I’ve been on a small road trip over the last few days, delivering two daughters to an Arts and Crafts week in Norfolk before returning home with small son via London to Cheshire (not an obvious route).

Through Space …

We went via the National Space Centre in Leicester – although this is a good museum, with lots for the children to do and learn, on the day of our visit several of the exhibits were broken or otherwise out of order, which was a disappointment. The astronaut school, where children can play various games and then determine which role on the Space Station they would be suitable for, is an excellent concept, slightly let down by the fact that only one of the three assessment machines at the end was working. We scored an engineering post and a catering post (we gave up trying to assess the third child).

A catering post: interesting. The other major problem with the Space Centre from our point of view is that there is no suitable food for our eldest, other than crisps and ice lollies. In fact, on previous trips from north to south we have decided to visit elsewhere simply because there is no food she can eat. There is a picnic area provided, but it would be good to be able to buy something slightly better nutritionally than crisps.

… to the deep sea

We drove on to Kings Lynn, where we stayed in a Premier TravelInn. A new experience for us – being a family of five, we don’t naturally fit into these Travel hotels, but being only four on this visit, it worked. The attached restaurant was a Brewers Fayre, about which I have heard mixed views. On this occasion, I was pleasantly surprised – people eating gluten free had at least five possible choices of main meal. That was great, as so often there is a choice of one. Our waitress provided us with the allergies file, so we could look everything up. Sadly, there was a more restricted choice for pudding, and the fruit salad she chose was just orange segments and apple slices – not even a grape to be seen.

The day of delivery to the Arts and Crafts week was spent on the beach and in the aquarium at Hunstanton. As usual, the gluten free choice of meal at the aquarium was limited to a baked potato, but at least there was a choice of topping. Being British, we ate it in the rain. And the aquarium was wonderful, as it is also a seal sanctuary and hospital – and a breeding site for seahorses. Small son is besotted with seahorses, and a trip to an aquarium is a regular necessity.

As a result of the afternoon on the beach, we had a mad scramble to change sandy clothes and clean up a bit before delivery to our destination – but at least it had been a more memorable trip than simply six hours on a motorway.