Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

We’ve had some fabulous weather lately, and there is nothing like sun and blue skies to get us to venture to new places. A few weeks back on a particularly beautiful day, we decided to take advantage of our English Heritage membership and visit Brodsworth Hall and Gardens in Doncaster.

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I am by no means a gardener – that’s become a hobby of Richard’s – but I can definitely appreciate a beautiful garden when I see one and Brodsworth Hall boasts a number of unique gardens. Each of the gardens has its own style and is home to a variety of flowers without much repetition in flower types amongst the gardens.

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The hall is set on 15 acres, and it is an easy walk around the grounds. There is also a nice playground on the grounds, which our girl was keen to find. Some of the play equipment was a bit too big for her, but she always manages to have fun and that day was no different.

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After some play time, we walked up to the house for some lunch. With the weather as it was, we enjoyed our food al fresco in the outdoor dining area just off the tearoom. There was a range of hot and cold food on offer, and we all found our sandwiches to be delicious.

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We decided to walk around the grounds a bit more and allow our girl to stretch her legs. She also had a fun time playing hide-and-seek with us amongst the trees and bushes. The West Lawns are a great place for kids to run. On that day, they had an area set up for croquet complete with mallets and balls.

It was great to visit a new place and to see so many families spending the day together in the sunshine!

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Under the Sea at SeaLife Centre

We visited the SeaLife Centre at Trafford Centre back in December with friends of ours to celebrate our girls’ birthdays. The two girls were born just a few days apart, so we decided that instead of exchanging birthday and Christmas gifts that we would give them an ‘experience.’ We chose SeaLife Centre because we thought it would be a nice change of pace from the usual soft play gyms. It turned out that it was a great choice.

Upon entering the SeaLife Centre, you watch a short presentation about sea turtles and their life cycle. I only heard bits and pieces of it as the girls were antsy after being in the car for 40ish minutes. After the presentation finished, we were free to enter the aquarium.

The girls were really taken by the first display which was a jellyfish tank where they could actually change the colors of the lights in the tank. I honestly did not think we would see the rest of the centre because they loved choosing the next color to turn the jellyfish!

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Some of the other highlights were the tunnel under one of the tanks that the girls could walk through, touching a starfish, spotting the resident sea turtle and some sharks, and the soft play area (of course!).

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We went on a weekday during term time, so it was not busy at all. SeaLife Centre is not overly big, which made it just the right size for two 2-year olds to walk around. It was only near the end that my girl asked me to carry her for a little bit.

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We really enjoyed our day, and I would happily go back as I think our girl would be even more mesmerized by the “fishes” now. It was a fun day out to celebrate our girls!

I do have a funny story to share. When we got home, Richard asked me how the SeaLife Centre was to which I said, “It was smaller than I expected.” He replied, completely dead pan, “That doesn’t surprise me seeing as how everything in the U.S. is huge.” We both started to crack up, as it is true that my perception of certain things has been skewed from being raised in the U.S. (I actually had this same reaction when I saw Tower Bridge for the first time, and I believe Richard was left speechless by said reaction. Haha!)