A few weeks ago I ordered a canvas from HelloCanvas who I hadn’t actually heard of before but they are apparently the worlds largest creator of photo on canvas prints. I’ve been so impressed with them – my canvas arrived really quickly and it looks good. I wasn’t sure that the photo I chose would work on canvas but I actually really like it. It’s one of the photos we took in Thailand and it’s nice to have a memory of our holiday on the wall. Not that it is actually on the wall yet – I’m going to give it to Nick for Christmas!
Our canvas is 50x70cm and cost £37. HelloCanvas do lots of other sizes though ranging and the prices range from £13 to £99. HelloCanvas remove red eye and dates for free which is handy and you can get different effects put on your photos. There is also the option to get a frame. I like buying gifts like this for people and will definitely use HelloCanvas again!
Albelli is a website similar to Bonusprint where you can turn your photos into calendars, canvases, photo books and other gifts. I’ve used the website to create a diary which I’m really pleased with.
I was slightly surprised that to use Albelli you are asked to download a program which is then used to make whichever product you decide on. I’ve never used a website like this other than to get normal prints and that’s usually just done online. The program doesn’t take very long to download and is pretty self explanatory to use. I did think that there were some unnecessary tools and it would take you ages to create some of the products if you used every tool. However, I suppose it’s better to have too many options and it does give the you opportunity to make completely original gifts.
It ended up taking me a long time to find enough good photos to use for my diary as there are 26 photo pages but some of those pages needed more than one photo. Most of the photos needed to be portrait but the majority of my photos are landscape which resulted in a lot of scenery pages! One thing I don’t like about the diary is that it has 40 photo/business cards. I think if I’d wanted to get business cards I would have just ordered them anyway.
Ordering the diary was really easy and it was dispatched very quickly so it arrived just a few days later. The diary is really high quality and is the perfect size with a year planner and pages for making notes. It is quite expensive at £17.95 but is a great gift idea and makes a nice change from a shop bought diary.
The canvas you can see in the photo is made from one of our holiday snaps. That Canvas Guy is a website which lets you upload a photo and then creates a canvas of that photo. You can choose your canvas size with the prices ranging from £15 to £75 as well as having the option to get your photo split onto a number of canvas’ which you then display together to give the entire picture. We were really pleased with the professional result from That Canvas Guy. It is nice to be able to create a wall canvas that means something and isn’t just a picture from a shop of somewhere you haven’t been.
After an exceptionally long drive from Cardiff to Wassenaar, Holland, we arrived at Duinrell Campsite. The staff at the Canvas check-in were welcoming and took us straight to our caravan which was very nice inside and much more spacious than any other one I’ve stayed in on similar sites in Europe. There were 6 of us in the van with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The kitchen was fully stocked with cutlery and crockery and had a massive American style fridge and dishwasher.
Our van was less than a 5 minute walk from the main plaza with the shop, restaurant and pub. The Irish Pub was a bit disappointing as it was in a basement so was quite dingy and they didn’t actually sell any Irish drinks – well, none that we could see anyway. The World Cup matches were shown there but when there was no football on, the pub was deserted. Free WIFI is available in the plaza for those with laptops but you can also pay to use the campsite computers to access the internet for €2 per 10 minutes.
The best part of the campsite was the Tiki Waterpark which is Europe’s biggest indoor slide complex and is in the theme park right in the middle of the campsite. The theme park and Waterpark are open to the public but Canvas guests get to go on the theme park rides for free at any time and have 2 hours free use of the Waterpark every day. The theme park has mainly fairground type rides with just one roller coaster. It was good fun but the park was much more popular with younger families. The Waterpark on the other hand is brilliant fun for everyone (except those with a bad back!). I have never been on slides that fast or steep in my life! There is a small area for babies and toddlers as well as a wave pool, lazy river and Jacuzzis for those who don’t want to brave the slides. Another options is to use the steam room and sauna for an extra cost of €3.
The village of Wassenaar is a two minute walk from the campsite. It is not very big but has a nice high street with cafes, restaurants, a very tasty ice cream parlour and some shops as well as an Aldi supermarket which is much cheaper than the campsite shop. Also nearby is Leiden which is a slightly livelier town with lots of windmills, canals and a market making it a lovely place to go for a wander. We did find it very hard to park in Leiden though as the signs for the car parks were terrible and pointed all over the place! The most well know place nearby would have to be Amsterdam which has lots to see and do from Anne Frank’s House to diamond factories. The Canvas reception at the campsite gave us information on where to park in Amsterdam and recommended that we use the park and ride service which was a good idea as it was so cheap and easy.
One afternoon we went to the beach nearest to the campsite – 4.5km away. The beach is a massive 8km long and has been awarded the Blue Flag due to the clean sea. Unfortunately, there was an awful lot of litter left lying on the sand itself even though there were more bins on the beach than on any other beach I’ve been to. If it wasn’t for the rubbish, it would have been a beautiful beach.
Duinrell is a fantastic campsite with so much to do that there is no need to leave the site if you don’t want to. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like as there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities. All in all we had an excellent holiday and would love to go back.