holiday cottages in wales

Exploring the Beautiful Gardens of North Wales

Any visit to North Wales is perhaps guided by some plans to explore many of the region’s activities on offer, which can include some serious fun for the whole family as well as some cultural experiences and even extreme sports, but one element which is inherent in any visit to this majestically beautiful part of the world is indeed the natural beauty of the surroundings. However, while Mother Nature has put on a bit of show in terms of the natural beauty contained in this little corner of the world, she isn’t the only beauty-slinger in town.

Man holds his own with regards to accentuating and frankly showing off the beauty of this region with some of the most beautifully breath-taking gardens you’ll find anywhere awaiting the eager traveller who takes the time to visit some of these plantations in the region.

Part of any vacation should indeed entail a bit of relaxation, or a whole lot of relaxation for that matter, and what better way to centre yourself and get as close to the beauty of nature as one possibly can than to explore North Wales’ botanic artistry?

You can almost tell that the trees, in particular, were planted on the back some or other special reason, with many of these trees in actual fact planted as a mark of some romances of the misty days of yore. North Wales is famous for a lot of things, not least of which are its gardens, from some of those which can be found on listed estates to those which feature in the National Ivy Collection.

Plas Newydd, Isle of Anglesey

This 18th-century house already boasts some of the best views of Snowdonia, but the sheer beauty of the Menai Strait’s luscious gardens will most definitely be competing hard for your attention. Massed hydrangeas perhaps make for the most prominent feature, but there is plenty more beauty to enjoy in the form of the summer terrace, the catkin garden (another highlight) and the spring garden section.

Bodnant Garden

You might have to wander a bit from your holiday cottage to uncover the magic that awaits the inquisitive mind making somewhat of a pilgrimage to Bodnant, with something not unlike what Alice experienced in the mythical kids’ favourite, Alice in Wonderland. Five beautiful terraces form part of the path leading up to the Hall, with the brick-paths adding to the charm, while the herbaceous plants and formal lawns may have you convinced you’ve discovered what is the deepest shade of each colour you identify.

Ivy Collection (Grade I Listed)

What would a botanic-inspired visit to North Wales be without a stopover at one of Britain’s most important gardens, in the form of Erddig, where you’ll find the National Ivy Collection? Additionally, some super rare fruit trees can be found within the grounds and if you’re searching for a good story to come away with, discover why the late 18th-century design by William Earnes earned a place among the Grade I listed gardens.

If you’re exploring any of these fantastic North Wales gardens, it’s worthwhile exploring the rest of Wales has to offer. Here’s a great guide to all to see and do while you’re in the country:

https://www.iknow-uk.com/article/2598-the-ultimate-list-of-things-to-do-in-wales

Esholt Trivia

Visiting the fіlmіng lосаtіоnѕ оf the рорulаr ITV night tіmе ѕоар opera Emmеrdаlе іѕ ѕtіll quite аn еаѕу tаѕk. Emmerdale? What’s that you ask? Well, unless you have been a Luddite and scorned the use of a TV, or live in a cave, you would know that Emmerdale is a British icon in the entertainment industry and its 45th year of production! Yes, it is a soap opera that the Brits do best. It’s all about life on a farm. Continue reading “Esholt Trivia”

4 Amazingly Fun Camping Trips in the North West

To really build on your Green credentials, camping is the holiday of choice for many people. Not only does it get you out in the open air, you can take in some beautiful scenery, get some exercise, visit some attractions, and promote an environmentally friendly activity. There are no long haul flights involved here, simply trips to some of the most entertaining locations in the UK. Continue reading “4 Amazingly Fun Camping Trips in the North West”

Eco Ways of Getting Around this Summer

With the summer holiday season well and truly underway, you will no doubt, be spending a lot of time thinking about activities that you can do with your children. If you’re fed up of spending hours in the car listening to the repeated phrase “are we nearly there yet” then why not put your eco-friendly hat on and think about alternative ways to get around with the family.

Continue reading “Eco Ways of Getting Around this Summer”

The Benefits of Outdoor Play

Does it seem like your kids are perpetually glued to a screen?  Between TVs, mobile phones, video games and laptops, it’s getting increasingly more difficult for kids to be kids.  When kids spend endless hours passively watching a screen, the transition to active and engaging pursuits becomes increasingly difficult.  The experts have shown repeatedly that one of the best ways to develop and stimulate young minds is through imagination and exploration. While so many video games and website tout an educational bent or component, nothing is more educational that old fashioned outdoor play.  Follow these tips to get your kids outside.  At first they might well complain quite violently, but soon enough, they’ll head outside on their own.  We all know this is the healthiest choice for mind and body. Chances are they secretly know it too!  As parent, we just have to steer them in the right direction and they can take it from there. Continue reading “The Benefits of Outdoor Play”

Creative Uses for Dome Shelters and Shipping Containers

When you combine shipping containers and dome shelters together, you come up with an extremely versatile storage and workspace solution, that is also highly mobile. By placing shipping containers parallel to each other, you can add a steel framework between the shipping containers and cover this with Polyethylene. This gives you an area which is protected from both the sun and rain, and can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

  • Mobile Workshop
  • Hobby Area
  • Outdoor Storage Area
  • Relaxation Area

 

Dome Shelter Workshops

The great thing about a dome shelter from Port Container Shelters is that they are easily transported anywhere, and they can be set up relatively quickly, depending on the size. The larger dome shelters can handle large vehicles or multiple smaller ones, so make an ideal outside workshop. All of your equipment can be stored securely in the shipping containers at night, and then used as needed during the day. There are many additional features that you can purchase with your dome shelter such as doors, printed logos, top rail systems and also fixed lights. When the job is complete, you can easily pack up your shipping containers and dome shelter, and move on to your next destination.

container-shelters-9

 

The Perfect Hobby Area

There are many people whose hobbies seem to take over the life, as well as all of their free space! Utilising a dome shelter with shipping containers gives you the perfect outside area for your hobby, no matter what it is.

  • Gardening
  • Car Restoration and Repair
  • DIY
  • Sculpting
  • Pottery

There are many different hobbies which could use such an area, and compared to a permanent structure they are much more cost effective. As the structure is also classed as temporary, you will not need to gain planning permission before the structure is erected. From a potting shed to a car restoration garage, with all of the secure storage space, as well as protection from the elements, this could be the perfect solution for your hobby!

 

the wonder of combining shipping containers with dome shelters

Outdoor Storage Area

We all seem to use as much storage area as we have, which means additional space is always a bonus. You can easily use a couple of shipping containers with a dome shelter as an outdoor storage area. Anything of value which needs secure storage can be put into the shipping containers. To build a permanent feature will require a lot more investment, as well as also requiring planning permission. You can even connect two shipping containers to make yourself a temporary parking garage which can be securely locked.

shipping contas

A Place to Relax

As well as creating a good place for storage, you can also make yourself a pleasant area where you can relax out of the elements. You can have yourself some comfortable seating and tables where you can read a book or entertain friends. You could even have a Jacuzzi installed which you could use even when it is raining. If you have animals that spend most of their time outside, you could use this as a place for them. For the more social of people, you could even set yourself up a bar and get yourself a pool table. The possibilities really are endless, and the only limitation is your own imagination. Just be careful if you have a BBQ as you would not want to melt the Polyethylene Waterproof roof!

 

 

The History of the Bike

Steve and I are cycle-fiends. We’ve decided in the approaching winter months it is going to replace kayaking and become “our thing”. Only when it’s not raining, of course.

Cycling in China
Cycling in China

We like to cycle around new cities on holiday, mountain bike, and cycle with Phoebe in tow along the canal near our house. It’s my fave form of fitness as, unlike on a treadmill, you actually feel like you’re going somewhere!

Cycling in Barcelona
Cycling in Barcelona

Bikes are one of those items that have become ingrained in human life and you can’t go far without bumping into one – sometimes literally. Have you ever thought about the history of the bike? Where it came from, and what did early bikes look like? Well, if you have, see the infographic below and you might get some answers.

A Gumtree graphic - The history of the bike

The History of the Bike is a graphic produced by Gumtree.com.

The Time For Electric Bikes Is NOW

With the New Year fast approaching, we will start getting geared up for a host of people saying “New Year, New Me” and saying a lot of things they are going to give up in hope of a healthier lifestyle.

Usually, we would condone this from our social media timelines, but this year there is one product that could make us join in – the electric bike. Seen everywhere in London, electric bikes are the future of transport and can cut down huge amounts on emissions.

Sunstar electric bike

Not only are electric bikes great for staying fit, but they will save you a fortune on fuel costs to and from work too – some of the bikes even have a range of up to 50 miles. Saving money and doing your bit for the environment in the process is a no-brainer really.

What’s more is electric bikes can be enjoyed all year round too, so during the summer, you can enjoy seeing new things you wouldn’t necessary appreciate stuck in traffic and during the wintery months you can mess around in the mud – if you opt for the electric mountain bike of course.

A couple of years ago, when electric bikes started making their way into the mainstream, they looked hideous. Now, they look like any other bike you can buy on the market. In fact, some are even smarter than a lot of the bikes on the market.

So, if there was one thing that you should give up for the New Year, it should be using your car for the daily commute. Of course, if you live miles and miles away from your work and don’t fancy being Bradley Wiggins during the Tour De France each day, then you could opt for an electric car, but if you live up to 50 miles all-round away, give an electric bike a chance.

Solar Energy – Is it the Answer to Our Potential Energy Crisis?

Solar energy is a renewable energy source, which means we should be doing our utmost to make it as accessible as possible. When you think about it, solar energy is what keeps us and the rest of the earth’s plant and animal species alive.

There’s no doubting the fact that we have done quite a lot in recent years to utilise the energy provided by the sun. For instance, the largest solar power plant in the world covers over 1000 acres and is based in the sun-soaked Mojave Desert, California.

The solar power plant in Mojave Desert, California
The solar power plant in Mojave Desert, California

Solar energy is quite easy to collect, it’s completely free, it will last forever and it can be accessible to areas where power grids would be far too expensive to build. However, there are also plenty of disadvantages that should be taken into account when considering solar power.

Here is a collection of advantages and disadvantages associated with solar power that might help you decide whether or not it has the properties required to become the most predominant energy source in the future.

Advantages

  • Solar energy is free. As long as you have a solar collector, such as a solar panel, you can collect as much of energy from the sun as you like and use it to provide power for your home.

solar panels

  • There are plenty of devices out there that don’t require significant amounts of energy to be used, such as a calculator. Solar power is more than capable of providing the energy these types of devices require to work efficiently.
  • Solar energy is likely to last forever. Oil reserves are expected to be entirely spent in the coming decades, so it’s essential that we have some form of energy available to us once that occurs. Solar power could become a widespread source of power at some stage in the future as we begin to run out of other types of fuel.
  • Some types of fuel, particularly oil, cause pollution and damage the ozone layer. Solar power does not cause pollution and can be used consistently without posing a threat to the atmosphere.
  • Solar power stations or sites can be placed anywhere on the map where sunlight is present. They don’t require a grid extension and completely negate the expense of having to carry out this kind of work.

Disadvantages

  • The sun isn’t always out of course, which means that solar power will only be available during the daytime. You then have to consider the seasons and the fact that it’s certainly not always sunny during the winter.
A slight problem with solar energy...
A slight problem with solar energy…
  • Whilst solar energy is free in theory, you have to remember that it could cost billions to build a global range of solar power plants. Thankfully, the price of this manufacturing job has started to decrease, although it will still cost you to get hold of your own solar panel.
  • Conventional power stations are far superior to that of solar power stations, which would also cost quite a lot to build.
  • Whilst solar power plants can be placed anywhere where sunlight is present, they can’t necessarily be placed in areas where land is scarce. They need to be tightly packed together in numbers to allow enough electricity to power all of them at once.
  • Solar power can be used at night but they require storage batteries that collect solar energy during the day. These batteries are heavy and expensive and tend to need replacing every now and then.
  • Solar panels can cause certain parts of the world to look a lot less appealing, especially if they begin turning up all over the place. You may find that many land owners will oppose the idea of having solar power plants built anywhere near their land.

When you way up the pros and cons of this type of energy source, you might find that your opinion on the matter has changed somewhat. However, there’s no denying the fact that solar power could be an essential tool in the near future and is probably a better alternative to other forms of energy we are currently using far more regularly.

If you’re keen to get stuck in with this renewable form of energy, don’t be afraid to pursue some of the latest products powered by solar energy. In addition, you can cut your energy bills by getting hold of some solar panels. They may be costly upfront but solar panels can help provide your home with electricity without the need for bills.

There are a number of other products that are powered by solar energy you can get hold of. These include fans, cookers, lanterns, tents, backpacks and more. Most of these products are associated with the outdoors, so if you’re a keen walker or enjoy the idea of camping every now and then, these solar powered products might be able to provide you with that essential source of energy you need during your trip.

There are a number of questions to consider if you’re still not certain about solar power. Think about your personal opinion on the renewable energy source, whether or not it could be the answer to the world’s energy crisis, its effect on the environment and devices that could potentially be powered by solar energy in the future.

Mike James is a former heating engineer with an interest in greener sources of electricity. He writes about energy sources and supplies for BSW Heating, solar panel installation specialists.

The Growing Trend of Forest Schools

Recently more schools throughout the country have taken steps to earn the ‘Forest School’ status as Forest Schools have been increasing in popularity due to their fresh approach to hands on learning. With attitudes towards environmental awareness constantly being highlighted it is certainly a step in the right direction as far as education is concerned to see more of these forest schools popping up throughout the country.

What are Forest Schools?
Forest Schools are schools that offer equal learning experiences for all children in order to help them to develop key life skills such as self-esteem and confidence in public speaking and acting. These are established through hands-on learning activities that occur in a natural forest or woodland environment which also helps to teach children about the local environment while at the same time helping them to build on these key life skills.

What Happens in a Forest School?
As well as providing a stimulating and engaging environment in which the children can learn, a forest school needs to meet a certain criteria of basic needs for all children enrolled in these schools. Warmth and appropriate clothing must be provided for the children as well as a secure learning environment in which the children can feel safe at all times. Children must also be provided with clean water and hot drinks as well as healthy snacks and meals where necessary.

children-recreation-in-forest-and-environmental-education_w487_h725

 

The school site is often explored and in an introductory session is established to agree on both physical and behavioural boundaries during sessions. Children are taught to familiarise themselves with the local area and the route taken to reach that area either on foot or by bus.

A fully constructed site shelter is needed to provide security for children during cold, windy or wet days and the site can include a variety of features depending on what sort of activities and lessons you would like to cover with the children. Forest Schools can range from the bare minimum to a fully constructed shelter with a cosy, covered area complete with fire pit and wooden benches for the pupils to sit around.

In some cases it can be beneficial to get the pupils involved in building a suitable shelter for their lessons. You start to build on teamwork in group exercises and can also educate pupils on how to build an appropriate shelter in a wooded area while at the same time providing useful information about the local plants and wildlife in a realistic and engaging environment.

shelter

How can a School apply to become a Forest School?
In order to successfully set up a Forest School, the school must have a Qualified Practitioner which can be achieved by any teacher willing to complete the training process and consolidation as set out by the Forest Schools Website. With the help of a Forest Schools Practitioner you can then start setting up the Forest School.

You will also need an appropriate site in which to run the forest school. Generally on the school’s own grounds is acceptable but if you can work out a deal with a local woodland or forest group this could also be a good idea.

You can also obtain funding for your new Forest School from local authorities and local councils if you are having trouble with creating an acceptable shelter and gathering materials for the Forest School. Applying for funding can be a tedious process but if it provides you with the supplies you need to create an exciting environment for children it will be well worth the effort.

What does the Future Hold for Forest Schools?
As Forest Schools are flexible, providing an exciting new insight into how children and pupils of all abilities grow and learn, Forest Schools may be the way to go within the new few years. We are forever learning more and more about how to properly provide for our youth and it is becoming more apparent that a single learning style is not suited to all children.

Forest Schools provide an opportunity to improve life skills such as teamwork, working in a group and working in a new and sometimes challenging environment. Plus by applying lessons to a new environment and a new set of challenges, children can start to view problems in a different light and could pick things up quicker than in a generic classroom environment.

All in all Forest Schools are a welcome change to everyday classroom lessons, tests, homework assignments and schedules. By incorporating wildlife and an engaging setting into learning and teaching, children could be more motivated and inspired to explore their imaginative, creative and innovative sides, giving children more opportunities to grow as individuals while at the same time gaining important life and educational skills.

As a mother of a young family, Alana Burton is very interested in the wider range of educational options available for different types of schooling and lessons. She writes about her finds and interests for Bloo House, an independent school in Esher, Surrey offering an altogether unique learning environment.

Captain Planet Was a Golfer

While everyone turns the discussion to making sacrifices for the sake of the planet, some bells and whistles can actually help save it.

Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr
Image by Dru Bloomfield via Flickr

 

Don’t put the five-iron down, and relax. By supporting your local golf course, you might actually be helping reverse global warming –or in the least, you may not be making it worse.

It’s true.

The green-conscious eco-movement isn’t only a cause fought for by Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging hippies. Golf-enthusiasts can fight the cause, too; from the turf.

So don’t re-book that Friday afternoon business meeting. The only earth-friendly decision you may need to make today is which golf course to spend your money on.

Not every golf course is a mecca for eco-friendliness, so it’s important to know what to look for. Here are a few tips on how golf courses are going green.

  1. Pass the Grass

Not all golf course turf is created equal. If you’re going to spend time on a course, and the environment your playing golf on is of conscientious consequence for you; be sure to select a golf course that uses turf composed of grass that relies on less water consumption.

Some strains of grass that consume water differently are Buchloe dactyloides, Cynodon dactylon, and Paspalum vaginatum.

Buchloe dactyloides has been bred by the University of Nebraska, and it is a special grass turf that can use up to 50% less water than typical turf grass.

Cynodon dactylon was developed by the Oklahoma State University for colder climates, and conserves 30% – 50% water savings.

The University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is inherently salt-water tolerant, so water can be irrigated directly from the ocean without further tampering or filtration.

  1. Irrigation Practices

Golf courses that cycle irrigation as opposed to using fresh water all day long, day in, day out, are high on the list of eco-friendly golf course practices –however more attention can be paid to other facets of modern golf course practices such as limiting traffic to paths which minimize turf wear and tear, or root-pruning trees near critical turf areas to conserve water consumption.

golf2

 

Employing mulches that reduce water evaporation will also maximise water use, and ensure that no drop is wasted.

  1. Creative Water Sources

Ponds that line your turf should provide more utility than looking good cosmetically; they can serve as water reservoirs to feed the green above and beyond municipal reserves.

golf pond

As mentioned earlier, University of Georgia’s Paspalum vaginatum is salt-water tolerant, and allows for the use of ocean water to feed the green. Not only is it the right thing to do ecologically, it saves money, too.

Even a desalinization plant on-site will allow for the use of ocean salt water, without burdening local infrastructure and provide an unlimited source of grass turf hydration.

  1. Landscaping and “Earth Shaping”

Drainage isn’t just about preventing flooding on the gold course, it’s also about water catchment for the recycling of available water.

Capping golf courses with a 6-inch layer of sand allow for the free-flowing of water which will prevent stale water and rot, while allowing water to flow back into a water catchment system for redistribution.

  1. Aerification and Cultivation

Healthy grass ensures proper use of water resources. Using effective nutrient levels will ensure grass remains healthy, while absorbing water that might otherwise evaporate and get wasted.

Further to this, golf courses that facilitate effective spiking, slicing, and core aerification practices improve water infiltration, and minimize water runoff.

In closing, you can either take this checklist to every single golf course in town, or you can take our word on it;  Murray Downs Resort has what you’re looking for.

Our 5 Hidden Gems in Green, Gorgeous Ireland

If you have visited Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher and driven round the Ring of Kerry or just want to avoid the places more likely to be full of tourists, Northern Ireland and Ireland has plenty to offer you.  In the following article we highlight 5 of the best hidden gems the Emerald Isles has to offer, and a perfect start for any road trip around Ireland.

Torc Waterfall at Killarney National Park, Ireland

torc waterfall

Torc Waterfall at Killarney National Park is located at just 4 miles outside of Killarney and features a jaw-dropping 60 ft. drop from the Torc Mountains into the river, cheerfully titled Devil’s Punch Bowl.  Not only is it completely surrounded by thick and beautiful countryside, it is also very easy to access and completely free to enter.

The Mourne Mountains in County Down, Northern Ireland

Mourne Mountains will particularly interest fans of epic fantasy stories such as Game of Thrones and The Chronicles of Narnia.  The mountains and the surrounding area is covered in lots of follies, caves, grottos, rivers and forests that will easily make you feel as if you have transported to another realm.    As well as reportedly serving as the inspiration for CS Lewis when he was writing of the mythical world of Narnia, it also serves as the location for filming HBO’s Game of Thrones adaption.

Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland

glendalough

Glendalough is also known as the Valley of 2 Lakes and sits in a valley deep at the centre of the amazing Wicklow Mountains.  The city of seven churches originates as far back as the 6th century when it was founded by a monastic settlement and when you visit here it’s not too hard to see why.  Along with just basking in the beauty of the landscape, you can explore the ancient stone structures, medieval church remains, decorated stone crosses, a very unique round tower and a very old cathedral.

Aran Islands in County Galway, Ireland

The Aran Islands are located just 40 minutes on a ferry away from Rossaveel near Galway and to say that they give you a chance to travel back in time is an understatement.  The Gaelic language is still spoken on the isles and for the most part, locals travel round in traditional fashion either by horse and buggy, bike or their own two feet.  Inis Mor is the largest of the isles and although it isn’t very touristy, it is very popular and features an up market youth hostel, B&Bs and bike rentals.  It is best to experience the island on a day trip by bike and explore the ruins of Dun Anegus, an old and imposing Iron Age fortress that features 3 walled sides and 1 open and a 300 ft. drop that leads to the sea.

Inis Oirr and Inis Meain are the other two Aran Isles and receive even less visitors so offer the chance to see completely unspoiled Irish scenery.

Skellig Michael in County Kerry, Ireland

skellig

You need the help of a fishing trawler and a clear day to get across the choppy waters to Skellig Michael, but it is worth the effort.  Once there you climb the weather-beaten and ancient carved stone steps to the top where you find an amazing sight.  There is a group of beehive-style stone huts that date back as far as the 6th century.  It is amazing to think that people actually lived on this desolate and beautiful but imposing piece of rock.

This article was written by the guys over at www.traveltrout.co.uk who are passionate about blogging and sharing their experiences with other bloggers and readers.

A MILLION AND ONE WAYS CYCLING CAN BENEFIT YOU

OK, so I lied. There aren’t literally a million ways cycling can benefit you, but now I have you attention, perhaps you’ll carry on reading and learn of a few you weren’t aware of :o)

Cycling is an essential part of our lives. Remember those childhood days when we longed to ride a bike, practically begging our parents to buy us one and teach us to ride? Now grown up, some of us might have grown out of it and we could really do with getting back in the saddle (a horse saying, but it works!) and remember where the expression “it’s like riding a bike” comes from, because cycling has a whole plethora of benefits you may not be aware of.

20130827_130514
Cycling in Barcelona (pre-Phoebe! A LIFETIME ago!)

1. Physical fitness – cycling is a great way to keep in shape. Those who cycle for 20-40 minutes three times a week are healthier and physically fit. Cycling keeps your body in shape as it sheds your excess weight naturally, unlike other forms of exercises which might make your body shape appear out of proportion.

2. A natural anti-aging solution – cycling exposes you to the daylight, and cycling for at least 20 minutes accrues numerous benefits to your body. Regular cycling protects your skin against the harmful effects of UV radiation in addition to reducing signs of ageing. Your body needs vitamin D which is synthesized in exposure to sunlight.

3. Kick out illnesses – do you often catch colds or flues even when you take medications in advance? Well, it’s time to get cycling because this might just be the solution you’ve been looking for. Moderate exercise makes your cells more active, preparing them to fight off any illness. Cycling provides the perfect type of exercise for those who shy away from the gym.

Mountain biking in North Wales
Mountain biking in North Wales

4 A safe way to lose excess weight – many people think that an quick way to lose weight is to run a marathon or jog often, while this might work for those who are slightly heavy; it poses a great risk for those with lots of excess weight. Just ponder about it, 3-4 times the body weight goes crashing through your body when your either your feet strikes the ground. This is a lot of force which puts you at great risk. Instead, riding a bike provides a great and safe way to lose weight, most of your weight is taken by the saddle, so the skeleton doesn’t take the batter continuously.

5. Improves your social life – whether it’s your family or clique of friends, riding bikes is a nice way to interact with them and you race each other to the finish line. Get to be more real with your friends by engaging in healthy competitions. Winners get to boost their self-esteem while those who came out short prepare for the next big ride.

For those with a young family, your exercise behaviour will influence directly on your kids exercise choices. So stop being a lazy bum and start riding. Riding a bike is easy and you don’t have to sweat it, unless you are preparing for a marathon.

6. Less Fatigue – long hours of sedentary lifestyles from our workplace to our homes has increased the chances of fatigue when we conduct a few manual work such as lifting and pushing. Physical activity such as riding for even a few minutes is effective way to condition your body.

7. Breakthroughs – once you start riding, you are less likely to stop. You will be tempted to beat your previous record, and this is especially so when you have bike friends of whom you are competing with. This will motivate you to keep you’re ‘A-game’.

ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ATTRACTIONS IN THE UK

I had ideals when I was pregnant about the type of mum I wanted to be, and about the type of kids I wanted to raise. Well-mannered, well-rounded, academic individuals. Now, my biggest hope for Phoebe is that she’ll be happy in whatever she wants to do. Cheesy, but true!

Now I just want us to spend as much time as possible doing things as a family, which is why I have written this article; it features the best places in the UK Steve and I have visited with Phoebe so far!

Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

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Great for getting up-close to monkeys as they roam freely round their spacious enclosure! Phoebe was fascinated watching the baby monkeys play fighting, jumping all over each other, climbing trees at lightning speed and irritating the hell out of their elders!

It’s a fairly cheap day out too, compared to other places. An adult ticket is £7.50 and a child is £5.50 (from ages 3-14), which was good for us because Phoebe went for free, but being so small she couldn’t really take advantage of the great play area there.

Longleat Adventure Park 

If you live in Wiltshire, then this multi million pound attraction is meant for you. Whether you are a family or a group of friends, you can take the advantage and spend some quality time and experience the wild nature Wiltshire has to offer.

longleat

From the Jungle full of animals, including the cheeky monkeys, the wolves, the rhinos and even big cats. Longleat Adventure Park offer numerous beautiful sceneries that will leave you wanting for more.

Come and experience the amazing Sea lion escort and Gorilla Colony

 

For only: £31. 50 for adults aged 15-59 years

£22.50 for children aged 3-14 years

£24.50 for seniors aged 60+ years.

 

Roundhay Tropical World, Leeds West Yorkshire

 

If you love nature, Roundhay is definitely the place to be if you live in West Yorkshire. You and your family will always receive a warm welcome here. Tropical World hosts large number of animals including; bats, butterflies, crocodiles, gorgeous meerkat and snakes. The Tropical World also hosts numerous rare bird species.

roundhay

For only:

Free Entry for children under 5 years.

£2.30 for children aged 5-15 years

£3.40 for adults

 

Twycross Zoo, Burton Road Atherstone Warwickshire

 

Set in more than 80 acres, the Twycross Zoo hosts more than 600 animals from more than 150 species. With a wide variety of primates, the Zoo prides itself as a primates’ specialist.

From the snow leopard cubs to the Asian elephants every species will definitely make a lasting impression that will make you long for more.

Enjoy our daily outdoor play areas, indoor plays and the amazing gardens.

 

For only:

£16.95 for adults

£11.95 for Children aged 3-16 years

Free Entry for Children under 3 years

£14.50 for Concession (Senior Citizens and Students with NUS card)

 

Sea Life London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge Road South Bank Greater London

 

Are a diehard fan of sea life and live in the Greater London? The Sea Life London Aquarium is the place to be. Come and experience the home of one of the European’s largest collections of global marine life situated in the heart of London.

 

Admission prices to the amazing Sea Life Aquarium are:

£19.60 for Adults

£15.90 for Kids

£75 for Family

This article was provided by World Wide Wales Team.

A GREAT DAY OUT AT GREENWOOD FOREST PARK, NORTH WALES

The problem with having a best friend is they kind of have a hold over you where you feel obliged to agree to do them favours, and follow through with promises you made months ago. Like to go on days out with the youth group they volunteer with to make sure the kids don’t get kidnapped/accidentally hurt themselves/deliberately hurt others/litter/be rude to the public/get lost, or the magnitude of other ridiculous things young kids do. Great.

However, accompanying the group to Green Wood Forest Park in North Wales did give me opportunity to check it out as a potential family day out for when Phoebe’s a little older, and review it for my readers…

The rollercoaster powered by people!
The rollercoaster powered by people!

Looking for a perfect weekend escape plan for your young family? Well, Greenwood Forest is the best place to spend your weekend in North Wales. This amazing park has awesome attractions which span out the woodlands.
The Greenwoods’ 17 acres houses among other things: the people powered roller coaster, Jungle Boast and the big, bouncy Giant Jumper. You and your family will get to discover many fun activities and adventures. By exploring the BareFoot Trail or hitch hiking the Moon Karts, you will definitely have a fabulous time in the field.
You might be shy of the outdoors, and guess what? The Greenwood Forest has you covered. Even during the rainy days, the fun still continues at the Enchanted Wood Barn which is filled with lots of fun indoor activities. Everybody, especially the young kids will absolutely love it.

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Little Forest PlayBarn, Toddlers village, Tunnel Warren even and the Little Green Run are just a charm to the smaller kids. Kids will get to interact with one another, make new friends as they expand their social circle and have fun.
The Forest theatre has more goodies to offer than any other park in North Wales. There is a lot of entertainment for kids that will keep them thrilled and excited throughout. Howard the Magician will keep the kids smiling and amazed throughout his magic tricks, while Ricardo the Pirate will keep them laughing as the sail along the stories.

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With all these amazing activities, you and your family need to cool off and enjoy refreshments. The Green Oak Café is the place to take a break. Choose from the delicious hot and cold meals as well as a great locally sourced products including Fairtrade. In addition you can grab a bite from one of the onsite snack tuck-shops.
Greenwood offers the best and caters for children of all ages. From the Green Dragon roller coaster to the pedal car race track, you and your family will have a fantastic time that you will live to remember.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to head out to Greenwood Park! Check out the Greenwood Website for the latest offers and updates. Don’t miss out!

This article was provided by http://www.kayakingplus.com/

Deforestation in the Amazon rises again

The problem of deforestation in the Amazon has resurfaced after years of decline — prompting calls for urgent action.

Izabelle Teixeira, Brazil’s Environment Secretary, said that farming and soybean production were largely responsible for a 32 per cent rise in forest destruction in the northern state of Para, and a 52 per cent leap in Mato Grosso, a vast state in the west which provides much of the country’s agricultural produce.

The total area stripped of native forest in the past year amounted to 2,256 square miles, a 28 per cent jump nationwide, she said. The root of the problem was lax monitoring and application of protection measures.

Deforestation in the Amazon rises again

Under Brazilian law, landowners in the Amazon have to devote 80 per cent of their property to native forestry growth, although the figure has not been rigorously enforced. Brazil’s agriculture industry is one of the bread baskets of the world, and its expansion has been driven, in particular, by growing demand from China.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell in the past decade. In 2012, it stood at 1,764 square miles, down from 2,487 square miles the year before. In 2004, the worst year on record, 10,400 square miles of forest was cleared.

“Our commitment is to overturn any increase in deforestation; our goal is to eliminate deforestation,” Ms Teixeira said.

Last year, Brazil’s environmental codes were relaxed slightly to allow farmers to cultivate riverbanks and hillsides that had been previously exempt, prompting anger from environmental activists.

This article is provided by Catherine.