This week, I am so pleased to introduce you all to Sam from award-winning blog North East Family Fun. She loves sharing her wonderful adventures with her three children and husband Steve, and their main stomping ground of course is the North East – a fantastic natural playground with stunning landscapes and unspoilt countryside. She tells us about her family’s trip to Seahouses.
What do you look for in a holiday?
Somewhere where we can relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. Food plays a huge part in our holiday and we will always research local restaurants, farm shops and markets before we travel. We do like to get out and about on holiday and take in some of the local sites, too.
Where did you go?
Why did you choose Springhill Farm?
The Christmas holidays are always an expensive time to get away and staying in a wigwam was a budget friendly option. We have stayed in wigwams before and knew they were fairly cosy so weren’t put off that it might be a little on the chilly side. Also, Christmas is often fairly commercialised these days and we wanted somewhere we could really get away and relax together as a family without everyone sitting on their new computers/watching tv.
Myself, my husband Steve and our three children (aged 4,6 and 8).
Where did you stay?
Springhill Farm offers wigwams, tent pitches, a bunkhouse or self catering cottages. Due to our limited budget and the fact that we wanted a break from technology we decided to book a few nights in a wigwam. There aren’t many wigwams that are open throughout December and Seahouses was only an hours drive from us. They have won a few awards, too, so it seemed like an obvious choice.
We first noticed the wigwams in local press as they were winning awards left, right and centre including a gold award for self catering accommodation of the year in the North East tourism awards. We booked via their website
which was a super easy process.
Our wigwam was snug with a sofa which changed into one huge bed in the evening. We also had our own fridge, kettle and plug socket so didn’t have to worry about charging our phone! The wigwams are fully heated and although there was snow outside it was lovely and warm inside.
Were there plenty of activities for the kids?
On site there is a children’s play area and lots of space to run about. We enjoyed building a campfire together to warm up and toast marshmallows. It was really magical doing this in the snow. There is also a communal kitchen/dining room which we used to play board games before dinner.
Your most memorable moment/s of the trip?
Warming our hands on the campfire in the dark and letting the kids think we were having a sneaky midnight feast with lots of treats all snuggled in our PJ’s together in our wigwam when it was really only about 8pm! They loved it – it was proper family time.
What did you get up to? Any sights, activities you want to shout about?
The harbour town of Seahouses is a five-minute drive from Springhill Farm. Here you can spot the majestic Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands and even take a boat trip from Seahouses harbour to see the puffins and seals (check out serenity tours). Seahouses is a small harbour with traditional pubs, delicious fish and chips, a small amusement arcade and access to the beautiful and unspoilt beaches of Northumberland.
Was it good value for money?
Extremely good value – £19.50 per adult and £14 per child during school holidays is fantastic. For this we had our own wigwam with electricity and heating, outdoor seating, a fire pit and access to communal (but spotlessly clean) bathroom and kitchen.
Your top tip/s for the area?
We booked into Elan in the evening which is a small authentic Italian restaurant in Seahouses – the food was delicious and the atmosphere was very welcoming. You can bring your own wine too. You really cannot visit Seahouses without popping across to nearby Bamburgh Castle – it is stunning inside and out (read our review from a previous trip here).
Which photo is your favourite and why? Tell us the story behind it.
Although this photo is just from my iPhone I love it – it was freezing cold, there was frost on the ground and hubby managed to get a decent fire going for us to warm our hands. I think you can really feel the warm glow from the picture. People thought we were mad ‘glamping’ in December but we loved it.
Would you recommend to a friend? Would you go back again?
I would definitely recommend to a friend if they were after a no-frills accommodation but with all the facilities you need. There are several wigwams on site and I think it would be lovely to hire a few as a big group. The facilities were very clean, there are staff on call 24/7 if you should need them and the views of the Northumberland Coast are outstanding.
What are the five holiday essentials you couldn’t live without?
• I always take a bottle of prossecco away with us – nothing says you’re on holiday like a bottle of fizz! Sharing a glass with your other half is the perfect way to spend your first evening.
•My camera – holidays are one of my main chances to spend time on my photography skills and capture happy family memories
•A good book – I rarely read at home but will always read on holiday. It is the perfect way to relax – I finished Girl on the train on my last break – highly recommended.
• Slippers – whether I’m in a tent or a 5* hotel, nothing beats your own slippers!
• Phone charger – I may like to switch off from technology on holiday but I still like to have a sneaky look on instagram every now and then.
Although I live here, it would have to be Northumberland. I think we have everything – dark skies, unspoilt countryside, deserted beaches, fabulous wildlife, 45 Castles, the history of Hadrian’s Wall and lots of lovely country pubs where you are welcomed like old friends. I book at least two short breaks in Northumberland every year and will continue to holiday here for the rest of my life I think.
If you would like to be featured on Holiday Snapshots, please email me at [email protected] and I look forward to including your travel stories.