Hello Spring!

Easter ideas and Spring savings

We love Spring. Not only do we get to enjoy a long bank holiday weekend, but it’s usually the first chance of the year to get stuck into the garden after Winter.

We know Spring cleaning isn’t just happening in the garden, looking at our Facebook and Twitter feeds, we can see some of you taking advantage of the warmer weather and getting the house in shipshape too! Continue reading

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The Tulip Fields Of The Netherlands

Netherlands Tulip Fields

The Netherlands is well known for cultivating vast amounts of Tulips, and this year wont be any different. Tulips bloom in early – late April just after Easter and are very beautiful. The best time to see them is the second half of April when the weather is much warmer.

Tulips are one of the most popular flowers in the world and the Netherlands dominates in exporting most of the supply to the rest of the world. As Tulips bloom in spring time they are commonly given to people in need of sympathy or care, so common occasions for tulips are funerals and hospital visits (Lets just forget the fact that NHS hospitals don’t allow you to bring flowers anymore shall we).

The Netherlands has hundreds of amazing Tulip fields’ making their landscape look like a sea of rainbows in some areas. I (The Web Developer) have been to the Netherlands a few times before and I thought I would share with you how to experience the Tulip season to the fullest and best value. There is also plenty of other fantastic cultural things the Netherlands has to offer, and tourists often associate the country with such things like windmills, cheese, museums, cycling, and of course tulips.

You can easily get to the Netherlands on a coach (If you are prepared for a 16 hour road trip). Eurolines (Part of National Express) now can offer you a return ticket to Amsterdam for as low as £36 travelling from London, Victoria or from Birmingham it will set you back £86.

Once you have got to Amsterdam the best place to go to see the Tulips in bloom is Keukenhof. This is a park full of millions of tulips and probably plenty of tourists. To get there you need to Find Leidseplein (A big open area in Amsterdam right next to the red light district where it seems travelling fair grounds and events are frequently hosted.) Here you can catch the number 197 to Schiphol and then the 858 to Keukenhof.

A journey like this would make a great long weekend this spring, so go for it.

Easter Sunday 2013

Easter Bunny

This year Easter Sunday is March 31st and every child (or adult with a secret inner child) is looking forward to a massive sugar rush, by eating hundreds of lovely chocolate eggs. I thought today I would recognize the origins of Easter and the reason it exists in the first place.

Easter is famously a religious festival recognized by Christians which celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus. It is held on a different date each year and is dictated by the movement of the seasons. The holiday was established hundreds of years ago by the First Council Of Nicaea, and it was decided to be held on the first Sunday after the full moon following the March Equinox. Due to the holidays religious links of the Resurrection of Jesus, Easter tends to symbolize new life, and usually falls in perfect time with spring which conveniently is also the beginning of natures yearly renewal of life.

With the birth of new life being celebrated there comes the tradition of eggs being consumed a lot around Easter. With this tradition we can’t forget to include a mention of the classic Easter Bunny. From my research there doesn’t seem to be any solid origin of the Easter Bunny, however there may be a few ties into religion with it being a fertility symbol but I can’t be 100% certain. All I know for sure is that he’s incredibly cute and makes children’s day by delivering them plenty of chocolate from his basket.

With eggs, chocolate or real, we love them this time of year. If you take a look around your local community you may find that there may be a local egg hunt running for the children but if you really want to get involved with the UK’s biggest Easter egg hunt then visit The Big Egg Hunt website. There you can find information about the huge Easter Egg Hunt happening this year where there will be large Easter eggs hidden around cities all over the country for you to find. It sounds like great fun and If you live in one of the cities they are covering why not go out with your friends hunting for some eggs while you buy the family the huge stash of chocolate they desire so much.

Painted Eggs

It can also be great fun this time of year to rally the kids together and decorate some hard boiled eggs ready to take part in an egg rolling competition or an egg and spoon race. It has been tradition to roll decorated eggs down grassy hills for hundreds of years now in the UK and to this day they still have an egg rolling competition on the Whitehouse lawn every year in the USA. If you are planning on decorating some eggs this year with your kids, why not share pictures of your creations with us on our Facebook page?

The First Signs Of Spring

Spring Lambs

Despite the fact we have had snow this week it doesn’t change the fact that we are now officially in spring.  There’s always plenty happening around spring time and if you live in a city its easy to forget about all the beautiful things happening around you this time of year. Spring time is natures beginning of the yearly life cycle, with Easter being just one way we celebrate the birth of new life.

Signs of spring come with warmer weather, rain instead of snow, flowers popping up, new born lambs, and that lovely inviting fresh feel to the air. If you happen to live the average city life with a 9-5 job and are looking for a good place to go with the family for a little bit of the country life, then we have a few great ideas for places you can visit in Warwickshire for a day out during a weekend.

As long as the weather remains good on your day of choice any of the following places will make for a great day out with the family to see the local wildlife. Both these places are perfect for a family picnic and they even accommodate barbecues in selected areas.

Daventry Country Park

Daventry Country Park is a park that has won a Green Flag Award for excellence. It is a great place for dog walkers and has a significant amount of public footpaths. The park is located on an old reservoir and is very popular with cyclists. There is a 2.5 mile cycle path all the way around the reservoir with great sights to see on the way round. They have a great play area for the young ones and some static fitness equipment for the healthy people. The park is very well maintained and has a visitors centre to help you plan your visit or host your event.

Draycote Water

Draycote Water is an actively used reservoir owned and maintained by Severn Trent Water, the area around it has great areas for walking, picnics and the reservoir itself is incredibly well known for its facilities for water sports and bird watching. There is a Sailing Club that you can join if you fancy learning how to sail, and you can also do a spot of fishing if you like, although as far as I know its catch and throw back only. Draycote water can certainly make for a great place to go cycling with the family (weather permitting) as you can cycle all the way around the reservoir with a great view of all the boats and birds as you go.

Anyway we hope this has inspired you to take a break from the run of the mill city life and get a breath of fresh air in the country. If you take a day trip with the family in the country this spring then why not let us know and share a few of your photos on our facebook page.