Our family car, well mini bus I guess, our trustee 9 seater – The Fun Bus! This is how we travel around as a family of 8, and I have to be honest, I couldn’t love it more.
We’d always had a 7 seater which yes gives you the physical space for bottoms, but actually there is no extra space for bags, buggies and those ever growing legs. Whilst the children were toddlers there was no problem putting them in the back seats as they didn’t need any leg room, but once they hit 5/6 years old we struggled for space.
It was a blessing (although not actually at the the time) when our trustee S-Max died. I had been telling Mr H that we could do with a bigger car for a while but finances didn’t stretch that far at the time.
Mr H found our new car, the Ford Tourneo and it instantly made life so much easier. It has 9 individual seats which means that no arms or legs touch so no one shouts “she touched me”, well not as much anyway. It has armrests, air vents above each seat, sliding doors, loads of space and plenty of leg room. The best bit – the boot! It is enormous and I don’t even have to fold the buggy up to put it in, I just lift in it! I cannot tell you how much easier this makes my life.
The downside, parking. The height restrictions in car parks means that we can’t get in all car parks so we have to check the height limit first. We always try and park in a parent and toddler car parking space to give us the most room at the supermarket.
And so the Fun Bus was born, yes it really is a bus full of fun! The children love it, no one seems to be embarrassed by it (yet!). It’s taken us on many road trips, ferried children to parties, and we always have plenty of seats for extra children to come round after school!
Every school holidays we try and go out for breakfast together, we always head to the same place – The Premier Inn! It’s great, children eat for free (up to 2 children for every adult) so we pay £17.98 for 6 of us and then an extra £4.00 for the extra child – how good is that!?!
And the best bit is, it’s all you can eat buffet! There is everything you can think of from fruit, yoghurt, pastries, pancakes, full English, toast, crumpets, cereal and it goes on. It’s all fresh and tastes good too! There’s a Costa hot drinks machine where you can have unlimited coffees or tea and fruit juices. And again for us (family of 8) it only cost £21.98!
If you are a larger family I’d definitely recommend going here, we fill up on breakfast and then normally don’t feel hungry again until tea. Today after breakfast we headed to Amazona Zoo and we didn’t spend a penny on food/snacks as no one was hungry – great, hey!
Bearing in mind just how much food children can eat, this has got to be the best value for money I’ve ever come across – and best kept secret!
So today we packed up a picnic and headed to Framlingham Castle, Ed’s castle on the hill. We’re members of the English Heritage so we get in for free (it’s actually more expensive to pay to get in than buy a membership).
Yes, there was a castle on the hill, a very buggy unfriendly hill! You will need a baby carrier and a lot of energy, it’s a workout up and down the steps and hills. The castle and surroundings are worth it though and you can spend a couple of hours exploring the grounds.
Inside the castle there were lots of activities for the children, how to be a princess/knight, dressing up and my guys favourite, a slide which was nearly as high as the castle! You can also climb to the top of the castle and walk around. There was of course a café for compulsory tea and cake, gift shop and a great area to have your picnic. You can take dogs too (on leads) shame as we’d left Pup at home.
If like me you were thinking there would be some mention or shrine to the man himself, you will be disappointed as there was nothing. Clearly though we weren’t the only crazies singing “castle on the hill” as we wondered around as it was packed out. Thanks Ed for sharing this lovely place with us
A great place to visit if you don’t mind a bit of a drive.