New Thomas & Friends movie is a summer holiday must-see!

Thomas & Friends - Peter Andre and family

by Editor Victoria Galligan

Parents across the country are gearing up for the summer holidays – and dreading keeping the little darlings entertained for six weeks.

Luckily, the creative people at the movie studios have been hard at work on this year’s summer releases and for younger children, there’s an animation due for release which will take you all over the globe.

The new Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! movie hits screens this July and we went along with our two-year-old daughter Amy to check it out.

After the initial excitement of being in a cinema with ACTUAL popcorn, Amy settled down to watch the movie. 

You have to sea it to be shore! The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort unveils a giant, LEGO® themed sand sculpture to wow guests

The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort

The LEGOLAND Windsor Resort has unveiled its first ever giant sand sculpture today, depicting a family of huge LEGO® Minifigures enjoying the summer sun on the beach.

Built to celebrate the all-new ‘Summer of Fun’ event taking place at the Resort until 2 September, guests will find the six-foot tall, 20 tonne spectacle on the lawn opposite the Fire Academy ride.

Top tips on preventing food waste from Hotpoint and Jamie Oliver


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Augustus John: Drawn from Life exhibition unveiled at Poole Museum

Augustus John: Drawn from Life exhibition unveiled at Poole Museum

A major new exhibition of works by one of the most important British artists of the 20th Century has been unveiled by Poole Museum, Dorset.

Augustus John (1878-1961) was a Welsh-born painter, draughtsman, and etcher, famous for his bohemianism and contribution to British post-impressionism, who lived and worked in Poole.

The new exhibition, titled ‘Augustus John: Drawn from Life’, features around 60 art works from museums and galleries such as the National Portrait Gallery and Tate, as well as from private collections around the UK. 

The stunning selection of pieces highlights Augustus John’s close association with south-west England, its landscape and those closely connected with the region, such as T.E.Lawrence and Thomas Hardy.

Lightwater Valley Now Open Daily for Summer!

Lightwater Express train ride

Lightwater Valley in Ripon, North Yorkshire, is now open daily until the 3rd September so visitors can enjoy over 35 rides and attractions all week long! With rides suitable for thrill seekers of all ages, there are adventures for all the family.

Ride The Ultimate rollercoaster, Lightwater Valley’s signature ride that provides a thrilling 1.5 mile cocktail of speed, cornering and airtime.  

Can you Break the Code and beat the World’s first escape maize maze?

Can you Break the Code and beat the World’s first escape maize maze?

Top secret plans for the World’s first escape maize maze have been unveiled at the National Forest Adventure Farm, in Tatenhill.

The Agent Academy: Escape Maze design has been kept under lock and key until now. The intricate paths of the maze have been used to create a James Bond style secret agent. Other spy inspired design features include Morse code and a safe lock.

Visitors can take on the challenge of the escape maize maze by solving 10 interactive puzzles hidden within three miles of pathways to find the code and unlock the exit door.

Ivor Robinson, one of the two brothers who own the farm and the inspiration behind the design, travelled to America to explore the idea of merging an outdoor style escape room puzzle with the traditional maize maze.

Get your tickets to taste Scotland’s finest flavours at Spirit of Speyside: Distilled

Spirit of Speyside

A mouth-watering, thirst-quenching taster to one of Scotland’s greatest food and drink producing regions is being served up to audiences for a third year running, with tickets for Spirit of Speyside: Distilled being launched for sale this Friday (June 22).

The one-stop gathering, in the heartland of Scotland’s famed whisky producing region, showcases an amazing array of food and drink all made in Moray-Speyside, showing how the thriving sector is making its mark through innovation, diversity and quality.

Crowds Flocked To Manchester Eats Festival For One Of UK's Hottest Weekends

Crowds Flocked To Manchester Eats Festival For One Of UK's Hottest Weekends

Thousands of visitors flocked to Heaton Park in the glorious sunshine this weekend (7 – 8 July) to enjoy Manchester Eats Festival.

As part of a successful first year of the event, the new food forward festival saw celebrity chef demonstrations from the likes of Marco Pierre-White, Matt Tebbutt, Ed Baines, Adam Reid and Manchester’s very own Mary-Ellen McTague.

During the weekend, visitors had an opportunity to check out some of Manchester’s top local and independent businesses at the festival’s artisan markets. There were also free cookery workshops and masterclasses from The Vegetarian Society Cookery School and chocolatiers In Truffle We Trust.

Brand New Acts Announced For Carfest 2018 Lineup

Brand New Acts Announced For Carfest 2018 Lineup

The latest headline acts to be announced are Paloma Faith, Razorlight, Clean Bandit, The X Factor 2018 Winners Rak Su, Burt Bacharach, The Coral and Richard Ashcroft. They will appear alongside 80s icons Bananarama, Billy Ocean, The Feeling, Status Quo, Alfie Boe & Michael Ball, The Proclaimers and Madness. What’s more, this year will feature an EXCLUSIVE performance from CarFest’s Supergroup, curated by Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson, including Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp, with more members still to be announced.

Laughing Is Good For Your Health So Show Yourself Some TLC At The Crystal Maze Live

Laughing Is Good For Your Health So Show Yourself Some TLC At The Crystal Maze Live

The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience has vowed to help you laugh your way to good health and have the best summer yet - that doesn’t mean counting the calories or entering a gym! 

Scientists have found that laughter can give the body a ‘mini aerobic workout’* and psychologists have long-championed the benefits of laughing to improve your mental well-being. Seize the summer and give yourself a mind and body makeover by taking on race against the clock challenges that will have you laughing your way to a happier, healthier you. 

Instead of being focused on getting ‘beach body ready’ this summer, cancel that spin class and hunt down crystals at the immersive experience instead. 

Warm welcome for the summer shuttle bus service in Harlech

Warm welcome for the summer shuttle bus service in Harlech

The Hoppa Harlech summer shuttle bus service which will run every 30 minutes to take people from the beach, holiday parks and train station up into Harlech town centre has been welcomed as “great news for the town”.

The pilot service, which will run from July 21 to September 2, may be accompanied by a voucher scheme offering bus passengers discounts in local shops. Harlech Castle is offering to refund the cost of the bus journey if passengers visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Hoppa Harlech service will be closely monitored by Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig to gauge how many people use the shuttle bus.

Extreme Sailing Series set to speed into Cardiff Bay

Extreme Sailing Cardiff

Extreme Sailing Series is an seven-Act global Stadium Racing circuit which is heading to Cardiff Bay over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

From 24-27 August, an international fleet of hydro-foiling GC32 catamarans will battle it out in the sixth stop on the action-packed global tour, which also visits Oman, Italy, Portugal, Spain, USA and Mexico. 

The world-class line-up includes British squad INEOS Rebels UK, whose crew are mentored by members of Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team.


The Tall Ships Races

With just one week to go until Sunderland hosts the UK’s largest free family festival, The Tall Ships Races, organisers have issued top tips for visitors.

From 10-14 July, more than 50 ships from around the world will form the highlight of The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

And, with around 1.5m people expected to visit the city for a five-day festival of music, circus, theatre and entertainment, planning is essential to make the most of the event.

Activities will be spread across four event zones; the Port of Sunderland (Zone A), the Town Moor and East End (Zone B), St Peter’s Riverside (Zone C) and Roker and Seaburn Seafront (Zone 4).

Getting here

Exciting Line-Up of Summer Family Festivals from Vegan Events UK

Exciting Line-Up of Summer Family Festivals from Vegan Events UK

There’s something for everyone at the forthcoming Vegan Festivals from Vegan Events UK this Summer. These popular family events, held at venues up and down the country include a feast of mouth wateringly delicious food, a wide range of fantastic stalls, world food caterers, exciting cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga and children's activities running throughout the day. And there are lots of exciting foods and other products not available in the shops.

Splash-tastic summer forecast as brand new Aqua Park launches at Alton Water

Aqua Park Suffolk

Summer fun in Suffolk just got bigger and wetter, with the launch of a brand-new inflatable Aqua Park at Alton Water near Ipswich.

Launching on Saturday 7 July 2018, Aqua Park Suffolk measures more than 8000 square meters and features a staggering 72 obstacles, set to make it the largest Aqua Park to splash down in the UK this summer.

Open for just nine weeks over the summer, this awesome adventure course provides an action-packed experience for all, from active kids and their families to super fitness fans. Plus, with a wide range of climbing walls, trampolines, balance bars, rockers, rollers and the UK’s biggest jumps and slides, there’s sure to be plenty of potential for epic fails and total wipeouts.

Meet a V.I.P SEA-lebrity at the National Marine Aquarium

Watch out for the paparaz-sea! Meet a V.I.P SEA-lebrity at the National Marine Aquarium

**Extended opening hours confirmed during summer period**

To celebrate the school summer holidays, the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is hosting an unmissable programme of events and celebrating in style with a SEA-lebrities summer theme.

Taking place from 28th July - 2nd September, the National Marine Aquarium will be celebrating some amazing sea animals, showcasing what makes them special and how they are vital to the underwater eco-system. 

Travel in Time on Heritage Railways

Heritage Railways - A Thomas the Tank Engine special at Falkirk’s Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway

Breath-taking vistas of mountain valleys, moorlands and forest.  Stunning seascapes, and panoramas of rolling countryside, without a road in sight. Discovering little known routes and places, and sights that can’t be seen from a car or coach. For some, that means hiking boots, rucksacks and maps and, often, a hearty disregard for unfriendly weather. For some eleven million people each year, it means something much easier, and quite different: taking a ride on heritage railways.

Book Now For Tall Ships Races Parking & Save Up To 50%

Book Now For Tall Ships Races Parking & Save Up To 50%

Visitors to The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018 can slash the cost of parking by pre-booking their space. 

The Races – set to be the UK’s largest free family event in 2018– will begin on Tuesday 10 July, when a magnificent fleet of more than 50 vessels will arrive at the port of Sunderland, at the North East coast.

This will mark the start of a five-day festival of entertainment before the ships depart for Esbjerg, Denmark. The entertainment – which will include street theatre, food and refreshments, displays and live music – will be spread across four event zones.

And coaches, drivers and Blue Badge holders can make sure they enjoy everything the event has to offer – and save money - by pre-booking their parking spaces.

Perth Museum and Art Gallery shares history behind merchants and makers

Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Perth's merchants and craftspeople are being celebrated in a new summer exhibition which digs deep into the history of the city.

By Hammer and Hand, running from June 30 to September 30 at Perth Museum and Art Gallery, is free and brings to life the people who formed the backbone of Perth's economy. The exhibition draws on archives, artwork and significant objects which bring their history and importance to life.