Blogs > July 2013

July 2013

The Dunes

22nd July 2013

We arrived on Sunday with my Fiance Paul and our Friends with their two children, Oliver and Isaac ready for a fun day out.

The Dunes has so much choice and caterers for everybody. We opted first to go on the Soft Play and I was surprised how big it was, straight away Oliver was off to explore, he was away a long time and only came back for a drink, all the climbing and slides was thirsty work. He especially loved the slides and was really impressed with it (you could tell by the smile on his face)

The place was so clean which put you at ease to know the kids can run around and go crazy and know they are safe.

After an hour in the soft play we decided to tackle the arcades and it was time for me to challenge Oliver in a game of air hockey, I'm ashamed to say he beat me, so well done ollie :-)

It's been years since I was in an arcade and was blown away with all the games and machines and honestly had loads of fun.

There's also a bowling alley, so after hours of fun we decided to call it a day. Overall it was a fantastic day out and would definitely go back to challenge Oliver to another game of air hockey to see if I can beat him, doubt it though as he's a true pro.

Katie McClements 

dunes soft play 2 dunes soft play oliver dunes soft play


Posted by Sun FM at 11:39am

Ocean Beach

16th July 2013

We arrived on Friday after school, my 9 year old and I, ready to ride the rides and have some tea; although having a delicate stomach, I wondered which way round to do things. Tea first, and worry about seeing it again, or wait until we’d rode everything. We opted for the latter.

It’s amazing how many rides they’ve actually got on the pleasure park, something for everyone. Charlotte loved the rollercoaster, I didn’t. Charlotte loved the Pirate Ship, I didn’t. Charlotte loved getting Dad wet on Shark Island. I have to admit I loved that the best, although I did get a bit wet, I soon dried off as the weather was absolutely gorgeous. As for the ride, it was quite tame, which was why I liked it; but you need a lot of skill to shoot your water gun at the characters to make them squirt you. If you’re a bad shot, you stay dry. Charlotte was a good shot!

Being of a sensitive nature, I also liked the Ghost Train as it was quite tame to ride, although I did jump a few times. To make the characters / ghosts and ghouls come alive you have to shoot the target with your laser gun, again, Charlotte was a great shot!

Interactive and an amazing few hours as a family, all for HALF PRICE.

Simon Grundy 

ocean beach ocean beach  

Posted by Sun FM at 5:05pm

Killhope Lead Mining Museum

16th July 2013

From Wildlife hides to underground mines there's something for the whole family at Killhope.

For those aged 4 and over, experience life working in a mine. Take a guided tour through a 19th Century lead mine, fully kitted out in hard hats, wellies and mining lamps.

Throw on your comfy walking shoes and explore the wildlife hides set in picturesque surroundings. Keeping the little ones entertained trying to spot rare red squirrels, rabbits and owls!

Enjoy the outdoor picnic area and see what gems you can uncover on the 'Washing Floor'!

The award winning North of England lead mining museum is a perfect day out in the country for all family members of all ages!!

Open daily 10:30am - 5.00pm April - October

Danielle Moore

 killhope lead mine  killhope lead mine  killhope lead mine  killhope lead mine

Posted by Sun FM at 5:05pm

Jorvik Viking Centre

16th July 2013

Following the goosebumps and frights available at the York Dungeon, York’s Jorvik Viking Centre feels like a somewhat calmer affair in retrospect.

Providing my brain soaked up the interactive history lesson correctly ‘Jorvik’ was the Viking’s term for what we now know as York.

The first step is on a ‘time capsule’ to the very street you’re standing on, Coppergate at 5:30pm on 25th October 965 AD to tour a reconstructed Viking settlement which includes voices speaking in Old Norse, as well as aromas and life-like animated figures, made by laser technology from skeletons found on the site.

Speaking of things found on the site, beyond the tour is an extensive museum area which you’re free to roam at your own leisure including Viking helmets, weapons and even err a genuine Viking turd.

Not to mention interactive displays and the skeleton of a York local dubbed ‘Bob.’ The staff in traditional Viking dress are only too happy to explain the puzzle that is Bob’s death on the battlefield. It really is quite thrilling to hear how the jigsaw came together to create a timeline of Viking Bob’s final hours.

Oh and for a mere £2 you can finish the tour with a traditional Viking coin made before your eyes. 

Jorvik 2  Jorvik 1  Jorvik 4  Jorvik 3

Posted by Sun FM at 5:04pm

York Dungeon

16th July 2013

The last time I visited York Dungeons I was a rather chubby eight year old with cork screw curly hair. I’m pleased to say, upon my return, it has got even scarier! The chill factor is up to eleven!

The dungeon has recently reopened following a refurbishment due to severe flooding in March 2013. However, the traditional spooky format remains the same.

Tours take place every seven minutes and last just over an hour. Visitors are led around a sequence of shows and exhibitions based on historical events and practices.

Actors posing as doctors, innkeepers, soothsayers, judges and torturers lead us through the Great Plague, the gun powder plot and even Dick Turpin’s hanging.

As all my friends were ‘working’...scaredy cats; I took along my much braver Mum for a day out in York. As you’d expect, there are surprises in every room and round every corner. It’s impossible to guess what’s going to make you scream next. It really is like a mini movie! Additionally, it’s impressive how the acts never fail to stay totally in spine chilling character.

Audience participation is essential and surprisingly my biggest fear wasn’t catching the Black Death but my poor mother being singled out. I know how much she loathes it! Never will I forget her quivering in a corner at one of my stand up comedy gigs whilst a fellow comedian picked her out the audience to sing Barry White at her.

Instead, I took the bullet here; I must have one of those ‘oooh pick me’ faces. Therefore, under Sunday afternoon I was lucky enough to be cured of the plague, trialled for treason and err beheaded. Which will make for an interesting radio show on Sun FM upon my return.

Liam Smedley 

liam at york dungeon

Posted by Sun FM at 5:04pm

Namco Funscape Bowling

16th July 2013

It was a Thursday night, and Thursday’s are the new Friday’s right? So following my show at 7pm myself and fellow Sun FM presenter Mark Black decided to play out on a school night and take advantage of our Discount Days Out vouchers.

We embarked on a trip to the Namco Funscape at the Metro Centre, Gateshead. Some would call it a man date, I’d argue we did a great Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble impression when it came to the bowling.

Naturally it began with the usual ‘oh my god your feet are HOW big/small’ conversation’ the first time two friends have to ask for bowling shoes in front of each other. Attention ladies, for the record...mine were the bigger size ahem.

We were proud of a few things following this visit; firstly, we didn’t request the bumpers, use the training ramp or give ourselves ridiculous nicknames on the score board (I once went with a group of friends who typed their names as The Avengers...and I was certainly not pleased about being stuck as Black Widow).

I was winning all the way until Mark got lucky with a strike or two on his last few bowls. The final score escapes me conveniently. However, I got my revenge and was the victor on the following games of air hockey and pac man.

Then came the dodgems! Now, I’d have to advise taking a few people for this bit. Because the main point of dodgem’s is to do a certain amount of dodging. Whereas the only person I had to dodge was Mark. Cue us circling each other at the exact same speed round the central pillar like Tom and Jerry. Eventually I found a certain amount of enjoyment and satisfaction in crashing him into the remaining and empty bumper cars.

All in all, Namco Funscape is like an entire fun fair and more packed into one place. Bowling, dodgems, Sky Sports, a bar, pool, games and much much more...big kids will never want to leave!

Liam Smedley 

namco funscape  3 namco funscape  5  namco funscape  2  namco funscape 1 

Posted by Sun FM at 5:04pm

South Lakes Wild Animal Park

16th July 2013

We arrived shortly before lunch with my wife, a very excited little boy aged soon to be 4 and a non too bothered 4 month baby.  We took the park book providing information on all the animals and how the Sumatra Tiger charity aims to protect the species. 

Firstly, we had a bite to eat and I was totally surprised at both the quality and how reasonable the food was.  The thai green curry served in a banana leaf (fantastic) whilst the chicken burgers were awesome…

Off we went – into “Africa” wow… talk about up close and personal – a matter of feet from the king of the jungle himself as he prowled his turf… an excited son couldn’t believe how close he was to this beast!  On to the rhino’s, monkeys and giraffes…although the latter were a little less inquisitive of our visit… then we took a train ride to help support the tiger trust… on to see the lemurs and the emus and went to feed the penguins. 

The park was no problem for the pram as we meandered around with ease… it was a perfect day out that was set to get even better – the big cats feed!!! The tigers and the jaguars were something else – we picked our view point and waited whilst the keepers nailed the meat up high in the trees… the excitement mounted and we enjoyed the pre feed talk and were concerned to hear of the reasons behind the declining numbers of these big cats in the wild.  The Sumatran Tigers in their glossy coats raced through the “jungle” following the meat scent in the trees – showing off their hunting instinct and then were lucky to see it demolish its hunt!!!  - fascinating!!!

We’ve been to other zoos in the UK and have to say South Lakes Wild Animal Park did not disappoint.  It was fantastic – well set out and all the animals were free to roam in plenty of space…  it wasn’t tiring and all the visitors were enjoying the summer sun having a great time. To summarise, we will be back and the drive over to the lakes was worth it – we thoroughly recommend this attraction and with plenty of wildlife species to see - How lucky we were to experience this – thank you!!! See you soon!!! 

Sergio Petrucci 

south lakes animal park south lakes animal park  south lakes animal park  south lakes animal park  south lakes animal park

Posted by Sun FM at 10:19am

Tweddle Farm

16th July 2013

I took the family to Tweddle farm over the weekend, and if you have got kids they will love it. I've been to other farms before which are just animals but this is so much more.

They have everything from small bunnies to giant horses. We first saw some cute bunny rabbits which you could stroke when one of the staff were there. This was something my daughter loved, although I'm always worried she will think it's a soft toy and try to grab it...luckily she didn't. The goats were very noisy and eager to see who you are and clearly are very used to people, and as for the pigs they were sleeping!!! I think everytime I've been to a farm the pigs are asleep. They have all sorts of farm animals and as you can imagine it can get a little smelly. There are also a variety of smaller animals like guniea pigs, mice and a variety of different birds to see also.

We moved through into the play barn which is next door. This impressed me as it really added to the farm and meant you could easily spend a whole day here. It has a soft play area for various ages as well as table football, go karts, tractors and most importantly table and chairs for the adults to sit down!! There is a soft play area specifically for the littler ones which was good also.

Outside it is quite a big area with lots of different things which suited all ages. They have an outside adventure play park with different forts and activities which included tractors and diggers, swings, slides and plenty of room to run around in. This is also the picnic area so families can relax while watching the kids play safely. They also have a giant pool with animal themed boats on it, which you can go on for a small cost. You must be over three to use this, and everyone on it looked to be having a great time. There are more animals around the site outside including horses, Llamas and donkeys. All are very friendly, especially when they realise you have a bag of feed for them. I don't mind admitting the big head of a Llama coming over the fence is still quite daunting especially when you are trying to look brave in front of your daughter and wife!!

Already this makes for a great day with loads to do but you can also go on a tractor ride. This is a big trailer with seats which takes you around the whole site so you can get a good look at everything. The great thing is that it is well enclosed with mesh so it is perfect to let little ones stand and watch as you are taken through the countryside to see cows, horses, Llamas, donkeys and more. It also lasts a decent amount of time and is a bit of a rest from walking for the parents.

All in all this was a great day out and you can easily spend the whole day there and if you do have kids of different ages, it caters for them all so it is a real family place. If the weather is sunny its lovely to be outside but there is still plenty of things to do if the weather turns. My family loved it and I'm sure you'll find the same if you go along.

Mark Black

tweddle farm tweddle farm tweddle farm tweddle farm 

Posted by Sun FM at 10:19am

Whitehouse Farm

16th July 2013

The Carter family went off to what is billed the ‘’North Easts largest farm attraction-whatever the weather!’’

Well no wonder all vouchers are sold out, but it is well worth still taking a trip up and visiting this wonderful farm in Morpeth. We have probably all been to these before, but this is a proper farm with animals not just inside to be seen/petted , but in all the fields around you making it feel real in beautiful tranquil countryside. However the biggest thing here is how amazingly friendly the staff are-seriously it is unprecedented!! It is a small team, but they clearly love what  they do and even say hello to you! Nothing is too much trouble, helping you carry the dough nut rings, even  getting the tractor to go back out for a ride when some people had just missed the trip. They were lovely.

There is plenty to do and the main things are a proper circular race track inside for battery powered racing cars, outside go karts, Frisbee golf was great fun too! The adventure playground looks brand new and is in amazing condition and caters for all ages with lots of swingy bridges for the kids to walk over. There is a willow maze  to get lost in, trampolines, bouncy castle etc.! All in quite a nice sized area for those little lazy bones who do not want to walk far.

Go and say hello to Whitehouse Farm! 

Julian Carter - MD 

Whitehouse Farm 2  Whitehouse Farm Whitehouse Farm 1  Whitehouse Farm 4

Posted by Sun FM at 10:18am


16th July 2013

I never thought I would get the chance to hold a gun to the head of Simon Grundy, but Quasar Elite gave us presenting boys at Sun FM the opportunity to do just that.

Simon, Mark, Liam and me; Stephen were all put in a dark room with a laser gun and vest to wear and allowed to shoot it out for half an hour.

The Quasar team are just behind Dunes Bowl on the Ocean Beach fairground site in South Shields next to the haunted house rides.

And it was all a bit scary in the dark with the lads, with nothing but neon lights and the occasional voice echoing from the abyss 'Warning!', 'Warning!' when you had been hit and unable to protect yourself from the onslaught of fire from the other guys.

It was an exhausting experience, where usually kids get a full hour to tire themselves out in teams, we were all sweating after just 30 minutes running around the nooks and crannies.

Quasar Elite also now cater for parties in their own separate function room for kids to fill their faces after the shoot-out, and believe me it's hungry work.

In fairness to Simon he was the best shot and came out like Tom Cruise - named as the as top gun of the team.

Stephen McCabe 

quasar quasar quasar quasar


Posted by Sun FM at 10:18am

Down at the Farm

16th July 2013

My kids were like pigs in swill when I took them Down at the Farm in Houghton.

We've been many times before for visits and children's birthday parties, which they cater for at the Houghton site off Stoneygate Lane, just off the A690.

When I asked my 2, their favourite part of their visits to Down on the Farm they said the big bouncy cushion and getting to hold the little rabbits and guinea pigs.

The farm is also registered as a licenced zoo and has been home to a great range of world animals, including reindeers, racoons and llamas, who parents of young ones will see a similarity to 'Nuzzle and Scratch' from CBeebies.

But it's not just animals to enjoy Down at the Farm, but also some play time to help tire out the over excited kids, with a wood and rope climbing park, bouncy cushion, giant sand pit and rides on the tractor or bumpy barrel train.

There's so much to do which is why we've been so many times as maybe you'll find one visit isn't enough to fit it all in.

Stephen McCabe

Down at the farm racoons-small Down at the farm shetland-ponies-small Down at the farm kune-pigs-small Down at the farm mediteranian-donkey-small

Posted by Sun FM at 9:32am


2017 (3)

2015 (6)

2014 (181)

2013 (70)

2012 (22)

2011 (22)

Recent Posts

Wobbly week....

Tim's 10k blog

Posted by Tim West

6th February 2017 11:08am

One smashed iPhone, one smashed PB !

Tim's 10k blog

Posted by Tim West

29th January 2017 7:14am

Getting there....

Tim's 10k blog

Posted by Tim West

25th January 2017 12:03pm

Danni Loves Adam!!

Simon Grundy in the Morning blog

Posted by Danielle Moore

22nd January 2015 9:31am

Who wants an Invisible Boyfriend?

Simon Grundy in the Morning blog

Posted by Danielle Moore

21st January 2015 9:52am

Facebook instagram logo  Twitter youtube icon   app icon 








Sun FM Facebook


Sun FM Twitter



 facebook  instagram logo twitter youtube icon


Become a Sun FM VIP

Copyright Sun FM Limited 2018

Sun FM accepts no responsibility for the content of external sites.

Sun FM is proud to be part of the UKRD Group of radio stations.