Holidaying at Home with a Toddler


This year Rob and I made it a priority to book off two weeks in the summer so that we could have a proper family break together. We spent the first week in a cottage near the sea in Wales, which I blogged about here.

But for the second week we decided to stay at home. Our plan was to have lots of days outs, get on with planning the kitchen remodel and have a fun week together.

It didn’t quite go to plan….

Orla came down with a sickness bug on the Tuesday which meant that we spent Tuesday and Wednesday snuggled on the sofa together, whilst taking it in turns to do housework. Luckily she got better fairly quickly, and it helped that we were both on hand to look after her.

When she was better we did have a couple of family days out. Our first one was a visit to Billy Bob’s Ice Cream Parlour which is a massive American style diner and ice cream parlour that boasts three huge playing areas outside for children. Orla loved playing in the big toddler barn, there were slides, walls made out of bales of hay and little tractors to ride. She spent ages in there and it was really difficult to convince her to leave so we could go inside and eat.

Inside, the place is completely decked out in Americana decor, from old vending machines, 50s mural and a full sized yellow school bus that has been converted into a dinning area. We chose to sit in the school bus that day and we ordered hot dogs and fries, and huge milkshakes in flavours that I only ever find at Billy Bob’s; I went for black cherry. The food was great but not great enough to keep Orla from whining to go back to the play barn five minutes after we sat down! We had to eat quickly and get back out there to avoid a meltdown.


When we came back home we had one very tired and happy little girl, and ever since she has asked to go back there whenever we drive pass a barn.


Our second day out was a walk up Pendle Hill. Pendle is the dominate landscape feature of where we live, and was one of our favourite walks to do in the early days of our marriage. But we haven’t attempted it since before Orla was born. I have so many happy memories on that hill, including the moment Rob proposed to me! It was special then for Orla to have her first walk.

It’s a steep climb and Orla did pretty well, and when she got tired Rob carried her on his shoulders. We passed so many people on the way up who smiled and either encouraged Orla on or gave a knowing nod to Rob and said, “Oh, I’ve been there, mate. Glad my children are big enough to do it themselves now”. It was a friendly way to walk up the hill.

Once at the top we sat on a mossy mound in a row and gave Orla her snack whilst looking out over the view. We came back down the hill and drove to Barrowford for some lunch at Bistro 7. The walk wiped Orla out and she fell asleep on the way.

Luckily the cafe was pretty quiet so we let Orla sleep on a sofa until the food was ready. Then we went to the park for a play, followed by ice cream at the Pendle Heritage Centre.

Our second week of the holiday wasn’t big or fancy but it was really good to go out and play, eat and walk together. I feel very lucky to have so many things to do and see right on our doorstep. Love Lancashire!

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