Entertaining the kids over the summer is one thing, but it can be harder work in the winter months when it’s cold outside and it takes all morning just to get everyone’s coats and hats on!
The good news is that if you’re coming to Oaklands with the family – or just as a cosy getaway for grown-ups – the East Midlands has a lot to offer when it comes to winter activities.
Over in Nottingham – just a step away thanks to the revamped tram and newly dualled A453 (http://www.thetram.net/), the National Ice Centre (https://www.national-ice-centre.com/) is well worth a visit. With its long tradition of training young skaters – a young Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean practised on its rinks before their famous win at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics – it has numerous public skating sessions for all ages and abilities (the minimum recommended age is 2). Plus there is a café to warm your cockles after a chilly session on the ice.
Slightly closer to home, families and grown-ups will certainly enjoy the Swadlincote Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre, (http://jnlswadlincote.co.uk/) which offers year-round snowboarding, tobogganing and Sno-tubing.
With plenty of runs catering from the nervous beginner to the confident teenager, it’s a good fun way to celebrate winter sports and get some exercise too. Nothing makes you hungry like the cold so you’ll be glad of the café afterwards.
Alternatively, just down the road we heartily recommend a small gem of a quirky eaterie in the form of Swadlincote’s very own 1950s American diner.
You won’t believe your car satellite navigation system when it leads you down a series of quiet roads to arrive at your destination, where you’ll be faced with an original, 1920s, silver American diner.
The history is fascinating: the diner was flown in its entirety all the way over to Britain from its original home in Massachusetts, and has been serving highly authentic American burgers, milkshakes and hotdogs in Swadlincote since 2005, and all to a proper 1950s soundtrack.