Sandwiched between Cheshire and Derbyshire, Staffordshire is surrounded by the stunning English countryside. Peak District moors aplenty, if you want to go back to basics, it’s perfectly possible to spend days hiking and picnicking in the midland hills. Of course, when half-terms hits, it’s always handy to have some contemporary family-friendly entertainment up your sleeve. Here are just five places to visit in Staffordshire, that are sure to break up any boredom in the school holidays.
Some would say that the last day of the school summer holidays is to be consumed by the practicalities of the new school year. Double checking that school uniform is all bought (and still fits), is pressed and labelled. Before being laid out ready with shoes and bags for the morning hustle and bustle that is the school run.
We’re not that family. We’re the family that opts to make the most of the school summer holidays until the very last minute. With our last day of summer being spent at Drayton Manor.
This year marks ten years since Drayton Manor opened its doors (and hearts) to Thomas and friends fans young and old. From the moment people enter the gates to the Island of Sodor, set in the heart of Drayton Manor Park, visitors of all ages are completely immersed in the world of Thomas & Friends, based on the much-loved children’s television series.
When it comes to parenting, I find myself saying no more often than I do yes to the children. Whilst some of their 101 requests throughout the day are ones that require a no answer. There are a proportion that I could say yes to but don’t for whatever reason.
Earlier this week Drayton Manor challenged me to a #YesDay. A day for me to say yes to the children rather than no. One where they get to go to a theme park instead of completing the food shop. One where they get to go on the same ride three times in a row if they so wish (and Piglet did).
As much as I would love to tell you all that I am one of those parents who is always saying yes to their children. The ones who happily bring out the crafts, pop in the kitchen to whip up a batch of cupcakes or head out to the park on a whim – I’m not. I’m really not. I am the type of parent who says no or not right now far too often to my children. Preoccupied with chores, the demands of juggling the needs of three children and working alongside.
When it comes to family traditions, visiting Drayton Manor at least once a year has become one of ours. Although…
I seem to be playing catch up all the time at the moment. That juggling act of running myself down versus letting people down. Any thoughts of being organised etc. are firmly on hold. From constant illness that is sweeping through our house, which I wish quite frankly would do one. To family life feeling especially hectic with birthdays, activities and school events. I can’t even console myself that it will get better in the next few weeks as we are now in the run up to Christmas.
When it comes to traditions, visiting Drayton Manor has to be one of our family traditions. Having first visited when Roo was just two years old and we’ve been back several times each year since. Last year we finally made it over to the Drayton’s Magical Christmas. Having loved it so much we returned again this year.
Visiting Thomas Land at Drayton Manor Park last weekend allowed us the chance to experience the new James and the red balloon ride for the first time.