Chester Day 1: 26/08/2016

We woke around 7am and after a little lie in bed together we got up and had tea and toast, BattleKid insisting on chocolate toast (toast with Nutella). After breakfast we got dressed and, while BattleDad and BattleKid dropped the dogs to kennels, I finished packing us, organising the food and the mountains of other things we were bringing with us. Once they arrived back, we packed up the car and set off just after 10am, with thoughts of dread about the bank holiday traffic we might be facing.

First on our agenda for this jam-packed weekend was the Small Breeds Farm Park and Owl Sanctuary in Kington, which we visited before. We wanted to visit this again as BattleKid is older and so would hopefully enjoy it more and interact with the animals more. Traffic wasn’t too bad on the way there and we arrived at 11.20am, and just about managed to find a parking spot.

We greeted some of the owls they have on display at the entrance before paying our entrance fee and picking up a bucket of animal feed. As usual, we started at the indoor barns and saw my favourite goats, the Boer goats. I have no idea why I love them so much but they’ve been my favourite ever since BattleDad and I started visiting the Farm Park a few years ago, pre-BattleKid.

BattleKid had no problem feeding the goats that were indoors. There was no fear in him in holding his hand out for them, although we were keeping a close eye on the animals, just-in-case.

After the goats we visited the rabbits, chipmunks and guinea pigs house where BattleKid wanted to take one with him. It’s hard explaining to a two-year old why you can’t pet them, feed them the same food as the goats and why you can’t take one with you! He was fascinated by the chipmunks who were very active, especially as one of them was running on a wheel, much to BattleKid’s delight.

We moved outside and saw the alpacas, pheasants and red squirrels, before moving onto the outdoor pens to feed more animals. It was lovely this time round to see BattleKid interact with the animals more than last year and the delight in his face when they took food from his hand.Chester Day 1

Chester Day 1

Once our bucket was empty and the animals fed, we decided to have some lunch from the café before continuing our journey north. BattleDad opted for a sausage sandwich while I ordered a ham and cheese toastie and a jacket potato with beans and cheese, as I wasn’t sure what BattleKid would fancy. I scooped out the soft potato from the skin, and BattleKid wolfed that and all the beans for lunch. I couldn’t get over how much he ate as it was a rather large potato. I had to satisfy myself with the toastie, although it was a good one!

Before we left we had a short walk around the owl sanctuary. We noticed that they are expanding the sanctuary with new, larger pens currently being built. BattleKid loved the owls as he loves Owl from the Gruffalo stories.Chester Day 1

After a quick bum change we set off again at 1.30pm. It was funny to hit the A49 just after Leominster as it’s a road BattleDad knows well, having travelled it twice a week for 6 months when he first started working in South Wales and we were still located in Shropshire. Traffic was ok until we hit Craven Arms and it took us over 20 minutes to get through the town due to damn road works traffic lights, even though there were NO workmen around!

There were more patches of typical bank holiday weekend traffic around Shrewsbury and on the A5 but it certainly wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting thankfully. We arrived at Manley Mere where we were staying around 4.30pm and were greeted by our AirBnB host, Kate, who let us through the security gates and showed us the mews apartment we were staying in. I’ll be writing all about our accommodation in more detail in due course, but it was really nice.

It was a 2 bedroom mews and was big enough for the three of us. We wanted to explore the gardens but couldn’t as they were setting it up for a wedding on the Saturday so we had a quick walk by the lake before heading back to get dinner sorted.Chester Day 1

After dinner we got BattleKid into his pyjamas and did our usual bedtime routine before putting him down by 8pm, a bit later than normal. BattleDad and I had a cup of tea and watched a BBC program (no Netflix due to no WiFi), before turning in ourselves by 9.30pm, shattered from a busy day.

Unfortunately BattleKid had a very disturbed sleep, as did mama, not great before our visit to Chester Zoo the next day! Stop by tomorrow to hear how our first ever visit to Chester Zoo went!

Thanks for reading,

Cath x

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