When the time to leave finally come to go in July 2016 we travelled from Edinburgh to Stoke-on-Trent Our first stop was the Monkey Forest Trentham as we had time to spare before going to the hotel. When we got there we had something to eat as we never had any food with us made on the way down, we stopped at the cafe it was pretty expensive to me i would have preferred to take a picnic down with us. so once we were finished food we then went into the enclosed space with the monkeys this space was all fenced off so the monkeys were kept in. there was lots of staff about the forest keeping a check on the monkeys making sure they were not up to any “monkey business”. So again i was snap happy with my Sony Bridge Camera as you can see from the selected few pictures below. I loved the experience of being up close to them there was also a few other animals (wildlife) in the enclosure which the monkeys didn’t seem bothered by them.
We stayed in the Best Western Stoke East. When we arrived at the hotel we waited at reception desk for a good 5 minutes and no one had appeared to help us check in, there was a small sign beside a phone that said if no one was at the desk to pick the phone up and call the extension number provided. when i called it there was no answer. great start to this holiday right? so we went through to the bar side that served food and stood in a queue to be seated to then be told that it was going to be half an hour wait. So mentioned to them that we were also waiting to check in they said if we go back out to reception they would get someone to come check us in. we done as told and went back out to stand in an empty reception waited another 5 minutes and i had to pick the phone again to call through and get someone to come and check us in. Finally after that it was only a few minutes later when someone appeared to check us in! we did get an apology for the wait she checked us in gave us our WiFi code that come in the price and then went back away through to the pub part to help there again. My opinion is that you should have someone on reception at all times so there is no waiting around and having to pick up phones or anything before getting to speak to someone. fair enough it was a busy pub the check in time they gave us was 17:00 on a Sunday and with it being a pub it clearly is going to be busy! either change the check in times or have someone on the desk at all times! Off we went down the corridor to our room. The room was very spacious it had one double bed and a sofa bed which H slept on it was a little bit squeaky. spacious bathroom with a shower and bath heated towel rail in it but don’t think it worked as we had it on to try dry a pair of trousers that i had to rinse out.
Instead of having to wait for food, we decided to go somewhere else for a meal Potters Bar Stoke On Trent, http://www.pottersbarpub.co.uk/ . It was only a short walk up the road to this place, when we got in it was extremely quiet but since we had been travelling for a while that was a good thing. We found a table looked at the menu and went up to the till to order our food. within about 10 – 20 minutes our food had arrived and looked amazing and also smelled amazing. i had the Cod Almighty £6.25 and they even allowed me to have sweetcorn instead of mushy peas. my partner had Meat the Beast £15.95 (this come in a small table top BBQ) and H had Mini Battered Fish and Chips £4.25. (they ran out of kids fish but we didnt mind as they let her have a lunch time/ light bite meal). The prices were reasonable for the amount of food on the plate and would go back again if we were back down that area. we were that full we didnt even have enough room for pudding…..and you know how you have that second stomach just for puddings… well we never, so we went back to the hotel settled down for the night watched Monkey Life on Pick.
Next morning we packed up the car again with the things we took into the hotel with us and went to mcdonalds for breakfast which was directly opposite the hotel, after our bellys were full we went on our way towards ParkDean Holiday Park Sandford-Poole.
When we got to the holiday park we went for something to eat as our caravan was not ready yet. Had a nice meal at the restaurant in the park site was pretty reasonable on prices and we finally had room for a pudding. So 1600 hours and our caravan was ready we were in P28 we thought this was gonna be a caravan we had to walk for miles to get to from the main reception but to our surprise it was over the back opposite the swimming pool area. not even a 2 minute walk. We unpacked and made a list to go to the shops for things we needed and also food. We went for our shop out of Asda which was about a 20 min drive away from the park its self it was located next to Royal National Lifeboat Institution we had a peek at them and they have lots of boats there. Monday night came so we decided to go over to the parks entertainment it was a rock/ country night the person singing was actually a member of staff at the park. We only sat for half an hour and then went back to the caravan as it had been a very long day. Tuesday we were going to Monkey World with all our donations and also The Tank Museum, which were a few mins drive between the two places and was about a 15-20 mins drive from the holiday park itself. (You can read all the Monkey World post to find out what happened there.)
The Tank Museum was