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holidays

Days Out, Home, Outdoors, Parks, Shows, Unusual

The Halloween Train – Audley End Miniature Railway

Halloween Train

Halloween Tradition

So Autumn is almost upon us and it’s time to start planning for one of our most favourite holidays… Halloween! It’s become part of our Halloween tradition to visit Audley End Miniature Railway and ride the Halloween Train. This will be our third year and Eden loves it so much she talks about it all year round!

If you haven’t visited Audley End Miniature Railway before, it’s definitely one to add to the list. It’s a wonderful train ride through the forest spotting Teddies with an enchanted fairy walk and fairy & elf festival! It’s such a lovely day out with the kids. You can read our previous post about it here.

The Halloween Train

Come Halloween time… Everywhere is decorated and themed in a spooky Halloween theme, even inside The Signal Box Cafe! It always looks so amazing! All the staff are dressed up too, it’s a wonderful sight. Every year so far the Halloween Train at Audley End has not disappointed.

 

Halloween Train Entrance

Halloween Train inside Signal box cafe

 

You are able to book the time of the train and then you can play and explore the rest of the facilities at your own leisure. At the platform you board the train and are waved off by the creepy conductor on a journey through the spooky forest. On your travels be sure to look out for all the spooky goings on! There are lots of fun Halloween things to spot whilst on your train ride but all aimed at children so nothing too scary. Halfway round you stop to visit the Witches who dance and cook up a witchy spell… if you’re lucky they may even give out a sweet treat too! Or as Eden would say ‘candy’!

 

Halloween Train Platform sign

Halloween Train

Halloween Train Conductor

Halloween Train

Halloween Train Deep Forest Halt

Halloween Train ghosts

Halloween Train Witch

Halloween Activities

After you return back to the station you are free to explore the rest of the Halloween fun. It’s got better every year adding more fun things for the kids to do. This year they are promising: A Train Ride through the woods to visit the witches, craft making, face painting, story telling, a visit to the dance tent and a gift for every child.

 

Halloween Train Sign

Halloween Train Eden the witch

Tickets are now on sale on their website! We can’t wait to get dressed up and go again this year!

Thank you for reading ‘The Halloween Train – Audley End Miniature Railway’

Days Out, Holidays

Dont miss our Butlins Bognor highlights!

Butlins Bognor

Our visit to Butlins Bognor

We visited Butlins Bognor Regis for a 4 night stay during term time. Eden is absolutely mad on Butlins. For her it’s the mix of the shows and rides that makes it such a magical place. We have been a couple of times previously and have had such a great time. Whenever there’s a Butlins advert on the telly, she begs me to go again!

The thing that can put me off Butlins is staying in the usual room and apartment accommodation. I find it can often be noisy and the decor and facilities quite basic. Occasionally there are special offers available so we took advantage of this. We decided to treat ourselves to a stay in the Ocean Hotel. We opted for a non dining package.

Butlins Bognor view of resort
Our Arrival

On arrival we were greeted at the gates and directed to our hotel. We were able to park right outside. Anyone that has visited Butlins before would know that it can be quite a walk from the car park to your accommodation usually. So this was a really handy perk.

The hotel was modern and sleek in design, with the added benefit of a Spa! We checked in at reception with no queue. We went straight up to our rooms to dump off our bags before exploring the resort.

Butlins Bognor The Ocean Hotel
I was immediately impressed by the room, it was clean, modern and spacious. Decorated in gorgeously bright vivid colours. It had a separate room along the hallway with two twin beds. The main room had another set of twin beds. There was also a small vanity area, comfy chairs and a table. We had a balcony with brilliant views over the resort. The bathroom had a shower over the bath, was of a good size and clean. There was also the added bonus of air conditioning which you would be thankful for in the warmer months.

The other perk of staying in the hotel is that house keeping and wifi were included! It’s the little things that really make a difference to your holiday.

Butlins Bognor The ocean hotel roomButlins Bognor The Ocean Hotel room view
The Entertainment

One of the good thing about Butlins is all the entertainment and activities that are included in the price of your stay.

The fairground has a really good retro vibe with traditional fairground rides and playing hits from the 50’s and 60’s. There is plenty to keep the kids happy, from the Helter Skelter, Carousel, Trampolines and Dodgems to the fun fairground games and arcades.

Butlins Bognor Helter Skelter Fairground
There is a great swimming pool with flumes, rapids, waves and splash area for the little ones. It’s one of Eden’s favourite things to do on our visit to Butlins. It seems to be busier in the mornings so my advice would be to wait until later in the day.

There is plenty of outdoor activities too, adventure golf, football, volleyball, archery to name but a few.

Inside the Skyline Pavilion there is a whole host of things to do. With shops, soft play area, arcades, tots fairground, bear factory and bowling. There is so much to keep your little ones busy during your stay. It is no wonder that Eden loves her visits to Butlins.

The Shows

We always check the itinerary for show times at the start of the holiday. I then used the Butlins App to add the shows we didn’t want to miss, to the calendar on my phone.

Eden is the biggest Skyline Gang fan, for those not in the ‘know’, they are well known Butlins characters! A fun and colourful group that sing and dance and just make the kids so happy…adults too!

Butlins Bognor Skyline Gang

There is often a main show that plays once or twice throughout the week, like a pantomime. This time round it was Whittington Rocks, it was  brilliant, the comedy was so funny and it had great music throughout. The shows are always of such a high standard, they rival any pantomime we seen locally.
There are also lots of other shows during the week, many repeated so you don’t miss any. The Skyline Gang have 3 shows, along with Billie & Bonnie Bear (popular Butlins Characters). There were Teletubbies, Mr Men and Dangermouse as the character shows and various puppet shows on. There are photo opportunities so kids get to meet some of their favourite characters in real life!

We went along to the Playdoh Show which was very clever, a black light show with glow in the dark Playdoh characters. Eden was amazed by it.

The entertainment crew at Butlins literally work their socks off all week. The Redcoats are so good with the children, playing games and dancing with the kids while they wait for shows to start throughout the day.

Butlins Bognor Puppet showButlins Bognor Teletubbies showButlins Bognor whittington rocks pantomime

Dining

Our first morning we struggled to find somewhere for breakfast. There didn’t seem to be many options available. It was either the dining plan buffets or a coffee shop that only had cakes. One of the pubs did offer a full English cooked breakfast but we just wanted something simple. Finally after asking around the resort we found the best little coffee shop in the Wave Hotel reception. It was lovely and quiet in there and had great breakfast and lunch options. Every morning we went along for our sausage sandwich and latte! It was a little bit of heaven. A perfect little pit stop away from the main hustle and bustle of Butlins. This was Eden’s favourite place to eat, sausages with toast each morning, she was one happy lady!

During the course of the day we found we weren’t too hungry so would stop for just a snack, ice cream or pancake. We had our main meal around 5pm when there was a break from shows.

If you’re not on a dining plan then there are some really good restaurants to choose from.

Our favourite was Turner’s, excellent service and the food is of a really high standard but still good value for money. Good options for the kids too. It was delicious!

We also ate at The Diner and Papa Johns, but Turners was our favourite so we visited there twice. Bognor has also added a new Traditional Fish and Chips restaurant too. There are pub and fast food options also available.

Location

Butlins Bognor is situated right next to a beautiful stony beach. We took a stroll along the seafront, bought ice creams and sat and watched the world go by. If you follow the seafront further along it leads into town which is handy if you need a pharmacy or need to stock up on any forgotten toiletries.

Butlins Bognor beach

Extras

As a special treat, Eden got a fairy makeover whilst at Butlins in the ‘Cute as Candi’ beauty salon. She was made to feel extra special and was transformed into a fairy princess for the day! You can read more about it here. It was fantastic and absolutely worth the money.

Butlins Bognor fairy makeoverButlins Bognor Fairy Makeover Cute as Candi
Thank you for reading ‘Our Butlins Bognor Highlights’