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Mission 2, The Q Hotel Nature Trail

When Q Hotels asked us to test out their nature trail during our recent stay at the beautiful Chesford Grange, it was met with a slightly mixed reception. Joe was beside himself with excitement, he loves all things nature and considers himself a mini Bear Grylls, and Jack was quite laid back about the whole thing.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.26.03

When we arrived at the hotel the rain had been horrific all morning, not at all the weather you want for a nature trail, but mother nature was kind to us and the sun was soon beating down on Warwickshire.

Our brief was to follow the trail and share our thoughts. And little did we know when this mission was set just how much fun we would have, and how much we would laugh on that sunny afternoon.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.25.07We set off with our adventure pack, which consisted on a wildlife activity guide, a notebook, trail guide, clipboard, pen and pack of nature top trumps. Now, I never ever intended it to be like this but Joe decided he and Chris would be in a team together. Teams, I mean when did that get decided? When did a nature trail ever become a competitive sport, hmmm! Welcome to life with the Christie boys.

So, both in teams, Chris and Joe and Jack and myself we set off with a pack each. The aim was to spot as many types of wildlife on the list as possible, and there were lots to choose from. Different types of birds, foxes, flowers, leaves, and rabbits I could go on.

IMG_8353From the outset Chris and Joe were taking this very seriously, whereas Jack and I had been chatting we tried to take a vlog but kept laughing and by now had missed several rabbits, and different birds that Chris and Joe were gloating at. They were also quite cross at us for laughing and scaring the wildlife.

So we did what any losing team in a nature trail would do! We cheated, now hear me out on this because I am really an advocate of honesty, I can’t stand lying. But the winning team was just to smug, and that is something else that bugs me, if you are going to win, then win with grace.

IMG_8355At first they believed us, a woodpecker, a fox, 3 rabbits and hare, but here is the thing with being dishonest you get a little to confident. So then we decided to add bear to the list. We were rolling on the floor at Chris and Joe’s response, the looks of disgust and disbelief on their faces, ooh I am giggling now thinking about it.

Next thing we know Joe is pointing and saying look there must be 20 rabbits over there, now Jack and I who hadn’t seen one like complete mugs were looking trying to see them when Joe said quick Dad lets run and lose them.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.10.06Yes, I know you read right they tried to lose us! Said we were reprobates and lowering the tone of the trail. So for some time they walked quite a way ahead of us, we straggled behind like naughty school children trying our best to find things for our list.

After about an hour Chris and Joe announced they had won, which Jack and I did not have a leg to stand on to argue and we all set of back to the hotel.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.32.41So, did we enjoy the trail, we absolutely loved it. It just goes to show as long as you are with your family you can have a great time anywhere. Yes, Jack and I could have taken it more seriously but Jack being a teen got much more out of the experience by having fun, whereas Joe loved the scavenging and hunting for items to add to his list.

natureThe trail was beautiful, I love walking through woods, and feeling that relaxed feeling you can only experience being in a tranquil environment such as a forest or deserted beach. The trail completely engaged us all, yes we all used the experience slightly differently, but that is what catering for a family is all about.
Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.09.59When we returned to the Hotel we retreated to the bar for a cold drink and a game of nature top thumps which was a great addition to the pack. I love games like this that engage the whole family, it is so much better than the boys playing on the I Pads, don’t get me wrong, there are times they do play on their I Pads but that is why I welcome moments like this.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 10.09.03Thank you Q Hotels another exciting and fun activity, mission completed. 

Nature Trail Pin

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Mini Travellers

Sunday 12th of July 2015

I know you said you loved it but this is brilliant. You competitive bunch. I love the fact that you can have fun anywhere when you're all together. A bear? You nutter? A bear! Love that picture of the 3 of you. Good photography skills!


Sunday 12th of July 2015

Ha ha I know, they looked at me in total shock, like why ever would you put a bear ha ha and thanks Karen xxx


Saturday 11th of July 2015

I love the way you have turned the nature trail into a fun afternoon with a little family competition too, a great way to engage everyone and it looks like some beautiful grounds that the hotel has. A wonderful way to encourage their guests to make full use of the grounds. I must say having set up our wildlife trail and watching the trail sheets go out each week I know how popular they are. Love the top trumps at the end. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.


Sunday 12th of July 2015

Fiona we had such a great time, and I we laughed so much. Yes the grounds are so stunning, it would be such a shame if people didn't see them x

Mrs H

Friday 10th of July 2015

Oh this post had me giggling away too. I love thinking of you and Jack adding all those animals to your list and then getting over confident. But if the other team was being smug then I think you were right to be a little selective with the truth. It sounds like you had a wonderful afternoon. And what a lovely idea for a hotel to have its own nature trail. A genius idea. Hugs Mrs H xxxx


Sunday 12th of July 2015

Ah thanks Mrs H, yes it is such a great idea and a great way to get to get kids out into the countryside x

Tracey Williams

Friday 10th of July 2015

Aw this is a great post Sarah and yes who knew that a nature trail would be so competitive. Looks as if Q Hotels are doing everything they can to involve families at their hotels. What a great family brand they are x


Sunday 12th of July 2015

I know Tracey, they do, its all about having a great time when you visit we are loving every minute x

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