Landal Sandybrook Review

Just before Christmas which now seems like a lifetime ago. We had a four-night break close to Ashbourne in Derbyshire at Landal Sandybrook Lodges. This is the first time we have taken Jess to a lodge usually we have gone on our own for a weekend to Forest Holidays. We made this choice because it was a fraction of the price which we would be paying. I feel like this holiday to Landal Sandybrook was around £350 for four nights. Where on the other hand a trip to Forest would have cost us around the £700 mark. We actually stayed in the Tissington Classic Skyline Spa 2.

Today I am going to be sharing with you our views about the our stay at Landal Sandybrook Lodges. They are described as luxury self-catering lodge holiday accommodation. I will warn you that if you want one of the hot tubs in your cabin you have to book a spa one otherwise you will just have a balcony and a table and chairs. For us the hot tub is something which we do want. I know this may not be the case if for everyone, of course,this does reflect in the price of your stay.

For me I would not describe the lodges as luxury for me there were elements which were missing. These may have made it more luxurious for us. I know I am comparing it to a very expensive cabin in Forest however, they do both claim to be luxury cabins.

The lodge itself was ok but quite small, I am guessing it would be a squeeze for 4 people. I would have liked more room which would have allowed us to spread out to relax. In the main room there is not a lot of space and the bed is not actually a full size double bed. For me it was not comfortable either however, we have a very good bed at home. I may just be being really pick.  One thing which I did not like was the fact that our bedroom looked straight to the road which people were travelling on. This meant anyone travelling early may wake you up. When we visited we could hear work men from 7.30am, not ideal on a relaxing week away.  At least there was a lot of storage which mean that we could put things away.

Jess had her own room which had two single beds in a wardrobe and a bedside table. She managed to sleep in there which is all that matters. This would be fine if you had two young children if you had teenagers they may struggle however, this did for us. I even slept in one of the beds one night and found it to be more comfortable than ours.

The bathroom had a shower over the bath. It was handy to have a bath in case Jess needed one because she is still not a huge fan of the shower. I am sure this is something which will change over time. We found that there was enough space for everything we needed. This included if we had all three of us in the bathroom. I have no faults when it came to the bathroom at Landal Sandybrook.

Of course, with it been self catering there is a kitchen and a table which you can easy eat at. We found that the kitchen was well stocked and this is something which we were glad about. We managed to do some baking as well as cooking meals there.  There was nothing which we would not be able to cook I am sure you could manage a whole week using this kitchen. There is also a fridge and a freezer should you need them this makes it so easy for semi catered people.

We found the lounge to be cosy however, the sofas were not that comfortable. I wanted to be able to snuggle up and watch films when there weather was rubbish. You had to sit more straight which is very annoying they were. Again they were pretty low and this is something which I did not love however, I am sure if you visited in the summer you would not spend much time inside.

The hot tub was also over looked which is not always great when your in your swimming suit. For sure this is not something which I liked. I would have had a little bit more private maybe this is just because I am not that confident. Plus it is supposed to be luxury I do not want to be over looked but hey.  The outdoor area would have been great in the summer for eating or having a BBQ. Something we may have done had we have gone in the summer months.

The site has some good facilities including a indoor swimming pool, restaurant, games room and also a playroom for children. This is a nice touch because it was nice to be able to take Jess somewhere to play. Of course, because we did not have a lot of toys with us. Also because we went in December it did mean that there was some days where we could not use the park because it was horrible weather. I think Jess managed to play in there for an hour our two during our 4 day stay. We did noticed that some of the toys had become broken over time, I understand that this is something which happens.

There is a nature walk however, it is really quite small. There are no trails which link to the park which is a little bit disappointing because we wanted to do some more exploring when we visited. Usually we would have a walk of an hour or a little bit longer. I know we could have drove and then gone for a walk however, we do not always want to be in the car when on holiday. For sure it would have been nice to be able to walk from the lodge and into the nature. I have read this is something which you can do at their sister site.

There is free wifi however, this is something which I wouldn’t recommend using. For it is kept disconnecting I found it a lot easier to use the 4G. I know you shouldn’t want to spend a lot of time on your phones when your away however, I wanted to be able to do a few bits. For example checking our food shop which we had done and what to do in the area. The day we actually checked out we went to White Post Farm and I needed to know the price and also opening times.

I would recommend doing a click and collect food shop this is what we did. There is a small shop which is part of reception. However, this only sells milk and drinks. Due to it been self catering we did not want to always eat out. We like to be able to have some meals which are home cooked. We did eat one night at the onsite restaurant and we was actually really disappointed. The meal was not that warm which is disappointing because for sure it was not cheap. Joe and I also both chose coke to drink and it was completely flat.  I would not recommend this restaurant I would go eat off site if I was you. Your more likely to have a better meal.  The staff seemed more bothered about their friends who were in the bar section than us the paying customers.

Overall Views

We enjoyed our stay at Landal Sandybrook however, we would not return. I feel like we had everything which there was to do. I feel like the park does need a bit of a fresher up if they are going to charge this price. We would not have enjoyed it even more if we did not have Jess. I do not think I would recommend this for December stays.

Have you ever stayed at Landal Sandybrook? If so what were your thoughts.

 

Charlotte xxx

First Aid On The Go

Traveling is something which we spend a lot of our time doing or it feels like we spend more and more time in the car.   Whether it be traveling to do things with the new house, which is like a 40-minute drive, going to see the grandparents or a day out.

I am one of those people who feels like something is going to happen. When you have a toddler it is easy for them to fall over and hurt themselves this is something which Jess does frequently. I swear her legs have more bruises on than anyone I know because she is always falling over. Because of the fact that Jess is always falling over, I thought that I would share with you what we have in the car first aid wise.

Calpol

I have added some elements into the first aid kit bits that I knew that I might need which was not included. The first thing which I added is some Calpol, well Morrison’s own brand this has actually been a help because once we needed it as Jess had bumped her head and was complaining about pain. Calpol can come in for a number of different problems such as teething or generally feeling unwell so it is always worth having it to hand.

Ibuprofen

The same can be said for ibuprofen I think we picked this up from Home Bargains. A headache is something which I can struggle with if I am in the car for too long. I sometimes end up hurting myself on a day out I have been known to have injuries so trying to the amount of pain I am in is always a bonus.  These will also come in should I have any other pain the same could be said for Joe.

 

First Aid Kit

We do have an actual first aid kit in the car which is full of most of the things which we could ever need in it. It does have some first aid cream in which is essential for us because Jess seems to be having a lot of grazes and cuts.  We also have the dressings in because you never know when you are going to need to cover a wound and we have a range of the sizes.

This also includes some bandages which if you remember at the start of the year I bruised my arm so badly I had to have it in bandages so these would have been needed.  There is plenty of plasters there which we need. I actually ordered this from Amazon but unfortunately, they no longer sell it so I can not link it. I think this was about £9 and we can fill it should we need anything else in the first aid kit.

Anti Bite

Getting bitten is something which happens to a lot during the summer months. I must have tasty blood or something this is the reason why I have decided to add some anti bite stickers for to the first aid kit. It does not matter where I am at the time I  can even be indoors and get bitten these are basically like plasters for your bites.  These are something which I may remove from the first aid kit when the weather becomes a lot cooler.

Paw patrol plasters are a must if you have a toddler like us who is obsessed with the pups. Jess does like using plasters is there is a need for her to have one, however, we have found that it can be hard to get her ones small enough more so when she damages areas like her toes. We picked these up on offer and they seem to cheer her up when she has a graze.

Antibacterial Spray

The final item which we have in the first aid kit is one which has been a godsend to us. This is the Morrisons Sterilising and Antibacterial spray. This is designed to spray on any cuts which you have to make sure that they do not become infected. When Jess managed to cut her chin and it would have been able to put the cream on. This spray has actually meant that Jess has not go anything infected. If she now gets a cut even if we are in the house she will ask for the spray. This is something which I would recommend putting in your first aid kit.

What do you have in the first aid kit in the car? Or do you not actually have one?

 

Charlotte xxx

My Top Honeymoon Locations

Traveling and exploring the world is something which I have loved since a young age. I soon want to see even more of it at the moment this has not happened for several reasons.  I think that hopefully next year we will be able to go on a short haul flight with Jess. I would love for her to be able to do long-haul flights in a few years because it would mean that I could visit some of the places which I have been dreaming of visiting on honeymoon. Before you all ask no we have no plans at the moment to currently get married.

 
The Maldives

The pictures which I have seen of The Maldives look amazing everything looks so picturesque. 1,000 coral islands make up this part of the world which means there is more than enough space for everyone.  Depending on where you actually stay as well it could see you have to get a speedboat or a seaplane to your resort. There is a range of stunning places to stay as well including iconic overwater bungalow, an opulent villa hidden away on a secluded beach, or a luxury hotel room.

This place looks so Instagram friendly and there are some amazing options which you can choose to do to make the honeymoon even more romantic. These include sunset cruises to beach picnics, private candle-lit dinners to oversized bubble baths filled with rose petals. This for sure is a place I am sure even I could relax in it does look like paradise.

Dubai

This is somewhere which I have seen several people visit in the past few years. There is not a huge flight time I think it is around the 7 hours mark and you can even fly from the North which is always a bonus.  I love the idea of been in a city but also been able to have beautiful beaches which you could relax on. There is also a water park which looks amazing. I love water and this would be somewhere which would be great to visit.

Helicopter rides, boat trips around Dubai look and sound amazing it would be the best way to experience such a beautiful place. The views which you could also have while you dine would be some of the best in the world. I think if Dubai is not a place which we visit on our honeymoon it for sure will be a place where we visit at some time in the future.

South Africa

South Africa sounds like a perfect country to visit on your honeymoon. This would be great to visit in the winter months as this is when it is the warmest in the country.  It is home to safari’s which would be amazing because for sure I would love to be able to see some of the animals in the wild which we have only seen in the zoo’s previously.

South Africa is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful undisturbed natural beauty spots.  Some of the beaches just scream at me and make me want to jump on them asap. The flight time is only 11 hours which I am unsure about doing with Jess but maybe when she is older and it’s our honeymoon it may be fine.

Carribean

I have not chosen an island which I would love to visit on the honeymoon. This could be due to the fact that they look so amazing a lot of the places have a private beach and this makes me feel like it is even more romantic.  It is always warm which means that it would not matter what time of year we decided to get married and go on the honeymoon.

The feeling of the white fairytale sand between my toes is something which I can imagine.  Seeing some of the wildlife in the sea is something which I would love to do. There is something about having turtles and fish swimming between your legs sound tropical. I think this is something which we could do as a family as well. I know it would be somewhere where I would like to visit on our honeymoon but it is more than likely that Jess will be coming as well.

California

This is a place where Joe visited when we started dating so I have been able to see pictures first hand of some of the places which he had. From some of the stories which he has been shared with me I know I would love to see some of the places which he has seen.

I think the mixture of being able to do some shopping and get bath and body works candles which for anyone who knows me is like the dream. As well as being able to be on the beach and make some amazing memories at a special time. This is again a place which if we do not visit on our honeymoon is a place which we will actually go.

When looking at honeymoons and long-haul flights I have been using Destination2. They have some amazing looking holiday destinations as well as ones which are designed as honeymoons. For sure when we are looking to book a holiday this is one site which I will be visiting.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

 

Charlotte xx

 

This post is sponsored by Destination 2

See A Different Side of Tenerife- Virgin of Candelaria

When we think of the island of Tenerife most of us think about the beautiful beaches, hot weather and resorts.  However, there is a huge cultural festival which takes place when millions of us Brits have flocked to the island ready to worship the sun.

Virgin of Candelaria festival takes place every single 14-15th August in the peak of the tourist season. This festival actually celebrates the lady of Candelaria, otherwise known as the Patron Saint of the Canary Islands. People visit from all of the Canary Islands visit the city of Candelaria to participate in processions. This is only 50 minutes’ drive from the popular resort of Playas de la Americas meaning you could actually take in some of the celebrations should you choose to hire a car.

During this festival due to the fact it is celebratory the patron saint of the land it is taken very seriously with mass, religious processions. However, if you are looking or a more party element this also takes place with hundreds of kiosks and bars which are selling a variety of food including local specialties along side chips and burgers.

The atmosphere at this festival is reported as buzzing even before the start of the main show occurs which is when the Black Madonna is paraded around the Plaza de la Patrona de Canarias. The feast day  (15th August) is the assumption of the Virgin into Heaven, it is customary for college students and families to spend a day or two hiking to their Mother. They are rewarded by great processions and festivities reenacting the legend of the Black Madonna before attending the festival.

There is a reenactment of the Guanches and the Black Madonna meeting each other for the first time which is send to be very impressive. This occurs at dusk time following on from this there fireworks which are lit exploding into the night sky. On the 15th August which is classed as the big day there his Mass which is taken with very important people including a representative of the King of Spain and the President of the Goverment of the Canary Islands. After this there is the spreading of the image of the Virgin of Candelaria around the Plaza de la Patron of the Canary Islands .

If you like the sound of this festival and want to attend this year www.holidaygems.co.uk have some really cheap deals on currently in order to be at the event. I have found a weeks holiday in Tenerife including both days of Virgin of Candelaria. For as low as £240 per person this may depend of course were you fly from. I only looked at the North East why not combine some culture with a trip to the sun?

Have you ever been to the Virgin of Candelaria festival.

 

Charlotte xx

This post is in collbration with Holiday Gems

Forest Holiday’s – Compton Golden Oak Hideaway Review

Log Cabins

In the middle of December, the weekend before Christmas Joe and I decided to go on a child-free break.  Due to the fact we had not been able to have a holiday with him been away for the majority of 2017.  We did not want to travel that far because we know travelling over the festive period was something which was going to occur.Forest Holiday’s are a company which we have stayed with before so we knew there high standards.  The Compton site was where we stayed at this time which is not very far from Pickering in the North Yorkshire Moors. There are 10 locations in total we have now stayed at 2. For sure I would love to go to some of the other ones maybe not in December though. Due to the fact that we having a really nice treat yourself break we choose to stay in the Golden Oak Hideaway. This was even more luxurious than the standard golden oak we stayed in a year previously, however, these do only sleep two people.

Robin

Tree Line

With views like this from the windows, how could you not want to visit? Even in December when the cabin was surrounded by ice the views were stunning and you felt so remote and disconnected from the world. This is something which I think all of us need time to time.  There was a wide array of wildlife which visited while we were in our cabin I am sure this would only increase during the summer months.

Log BurnerEven though it was minus -2 outdoors that did not stop us having a cosy time with golden oak you get fluffy robes, great for throwing on after been in the outdoor hot tub. There is always a log burning stove in the lounge which makes it even cosier I can tell you there aren’t much better things. Than to cuddle up when its cold outside in front of the log fire.  In our cabin, we also had underfloor heating throughout which was great when you were on the cold kitchen floor cooking or just out of the shower.   If you go in the summer months there is also a hammock and a gas barbecue to use on the decking, however, it was way too cold for us to be using that this visit.

Sunken Bath

One element which you do get as a result of this being marketed as an ultimate romantic package is a sunken double bath. I will warn you that it did seem to take an age for the bath to run and we couldn’t get the temperature correct which meant we did not spend a lot of time in it.  You can make this even more romantic by having the mood lighting on as you can see in this picture.I would say that this element would be great if you went with someone who liked baths. I know for sure I could take a couple of lush bath bombs and spend hours in this bath.  There is also a walk in shower which is great for using before and after the hot tub.

Hot Tub

Talking about the hot tub this is something we did spend a lot of time in this year. Even though the cabin is designed for two people it still has a hot tub which could easily cater for four people. It is attended to every single day which means that it is always ready for you to use.  Also, it is clean as you can see it has a light so you can see what you are doing. This also has jets which can be moved you get the benefits where you want them. Even in the winter you can enjoy the hot tub and have a few drinks in it this is something which amazing. This is something I can imagine doing with friends even if you had a shared cabin.

Kitchen

After all of the chilling out you might want to cook you could order food from the forest retreat either straight to your cabin. On the other hand, you could eat it in their restaurant however, we have always cooked in our cabin. This is something which we like to do as it gives us something to do and cooking is something we enjoy anyway.If like us you like to cook there is a fully equipped kitchen meaning you can easily cook. It even has a dishwasher which means there is no need to wash up which is always one of the boring jobs. You can buy food from the shop, however, it can be pricey and the selection is not that vast. I would recommend going to the supermarket before you arrive. The cabins also come with a dining table which means that you do not have to eat from your lap which is something we do not like doing often.

Lounge

Of course, a trip to forest holidays is all about chilling for us so the comfy sofa is a must for us.  It was very cold when we visited and walks in the countryside were limited due to the ice. If you know me I am clumsy and would have ended up slipping and spending Christmas in plaster.  We had a large tv as well which kept us entertained we did pay for the entertainment package which is around £35 for a weekend. This allows you the movie channels and wifi which for us are essential as we go when it is bitterly cold. We even found blankets which

Love Bed

One of the best things about going away for me is always staying in a new bed as mine is terrible. The golden oak hideaway has a really comfy double bed. The pillows where that soft as soon as my head hit them I think I drifted off to a deep sleep. As parent sleep is something which I am aware I usually do not get enough of so this for sure helped. The room did not become too light and wake us up in the morning either as the curtains are thick enough. I am not sure if the same could be said in summer months.

Overall 

I would recommend a visit to forest holiday’s their cabins can be more on the pricey side, however, for sure memories will be created.  They are beautiful high-quality cabins which I for sure would love to visit again. I would love to go back in the summer to experience the difference and maybe some of the activities which are on offer. Such as zip wire and archery however, with hopefully moving house this summer that does not seem to be on the cards.

Have you ever been to forest holiday’s if so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xx