Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Family travel and lifestyle blog

30/06/2022

The perfect adventure weekend at Mendip Basecamp, Somerset


Mendip Basecamp


*Thanks to Mendip Basecamp for inviting us to stay for 2 nights in exchange for an honest review. This was an unpaid press trip and all words are my own. 

If you are looking for off-grid, back-to-basics camping in a truly fantastic location that still has everything you need and more than you need to check out Mendip Basecamp in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. Surrounded by ancient woodland which waiting to be explored, this very spacious campsite is perfect for families looking to get away and enjoy the simple things this summer.

This family-run campsite may be off-grid but still has plenty of hot showers and clean toliets as well as a well-equipped camp shop with a big sand pit for children to play in, along with a cosy country lodge on-site only a few minutes walk through the woods, which serves up hearty meals and offers family-friendly live music on the weekends along with a big fire pit perfect for smores. 

But don't worry if camping isn't your thing, they also offer private bunkhouse accommodation that is perfect for families and groups with bunk beds and private bathrooms and is fully heated. My boys and I recently stayed two nights at Mendip Basecamp and if you are not already sold on it here is what we loved about it.






Firstly the setting is amazing, with stunning views across the Mendip Hills, access to the countryside from the campsite and plenty of woodland to explore on-site. The check-in process was easy (as was check-out) and the staff were friendly and helpful and they all seemed to really enjoy working at Mendip.

Mendip Basecamp is also on the same site as Mendip Activity Centre which offers a huge amount of outdoor adventure activities and has something for everyone such as rock climbing, kayaking, bush craft and caving to mention a few, although I would just point out many have a minium age of 8 yrs for group activities and 6yrs old if you book as a private session although Tobaganning, frisbee golf an Orienteering are suitable for all ages and I would advise booking activities in advance as they are very popular and can fill up quickly.

toboganning
We really enjoyed the Toboganning



The lodge which is only a short walk away from basecamp is a great hub as there is a cafe that serves food all day including a lovely outdoor seating (as well as indoor for those rainy days), with fresh coffee to pizza and pies as well as opting for a pint in the evening while watching live music. There was a band on while we stayed and if you are going to come and watch the band I would recommend coming early to secure a seat as the live music evenings are very popular. 

Most of the activities are on-site with a few off site although we found everything very easy to navigate. My boys and I absolutely loved the toboganning on the dry slope, something I've not done for years and it was a blast! We also really like the self-guided orinteering which is great for topping up your map skills! The staff gave us some tips on navigating the map and off we went to explore the surrounding woodlands and find the stamps to complete our map. 


Mendip basecamp


We also tried frisbee golf for the first time and it was so much fun and suitable for all ages and abilities and it takes around 1-2hrs, through woodland and countryside. It's £5 for children (under 6yrs old play free) and £7 for parents, making it a fun budget friendly activity. My boys where also keen to try out Air rifles or axe throwing as we had at one time or another done all the other activities on offer at other locations but we hadn't done either of those. We ended up doing air rifles as the timing of that session worked better for our schedule and I really didn't know what to expect, as I personally don't like guns but since watching the Air Rifles at the Olympics last year that kids wanted to give it a go. The session leader was fantastic, it was very controlled, lot's of family friendly games & target practice. 

During out time at Mendip Basecamp I also noticed how clean the facilities where and there are plenty of warm showers and toliets on site. There is also plenty to do without the pressure of taking part in additional activities or those with much younger children such as the large sandpit and woodlands as well as hikes in and around the centre. I would definitely recommend Mendip Basecamp for those who are looking to slow down, reconnect with friends, family and nature and have fun camping. 


frisbee golf


27/06/2022

6 Family friendly things to do in Brecon, Wales

Alpaca my boots


While most people have heard of the famous Brecon Beacons, a large mountainous area of Southern Wales jam-packed with hikes, peak summits, trig points and outdoor pursuits and a playground for those who love the outdoors. But what about the actual town of Brecon and the immediate surrounding area?

There is plenty to do within close proximity of the bustling market town of Brecon, which also has an abundance of accommodation (including dog-friendly accommodation) and makes for a great base to explore the wider area, but if you only have a day or want to keep it more local here are a few things to do in and around (no more than 10mins away) of Brecon Town centre. 


Brecon Basin


1. Explore Brecon Basin and Towpath

The town of Brecon is the start (or end) of the Mon and Brec Canal, just head towards the Brecon Basin, next to the iconic Theatr Bryncheiniog, and spot pretty canal boats while taking a slow meander along the canal towpath which goes for miles. My boys love a walk along the canal where you can do some bird watching and spot wildlife as well as try your hand at Geocaching as there are many caches along the towpath. 

Brecon Canal


2. Get on the Canal

The Mon and Brecon Canal is over 30 miles long and there are a few different options of how to get on the water. You can bring your own SUP or kayak (you will need a waterways licence) or you can take a cruise with Dragonfly cruises. If you rather have a little more independence then you can also hire a day boat with Dragonfly Day Boats and explore the canal yourself, which is what I did with my kids earlier this year. We packed a picnic and hired a boat for 2hrs and it was bliss, such a lovely and unique way to explore the area. 

Pen Y Crug


3. Hike up Pen Y Crug for amazing views

The starting point for the Pen Y Crug trig point hike is only 1.5 miles from Brecon Town Centre and is a great family-friendly walk that rewards you with some fantastic views across the Brecon Beacons. The Trig point summit stands at 331m on a 2000yr old Iron Age Fort which makes it even more of a fascinating walk. The walk takes around 1-2hrs and is suitable for younger children, you can see a route map here.

4. Visit local Museums 

If you are into history then a visit to the Royal Welsh Museum which showcases 400yrs of history and is known for its 1st and 2nd World War and Zulu War collection. It may be a bit heavy for younger children but could be of interest to those 8yrs+ and while it's not the biggest museum there is a lot to see. There is a small entrance fee of £5 for adults and £2 for Children. 

Y Gaer Museum, Art Gallery and library has had a big refurbishment and is well worth a visit as they have some interesting and interactive galleries to explore including a reconstruction of a Victoria School Room and a full-size court. 


Brecon Hills

5. Indulge in OTT Burgers and Milkshakes at Hills

If your looking for an extra special foodie treat then head over to Hills, just outside of Brecon Town Centre (around a 1.5mile drive) and you won't be disappointed. All the produce is locally sourced from some of the best producers in Wales and while it is on the pricey side the burgers are huge and the milkshakes are truly indulgent and it comes with amazing views across the Beacons as well. They do get very busy so it's worth calling to reserve a table and it's both family and dog friendly. 

6. Go Alpaca Trekking

Only 10 minutes away from Brecon Town centre is Alpaca my Boots which offers fantastic Alpaca treks for all ages! It's a family-run business and the owners couldn't be more friendly and genuinely love what they do. They have an amazing location the Mynydd Illtud common and the walk takes you up to the Twyn Y Gaer trig point which offers views across the Brecon Beacons, taking in Pen Y Fan and Corn Du. My kids still talk about this 2yrs on and loved it! You can read my full blog post about our experience here.


Brecon Town


26/06/2022

Five Low Cost Home Décor Ideas

interior design

*This post contains affiliate links


Has your home or its interior design bugged you for a long time? Want to make some changes and improvements without breaking the bank? If you are keen to do it yourself and put the time in you could make your house resemble an aesthetic digest magazine editorial layout.

All you really need is a little inspiration, commitment, and creativity to get the task done. Most people think of furniture, cabinets, and floor, leaving out the small details when it comes to interior design. Here are a few tried-and-true tricks to help you make your home feel and look chic.

Barn Door Handles and Pulls

The little details may make a massive impact on home décor. Making small adjustments can change the look of a room, so why not consider putting in a new barn door with barn door handles and pulls. It's a great way to add a custom touch to a room. The best thing about it is that they are cost-effective and a pretty easy DIY job. It's a trend that most people are embracing to upgrade their homes as it has a variety of colours and styles. You will surely find the perfect barn door pulls and handles that align with your house décor style.

Re-vamp Cabinets and Counters

Older-looking kitchen and bathroom vanity cabinets can make a home look aged and not in a good way, but replacing them with affordable and efficient ones creates a contemporary interior design. Re-vamp cabinets by giving a new coat of paint or new handles. It is a straightforward and cost-friendly interior design tip to have in mind.

Adding fun handles gives the cabinet a new fresh look. Changing kitchen counters is a complicated undertaking, but switching to a cheaper material like marble or granite changes the overall appearance of the kitchen and bathrooms. It is a tactic that works wonders if you take your time and are patient enough.


wallpaper



Add Statement Wallpaper

Technology has also influenced how we design the goods we use in our homes. As a result, wallpaper has become easier to install and remove and more diverse in terms of design options. With the space in our homes, statement wallpaper is a quick and easy method to liven up a drab environment. Cover the walls with a tropical or personalized wallpaper to give your bathroom a colourful twist. Remember to keep the wall décor modest so that your standout wall isn't overshadowed.

Create an Art Display

Putting up more wall art is a great design method for you if you enjoy expressing your creativity and displaying your favourite works of art.

This is where you choose from various sizes and display your favourite pictures and photos on your wall. You can aim for a streamlined design by keeping the colour palette and frame style similar, or you can completely mismatch them. When your guests see these evocative paintings hanging on your wall, they will be amazed. If you're on a budget, flea markets and bazaars are great places to look for economical yet outstanding art exhibits and décor.


wall art



Bring in the light

One of the oldest interior design tips is increasing the amount of light entering your room. Bring in as much natural light as you can, whether it is by adding a glass panel on the door or using mirrors to reflect it. Mirrors have a relaxing effect on the place, and it also brings the illusion that the house is big, like the Gabriel Hendifar’s dining area in the Manhattan apartment downtown.

Where natural light isn't available, there are various additional options for bringing in more light. To brighten up your space, use lighter shade paints, wallpapers, and fittings that add more light, like ceiling lights, tables, and standing lamps. Allowing your lighting selections to blend in with their surroundings gives the impression of natural light.

The examples above are among the most effective ways to improve your home's interior design. Hopefully, this article has inspired you to make some modifications in your home and let your imagination run wild. We have covered a wide variety of ideas so that you can start right away!


light interior


19/06/2022

Making the Most of a Smaller Space: Tips for Downsizers

tiny home

*This post contains affiliate links

With the price of energy, food and fuel starting to pinch, many are looking at ways to make their money go further. One common way to do this is to downsize your home, but this can cause a few problems if you’re not prepared to deal with having less space. When you downsize your home, it’s important to make the most of the smaller space you have, so with a little bit of effort, you can turn a cramped and cluttered house into a cosy and inviting home. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your smaller space.

Get clever with space-saving furniture

A smaller home may not be suitable for larger items of furniture, so it’s important to invest in space-saving furniture instead. Look for pieces that serve multiple purposes, like a sofa that doubles as a guest bed or a coffee table with a shelf underneath. Folding dinner tables can also be handy – they fold out when you want a big family meal, but fold away when you’re not using them. If you’re short on storage, look for furniture with hidden storage, like ottomans with hinged lids or beds with drawers underneath. With a little bit of effort, you can make your small home work for you in all the best ways.

tiny home



Use self-storage facilities

If you’re downsizing your home, you may not have enough space for your furniture, let alone to store all of your things. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything you love, however. Downsizing often means going without a dining room, for example, but if your dinner table is a family heirloom, you probably don’t want to get rid of it. Instead of throwing out the prized possessions you can no longer fit in your downsized home, use a self storage facility to store large pieces of furniture or seasonal items, like Christmas decorations or winter clothing. This will free up space in your home and give you peace of mind knowing your things are safe and sound.


Declutter

Once you’ve placed everything you can into a self-storage facility, it’s important to get rid of anything that you don’t absolutely need. This will help declutter your home and make it feel more spacious. So, go through your things and decide on what you can live without. Many things are likely to gather dust, and in a smaller home, this can get overwhelming. If you haven’t used it in the past year, chances are, you don’t need it. Get your kids to go through their stuff too – you’ll be surprised at the number of toys they no longer want or play with. This should help to keep the house tidy, which will be harder when there are fewer places to shove things out of the way.


minimalist


Choose the right paint

Paint colours can have a big impact on the feeling of a room, so when you’re downsizing your home, it’s important to choose the right shades. If you want a small space to feel bigger, go for light and airy colours like white or cream. For a cosier feel, try warm colours like red or yellow, and if you want a more inviting atmosphere, go for bolder hues like green or blue. Dark colours can make a room feel smaller, so save these shades for the bedroom where dark colours can aid sleep. Ceilings, unless you’re feeling brave, should also always be painted white to give rooms more height. With a little bit of effort, you can use paint to transform the feeling of your smaller home, so you’ll hardly even notice the size difference.


paint tin


Plan room arrangements carefully

In a smaller home, you’ll need to get creative with your furniture arrangements. Look for ways to maximise the space you have, and if possible, try to keep the flow of your space open and unobstructed. Don’t block doors or thoroughfares and be aware that furniture legs can pose as trip hazards if placed in the wrong place. You can also create the illusion of more space by using furniture with sleek lines and light colours, so stay away from ornately carved, dark wood.

Conclusion

Downsizing your home can be a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity to declutter your life and make the most of your smaller space. By following these tips, you can make your small home feel like your own personal oasis, even if each room is on the small side.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...