Tree Surfing at the Tamar Trails Centre – Review

The Tamar Trails Centre is located on the border of Devon and Cornwall just a short drive from the town of Tavistock.  The centre covers over 25km of trails with stunning scenery over which you can walk, bring you bike to cycle or even ride a horse along and enjoy at your leisure.  There are also some chargeable activities such as tree surfing and archery which we were invited to try out and share our thoughts with you.

6B7339DD-AE59-4D54-877C-EEEE3AA28DFENot being particularly keen on swinging through trees myself, I seem to have produced a rather adventurous 8yr old daughter who loves nothing more than being outdoors or playing sports.  Being in the house for more than a few hour invokes cabin fever so the Tamar Trails Centre is right up her street and I couldn’t wait to see what she thought.  I also have a 5yr old son who doesn’t have the same outgoing nature and I was a little sceptical as to how well he’d fair, but knew this would be a great opportunity to expose him to something new and in the end, I needn’t have worried in the slightest.  After an initial nervous five minutes he became fearless zipping down the high wire and didn’t want to go home at the end of our trip!

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First up was archery, something my eldest has done before.  Both children were totally engrossed in sitting the arrow across the bow and firing at the target.  They only had a few goes but really enjoyed it.  The archery is set amongst a clearing in the trees, hence the photos are a little dark but it was a sunny day and there was plenty of light to see what you are doing.

Tamar Trails

Then we moved onto the even more exciting stuff… Tree Surfing!  The children were very eager to try this out and couldn’t wait to get their harnesses on.  The staff assist and check the harness is secure before briefing the children on safety and what to do.  The tree surfing course consists of wooden bridges of various designs high up between the trees and ends in a zip wire that brings you to the ground.  The circuit doesn’t take too long to go around and once you’ve completed it, you can climb the stairs and start again.  In fact you can complete this as many times as you like for an hour session and by the end my children were whizzing round, having heaps of fun, not wanting the excitement to stop.

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8yr old Miss M had no hesitations and was straight up the stairs and venturing across the course.  She loved it and had a huge grin every time she looked down at me.  She was full of concentration and soaking up every minute of the fun.

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The pictures above give you a perspective of how high up the course is and as you can see there are platforms at each tree where you step off one obstacle bridge before starting on another.

tamar trails 4Mister B was really quite nervous crossing his first bridge, but as he moved around the course his confidence grew until he finished down the zip wire and ran straight back to the start again eager to do it again.  The zip wire at the end was a highlight for both children.  They just loved it and each time they zipped past me they tried to create different poses in the air!

There is an extra high zip wire available as an extra activity which my two did also experience.  They had to climb small rung like steps built into the tree to a super high height, I could hardly see them amongst the tree canopy.  They then came flying down through the trees and thought the experience was totally amazing and exhilirating, wanting to do it again but unfortunately their thrill seeking time was up and it was time to head to the Beech Tree Cafe for some refreshments.

beech cafe 3I’m sure the pictures above of Beech Tree Cafe speak for themselves but the outside looks fresh, inviting, friendly and clean, somewhere I’d want to chill out in for a drink and snack after spending time on the outdoor activities.  I tend to find that cafe’s on days out can be very hit and miss, especially when there’s no competition around, but I can safely say that the Beech Tree Cafe was a hit!  With it’s relaxed interior, friendly charm and pretty bunting it was a joy to sit in and enjoy some refreshments.

beech cafe 4The menu is on a blackboard on the wall beside the counter allowing you to easily view the options available which are simple but contain a good choice of interesting sandwiches, light bites and homemade cake.  Being vegetarian I opted for a cheese and onion pasty which was served deliciously crisp and hot.  The children went for cheese and ham fillings, one had a sandwich and the other a toastie.  I have to say they were impressively filled and freshly made up while we waited.  They were a decent size which the children needed after their mornings activities and they both devoured them immediately satisfying their hungry appetite.

The cafe is known for it’s particularly good coffee although not being a coffee drinker myself I chose a hot chocolate which was perfectly served and tasted just as it should, frothy, rich and chocolatey!

beech cafe 5It’s fair to say that the children had an awesome trip out to the Tamar Trails Centre and equally enjoyed refueling at the Beech Tree Cafe.

I hadn’t heard of the Tamar Trails Centre before visiting, but realistically it’s only a half an hour or so drive from where I live so a very viable option for a few hours out.  For me it is a hidden gem in the Devon countryside with it’s great views, beautiful scenery, fun activities and friendly cafe.  The facilities ares well maintained and clean making the centre an inviting place to be.  If you are visiting the area and looking for something to do then this should definitely be on your list for fun and adventures in the great outdoors!

If you want to see the children tree surfing then check out this short video of them in action!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received complimentary activities in order to write an honest review.





















Our family summer holiday to Perran Sands Cornwall

After visiting Perran Sands in Cornwall for the first time last summer, we were quite impressed.  We had glorious weather, spent everyday on the beach and I have to say the Haven caravan impressed me.  I’ll be honest and say I was sceptical not having holidayed in a caravan for years, but it was almost brand new, modern decor, en suite toilet etc.

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So as soon as we got back, we booked again for this year without hesitation.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t quite as sunny this year, but we did manage most days on the beach and the caravan surpassed itself.  We believe we were probably in an upgrade to the level we booked and I reckon we had the best view on the whole site as we had a full on sea view and our caravan jutted further onto the cliff then any others so it felt very private.  We had a decking balcony with table and chairs, not to mention a bath with shower over, as well as an en suite shower room off the main bedroom and washing machine in the kitchen.

Here’s the view from standing on our decking outside the lounge of our caravan:

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So aside from my amazing caravan, the children couldn’t wait to get exploring.  Not knowing that their cousins were due to arrive in another caravan, we headed to the central area where they had a play before we surprised them with my brother and his family.

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Most days where then spent on the beach.  Both my children just adore the sand, although Miss M has become a total water babe, she spent most of her time body boarding in the sea with daddy whilst Mister B and I played in the sand.

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Mister B’s beach dumper truck was a  big hit as usual, creating all sorts of imaginative play, it kept him occupied for hours!

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Miss M opted for some beach gymnastics, to practice her cartwheels and handstands and I can definitely say she’s improved.

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There is a steep cliff face coming down to the beach and with some water trickling though which made a river right across the beach.  The children loved this and collected water there as well as making dams out of sand across the river, and having “sandball” fights against the cliff!

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What I like about the beach at Perran Sands is that it is vast, so much room that you don’t feel cramped and they children had plenty of room to play.  I’m pleased we had some good weather days where the sky was blue and the beach was sheltered, so the children could run around to their hearts content.

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One day we went down quite late in the afternoon, not realising that the tide was on it’s way in, but that just provided extra entertainment with the children digging holes to sit in, and wait for them to fill up with water, before running inland a bit more and starting again!

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When we weren’t on the beach,  we made good use of the indoor pool, with Miss M enjoying one of the junior pool parties.  She also had an archery lesson which she really enjoyed although I was surprised to see the bow was almost as tall as her!

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The bungee trampoline was a big hit with Miss M where she could bounce up as high as the sky!  She also successfully attempted some backflips which were amazing to see her twirling round in the air.

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It was soon time for our holiday to come to an end, and typically we woke up to an exceptionally sunny day when we were due to leave, so once we had packed the car up and handed in the key, we walked down to the dunes overlooking the cliff and finished our ice lollies, threw some whistling foam javelins between us and played in the sand bunker behind a huge dune.  It was so peaceful, warm and sunny I could have stayed there all day, but it was time to say goodbye to another wonderful family beach holiday at Perran Sands

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Win a Family Ticket to the Eden Project

One of the great tourist attractions in Cornwall is the Eden Project, of which the main sight is the world’s largest rainforest under captivity full of exotic plants and trees.  There is even a rainforest canopy walkway where you can walk among the treetops.  This is just some of what the Eden Project has to offer along with stunning garden displays, sculptures, educational centres, demonstrations and a restaurant serving fairly traded food.

biomes-reflecting-sky-eden-projectThe Eden Project provides a full day out suitable for all the family with plenty of activities for little ones and I’m pleased to say that Parkdean holidays have arranged for me to give away a family ticket worth £68 for one of my readers to enjoy a day out at the Eden Project.

Parkdean offer holidays across the UK and have 8 holiday parks within Cornwall – a perfect place to stay for visiting the Eden Project!

If you’d like a chance of winning, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Trip to Looe Beach in Cornwall

A few weeks ago, we ventured down to Looe in Cornwall for the day.  The husband was working and the children are always itching to get out and love the beach so Looe seemed like the ideal place to go without being too far to travel.

The weather wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, a bit drizzly, but the children didn’t bat an eyelid as we parked up and walked off.  We couldn’t help but walk past a rather fun play park at the end of the car park so I let them have ten minutes to run around.

In fact the park was so good, I wished it had been nearer to home as it would be a great place to pop to for the children to have a play.  Mister B loved climbing a spider web like rope structure to be like his favourite superhero “Spiderman”.  Miss M was at home on all the ropes and swinging paraphernalia being the action girl that she is!

looe 1With swings, slides, things to climb on and lots of rope activities, they could have stayed here all day, but we soon headed down towards the beach.

looe 2The children were delighted when they saw the vast sandy beach in front of them, Miss M ran straight down to the water to fill the buckets whilst Mister B couldn’t wait to start digging in the sand.  He happily built himself a little castle and found a feather to put on top.

looe 3They both played happily in the sand before deciding to dig a hole by the sea.

looe 4The tide was coming in so they dug faster and faster eager for the sea to fill their hole, and when it did they excitedly giggled before encouraging each other to dig even quicker to make a longer river for the sea to fill.

looe 5As you can see the finished river was quite long and if it wasn’t getting a little chilly and the sea wasn’t coming in quite so fast, I think they would have been happy to stay their until bedtime!

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looe 7All in all a successful day at Looe, my children love the beach whatever the weather and being somewhere we can travel to in just under an hour, it’s a great day out that always guarantees fun and excitement.

As you can imagine, after something to eat and a hot bath, they slept soundly through the night after a day in the fresh sea breeze.

Easter Egg Hunt at Anthony House Cornwall

Easter Egg hunts are something my children love and adore so I was determined to take them a few over the weekend.  Today we ventured out to Anthony House, a National Trust property in Cornwall to go on a trail.  I hadn’t mentioned anything to the children so after Miss M’s diving lesson this morning, instead of heading home, we drove towards the Torpoint ferry.  Miss M immediately picked up on the fact that she didn’t know where she was going and became intrigued, and then they saw the water “Where are we going, don’t drive into the water daddy”.  I loved watching their excited faces as we crossed the water on the ferry and then a couple of mile down the country lanes on the other side we arrived at Anthony House, the location where Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland film was shot.

Anthony House National Trust 4 We wandered into the grounds and Miss M soon became aware of lots of people wearing the same hats. Then we came across the Easter tent which offered Easter Egg hunts and their eyes lit up.  They couldn’t wait to build their eggsplorer hat and then we set off looking for clues.  Mister B spotted egg no. 1 and ran ahead super excited.  Each egg asked a question and then hinted where to find the next clue.  The idea was to write down all the answers in order to exchange them for a chocolate egg at the end.

Anthony House National TrustBoth Miss M and Mister B got completely into the spirit of the egg trail and eagerly ran ahead looking for the next egg.  They found one under a huge bell and one in a cone shaped hedgerow.  The gardens were stunning, I’ve not visited here before but was impressed by what I saw and keen to come again some day.

Anthony House National Trust 2They soon spotted a croquet lawn and were more than keen to have a game, but we decided to press on with the egg hunt and if we had time later we’d pop back.

Anthony House National Trust 8We found more clues by a huge tree in the middle of the lawn, by a pear tree and by the pond.  It was a gloriously sunny day and it was so nice to see the children running around freely but also a with a goal of what they were looking for.

Anthony House National Trust 3 The clues then sent us down to the bottom of the huge back lawn where behind some trees we found a huge wooden caterpillar and a giant connect four game.  We also found the “rabbit hole” slide.

Anthony House National Trust 5They both couldn’t wait to have a go at sitting in the giant story telling chair.

Anthony House National Trust 6Then having completed all our clues we headed back to the Easter tent to collect a Cadbury’s chocolate egg!  The children also went in the craft room to make a grass head by decorating a piece of paper and glueing around a cup.  They then filled it with soil and grass seed and brought it home to water.  They now await the grass to grow so they can trim and style it’s “hair”.

Anthony House National Trust 7All in all we had a lovely afternoon at Anthony House and can’t wait to visit again.  The weather was glorious, the children were happy so we had a lovely family day out.