I’m well overdue a big catch up, with all my unwritten blog posts! I’ve been to quite a few fabulous vintage events this year and still haven’t got round to blogging about them. With Twinwood only a few hours away and lots of other exciting events on the vintage calendar, I thought I’d get to work writing about some of the fun things I’ve been up to.

I’ve always wanted to go to one of the many 1940s days that happen at Britain’s many heritage railway lines. My dad is a big steam train enthusiast and we’ve always enjoyed visiting railways together. Mixing my love of history and vintage with his love of trains seemed like the perfect day out for both of us. We decided to visit War On The Line, a WW2 themed event on the Mid Hants Railway also known as the Watercress Line.

The event had a bit of everything from re-enactors, to vintage clothing stalls, live music and of course the trains themselves. There was also plenty of interesting demonstrations, which gave a fascinating insight into the war.

I decided to not bring my big camera with me, as its sometimes nice to just enjoy a day out without trying to get perfect blog photos. So I just took a few on my phone this time.

War on The Line Classic CarsThere were plenty of gorgeous classic cars on display, I especially loved the fire engine.

War on the Line Vintage ClothesI couldn’t resist a good look through all the fantastic vintage clothing stalls, there were so many gorgeous 40s and 50s dresses.

War on the line Steam TrainsOf course there were wonderful steam trains running all day. It was really fun riding between the stations and sitting in different carriages. It was great having my dad with me to tell me all about the trains.

War on the line Harry Potter BridgeThere was even a bridge, that had appears in two of my favourite films The Thirty Nine Steps and Harry Potter!

War on the Line ViewAnd the views were beautiful! The Mid Hants Railway, sits in beautiful countryside and it was lovely to get away from London for the day and enjoy the fresh air.

War on the line Winston ChurchillI loved all the vintage details on the stations, it was like stepping back in time. I even got a brief sighting of Winston Churchill himself!

War on the Line Mid Hants Railway-2There were loads of fantastic reenactors  at the event and it was really interesting chatting to them, they all knew so much about the war and their passion for the past was incredible.

War on the line carsIt was an absolutely brilliant day out and I will definitely be going again next year. I’d also like to check out more railway events in the future. The atmosphere was fantastic and even learnt a bit of history while I was there.

Find out about future events on The Watercress Line website.

Dreamland Pleasure Park MargateI’ve been hearing great things about Dreamland in Margate for some time now. For the perfect vintage day out you can’t really beat this historic pleasure park, which has been keeping people entertained for over a century. Through good times and bad, Dreamland has sat beside the sea in Margate as a relic of the days of the great British seaside holiday. After a multi million pound renovation and a lot of pastel coloured paint, Dreamland has found a new heyday and I love everything about it.

Dreamland Vintage SignsThe park is the perfect homage to the glory days of the seaside and the attractions date from different eras of the Park’s history. I love all the retro typography and vintage images scattered throughout the park, which remind us that this isn’t your average theme park or fairground.

Dreamland Margate SignRob, the kids and I were lucky enough to be invited to Dreamland for a day, to see what this seaside attraction was all about and to write a review. Since we had a little holiday in Kent booked over Easter I decided to combine the two and I’m so glad I did.

Dreamland Margate ReviewNot only is Dreamland a great day out today, but it has been enjoyed by many generations past and has a really fascinating history.

Dreamland TimelineThe site that dreamland sits on was first used for rides and amusements as early as 1880 and the name Dreamland was first introduced in 1920. Towards the second half of the twentieth century the park grew in size and new rides were added over the decades. In the early 2000s the park began to fall into disrepair. In 2003 it was announced that the park would close and the site redeveloped. Although due to Dreamland’s rollercoaster The Scenic Railway being a listed structure, it could not be moved or dismantled. For many years the public campaigned to save the site and in 2013 ownership passed to the local council, after a compulsory purchase order was approved by a High Court judge. The park was then restored and reimagined and opened once more to the public in 2015.

Dreamland The Scenic Railway

Scenic Railway DreamlandThe park now features classic fairground and theme park rides from many different eras and it makes the perfect day out for a vintage enthusiast. I love the fun mix of traditional amusements and slightly tacky theme park attractions. There are many classics from the fully restored Scenic Railway rollercoaster to a fabulous helter skelter and dodgems. The super colourful big wheel stands tall above the park, like a lovely nostalgic rainbow and although I wasn’t brave enough myself, Rob and the girls managed to enjoy the windy view from the top.

Dream Land Margate Big Wheel

Dreamland Margate slideThe weather was far from perfect on the day, as you can see from my pictures, it varied from bright and sunny to grey and drizzly, but it didn’t dampen our spirits at all. Dreamland is so cheerful and colourful that it kept a smile on our faces throughout. A couple of the attractions closed when the wind picked up, but soon reopened once the weather improved. I do think it would be fun to go in the height of summer in all my vintage finery, to really appreciate it though.

Helter Skelter Reflection dreamlandAfter going on a few rides we were all feeling a little hungry. Luckily Dreamland has a great selection of food, from traditional fish and chips to healthy option and Thai food. I opted for some cheesy chips and coffee, which were perfect for warming us up from the wind and rain. I loved the colourful umbrellas and beach chairs which looked really pretty.

Dreamland Margate FoodOn a warmer day we would have opted for ice creams from the fabulous vintage Ford ice cream van

Dreamland Vintage Icecream VanDreamland has something on offer for all ages, from a few faster rides to classic such as their wonderful old-fashioned carousel which Lila especially enjoyed. This particular one dates back to 1922 and was painstakingly restored by Dreamland experts.

Gallopers Dreamland MargateFor vintage fans, you can’t beat the Speedway. This ride was originally built in 1934 and has made its way back to dreamland after several years in the Isle of Sheppey during the 40s and 50s. I absolutely love the vintage graphics.

Mayhew's Speedway ride DreamlandWe had loads of fun crashing into each other on the 70s themed dodgems, they have always been one of my favourite fun fair attractions and we loved them every bit as much as the kids.

Number cars Dreamland MargateRob took the kids onto the rainbow coloured Born Slippy slide, I’m terrified of heights so this 65 metre slide definitely wasn’t one for me. It was great fun lurking at the bottom, watching them all shoot down at top speed though!

Born Slippy Slide Dream Land Margate

Dreamland Family FunThere is absolutely loads to do at Dreamland and we were able to fill a whole day there, going on each ride at least once. A full list of rides and attractions can be found on the Dreamland website. If I wrote about them all we’d be here all day! Dreamland Kiss Me QuickOnce we had finally worn ourselves out going on everything, we headed inside where the girls were instantly drawn to the cute little sweet shop. I loved all the traditional jars of sweets and the pastel coloured Dreamland bars are which would make great gifts for family and friends at home.

Sweetshop Dreamland MargateWe then headed to the Roller Disco, which was slightly more successful for Rob and Jess than it was for me and Lila. In all my 30 years on the planet, I have known better than to even attempt any form of skating. I am super clumsy when it comes to these things. On this occasion I thought rather than being boring and sensible I’d give it a go. However after a few minutes falling on our bums, Lila and I gave up and watched Rob and Jess speeding round the disco, almost gracefully! It was great fun though.

Roller Disco dreamland

Dreamland Roller DiscoWould I recommend Dreamland? Absolutely, it was one of the most fun days out I’ve had in ages. All four of us were entertained and happy and it filled the whole day. It really appealed to my vintage side without being too vintage for the rest of the family. I just can’t wait to go back on a sunny day, hopefully when one of their events is happening.

Dreamland Sunset

Find out more about all things Dreamland and plan your visit on the Dreamland website.

More pictures from our day…

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The summer holidays have been over for just over a week and I’m already missing all the fun days out with the little ones. One of my favourites things we did this summer was a little trip to Saltdean near Brighton for a couple of hours exploring the rock pools. I love doing outdoor things with the kids and the rubbish weather didn’t stop us!

I’d really recommend this as a family day out. All you need is a bucket and net and some waterproof show and your good to go. Saltdean is just over an hour from London too. I thought I’d share a few pictures I took while we there…

Rockpools SaltdeanThe rock pools are full of little creatures to discover.

J Rockpools SaltdeanWe found lots of little shrimps, small fish and crabs.

L Rockpools SaltdeanLila having a look at some shrimps in her bucket.

J at Saltdean

J SaltdeanSearching for crabs.

Saltdean Rockpooling

Saltdean RockpoolsRob and Lila looking for good spots to find creatures.

SaltdeanIt was quite a cold drizzly day, but it didn’t spoil the fun at all.

Rockpooling CrabsSome of the crabs and shells we found.

Rockpooling Crab

Crab SaltdeanWhen the kids had looked at the crabs we set them free.

If you have a spare afternoon before the weather gets too cold, I’d definitely recommend going rock pooling. Be sure to check the tide times first as they vary from day-to-day. You need to go at low tide.



Now the weather is getting nicer I’ll be taking my kids out and about as much as possible. I thought it would be nice to make a list of 10 of my favourite places to take them out for a day, all within easy distance of London. Some of these are a drive away from London but none of them too far. I’ve linked to the original posts I wrote about our trips to each place.

Horniman Museum Exterior1. Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill. I’ve been taking the little ones to this fabulous museum for years, not only is the museum itself filled with interesting artefacts, the displays are also really child friendly. The museum also features an aquarium in the basement and extensive gardens with amazing views of central London.

Claremont Grass Amphitheatre

2. Claremont Landscape Garden, Esher, Surrey. I’ve mentioned Claremont so many times on the blog as it’s one of my very favourite places. This beautiful Landscape Garden is perfect if you like a long walk in stunning surroundings. The park has a playground and natural play area as well as fantastic National Trust cafe. My little ones absolutely love exploring the paths through the woods.

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3. Surrey Docks Farm, Rotherhithe. This fantastic city farm in Rotherhithe sits just by the river Thames. There are plenty of animals to see and feed and the goats are particularly fun. The farm also has an amazing cafe serving lots of fresh food, some of which is grown organically on site.

Palm House Kew Edited4. Kew Gardens, Kew. This is the most expensive place to visit on my list, but it’s a fantastic way to fill a whole day with the kids. My two loved exploring the Palm House while my favourite part is definitely Kew Palace. If you have a good head for heights (which I don’t) you’ll love the tree top walk-way.

Hampton Court Lion Statue5. Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey. We’ve visited Hampton Court quite a few times recently because we bought a family membership to Historic Royal Palaces, so we can go whenever we want. This former home of several British Monarchs is steeped in history and there is so much to do and see. On sunny days the gorgeous gardens are perfect for exploring and if your kids get tired the family room features lots of dressing up costumes and toys to play with.

Crystal Palace Dinosaurs6. Crystal Palace Park. We visited the park earlier this year, it was the first time I’d been since I was little and we absolutely loved it. The park includes a maze, a boating lake and a selection of Victorian model dinosaurs as well as the site of the former Crystal palace itself. It’s absolutely perfect for kids and if they get hungry there’s also a fantastic cafe to refuel.

Isabella Plantation 267. Richmond Park, Richmond. I’ve been going to Richmond Park all my life and I still absolutely love it. The huge park has plenty to explore and I’m still discovering new bits to enjoy. Highlights for me include lunch at Pembroke Lodge and walks around the Isabella Plantation. The park is also full of deer which the girls love to spot.

Painshill Park8. Painshill Park, Cobham Surrey. Painshill is a simply beautiful landscape garden in Surrey. It’s perfect for a long walk and there are lots of interesting buildings and ruins to explore as well as a beautiful lake. This one does involve a lot of walking so make sure you bring sensible shoes!

Small Stories V&A Museum of Childhood9. Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green. This great museum has plenty of child and adult appeal. We always have a great time looking at all the toys on display and there are always lots of activities for the children to have a go at. The current exhibition on dolls houses is really good too. I’d recommend packing a picnic and having lunch in the beautiful park next to the museum.

Thames10. A Walk Along the Thames, London. A great way to experience the city is to go a for a walk along the Thames path. There are plenty of areas to choose from, my two favourite walks with the children are the South Bank and Bankside as there are plenty of things to stop and look at.

What are your favourite things to do with your kids?

At the moment we’re away on a little trip to the wonderful Isle of Wight. It’s literally the very best place to go with kids. There is absolutely loads to do here. I’m a little concerned by the total lack of internet here though! Despite paying for wifi where we’re staying I can’t actually get anything to load! Because I usually edit my pictures using Pic Monkey which I can’t access right now I’m going back to basics and posting un-edited, un-cropped pictures straight from the camera on today’s post.

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After arriving on the island earlier today we headed straight to the beautiful little village of Godshill. Located in the middle of the island, this really is the perfect rural English village with beautiful thatched cottages and lovely tea rooms set within gorgeous country gardens. What brought us to the village was Godshill Model Village, which had been recommended to us lots of times, so we just had to go.

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The model village is absolutely fantastic, all the tiny buildings are so realistic and the kids absolutely loved wandering around looking at all the gorgeous miniature people and their little homes. The girls both bought their dolls and Jess insisted that her Monster High Doll featured in my photos, we had so much fun getting her to pose, so incase you’re wondering the bright pink girl is it’s Jess’s doll Gigi!

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A family ticket for the four of us cost £15, and that included re-entry if we wanted to visit agin during our stay. Our visit lasted about an hour and half and considering how much fun we had, I thought it was pretty good value for money. You could probably get a longer visit out of it if you stopped for a bite to eat or if your children didn’t run around attractions quite as fast as mine do!

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I’d definitely recommend a trip to the model village if you come to the Island, it’s also worth visiting the lovely little shops in the village, including the sweet shop and cider shop which we popped into. We would have spent longer in the area but we wanted to fit another outing into our day, so we headed back to the car to head over to a castle which I will be talking about in my next post.

Find out more about the model village on the Godshill Model Village website