My #weektoview Tigers Tigers burning bright


Mr G was a cat in his reception year show. 90 kids in animal costume and onesies singing – very cute. He made me laugh (wrongly) by taking off his wired tail and poking it in the air during the bits where I couldn’t see him and popping up in other children’s masks. In this photo he has managed to detach most of his costume, crafty cat.

I am really proud of how well he has adjusted to school. For a wild cat it hasn’t been easy, I can’t believe how they have tamed him and channelled his raging imagination so brilliantly.

Miss L got herself covered in stickers in the last week of term, they both have been working incredibly hard, definitely time for a holiday! Continue reading

Famous Miss L and Mr G!

Miss L (6) and Mr G (4) took the vlogging crown and have only gone and landed on the YHA’s (Youth Hostel Association) website as part of the YHA’s amazing holiday offers for February. Do check it out if you are after a thrifty, fun filled and outdoor family adventure.

L and G vlogged a tour of a family room at Losehill Hall Youth Hostel in Castleton, Derbyshire.

Find out more about the YHA here and read our whole review.  We had an amazing time at Losehill Hall, Castleton last year and can heartily recommend the new face of family youth hostelling.

Me, My Dad and the snowy walk


Me and my Dad took a snowy walk in one of my favourite places, Ilam, in the Peak District. Ilam has a stunning Youth Hostel, an amazing National Trust cafe and the grounds are a paradise for children and grown ups. In Summer it is wonderful for picnics, in Autumn the trees burn every shade of auburn, red and gold and in Winter, well, it’s he first time I have visited, but in Dad’s words, ‘it’s like fairy land’.

We started at Ilam and walked across snowy fields to the Dovedale stepping stones. Continue reading

A 3 night family summer break for £99

I’m really excited, later this month we are going to review a stay in a private family room at Losehill Hall in Castleton in Derbyshire.  It’s one of nearly 200 Youth Hostel Association properties across the UK.  And until the 12th June 2012 the YHA are offering an amazing deal to Alexander Residence readers booking family breaks in many of their properties over the Summer holidays, see below. I think this could make a holiday, or even an extra holiday affordable for many families this summer.

I’ve stayed in Youth Hostels as a student and while travelling abroad, but I haven’t stayed in a Youth Hostel as a family since I was little. I remember visiting a Snowdonia hostel as a family.  My Mum told us about her adventures youth hostelling as a teenager in the days of helping out with jobs, bringing your own bedding, lights out and making your own food. Now you can have a private en suite room with bedding provided, have meals and packed lunches prepared for you, or self cater and there’s no expectation to muck in with the chores.

YHA properties don’t claim to compete with larger chain hotels but have definitely had a facelift that resembles them. Browsing the YHA website each property has lots of images, description and information which makes choosing a hostel easy.  How welcoming is this room at Losehill Hall?

And the dining room looks fab too:

I’m most excited about having a packed lunch made up for us each day, the little things that take the stress out of a weekend away and allow you to get on with adventuring out and about with small children.  The food on the families and individuals menu is seasonal and features regional specialities.  Breakfast is a full hot and cold buffet, lunch a packed lunch and dinner 3 courses or a cafe bar style menu in city hostels. Children under 10 eat free when adults purchase a main meal in YHA restaurants, and in addition to smaller portions from the main menu there are Annabel Karmel meals.

Hostels can be an affordable way to get out into the country or to explore big cities, there are several hostels in London for example.

The Summer break offer

The YHA are offering Alexander Residence readers a very special offer which covers the majority of hostels:

Getaway with YHA this summer and stay in a family room for only £99 for 3 nights!! Simply book by 12th June for stays between 6th July and 17th September. Enter your offer code FAMSTAY-025 at the checkout or give us a call on 01629 592 700 and enjoy a well-deserved break for an incredible price.

To book a YHA family break using this Alexander Residence offer and to read the terms and conditions, you’ll need to go to this page: Please note food is not included.

Hostels are a great way for large groups to get together.  I have a good friend locally who hires out an entire hostel once a year for a reunion with her friends from University and their expanding families. She says it works perfectly.

I will report back on our visit later in the month!