Our Easter Holidays – A catch up!

So the Easter holidays well and truly took their toll on my work! Usually in the school holidays I try to book a day a week childcare so that I can try and keep on top of things but our childcare provider doesn’t open over Easter so it has been very much a case of squeezing in what I could on an evening once the kids were in bed and to be honest, after all the adventuring we’ve done, that generally amounted to nothing more than answering a few emails or posting on instagram. So, before I crack on properly with my to-do list, I thought I’d share a little of what we’ve been up to over the last few weeks!

The first week of the Easter holidays feels like such a long time ago now, in fact I had to look back on my calendar to remind myself what we’ve been up to!

We started the holidays off with a stay at Cotton Hall Hotel & Spa, enjoying an Easter afternoon tea, use of the pool and a delicious three course dinner. It was a really nice way to start the holidays, some time away as a family to relax and enjoy each other’s company rather than concentrating on the enormous list of jobs we seem to have at home at the moment!

Cotton Hall Hotel and Spa - family stay

Dave was working away for the first three days of the school holidays – which wasn’t amazing timing but such is life. Monday saw us taking a trip to the park with Uncle Will and Lucy – it’s always lovely to be able to spend proper time with them and Cass & Amy are becoming really good friends. (She cried when it was time for him to go home!)

Playing in the park with Cass from Little Lifts Blog
Piggy back crew
Piggy backs with Uncle Will

In an effort to have a fairly steady day we booked Movies for Juniors tickets for the Tuesday on the basis that if we had a relaxed morning at the cinema, I’d be able to spend Tuesday afternoon getting jobs done. We watched The Kid Who Would Be King which was frankly awesome! Amy and Chloe were both really nervous at points but with lots of hand-holding and a few reminders that “it would be alright in the end” they settled into it and actually really enjoyed it – Chloe came out of the film practising Merlin’s magic moves!

Wednesday morning saw an early start and a taxi to Manchester Piccadilly Station so we could hop the train to London for an event. This is something we’d only done once before and quite a while ago so I was nervous about navigating the underground etc with them but they all behaved beautifully. We had time to make a quick visit to Buckingham Palace so we could tick that off Chloe’s bucket list – though in all honesty she was completely underwhelmed as I had expected her to be! We spent quite a lot of time watching street performers in Covent Garden, where Chloe even earned herself a fiver by taking part in one of the shows. We squeezed in tea at Pizza Express with Cesca before catching our train home by the skin of our teeth!

Kids in Covent Garden

Thursday was meant to be a fairly quiet day with the Butlers, but ended up being an adventure into Manchester City Centre for lunch – something we’d never normally do. However, bar a screaming tantrum in the street from a very over tired Amy, it was a massive success – we had a lovely lunch at Handmade Burger Co and even managed to browse a couple of shops. It was completely different to our normal days out together but we’d definitely do it again!

Handmade Burger Co in Manchester
Handmade Burger Co sundaes

As you can imagine, by Friday we were all ready for a bit of rest so we planned in a day at home. Mum and Dad came at lunch time to drop Tilly off on their way to Manchester Airport so we had lunch together and once they’d gone we took Tilly to the park – but that was about it for the day!

Kids with Boxer dog

Sunday saw the lads going off to Blackpool Pleasure Beach for the day whilst the girls headed into town for a film (The Missing Link – which was a corker), lots of cake at Black Milk and a wander round a maker’s market in the Northern Quarter.

Boys at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Dave took the second week of the holidays off work so we planned in a good mix of days out together as a family and days where I took the kids out and left him to crack on with the decorating (our living room has been a work in progress for more months than I care to think but we’re on the home straight now!)

As soon as I knew Tilly was coming to stay, I planned to take her to Formby for a good old run around on the beach so that’s what we did on Monday, taking Chloe’s best friend along too. In hindsight we probably should have taken notice of the 20mph winds that were forecast and not just looked if it was going to be raining or not – however, despite being fully sandblasted, we had a lot of fun. Tilly had the time of her life running on the beach and the kids all enjoyed their adventure too.

Dog walking at Formby Beach
Kids on the beach at Formby

Tuesday was a Butler day and we hot footed it over to Stockeld Park for the day. Stockeld Park is a firm favourite of ours at Christmas but we’ve not really been to any of the other seasonal events before and it was a first-time visit for the Butlers. It was pretty cold but we had a great day (again, I’ll drop a link in here of a full write up as soon as I have one!)

Stockeld Park Easter Adventure

Dave’s birthday fell on the Wednesday so we took ourselves to The Yew Tree for a very tasty lunch – the glorious weather meant we could comfortably sit outside for a few hours which was just the icing on the cake!

Dave's birthday lunch at The Yew Tree, Bunbury

Thursday saw us travelling to see Donna and the kids for the day – we live quite a long way from each other so with reasonable regularity we try to meet up in the middle, driving around 2.5hrs each for a day at a National Trust property. This time we visited Hanbury Hall and Gardens which was just stunning and definitely worth a visit (again, I’ll add a link in when I get a write up done . . . my to do list is ridiculous!) It’s always lovely to spend time with Donna and the kids get on so well – the sun shone and we had a generally fab day. The less said about the 3.5 hour drive home the better . . .

Day out with What the Redhead Said at National Trust Hanbury Hall and Gardens

Good Friday was a steady day at home, Dave had been out the night before so he got home around lunch time, Mum and Dad came to pick Tilly up at tea time and beyond that there was a lot of screen time and generally relaxing after a busy week!

We spent Saturday and Sunday in York as is Easter tradition and Bank Holiday Monday was all about getting jobs done – I spent the day pressure washing outside while Dave painted the new skirting boards in the living room. Perhaps a waste of a glorious sunny bank holiday in some ways but satisfying none the less!

Easter egg hunt in Granny's garden
Hotel Chocolat Easter Haul

And so here we are – back at work, back at school, back to routine and counting down to the next Bank Holiday and then our half term trip to France which is just around the corner!

I hope you had a great Easter break too?

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