Blogging has been a wonderful journey of discovery for us. We’ve done some amazing things, I’ve met some wonderful people and formed friendships. The last few months I’ve really seen what it has done for Monkey. His confidence has grown, he has blossoms, he has not been so afraid to try new things with new people. But the nicest thing of all has been a little friendship that has blossomed this year. A friendship that would never have happened without blogging. Iona at Redpeffer and I get on really well, we clicked from the first time we met. We’ve had a few family days out now and a friendship has developed between Monkey and her children, but especially between Monkey and her son. This became really apparent during half term when we went to the Heritage Motor Centre with friends.
The Heritage Motor Centre is based in Gaydon, just off junction 12 on the M40, and ideal midway meeting point for our two families. Monkey spent the entire journey asking if Iona would be there when we arrived. Probably. We parked up and a text arrived. Monkey you will be pleased to know they are already inside. He was off!
We’ve been to the HMC before a few years back. Then Monkey got frustrated as he couldn’t go on most of the cars and it was a battle trying to protect the beautiful machines from a determined toddler. I knew he’d get far more from the experience as a nearly 5-year-old.
Having joined English Heritage whilst we were away in Kent recently I’d spotted that that would give me £2 discount off the entry price. Monkey was free anyway as he is still under 5. Now, what I didn’t know and no-one explained, that if I’d paid the full price I’d have got an annual ticket – lesson learnt. Top tip – don’t ask for an EH discount and pay £12 and get your Gift Aid Annual Season ticket 🙁
We found the Redpeffer clan and once Monkey had overcome his initial bout of shyness, the boys had a great time. Iona’s son is a year younger than Monkey but a bit more outgoing, sometimes it’s hard to remember that Monkey is actually the eldest. But the friendship is there, it’s blossoming and lovely to watch.
The boys had plenty of fun together, we’d run off and do our own thing, then they’d be back together again and so on for the day. It gave Iona’s daughter chance to explore the Pop Bang Colour workshop with her Dad. Iona and I also had the chance to have a catch up; knowing the boys were great company for each other.
I’d hoped Monkey might want to join in with the free workshop as I follow Pop Bang Colour on Instagram – he does some amazing motor sport paintings using radio controlled cars, car tyres and toy car wheels. It’s really clever and well worth a look. But Monkey wasn’t interested so we went off to explore the cars instead.
There is a great selection on display and we had a great time exploring the Heritage Motor Centre with friends. There are cars from all era and genres and really something for all car enthusiasts to enjoy.
The HMC is based over two levels and there is easy access via stairs or a lift up to the cafe. We had all worked up an appetite and decided lunch was in order. They have hot and cold meal selections and for the kids too. We did find this all a bit confusing. Some of the children wanted the normal lunchbox type meal deal and it could be better explained how this actually works. Monkey went for a pizza deal which he thoroughly enjoyed. I went for a jacket potato and then you help yourself to a filling and salad. The salad options were fab and the meal was really good value.
After we’d all filled our engines it was time to explore some more and try out some of the interactive displays.
It was nearly time to head home but we’d noticed a play park outside, the weather was behaving so we let the kids run off some steam for a bit before heading home.
Heritage Motor Centre with friends is a great way to spend a day; especially this time of year when the weather can be temperamental. I’m sure we’ll be back again in the future.