I know that, technically, a staycation is when you stay in your own house, but surely staying with family for a holiday week is close enough. This was the first time we had stayed with my brother and sister-in-law since they had doubled their children from two to four. Our eldest niece very kindly surrendered her room for us to sleep in. Meanwhile, my sister and her three kids were staying next door in my mum's house, so we had six adults and seven kids roaming around for the week. We needed activities!
There are things to do in Shropshire, but it was only at the end of the week it dawned on me that our big days out were all either in Cheshire or Wales.
We started the week on the Monday at Chester Zoo. One reason for the trip is because back in January we adopted an Orangutan for my Mum for her birthday. So we went to see the Orangutans and some of the other animals. It was blisteringly hot and most of the animals were being sensible and sheltering in whatever shade they could find.
But the rhinos weren't bothered by the heat.
The next day we headed to Llanfair Caereinion to take the narrow gauge train back to Welshpool on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. We were two members down as second-eldest niece had been admitted to hospital with rapid onset ear pain (which was thankfully resolved later that day!) and my sister naturally was with her rather than jaunting off to Powys with us.
I thought we had booked the train pulled by a steam loco, but instead we had a diesel hauling the train. However, even diesels have a backstory. This loco was built in Germany for the Taiwan Sugar Corporation, was used on sugar plantations in Taiwan for 25 years and now is pulling tourist trains in mid-Wales.
We had a day off from day trips mid-week. On the Thursday we all got back in the cars and headed back to Cheshire to the Blue Planet Aquarium.
I think I probably enjoyed it more than the kids. I especially loved the shark tunnels where you can get up close to the fish...
Then for our last day out of the holiday we went back to Wales and I ticked something off my bucket list. I had never gone across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct before, but now I have.
We travelled across aboard a narrowboat named after Thomas Telford, the man responsible for the aqueduct.
And that was the last big day out on our Salopian Staycation, where, ironically, we didn't stay in Salop.