, and we were lucky enough to see four different birds being flown. The presenter was informative and interesting and told us lots about each of the birds and what they liked to eat and how they hunted.
Such a great show
I enjoyed the show but did worry a little bit that a bird would land on my head as this has happened previously at a bird of prey show! The show lasted half an hour and really captured the attention of the audience.
After the show, we went and had a look around the bird’s enclosures and got to see them close up.
We also got the chance to see the otters, lynx and termite pavilion. Each enclosure is accompanied by information detailing more about the animal, their natural habitats and how endangered they are. Aside from the animals, there’s loads for children to get involved in including a drop slide, pirate ship playground and soft play barn.
We took a nice walk along the many woodland paths and admired the beautiful flowers and trees surrounding us. Find out more about what you can see on the Wildwood Escot Facebook page and see videos of the animals on their YouTube channel.
The Saxon Villiage
We visited the Saxon Village but were a little confused by it. It was quite random and seemed possibly a little out of place at the park. Inside the village, there were people dressed up, (I assume as Saxons?) who were standing around a campfire. They didn’t acknowledge us which made it a little unclear as to whether they lived here or were part of the attraction?!
What about unattended boyfriends?!
We weren’t too keen on the taxidermy or animal furs. We did play a couple of games of who could knock the most bottles down though, with Nathan winning of course!!
Wildwood Escot has a beech head maze. We attempted it but after the third time of ending up lost and back at the entrance we gave up – it was too hot! We didn’t seem to be the only ones struggling either!
At the end of our visit, we passed through the gift shop which was well stocked with plenty of cuddly animals, Wildwood souvenirs and children’s clothes.
We treated ourselves to an ice cream and enjoyed it whilst admitting the free-roaming peacocks once again.
Entry to Wildwood Escot is £9.50 for adults and £8.00 for children agreed 3-17 years. There’s also the option to get a family ticket for £33.00 which includes two adults and two children. I think the prices are pretty reasonable given the range of animals on display and the additional children’s activities. I think that families could spend a full day here if they wanted too. I really recommend following the timetable for animal feeding and talks to make the most of the entry fee.
We really enjoyed our day out at Wildwood Escot and spent 4-5 hours there exploring the woodland, visiting the animals and listening to the keep animal feeds and talks. There’s lots to see and do and I think Wildwood is a perfect family day out, especially those who are animal lovers and are interested in the conservation of endangered animals. I enjoyed watching the humorous otters and loved the bird of prey display which was certainly a highlight to the day.
Thanks to all at Wildwood Escot for having us and providing us with a fun and informative day!
***Whilst entry to Wildwood Escot was provided to us on a complimentary basis, all through and opinions in this post are entirely my own.***
We arrived at the lovely Andrewshayes Holiday Park on a Friday evening in June and received a warm greeting from Clare who owns the holiday park. Clare directed us to the warden’s office to collect our keys and was helpful in giving us an overview of the park and pointed us in the right direction of the camping pod. The evening sun was shining, we were in good spirits and excited for our glamping adventure!
The Glamping Pods
Our glamping pod was clean, spacious and cosy and one of two here at Andrewshayes. The two pods are nestled in between touring caravan pitches but have a private, secluded feel to them. The pods are identical, and each one has a double bed and two single beds below. This means the pods are family friendly and can sleep up to four people – perfect for a family holiday. You are required to bring your own bedding but that was easy enough for us, we just chucked some clean sheets, pillows and my duvet in the car and it made for a very comfy place to sleep.
The pods also have a little sitting area with built-in bench seats and cushions. There’s a little corner table which gives you enough room to make a cuppa tea with the kettle provided. Main’s electricity is provided with plug sockets to charge all your electrical essentials – perfect for those who like to straighten their hair whilst glamping or charge their gadgets like Nathan! I think there is a heater in there too, but we didn’t need this as it was nice and warm during our visit. There’s also strip lighting throughout the pod which adds a nice touch and means you aren’t grappling around in the dark once the sun goes down. The lighting for the bedroom and seating section are on separate switches, so if the little ones are sleeping you can still have lighting and read your book with a glass of wine in the sitting part of the pod – ideal!
Outside each pod, there is a decking area with a picnic bench and space for a BBQ. This gives you the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy an al fresco dinner – should the weather allow it!
We enjoyed BBQing some tasty food and eating outside on our bench overlooking the great Devon countryside. We were lucky enough to have a great view of the surrounding fields and made friends with the cows that grazed in the field each evening.
A Lovely Holiday Park
The holiday park has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. It offers lots of pitches for both touring caravans and tents, and is home to lots of static caravans too. There are caravans to hire, some even with their own hot tubs which sounds like luxury caravaning to me! We found the site to be quiet, despite many of the pitches being occupied around us – there was no noise at night and everyone we spoke to was friendly.
Facilities at Andrewshayes were really good which is always a bonus. There are two toilet blocks and we didn’t have to walk far from our pod to use them. The toilets and showers were spotlessly clean and for some reason, I really liked the teal colour of them! There’s a laundry too, disabled shower room and outside undercover washing up area. You can find out more about the site by visiting the Andrewhayes Holiday Park Youtube page and checking out their video tours of the site.
Lots to Keep You Entertained!
We really enjoyed making use of the brilliant amenities the holiday park offers including the games room and heated indoor swimming pool. The games room includes various gaming machines as well as 2p slot machines which of course we played the 50p challenge on! We enjoyed quite a few games of pool (who knew Nathan was so good!) and had a very fast and furious game of air hockey. There’s a change machine too so don’t worry if you forget your pennies! There was also a separate soft play area for the little ones, which looked really clean and well looked after.
The indoor, heated swimming pool was lots of fun! It was warm and a really good size. We went swimming on Saturday afternoon and had the pool to ourselves for at least half an hour before we were joined by a couple of families. As well as the main pool there is a little paddle pool for the little ones or those less confident. There are tables, chairs and pool loungers situated around the pool, so if swimming isn’t your thing then you can always lay by the pool and read a book instead! There’s showers and places to get changed too and if you’re hungry after your swim (why does that always happen?!) then you can grab a milkshake and bite to eat at the bar area which is adjacent to the pool. We didn’t visit the bar, which I think offers more of a menu and increased opening hours during peak months, but it looked like a nice place to chill of an evening and play some bingo! Check out the Andrewhayes Twitter page for added information!
Obviously, being an adventure and days out blogger I love planning trips and finding new places to visit. Given this, you can imagine my delight when we stumbled across the information room. Situated next to the reception the information room was full of leaflets and information relating to local attractions and places to visit. The leaflets covered the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and included maps of local walks and upcoming events. I certainly got a few ideas for some local places I hope to visit in the near future!
Location and Price
Andrewshayes is located in Dalwood, near Axminster in Devon. It is really close to the border of Dorset and the seaside town of Lyme Regis. The holiday park is in a brilliant location for accessing Dartmoor, the Jurassic coast and the beautiful Devon countryside. I don’t think anyone would be stuck for places to visit whatever their interests. If you need any inspiration, then the information room is the place to go!
There is a reception and shop located onsite. The reception staff were friendly and welcoming, and the shop sold all the essential holiday items, lots of tempting sweets and some BBQ bits. We did our bigger shop for dinners at the local Tesco which was about a 10-minute drive away from the site.
The price of the glamping pods ranges from £45 – £60 depending on the season in which you visit. I think this is a pretty good price if going as a family and want a little more luxury than a tent to stay in! The games room, table-tennis and swimming pool are free to people staying onsite which is a total bonus given they are sure to keep the children entertained! Check out the Andrewhayes Facebook page for more info!
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in the glamping pod at Andrewshayes Holiday Park. The site was quiet and relaxed with great facilities and amenities to keep us entertained. The pod was clean and cosy and we slept really well on the double mattress. We thought the pods were very cute and provided somewhere a little different to stay. It was nice to have the little seating area and the options to sit inside in case it rained – this is different from other glamping pods we have stayed in before where the pod is empty and has no beds or seats. We loved the decking area and being able to cook and eat outside whilst chatting to the cows – the views were pretty to wake up to as well!
I think the pods provide a special glamping experience which is perfect for both couple stays or family holidays. The holiday park is in a great location, is easy to find and is on the doorstep of so many fun attractions and lovely places to explore. The pool and games room were a highlight and provided us with lots of fun!
Big thanks to Clare and those at Andrewshayes Holiday Park for having us, we had a great two-night stay and hope to return one day in the future.
***Whilst our two-night glamping pod stay at Andrewshayes Holiday Park was complimentary, all thoughts and opinions in this post are entirely my own***
Have you ever stayed in a glamping pod? What did you think?
On the second May bank holiday, Nathan and I went for a very hot and sweaty walk around Otterton village and Landram Bay.
We started off in Otterton Villiage which was so picturesque and quaint. We followed a route that had instructions online. Somehow we managed to go completely the wrong way to start with and got ourselves a bit lost and very hot and flustered! I wasn’t best pleased, especially given how hot it was!
After retracing our steps (probably about a mile!) we made our way back to the start of the route and continued the right way! We walked through a lot of farm tracks and it was very peaceful and quiet.
We stopped off in a field for a cup of tea and to admire the beautiful views our over Landram Bay. Neither of us had been here before so enjoyed seeing a new piece of coastline.
We packed away the flask and as we started to head down across the field following the route, we came across a huge herd of cows coming straight towards us! It spooked us somewhat as we wondered where on earth they had come from and they were all lined up directly in our path. Nathan and I have had a bad experience of crossing cows before when we were at Dodman Point and some basically nearly chased us off a cliff edge! So we decided it was best to retreat and wait for the cows to pass which they did eventually!
We mad our way down to Landram Bay Holiday Park where we stopped for a cheeky magnum ice cream and some water. The holiday park was pretty busy and there were loads of people and families pouring off the beach towards the holiday park – some looking rather sunburnt!
After our quick stop, we carried on our walk, going out the other side of the holiday park and through some woodland and fields back down to Otterton Villiage. We stopped off at the pub for a pint of lemonade each as we were so hot, worn out and in need of a cold drink!
On the way back to the car we passed so many pretty cottages and lovely village houses. I bet this is such a nice place to live!
Do you like going for walks? Where’s your favourite place to go for a walk?
After staying the night at The Heritage Hotel in Torquay I drove 15 minutes to Cockington Court. Parking was easy and cost a couple of pound for a few hours. There’s a couple of different car parks in the village and at the craft centre. The craft centre is free to enter and open from 10m each day.
Cockington Court is a unique craft centre and has various art studios and shops to visit. You can visit artists who showcase their talents and welcome you in to admire their work. I enjoyed talking to Janet Ventre and hearing about the patience she needs to create her mosaic pictures and mirrors. I purchased a lovely mosaic coaster tile – I just couldn’t resist!
You can also visit Cockington Chocolate Company and see homemade chocolates being made! I looked around at the vast collection of chocolate on display – so many different flavours and cute chocolate shapes! Of course, I didn’t leave the shop entry handed!
Take some time to visit Our Glass and not only see their beautiful display of glass work but watch a demonstration of how the glass is made. I found this really interesting and again couldn’t resist treating myself to a few bits!
There’s some lovely gardens to explore and a nice walk that takes you to three pretty and tranquil lakes. I sat for ages watching some ducks and moorhens being followed around by their babies – so cute!
After all my shopping and the walk around the gardens, I needed to stop for some lunch! I visited the Tea Rooms and had a brie and bacon panini and a can of apple tango – yum yum! There’s plenty of space to sit inside and outside and a big menu to choose from.
There’s currently a trail of fun sculptures to explore around the craft centre and a fun looking children play area for the younger ones.
It was hard to believe that this place as only a mile from Torquay’s seafront – it was so green and lush you couldn’t have thought the sea was so close!
Coockington Court is a great place to visit if you like seeing local art and crafts made by passionate and talented people. I really enjoyed wandering around and treating myself to a few bits. The tea room was nice, and the gardens are a lovely place to go for a walk. I think there was even more to explore should I have had more time, so I hope to return one day soon.
Do you like arts and crafts? What’s your favourite type of art?