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A Picnic in Leicester & Catching up with Friends

How did we end up going for a picnic in Leicester? Bit far from home…

A few months ago, my friend Colette and I decided we would meet with our children over the summer. Colette blogs at ‘We’re Going on an Adventure’ about the fun her family gets up to. I love her endless energy, upbeat way to approach everything and no-nonsense attitude. Our five girls and two boys are close in age and have interests in common, so we knew they’d get on. We recently figured out that our boys shared the same birthday (a year apart) and even had the same bump names! They were meant to meet and be friends (or so Colette and I had decided!).

The only problem is Colette lives up North and I live just outside London. A day out together would be pretty tricky. Rather than opting for complicated plans or hoping work would get our families together one day, we put a date in the calendar, and looked at a map, deciding that Leicester was pretty much half way for both of us. We would meet there. 

I’d never been to Leicester and had no idea what we could do with seven children there so I asked the lovely Holly at ‘Recipes From a Normal Mum’ & ‘Mrs Bell’s Brownies’ for advice. Holly always talks about Leicester in her Instagram Stories and she was really generous with her tips and ideas.  

We opted for Abbey Park as the weather forecast was predicting glorious weather. The park had lots to keep our little ones entertained: 

  • a boating lake where we could hire pedal boats 
  • a miniature railway
  • a free pets corner
  • the remains of 12th century Leicester Abbey
  • the ruins of Cavendish House, a 17th century mansion
  • a lavender maze
  • orienteering courses
  • a play park
  • an outdoor gym
  • public toilets
  • a cafe

It normally takes my four a bit of time to get accustomed to new children, but no ice breakers were needed with Colette’s three. They immediately started playing together, running around in the park and taking selfies on my phone.

It was a really hot day, so I’d packed a fair few water bottles, and it was such a treat to have a sip out of my own bottle, an insulated 750ml Stainless Steel Water Bottle that had kept my water ice cold. Guess what? The girls very quickly stole my bottle…

The children were all really hungry, so we had our picnic: lots and lots of vegetable sticks, houmous,  bread, crisps, ham, cheese, salad, crips, lots of fruit and chocolate slices (Colette’s treat!).

Pretty cutlery by Wayfair.

After lunch, the children decided to post a few Instagram Stories about our day on my Instagram account. I was amazed at how confident they were as they were speaking to camera (well, my phone).

We then had a lovely walk all together and Crevette was a real gentleman when he offered to carry our cooling bag.

The children all had the best time at the outdoor gym and Beanie, who loves showing off, decided to use our cooler bag as weights.

The children had ice cream, we hired a pedal boat for half an hour and we all had a blast in the lavender maze.

It was a fab day for all of us and the children begged us for a sleepover, but we all agreed that would require some preparation and would have to be a plan for another day. I love a good playdate!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wayfair but all thoughts, opinions and photos are my own. 


  1. Monidipa
    27/08/2018 / 6:45 pm

    Abbey park is definitely a very cool place to go on picnic with family and friends. Glad that kids got mixed up fast and good.

    • Mel
      27/08/2018 / 11:36 pm

      It’s such a great park. I’d definitely go again, even if it’s only for a picnic 🙂

  2. Joseph
    27/08/2018 / 10:34 pm

    Looks like a great time with kids! Pedal boats are so relaxing and fun for kids.

    • Mel
      27/08/2018 / 11:35 pm

      We really had the best day!

  3. 28/08/2018 / 8:16 am

    It looks like you had such an amazing time. Its so hard to meet up with friends over the summer as everyone is so busy, especially when you live so far apart.

    • Mel
      28/08/2018 / 8:51 am

      We really did, and I’m glad we decided to meet in Leicester as it was so lovely there!

  4. 28/08/2018 / 8:23 am

    I like the quality of the pictures. What camera did you use or is it just a phone?

    • Mel
      28/08/2018 / 8:52 am

      Hi Kate, I use a Canon 5D 🙂

  5. Melanie williams
    28/08/2018 / 12:38 pm

    I love a good picnic! Nice to get outdoors in the fresh air and enjoy nature with a cheap picnic bite to eat x

    • Mel
      29/08/2018 / 11:25 pm

      Exactly! No need to spend a lot of money to have a great time.

  6. 28/08/2018 / 5:10 pm

    Sounds like you all had a wonderful day. That said, if it was me, I am heading straight to those ruins to do a bit of ghost hunting. lol

    • Mel
      29/08/2018 / 8:33 pm

      I only realised about the ruins after our visit… Next time, I’ll plan our day better!

  7. Tonya Tardiff
    28/08/2018 / 7:43 pm

    This looks like it was such a fun outing! I love a good picnic with friends and family!

    • Mel
      29/08/2018 / 11:21 pm

      It’s one of my favourite things to do in the summer!

  8. kim
    29/08/2018 / 3:26 am

    What fun things to do! The pictures of your kids are adorable!

    • Mel
      29/08/2018 / 8:32 pm

      Thanks Kim 🙂

  9. 29/08/2018 / 8:18 am

    Family fun is not just fun, but so bonding and I appreciate you for you enjoy such moments. Anyway, the time you spent at Leicester sounds like it was just amazing!

    • Mel
      30/08/2018 / 1:30 pm

      It really was a brilliant day and it was worth the journey, really. It’s nice to get out of your comfort zone and explore new towns.

  10. 29/08/2018 / 6:39 pm

    I can see the kids had a great time. The park looks very beautiful. My kids love taking selfies on my phone too.

    • Mel
      30/08/2018 / 1:31 pm

      The park really was stunning and I’ll definitely go back to Leicester!

  11. 29/08/2018 / 7:37 pm

    Aw wasn’t it just the loveliest afternoon – they all just clicked didn’t they 🙂
    Your comment about my “No-nonsense attitude” made me laugh – I don’t think anyone has described it as that before but you’re spot on!
    Lots of love for you and your gang x x x

    • Mel
      30/08/2018 / 1:32 pm

      They really did. It was absolutely brilliant getting together with our children and we should definitely try to organise that sleepover sooner rather than later! xxx

  12. 29/08/2018 / 9:55 pm

    It looks like you all had quite the adventure and an amazing playdate! I’m rooting for the kids to have that sleepover, I’m sure they’ll all have a blast!

    • Mel
      29/08/2018 / 11:06 pm

      We definitely have to organise a sleepover. Our little gang of seven would have the best time!

  13. ScribFlow
    31/08/2018 / 7:35 am

    One of the best memories! Parenting is awesome and it will help you build your relationship with the kids. Keep it up!

  14. Style & Life by Susana
    31/08/2018 / 2:41 pm

    What a wonderful day you had!! You can tell by the photos everyone had a brilliant day and so much fun.

    • Mel
      01/09/2018 / 10:31 pm

      It was a great day 🙂

  15. 02/09/2018 / 4:59 am

    This is a very nice way to hangout with your kids and be with nature. Your kids look so adorable.

    • Mel
      02/09/2018 / 12:51 pm

      Thank you! We try to do as much as we can outdoors 🙂

  16. Lisa
    06/09/2018 / 11:46 pm

    What a great park and a lovely day out for all of you. Days out with the kids don’t have to be expensive and as love as there is plenty of space for them they will have a great day, its nice to see posts like this.

    • Mel
      07/09/2018 / 10:38 am

      Thanks Lisa 🙂

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