I’ve been on Annual Leave for the whole of the easter holidays which has been really nice. We had a lovely couple of weeks off. We went away for a few days to South Wales (we seem to be having a love affair with Wales at the moment, this will be our 3rd trip there in less than a year!!) this time to a place called Dale which is near Pembroke. We went on a Real Family Holiday to Dale Fort. (For those Gloucester people who remember The Wilderness Centre its a bit like that) It’s an education centre for wildlife and the environment. We got the opportunity to go rock-pooling, pond-dipping, going out on the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to collect plankton and then study it under the microscope. And (for all those parents out there) all food/meals included so there was no washing up, preparing meals or tidying up after the kids- that made it for me!!

We arrived Wednesday late afternoon and got shown our room and we were able to explore the area. The Fort was built to defend Pembrokeshire in the victorian age. We had the centre to ourselves as no one else was due to arrive until the following day. On Thursday we took advantage of the rock-pooling trip that was taking place and went down to the beach with two staff members who were able to show us different things that live in sea/rock pools. We spent a couple of hours looking for little fish, prawns, crabs and other such things. The kids really enjoyed this and were excited to be able to mark this activity off on their ’50 things to do before I’m 11 3/4′ book from the national trust. On Friday we went out on the RIB and collect plankton as well as having a free natural sea-salt shower. In the evening Joshua & I went to look at the plankton under the microscopes with one of the staff. It was really interesting seeing what look like specs of dust/something but under the microscope they’re real live creatures and instead of just being circular which is what is looks like to the naked eye they are many and various shapes, and Joshua really enjoyed himself. (He loves nature). Saturday we had to go home 🙁  We went via seeing my cousin who lives in Pembrokeshire and spend some quality time with her and the family over a lovely roast meal.

Sunday we shared Easter morning with our church and then went out to Westbury Court Gardens with the kids on an easter egg hunt. This was the first visit using our National Trust membership so I was very excited. Reminds me of my childhood – taking picnics, a flask of tea and visiting many a property. Easter Monday we took the kids to Stonehenge, Joshua has been studying about the stone age in school and so I was really keen to help cement this learning and enjoyment of it by visiting it. We spent a few hours there, walking around the site and looking at artefacts dug up at & around the site. Both the kids favourite fact was that Stonehenge fell down (or some of it) on a very windy night in 1900.

On Thursday we went over to Newent to join with my parents, Aunt & Uncle, cousins and sister & all our kids for a big family Easter meal. Spending quality time with important people.

A busy couple of weeks but one with lots of memories made.