Life in Lockdown: 1st April 2020

Life in Lockdown: 1st April 2020

Well, the last few weeks have been a crazy time, hasn’t it? I know I haven’t written any blog posts for the past 3 weeks, and I’m going to be honest, I haven’t felt like writing anything. The whole COVID-19 situation has really shaken up all our routines. With my blog focused on travel, this will be on hold and I’ll be writing updates about my general day to day life and fitness regimes. Provided I get the motivation to write anything each week that is.

I miss travelling and having the freedom to see my boyfriend and close friends whenever I want to. All I want to do is get in my car and go for a long drive to see the people I care about. I’m incredibly grateful for having my family around to support me and keeping me sane. It’s certainly going to be the new normal for the time being but I’m trying my best to remain positive. We can’t control this situation but we can control how we deal with it.

So, how’s life been for me?

I’m still working but from home. Yes, I’m in a very fortunate position amongst the crowd of people around me who are key workers, been made redundant etc. However, I do feel for those who are unable to work from home. You are all troopers and you will get through this. So effectively my Monday to Friday routine between 8am to 4.30pm has remained unchanged other than my work location. Getting used to working from the kitchen table whilst using Microsoft Teams to keep in contact with my work colleagues where I can.

life update working from home

A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to start exercising again. I had some dumbbells sitting on the floor in my bedroom so I thought I’d give these style workouts a go. You know what? I’m enjoying this way more than pushing myself to do any kind of running or excessive cardio. My aim was to do at least 3 workouts per week of at least 45 mins to 1 hour. I’ve now increased that to 5 workouts per week however have started to introduce HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts into the mix. I have lost some weight over the last 4 weeks so it’s certainly more motivation to keep going.

Exercising has been an escape for me. It’s 1 hour of my mind focusing on strengthening my body whilst improving my own health. A bit ironic given the current circumstances but it does seem to be helping (in my mind at least). I’m not invincible so who knows when COVID-19 may decide to hit me. I guess this is what I hate. Not knowing when it could strike me or my own family members. Especially with my Mum being a key worker at our local Supermarket. The unknown is well and truly here for the time being.

life update fitness dumbbells

From my workouts to healthy eating. I was quite worried about doing mindless snacking whilst working from home. In the office, I like to have a couple of snacks with me – mostly fruit but a little sugary treat every now and again doesn’t hurt. However, by some miracle, I’m not snacking as much as I used to. Why? I have no idea. However should I need to have a quick pick-me-up, I’ve got a couple of bags of almonds & mixed dried fruits to keep my satisfied. And yes, I do still have chocolate but that’s the last resort if you know what I mean. *wink*

Since the UK lockdown last Monday, the Government have said we can go out for exercise once a day, whether that’s a walk, run or cycle. As long as we comply with the social distancing measures, it’s been nice to get out of the house and take a walk around my local area. I always make sure I keep my distance from people, crossing the road if necessary. From what I can see around my area, people do seem to be observing the social distancing rules which is great to see. Hopefully, this lockdown can be lifted over the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed, ey?

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Of course, this lockdown has meant I can’t see my boyfriend, Jared. We’re in a long-distance relationship, roughly 1-hour drive from each other. We live with our families and have high-risk people in our households. This means it’s incredibly risky to see one another (physically at least). However, the joys of technology have allowed us to be able to FaceTime every day. It’s been a real pick-me-up and I’ve tried to be the rock in our relationship for Jared. I hate seeing people I love struggle through a situation they can’t control, and I can’t be there to help them.

And that is my life in a nutshell at the moment. When I’m not working or exercising, I’ve been using my spare time to play some Animal Crossing: New Horizons on my Switch – those tarantulas are a pain in the arse but I’ve managed to catch one now! Alongside this, I’ve been playing Smurf’s Village (thanks to Jared!), Candy Crush Saga, Tetris etc on my phone. I’m also currently looking at starting my scrapbooks which were Christmas presents. Certainly, the perfect time to start them once I’ve managed to sort through the photos I want to have printed. Sometimes you need to look closer to home to find new things to keep you entertained.

I hope you are all well and staying safe. Sending my love to you all and just a small reminder that we will get through this together.

Much love xoxoxo

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Chessington World of Adventures | Winters Tail Review

Chessington World of Adventures | Winters Tail Review

There’s nothing better than getting into the Christmas Spirit this December with a festive trip to Chessington World of Adventures for their Winter’s Tail event. I had a great time visiting the event last year. It was only right that I return this year. Even if just to get my Vampire fix and enjoy the delights of Chessington dressed up in Christmas theming. So let’s crack on with my Chessington Winters Tail review.

There’s a lot to see and do, even if the majority of the theme park is shut for the winter. The main highlight of this event is for kids to meet up with Father Christmas in his Grotto. And if they’re really good, they might receive an early Christmas present! The way Chessington does this is through winding around the many Grottos with Santa’s elves guiding you along the way is both magical and fun for all the family. Beware that this can get extremely popular with families! It’s going to be very busy throughout the day, even if you arrive at your allocated time slot.

Another special feature of Winter’s Tail is to visit The Gruffalo Kitchen for some cookie decorating. I do have a small soft spot for baking – even though I don’t bake as much as I would like! Having this opportunity to be creative and decorate cookies is one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit. Regardless of how old you are, it’s certainly adds that extra special treat to your day. Located to the left of Pizza Pasta Buffet in Adventure Point, this will also get very busy so ensure you allocate enough time during your visit to do this.

At 1pm, 2pm, 5pm and 6pm, you can get your dancing shoes on and join in with the Gruffalo and Stick Man Christmas Groove. Located in the Gruffalo Arena, I find Chessington do a fantastic job with their shows throughout the year. This was no exception. With a host of familiar and catchy Christmas songs to get you in the mood, it’s one to watch during your visit to Chessington Winter’s Tail. Plus, I thought it was even better compared to last year, the storyline was easy to follow and the interaction with the kids was perfect. Fab job by Chessington’s Entertainments team.

Did I forget to mention that there are a selection of rides open too? Last year, they announced Vampire would open throughout November & December for the first time during winter. I secretly fangirled and knew I had to visit. And of course, Vampire is back open this year – a perfect way to get those final nighttime rides in before 2019 ends. The area of Vampire was perfectly lit up to get those perfect shots – Chessington does a great job with nighttime lighting so fellow photographers, get your cameras at the ready.

Other rides open during Winter’s Tail include:

  • The Gruffalo River Ride,
  • Tiny Truckers,
  • Room on the Broom – a Magical Journey,
  • SeaStorm,
  • Adventure Tree Carousel,
  • AMAZU Treetop Adventure
  • Plus you have the Zoo & SeaLife open to explore!

I hope my Chessington Winters Tail review has given you a good insight into the event. So why not get yourself over to Chessington and have some festive fun at Winter’s Tail. It’s advised to pre-book your tickets, prices are from £18.50 for non Annual Passholders, and from £18 for Annual Passholders. Granted paying extra for a seasonal event can put people off but honestly, it’s worth it to get into the Christmas spirit. And I’m sure your kids will love you for it too, parents! You can find out more information & book tickets on Chessington’s website.

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That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Hogwarts In The Snow 2019 | Review

Hogwarts In The Snow 2019 | Review

warner bros studio tour the making of harry potter entrance

It’s been about 4 years since I was last at the Harry Potter Studio Tour. I must say, there’s been a lot of changes since my last visit! Every year I’ve always said to myself I will go during to the Hogwarts in the Snow event. And each time, I’ve either left it too late or just never found a suitable time to go. Until now…

Winter does tend to mean hibernating inside the warmth of my own house with a hot cuppa, wearing cosy clothes because it is too cold to travel anywhere outside. This year I’ve been more proactive in visiting some different winter/Christmas events. I’ve learnt not to let the cold bother me, just layer up and be on my merry way. So it was finally time to go to Hogwarts in the Snow.

I was in awe of the new areas (for me) including the Forbidden Forest & Gringotts. That’s the thing I love about this place. It takes your breath away at how grand all the sets are for the films. Not only that but everything is covered in Winter/Christmas decorations including The Great Hall being dressed up for the Yule ball in Goblet of Fire. Plus we were taught by the team on how Harry’s footprints were made in the snow when he’s wearing the invisibility cloak in Prisoner of Azkaban.

Of course, the main event is seeing the model of Hogwarts Castle covered in a dusting of snow – all done by hand from members of the crew! Did you know it takes 4 DAYS for them to transform the castle into a snowy masterpiece? It looks absolutely stunning in person, even if I’ve seen so many photos of it online. A true highlight and a perfect end to the tour in my opinion – except maybe the gift shop with too many gifts I want to buy.

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I had a great time at the Studio Tour on Saturday. And with it being James’ first time visiting, it was also great to see his reaction to everything. I can’t explain how incredible the tour is. From all the animatronics to the photo opportunities around every corner. You need to allocate at least 3 hours to really explore the tour in depth. Especially if you want to take part in the interactive elements like flying a broomstick through London! Hogwarts in the Snow runs till January 26th 2020 – tickets are selling fast so get in quick. You can find out more info and book tickets online on the official website.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

Festival of Light Review | Longleat Safari Park

Festival of Light Review | Longleat Safari Park

On Saturday 16th November, I finally visited Longleat’s Festival of Light event. After many years of wanting to go, I planned ahead this year & tickets were booked for my birthday weekend. I couldn’t wait. If you’re a theme park geek like myself, this is a perfect closed season trip to undertake. Longleat Safari Park is located just outside Warminster in Wiltshire. Right opposite Longleat Centre Parcs in Longleat Forest. There’s a lot to see and do at the park. And with the Festival of Light event, it’s clear to see why it’s so popular among guests. Of course any event has its high and low points. So let’s crack on with my full review of Longleat Festival of Light.

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Highlights from Longleat’s Festival of Light…

Beautiful Lanterns

I was in awe at the number of lanterns they had. Considering there were probably around 100 different lanterns in total! I thought they had a dedicated area for all the lanterns. Nope, they were dotted everywhere. This actually made it into an all-encompassing event where you truly felt immersed in the park. Nothing impacted the areas near any animal enclosures which was great. You can tell they’ve worked hard to ensure this event flowed as well as it could. From 4.30pm, the lanterns were turned on and it truly felt like a winter’s event. The theme for 2019 was Myths and Legends. Regardless of whether a theme is your favourite or not, you will still have a fantastic time regardless.

Safari Park & Animal Encounters

The Safari Park is an expansive area with a wide range of animals to see from the comfort of your car (or from a VIP truck – there is an extra charge for this). It’s best to allocate at least 3 hours for the Safari. Not only does it cover a vast area of land, but there’s also a stop-off point in the African Village featuring a shop, toilets, cafe and Lemur walkthrough. Not only that but once you’ve exited the Safari Park, your day doesn’t end there. There’s plenty more animals to encounter including Crocodiles, Bats, Koalas, Lorikeets and many more. Plus, there’s a Jungle Cruise located towards the back end of the park. Sadly we didn’t get to go on this during our visit as the queue was horrifically busy. Fingers crossed we can go on this on our next visit!

Projection Mapping

The projection mapping on Longleat House is new for 2019, and boy, I’ve seen projection mapping done really well along my travels. This is up there as one of my favourites. The facade of Longleat House is beautiful enough on its own but the projection mapping at night really adds to the atmosphere. It can be easy to miss if guests aren’t heading towards the front of the house once the lanterns have been turned on. Projections on the house included star constellations, mythical creatures and legends. It was beautifully portrayed and I couldn’t stop watching (and taking photos). If you are heading to Longleat Festival of Light this year, do not miss this!

Pizza Piazza

There’s plenty of eateries around the park which is very important when it comes to feeding the family. One place that delivered high-quality food, fantastic customer service and an all-round great experience was Pizza Piazza. This place was quite hidden without the help of the park map. Serving a fab range of Pizzas & meal deals. It’s perfect for families on a budget. The average price was around £10 for a Margherita Pizza, £14 for a Texas BBQ/Meat Feast Pizza and £2.50 for either a soft drink or hot beverage. Meal Deals were also available from £15 to £25 depending on your group size. The food was high quality and incredibly filling, highly recommend. If you’re on the move, you can have a takeaway which I think is fantastic for families/groups on the move or if you can’t find a table to sit at during busy periods.

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Lowlights from Longleat’s Festival of Light…

Too busy

Okay, I understand that this event has grown in popularity over the years. Saturday’s visit was incredibly busy. It was very difficult to enjoy the experience without getting in people’s way or trying to manoeuvre the crowds. I’m not a huge lover of crowds anyway and can get very overwhelmed in these situations. However, there was a distinct lack of crowd control. Having more marshalls in different places to help ease congestion. A lot of people were standing in the way or stopping in awkward spots. Consequently, this meant us photographers couldn’t get the shot we wanted. If you are a family with young children, please keep in mind how busy certain areas get. If you can, please keep your children close at all times or try to wait until a quieter period.

A lot to cover in one day

Take it from me, you’ll need a plan to make the most of your day at Longleat. We arrived at Longleat around 12pm so didn’t get a full day at the park. Longleat opens at 10am, Safari Park opens from 9.30am. There is a LOT to cover if you really want to make the most of your visit. Aside from the Jungle Cruise and Longleat House, we still covered at least 85% of the park. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking to attend in the future. The main Festival of Light event gives you around 3 hours to walk the park and see the lanterns. The lanterns are switched on around 4.30pm. I believe this is ample time to take photos and see them all. With plenty of planning before your visit, you’ll be able to enjoy everything that Longleat has to offer.

Lack of signposts

For an event that becomes incredibly busy at this time of year, the signposts around this park are either too small to see or lacking in different areas. Whilst you have a park map to guide you, it’s still tricky to find what you are looking for. The layout of Longleat Adventure Park isn’t very logical in my opinion. There’s a lot of different walkways that steer off the main path. Some places seem hidden away so make sure you have that park map handy! Some temporary event signage to guide people around the park would help massively. This would help with the crowd control as there were a lot of people stopping in the middle of pathways looking lost. Given the number of guests on park, this caused a lot of congestion and didn’t help with the flow for people who were looking for shops, toilets and food places.

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Despite the lowlights, I had a great time and would definitely recommend this event for anyone who’s looking for a weekend day trip with family & friends. Travelling from afar? There’s plenty of places to stay in the nearby area including Warminster, Salisbury and more. If this is your first time, enjoy it and make sure to allocate at least 3 hours for the Safari Park – it’s big!

Longleat Festival of Light runs on selected dates from 9th November to 5th January 2020. Hurry, tickets are selling fast and you don’t want to miss out on this amazing event – buy tickets on their website or find out more about the Festival of Light here.

That’s all for now!Lottie xoxo

 

Moors Valley Country Park | Top 5 Things to Do

Moors Valley Country Park | Top 5 Things to Do

moors valley country park top 5 things to do

I have spent many years as a youngster with my family, exploring the beauty and wonder of Moors Valley Country Park. Located near Ringwood in the New Forest, Moors Valley is one of those places you need to experience if you’re in the local area. There’s so much to see and do that I’ve compiled my top 5 things to do at Moors Valley Country Park in this blog post. It’s become my favourite destination in the spring/summer when the sun is shining.

One thing I’ve found is that some people may not realise what activities are available to do in the country park. There’s so much to see and do for the whole family, with your significant other or even by yourself. Trust me, it’s so peaceful spending some time wandering around. It’s a perfect pick-me-up when you’re feeling down! You will be spoilt for choice. Whilst I might be biased as I have grown up visiting here, this is a must-do for everyone. So let me give you 5 top things you can do when visiting Moors Valley Country Park.

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Steam Railway

Any train fans will not want to miss the Moors Valley Steam Railway. These mini style steam trains travel along the banks of Moors Lake. Winding through tunnels, tight curves and small inclines. This is the perfect way to enjoy the stunning views and experience a true steam train ride. There may be a small upcharge for the train. Depends on whether you choose a roundtrip or one way trip to either Lakeside or Kingsclere station. I feel like this is something you cannot miss!

Play Trail/Tree Top Trail

My fondest memories of the Tree Top Trail is when I was a kid and seeing these massive wooden structures of creatures. You could climb inside them, climb on top of them and were the perfect photo spots. That may have been 15 years or so ago but the structures are still around to this day! Designed mainly for kids but adults, you can join in too. It doesn’t matter about being judged, it’s all about having fun!

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Go Ape Treetop Courses

I bloody love Go Ape courses. Yes, they are challenging but they provide 2/3 hours of high adrenaline fun. Climb through the trees with various routes to choose from. There’s an adult and a junior course so you can decide how brave you’re feeling. You don’t need to have maxed out fitness levels to do these. Although it does help massively! There’s water at the start of each section of the course to keep you hydrated. Perfect for a really hot day, just like what we had! This is an upcharge attraction but highly recommend for all thrillseekers out there. And remember the important rule, ALWAYS STAY ATTACHED!

Go Ape Forest Segways

I’m going to put my hand up now and say that I’ve never ridden a Segway before. If you have, let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear your experiences. It’s on my bucket list of things I’d love to do one day! Segways are available as part of the Go Ape area of Moors Valley. Costing around £35 per person. Travel through the forest on a Segway, what better way to travel right? Although I can imagine I’d struggle to get my balance…

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Cycle/Walking Trails

Finally, for the avid exercise gurus, there’s plenty of trails to explore for both walkers and cyclists. If you own a bike, bring it along with you and cycle along the many trails. All trails are waymarked depending on difficulty and length. Don’t fret if you do not own a bike as you can hire one at the Moors Valley cycle hire centre. Times vary from 1 hour to the whole day. I’m not one for cycling personally. I much prefer a gentle walk around the forest, especially towards the Lookout as it’s the perfect spot to take plenty of photos! Fitness gurus can enjoy the Fitness trail with exercise stations positioned along a 2-mile route within the forest. There’s something for everyone here, regardless of your desired sport.

That’s all for now!

Lottie xoxo

My top memories of Loggers Leap

My top memories of Loggers Leap
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On 20th February 2019, Thorpe Park officially announced the closure of Loggers Leap, after many years of speculation as to whether the ride would return to the park line-up. I feel quite sad about this as Loggers was a firm favourite of mine and I have many childhood memories riding this with family and friends alike. Is this really the end of log flumes in the UK as we know it?

Continue reading “My top memories of Loggers Leap”

Xtreme Scream Park 2018 | Review

Xtreme Scream Park 2018 | Review

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Last year was a disappointment, just going to put that out there. I feel like I went on an off night as there were barely any actors about and the atmosphere at the park wasn’t great. So to come back this year, I was nervous as I find that everyone raves about Xtreme Scream Park and all I wanted was to experience that for myself.

Overall, it was a much better event than last year, by a long shot. However, the atmosphere on park was still missing, very similar to last year. It wasn’t buzzing compared to the likes of The Howl and Tulley’s, a lot of dead spots here and there. It was very much segregated to each of the mazes. The middle plaza area with the food vans and bar just felt empty and lifeless. It’s a shame as I really wanted it to be better, considering it was a Friday night so was expecting a lot more people to be around this area. Another bugbear of mine were the lack of photo opportunities around the park, especially near the entrance where it is very dark!

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The main reason for the visit is the scare mazes, of course! Xtreme Scream Park have some very beautifully themed mazes and is what made the evening so enjoyable. Whether I will make this an annual visit is still yet to be decided. You cannot fault the detail and each maze is unique. So, let’s crack on with the maze reviews.

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TheVillageXtreme

First maze of the night was The Village – mainly because we wanted to beat the crowds and start with the mazes at the back end of the park. The theming here in incredible. Essentially, you are walking through the village and might meet a few inhabitants along the way, including scarecrows. The actors were on fire and really chose the best spots to get guests. The one thing lacking for me were the lack of scares. It almost felt like a nice wander through a maze than a scary maze. It’s such a shame as it’s so beautifully themed and I wanted this to be one of the best mazes of the night.

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PieFactoryXtreme

Next stop was Pie Factory. For a maze that was sadly short-staffed, it did not disappoint. There were some changes within the maze that made it very disorientating, including pitch black corridors! The smell in this attraction is putrefying and creepy. Pig people following your every move and why not start a maze with a stamp on your hand – I was ‘fresh meat’.  This could give a hint as to whether the actors really wanted to go for you. There were plenty of tight spaces which can be enough to scare anybody. And no factory tour is complete without a chainsaw ending. For me, one chainsaw isn’t terrifying but seeing people run out of the exit makes it all worthwhile. It’s a solid maze at Xtreme Scream Park.

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AshHellXtreme

OH MY GOD! This maze was creepy, intimidating and bloody terrifying. It is a long maze so expect a good 10 mins or so of scares. The best part about this maze is the lighting. Yes, it is dark in places for this maze, but the strobe effect lights mean there are plenty of moments for actors to creep up on you and scare you shitless. It’s intimidating when inmates call you ‘my bitch’, ‘sweetcheeks’ or ‘will you my baby?’, it is a mix of psychological scares and physical touches – I can’t even tell you how many times I was poked, prodded, stroked during the maze. Not only that, there were animatronics that created loud noises echoing through the attraction – a real attack on the senses. It was fantastic and is certainly one of my favourite mazes of the night.

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StiltonHotelSpaXtreme

This wasn’t as strong of a maze as it was last year. Potentially due to the amount of people being sent through at one time meant there were moments we were still, waiting for people to keep on moving. This made the experience less enjoyable and the actors couldn’t really give us the jump scares with an impact. As you wander through, you can’t deny that the theming once again is fantastic. Each room is beautifully themed and tells the story of Stilton really well. Not as strong as other mazes I have been in but a good maze to the line-up at Xtreme Scream Park.

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FinalCurtainXtreme

The weakest maze of the night for me. As with any clown maze, it’s become a cliché at any scream park, to the point that I have become immune to them. Clowns don’t scare me, in fact, they make me chuckle more than anything. This maze can be disorientating but there wasn’t much going for it the whole way round. Compared with other clown mazes I have done, this was one of the weakest. Maybe it is time for this maze to go and a new one to take its place?

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HoodooVoodooXtreme

Now, when it comes to bag style mazes, they can either be a massive hit or a big fat flop. Hoodoo Voodoo did not disappoint at all. The actors in here were working the room non-stop and getting very up close and personal. So much so that I have couldn’t count how many times my face was stroked, leg was grabbed, arm was prodded. It was an attack on the senses, especially when you only have a rope to guide you in this fun-house. But it doesn’t stop there! Your bag mask is forcefully pulled from your face which is enough to make you jump. Then you walk through the Hoodoo Voodoo ritual areas – death is upon you! – and one of the greatest scares I have ever witnessed, a massive Voodoo doll actor. I screamed, a lot! After this experience, this has become one, if not, my all-time favourite maze.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

Dr Fright’s Halloween Nights 2018 | Review

Dr Fright’s Halloween Nights 2018 | Review

Oh boy, where do I even begin with Dr Frights? One word, brilliant.

The atmosphere was fun and the low lighting within each attraction and queue line added to the suspense and anticipation, making you feel uneasy at times, not really knowing what to expect from each of the mazes.

Some pros of the night included the batching of groups. Forget these crazy batching levels of up to 15 people – it is the number of people in your group. So, if you are a group of 2, that is your group size. This is a big perk for me as the actors can really get plenty of jump scares in. Plus, there’s a simple traffic light system at the start of each attraction – ‘wait for the green light’ – which is your cue to begin your journey into each of the mazes. This was great as it meant you had a good enough gap between groups – I wish this was a system used at scare mazes at the Merlin parks.

Not only are there scare mazes, there is a bar area within the marquee area that you can venture to. However, the biggest thing to note is that you MUST complete ALL FOUR MAZES before you can enter this area. I really like this idea as it helps to keep those who can get really drunk and spoil the mazes. It provides some peace of mind that the actors aren’t going to be at risk with drunken people. Great idea Dr. Frights, I feel this worked really well to keep the event fun and enjoyable for everyone.

So let’s crack on with the reason for visiting Dr Frights, and talk about my thoughts on the mazes.

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‘Karloff’s Movie Theatre’ welcomes you to step inside scenes from your favourite scary movies. Come face to face with the most feared characters in horror, including Freddy, Jason and Michael plus many more. This a brand new version of the constant fan favourite!

First maze of the night and it definitely set the scene for what was going to be an epic night. Essentially you walk through some of the famous Halloween horror films including Freddy Krueger, Pennywise and Michael Myers. The set pieces in this maze were impressive, it really felt like you were a part of the films – and as someone who isn’t a huge fan of horror films – I really enjoyed this maze. The actors made good use of the space to really get those jump scares in. Definitely a good starting point if you are new to the event!

WhatTheHell

Do you like human sacrifices? Blood rituals? Banging tunes? Axe wielding bunnymen? Then you’ll love the ‘5 Point Temple’. An abandoned chapel converted into a twisted satanic nightclub by a bizzare and deadly cult. This maze doesn’t get it’s name for nothing. It will mess you up!

After a good start to the maze line-up, I was expecting the same level of jump scares as Hollywood Horror 3. The title says it all really, WHAT THE HELL? In my opinion, this was the weakest maze of the night for me personally however that is more down to my personal preference of a maze having a storyline or contingency within. The randomness did make me chuckle a lot, especially with the likes of seeing Santa halfway through, what the hell was that about? The actors were on top form and really added to the experience. There were moments I caught up with the group ahead of me therefore I could tell where the scares were – one of the good things I found were some of the actors making the most of the area they had including following me at various points.

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Step inside the haunted corridors of ‘Heavensgate Hospital’. Escape a psychopathic doctor and his legion of nightmare nurses that stalk the building. This is an extremely intense, adrenaline fuelled experience like no other. You have been warned!

Now. If there’s one thing I have a soft spot for is hospital style mazes, especially with the likes of Asylum at Thorpe Park many years ago! I didn’t know what to expect, but it really did impress me thoroughly. There were plenty of moments where the actors really got me, especially in the first scene with the bed and one patient grabbed my ankle as I walked past! I wasn’t expecting it at all but it’s those moments that make a maze for me. Of course, with any sort of hospital style maze, there’s going to be a strobe maze. Say hello to Asylum’s baby brother/sister. It was trippy. It was disorientating. And the actors knew exactly how to get you, I had two actors with me at the end of the maze singing Ring a Roses in my ear! Fantastic work and best maze of the night for me.

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The carnival has come to town and has set up shop on ‘Mumma Beef’s Farm’! Witness a blood soaked showdown like no other as killer clowns take on cannibal hillbillies in a twisted game of murder and mayhem. The rules are simple, whichever team kills the most carnival goers (that’s you) wins! Let the game commence!

I knew there was going to be a chainsaw in one maze at Dr Frights. And I was not disappointed. This maze was fantastic and I loved walking in to see the majority of the maze – almost like giving you a false sense of security. Each section is split between clowns and hillbillies. I really liked this as you didn’t know who to expect around each corner. As I only really noticed at different points in the maze, you will get split up from your group. I was held up at one point but once another group came along, I was allowed to ‘leave’ so to speak. I have dealt with mazes where you are split up, Sub Species, I’m looking at you, and it doesn’t phase me. Basically, ‘meet you at the exit’ is said among my group. As you wind around the maze, you can hear (and smell) the chainsaws as you approach the end of the maze. I have certainly gained a sense of bravery towards chainsaws now so they don’t phase me too much. HOWEVER, when there’s two quite literally on my arse and feeling the heat on my hand, that’s enough to send me running out of the maze. It has to be up there as one of my favourite mazes I have done this year alongside Shock Therapy.

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Overall, I had a truly fantastic experience at Dr Frights. The maze line-up was strong and there were plenty of scares along the way – something that has been lacking at different scare events I have done. If you have time to visit Dr Frights, do it. You seriously won’t regret it. You can still book tickets for the event this year, both online or on the door (cash only). The event has several nights available, from 25th October to 31st October (closed on 29th October.) Based at White Nurseries, right next to the A45 near Northampton, it is easily accessible via car with plenty of free parking right outside the event. The venue is all indoors so come rain or shine, you can still enjoy all the attractions. There is a food van and bar area where you will be able to purchase food and drink as well as toilet facilities. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

That’s all for now!

LOTTIE TRAVELS

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

My Most Anticipated Halloween Attractions 2018

Halloween, in the death of the night, hear me scream
I’m coming, I’m coming
Halloween, is the fear that I fight, in my dream
Keep running, keep running …

Halloween season has really grown on me over the last couple of years, and it truly is the most wonderful time of year. I mean, I’ve already written a post on the top 8 reasons to love Halloween season, check it out here. After exploring some new scare events last year, it has really got me inspired to try out even more this year!

So here’s what I’m getting up to this spooky season 2018…

THORPE PARK FRIGHT NIGHTS

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This one is pretty much a given. Every year, I always visit Fright Nights because it’s pretty much a chance for me to have a bloody good time with my friends. Plus the maze line-up is looking so strong this year – especially with the new mazes that were announced a few weeks ago. Okay, I will bloody miss The Big Top but oh my god, there are so many good choices of mazes for this year. I honestly cannot wait to make many trips to Fright Nights this year.

ALTON TOWERS SCAREFEST

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Another staple in my calendar every year is Scarefest. Ever since my first trip in 2012, I have bloody loved the whole event. The atmosphere around the park is insane, and with is being so big, it can be pretty creepy at night. And with a new addition of Project 42 in the Nemesis Sub Terra building, oh my god, I cannot wait to see what this is all about. Us geeks definitely like to speculate about what will be included in this maze, and I sure as hell can’t wait to get stuck in – and maybe never get out? Plus Scarefest is also the chance to ride Wicker Man in the dark – yes please!

CHESSINGTON HOWL’O’WEEN

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Again, another staple that is always in my calendar. Despite this being more family orientated so the scares are not what I would consider scary but they are so fun, and damn, Chessington do some pretty good theming. Creepy Caves Unearthed last year was fantastic so I can’t wait to give it a go again this year! I think having visited the Halloween event at Chessington for a few years, I still have a lot of good memories at the event including The Mystery of Hocus Pocus Hall and Vampire: Haunting in the Hollows, which is why I still make a visit each year.

TULLEY’S SHOCKTOBER FEST

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Oh yes. I visited Tulley’s for the first time last year and honestly, I was questioning why I have never been here before! It is so bloody GOOD! The mazes are epic and each have their own theme. The actors are so in character the whole night that it builds up the anticipation and atmosphere. The general mood is spooky and I don’t think I found anything I didn’t like. So yes, I will be back this year and very much looking forward to seeing Circus of Horrors.

XTREME SCREAM PARK

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Now… I have to say this, I did not enjoy this place when I visited last year. It wasn’t a good visit and the mazes felt very lacklustre and when you hear everyone else saying they had the best time on their trips, I had to come back this year and give it another go. And I want to be scared… so give it all you got Xtreme Scream Park! 😉

DR. FRIGHT’S HALLOWEEN NIGHTS

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I’m not gonna lie, I don’t really know much about this place. Based at White Nurseries, near Gloucester, and described as having a variety of walk through horror attractions of a varying theme. In each attraction you will follow a dark and winding trail that will (hopefully) lead you to the exit. They have received many awards including UK’s Best Halloween Screampark and Best Original Concept and Design at the annual Scar Awards. I cannot wait to give this a try this Halloween Season.

BURTON SCREAMFEST

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I have driven past this place so many times when driving up to visit Alton Towers Scarefest and have never made time to visit! That’s going to change this year as I am very much looking forward to trying out all the scare attractions here. All the reviews and awards this place gets makes me want experience the greatness of Burton Screamfest for myself. Especially the scare maze in a corn field – sounds like an interesting experience awaits…

FEAR AT AVON VALLEY

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This is yet another scare attraction that I have heard some great reviews of from within the theme park community. Based near Bristol, I haven’t really thought about venturing towards that part of the UK, however for this year, I will definitely give it a go. Once again, I don’t really know much about this place but isn’t that kinda the fun of it? The anticipation of not really knowing what to expect – she says, nervous about what awaits her at Fear at Avon Valley. 😉

THE HOWL

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With a name like The Howl, I wonder what you could associate with it… Werewolves perhaps? I am intrigued as to how a park where all of the attractions are linked with the same story thread can be executed so smoothly. Again, it’s another place where I have some fantastic reviews so I am really looking forward to giving this a go in 2018. And to be honest, with the place being created by the same people who did Tulley’s, I am sure this is going to be a real hit.

Okay, I think this list has become way too long but as you can see, I want to try out more new scream parks. I can’t wait to see what all attractions have in store for me and I’m sure I will have a lot of tales to tell you on my blog so watch this space for reviews this Autumn!

That’s all for now.

LOTTIE TRAVELS