Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Slurpees Snot Suckers Review

Recently, we were sent the Slurpees Snot Suckers which Jared could not wait to get into. I mean what 6 year old boy doesn't like snot and slime?

We were sent a bag which included 4 slime suckers, a rug, a mug, a pair of socks and a hat. With one common them amongst them all... they were all snot colour green which although it is simple marketing it works very effectively to keep consistency amongst the products.

The Slime Suckers are 4 characters of different colours and each come with their own pot of snot! You can pull the snot, twist it, throw it, in short you can do what kids do best with it, that is play and have fun. If you squeeze the snot suckers they can actually suck up the slime which Jared found absolutely hilarious. It turned into a bit of a game of, who could suck up the most snot in the quickest time. Liam seemed to be like a big kid with them and was inventing loads of different challenges to play. They even attempted a tug of war with 2 of the snot suckers! If you lose the snot then these can double up to be bath toys as they are fully waterproof.

I was surprised to notice that after playing with the snot, your hands are still very clean and all they needed were to be dried off. We have had slime based product in the past which leave your hands a sticky green mess, almost as if you have actually sneezed snot into the palms of your hands

Overall, this product works perfectly for what it is designed to do. It is simple enough so any kid can pick it up and instantly know what to do and how to do it.
These can be purchased for £4.99 per Slurpees Snot Sucker so they make a perfect little stocking filler or something for the kids to buy with any Christmas money. 

***We were sent this product for free for the purpose of a review. This has not influence my opinion of this product in any way***

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Young Drivers

A few weeks ago my sisters got the chance to drive a car. For most that would be something normal but for two teenagers aged thirteen and sixteen it was a day full of excitement. Young Drivers is a company that offers driving experience's for those aged 5 and up, although you do need top be aged ten to drive a real car. The younger children drive small Go-Kart type cars.

The car that you get to drive in is a Vauxhall Corsa which is a good little car and something that most newly passed young drivers tend to get. I was under the impression that the cars would be automatic what with such young kids behind the wheel I thought maybe the gears would be too much, however they are actually manual. It was a surprise to see how well those aged ten didn't stall the car.

There are sixty UK venues that offer these lessons, we went to the one in Leeds. It was a little tricky to find at first as the signage wasn't great and was really small but we got there in the end. The location we went to used to be an RAF base and the driving took place on the run way. When we first arrived we checked in at reception which is located inside the cafe, the girls were then given there drivers book. The drivers book is where the instructor will document when you have completed certain driving tasks such as getting to know the car, just like you would do in a lesson when learning to drive.

My sisters were both having a half an hour lesson but you can get an hour long lesson. Once they got in the car they made there way to the runway along with other drivers and there lesson was underway. I must admit it was a little strange seeing my thirteen year old sister driving a car. Here is a little what they thought of the driving experience.

'These Lessons are perfect for if you are wanting to have fun or if you want 
to get a head start with driving lessons before you turn seventeen. It's also good
for if you are wanting to feel more confident on the road. I found the instructors 
extremely helpful and they were great at explaining everything to me, they made me 
feel at ease when I was unsure of something. The environment is nice and controlled, 
there are others driving along too. At first it is a little intimidating seeing other young 
drivers but it soon becomes normal and a comfortable environment. This lesson
was a fantastic insight into what it is going to be like when I start to drive'
Trinity 16

'Having never experienced anything like this before I'm glad to say I enjoy it
To start with I was really nervous as I thought of things going wrong like, crashing
the car. The Instructor was great and really reassuring when I thought I was 
doing things wrong. I really enjoyed the lesson and was glad to learn how to steer 
correctly, I felt so proud of myself afterwards. I was surprised at how much 
easier it was than I first thought. I think that these lessons really will benefit people
before they start driving as you learn the basics and it face your fears. 
I would recommend this to everyone' 
Molly 13

From my point of view I think these lesson's are perfect for anyone who is wanting to get start on learning to drive. We live in a world where being able to drive isn't just a way of getting from A-B but it is also jobs. So why not start sooner, it will boost confidence and make younger drivers safer drivers by learning sooner and getting rid of those nerves. 

With Christmas just weeks away these lesson would be a perfect gift for if you don't know what to get that fussy teenager. 

Friday, 30 November 2018

Self Care Gift Guide

When it comes to Christmas and you are asked what you want it can sometimes be hard to make a list. One group of gift ideas can often be overlooked, self care products. So here is a list of some fabulous self care gifts to give.

1. Eyemask
Perfect for winding down and having a good sleep. An eyemask isn't for everyone but they can really help those who find it difficult to sleep or for people who sleep during the day due to working nights.
Bedtime Bliss £8.90

2. Massager
As much as we would all love our own masseuse it's just not possible. There are some amazing choices for massagers for home use now with varying prices.

3. Electric Blanket
The cold nights are here to stay for a while and an electric blanket can really help with those. My sister loves her electric blanket and would turn it into a onesie if she could.

4. Essential Oils
They are great for many reasons and not only for smelling good. They can relax you, help with sleep and also be massaged in. If buying these I would recommend a small gift set to begin with.

5. SAD Lamp
Often referred to as the winter blues people who have SAD can have get a light/lamp that will aid in them feeling better in themselves. The lamps can be costly but the benefits far out weigh the cost.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Shop Online At Wicked Uncle

I can't believe that it is Christmas next month!! I know some people are still not even thinking about the festive period but for me I'm in the middle of my shopping. I can't afford to leave it last minute but now that I'm back working a full time job I'm finding it a bit more difficult to get my bargain pressie's bought. I guess this is why so many people are switching to online shopping, but just where so you go to get those must have toys for the kids?

We recently worked with Wicked Uncle which is an online shop for Children's presents. The website makes shopping really simple especially for those who have no idea what to buy for children in the family. You can narrow down your shopping by age and gender and it will bring up appropriate toys which I found really useful when browsing for Eryn as even though she is two and a half she has no idea what she wants and I only have a rough idea of what to get. In fact by using this search option I found so many things for Eryn that I made a little list and have been sending it to people when they ask what to get her for Christmas.

As Jared is that bit older he is at that age where he wants everything he see's on TV so I used the search bar on the website to find some of the toys that he has asked for. The main one being Stickbots, he has been asking for these for a long time now and I feel he is now old enough to be able to use them and create something great with them, they were also a really good price a pack of two Stickbots for £9.95. As well as the Stickbots I also got Jared a Meccano model set which was also a priced at £9.95.

As well as having the search by age option there is also a search by most popular. I found this search option really fun to scroll through as I came across products that would be great for family members children and products that would make great secret Santa products such as a collection of odd socks. When it comes to checking out you have the option to have them gift wrapped which costs £3.50 for the first present then £1.75 for each additional present, you also get to choose the gift wrap. There are three options for delivery Royal Mail, DPD or you can collect in person if you live close by, they are based in Suffolk. Payments card be made by credit/debit card or you can use PayPal.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Christmas At The Hepworth

If you have ever or if you are currently in the process of planning the work/team Christmas party it can be a stressful ordeal. You have to find a venue that is in a good location for everyone to get to with parking and also public transport links. Long gone are the days of having a party in your own office block.

There are some amazing venues around and almost everywhere offers some form of room or space on hire. One place that you may not have thought of as a host of a Christmas party is The Hepworth art gallery in Wakefield. It is an unusual place to have a party but also a great place, just think of all those Instagram worthy pictures you can take. The space is great and also it is a little more sophisticated compared to a crowded room in a pub, lets face it we have all been to one of them.

So what can The Hepworth give?
Aside from the artwork for £45 per person each guest will receive:

  • A celebratory drink on arrival 
  • A four course festive dinner
  • A DJ for entertainment
  • A chill out Lounge
There are some dates available in December for Friday's and Saturdays which are:

  • Friday 7th December
  • Saturday 8th December
  • Friday 14th December
  • Saturday 15th December
Other dates may be available so please do get in contact to enquire about any dates you may have in mind you can get in contact with The Hepworth by either sending or by giving them a call.
Phone: 01924 247 362 

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Panjango Trumps Review

If you are a fan of Top Trumps then you are going to love Panjango Trumps. So as you may have already guessed Panjango Trumps is very much like Top Trumps, there are a set of cards the subjects of the Panjango cards are jobs. So each card has a different job, Pilot, Chef, Sales Assistant etc. Then on each card there's six categories such as Salary, Robot risk and Brain Power.

The rules of the game are fairly simple, each player is dealt 15 random cards then the player to the left of the dealer chooses a category and reads out that chosen categories value whoever has the highest value wins the round expect for the category 'Robot Risk' for example, The card I picked is Architect and I'm choosing the category of Brain Power which is 89 Jared then looks at his card which is Doctor and his Brain Power is 92 meaning he wins that round. Robot Risk is a category which is the reverse of the others so you only really want to play this value when you have a really low score like on Jared's card his value for Robot Risk is 0. If you there is a draw on the cards then you place those cards in the middle and the winner of the next round takes them.

The cards are really great for looking at jobs that children may never have heard of and although for the younger children being a firefighter may be the best job ever the older children playing may read about being a travel agent and decide that is something they may want to do. In the pack of cards there is a card that also gives you suggestions on other games you can play using the cards also each card has a little fun fact at the bottom which adds that little extra bit of fun to the game.

Panjango Trumps would make a great stocking filler game for any child and I guarantee that they will love playing and learning.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Birkenau Camp Tour

Hopefully you have had a chance to read the Auschwitz Tour post.

Following on from the Auschwitz tour we travelled about 1 mile up the road to Birkenau. This was a direct contrast to Auschwitz, there were no tour groups, no queues no security. It was almost as though time had stood still. If you google Auschwitz you will see the iconic photo of the entrance with the railway line running through. This is your entrance to the Birkenau camp.

Walking through the entrance you are astounded by the sheer size of the camp. As far as the eye can see there is barbed wire fencing and rubble from the destroyed housing huts. We were taken to the centre of the camp, next to rail line we were told about how the prisoners were separated right where we were standing. Children pulled from their families, the elderly and sick sent straight off to the gas chambers and the remainder examined to see if they were fit for work. We were in a group of 21 people, and only 5 of us on average would have been declared as work worthy. 

The camp was built by Russian prisoners of war and was the most brutal and demanding camp in the area. The tour guide explained that due to living conditions and standard, Auschwitz would have been the better of two bad places. 

This camp was built solely for the purpose of extermination. At the back of the camp there is a forest with a lake in it, the ashes of all the people who died there are believed to have been tipped into the lake making it the worlds largest graveyard. 

There is a mural at the back of the camp dedicated to all those who lost their lives. Each stone is written in a language spoken by victims. There is a stone written in English dedicated to a Scottish Nun who was captured in Hungary, she was sadly sent to the gas chambers after refusing to leave the children she was caring for. The gas chambers at this site are now rubble having been destroyed by Nazi forces having learned that Russian forces were advancing on their position. The sheer size of these chambers compared to the one at Auschwitz clearly shows that this camp was built for mass killings. It started raining and the wind picked up while we were walking and looking at this section, you can feel the cold and it made you realise that some poor people were forced to work in these conditions at all hours of the day, in any weather.

Walking back down past the huts we made our way to a wing where you were sent if you were sick and unable to work. The idea was posed as somewhere you went for medical treatment and you were nursed back to health and sent back to work when in truth it was your death sentence. Over 700 people would be crammed in this hut at a time all waiting to be marched up to the gas chambers. The hut was dark, cold and dirty. 5 people at a time were expected to sleep on a wooden board, no bigger that a double bed. There we two heaters in the building which I cannot imagine gave off much heat during the winter when temperatures would drop below -7.

Our tour guide then got us all together and gave the final talk, this was a talk that has resonated with me, "if you ever see someone with number tattoos on there arms, speak to them, ask them questions. Everyone who experienced this horrific tragedy are either dead or in there 80's and 90's. In 10 years time we will have no living proof this ever happened, all we will be left with is memories and stories" This message made me realise that while life have moved forward, the holocaust is something that should never been forgotten. The minute people forget the holocaust happened is the minute it has the potential to happen again. 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Hape's Tea For Two & Microphone Review

When it comes to toys for my daughter one thing they need to be is robust! If they can't handle being dropped or possibly thrown then they are no good. I'm not saying that my daughter wrecks everything but I'm sure any parent with a toddler with understand where I'm coming from.

Hape has a wonderful selection of wooden toys that I have always found to be good quality and strong enough to take a tumble. We have recently been testing out two of their products Tea For Two Set and the Might Echo Microphone.

Tea For Two 
Every child who loves to host a tea party will love this tea set. The set comes with a tray that you can set your teapot and tea cups on ready to serve with milk and two sugars. The set is simple which is something that I really like about it mostly because I don't have to try and find a load of little spoons and lids. The design is perfect for any little girl or boy rather than most tea sets which tend to be bright pink. Always too much pink! Hape's Tea For Two set is a great size for tiny hands the wooden set is finished to a high standard so no fear's of any splinters whilst they play. I always fear of splinter's when it comes to wooden toy's.

Hape's Tea for Two set has something that I really appreciated maybe not so much for Eryn but it comes with a little wooden tea bag. I nearly missed the tea bag as it had slipped to the bottom of the box and it was only because Eryn had tipped it up and it fell out that I noticed it. The packaging was like nothing I had seen before each item individually wrapped with tissue paper and then inside biggish envelope placed inside a box, all which are recyclable which is a bonus.

You can purchase Hape's Tea For Two from Amazon for £17.99.

Mighty Echo Microphone
My daughter loves to sing a long to songs, the bing bong song is a firm favourite. So what does any singing child need? Yep that's right a microphone. Hape's Mighty Echo Microphone works without batteries as it just uses your child's voice to echo back the sound. I'm sure many of us had the cheap plastic one's as a child that drove our parents crazy. The Mighty Echo Microphone is suitable for any budding singer aged 12 months + perfect to hear those cute first words loud and clear. I tried to capture a video of Eryn singing but no luck she either looked away or just stopped singing so I don't have any in action shots to show you the sound. We did create a mini band with a few musical instruments that we have which both Eryn and Jared enjoyed.

The Mighty Echo Microphone is beautifully made and I think it will last for years to come so for the quality I think the price of £8.99 is more than reasonable.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Zuru Smashers Gross Series 2 Review

When it comes to toy's Jared just loves toys that are collectable, by that I mean ones where they come in series and there is a list of characters to collect to complete the set. Smashers is just that toy and here is series 2 which is totally Gross.

To find out what Gross character you have festering inside just grab a Smasher, which has taken shape in this series as an eyeball and smash it and watch what oozes out. Will you get an eyeball with a slimy surprise?

Each Gross character belongs to and equally Gross category, there are 9 of these which includes the rare and ultra rare character's, Filthy Food, Odd Bodies, Icky Insects, Smash Trash, Toilet Humour, Rare Awful Animals, Ultra Rare Ooze Dudes, Glow In The Dark and Exclusives. There is an app you can download to keep track of what character's you have and which you still need or you can use the free guide that comes with the packs. 
The Smashers App
There are a few pack's you can choose from depending on how much Grossness you can handle, you can get them in pack's of one, three, eight and even twenty for only £16.99 from The Entertainer. If you are wondering where you are going to store all these Gross guys then you can either pop them back into their eyeball as they are fully rebuild-able or you can get disgustingly named Sludge Bus. 

The Sludge Bus comes with two exclusive characters. Inside the bus, once you unfold it,  you will find the perfect eyeball smashing spot, the toilet! Just load up your Smasher onto the catapult then watch as it smash's into the toilet avoiding the stinky poo. The Sludge Bus can hold up to fifty Gross Smashers. The best place I have found to purchase the Sludge Bus is B & M at £16.99 but it is available from most Toy store's and some supermarkets and priced at around £20-£24.99. 

The Gross Smashers are now available to buy and are suitable for children and adults aged over five, although this doesn't stop Eryn getting her hands on them. They are available in most Toy stores and also in some supermarkets like Tesco.

We have been sent this item for the purpose of this review but all opinions expressed are that of our own.  

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Auschwitz Camp Tour

We recently got home from a few days in Krakow, Poland. While we were there we decided to do a tour of the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. Me and Jade have both been keen to visit in the past and we both find the history behind world war 2 both horrifying and interesting.

We arranged the tour through Cracow Local Tours and we were picked up at 8am by our driver Dawid. He was extremely friendly, funny and knowledgeable about the area. He even marked my tourist map with fantastic restaurants and bars.

We pulled up to Auschwitz first and your first impression is nothing what you'd expect. There is just groups of people everywhere waiting to get into the camp, we had to go through security on the way in to make sure we had no banned items. I was speaking with one of our tour guides who explained that people in the past have taken chisels and screwdrivers in, they have then attempted to chip off some brickwork or wood to take a some kind of "souvenir" which is utterly disgusting. After getting the all clear from the security staff we all put on our headphones and tuned into our tour guide, Conrads, broadcast station. I only learnt after the tour that Conrad was not an official tour guide, he was infact a driver from the company we booked the tour on but his level of knowledge was on another level. I also did not realise he was Polish as his English was also perfect.

The tour started by walking through the main, and only gate. This is when you forget about all the other tourists around you, you realise that where you are stood was a place where many evil people once stood and more importantly where thousands of innocent people once stood. The wording on the gate translates to "Work Sets You Free" this was just another sick example of the lies spewed out by the minds behind the death camps. They were sold a false promise of freedom in return for labour.

Walking into the camp you notice how similar it is to a military camp, this is because prior to area become occupied by the Nazi Party, the camp was occupied by the Polish military, walking round we were told about the treatment these people were forced to endure, food levels, a "soup" that was made from boiling water and some chopped up vegetables. The punishments handed out for crimes. For example, if someone were to attempt and escape, it would not only affect the individual but all other member of his work team would also be punished in horrific ways. We went into several different buildings and learnt about the tragic events that happened. The first building had an urn full of ashes that were recovered from the camp when it was liberated by Russian forces. Jade was visibly upset from the moment we walked in but I managed to keep it together until you are faced with physical items. A cabinet full of empty Zyklon B used to kill prisoners, a huge collection of human hair, prayer mats, glasses, cutlery and clothes. I could not concentrate on the tour guide after seeing the collection of children's clothes. Some of which were quite clearly for a child aged no more than 3 years old. The idea that a group of people can be so heartless and cold as to bring harm to a poor innocent child simply because of the beliefs or race was heartbreaking.

We had an opportunity to look at the living conditions of the prisoners and also look at the cells used as punishment. The most barbaric were the stand up cells. A room no more than 4ft wide in any direction was built with the idea of housing 3 prisoners per cell with the intention of someone being locked in for up to 4 days at a time. What I was shocked about was that they were not just subjected to physical abuse and torture. The Nazi party were able to mentally destroy prisoners as well. There was a suffocation cell. This was a cell with an extremely small air hole that can be covered by the guards should they wish. Several prisoners were put in this cell, and while a prisoner could not suffocate in there, the psychological suffering caused by the thought of running out of oxygen was much more terrifying.

We walked past medical block where experiments were carried out on young girls and twins. These people were operated on with no anaesthetic as this was too expensive. The Nazi's were attempting to find the best way to sterilise the prisoners in an attempt to kill off the bloodlines of those not deemed "worthy" Jews, Blacks, Gypsy's, any section of society who could not adhere to the Aryan race. A man names Josef Mengele was the doctor at this camp, he was also running trials on twins to see how one child body would react if something happened to the other child. Amputations and infections were the most common.

We then were escorted to the only gas chamber left in the area, the rest of the chambers were destroyed by the Nazi's in an attempt to cover over the evidence. Walking into the concrete structure your emotions are all over the place. Stepping through the door way the realisation that the doorway you just walked through represented the last few steps of thousands of peoples lives. The room is a large bunkers like building with holes in the ceiling where the chemicals were poured in. This is a moment where you have to just stand still and take it all in.

This was the last stop on our tour. The whole tour is a heavy experience, it is an emotional struggle but it gives you an insight into how these victims were degraded and discarded with no regard to humanity or morality. I went to the camp, knowing what had happened, I've seen the movies, I've read the history books but I don't think any form of media or literature can prepare you for the feeling you get when being there. To say I enjoyed the tour would be the wrong phrase to use, I appreciated the the importance of remembering the brave people who suffered and I was honoured to have been able to pay my respects by visiting and become more educated about the people who lived there.

We then set off to Birkenau Camp which can be read here.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Do You Want Some Freebies?

If you have came across this post then the chances are you are looking for some Freebies. Everyone loves a good freebie and I spend a lot of time looking for freebies and discounts. It seems lately that it has been more difficult to find a good freebie that doesn't require signing your life away.

I have been using the website Gratisfaction. The website is really simple to use and as well as featuring free samples it also has a section with voucher codes and bargains.

The website is mobile friendly which has been great as I often like to just use my phone and I've found that there are still a number of websites that aren't mobile friendly. I like to look for anyway that I can save a few quid and even more so at this time of the year so being able to just look on here whilst I'm sat in the car on the school run is really handy, plus I can show the other mum's and dad's.

Below is a little list of my favourite freebies and bargains that I have found on the website.

Free Hugo Boss Perfume with Christmas coming up free perfume is a win.

Himalayan Salt Lamp I love these lamps and this is a great saving.
Dog Food you request a free sample and just pay P&P which is £2.50.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Lapland Mailroom: Review

When it comes to Christmas I like to get things sorted sooner rather than later. One thing for me that is it a must do ASAP is the Letter From Santa I panic that if I leave it too late then it won't arrive in time or the order books will be so full that they can't fit me in. Another issue is, choosing which Santa will write the letter. This year I'm working with Lapland Mailroom to create a magical letter for my children.

The Lapland Mailroom offers a great selection of personalised letters starting at just £8.95 and comes with a free good child certificate signed by the jolly man himself you can upgrade the package and opt for the one that comes with a Christmas activity pack priced at £9.95. Once you have chosen your package you can then choose from three different letter styles each one of them you can make more personal by adding location, saying what they left out last year and of course what they are hoping Santa will bring them. There is even an option on whether you use Santa Claus or Father Christmas.

The process is really easy and is full of opportunities to read what your letter says to make sure you are happy with it before purchasing it. If you are ordering more than one letter there is an option when you come to the payment section that says 'Add Another' there is also an option for express delivery which costs just 75p and the letter will be posted out to you in the next 48hrs.

I can't wait until the children's letter's arrive and to see the excitement on their face's. It has been such a pleasure to use this company for our Christmas letter's as the process was just so straight forward and easy to use we will definitely be using them in the future.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Fingerlings Hugs

Last year all Jared wanted was a Fingerling monkey, his cousin had one and he spent hours playing with it when we were visiting. Luckily Santa brought him two last year one being a Boris and the other a Sloth. The problem with this was that his sister also wanted one but being as little as she was I didn't think it would be wise to get her one. Cue tantrum's and tears. A little while back we were sent an email introducing us to the new Fingerling Hug's which are available in Blue (Boris) or Pink (Bella) and even a Sloth. We were sent the Blue one which is Boris, in cuddle form. As soon as Eryn saw what it was she was trying to cuddle him.

For fan's of the Fingerlings these super sized cuddly buddies are a must. Very much like the smaller Fingerlings they are interactive with over 40 different sounds. Eryn's favourite seems to be the kissing sound which it makes when you give it a kiss. You can rock him to sleep or even record a message. The Fingerlings Hugs have arms that can wrap around and give you a cuddle or swing around in the tree's there is Velcro on the hands so they can clasp together.

Eryn really enjoys playing with Mun-Keh (Boris) most of the time he is wrapped around her as she pushes her baby in the pram and then sits him down on the Rody horse. I have found that having Boris around has increased her imagination, although he has sounds she has also given him a voice. I watched her play with him while Jared had his Fingerlings and they had some kind of game going on which was lovely to watch.

The Fingerlings Hugs says that it is suitable for ages 3+, Eryn is two and has been fine with Mun-Keh however she has been supervised whilst playing. That being said she often plays with her brothers toys which are for older children. I personally think that as long as your child is supervised it's fine (don't shoot me down PP's).

Boris and Bella and Sloth are battery operated and they come with test batteries you can purchase them at The Entertainer, Smyths Toys, Argos and retail at £29.99. 

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Bear Grylls Adventure

Have you ever fancied testing your nerve? Facing your fears, and experiencing once in a life time opportunities? Well recently we had an opportunity to do just that by working with the awesome guys at Bear Grylls Adventure land in Birmingham. It was Liam's birthday the day before we went so I let him choose the main activity we did, for this reason Liam will be writing this post.

Bear Grylls Adventure was opened in the summer of 2018 and all the activities have been designed and signed off by the man himself. You have the opportunity to do 4 base camp activities which include a maze, room escape, marines assault course and archery. You can do these with any other main activity. The main activities are, Rock climbing, High Rope Climbing, indoor sky diving and snorkelling or scuba diving. All the activities are carried out in groups, led by a member of Bear's team. 

As it was a little birthday treat I chose to go scuba diving. It is something I have always wanted to do and when I found out that the diving would include sharks, sting rays and hundreds of fish, I knew my mind was made up. I was like a kid on Christmas eve during the build up to the journey down. I was stupidly excited and I ended up telling everyone I worked with about what I was going to do. 

The place is extremely easy to find, although there is no parking on site, there is a car park about 5 minutes away and with you parking ticket validation at Bear Grylls Adventure, the parking is pretty reasonable. We were there for just over 6 hours and parking came to £7.

Walking up to the building you hear music which add to the atmosphere of adventure and survival. With the high ropes to your right hand side you walk up a winding path and met with a helicopter hanging out of the building over the front door with a zip wire running to the ground leading to the high ropes. Walking through the door you are greeted by staff who show you to a locker and give you a wrist band to lock & unlock the locker. They also tell you what time your base camp starts and then you can explore. We had around half an hour to explore before our base camp started so we took this as an opportunity to look at the pool we would be diving into. The pool was a huge array of different colours and species of fish. Sting rays were swooping round the tank effortlessly, but, most impressively, huge black tip reef sharks were swimming around dominating the pool. I got talking to a worker there who explained that all the sharks they have, have been rescued. The centrepiece of the room is a giant tree with a plane stuck in it, which carried some significance later on in your base camp activities.

It was time to start the base camp activities, first up was the survival maze. I won't go into too much detail as I do not want to ruin the experience for anyone, however if you really want to know then feel free to interact with me on social media and I will divulge all. The maze is designed to test your nerve and make you face your fears. I personally did not think it would be too bad, it is just for entertainment right? While it is for entertainment it is the fear of the unknown that is the hardest to overcome. At the end of the maze you also have to undertake a bush tucker trial "I'm A Celebrity Style" As I've said, I won't go into too much detail as I don't want to ruin it so I will sum the maze up in a few words... Dark.... Wet... Small.... Meal Worms.

After this it was onto the room escape games, this is where the plane in the tree comes into the equation. You have to find the pilot on a map and the coordinates are you code to freedom. This game takes team work and communication, which sadly our team lacked as we were locked into the room. You have to decode instructions and also listen to information coming through on the radio for clues. After the first room you go down an escape shoot which is honestly, the most brutal slide I have ever been down. Coming out of the slide you reach another room and another puzzle, now I wish I could offer you help on this one but I was stumped There were flags with numbers on, a map and knots. Make of that what you will. The staff said that no many people escape the room and it has been designed to be extremely difficult.

After we left the escape room area it was onto the marines assault course. This is based loosely on a real marines training course but is obviously toned down. You start by doing a warm up and then set off in pairs... being competitive I made it my aim to finish first, I don't think the people in front of me knew they were in a race. You start by hopping between steps then climbing over and ducking under wooden beams. Crawling under netting you find your self having to climb up a steep(ish) hill with the aid of a rope to get onto the higher levels. The rest of the course is a mix of walls to climb over, poles to slide across and everyone's favourite punishment... monkey bars. Then there is a final sprint to the finish to do a fireman's pole. As you get down the staff ask how you found it and if you'd ever want to do it again... it seems I was the only person in my group who really enjoyed it and would of loved to go again. 

Last base camp activity was the archery. Jade had never done archery before so she was really excited, she is pretty good at things that require technique and skill. I have already tried archery in the past so I knew my skill was non existent. I'd have like to have spent longer doing this but we only really got to shoot 10 or so arrows each. The archery is done with traditional old wooden bow's which add to the outdoor's survival feel of the place which I thought was a great touch.

We then had about an hours break before we went scuba diving. We decided to check out the cafe as we both needed a drink. The prices were a little steep but the quality of the products look as though it could easily warrant the price being paid. The pizza's were £6 per pizza but they were cooked fresh in a wood fired oven so they were traditional pizza's unlike some other places that just buy frozen bases and put some cheese and tomato sauce on them.

Onto scuba diving, we had to go upstairs for this activity and we were greeting to a old rusted ship door which we passed through and into the briefing room. We were given a thorough talk from a qualified diver who explained what techniques were need to do in the practice pool before we were allowed into the open pool. These included, removing water from the mask, taking the mouth piece out under water and also dropping the mouth piece behind you and recovering it under water. Once the briefing was done we were over to the changing room to get into out scuba gear. Now, for those who haven't ever worn a wet suit before... they are literally the hardest things to get on ever. Once we were all changed and ready it was into the training pool. I could see Jade was panicking at this point, she's not a fan of feeling trapped or enclosed, and with how tight the suit was coupled with the mask blocking you from breathing out your nose it was not an ideal situation for her. We both got in the water and we were suited up. We took our first dip under the water and our first breaths as a scuba diver. Jade shortly after this had to leave the pool as she could feel her breathing going out of control. She was devastated that should could not do it, however it meant she could go back down stairs and grab some pretty cool photos. I won't pretend that scuba diving is easy, or that I wasn't nervous. All your life you've been told that you cannot breath underwater then all of a sudden you have to breath underwater. You become conscious of breathing and you have to think about how to breath. It took me a few attempts to get down into the pool, one because I could not get my breathing to a point where i felt comfortable and two because I could not get my ears to pop. The pool is around 4 metres deep but you can feel the difference in the pressure. The diving instructors take you round the pool and you can an experience the marine life up close, rays rubbing themselves against you, fish swimming between your feet and sharks swimming over head. It is a whole different world down there, all you can hear is the noise you your respirator and you breath in and out. Walking around feels like your in zero gravity and everything is just so peaceful. At points throughout the adventure you can just kneel on the bottom of the tank and really take in how beautiful the world around you is and something I took away was how we, as humans are killing marine life by over fishing and polluting and how we, as humans are solely responsible for the conservation of these beautiful creatures and underwater worlds. At the end of the dive you are taken back to the briefing room for a final speech, you obtain a PADI certificate which is your first step towards being a fully qualified diver and also you can be put in touch with local diving clubs if you enjoyed your experience.

At the end of our day I expected to be tired but it was the exact opposite, I will on a huge adrenaline buzz that lasted for hours. I still get the same excitement when I talk about it to people now. All the instructors we had were outstanding, patient and knowledgeable. I am already looking to plan my next trip where I would be more that willing to pay the maximum price and do all the activities in one day.

If you want to know more about my experience or the maze then get in touch 
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