After a very quiet start to the year because of the lockdown and covid restrictions, our May half-term was very busy. It was also a half-term full of animal adventures. We were able to create some amazing memories and I’m so glad we got the chance to get out and about.
Seal Watching Trip at Harwich
Before life with Covid and the start of the pandemic, we booked a seal watching trip from Harwich. Our friend’s son as well as Little E love seals so we treated them to the trip as a surprise. We booked our trip as a private hire tour as it didn’t work out that much more for our group than joining a public tour. It was a great decision and made our trip even more special. We of course had to reschedule from May 2020 and this trip was the start of our animal adventures during the May half-term.
It was an early start to the day and the weather was perfect after weeks of rain and grey skies. Both children loved being on the little boat and embraced the seal watching. I did think Ethan would be hard work on this trip but he was amazing. Meaning we had a lovely, relaxing time.
We didn’t see thousands of seal, this could have been because of our early trip. But we saw enough to satisfy the children and make the trip worthwhile for all of us.
The crew were amazing and even gave the children the chance to steer the boat. Both Little E and Ethan took turns. An experience I never imagined that they would ever have.
Animal Adventures at Away Resorts Sandy Balls in the New Forest
Yes, you have read that correctly we booked a break at a place called Sandy Balls! I had originally booked a weekend at Center Parcs for the first May bank holiday weekend. This was going to be a treat to celebrate Ethan’s birthday. But when we knew the swimming pool would be closed we decided to cancel. Swimming is Ethan’s favourite thing to do there and it would cause him distress if he couldn’t do it.
With a birthday treat for Ethan in mind, I knew Peppa Pig world is close to Sandy Balls. We have had discussions about staying at this Away Resorts location before but just hadn’t booked anything. When I played with dates on the Away Resorts website they had one accommodation left available for the May half-term.
Our accommodation for our four-night stay was in a superior wooden lodge. I didn’t have any exceptions of the lodge as we didn’t have any accommodation choice when we booked. It was more about getting the chance to go away. We were pleasantly surprised with our lodge and would happily book to stay in one again.
Alpaca Walking at Away Resorts
Just like Center Parcs, there are lots of bookable activities available at Sandy Balls. One of them is alpaca walking. I was really excited about this and I was sure it would be something Little E would love to do.
As a family, we got to walk Diego. Little E lead him most of the way but both Darren and Ethan joined in at points. It was a fun activity and gave us the chance to explore the area a bit more.
A Fun Day at Paultons Park
Ethan used his eleventh birthday money to buy tickets for a day at Paultons Park.
He still loves Peppa Pig and he really enjoyed our visit to Peppa Pig World in October 2019. We knew Ethan would love the explore the new Tornado Springs area too.
Whilst we were there Little E got to experience another one of our animal adventures. She met a ‘real life’ velociraptor. Little E is quite used to meeting real dinosaurs as she has also been lucky enough to meet a T-Rex. Not to mention discovering dinosaurs at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure, Paradise Wildlife Park’s World Of Dinosaurs and Port Lympne’s Dinosaur Forest.
Ending Our Half-Term Animal Adventures at Port Lympne
Port Lympne is not only a place you can visit during the day, it is also a place that you can stay overnight. Whilst we were visiting for the day in August 2019 we discovered that you can stay in Wolf Lodge.
Wolf Lodge is one of the original gatehouses of the Port Lympne estate. The garden backs onto the European grey wolf enclosure meaning that you have wolves for neighbours during your stay. As well as seals Little E loves wolves so we wanted to book this as a special treat for her. A boxing day sale and an inset day at school made it possible for us to book a stay at Wolf Lodge.
An overnight stay at Port Lympne is such an amazing experience. Staying at Wolf Lodge meant we also got the use of a golf buggy. This gave us a chance to easily explore the reserve even when it was closed to the general public.
We had such an amazing May half-term break and it was so nice having that family time together.