We’re delighted to announce the winners of our Blackpool Summer Stories competition!
Over the summer holidays, we called on children and young people to send us a story inspired by a day in their summer holidays for a chance to win a book voucher and a goody bag full of books.
We loved every single entry and are thrilled to announce that our winners were Jessica Hodgson, aged 10, and Lucinda Farrell, aged 13.
Read their wonderful stories below!
My Day At Chester Zoo, Jessica Hodgson, aged 10
Early morning drive
On Wednesday, 10 August, me and my family were going to Chester Zoo. We had checked out the website for a while the day before and it looked spectacular! We were going here because we were on holiday at Delamere Forest and let me tell you it is beautiful, the forest is full of natural animals and plants, there are even activities to book!
When we were all ready, we went to the zoo. It was very busy when we got there and it was only about 10:00am and the extra car parks had to start filling already! I bet that this zoo is making millions by the minute. It was a bit of a long walk to the entrance from where the car was parked but not too far. When you get in, they give you a passport to stamp at the 6 different locations; Madagascar, Islands, Latin America, UK, South East Asia and East Africa.
The islands were really cool as each individual mini island has its own unique design. That’s where you find more of the exotic kind of animals. We saw tigers, an alligator, orangutans, bears and some exotic birds. You can also go on a slow boat ride for free and the line was not that long. When we got on the boat it was a great vantage point to see the animals better.
We didn’t really get to East Africa till the end of our trip because we were all tired, hot, sweaty and worn out so we only saw the lions and tropical animals. The lions were giant and because it was so hot they were sleeping in the shade. I was startled when I saw that the biggest lion was sleeping right next to the glass! When we went to the Tropical Realm we saw beautiful snakes and chameleons and some poison frogs that fool your eyes.
Some of the other animals at the zoo that we encountered were rhinos, elephants, and cheetahs! It took so long to walk around everywhere; especially in the heat as it was 27 degrees...ekkk! We saw a lot of different animals I had never seen before. It was really cool. Unlike other zoos ever single enclosure was giant! Then we finished the day off by having some ice cream.
Family Time by Lucinda Farrell, aged 13
It all started when I was on holiday. This by far has to be one of the funnest days this year. Me and my family had booked into a hotel in Bulgaria and when I say this place was massive I meant it, it was a five star all inclusive resort with more than 10 swimming pools and water slide.
The first thing me and my sister did when we got there was get some food then put on our swimming costumes and jump into those pools. All the slides were really fun and quite scary in my opinion so we knew exactly what to do. Our dad has always been afraid of rides but he has always said he will never be scared of water slides. So we decided to take our dad on all of the slides (except for the ones he was too big for). Of course we started with the worst first as my dad got in the queue for the biggest and scariest water slide in the park (the freefall). We already knew he was regretting agreeing to this.
First we had to wait for the rafts so we could go on the slide then we went up all the stairs to get to the top of the slide. My dad was so anxious but he didn't want to let us down. It was finally his turn. It was hilarious as me and my mum watched him and my sister go down. He was leaning back but gripping on to the raft for dear life his face went pale white. Me and my mum thought it was hilarious. As he came down exhausted-looking, his first words after coming off were, “I’m not doing that again.”
Neither my sister or my dad screamed on that ride mostly because they were too scared to.
The next day we went swimming again and as he promised he did say he would go on all the slides with us. The next one was just as scary. It was tunnel slide pitch black inside then as the tunnel stopped it spun you round and round like a washing machine and dropped you into the water like you were falling out of a portal. The slide was rapid; we knew our dad would love it. The queue for the space portal was smaller than the last queue but my dad thought we would chicken out of it so me and my sister had to go first before he did.
My sister went first and she was fearless as she came out with a cheeky smirk on her face. We were just so excited to see our dad go down. Next was me. My mum and my sister were both waiting for me at the bottom of the slide, videoing it and laughing with me because I was so terrified to go back on. Our dad came down next. I could swear I heard him crying. It was hilarious. Just the reaction we thought he would have – made him look as if he had seen a ghost after getting off.
After taking my dad on the rest of the less scary slides we realised the slides were so much fun but spending time with all my family on holiday was much more fun. Both my parents work so hard to treat us kids with amazing holidays like this and I wouldn't trade them for the world.