- Beside the Seaside
- Camping Fun
- Community Farms and Small Holdings
- Environmental Education and Wildlife
- Sailing Adventures
- Channel Islands
- Cumbria and the Lake District
- East Anglia
- Mainland Scotland
- Mid Wales
- North East
- North Wales and Anglesey
- North West
- Northern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
- Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Shetland Islands
- South East
- South Wales
- South West
About Me & Mine
Team Frodsham consists of me Paul (35), my wife Lianne (34) and our two cheebies, Reuben (4 and 3/4) and his little sister Orla (19 months). We live in Congleton (Beartown), Cheshire but can often be found visiting grandparents in Lancashire or Scotland. When I'm not stuck in an the office I like to get out running, or cycling with Reuben and Orla.
Favourite place in the world:
It would have to be North Male Atoll in the Maldives where we spent our honeymoon. With white sand beaches and warm lagoons perfect for snorkelling, the cutest baby turtles and just a short kayak trip to the next island for lunch. I'm still on the look out for an equally magical place a little closer to home ... suggestions welcome.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
We're always on the look out for new and different ways to go fast, be it going down hills on our bike, finding a park with the longest and fastest zip line (Tatton is winning so far) or riding rollercoasters at Alton Towers. When we're not in search of adrenaline we're in search of all manner of mysterious characters from a Gruffalo to Bog Babies, Pirates to Dinosaurs, either from the bike on the country lanes of Cheshire or from the banks of a Scottish loch ... no monsters spotted so far. We also love music and are looking forward to taking Orla to her first music festival in July.
Inspired by fellow ambassador Joanne's story of the New Zealand cycle trail, we did an Internet search for somewhere closer to home. After reading through the many results, we decided that The Monsal Trail in the Peak District sounded like our kind of place. So on a chilly, but sunny Sunday afternoon, we packed up the car, remembering the bike rack keys this time, and set off for Buxton.
Reuben has looked on enviously as other Little Trekkers have taken on high ropes courses. But unfortunately he wasn't old enough to take part on any of our local courses. So when he realised that the hotel we were staying in on holiday had a high ropes course, and that he was old enough, he was very excited.
Over the last few weeks Reuben and Orla have been well and truly inspired by the Olympics, with Reuben turning many everyday chores into Olympic events. In fact earlier today he achieved a new PB for getting dressed. So when we found ourselves within a 60 minute train ride of London on the final day of the games, we couldn't miss a chance to watch the men's marathon and sample the atmosphere we'd seen on the television.
After weeks of excited anticipation, last Sunday saw the Sky Ride City event come to Manchester. The event is one of many big free bike rides organised in towns and cities across the country by Sky and British Cycling. The Manchester event was the biggest so far, with 21,000 people cycling on a 14.7km route around the city, on traffic free roads.
Like most children, Reuben and Orla love playgrounds. Whether its the small toddler playground next to our house, a natural playground of fallen trees in the middle of a wood, or something involving a little more engineering, they can't wait to run off and play. The latest to make it onto our must visit again list was discovered on our recent trip top see the iron men at Crosby.
Like most children Reuben and Orla love running, climbing and exploring. So a day out that combines all three of these is perfect. A few months ago we had such a day out high above the village of Alderley Edge. The National Trust site has lots to see and do, along with tales of wizards and knights. Legend has it that a wizard (Merlin?) offered a local farmer gold and treasure in exchange for his horse.
Last weekend we went over to Bury for a trip on the old East Lancashire Railway. The railway was closed on 1970 and is now run as a heritage railway with steam and diesel services. When we told Reuben and Orla that we were going on a steam train they were very excited. What we hadn't told them was that being close to Christmas there would be an extra special passenger on board.
Whilst on holiday in St Ives we spent most of time at the beach. And when on the beach Orla spent a lot of her time playing in the surf at the edge of the water. As soon as we arrived at the beach she'd run off in her UV splash suit as we wrestled with the windbreak before quickly chasing after her. Orla loved running away squealing as each new wave lapped at her toes.
One of Reuben's favourite books when he was younger was 'Not a box'. It's a picture book about a rabbit who, like Reuben and most other children, has lots of adventures in a cardboard box. And it was Reuben's love of boxes, and my love of all things shiny and red, that led us to buy him a shiny red 'Bilibo' for Christmas a few years ago. Since then it's had lots of uses and been on many adventures, including a journey down to St Ives on our recent family holiday.
One of my favourite places to visit when up in Glasgow is Balloch Castle Country Park on the shores of Loch Lomond. About 40 minutes outside of Glasgow, Balloch is a small village on the southern tip of Loch Lomond. To the North of the town is Balloch Castle which overlooks the Loch and is at the heart of the country park which has lots of things to do for all the family.
When Reuben was younger we went to an open day at a local sand quarry. Reuben loved seeing the big diggers and taking a trip around the quarry to see the sand being excavated. So when Reuben and Orla lost interest in building sandcastles on our trip to the beach, we decided instead to create our own quarry, complete with roads, tunnels and bridges.
With clear blue skies and a weekend free of birthday parties it was time for us to get out on the bike. After a few minutes of cycling we were out onto quiet country lanes. Orla loves to spot animals in the fields as we cycle along and her seat being in front of me makes it really easy to point things out to her and talk to her as we go.
Last weekend we headed off to Alton Towers as they opened their doors for the summer. At a rather chilly 4 degrees the weather was far from summery although wrapped up warm in their weatherproof gear Reuben and Orla didn't seem to mind. When you think of Alton Towers you naturally think of rollercoasters, but white knuckle rides aren't the only way to have fun ... especially with two small children.
With Reuben still wearing his pyjamas after Red Nose Day at school, Orla and I headed out on the bike to make the most of the Spring sunshine. Orla is becoming an increasingly keen cyclist (well passenger) and has taken to standing pointing at her bike helmet shouting BIKE. Today she went one stage further and brought me her bike seat from the garage as I arrived back from work.
Since starting school in September Reuben has had a busy social calendar. This weekend he was busy with birthday parties, leaving Orla and I to have some time together in the great outdoors. At the slightest mention of going outside Orla runs to get her shoes and coat, so when I suggested we go for as walk she was very excited.
One of our favourite spots to spend an afternoon as a family is Tittesworth reservoir in the Peak District National Park. Our last quick visit turned into a whole afternoon playing pirates in the fantastic play area, see photo of Reuben escaping from his little sister, pirate Orla before climbing up into the crow’s nest and checking for sharks.