Where To Go In Exeter When Its Raining?

There you are, visiting Exeter, arguably the capital of Devon, and its raining – not just raining, but really wet.  If its just you and possibly other adults, I’d suggest  hanging out in one of the pubs in town. If you’ve got small children with you, then its a different matter.

Heres the Dads Sofa list of where to go in Exeter, when its raining.

The Twisted OakThe Twisted Oak

The Twisted Oak pub, can be found in Ide, just by Exeter. The Twisted Oak is a combination of a pub, restaurant, tuck shop, and a indoor play area. We have a lot more about this playful pub here.

Café Connect at Riverside Church

Spacious cafe with nice food, good tea, and a box of toys. There is also good disabled access if needed. It found by the river, between the city centre, and St Thomas.

The Welcome Inn

Wonder down the quay – keep to the right hand side, and you’ll come across The Welcome Inn. Serving tea, cake, and a very warm welcome. It looks like The Welcome Inn will be closing soon, so make sure you can check it out when you can!

Stormtrooper-Lego2Thomas Moore

Because who doesn’t love a Toy Shop? That has lego and train play tables? It has loads of Legos, and this guy…

Work out the route from the City Centre down to the river, and you’ll find it.

Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Exeter’s, Royal Albert Memorial Museum is found in the town centre, minutes away from the High Street. There are many things to do, walk through / around, eat, and look at.

Its not open on Mondays or Banks Holidays, but feels like its open the rest of the time. Its free entry, and a great rainy day activity.

Just don’t bring in helium balloons. The staff get nervous.

Exeter Cathedral.

The Cathedral in Exeter is quite simply gorgeous.  While adults are charged, children can visit the cathedral for free, and use one of the “Explorer Backpacks” to explore the cathedral for themselves*! You can also help build a Lego Exeter Cathedral.

If you live within EX1 – 4 areas of Exeter / Devon, ask about their Resident Cards for free access. (Just remember to donate!) Theres also loads of events on, check out their website for more information.

Soft Play!

If you’re feeling brave, you could let yourself be dragged to one of the Soft Play centres in or near Exeter.  You could try…

Bear Feet


Waie Inn (If you can get out there – give this a go!)


That’s a few ideas.

Are there any rainy day places to go in Exeter, that I’ve missed out, and should be included?

*Parental supervision is probably expected.



Conversations With A Small Child #13

Conversations With A Toddler

During a conversation with  the Little One, about her upcoming birthday, I asked about the type of cake she wanted…

LO: A 4 cake! 

Me: We can do that, no problems (I think).

LO: A 4 cake, with peas, carrots, and sausage!

I think she got a little confused.

I hope she got a little confused…

She got confused right?

Conversations with a toddler* Number 11 

Conversations With A Toddler

I’m being a bad parent, and letting the Little One watch cbeebies programs on iPlayer while she eats her tea… and the “Twirlywoos” have just finished…

LO: “I’d like another one”
Me: “Which one would you like on”
LO: Walks to @BBCiPlayer screen and points. “That 1”

*Twirlywoos start*

LO: “Which one is it”
Me: “The one you asked for”
LO: “Well done!!!

Me: To busy trying to work out if I was just patronised by a 3 year old or not, to say anything.

*Not really a toddler anymore… but anyway…

Keeping yourself hydrated…

This is the first day of the Mens Health Week, and I’ve been challenged by TENA Men to make some changes that will make me healthier.

In conversation with TENA Men, Dr Hilary says: “Staying hydrated is imperative for maintaining a healthy bladder and balanced lifestyle. I would always recommend drinking at least six to eight glasses of liquid a day.”

To help with this, TENA Men have sent a Zekolo Infusion Water Bottle. The water bottle includes a “compact filter”, in which you can put some fruit, which in turn flavours the water within the bottle.

Please ignore the box of “stuff” in the background there… that and the bubbles…

The box gives a couple of reasons why you’d want to consider an infusion water bottle. The top three make me wonder if this is designed with someone like me in mind…

  • Reduces food cravings… Having a couple of less biscuits, crisps, packets of chocolate a day must be a good thing right?
  • Inspires you to drink more water… I get cramp. Drinking water is meant to help with that. Therefore I reckon anything that inspires me to drink more water must be a good thing right?
  • A substitute to sugary drinks… There may be some people out there that think I should drink less Diet Coke. Or at least buy some shares in Coke…

So what is the Zekolo like to use? Massively simple. I only needed the instructions to tell me how to unlock the bottle. Mostly because I wasn’t awake when I was trying it out, not due to it being designed badly.

So far I’ve tried grapes, and now I’ve got Lemon and Lime. Obviously the Lemon / Lime combination gives a far stronger taste.

A final random observation. The LO has enjoyed playing with the box, around her leg… like a robot leg.

I would recommend the Zekolo Water Bottle to anyone wanting a decent water bottle with a difference, and have fun experimenting with the fruit you include.

The Zekolo Water Bottle  is part of the Men’s Health kit has been supplied for free by TENA Men, for the purposes of blogging about Men’s Health Week. All my opinions are my own – and not borrowed from elsewhere. 



What Should Go In A Hospital Bag?

Congratulations! You’ve almost made it to the end of your / your partners pregnancy. You have almost made it to the time of big questions, questions such as, is your little one hungry? tired? Or just plain upset?

Before your little one comes into the world, there is one last question you need to ask yourselves. What should go into your hospital bag?

Here is the Dads Sofa list of things that should go in a hospital bag, to support mum, dad, and child.*

  1. Energy drinks
  2. Coffee! Death Wish coffee is obviously an option, and infact drinking it could be a beautifully ironic way of celebrating new life. (I’ve had other ideas for coping with parental sleep deprivation here)
  3. Sleeping bag, with air mattress.
  4. How not to kill your baby (Because if you’ve not started reading a parenting book yet, you probably should read one quick!)
  5. Big book of breathing exercises. (New Dads to be. Dont snigger. Trust me – remembering to breathe well really does help!)
  6. Map to the nearest source of food.
  7. Jelly Babies
  8. iPhone (with dads playlist)
  9. A cold box – containing a beer. You’ll need it.
  10. Phone Charger, and spare phone battery.
  11. Candles
  12. Change of clothing. For everyone.
  13. A Cuddly toy.
  14. Nappies. For your kid.
  15. Remote control car, with trailer (for baby)
  16. An idea of how your going to feed the little one. (This could be written on a scrap piece of paper)
  17. Holy Water (just in case your child turns into a bit of a monster)

Any other ideas?

*possibly not the most serious thing I’ve ever typed.

Exploring Fyne Court

Every now and then the stars align, and the two of us both have a weekend off at the same time. In a more remarkable twist, a couple of friends of ours from up in Bristol were also off that weekend as well. Being very aware that we hadn’t had the greatest record of going away with the Little One lately, we decided to meet up halfway between Exeter and Bristol. After a brief search for ideas*, we settled on exploring Fyne Court, a National Trust property between Taunton and Bridgewater.

According to the National Trust website:

Fyne Court is a hidden gem in the heart of the Quantock Hills. Explore this wild garden, looking out for the boathouse and folly.

The estate was the home of the Crosse family who lived here until the house was destroyed by fire in 1894. Discover how the fire started and find out where the house used to stand on one of our eye opener tours.

Putting it simply: Fyne Court is a beautiful secret, hidden somewhere in Somerset.

Finding this place was an interesting journey. It probably didn’t help that due to navigation “issues” we took the scenic route, but the scenic route included views of the gorgeous Quantock Hills, a pheasant, and a doe (baby deer) jumping into the road.

The parts of Fyne Court that we explored (we followed a shorter route) was a small forest, nestled in a sheltered part of Somerset. (Although a quick look online, confirms that Fyne court stretches out a fair bit more).  Just next to the car park you will find the the visitors centre, and a small cafe. The cafe seems to sell “light lunches”, as well as a great selection of cakes, and hot and cold drinks. Our Little One made a beeline for  the chocolate crispie cakes they had on sale there. Quality wise, it is a National Trust cafe, it is high quality.

After topping up our energy levels on hot chocolate, and chocolate crispie cakes, we set off to explore Fyne Court via their “20 minute” walking route. It probably takes 20 minutes for normal walkers, with a couple of little people it took longer, but the path was easy enough and didn’t present any particular problems. (Well the 13 month old presented some issues with a nappy, but that’s a different matter).

The entrance to the secret garden

There was fun for the three year olds, in the form of a tree trunk to walk along/climb on and wooden musical instruments along the route, and a spotter sheet to help keep them engaged along the route.  My personal highlight of the walk was the “sky glade”, an area that encouraged you to stop, look up, and take in the sky above.

We took advantage of one of the many picnic spots available. The one we stopped at being next to a duck pond which provided plenty of amusement for the little ones with us.

If you’re in the Somerset area, I would recommend checking out Fyne Court – but make sure your navigator is paying attention when you go there… (And yes – it is free entry)

Check out the Fyne Court website for more information.

(A cheap plug here for my Photography Facebook page which has the below picture taken from the area outside of the cafe at Fyne Court)