Saturday, February 28, 2009

A day out in London for a trip down the Thames

We thought we'd get back into London and treat the kids to a special day. We took the Jubilee line to Green Park then got a cab to Hamleys toy shop for our first stop of the day.

Six floors of toys!! Emily and Hannah both loved it......Emily ran around loudly proclaiming 'Daddy, I want that.....Daddy, I want that'. Hannah was pretty laid back and was happy taking all the sights in.

There were rickshaws, or Pedicabs, outside the store. Sharon and Emily took one to Trafalgar Square. They both loved it, though Sharon was a little concerned about their safety in busy streets.
Hannah & I walked down to Trafalgar Square and met up with Sharon & Emily. The square was bustling with tourists and performers. I really love it there. It has a great atmosphere.
We walked down Whitehall to Horseguards, looked at the horses..err...guarding! Well, the soldier on the horse was guardng..but you know what I mean :-)
We walked past MoD Main Building and then through Victoria Embankment Park. It's only a small park but great for finding a quiet place to sit and relax in the middle of London.
From there, we crossed over to the Thames river bus and took a round trip up to the O2 arena (Old Millenium Dome) and back to Embankment. Both Emily and Hannah loved it. You cn either sit inside or outside. To be honest the kids loved it outside more. The boat moves along at a fair speed and the wake off the back of the boat transfixed them.

The kids had a great time although it's not a cheap day out. Still days like this get their little inquiring minds racing.
(Sharon & Hannah on the Jubilee line tube)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Holiday In The Peak District

Well, I'm back again properly now folks. I'd love to share some memories of a fantastic holiday we had last week in the Peak District. We hired a cottage in Whaley Bridge, a beautiful little town with a very friendy amosphere. From the cottage, we explored a fair amount of the Peak District an started Emily & Hannah off on my 'grand plan' of introducing them to the wonders of the outdoors proper - hill walking, scrambling & rock climbing.

Anyways, to start at the beginning....we revealed the 'nice things to see' to Emily on a freezing cold day. We made her walk a short distance to look at a beautiful waterfall off Snake Pass. There was a little bit of snow on the ground and lots of puddles to splash in!!!!

Another walk was in a park that, for the life of us, we can't remember the name of. It was in the Derwent Vally. It had a beautiful and well tended paths and some beautiful scenery All that aside, Emily just wanted to play football....and Hannah, as usual, just loved taking in everything around her.

Another park we went to was Lyme Park just outside the Stockport area. Both Emily & Hannah loved it, despite the fact that it was absolutely freezing (again!!). A worrying trend for me is that Emily has found a natural love for football!! Sharon & I really don't like football, and I can see that I'll have to learn about that sport in the future to encourage her....sigh.....
There was a beautiful house in the grounds at Lyme Park. It was closed to the public until March, but you could walk around the outside of the buildings. Sharon decided that Emily should not be deprived of a quick look inside and lifted her up to have a glance inside the house. 'What can you see?' asked Sharon. Emily ducked down and giggled. The window she had been lifted up to just happened to be where a big conference was being held. As Emily had peered in, scores of conference goers saw her pretty little smiling face for a split second....hope they didn't think the place was haunted!!!

In Whaley Bridge, there was a beautiful canal with barges that both Emily & Hannah absolutely loved. And of course, where there's water, there's ducks......
Another park we went to introduced Emily to the 'real' sport of hillwalking and a spot of climbing.. :-)

Emily & Hannah both loved the cottage when we eventually got back from our walks......
The cottage was called Cloud Cottage. A beautiful, old house in Whaley Bridge with a really lovely owner called Linda. I'd seriously recommend using her cottage as it's in a great location and she's a really nice person.

We'd have taken more pictures, but to be honest, we were more interestd in having a great holiday. Sorry. Still there will be so many more memories to share with you soon.

We're moving back to the Chilterns soon, so over the next few months, I'll keep you posted on how we're moving back to hills & vales...and when we move back to Ireland.....back into mountains.................can't wait!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back In The UK

Well, folks, I'm back in Blighty. Normal service will resume in a few days lol.
I've been back a week now & we've take the girls to the Peak District for a bit of a break. They absolutely loved it. I'll be posting pictures of them shortly.

Anyways, it's great to be back and blogging again.