Friday, September 24, 2021

Swingers Crazy Golf in London

Swingers Crazy Golf teed-off in London seven years ago today.


We played the first Swingers Crazy Golf course back on the 24th September 2014. The indoor minigolf venue was initially a pop-up concept set-up in Shoreditch, London.

We attended the pre-launch event on the 24th, with the course opening to the public for the first time on the 25th September.

Swingers Crazy Golf in London, September 2014

The original Swingers Crazy Golf was the 581st miniature golf course we visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We've now been to 973 courses since September 2006. When our travels began there were 'only' around 600 courses in the UK - and only two of those were indoor courses!

Swingers now

Since the first pop-up The Institute of Competitive Socialising have opened two more Swingers Crazy Golf venues in London and one in the USA.

Swingers West End Crazy Golf in London, October 2019
Swingers West End Crazy Golf in London, October 2019

The first Swingers Crazy Golf location in the USA is opened at Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. in June.

There are plans for a second Swingers Crazy Golf in the US with a venue being built at the new Virgin Hotel on Broadway in the Flatiron District of New York City.

Visit the Swingers Crazy Golf website for more information.

New Crazy Golf course in Towyn, Wales

There are plans for a new Crazy Golf course to open in Towyn, Wales.


There are plans for a new Crazy Golf course to open in Towyn, Wales

The minigolf layout is part of activity to also add an escape room to the youth centre on Towyn Road in Towyn.

Playing minigolf in Towyn

We've played minigolf in Towyn on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour before.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Crazy Golfing at Princess Parade in Blackpool

Playing the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool.


Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool
Princess Parade Crazy Golf is on the North Shore in Blackpool

I was recently back in Blackpool and swung by the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course. Luckily I was just in time for a round on the 18-hole course.

Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool
A view of the 18th hole

It was the first time I've had a game on the fully refurbished layout and it was a delight.

The course was created in the 1950's but had been in a state of disrepair for the last twenty years.

It now plays like a dream. I can't wait to get back for a few more goes on it.

Take a look at the photos of the front and back nine holes below.

Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool
Holes 1-9

Princess Parade Crazy Golf course in Blackpool
Holes 10-18

I shot a round of 36 - with one hole-in-one and a dropped shot (on the 18th). The course record stands at 34, which is a very good score indeed.

Check out the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course Facebook Group for more information.


Reopening the abandoned North Shore course

Blackpool and the Fylde Street Angels and Blackpool Fulfilling Lives joined forces to refresh and reopen the Princess Parade Crazy Golf course on Blackpool's North Shore in 2019 and a number of other people and groups have been a part of the project. Including me.

The base of the course itself has changed very little since it was first created in the late 1950's and it's wonderful that the area is easily recognisable from old postcards from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.

There have still been some very noticeable improvements to the course and the whole area it sits in. Most notable are the repairs to the obstacles as well as the addition of professional putting carpet to the holes. It makes the course very nice to play.

More information can be found in my blog post from the launch event in May, in one of my previous posts charting the progress on the refurbishment and this blog post from September 2020.

Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool

A look at some ghost signs on a former Woolworths store on Blackpool promenade.


Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool

I was recently in Blackpool and while walking along the seafront saw the ghost signs of an old Woolworths.


Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool

Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool

Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool

The shop was most recently a Poundland. Before that it had been a TJ Hughes.

Woolworths and TJ Hughes ghost signs in Blackpool
Two ghost signs for the price of one



Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool
Note the Covid-19 sign on the left. This itself is a bit of a ghost sign these days as little notice is taken of the warning anymore

Woolworths ghost signs in Blackpool
I'm a big fan of ghost signs


Other former Woolworths shops

It's fun seeing old & lost brands, ghost signs and retail relics. We saw a Woolworths ghost sign in Nuneaton in May this year. That was a nice surprise!

Like the Blackpool store, the Nuneaton shop site had also most recently been a Poundland and a TJ Hughes.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Happy Miniature Golf Day 2021

Today is Miniature Golf Day!


Will you be celebrating the game today?

Playing The Himalayas course at the St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club in 2012
Playing The Himalayas - the world's first miniature golf course - at the St Andrews Ladies' Putting Club in 2012

There are two 'minigolf days' each year and Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st September.

The other minigolf day is National Miniature Golf Day. That is always on the second Saturday in May. In 2022 that will be the 14th.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Gluten free at The Oxford Place in Leeds

Having my first meal out since March 2020.


We went out for dinner on Saturday. The location was our favourite restaurant - The Oxford Place in Leeds.

It was the first time I've had a meal out since March last year and the first meal Emily and I have had together since our last visit to The Oxford Place in December 2019!

We're very pleased to report that the food and service was superb, it always is.

I had 3.5 courses as I felt that I needed to treat myself. The .5 was a pre-starter starter of a portion of French Fries.

I then had the marvellous Posh Prawn Cocktail, followed by the Sea Bream, with the trio of Ice Creams (Cherry, Rum & Raisin and Honeycomb) for dessert.

Gluten free at The Oxford Place in Leeds

We're really looking forward to our next meal there already.

The Oxford Place is a must visit restaurant for anyone with Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance.

Check out The Oxford Place's website for more information.


When you have Coeliac Disease dining out can be hard work at the very best of times, let alone during a pandemic!

Luckily we have found a handful of 100% gluten free places that are able to cater to the specific needs of people with Coeliac Disease. As well as The Oxford Place in Leeds there is Off the Wheaten Track in Altrincham, Remedy Kitchen in Manchester, the Wildcraft Bakery in Leeds and Gloof in Soham.

Tomorrow is Miniature Golf Day

Will you be celebrating the BIG minigolf day?


Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st of September
Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st of September

Miniature Golf Day originated in the USA, but with the popularity of minigolf growing internationally, players and courses celebrate the day in dozens of countries around the world.

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Lost City Adventure Golf's Treasure Hunt for Miniature Golf Day

The Lost City Adventure Golf is organising three city-wide treasure hunts to celebrate Miniature Golf Day.


The activity tees-off with a total of 150 golden tokens being hidden in Nottingham, Belfast and Hull on Tuesday 21st September, aka Miniature Golf Day. All three cities are home to a Lost City Adventure Golf centre and each area will have 50 coins to find.

Inca Gold from The Lost City Adventure Golf
Two pieces of Inca Gold from The Lost City. These are safely tucked away in the vaults of The Crazy Golf Museum

Each of the Inca Gold Coins is worth a free game at The Lost City and the treasure hunt runs until Sunday 26th September.

The Lost City Adventure Golf will be posting clues across social media to help find the gold tokens in the cities.

Visit The Lost City Adventure Golf website for more details.


Miniature Golf Day is the second of the year's two 'minigolf days' and is always on the 21st September. The other day is National Miniature Golf Day. That is always on the second Saturday in May.

It's nice to see a minigolf brand getting involved with Miniature Golf Day and the treasure hunt sounds like it'll be a really fun activity.

at The Lost City Adventure Golf in Nottingham
Playing in the BMGA English Open minigolf tournament at The Lost City Adventure Golf in 2014

We've played at The Lost City Adventure Golf in Nottingham on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour, but haven't been to Belfast for a few years and have not yet been to Hull on our travels. We're looking forward to playing at The Lost City's venues in both cities in the future.

Halloween Adventure Golf at The Cow Putt in Uckfield

There will be Halloween Adventure Golf at The Cow Putt in Uckfield, East Sussex this October.


There will be Halloween Adventure Golf at The Cow Putt in Uckfield, East Sussex this October


The 18-hole farm-themed Cow Putt Adventure Golf course opened in July this year.

Visit The Cow Putt Facebook Page and Heaven Farm website for more information.

Happy Shopper in Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk

Finding a ghost sign at the old Happy Shopper shop in Ormesby St Margaret, Norfolk.


We were surprised and amazed to see an old Happy Shopper sign while en route to Hemsby during our East Anglian Road-Trip last month.

We had taken a couple of detours because of traffic and ended up on a different road towards the seaside that took us through the village of Ormesby St Margaret. We're always looking for points of interest and new things to spot when on our travels and as we drove past the village shop we both said to each other jokingly "I wonder if that used to be a Happy Shopper?"

Imagine our shock when we saw a really old, classic Happy Shopper sign in one of the shop windows!

Fletchers Mini Market in Ormesby St Margaret used to be a Happy Shopper shop
Fletchers Mini Market in Ormesby St Margaret used to be a Happy Shopper shop


I almost crashed into the village pond such was the excitement of our discovery.


During the pandemic we've been feeling very nostalgic. One of the brands we've been thinking about is Happy Shopper - the name alone conjures up images of the 1980's.

We didn't think there would be many - or any - of the original orange and yellow branded shops still around, but we were happy to find out we were wrong when we saw one in Preston last September.

Since then we've been lucky enough to spot and snap a few more on our limited travels outside of lockdown. Take a look at my posts about other Happy Shopper shops in:

Halloween 2021...

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

A revisit to the Lost World Adventure Golf course in Hemsby, Norfolk.


Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

We got to revisit one of our all-time favourite courses during our East Anglian Road-Trip last month.

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk is a superb 9-hole adventure golf course and was one of the first adventure golf courses to open in the UK.

We've played there a number of times over the years, including in two tournaments, and it's still a fantastic attraction.

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

The course was proving to be incredibly popular on our visit which was very nice to see.

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

We're already planning a return visit next year.

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Check out the Lost World Adventure Golf website for more information, opening times and prices.


Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Lost World Adventure Golf also has a free scorecard and loyalty app which shows each of the holes, with tips on how to play the course.

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Lost World Adventure Golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

The Lost World Adventure Golf course in Hemsby was the 88th course played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour back in May 2009.

An End to Sleep Miniature Golf at von ammon co in Washington DC

There's an art-based minigolf course at the von ammon co art gallery in Washington DC, USA.


There's an art-based minigolf course at the von ammon co art gallery in Washington DC, USA

I've found out about a new art-based minigolf installation at the von ammon co art gallery in Washington DC.

The playable six-hole miniature golf installation has been created by Detroit based artist Tony Hope and is called "An End to Sleep", with each hole based on a scene from the Nightmare on Elm Street films.

The course opened on the 11th September and is playable up to and including Halloween itself.

Visit the von ammon co website to find out more.


We've played a number of art-based courses on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour. We're big fans of horror movies and Halloween too so An End to Sleep Miniature Golf would be a very interesting layout to view and play.

Crazy Golf at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead

A look at the Crazy Golf course at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead, Bedfordshire.


Crazy Golf at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, September 2021

My brother Christopher sent me these photos of the Crazy Golf course at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead, Bedfordshire.

Crazy Golf at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, September 2021

The course became the 1,005 visited on our combined Crazy World of Minigolf Tour!

Crazy Golf at Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre in Wilstead. Photo by Christopher Gottfried, September 2021


Visit the Herrings Green Farm Birds Of Prey Activity Centre website for more information.

Halloween Mini-Golf at Lahey Family Fun Park in Pennsylvania

There will be Halloween-themed mini-golf at Lahey Family Fun Park in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA.


There will be Halloween-themed mini-golf at Lahey Family Fun Park in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, USA

Lahey Family Fun Park is hosting Halloween Miniature Golf on its 18-hole course. Starting on the 24th September you can then tee-off on the haunted course every weekend in October.

Check out the Lahey Family Fun Park website for more information.

The Putt Park Annual Mini-Golf Tournament Las Vegas

Looking back at The Putt Park Annual Mini-Golf Tournament Las Vegas.


I won The Putt Park's Annual Mini-Golf Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA back in September 2011.

Richard Gottfried - winner of The Putt Park's Annual Mini-Golf Tournament Las Vegas

We had first played miniature golf at The Putt Park on our holiday to Las Vegas the year before. It was the 178th course visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Playing minigolf at The Putt Park in Las Vegas
Playing at The Putt Park

Sadly The Putt Park is no longer there. It was a brilliant 18-hole course and at the time the only outdoor minigolf course in Las Vegas.

The Putt Park in Las Vegas

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

A revisit to the Stonehenge minigolf course in Hemsby, Norfolk.


Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Last month we swung by the 18-hole Stonehenge-themed miniature golf course in the seaside town of Hemsby.

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge Big Mini Golf was the 174th course played on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour in June 2010 when it was a 15-hole layout. We first visited it in May 2009 when it was a 12-hole course.

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk

Stonehenge - The BIG mini golf in Hemsby, Norfolk
Social distancing footprints next to the entrance sign

We were back in Hemsby during our East Anglian road-trip.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Miniature Golf Day 2021

There are two 'minigolf days' each year - the second of which is coming up soon.


Miniature Golf Day is always on the 21st September. This year that is a Tuesday.

Playing the Putt in the Park Miniature Golf course at Battersea Park in London on Miniature Golf Day 2015
Playing the Putt in the Park Miniature Golf course at Battersea Park in London on Miniature Golf Day 2015

The other minigolf day is National Miniature Golf Day. That is always on the second Saturday in May. In 2022 that will be the 14th.

Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe, Suffolk

A revisit to one of our most visited minigolf courses.


Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe Suffolk

We swung by the Fantasia Adventure Golf course on Sea Road in Felixstowe, Suffolk during our East Anglian Road-Trip last month.

Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe Suffolk
A new sign for the course on the seafront

We've been going to the seaside town for years and the 9-hole course is one of our most visited layouts as we go there about three times a year. However, the pandemic has meant this was our first visit since 2019.

Fantasia Adventure Golf in Felixstowe Suffolk

It was originally the 7th course visited on our Crazy World of Minigolf Tour.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

A Happy Shopper shop in Lowestoft, Suffolk

A look at a Happy Shopper shop in Lowestoft, Suffolk.


We didn't only visit minigolf courses during our East Anglian Road-Trip last month. We always try to pack in as much stuff as possible when we're out and about and one of our interests is in lost brands, retail archaeology and interesting signage.

By the time we reached Lowestoft in Suffolk we'd been to a lost Happy Shopper shop in Ashwellthorpe and been shocked to discover one in Ormesby St Margaret too. We knew there was a Happy Shopper in Lowestoft as we'd been there in 2011.

A Happy Shopper shop in Lowestoft
At a Happy Shopper shop in Lowestoft

As with most things in the seaside town, the Happy Shopper is the 'easternmost' example of its type in the British Isles.

The Happy Shopper newsagent, general store and off licence in Lowestoft retains the classic yellow and orange colours of the brand, but differs from other Happy Shopper shops as it doesn't feature the smiling face anywhere on the logo.