Monday 3 October 2011

Family Holiday To Scotland - 22nd-29th August 2011

As some of you already know, I recently went on holiday for a week to Haven at Craig Tara in Ayr, Scotland with my hubby Paul, our 8 year old son, David and my 9 year old sister, Latisha. I thought I'd make a post and let you all know what we got up whilst we were there...

We went on 22nd August and came home on 29th August. We got there a little later than we originally intended, but it did save on big queues at the reception to check-in!

We didn't do much on the first day there (22nd August), by the time we'd unpacked our clothes & stuff, it was already later in the day. We did manage to go to the beach and the kids had a go on the 2p machines in the arcade before going to get our food shopping for the week ahead (as it was self-catering).

Latisha & David on Craig Tara beach.

David & Latisha wading in the water at Craig Tara.
The second day (23rd August) we spent in Scotland was a lot busier! We all got up nice and early and headed off to Heads Of Ayr Farm Park which is only a 5 minute drive from the holiday park. The kids loved it here, but in terms of value, at £37 for a family ticket, it was pretty poor value as there actually weren't that many animals there and you still had to pay for extras too.

David feeding the cute Kid (baby Goat).

Some free activities at the farm park included trampolines, jumping pillows, a big slide and a sandpit, all of which the kids seemed to enjoy. There were several paid for activities too, of which the kids did quad biking (which I felt was a bit of a rip off at £5 each for 5 minutes) and bumper boats (a bit better value at £2 each for about 5 minutes, but still overpriced considering the entry fee).

Latisha & David on the bumper boats.

David & Latisha on the quad bikes.

In the evening, we went to the see the Electric Brae, which seems like a strange phenomena, but in reality it's just down to how the landscape lies. Basically, we were in the car seeming facing downhill, but when the handbrake was off and we were stopped, we seemingly rolled uphill. It's a very strange bit of road, but was 5 minutes of peculiar fun for us all! I'd definitely recommend a visit if you ever go to Ayrshire.

The stone marker for the Electric Brae.

We then went on to the Lang Scots Mile to fill in some more of the evening. The Lang Scots Mile is a beautiful, scenic walking trail along the seafront. Apparently, a Scots mile is longer than one of our miles, so it was actually a longer walk as it turns out. Though we only managed to make it halfway as by the time we got playing on the beach and then took the kids to the massive playpark on the halfway marker, it was getting late and started to rain too. Again, it is not something to be missed if you're in Ayr anytime. It is beautiful and the beach was beautiful and the playpark is well looked after and could keep the kids entertained for ages!

Latish & David by the start marker on the Lang Scots Mile.
Me & Paul on the beach on the Lang Scots Mile.
David & Latisha on one of the swing in the playpark on the Lang Scots Mile.

The third day (24th August) was spent mostly doing activities at the holiday park. The kids went to football coaching at 10am.

Latisha & David playing football.
After that, they went to the Teddy Bear's picnic at the Bonga Wonga lounge. It cost £5 each which included a Bradley Bear backpack and lunch (though to call it lunch is more than stretching it a bit as it was an orange, a Dairylea Dunkers cheese dip and a packet of crisps!). The kids did enjoy though and they took their teddies along. They also got their photo taken with Bradley Bear (just another money-making scheme on their part as it was £7 for the photo)!

After that, the kids did some circus skill in the Bonga Wonga lounge - they learned to do plate spinning, diablo, juggling and hula hooping which they had loads of fun doing.

Here is David & Latisha showing off their plate spinning skills!

After that we went to the arcade and played a game of mini golf and the kids also had a go on the bumper cars which they enjoyed!

David & Latisha playing mini golf.

They went to the roller disco in the evening - neither of them could skate, but they wanted to go anyway - bit of a disaster, Latisha did OK, but David was too terrified not to go really slowly and cling on to the wall!

David roller skating.

On the fourth day (25th August), we took a trip to Glasgow which is about 40-50 miles from where we were staying, but we wanted to visit there. First of all we visited the walk alongside the River Clyde.

Latisha & David standing alongside the River Clyde.

David & Latisha standing neat this fascinating Tiger graffiti  alongside the River Clyde.

Then we went to visit Provand Lordship's Garden. It was a beautiful garden - it looked a lot like a maze and had these really strange "heads" above the seats surrounding it.

David & Latisha near the fountain in the centre of the Garden.

One of the strange "heads" above one of the seats.

After that we went to visit the St Mungo Museum Of Religious Art And Life which is probably one of the most unique museums I have ever seen! It's basically a big history on all the most known and unknown religions in the world. There was also a brilliant view of the Necropolis from the upper window. There was a police box near the museum that reminded us of the Tardis (Doctor Who fans will know what I'm talking about!).

On the fifth day (26th August), we visited Dean Castle and Country Park in Kilmarnock. For free, this was really quite brilliant! If you're ever near there, I would definitely recommend a visit. In comparison with the Heads Of Ayr Farm Park we visited earlier in the week, this was far better. Even if it had cost the same price (which it didn't, because as I said, it was FREE!!), then this still would've been better value. There were animals to see and feed and smaller animals too, it had a lovely waterfall and a nice walk, the castle was free to enter too and had some dressing up clothes, which entertained the kids. It also had a big playground which the kids love - all in all, a great, free day out! Me and Paul enjoyed it and the kids loved it to - it's really a great family destination.

Afterwards, we went back to the holiday park for the kids to do wall climbing which they were good at and enjoyed.

Latisha enjoying wall climbing.

David showing off his wall climbing skills!

On the sixth day (27th August), we went to Kelburn Castle, Country Park & Estate in Largs. Kelburn Castle is a unique, graffiti castle. The first thing we did when we got there, was watch the great Viking skirmish they had on. It was very fun & realistic and we all enjoyed it.

Latisha & David watching the Viking skirmish.

After that, we went to look at the animals as they had quite a few and then the kids wanted to go into the Secret Forest - basically a giant, forest maze. The kids had a lot of fun as there was various little places to go and stepping stones and strange buildings and so on and so forth...

David & Latisha on the stepping stones.

This made me laugh - Latisha & David picking the tree creatures nose!

It's Mr. Tim & Mrs. Tina Weenie :D

After this, we went to visit the waterfall, which I might add, was really beautiful (I do have a bit of an obsession with waterfalls though lol). We did this before taking on one of the trails, which was actually a lot longer than any of us expected but it was a lot of fun.

Me, Paul & David standing by the waterfall stream.

The beautiful waterfall.

We then visited the castle, castle gardens & the beautiful weeping larch tree. The castle is quite the site to behold - it is truly bizarre - just sitting there covered in strange graffiti art.

The bizarre graffiti castle.

On the way home, we stopped off in Ardrossan. Walked along the beach, trod on the fresh seaweed, enjoyed the fresh sea air and looked out on the little island.
Awww - Paul wrote I <3 U n the sand for me :) x

Latisha, David & Paul on the beach in Ardrossan.

Me & Paul on the beach in Ardrossan.

On the seventh and final full day in Scotland (28th August), we spent another day mainly at the holiday park. Our first thing was to take the kids to basketball.

David shootin' some hoops :D

Latisha shootin' some hoops :D

After that they went on an orienteering course which they both achieved a certificate for!

Then we went off to all do archery together, before the kids went to do fencing.

After fencing, we went to try and fly kites - it was easily windy enough, but none of us could get the kites going! And I ended up covered in mud (long story!).

In the evening, I took David to the live circus, while Paul took Latisha to the roller disco as the kids both wanted to do separate things. We then stuck around in the Bonga Wonga lounge for the kids entertainment in the evening.

And basically, that bought to an end, our fantastic family holiday to Scotland. We all had an excellent time and really enjoyed it.

We headed home on the 8th day (29th August) and it was quite depressing the long drive home. But we did have a fantastic time and the weather was good too, which was a bonus!

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