Road trip to the Cotswolds with Collins books
With everything that’s happened this year we have been unsure whether to travel abroad or not and after a lot of thought we decided a staycation here in the UK was the safest thing for us to do right now.
Collins (Check out their Amazon store here) got in touch and asked if we would like to bring some of their travel books along with us on our trip to keep the boys entertained and to help us plan the best staycation we could. Obviously we said yes and we are so glad we did because my eldest absolutely loves to read and thoroughly enjoyed all the activities in the books when we were out and about!
We weren’t sure how the boys would be on a road trip to the Cotswolds if I’m honest, sure they’ve flown halfway around the world with no problems but being stuck in a confined space is a different story for my active boys!
We’ve traveled to so many countries with the boys yet have seen very little of the UK, I’m embarrassed to say I only visited our Capital for the first time in my life this January!
With everything going on at the minute we decided this year we will be doing lots of staycations around the UK and the Cotswolds our first port of call!
The Car Journey
We were kindly gifted some travel books and maps by Collins to use on our trip to the Cotswolds. When I first saw the Big Road Atlas Britain it brought back a flood of memories!
My Grandad used to have one in his car and I’d always look at it whilst we drove around Scotland on our holidays! So I challenged my husband (designated driver) to a road trip with no Sat Nav and only the Big Road Atlas Britain, obviously, I’d be directing us so had complete faith in myself, my husband not so much!!
I have to admit I got the map out the night before and studied where exactly we were going. It’s a pretty much straight run from Manchester to The Cotswolds along the M6 so I felt pretty confident.
My parents and grandparents always had a Collins roadmap in their cars and now I have mine, which is up to date and reliable!
I actually dreaded the car journey because I knew I’d hear “how long left Mum” a million times so I was looking forward to playing I Spy with the i-SPY book collection.
Brody is 6 and loves to learn, he’s a real bookworm and I love that about him. He teaches me so much from the books he reads so I knew he would love the i-SPY collection of books.
These books are a take on the classic I Spy game, but with the books, you get points for each thing you spy and you have to tick it off in the book. Some things have more points than others so you really have to keep your eyes peeled!
Brody loved the “I ‘-SPY Cars” the most and hit the “top spot” when he spotted a red Ferrari worth 30 points! His little face was a picture! We did try to get a picture of the Ferrari but it was way too fast for us in our SUV!
Another one of his favorites in the collection was” i-SPY On A Car Journey” this little book is filled with lots of things to spy (103 to be exact) so this really kept Brody occupied for most of the journey, we managed to get nearly all of the road work points as there was a lot in the way! I actually didn’t hear “are we nearly there yet” that much! Thanks, i-SPY books, you made our first road trip as a family a breeze!
Cotswolds Lavender Fields
The main reason we chose The Cotswolds for our staycation here was that we have always wanted to visit lavender fields and July is the best time to see them here in the UK.
We brought along some more of the i-SPY books as well as the “i-SPY In The Countryside Activity Book”. This is more of a written activity book with lots of activities for each season of the year.
We arrived nice and early to the Lavender fields on the most glorious hot sunny day! Not something we see that much of here in the UK so we made the most of it and enjoyed our time wandering around the sea of purple lavender! The first thing my son noticed was the number of bees and wasps flying around so I told him to get his i-SPY book out and see if they were in his books.
He quickly pulled out the “i-SPY Creepy Crawlies” book and straight away found the bees and wasps. Tick! As we were watching the wasps Brody starts jumping around excitedly as he’s just spotted a ladybird in his book and on the leaf next to him! We wanted to capture the moment so put the book next to the ladybird only for it to toddle on over to our book! Brody thought this was hilarious! It was most definitely our best spot of the day!
The lavender fields were the perfect place to spot lots of creepy crawlies, we saw bees, wasps, ladybirds, spiders and multi-colored insects we’d never even seen before! The insect book was definitely a huge hit for my son who spent most of the morning trying to find as many as he could.
At the back of the lavender fields were bright yellow flower fields! I didn’t even have to ask Brody He just got his book and started flicking through to see if he could find some yellow fields in his “i-SPY Nature” book and sure enough he did! He was really getting the hang of the books by mid-morning and you could see the pride in his face when he found a “top spot” I-Spy!
We also got the “i-SPY In the Countryside Activity Book” out to see if we could spot anything in our surroundings in the book and we sure did! We spotted the yellow flowers in the fields!
Broadway Tower & Country Walk
Our next stop was Broadway Tower, we’ve been there once before and I remember the views being absolutely beautiful so we thought we would stop for a little picnic and let the boys have a play as we looked out to the stunning countryside views.
Brody soon had his “You Can Have an Outdoor Adventure” book out having a read and telling us what activities he’d like to do from the book. First up was the Trees, we had a look around at all the different trees and even spotted a Horse Chestnut tree which grows conkers! We found a conker but it wasn’t ready yet and was still white inside. These should be ready in September so still a little while off yet. Brody now wants to grow a conker tree in our back garden!! I don’t think so!!
We all had great fun looking at the trees and trying to name them from the book! We all actually learned quite a bit about trees on our trip.
We then sat down and got our “ i-SPY In the Countryside Activity Book” out and played “spot the difference” another game my 6-year-old son is better at than me!! This was probably one of his favorite books out of the series and we can’t wait to try the “i-Spy At the Seaside Activity Book” and “ i-Spy On a Train Journey Activity Book” the latter will come in handy when we do the long train rides down to London to catch a flight!
Relaxing With A Puzzle
My 2-year-old went off to play ball with my husband so Brody & Myself decided to have a read of the National Geographic Kids puzzle book “What in the World Fact-packed Fun” now this is exactly what Brody loves to learn about. Facts!!
He’s forever telling me about facts he’s learned so I knew he would really enjoy relaxing reading this book and having a go at some of the crosswords and puzzles. He sat for quite a while whilst I relaxed and helped him when he needed help!
The book is full of crosswords, puzzles, guess what’s and spot the differences from around the world.
Spot the difference was definitely his favorite activity from the book, he asked me to join in helping him to spot the difference.
Next, we decided to give the “Brain Buster Word Searches for Kids” a go. They range from easy to hard and after trying a few in the National Geographic book for kids Brody was confident he could solve them, and he did quite easily!
Star Gazing is one of our family’s past times! I’ve been fascinated by space and stars since I was a child and Brody Is obviously taking after his Mum as he is obsessed with space. When he saw there was a book called “In the Night Sky” in the i-SPY collection he was so excited!!! He has his own little telescope so we got it out and cuddled up outside to do a bit of stargazing!
Unfortunately, it was a new moon when we were stargazing so we didn’t get a good look at the moon but we still had a great evening looking up at the night sky. We turned to the page “The Northern Sky” Summer looking east.
Brody was fascinated looking for the “teapot” amongst the stars and was jumping up and down when he spotted it! Something I used to love doing as a child and whenever we travel I always try to find the “Cassiopeia” in the sky! I’m sure this is something we will continue to do with Brody with his “teapot” when we next travel and the i-SPY books are so small and compact they will be easy to pack for our next trip abroad.
We were also sent “Stargazing Beginners Guide to Astronomy” which I was really excited about! I love reading and learning about the night sky so after Brody had gone to bed I stayed outside and nice and cozy reading the book and looking up at the night sky. There’s something so relaxing about stargazing and it’s lovely to have the same interest as my son! It’s something we love to talk about and I think it’s a great way to spend quality time together.
Thank You, Collins
We have had such a lovely trip to the countryside and the range of books Collins sent us was perfect for a family staycation! They really kept Brody occupied and he sincerely loved the i-SPY books especially “i-SPY In The Night Sky” & “ “i-SPY Creepy Crawlies” I think they were his favorite two books.
If you’re doing a staycation this year and are worried about keeping the kids entertained then I’d really recommend the i-SPY books. They have been the highlight of our trip for Brody and I feel he really got the most out of our trip learning as we went along.
The Crossword and Puzzle books are great ways to relax if the weather is bad outside, this is the UK after all, we’d be very lucky to get weeks of glorious sunshine on our staycation wouldn’t we!!
If you fancy getting some of these fantastic books to keep your kids entertained this summer you can buy them at Collins.co.uk, Amazon, or anywhere books are sold.