On a sunny Sunday in October last year, Nathan and I visited the delightful and family run Miniature Pony Centre in Dartmoor, Devon. Situated deep in the Dartmoor National Park the Miniature Pony Centre is a great family attraction, fun for all ages and perfect for pony lovers!
We managed to get our hands on discounted entrance tickets to the pony centre through Groupon. The offer was for half price adult entry, meaning the tickets cost just £8.95 for us both. I can imagine if using Groupon to get tickets for a family this would really help save quite a bit of money.
Miniature Shetland Ponies
Inside the centre there is a huge herd of miniature Shetland ponies to see, some in paddocks being fed and others roaming free in the main paddock. Here visitors can make friends with the mini ponies whilst wandering around the paddock and seeing the cute little Shetlands up close. This was something neither Nathan or I had done before so was quite a fun experience.
It’s perfectly safe for you to stroke the ponies and there’s advice on how to do this. The ponies soon make it clear if they aren’t up to any company and simply walk away from you – a sure sign they aren’t interested in being petted at that time. Nathan and I found that trying to take some miniature pony selfies was harder than we anticipated!
There are also some horses residing at the pony centre which were beautiful to look at and clearly looked after very well. There’s even a unicorn present too which was a bit different!
Plenty More to See
Animal lovers will be so at home here as not only can visitors see the cute miniature Shetland ponies and horses but also see alpacas, mules, foals and goats. Various birds including peacocks and chickens can be seen roaming around too. Apparently, some rather different type of animals can be seen also – cockroaches and giant African land snails – we missed these during our visit which I think on reflection I am quite pleased about!
We noticed there was lots for children to get involved in – tractor rides, pony rides and talks on the animals too. I found myself wishing I was small enough to able to try riding a pony! I don’t think I ever did this as a child and now I feel hard done by!!
Tickets and Visitor Information
Further information and the option to pre-book ticketed can be found on the Miniature Pony Centre website. The centre had free parking, is well signposted and has it’s own café – the Paddock View Café serving a variety of hot and cold food and drinks. There’s a gift shop, parkland, and gardens to wander around and both an indoor and outdoor play area for the kids too. I quite like the sound of a pony care day too – the perfect solution for a pony mad child who wants to learn how to look after ponies and get up close and personal with them. Why isn’t this open to adults too!
The Dartmoor Pony Centre was a lovely place for an afternoon visit and we enjoyed seeing a real icon the Dartmoor National Park – the miniature Shetland pony. We enjoyed being able to see the ponies up close and having a leisurely walk around the garden areas too. I can imagine this is a great place to visit with children and with regular offers on Groupon it would be even better if some money can be saved – more spare pennies for ice cream in the centre’s Paddock View Café!
So it’s the end of May, the sun is shining and summer finally feels like it is on its way! What better time is there to start thinking about the exciting summer months ahead! Time for a summer bucket list I think!
Summer 2018 Recap
Last summer I was lucky enough to have some really great adventures and experiences. This involved loads of glamping and staying in amazing and unique places to stay such as ‘Mr Yurt’ at Petruth Paddocks Campsite in Somerset, a beautiful shepherds hut with The Wood Life in Devon and the perfect stargazing getaway at Freshwell Camping in Croyde, North Devon. If you haven’t tried glamping yet then you absolutely must put in on your bucket list for this summer!
I was also able to visit some lovely gardens including Bishop’s Palace in Wells, Somerset and the Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway in Hampshire. Various rounds of crazy golf were played with Nathan and lots of memories made at beaches all around the South West coastline. Two of my favorites have to be the glorious Westward Ho in North Devon and climbing Baggy Point in Croyde. Best of all I enjoyed a fun family week away at Brean Sands Holiday Park with my Nan, sister and her two children – so many good times!
So What About Summer 2019?
With summer 2019 fast approaching I find myself wondering what I will be getting up to and what adventures are out there to be had! As with anywhere I go or stay I always do my research online, looking at visitor information, entry prices and reviews. I also often view discount and deal sites to ensure I am getting the best deals on attraction prices, experiences or accommodation stays. Who doesn’t love a bargain?!
I recently came across the deal site latestdeals.co.uk and found they have a whole section dedicated to cheap adventure deals – ohhh yeah! The page is full of voucher codes, sale offers, and discounts on adventures and also adventure items to accompany you on your trips. I mean who doesn’t love an adventure and who doesn’t love being able to do this for cheaper?! There were a couple of deals on the site that really stood out to me and that I will be adding to my summer 2019 bucket list.
Although we mostly did glamping (glamorous camping) last year, I am keen to get back to basics this year and go camping! The Latest Deals site is offering a 2-3 person pop up tent for £20 – not sure you can go wrong with that and Nathan and I are in need of a new tent so think this will be a certain purchase for us! We have previously enjoyed a couple of camping trips in Cornwall and if the weather is good its a cheap and fun way to get away for a weekend. I’ll just need to convince Nathan to go as he is always the one responsible for putting up the tent and blowing up the air beds!
Adventure Golf Championship
Adventure golf – something Nathan and I love and do often wherever we go! I saw on the cheap adventure deals page that there’s an offer of a 33% discount on an adventure golf course which I believe saves quite a few pounds. This deal reminded me that Nathan and I need to start up our little adventure golf championship – not that we are competitive or anything! You can find out who won when we played mini golf last summer at both the Safari Adventure Golf Course in Dawlish and the Pirates Adventure Golf Course at Wookey Hole in Somerset by clicking on the links!
South West Beaches
I also want to make sure Nathan and I explore even more beaches as there are still lots that we haven’t been to in the South West yet. We really enjoy long coastal walks and picnics so this is certainly something I hope we can do more of. These days are always a relatively cheap day out as all you really need to pay for is your picnic, car park fees and of course an ice cream along the way!
After a few months of being together, Nathan and I tried a treetop ariel adventure course and what a hoot it was! Whilst it was super challenging, we laughed so much and I will never forget the experience! We absolutely must put another treetop adventure on our 2019 summer bucket list!
National Trust Summer Exhibitions
I hope we continue to visit our favourite National Trust properties and see all the changing exhibitions they offer. The gardens at National Trust properties are always so gorgeous during the summer months and a great place for a weekend walk. Some of my favourites we ventured to last year were Monks House in Sussex and Trelissick House and Gardens in Cornwall.
A Driving Experience
Something I have never tried before is any sort of driving experience. I always think I wouldn’t be interested in them or enjoy them but after looking at the 4×4 off-road adventure experience offered on the latest deals website I think I could be tempted – especially if it’s half price! I wonder if I would be any good. I did famously write my car off by driving into a recycling skip… enough said.
We are also off on a cruise (!) at the end of the summer so definitely stand by for our adventures on board! Neither of us has ever been on a cruise before and so we are super excited but a little nervous too! If anyone has any cruise advice for us then please let us know your tips in the comments below! I can’t wait to explore lots of different countries around the Med and of course lap up all the food on offer!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about my first thought ideas for my summer 2019 bucket list and it’s given you some ideas of places you can visit in the South West of England or ideas of adventures you can have more local to you. Remember, there is often always a deal to be had out there on the world wide web and so always do your research and hunt for a bargain! I really recommend using discount sites like the Latest Deals one I mentioned above as they always have great discounts and offers and you might find something you had never even thought of doing before! Happy adventuring!
What’s on your 2019 summer bucket list? Leave me a comment and let me know!±
In Dorset, I took a trip to the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum to learn more about Dorset’s criminal history and the justice system. It was super interesting but a little too busy for my liking.
I stayed in the gorgeous Hideaway at Kingsland Farm in Bridport, Dorset. I enjoyed sleeping in the very cosy shepherd’s hut surrounded by the most stunning countryside and even had a homemade cream tea yum yum!
Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway was another blog stop on my trip and one I thoroughly enjoyed. The gardens were super beautiful and the train ride was pretty fun!
I also stayed in Lynton where I went on the Lynton and Lynmouth Funicular Railway which was so enjoyable and gave me some great views over Lynmouth Bay. I took a walk to the Valley of Rocks where I saw lots of sheep and goats!
I stayed in Poole, Dorset, visiting the wonderful beaches of Sandbanks and also stayed in Taunton, Somerset where I visited the Museum of Somerset – a great free museum.
Back home in Exeter Nathan and I visited our local National Trust property Killerton to explore the Killerton Votes for Women exhibition.
October always brings my birthday meaning meals out with friends and Nathan too.
We visited the Minature Pony Centre in Dartmoor where we got up close to loads of miniature ponies that were so super cute!
We spent some time exploring the wild rugged Dartmoor and encountered lots of animals roaming free including a lot of cows and sheep – just so sweet!
For Halloween, I went to Knightshayes where the National Trust put on a spooky and fun event centred around classic scary tales! It was good fun and as a member cost me nothing!
Nathan and I headed to Sussex where my sister lives to attend my nephew Cillian’s christening. Whilst there we enjoyed a trip to another National Trust property called Monks House and played a round of adventure golf on Brighton seafront.
November was a pretty quiet month although I did get a fancy new waterproof jacket from Fashion World and enjoyed some Autumn walks.
We headed home to my parents in Kent for my sister Chloe’s 21st birthday and my sister Emily’s 18th birthday. They had a joint party which was lots of fun!
December brings Christmas mania across the world and for me and Scrapbook Adventures this was the same! Many of my adventures had a festive twist which always helps to make me feel all warm and Christmassy (often needed when working hard and studying!)
I went to York for a training curse related to my university research but made sure to tick off some blog visits whilst there. I went to Castle Howard and enjoyed their 12 days of Christmas even. The house and decorations were simply amazing.
I really enjoyed a tour of Yorks Chocolate Factory and loved the interactive parts of the tour including lolly making and a chocolate truffle demonstration.
My friend Katy and I enjoyed a wonderful festive afternoon tea at the lovely Kitley House Hotel in Plymouth, Devon. It was so tasty and a lovely Christmas treat.
Christmas was spent at home in Kent with my family where I spent many days enjoying spending time with my niece and nephew. I was lucky enough to get some really awesome gifts too!
For New Year Nathan and I stayed in a lovely little cottage in Bridport, Dorset and explored the local beaches including beautiful West Bay. It was a lovely way to end 2018 and welcome in the new year.
Here’s to a 2019 full of love, laughter and adventures!
Any adventures that take your fancy? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome to the second part of the Scrapbook Adventures 2018 yearly round up! In this post, I will talk about adventures from the months of May to August and feature some of my favourite blog trips. If you missed part one of the years round up then check it out now to catch up!
May was yet another busy month for me and the blog with lots more attraction reviews and our first glamping trip of the year.
I enjoyed a trip to Carnglaze Caverns in St Neot, Cornwall, where I was shown around the caves and enjoyed a pretty fairyland walk.
I visited the lovely National Trust gardens at Trelissick House with my friend Emily where the spring flowers were just divine.
I took another garden walk, this time around the impressive Dartington Hall in Totnes with my friend Lucy. We enjoyed a scrummy hot chocolate and cake in the cafe too!
Nathan and I got some exercise by walking around Siblyback Lake in Cornwall which had some stunning views. We topped off our walk with a cheeky ice cream!
Continuing with the walking theme I walked a few miles of the pretty Grand Western Canal in Tiverton and had a naughty couple of treats to eat too! The weather was just lush!
The best bit of May was certainly our trip to Just Us Retreats in Crediton, Devon. Here we stayed for three romantic nights in the wonderful bell tent named Gabriel. We had an awesome time cooking on an open fire, relaxing in the hammocks and falling asleep by candlelight. This place is just the bomb!
Summer was well and truly here by June with many of our adventures starting to make the most of the sunshine and the quietness of attraction and beaches before the hoards descended in the school summer holidays.
We kicked off June by heading to Somerset to the magnificent Forde Abbey. Here we wandered around the incredible gardens and enjoyed a homemade pizza making workshop too!
I took a solo trip to Torquay where I enjoyed an overnight stay at the Heritage Hotel followed by a trip to Cockington Court the next day. I loved all the different craft and art shops and walks around the gardens.
Nathan and I spent a weekend at the cool Andrewshayes Holiday Park, Dalwood where we enjoyed a two-night stay in a glamping pod. It’s a great site with a games room, swimming pool and fields full of friendly cows to watch!
We spent the day at Wildwood Escot where we saw lots of amazing animals and really enjoyed a great bird of prey show. Definitely, a great place to take kids for a treat.
We visited the gorgeous Landram Bay and Otterton Village where we nearly died walking in the relentless midday heat and by nearly getting chased by a herd of cows! I have never appreciated a pint of cold lemonade so much!
The end of June was fantastic for me as I spent a relaxing night at The Wood Life in Devon. I stayed in a beautifully crafted shepherds hut and had the most amazing bath in the accompanying bathing wagon. I cooked my dinner on the open fire overlooking the gorgeous Devon countryside – a highlight of 2018 for me for sure!
July started with a trip to the circus! We really enjoyed entering the big top at Paulos Circus and watching all the acts – fun for all the family indeed!
We enjoyed a lovely trip to Bideford in North Devon where we stayed at Owl Valley Glamping. We were lucky enough to stay for two nights in a wonderful bell tent and had the woodland site all to ourselves. It was a lovely few days and we enjoyed play games in the parliament building!
Whilst in North Devon we visited Westward Ho! beach for ice creams and a chill on the beach.
I took a trip to West Bay in Dorset to meet up with some friends from my university days. We spent the day exploring West Bay including seeing all the sites from BBC’s Broadchurch. I had some Dorset orange marmalade flavour ice cream too which was a bit random and not as nice as I hoped it would be!
Nathan and I enjoyed a weekend staying in a camping pod a the Forest Glade Holiday Park in Cullompton, Devon. Here we enjoyed BBQ cooking, a cosy camping pod and games of pool in the games room.
We spent a random Sunday at Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre near Okehampton and played for ages on the old fashioned arcade games. We enjoyed riding some of the old fashioned theme park rides too, enjoying the dodgems the most! We followed up our visit by taking a wander around Roadford Lake before stopping for a chill in the sunshine and an ice cream!
I enjoyed a fun-filled and action-packed family holiday at Brean Sands Holiday Resort Unity with my sister, niece, nephew and nan! We stayed in a really nice caravan and had a great time making loads of awesome memories!
We topped the month off with a stay at Freshwell Camping in Croyde, Devon. We stayed in a unique stargazing getaway which allowed us to watch the stars from our cosy cabin. We enjoyed a walk around Croyde and to Baggy Point, of course ensuring we ate lots of ice cream! We visited Sandleigh Tea Rooms too which were really pretty.
August saw us head to Somerset and enjoy Nathan’s birthday weekend at Petruth Paddocks a camping and glamping site in Cheddar. We stayed in a rather lovely yurt called ‘Mr Yurt’ for three nights and had a great time despite some wet weather.
During our time in Cheddar, we visited the infamous Wookey Hole Caves which was a great day out. There was so much to see and do and we loved the tour of the caves and crazy golf them most!
I also visited Bishops Palace in Wells, Somerset – a wonderful Palace and gardens full of colour, history and perfection. I had the best time taking two free guided tours and soaking up the sunshine. I would love to go back here and would recommend for garden lovers and history buffs!
I spent some time doing university work at Reed Hall a grand old building and cafe on the Exeter University campus. It’s such a lovely place to go for some reflection and is a nice quiet place to work (and write blog posts!).
I also went on a lovely spa weekend with my friend Katherine. We went to the Hilton Hotel and Spa at The Agea Bowl in Southampton. We enjoyed a super relaxing massage, made the most of the spa facilities and enjoyed dinner in Ian Botham’s restaurant.
Nathan and I took a trip to Tintagel in Cornwall and enjoyed exploring the coast and the National Trust Old Tintagel Post Office.
My parents visited me in Exeter for the first time and we took a trip to Tiverton to explore the canal and have a tasty cream tea. I also took my parents to the Crediton Museum to check out some local history!
On another weekend Nathan and I went and played crazy golf at Dawlish Warren and stopped off for ice cream at the Orange Elephant on the way home.
I had a really great summer! So many fun glamping trips and lots of lovely days out to beautiful; gardens and beaches. I loved the holiday with my family too – defo a highlight!
Certainly another busy few months! What adventures do you like the sound of the most? Let me know in the comments!
Well, 2018 was a fantastic year for Scrapbook Adventures, seeing us venture out to many local places across the South West and beyond! It saw us spend the summer glamping at many of the best sites in Devon and Somerset and making memories that will be remembered for years to come.
The blog has gone from strength to strength and I am really proud of what I have achieved this year, especially given I am studying for my Clinical Psychology Doctorate and working for the NHS too! I continue to enjoy exploring new attractions, finding unique and cool places to stay and sharing them all with my followers and friends. Planning adventures, visiting places and writing blogs continues to be an enjoyable outlet for me and long may it continue into 2019!
Here is the first part of my Scrapbook Adventures 2018 round-up with a month of month guide from January to April detailing what I got up to and the places I visited! Just click on any of the links to be taken to the blog posts to read more!
So let’s kick off with January – often a very bleak and depressing month after the festivities and fun of the Christmas period. However, January started well for Nathan and I as we spent New Years in Kingsbridge, Devon, enjoying some peace and quiet and exploring the Devon beaches of Torcross and Strete. We treated ourselves to a wonderful afternoon tea at the Thurlestone Hotel too which was scrumptious to say to the least!
We also visited Exmouth for the first time, enjoying a crisp winter walk along the beach followed by some fun in the amusement arcades.
January also saw my friend Carly turn 30 and we spent the weekend in Bath hitting all the top tourist spots.
I visited Brighton for my friend Sarah’s hen weekend where we had tonnes of fun painting pottery, completing an escape room and enjoying many other hen related activities!
We finished the month by visiting the very cool Pirates Quest in Newquay, Cornwall. Here we immersed ourselves in the world of Pirates and myths from the sea – a great family fun day out.
March saw Nathan and I experience some paranormal activity at the spooky Bodmin Jail. Here we took a Historical and Paranormal guided tour which was so much fun, if a little scary at times!
I enjoyed a brilliant trip to the newly opened spa at Beyond Escapes in Totnes, Devon. Here I was treated to a full body massage, afternoon tea and made the most of the wonderful facilities. Their BE Indulged Spa Package is amazing and I really recommend it!
Nathan and I took a trip with Stuart Line Cruises where we enjoyed a cream tea cruise in Exmouth. It was a bit wet and windy but the tea and scones and fun commentary soon cheered us up!
Some friends and I tried all things cheese at Exeter Cheese Fest where we enjoyed watching Martin from Corrie do a cooking display! So random!
We enjoyed a lovely night away at Manley’s B&B in Tiverton where we enjoyed a very comfy room, amazing breakfast and lovely garden walks overlooking the Grand Western Canal. If you’re looking for accommodation in the Tiverton area then Manley’s is the place to go!
April brought about lots of blog adventures, many of which were in the Devon coastal town of Torquay. We visited the fantastic Bygones museum which was like stepping back in time and travelling through history. One of my favourite blog trips of the year for sure.
We also visited Torquay’s Dinosaur World where we enjoyed the dinosaur exhibits and quiz. I also found myself in fits of laughter while making Nathan pose with all the dinosaur models! Another really good place to visit with a family in Torquay.
We also enjoyed exploring the town and harbour of Torquay and enjoyed a tasty lunch by the sea at Anstey’s Cove – a place I would really like to go back to.
I went home for the Easter holidays and spent time with my lovely family. My little sister Emily and I enjoyed a round of golf at the newly opened Enchanted Vlliage Adventure Golf course in West Wickham, Kent.
April also saw us visit one of our local National Trust properties – Knightshayes. This time we were able to see the Lady Amory exhibition which was great.
Wow, quite a few adventures so far! Let me know what adventures you like the sound of in the comments below!
I recently followed the trend and posted on my Instagram page my top nine most liked pictures for the year. It was so nice to look back at some of the memories I made this year and see what my followers had enjoyed seeing on my feed. Some of the photos were my favourites for the year too so I think they were quite accurately picked!
I thought I would do a quick post featuring the top nine pictures and explaining a little more about them and where they were taken. I had suggested I might do this in the caption on the post and lots of people were interested so here goes!
Pictures 1-3 – Bishops Palace
So three pictures from my visit to Bishops Palace in Wells, Somerset made it into my Instagram top nine. I think you will be able to see why – the gardens were just so beautiful and I visited on a very sunny day in August which I think really helped make them look so glorious!
This picture is of the well pools and you can spot the stunning architecture of Wells Cathedral in the background – just gorgeous!
Again this is another picture of the well pools. I loved how the trees were reflected in the water and the sense of calm and peace I got from wandering around the well pools and sitting on that green bench.
The final picture from Bishops Palace that featured on the best nine was this one of the old walls of the palace. I thought they were so pretty with the sun streaming through the window frames and the beautifully maintained gardens.
Picture 4 – Tintagel Old Post Office
Picture 4 is from the lovely Old Post Office in Tintagel, Cornwall. This is a National Trust property, which as a member I have visited a few times. It’s lots of fun to see how the old post office would have worked and you can still send letters from the post box in the wall! We visited in the late summer and enjoyed a good few hours wandering around the town and enjoying the coastal views.
Picture 5 – Valley of the Rocks
This is one of my favourite pictures I took when I stayed in Lynton and visited the Valley of the Rocks in Lynmouth, North Devon. It was a stunning piece of coastline and even though it rained and I got rather wet on my Septemeber walk, the views and grazing sheep and goats made it worth it!
Picture 6 – The Hideaway
This shows the amazing homemade cream tea I enjoyed whilst soaking up the countryside views at The Hideaway, Kingsland Farm in Bridport, Dorset. I stayed in the sublime shepherd’s hut and had the most relaxing and restorative stay. Danette the host is so welcoming and lovely and I would really recommend a stay here – check out my full review here.
Picture 7 – Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum
In Septemeber, during my South West tour, I visited Dorchester and the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum. It was a really interesting attraction, although I visited on a free Sunday open day and so it was really busy. There was so much to learn about the justice system and historical crime which I found really interesting. Apparently, my Instagram followers did too!
Pictures 8 & 9 – Weston Sandsculpture Festival
The final two pictures from my Instagram top nine are from my visit to the Weston Sandsculpture Festival in Weston Super Mare, Somerset. The 2018 festival’s theme was the circus and I was amazed by the incredible skills of the sand sculptures in creating such stunning sculptures. You can find out more about the festival and see more of the sculptures on my blog post review. I also did a top ten favourite sand sculpture post too which is worth checking out to see which ones I loved the most!
So there we have it, a bit more information on the pictures from my Instagram top nine! Please do give me a follow on Instagram if you don’t already to see more cool pictures and to interesting pictures and follow my adventures!