As part of our Fitcation promotions we ran a very special competition to win a short active break in Leicestershire, and we were delighted to welcome the Harris family. They have written all about their experiences for us, and you can read it below.


Visit Leicester Fitcation

As a family we love our camping holidays in the UK and usually head to the coast for our main summer break but, when it comes to short breaks for just a couple of days, it is sometimes not worth trekking that far or the price of fuel for the break.

So we were delighted when we won the 'Fitcation' competition and got the chance to explore Leicestershire which, even living not that far away in Birmingham, we had not visited (you often overlook areas and attractions on your doorstep).

Ferneley’s - crazy golf

The weekend started with crazy golf at Ferneley's. We usually indulge in some crazy golf when we're on holiday and out and about and loved this fun farm-themed course.

It was a fine autumnal morning and it was great to be surrounded by animals, including pigs and cows in nearby fields as we took on the holes. We were out in the fresh air and bonding as a family - it was nice to get the children off their phones and tablets.

We loved the inventive greens with animal models and tractors and especially enjoyed the puntastic titles of each one - including 'Hey Ewe', 'Hole-ya-Horses', 'Legend-dairy' and Ferneley's Fairway. Having completed the course (with mum and dad finishing joint first), we happily left, stopping off at the cafe before we left.

Rutland Cycling Leicester

Next it was time for some trail cycling. When we booked this at Rutland Cycling Leicester, the staff were meticulous to ensure we each had the right bike for our height and when we arrived there, they were equally diligent, friendly and welcoming.

When we had the suitable bikes for each of us, we headed off on one of the trails along the River Soar. We all have bikes at home but my wife and eldest daughter had not picked up theirs for a number of years. Myself and my youngest daughter do cycle but seldom at the same time.

The nice thing about this cycle ride was we were all together, pedalling along the tow path and chatting as we went. This was something I don't think we have all done at once and now, back home, I think we'll definitely endeavour to get out on the bikes together more.

The trip itself was very picturesque and it was nice to say 'hi' to the people we met along the way - whether they were fellow cyclists, dog walkers or on narrowboats. And with a QR code you can scan to check out all the routes, this couldn't have been simpler to do.

We did a basic ride along the river but there are plenty of others to choose from to suit all tastes and abilities, including one venturing into Leicester City Centre.

East Street Lanes - ten pin bowling

East Street Lanes is a wonderful little bowling alley - it is cosy and a lot less overwhelming for younger children than the larger ones. We were given our lane which was lit up in the darkness, providing a nice atmosphere as we battled it out over two games.

Bowling is one of those activities our family doesn't do that often but when we do, we always enjoy it. We had great fun, found all the staff friendly and attentive to what we needed and by the end had enjoyed a great first day.

Leicester Marriott Hotel

In between the cycling and bowling, we went to back to our base for the weekend, easily found from the motorway and handily placed for easy reach of the city. The Leicester Marriott is also a short distance away from the Fosse Park shopping destination and Everards Brewery/Everards Meadows.

Once again we were given a warm welcome and the family room we were given was perfect for our needs and quite luxurious. We all had a great night's sleep and the brilliant buffet breakfast - from cereals to full English, along with fruit and pastries - was very enjoyable and set us up perfectly for our second day.


Let's Get Lost - kayaking

That second day began with the activity myself and our eldest daughter were both most looking forward to - kayaking with Let's Get Lost Leicester.

When we arrived, Sophie our instructor showed us the kayaks and gave us options of which ones we wanted. We went in twos and, after the all-important safety demonstration, we donned our life jackets, picked up the kayaks and headed for the River Soar.

After getting into the boats and, with Sophie's helpful hints and tips, we soon got the hang of the paddles and were journeying down the river. This, I think, was the most relaxing part of the weekend - the sound of the lapping water and taking in all the wildlife on the riverbanks made sure of that. Sophie's instruction ensured we not only stayed safe but also had a great time as she enlightened us about the things we were seeing in the surrounding area.

When we got back, we were tired but exhilarated from the trip and I would definitely recommend this activity. Whether it is, as we did, a family trip, with friends, or even for a birthday, anniversary or special occasion - I defy anyone not to be wowed and inspired by this highly enjoyable pastime.

Lane7 Leicester - ten pin bowling, shuffle board and crazy golf

This was an absolutely amazing place with something for everyone. We started our afternoon on the bowling alley. There are two sets of lanes, one downstairs which offers the dark/lit-up bowling and a usually lit one upstairs. We enjoyed the game as we tried to get more strikes than we had managed the day before.

The most impressive activity we undertook at Lane7 was the crazy golf. Our eldest daughter described it as 'the most creative and challenging crazy golf course she had ever played on'.

And she was not wrong - this took us over an hour to complete the 16 holes and some of them had really ingenious features that were both excellent (and sometimes frustrating) in equal measure. If you consider yourself a great crazy golfer who likes a challenge, definitely give this a go!

Shuffle board was up next and this was not a game any of us tried but my favourite of what was on offer at Lane7. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it is basically like curling (you will have all seen at the Winter Olympics) but without the ice and, instead, on a massive table. It is great fun trying to measure your mini stone pushes to try and get them in the scoring zone and even more fun trying to knock out the opposing team's stones whilst leaving yours in their place.

This is a great activity for friends as well as family and we noticed it was getting quite competitive both on our table and the one next to us - you just can't help but get so engrossed in the competition. Other activities on offer at Lane7 include table tennis, beer pong and pool - we spent several hours here which was very easy to do.

We were also impressed with the food and drink on offer at Lane7 from real ales and alcoholic slushes to a variety of soft drinks you don't often see. The Thai street food we had was also excellent and when we left, we were buzzing from the activities and replenished by our meals and refreshments.

Looking back

As we got in the car to head back home, there was a mixture of tiredness and excitement at all we had tried out during our weekend in Leicestershire. We were given a warm welcome wherever we went and also spotted a few other things we'd like to come back to do in the future.

I would definitely recommend a weekend (or even longer) in the area - there is so much to do for a variety of ages and tastes and you will be guaranteed a good time making those much-needed memories.

Thank you for this fantastic Fitcation family break.

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