Alton Towers Accommodation & Hotels Review Splash Landings CBeeBies Land Luxury Treehouse Stargazing

In this video, we are going to review the accommodation in and around Alton Towers. This will include Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, CBeeBies Land Hotel, Woodland Lodges, Luxury Treehouses, Stargazing Pods and the Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent. We will try to give a comprehensive overview as getting complete information is a bit of a challenge.

We will touch upon where the accommodation is located in relation to the park and the general area. We’ll look briefly at getting around including the monorail (or lack there of) and Sky Ride (with current restrictions), and what that means overall.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction – Alton Towers Resort UK Accommodation
0:43 Map Overview of Alton Towers Resorts Accommodation
1:38 Google Maps Accommodation & Park Overview
3:42 Alton Towers Hotel Review
5:16 Splash Landings Hotel & Waterpark
5:35 CBeebies Land Hotel – Alton Towers Resort
5:51 Luxury Treehouses
6:09 Woodland Lodges
6:23 Stargazing Pods
6:39 Hilton Hotel at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent Review
8:30 Summing Up

#altontowersresort #splashlandings #stargazingpods #rollercoaster #themepark #wickermanride #scarefest #hiltonmemories #nationalrollercoasterday #competition #rollercoasterday #halloween #uk #luxurytreehouse #woodlandlodges #happy #fun #coaster #cbeebiesland #ride #wickerman #parkaholicnaeuropa #amazing #thrilling #madetothrill #amusementpark #photographer #altontowershotel #scaremaze #altontowersscarefest

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video, we are going to review the accommodation in and around Alton Towers. This will include Alton Towers Hotel, Splash Landings Hotel, CBeeBies Land Hotel, Woodland Lodges, Luxury Treehouses, Stargazing Pods and the Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent. We will try to give a comprehensive overview as getting complete information is a bit of a challenge.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this YouTube video, we’ll will look after you.

Map Overview

Ok we are just going to start off with this map as a bit of an overview. So you can sort of see here this is the Splash Landings Hotel , which then has the waterpark there. This is the Alton Towers Hotel and then in the back of that there you have CbeeBies Land Hotel , over here is the 5 Enchanted Luxury Treehouses and over here you have the enchanted village.

Now on this map because it is 2018, it doesn’t have in this area here, the stargazing pods. And then over here you have the golf and the monorail. Now  I get that this is an infographic but this showing here the amusement park is much further straight off to the right of screen. So it is a little bit misleading thinking that it is you know right behind and everything like that when its actually not.

Google Maps

And that is what you are going to find with this. Trying to get up to date information is actually quite a bit of a challenge. So if we have a look on Google, the satellite view, you can sort of see this is it rotated 180 degrees. So you have the Splash Landings Hotel here, The Alton Towers Hotel here, the CBeeBies Land Hotel is down here, the enchanted village luxury ones there, the enchanted village and the stargazing pods are actually in this field as they only built them a year or so ago. And this treetop one is not shown at all.

Then you have the golf over here and the monorail station there. But just to give you a bit of an idea of size, to walk from the Alton Towers Hotel where we stayed, in and around and through here and come through the carpark to the side entrance there, it is about 8minute walk. So if you are over in one of these ones here, you need to be allowing 15 minutes or so.

Difficult Getting Around

Recently the monorail station is actually closed, so it makes it really difficult to get around the park cause normally the monorail can take you straight to the front entrance. The park is really spread out and if we zoom out a little bit you can see this is then the rest of the park. You normally come in here which is the side entrance for the hotel guests.

You come in and get the skyride which comes up here to the main castle building itself or then straight across here. And this is the main entrance. The problem with covid is you use to be able get on it and go to the main entrance. Now you can only get on it and go in this direction.

So if you are staying with kids in the CBeeBies Hotel or something like that, the main CBeeBies Land is over by the main entrance, which is over here. Which is a fair walk across there. Part of the reason they have the cable cars is this is actually a gorge straight through here so getting over to one of these areas is not as simple as it might look like. So that just gives you a bit of an overview of where the hotels are in relation to the actual park itself.

For a full walkthrough and tour of the actual park and the hotel area, click around the screen and you’ll see a video on that.

Alton Towers Hotel

We stayed at Alton Towers Hotel which has an explorer’s theme. The room had a good layout with a Moon base theme. Included was a full English breakfast buffet that had a good selection and never felt overcrowded. There is also a restaurant but need to watch out for not being open for food service.

You have to order through the app but won’t block you from ordering when it is closed. Only way we found out cause couldn’t get the app to take Merlin discount and then told by staff that actually not preparing food, even though the app will let you order it.

When go in, you will have a temperature check you and they give a wrist band, which you may have to show later.

There is a side access to Splash Landings waterpark, this is an additional charge. Only disconcerting aspect is possible to go from Splash landings, in through the back to get to Alton Towers Hotel without a swipe card.

You also get 9 holes of Extraordinary Golf for each night that you stayed – its ok but starting to show signs of age and could use a bit of a facelift. And free parking is also included.

As with all the accommodation, you have to prebook. Depending upon the time of year, might need to do this well in advance,  particularly if you want to get a specific type of themed room.

Inside the Moon Themed Room

OK, so we have the room, which has a double bed, out to the view, which as you come back into the family room, so you also have kids beds themed out in steampunk/moon

There is also an Xbox in the room with a LEGO Marvel SuperHeroes game.

There is also a general courtyard and garden space. Would imagine in the warmer months of the year this would be quite pleasant and there was a tiny playground with equipment.

Splash Landings Hotel

Next Hotel over is the Splash Landings Hotel which has the water park in it, closest to the park side entrance and now closed monorail. It has a Caribbean theme, and rooms can be Beachcomber, Ice Age or Pirate Room. It also has entertainment, buffet breakfast, golf rounds and free parking included. Don’t think access to the water park is included but worth double checking.

CBeeBies Land Hotel

CBeeBies Land Hotel Obviously targeted a younger ages, there are live shows and special games. Themed rooms include Bugbies, Octonauts, Swashbuckle or In the Night Garden. There is a buffet breakfast at the Windmill Restaurant.

Luxury Treehouses

Luxury Treehouses are ironically one of the furthest from the entrance but can have a special buggy service. Each sleeps up to 8 people, has a small kitchen or takeaway service. Each has its own hot tub overlooking the forest. VIP Parking is included with each having its own personalized name plate. Other meals are shared with Crooked Spoon restaurant

Woodland Lodges

Woodland Lodges are private luxury cabins each with their own deck. Can’t help but think of hobbits and middle earth when I see these – must be the round doors. Each log cabin has a separate kids sleeping area. The Crooked Spoon is used for breakfast and meals.

Stargazing Pods

Stargazing Pods are very minimalist and cater for those on a budget. You can sleep up to 4 in a pod with communal showers. A complimentary breakfast on the go is provided and like all other accommodation at Alton Towers, early access to the park is provided. There is even a central playground for the kids to explore.

Hilton at St George’s Park, Burton Upon Trent

And then there is the Hilton hotel about 35 minutes away that we stayed at for one night, Home of England sports clubs. So whenever they are playing , they can train at the facilities down here. They also have a pool which we went into and you have to book that, and it is really limited slots, so you have to call at 6:30 in the morning to book a slot.

But as with other things, if you are paying additional/full price, you’ll find you can get in and more slots are available. So it isn’t too bad as there was only about 4 groups of people in there the whole time.

Hilton Family Room … Bit Small

And this is the family room. Basic enough, a little bit on the same size for a Hilton and then on the outside you can see through to the different sports grounds, fields that they have.

The bathroom is tight and sort of squishy. You do have a continental breakfast but they will serve it to you down here in the restaurant.

So the Hilton at St George’s Park, it was adequate for what it was, little bit on the small side and a little bit on the expensive side and obviously just making the best that they can with the corona virus situation.

Hilton on a Map

So the Hilton at St George’s is here, and it is about a 20 mile drive or 37  or 40 minutes to do it. The thing we did find is that because all these are little country roads and back lanes, is that a number of them were closed for maintenance. So then the GPS didn’t pick it up so you are circling back around and everything like that.

So if you are trying to hit a time to get to Alton Towers, just be aware that some of these roads and things might be closed so you might be doubling back and around. So Allow for additional time. Its sort of north of Birmingham. We went up there a day early from London so that we could maximise our time in the park.

Summing Up

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been to one of these hotels, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching. If you are interested in having a full park time lapse walkthrough of Alton Towers and picking up some tips to maximise your day, check out this video here. For a review of the 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths experience, click this video here. Otherwise this video has a similar time lapse tour of the whole of LEGOLAND. Or finally this video will give a time lapse tour of Chessington World of Adventures.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

DO NOT GO TO ALTON TOWERS UK before seeing this video!! Full Alton Towers Tour in under 15 minutes.

DO NOT GO TO ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK until you’ve watched this Video!! This is a full tour of ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK park in under 15 minutes. This has some hints and tips on how to get the most out of your day, and a time-lapse walk through of the park. This will help you get familiar with the park, layout and attractions.

We run through a few ideas to help navigate the day. Alternatively if you are curious about the park and might never make it there, here is a chance to visit the park “vicariously”.

What is ALTON TOWERS RESORT UK like with Covid-19 guidelines in place now that the theme park has reopened? Is it worth going? We look to answer these questions following our recent family visit in October 2020.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/ Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction – Alton Towers Resort UK
0:46 At Alton Towers Front Gates
1:41 History of the Park
2:01 Sky Ride
3:00 Rollercoasters
4:30 Alton Towers Castle
4:40 Rollercoasters in the X-Sector
5:10 3 Mazes
6:09 Splash Landings Water Park & Hotels
6:46 Monorail Closed
8:03 Outdoors at Night
8:23 Kids Cbeebies Playground
8:42 In the Night Garden Boat Ride
9:34 Sharkbait Reef by Sea Life Aquarium
10:40 Is Alton Towers Worth It? Is it Worth Travelling to?
11:30 The Gardens
12:15 The Gardens … at night!!
13:15 Alton Towers Castle … at night!!
13:34 Summing Up

#altontowersscarefest #altontowersresort #rollercoaster #themepark #wickermanride #scarefest #altontowersresort #win #nationalrollercoasterday #competition #rollercoasterday #halloween #uk #sw8 #winitwednesday #happy #fun #coaster #thesmiler #summer #christmas #ride #wickerman #parkaholicnaeuropa #amazing #thrilling #madetothrill #amusementpark #photographer #gaming #scaremaze

Transcript from the Show (Partial)

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video, we are going to do a full tour of Alton Towers Resort England UK in about 10 minutes. This was filmed mid October 2020 during their Scarefest setup, so will also cover off what Alton Towers Resort England UK is like now with covid 19 measures in place?  Is it worth going and what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and first-hand experience as a family.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Is Altons Towers Worth a Visit?

This is a real “it depends£” type  of answer. We had Merlin Passes so price wise we didn’t “feel” it as much – click around the video for a playlist of other Merlin Attraction reviews we’ve visited with our passes. It did feel like there were a lot of extras, 3 Mazes – extra, Darkest Depths – extra, Waterpark – Extra, Alton Towers Dungeons – Extra. If you were paying that ontop of park access, you’d really feel it.

The loss of the monorail and sky ride middle station access restrictions makes getting around a huge park just that more difficult. For mine, that is something they really need to sort out.  

That said, having the park set around a castle like Alton Towers is pretty unique. The Halloween Scarefest and the night atmosphere was great. If rollercoasters are your thing, you’ll enjoy this park. There is a huge variety of attractions and lots of garden trails to explore. Be prepared for lots of walking however.

We are glad we have done it and enjoyed our time, but being that distance from London, it is way down the list of places to revisit. If we lived locally and had a Merlin Pass, then definitely would repeatedly visit.

Summing Up

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching. If you are interested in accommodation in and around Alton Towers, be sure to check out this video here. For a review of the 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths experience, click this video here. Otherwise this video has a similar time lapse tour of the whole of LEGOLAND. Or finally this video will give a time lapse of Chessington World of Adventures.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

Alton Towers Scarefest 3 Mazes Toxic Junkyard The Attic Altonville Mine Darkest Depths 2020 Review

In this video we review Alton Towers Scarefest 2020 – 3 Mazes and Darkest Depths Maze. The 3 mazes are:

Toxic Junkyard
The Attic
Altonville Mine Tours

Is the 3 Mazes Ticket worth it? We will have a look at this given the ticket is £22.00 on top of your entry ticket. Darkest Depths is another £6.40 as well.

We also give a rough indication as to where the attractions are located in the park as they are the most easily signposted on the website / app (they are in and around the actual Castle itself). Darkest Depths we had to come back to the following day as one of the actors apparently had a medical emergency so the whole attraction was closed down to deal with it.

#scaremaze#altontowersscarefest#altontowersresort#rollercoaster#themepark#wickermanride#scarefest#altontowersresort#win#nationalrollercoasterday#competition#rollercoasterday#halloween#uk#sw8#winitwednesday#happy#fun#coaster#thesmiler#summer#christmas#ride#wickerman#parkaholicnaeuropa#amazing#thrilling#madetothrill#amusementpark#photographer#gaming

British Museum UK Covid Reopening October 2020. Full Tour. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe? Same Price?!

What is the British Museum London UK like now it has reopened with Covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a quick overview full tour of British Museum London UK in about 5 minutes, as a bit of a virtual tour.

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:36 Entrance & 1 Way System
2:33 Parthenon
4:27 Is the British Museum worth a visit and what is it like? 
5:00 Summing Up

#review #london #history #museum #art #mattelder #regram #exhibition #uk #sculpture #architecture #gold #ancientgreece #wedding #londonwedding #eventprofs #eventprofessionals #luxuryweddings #uniqueweddings #wowweddings #jewellery #niemierkoweddings #weddingplanners #weddinginspiration #weddings #amazingweddings #weddingplanner #ancienthistory #britishmuseumevents #eventprofsuk

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here, today we are going to have a quick look at the British Museum October 5th, 2020 and see what it is like with the covid restriction in place on a glorious sunny day in London as always. And we will do a quick walk through and tour of the museum that is currently open

The museum itself undergoing a few renovations with the main columns encased. When you come in you have to prebook your tickets and come at the right time as you cant come in early and you can’t come in after your time slot. So very controlled and rigorous in that respect.

So you come in the main entrance and some areas are closed, no real surprises there. Into the main ticketing and members area. The main entry lobby always an amazing space and looks like they are implementing a 1 way system throughout.

1 Way System

Some more information on the 1 way system and some information you can download.

First stop in is the Rosetta Stone which shows translations between ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. So all in the Egyptian section once you come through and wrap around.

And you have a statue during the old kingdom and they are taking a step forward. Its important  as up until this time everything was generally shown as very static. As you take a step forward, it starts to put movement into the things and makes art and the like much more dynamic. Just over there you’ve got one where it is all feet together and static.

And then you come into which is asyrain which is modern day Iraq and you use to have these statues here, which is a pair of them and they use to guard the entrance to the hallway to the throne room.

Now coming along to minion and crete society

Into a section of the ancient romans and the ancient Greek.

Parthenon

Then into the Parthenon section which is in Athens, the main one which dominates the top of the scenery, and you’ve got part of the freeze with one part there and the other part down there, which is all pretty controversial to have.

This part is from the pediment, the top bit, the triangular part of the façade, and all the sculptures that were bought back from Athens.

And throughout the museum, tiny sections are closed off and there are quite a number like this, flipping around to the other side.

And the kids like to play a game called spot the naked butt, or something similar.

Gives you a better sense, still a reasonable number of people around for a Sunday. So a reasonable number of people but not ridiculously overcrowded. Still not completely vacant or empty either.

Then you have some stuff on King Rameses II  who built a lot of monuments and things to himself. He was king and by the sheer fact he lived for such a long time, he was able to do so many building projects glorifying himself, and one of the last real kings to do that before society crumbled.

Go through to an exhibit on living and dying which is about how people live and die throughout all different cultures. Downstairs is a section on Africa.

In the section downstairs on Africa, all the various tribal arts and the like. Through to the collection of North America and this is Mexico.

Then you come through to the enlightenment room which is looking at the time period when the collection was first put together and broken up into 7 sections. That whole thing of learning and putting collections together.

So is the British Museum worth a visit and what is it like?

Think definitely a bit different experience as now they have the one way path so through. So it is good in the regard that it can quickly take you through the museum and you can quickly hit all the major spots. If you are looking to do some detailed research and want to get up close to some of the artifacts you might have a bit more of an issue as some of the rooms are closed off and everything like that.

As for little kids, will depend upon what they are into. Ours were more just running around trying to look at all the naked sculptures and things like that, so they got some stuff out of it.

Summing Up

So that’s it from us at Family Bricks, if you enjoyed the video or got something out of it, please hit the thumbs up button, and have you been, or what did you think or are you tempted to go. Leave us a comment down below. Would be interested to hear what others think and if they have been, what their experience has been.

We’ve been about lately checking out a lot of London attractions in a post Covid world. The castles at the moment are relatively deserted so would highly recommend checking out Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace. Check those videos out here. London Eye at the moment is also really good. Places like LEGOLAND and Chessington World of Adventures, you wouldn’t even know there is a pandemic on.

Thanks for watching. That’s it from us here at Family Bricks. Until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

London Eye UK Covid Reopening September 2020. Full Tour. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe? Same Price?!

What is The London Eye UK like with Covid-19 guidelines in place now that the attraction has recently reopened? Is it worth going? We look to answer these questions following our recent family visit in September 2020 and August 2020. To do so, we will look at what has changed, what is new, what is closed and what the queue times are like.

We will have a look at ticket prices pre and post covid, and surprisingly, there isn’t much difference. What about if you have an annual Merlin pass, what sort of value is there and should we be thinking of renewing them (or not)?

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction
0:36 Recent Visits and Coronavirus guidelines
1:12 Get there & Public Transport
1:30 Coming Out at Westminister Train Station & Local Landmarks
2:26 Pointing out Landmarks visible from the London Eye Capsule
3:28 Is London Eye UK Worth It?!
4:39 Summing Up

#london #uk #bigben #londonlife #visitlondon #londres #thisislondon #travel #england #afrobeats #wakanda #blackexcellence #mattelder #lineuplookinglit #artists #oneafricamusicfest #londoncity #love #londonbridge #londoner #toplondonphoto #photooftheday #london4all #igerslondon #londontown #timeoutlondon #londonpop #londoneye #ilovelondon #lovelondon

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. What is the London Eye UK like now it has reopened with covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a full tour experience on the London Eye in about 5 minutes.

This video is bought to you by Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

Introduction

We’ve actually been to the London Eye UK twice in the last month. The first time was on at the London Eye UK was August 23rd, 2020 – 6 weeks after it reopened. So it has had some time to bed in the new corona virus safety guidelines. This was interesting as during peak school holidays, they were only allowing 2 family groups in the capsule at the same time.

When we went on Sunday 20th September 2020, they were allowing 4 family groups in the capsule at a time, even after the stricter 6 people max had been bought in a week or so previously. We’ll give you a sense of if London Eye UK is worth visiting, and what it is like now.

Getting There – Public Transport

To get to The London Eye UK you’ll most likely have to take public transport of some form. We took the overground and underground/tube so now you have to have face mask and the trains and train stations are signposted everywhere about this. We caught a 9am train on a Sunday morning so relatively empty and these shots give you a sense of that.

We came out at Westminster train station and you can see Big Ben there just off to the right and so it is a quick trip over the bridge here. And you have the London Eye there on the left and the Sea Life Aquarium London is there on the right a little bit. So a nice leisurely walk across the bridge here. Its really nice to come out and you can see all the iconic landmarks.

In the Area

So you walk along The Queen’s Walk and coming up you have London Sea Life right there , then Shrek’s Adventures and past that is going to be the London Dungeons. We have Merlin Passes premium passes so that means you can get into the fast track queue here, which means you can jump the queue and does make a huge amount of difference, so you don’t have to wait that long. 

Even with the Merlin Passes at the time you had to pay a £1.00 each person but they have removed that now and pay nothing. But you do have to prebook online . So this part of the footage is when we only had two family groups in the capsule and that was brilliant.

Pointing out Some of the Local Sites

Here you’ve got Waterloo train station, the Shard is just there, just off slightly is the Tower of London, Tower Bridge. Then  you’ve got St Paul’s Cathedral over there, Royal Festival Hall, trains leading into Charing Cross Station, Cleopatra’s Needle.

So from Charing Cross Station you come around a little bit and you have Nelson’s Column, and the National Art Gallery. Come a little bit further along and down there you’ve got Buckingham Palace. The flag is up so the Queen is in today. And then you come al little bit further around here and you have Big Ben, which is the actual Bell. The Tower is there and then the Houses of Parliament and obviously at the moment it is undergoing some renovation. Bit further around to the rest of the Thames River.

Is London Eye worth it?

Given that we have been twice within a month, I guess you can pretty much tell absolutely it is worth it. When we went during the school holidays it was fantastic as you only had 2 family groups. Literally it was the 4 of us and 2 other people in this capsule. It was brilliant as normally they have 25-30 people in each capsule. And just being able to have that capsule you could basically walk around the whole thing and you didn’t really get in each others way, you had unobstructed views. That was a big reason why we went back the second time as if would could experience that again, then take advantage of it while you can.

Even with the 4 families groups it was still much better than what it is usually like. Pre covid with so many people in there. Particularly on warm days when there is lots of people in there, its really hot and sweaty and the sun comes in. So even just having further people you are not tripping over each other as much and you are really able to take it in and enjoy it.

Hidden Steakhouse

This is the London Marriot Hotel County Hall and in there is a Gillray Steakhouse and bar. It is a bit of a faff to get into cause you have to come around the side entrance. Totally recommend it as at the moment because it is really quite and difficult to get into and has really good views looking back over The Thames River.

Summing Up

So that was our trip around and takes about half an hour once you get into the capsule. At the moment if you can get along to see it, totally recommend it as the numbers are really way down and it so great an experience once you are in there.

They must be losing money with this so it can’t be sustainable in the long term so get onto it while you can.

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching.

At the moment with generally no foreign tourists in London, visiting the castles and other attractions are fantastic days out (particularly if you get annual passes that let you into multiple attractions, cause the places are virtually deserted or serious restrictions on numbers with letting people in).

Check out this one on the Tower of London which has 10% of its normal tourist numbers as there are no foreign tourists. Here is a playlist of other Merlin Entertainment attractions and what they are like at the moment. Alternatively, here are other videos you might enjoy.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

How to Frame a Drawing at Home for Cheap / DIY Tutorial Tips and Mount – Paintings, Artworks, Certificates, Prints A4 A3

In this video we will show you how to mount and frame a drawing at home for about £10, Like this one. We will go from a basic A4 illustration drawing and put it into an A3 frame. It really makes it have a presence and be ready to hang on a wall. This can generally be done for about £10 and you get great results. In this example we’ll be using some Iron Man marker sketches I’ve created.

Affiliate Links
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3M Scotch Low Tack Artist Tape-.75-inch x 10yd, Other, Multicoloured
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FrogTape Green Multi Surface Painters Masking Tape
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We use a couple of Iron Man marker illustration drawings I did as samples. If you’d like to commission a drawing or painting, please email matt@mattelder.com for further details.

Iron Man Livestream Sketch Creation

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:36 Overview – Here is one I prepared earlier
1:04 Picture Frame and Mounting Board Considerations
2:00 Tips for Starting
2:42 Taking off the Back of the Picture Frame
3:52 Mounting Artwork & Fixing Down
7:14 Placing Mount & Artwork into Frame – Get the Orientation right
8:32 The Big Reveal

Transcipt from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here and in this video we will show you how to mount and frame a drawing at home for about £10, Like this one. We will go from a basic A4 illustration drawing and put it into an A3 frame, like this one, with mount to really make it have a presence and be ready to hang on a wall.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

What Are We Doing?

So here is one I prepared earlier and put into a frame with a generic black mount and we are going to take this one and do something similar to it. In the description around the video I will have affiliate links so you can get most of this stuff pretty readily and not for much money.

I also readily use these sorts of frames for my oil paintings as well. So it is something that I use pretty regularly.

Checking Out the Frame and Mount

So we normally get this A3 frame which comes in plastic wrap and then also too, this is a black mount. Which generally recommend using when want to focus the eye in on things and because the subject matter that we have here is quite masculine in terms of Iron Man, it works out well.

But if you had something like flowers or something a bit lighter, you might just want a white mount, cause then it will make it feel like it is breathing a bit more. So if you got to the point where you can see with this one its black with a little bit of white inset there. If you did get the black by mistake and think “ah well, I want to use a white”, you could kind of use the back and have it in showing through but you will see these little corners and things. No ideal but if you are looking to do something, quick, cheap and get it framed, that’s away of doing it.

Preparing the Surface

So the first thing you do is just go through and whatever table surface you are using, ensure that it is clean, cause if it has any dust or dirt, its really going to pick up here. Flip it over, so when you are opening it if you do happen to scour it or anything, it will be on the back. So not the front Perspex or whatever it is.

These just first of all check to see if it is too badly beat up or anything like that. You might have to send it back. Seems ok. We’ll flip it over and you are going to have a whole bunch of these metal things holding the cardboard / MDF in there. So you usually just take a standard butter knife and just get in under there and life them up and be careful when you are doing that. Just go around and do them all.

Now the thing is when you take it out from here, you want the surfaces to remain clean. So certainly when you get it out of here, you are going to be placing it this side down. Cause if you place the other side down, potentially you are introducing a whole bunch of dirt into it.

Even sometimes these have a little bit of dirt on it so just give it a quick bit of a wipe down. You can even feel just a little bit of grit and stuff coming off.

Cleaning up the Glass / Perspex

And the same sort of thing. Usually and you probably can’t see it but there is a bit of dirt and dust in there so just take a lightly damp rag and just go over it as we want to pick all that stuff up. There is nothing worse than going to all this trouble and once it is mounted, seeing dirt under the glass and the only way to get it is to come back in and get it all out again.

Mounting the Artwork

So while that is letting itself dry, we will take our actual image , or document or whatever it is you want to frame and we’ll stick it on the mount. So again just check the mount itself , its all pretty clean, and nothing is too beat up.

So place it down and then we will place whatever the document is, in this case it is this artwork. So what you are going to find is, there is going to be 1,2,3mm overlap between the artwork and that. So you just want to try and center it , little tiny nudges. Unless it gets stuck in their like that , in which case just lift it up and do it again. Theres not much tolerance in it, so it might be a little on the fiddly side. So that is why you get it mostly where you want it and you are just slowly taping it around.

That’s whats nice when you are using a dark countertop, when you are looking through at it, where the paper and the overlap is there , you aren’t really guessing as you have the black surface underneath it.

So pretty close to that there. Then just to fix it down, you can use, you want a low tack tape. Basically what that means is once you put the tape down, after a few years if you want to take it out and redo it, or do something else, maybe put it in a nicer frame or what have you, then if you are using sticky tape or scotch tape or whatever, when you go to lift it up, it is going to peel and rip the paper.

Artist Low Tack Tape

Whereas this is like an artist low tack tape, so it will enable it to come of much easier or you can also use this painters tape that they use for cutting in edges and things. So that put it up on the wall, they paint over it and when they take it off, it leaves a nice crisp line. So whatever you have around.

I’m going to use the artist tape, then just little corners. Now I’m going to try to keep it on the diagonal like that and do all 4 the same. You will notice it when you flip it over if you really look for it, you’ll see the difference there in the corner. Alternatively you could just run tape the whole length all the way around.

But again just looking at something that in the future if you want to go through and reuse the drawing or the mount it is easy enough to come off. You are just looking for something to more or less just hold it there in place.

So we’ve got that and well just lift that up and that is it there. So you just want any little bits of flecks to get off, particularly on the black it is really going to show up.

Placing the Mount in the Frame

And then get our frame from earlier on, you can just see there is a few little bits of fluff and stuff in there which I’m not happy about and want to get out. Not really a deal break but just how OCD you might be with things. We’ll just leave that there for a minute or so to dry.

And that has been left to dry so now we’l just come along with our picture, we will just need to remember which way is up. It won’t be too hard or much of an issue here because we can see through, but when we go to hang it, we just need to make sure we know which way it is.

Keeping Track of the Orientation

So pop that in there, just come back to our backing mount, and again the reason we want to know which way is up so we know which way to put these, cause this is where it is going to hang off. So for this one because it is going to be there, we put this one here so when you hang it can go like that.

So then if you had it more in the orientation where you might have a portrait or something , you’d do it like that so that was at the top so the head is in there. So with these little metal pins that are here, you might have to gently massage it past the point.

Or in the case of this one over here, it has come a little too far unstuck, too far down so just bend that back a little bit. Make sure that is all in there and it is all good. Now it is just a quick matter of going through and flattening these down.

Flatten Down Metal Tabs

Ok so we’ve gone through and flattened all these down so now the big reveal when we flip it over and there we have it. And now that is on there you can just see a few little areas that have a bit of dust and flex , from this side so we’ll go through and give that a quick little wipe down.

Other Illustrations from a Livestream

These were some illustrations I did on a livestream, so if you click around the video you’ll be able to see how it was created. And here was the other one so I’ve got a couple there and my son is really into Iron Man at the moment, so I’ve done a couple of these and he just wanted them so figured I’d do some quick frames like this , won’t break the bank but will give a lot of punch and effect.

Then he also did this Iron Man LEGO mosaic for his birthday so there will be a link around the video where you can see his review on that as well.

If you’d like to commission a sketch or painting, please get in contact with me at matt@mattelder.com

Summing Up

If you found this video useful, give that thumbs up button a press, always love getting those. If you want to be super awesome, then consider subscribing to the channel.

If you’d like to see a quick overview and time lapse of how I created one of these pet portraits, click here.

To see the livestream video where these Iron Man pieces were created, click here.

Alternatively, here are some other videos you might enjoy.

Thanks for watching and that’s it from us here a Family Bricks. Until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

LEGO Iron Man Hulkbuster Mosaic – Is it Kid Approved?! Review Timelapse

In this video we review LEGO Mosaic Iron Man Hulk buster and have a time lapse speed build of it. What do kids think of it? How does it get put together?

#legoironmanmech #legoironman #legocollection #legocollector #lego #legomarvel #legominifigures #31199 #legomarvelironman #marvel #marvelcomics #ironman #ironmanmech #marvellegends #actionfigure #actionfigureaddict #hulkbuster #legoafol #afol #lego2020 #legolife #legosuperheroes #legolove #legomosaic #mosaic #legoavengers #reveiw #timelapse #marvelmosaic #legoart

Pet Portrait Commission – Dog “Pawtrait” Time Lapse Demonstration – How to Paint Fur

In this video I’m going to give a quick time-lapse overview of how I created this pet portrait … or as I like to call them “Pawtraits”. I’ll also show how I paint animal fur.

If you’d like to commission a pet pawtrait of your best friend, drop me a line at matt@mattelder.com . A watercolor A3 (12×16 inches) one like this at time of recording would be around the £199.00 mark.

#puppyoftheday #puppygram #puppymodel #dogart #dogportrait #petportrait #petportraits #animaldrawing #pawtrait #pawtraits #dogportraits #petart #watercolordog #dogpainting #petpainting #animalartist #animalportrait #petartist #art_realism #mattelder

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder here and in this video I’m going to give a quick time-lapse overview of how I created this pet portrait … or as I like to call them “Pawtraits”. If you’d like to commission a pet pawtrait of your best friend, drop me a line at matt@mattelder.com . A watercolor A3 (12×16 inches) one like this at time of recording would be around the £199.00 mark.

I start out with a drawing and then block in the background, it’s the quickest way to get the shape of the dog to read well. As this dog is largely oranges and warm colours, I’m going cool and complimentary in the background with blues and greens.

I randomly squirt masking fluid using an old toothbrush as this will help give some texture and love having a randon, incomplete feeling.

I start laying down some base colours and like to build the colours up in several layers. This helps to keep your dancing across the colours. For the shadow colours I like to push into the cool purples and keeps life, rather than going for dull blacks and the like.

I’ll spot in some of the darkest blacks in key features of the eyes, nose and lower jaw. It helps to set the darkest points of the image so when building up the other colours, I tonally know where my range can get to.

Continue to layer in colours to give variety. Then I start in on some individual fur hairs to really give the pet its individual characteristic the owner would recognize.

Then it is just a matter to continue drawing out these individual hair strands and adding in fine detail as you go along. Then working around the muzzle and more individual hair strands.

From here I really want to separate out the side of the head into shadow and get the form reading better, so adding in some darker colours.

I want to have the far side of the head more suggested, particularly around the eye with the long hairs, so never really touch this area of the painting. I remove the masking fluid from below the jaw and lightly knock back the white of the paper so the bottom jaw is more clearly defined. Noodle out a few more details and call it done.

Here we have the finalized image. If you’d like to commission a pet pawtrait of your best friend, drop an email to matt@mattelder.com . Also works great as a gift to your significant other or family member. Here are some other videos you might be interested in.

Most Saturday nights at 8pm UK time I have a “You Say I Draw “ livestream on Youtube. You come along in the chat and tell me what to draw, and I do some quick sketches. Be sure to pop by and say G’day.

If you enjoyed this video, hit that thumbs up. Until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

Sea Life London Aquarium UK Covid Reopening August 2020. Full Tour. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe? Same Price?!

What is Sea Life London Aquarium UK like now it has reopened with covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a full time lapse tour of Sea Life London Aquarium UK in about 10 minutes.

Further information on the Holiday Homes / Airbnb / Short Term Lets can be found at http://www.macatsim.com/

Both flats, Broadstairs and Margate are about 75-90 minutes east of London UK. Margate has a LEGO themed Holiday Lets / Airbnb Short Term Stay awith a LEGO Wall. Broadstairs has an iconic red London bus bunk bed (at time of recording).

Time codes to the Video:

0:00 Introduction – Sea Life London Aquarium

1:00 Public Transport to Sea Life London Aquarium

1:45 Walk Over Sharks

2:31 What is Social Distancing at Sea Life London Aquarium Like?

3:55 What is closed?

4:25 Sea Life London Aquarium Penguins

4:59 Jellyfish Area

5:35 Is Sea Life London Aquarium Worth it?

6:45 Summing Up

8:00 Relaxing Shots

Transcript from the Show

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of Family Bricks here. What is Sea Life London Aquarium UK like now it has reopened with covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and firsthand experience as a family. We will do a full time lapse tour of Sea Life London Aquarium UK in about 10 minutes.

This video is bought to you bay Macatsim Holiday Homes in Margate and Broadstairs. Great for a week’s holiday or a weekend escape, being just over an hour east of London, UK. Treat yourself to amazing sunsets, a LEGO wall or great food. Visit www.macatsim.com and mention this Youtube video, we’ll will look after you.

We spent the day at Sea Life London Aquarium UK August 23rd, 2020 – 6 weeks after it reopened. So it has had some time to bed in the new corona virus safety guidelines and we’ll give you a sense of if Sea Life London Aquarium is worth visiting, and what it is like now.

To get to Sea Life London Aquarium you’ll most likely have to take public transport of some form. We took the overground and underground/tube so now you have to have face mask and the trains and train stations are signposted everywhere about this. We caught a 9am train on a Sunday morning so relatively empty and these shots give you a sense of that.

Is Sea Life London Aquarium worth it?

Absolutely! It seems that with lockdown and pretty much no tourists, numbers are limited and it’s a super nice experience. For the most part you don’t have people climbing all over you, social distancing is generally adhered to and staff do try to ensure it happens. LEGOLAND and Chessington World of Adventures, which Merlin Entertainment also owns, are the complete opposite of this, you wouldn’t even know social distancing is a thing – click link around the video to see what LEGOLAND is like

Pretty much most of the attraction is there, including the interactive ability to touch some of the sea creatures. Again other Merlin Entertainment attractions have these closed. That is the thing with this, you have a parent organization but each attraction seems to have their own intrepreation and implementation of covid – click link around the video to see Chessington World of Adventures and how their hands on interactive touch is closed.

We are Merlin Premium Annual Pass holders (standard ones don’t give access usually during school holidays). We are definitely going to try to come back in the next month or so – who knows how good it will last like this so take advantage while you can. Kids always remember the penguins and probably their favourite part of the day.

If you’ve enjoyed and / or gotten something out of this video, then hit that thumbs up button and or consider subscribing. Would you go? If you’ve been, what did you think? Sound off in the comments below.

Thanks very much for watching. We are just going to let the video run with some other relaxing shots from Sea Life London Aquarium. At the moment with generally no tourists in London, visiting the castles and other attractions are fantastic days out (particularly if you get annual passes that let you into multiple attractions).

Like this one of Tower of London which houses the Crown Jewels. Normally during peak season you’d get 13,000 visitors a day, they are struggling to get 1,000 a day now, the place feels almost deserted.

Click the link around the video for more information.

We’ll put links to other London based attractions we’ve been to recently so you can consider going, or if you aren’t local, can watch the time lapse portion of the video and do a full tour of these attractions you might not otherwise see in less than 10 minutes.

That’s it from us here at Family Bricks, until next time when we talk about all things lifestyle.

Chessington World of Adventures Resort UK Covid Reopening August 2020. Is It Worth it?! Is it Safe?

What is Chessington World of Adventures Resort UK like now it has reopened with covid 19 measures in place? Is it worth going, what has changed, what is the experience like etc.? We will cover this in the video and give our thoughts and first hand experience as a family, after our visit on 16th August 2020. We will do a whole time-lapse walk through of the park and key attractions in about 10 minutes.

Time codes to the Video:
0:00 Introduction
0:44 Carpark & Entry – Bottlenecks and Stupidity
1:47 No Shows at All but LEGOLAND do shows – Merlin Entertainments Own Both
2:25 Kids Playgrounds – Some Closed, Some Open
3:20 Chessington World of Adventures Resort vs LEGOLAND Windsor UK
3:47 Sea Life 4:50 Smokehouse Restaurant Issues
5:30 Lion Enclosures
6:20 Gorilla Enclosure
7:10 Zufair
8:13 Is Chessington World of Adventures Worth Visiting? Chessington World of Queuing.
9:40 Summing up and closing

#chessington #family #fun #love #life #instagood #adventure #behappy #yoga #chessingtonzoo #picoftheday #instagrammers #loveit #singleparent #page #peace #followers #peaceouthaterz #like #themepark #namaste #chess #bigkid #blessed #cheer #christmasday #chesspiece #chessa #chessclub #chesslover