So half term is upon us and for once we are staying put. Mr N is in hospital this afternoon for a hernia op and so Little A and Little B will get to play doctors and nurses with a real patient all next week. (It must be a testament to how tired I am that I am secretly hoping I will be able to have a nap on Mr N’s hospital bed this afternoon whilst he is in theatre!). For those of you who are getting away from the Big Smoke and if any of you are Northbound and planning on taking in the sights (and traffic jams) on the M6 then there is a little secret stop-off you need to know about. Travelling with children in the car is no picnic, even with todays gadgets and gizmos there are times when you need to stop and turf them out for some fresh air and about 2 mins off the M6 – junction 40 – lies the wonder that is Rheged. For starters it looks like it has been dreamt up by children. Part Hobbit warren mixed with Tellytubby Land, Rheged has a grass covered roof and an excellent outdoor Turrets and Tunnels playground. Inside lies a soft play area, a pottery painting workshop, cafes, a restaurant, a great bookshop, gift shops and an excellent children’s toy shop (the buyer deserves a medal) stocking everything from Le Toy Van, Djeco, Janod through to clothes and shoes. If that wasn’t quite enough Rheged also houses a IMAX style 3D cinema screen – currently showing wildlife documentaries and a host of kids films (Toy Story/Winnie the Pooh). An excellent place to stop for lunch and a run around and there is a service station on site to fill up the motor too.
For those wanting more of a brief pitstop then it is also worth checking out Tebay Services, a mile north of Junction 38 on the M6. Owned by the same family it has a similar vibe to Rheged but on a smaller scale. There is a good restaurant serving local sourced and seasonal food that goes way beyond average motorway fare, a lovely Farm Shop perfect to pick up some nice bits for your trip, dedicated family loos, a kids play area and a sweet duck pond to visit. Overall if you are headed far North then this the place to factor in a stop.
For other bits and pieces that make car journeys just a fraction easier read this blog post.
All in the detail:
Rheged Centre is in Cumbria and is a 2 minute drive off Junction 40,
on the M6
Postcode: CA11 0DQ
They have a good website with full cinema listings
Definitely don’t miss out on the toy shop – perfect for all ages
Tebay Services (also signposted as Westmorland I think) is just a bit past Junction 38 on the M6.
Postcode: CA10 3SB
The same family behind Rheged and Tebay have also set up in Gloucester on the M5 so although I haven’t been, if you are passing I am sure it would be worth the stop.