Blog

Spring is in the Air

After what feels like the longest winter ever, spring is finally upon us. Gone are the days of leaving work at 17:00 in darkness to now leaving with the sun in our sights to do more things outside. And in all the excitement of the new season beginning, here at Hatchbag, we have come up with a few things you can do to kick-start your spring.

1. Spring Cleaning

The beginning of spring is the perfect time to sort out anything you no longer want or need and to give your house a good spring clean. And with the brighter and longer days, it is the perfect time for doing a car boot sale, taking old stuff to the tip or taking unwanted stuff to a charity shop. And, we can guarantee that once you have done your spring clean, you will feel so much better for it.

a dog waiting to come inside

2. Gardening

Spring is the perfect season for gardening as the soil warms up and flowers begin to bloom. Pop along to your local garden centre and pick out some new plants and seeds to brighten up your garden. Then once you return, don some old clothes and get your hands green, while enjoying the perfect spring weather. Best of all; bring some of your spring garden indoors, by picking your own beautiful spring flowers.

3. Walking & cycling

At last, it no longer feels that the day is over at 17:00. So after work, why not grab the whole family for an evening walk. What better way to end the day than enjoying the lovely spring weather after a day in the office or at school. Or, why not dust off the bikes in the garage or shed and go for a pedal with the family. It doesn’t matter whether you are walking/cycling around the block, down a quiet country road or across an open field; it’s just great to make the most of this perfect weather.

two children walking ourdoors

4. Making the most of rainy days

We all know that April showers gets its name from somewhere, but, don’t let this put a downer on what you have planned this spring. Instead why not make the most of it and be sure to brighten up your little ones day with the following activities;

  • Getting muddy – kids and four-legged friends alike love jumping and rolling around in the mud. And for those who like making things then why not make a mud pie. Just make sure you have a spare set of clothing with you, once your outdoor adventure has ended.
  • Puddles – find your reflection, splash in the water or see if you can spot any outdoor treasure.
  • Take a look at nature – Once the kids have stopped jumping into puddles and making mud pies then take a look around to see what nature is out there. In wet weather, all kinds of creatures take to the surface, so, go and see how many you can find?

Whatever the weather this spring and no matter what you get up to, one thing is for sure, your Hatchbag boot-liner will come in very handy; whether it be stopping your boot from getting damaged as you spring-clean, or, preventing mud from getting into the carpet from a day at the garden centre and also from wet and mucky dogs and clothes alike.

Let us know what you love most about spring on our social media sites by tagging @HatchbagCompany on Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

Happy spring everyone!

6 Activities to do with the Kids this Easter Holiday

We all know that kids and adults alike love Easter, whether it is for the endless supply of chocolate, egg hunts, cute animals, or just spending time with loved ones. Easter is a firm favourite calendar event. Plus, as the Easter holidays are now upon us, we’ve rounded up the best Easter activities for kids that the whole family will love.

1. Sea Life London Aquarium - London

Step into a colourful aquatic world at one of London’s busiest attractions. When you’re standing outside County Hall – a previous dull looking council building - it’s hard to imagine that behind the doors lie sharks, penguins, tropical fish and many other fascinating underwater creatures.

This Easter, you’ll learn more about the wonderful world of jellyfish in a new permanent exhibition ‘Ocean Invaders’. Here you can discover interesting facts about the often dangerous species and the little ones can even create their own digital jellyfish.

And don’t worry, if you are not in the London area this Easter, as there are 13 Seal Life locations within the UK & EIRE, where you can also experience an aquatic adventure.

Find your nearest centre here.

a turtle swimming

2. National Botanic Garden of Wales - Carmarthenshire

Set in the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, the National Botanic Garden of Wales incorporates a fascinating blend of themed gardens, exciting play areas and packed programmes, which are sure to delight your little ones.

Across the bank holiday weekend, the Llanarthne site in Carmarthenshire will be host to everything from duck herding to magic shows, meerkats as well as Easter egg hunts.

Admission is £9.75 for adults, £4.95 for children over five and free for ‘Garden Members’.

3. Edinburgh Zoo - Scotland

Dare to book something a little on the wild side for your kids this Easter break? Why not book your little ones onto a week of spring schooling at Edinburgh Zoo?

The Spring School allows your kids to enjoy over 700 animals from all over the world, with favourites such as chimps, hippos and zebras. Here, the kids will learn more about the animals and their habitats as well as different cultures of Africa through to zoo trails, games, arts and crafts.

The sessions are held at the park, from the classrooms of the Education Centre to the African Plains and the Budongo Trail.

To book your place, visit the website here.

4. York Chocolate Festival - York

This activity is sure to get your taste buds tingling this Easter holiday. Enjoy a fully guided tour into the Easter of York Past and uncover fun facts about the chocolatiest holiday of all and all while the chocolatiers create delicious delights for you to enjoy.

On the tour, you’ll discover the origins of chocolate, how to make chocolate, how to taste chocolate like an expert and even the sustainable future of chocolate.

To book your place, visit the website here.

5. Seal & Wildlife watching trips - Kent

Spoil the kids by visiting one of the UK’s largest active seal colonies. Organised by the National Nature Reserve, the trips coincide with tidal flowers for the best chance of seeing these wonderful mammals.

This adventure is brilliant for families and makes the perfect day out. Don’t forget to take your camera with you, to capture some beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

According to the website, early bookings are advisable to avoid disappointment.

For more information and to book your place, visit the website here.

a sea lion

6. Alton Towers - Staffordshire

Perfect for those little thrill seekers in the family, Alton Towers is home to Britain’s most loved theme park rides with great kid’s attractions, special events and so much more.

Add to that, the two fantastical hotels, a wacky indoor waterpark with gallons of fun, a luxurious spa and an extraordinary golf course too, the Alton Towers resort has something for everyone.

If you are planning to go this Easter then make sure you book your tickets to avoid disappointment.

Visit the website to book online.

Whichever activity takes you and your family’s fancies, be sure to take your Hatchbag boot-liner with you to protect your boot from family adventures. Also, we’d love to see pictures of what you get up to. Send us your snaps to @HatchbagCompany on Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

A Fresh New Liner for the Ford S-Max (2015on)

As a firm family favourite, Ford have updated their original Ford S-Max model, offering families more practicality and room than ever before. Steering away from the abundance of new SUVs that have entered the market, this new MPV is great for transporting kids, grown-ups and not forgetting the family pooch as well.

There is also a lot of space on offer in the boot with the third row of seats folded flat you have 965 litres to play with and if you fold the middle row of seats down as well, then you have 2020 litres on-hand, meaning that you have plenty of room to load up the boot for any trips to the tip you may need to do.

ford_smax_002 copy

Hatchbag boot-liner

So, in order to keep your family car spic and span, why not treat you and your car to our tailor-made boot protector for the Ford S-Max (2015 on). All of our liners are made from reinforced PVC and act as a second skin, protecting your car boot from muddy paws, pram wheels, camping equipment, gardening materials and anything else you transport in your car boot.

With the liner coming in an array of 7 colours, you can customise the perfect solution for your vehicle here: Ford S-Max 7 seater.

Don’t forget to send us a picture of your new liner in situ, as we love seeing our products on the road. You can send us a photo on Facebook, Twitter @thehatchbagcompany or on Instagram too @thehatchbagcompany.

3 Things Every Car Owner Should Have

Some of us keep absolutely nothing in our car boots, whilst others keep enough packed in their car boots to live comfortably for weeks. Somewhere in between all of this are three things that we believe every car owner should definitely always have to hand.

1. An extra tyre

No one likes the idea of being stranded because they’ve suffered a flat tyre, which is why having a spare in the vehicle at all times is essential.

To keep you up and running, it would be wise to store these in your boot:

  • A spare tyre in good condition
  • A small plastic sheet to kneel on
  • A pair of gloves to protect your hands
  • A torch with a spare battery
  • Your registered vehicle handbook

Further advice on how to change a car wheel can be found in this handy AA guide.

2. GPS

Although smartphones can now run a variety of navigation apps, the trusted car GPS should not be viewed as a redundant gadget. Why?

  • Battery life

GPS apps on your smartphone use a large amount of battery power, which means your phone might not even make it all the way through the day if you’re doing numerous trips requiring navigation.

  • Safety

Having to look down or across at your smartphone navigation app can be a very hazardous encounter.

Buying a specific mount to place your phone would make things safer, however, with the clamping down on drivers who use their phone whilst driving, it’s better to use the GPs, after all, it is better to be safe than sorry.

  • Data

Smartphone GPS apps use lots of data which can be a major drawback for smartphone users. Dedicated navigation devices don’t tend to have a subscription fee, so you can navigate as much as you need for free.

3. Hatchbag boot-liner

Keeping the boot of your car in pristine condition can be a tough task, and with daily trips somewhat unavoidable, it’s not long before your boot can collect an unwanted amount of grit and dirt. So, why not make this a thing of the past by investing in a Hatchbag boot-liner?

The Hatchbag Company creates boot-liners specifically designed to fit more than 520 cars, acting like a second skin within your boot so that no dirt, grit or fur from pets can sneak through any gaps.

Made of a tough PVC material that can be easily cleaned, a Hatchbag boot-liner fits perfectly into the corners of your boot and best of all; it can also help to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable while they travel.

If this blog post has inspired you to make some changes to your car belongings, we would love to see pictures, especially if they include your pet pooches. Send us your snaps to @HatchbagCompany on Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

3 ways to celebrate Mother's Day

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, March 26th, 2017 to be exact,  the team at Hatchbag have come together to round up the best activities to enjoy with your mother. With the flowers starting to blossom and the glimmer of sunshine on the horizon, why not celebrate your mother AND Mother Nature? Here are 3 ways to spend Mother’s Day outside in 2017.

SIGHTSEEING

Castles – Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire

What better way to spend Mother’s Day than by learning about our British history and one of our famous castles such as Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, England.

Derbyshire in itself is known for its beautiful scenic landscapes and expansive greenery that is sure to take anyone who visits breath away. As you make your way down the spectacular drive to Bolsover Castle, you’ll realise that the fairy tale Stuart mansion that is Bolsover Castle has been designed to entertain and impress.

With plenty of activities to keep all entertained, make your life easier by planning your day here: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/bolsover-castle/

We have chosen Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire as part of our roundup, however, why not take a look at the Top 10 English Heritage castles here. View the website here.

EXPERIENCE NATURE

Kew Gardens – Richmond, Surrey

There’s no better way to enjoy Mother Nature than with your own mother, surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. One of our favourite places to visit in the UK is Kew Gardens in Surrey.

Discover the secret life of bees at The Hive, or, absorb the artworks ranging from Henry Moore to Marianne North. If art isn’t your thing then you can simply take in the fresh air, the beautiful gardens and the sweet scent of the flowers which adorn most paths around the grounds.

Should you not live near the area, check out this handy guide to find a garden near you: The English Garden.

GO FOR A WALK

Ty Coch – Mofra, Wales

 Why not visit one of Wales’s most famous pubs Ty Coch; which is also a National Trust listed building – and enjoy the tranquillity of there being no cars in sight before tucking into a lovely Sunday lunch?

Park your car in the Molfra car park and take a beautiful coastal walk along the seafront, taking in the sights and sounds of one of Wales’s most adored gems before finding Ty Coch where you can tuck into your favourite Sunday carvery.

Helvellyn – Lake District

If you’re looking for a bit more adventure this Mother’s Day then why not pack up the hiking boots and take to the wild with the best woman in your life in hand?

Helvellyn in the Lake District - although not the highest peak in the Lake District - can still stake a claim as the most beautiful. Loved by the likes of Wordsworth, Wainwright and generations of walkers, you’ll have a lovely day walking along the flat summit on a hopefully warm Spring day. What better way to spend Mother’s Day?

Whatever you do this Mother’s Day, we’d love to see what you get up to. Send us your snaps to @HatchbagCompany on Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely Mum’s out there.

Scotland Named as the UK's Favourite Staycation

This year many families will be deciding whether to jet off in search of some summer sun or to opt for the ever increasingly popular UK staycation. Thus, Hatchbag asked 1000 people all about their summer plans for 2017.

Staycation vs Holiday Abroad

Staycation

In total 46% of the respondents stated that they plan to stay in the UK this summer, opting to explore what Great Britain has to offer. In comparison, 54% revealed that they would still be seeking their dose of summer sun abroad this year.

Popular Destinations

So, with 46% of you choosing to stay in the UK this year, we wanted to know which areas of the UK are most likely to benefit from staycations.

Hatchbag

Interestingly, the most popular area is Scotland, which received 25% of the vote from the 1000 people we asked. Charmed by culturally steeped cities such as Edinburgh, stretches of stunning sands in The Outer Hebrides and the breath-taking beauty of the rugged Cairngorms, it is no great surprise that Scotland has come out on top.

But, Scotland is not the only one set to profit from domestic tourism with the South West of England and Wales closely following in second and third position.

With the South West of England playing host to popular coastal resorts such as Torquay and Cornwall, it’s perhaps unsurprising that 21.4% chose it as a preferable location. After all, Cornwall experiences the highest temperatures in the UK over the summer months.

Wales offers an eclectic mix of places to visit. From the medieval city of Tenby to the striking scenery of Snowdonia National Park and picturesque towns and villages such as Hay-on-Wye, there’s certainly plenty to explore. So it’s no wonder 20.2% would want to have a staycation in Wales.

In comparison, the area least likely to profit from a rise in the number of staycations is the West Midlands. Only 1.9% claimed that they would be likely to visit this particular region. It seems that many of us are not drawn to the city sights of Birmingham or the rolling Shropshire countryside.

Similarly, the East Midlands and Northern Ireland aren’t likely to benefit from people holidaying on home soil.

Staycations by Age

Staycation by age

The age group most likely to opt for a Staycation in 2017 are 45-54, closely followed by 35-44-year-olds.

In contrast, those in the 25-34-year-old category and 65+ are more than likely to choose a holiday destination abroad over a staycation in the UK.

Why are more people choosing to holiday in the UK?

Expense

18% said that they would be opting for a summer holiday in the UK because they feel that foreign destinations are too expensive. This could be influenced by the falling value of the GBP.

Those aged 35-44 are the most likely to shun a holiday abroad due to expense, while 55-64-year-olds cited cost as being the least influential factor.

Preference

17% are choosing to stay in the UK simply because they prefer it. Males are the most likely to stay in the UK out of choice, with 57% claiming that the UK is their preferred holiday hotspot.

20.9% of those who stated that they prefer to holiday in the UK are aged 45-54.

Terrorism

The threat of terror attacks is also a factor that is having an impact on the number of people who are choosing a staycation over a foreign holiday. 8.2% of respondents claim that the threat of terrorism will stop them from travelling to their preferred destination this summer. And, it is actually males that are more than likely to be put off holidaying abroad by the threat of a terrorist attack compared to females.

If you’re opting for a staycation this summer, be sure to take your Hatchbag boot-liner with you to protect your boot from any nasty spills or damage from suitcases and hair from your furry friends. Also, we’d love to see pictures of your favourite UK locations. Send us your snaps in on social to @HatchbagCompany for Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

Methodology

Hatchbag surveyed a sample of 1000 respondents who varied in age and gender from across the UK. The aim of the survey was to research attitudes towards staycations and to investigate which areas of the UK are most popular with domestic tourists.

Best Garden Events of 2017

With Spring peeking its head around the corner, it’s time to find inspiration for your garden. Here at Hatchbag, we’ve put together a list of our top garden events for 2017. So whether you’re an avid horticulturist or just starting to get green fingers, there’s sure to be a show to encourage your creative side.

Chelsea Flower Show 23rd-27th May

One of the UK’s leading flower and garden shows returns this year, with a host of displays and collaborations. From artisan and show gardens created and produced by top designers to gardens with ‘out of the box’ ideas for smaller spaces.

Experience floral-inspired delicacies, sip on champagne or eat your way through three courses featuring ‘The Best of British’ products. The Chelsea Flower Show incorporates beautiful gardens with high-class food.

Visit the website here: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Gardening Scotland 2nd-4th June

Discover the latest gardening trends, purchase new tools and track down plants to make your garden space at home unique to you. With over 400 exhibitors and 35,000 people in attendance, the Royal Highland Centre is a stunning celebration of gardening.

Schools and gardening groups will be able to take part in creating their very own mini pallet gardens. Children and parents can also learn how they can make their outside spaces more eco-friendly.

Enthusiastic gardeners will be able to enjoy speaking to experts from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society who will be on-hand to answer questions and give advice.

Visit the website here: Gardening Scotland

pexels-photo-89796

Spring Festival 20th-21st May

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Spring Festival is back again this year. With a range of activities, workshops and displays that celebrate the best of rural life, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Gardening Hall will have exhibitors from all over the UK displaying plants & flowers, holding competitions and activities; from creating a hedgehog feeding station, to finding that perfect bulb to plant in shaded areas.

Visit the website here: Royal Welsh Spring Festival

Southport Flower Show 17th-20th August

With previous celebrity guests such as David Dormoney and Ainsley Harriott, the Southport Flower Show is not to be missed in 2017!

Last year the Southport Flower Show also hosted a food festival, a British flower display, an edible garden and Spanish dancing horses. This year’s event has the theme of ‘The Curious Garden’ and is inspired by mystery, wonder and curiosity. We’re looking forward to another embellished show this year.

Visit the website here: Southport Flower Show

Whichever event you happen to attend, be sure to take your Hatchbag boot-liner to protect your boot from any soil spillages or fallen pollen. Also, we’d love to see pictures from the event. Send us your snaps in on social to @HatchbagCompany for Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

Keep your brand new Renault Kadjar (2015on) boot spotless with a Hatchbag boot protector

The Renault Kadjar (2015on) has a lot in common with the Nissan Qashqai, as well as competing against other small SUVs such as; the Kia Sportage and Skoda Yeti, for which we manufacture tailor-made boot liners for.

The French small SUV is brilliant for families, as it is a practical car with low running costs. And, for all those drivers who like to drive in a high riding position then the Renault Kadjar will not disappoint, meaning that not only is the car great for passengers but also for the driver as well.

Plus, whether it be packing up the car boot with walking gear, picnic baskets or the family pooch for a day trip outdoors, or, packing the car with suitcases for those family vacations, the Renault Kadjar offers enough space to fulfil your requirements.

labrador in car boot with liner

The Kadjar offers 472 litres of space in the car boot with the back seats in an upright position and if you want to give your four-legged friend/s more room in the back of the car, or, if you are doing a spring clean and need to make some journeys to the tip then fold your back seats down for 1478 litres of space to be utilised.

One thing is for certain, no matter what you use your car boot for you will want to keep it in tip-top condition. So what better way than with a Hatchbag boot liner. All our boot-liners come in a range of seven colours along with a number of optional extras including a bumper flap and tailgate cover, enabling you to customise the perfect protecting solution for your family needs.

Don’t forget to send us some photos of your Renault Kadjar boot liner in action, as we just love seeing our products on the road. You can send us your pics via Facebook, Twitter or via Instagram.

3 reasons why you should treat your pooch to a boot-liner this Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many of you will be thinking ‘what to buy’ the beloved pet pooch in your life? With countless ‘heart shaped gifts’ available, have you thought about the benefits a boot-liner has not only to your four-legged friend, but also to you as a car owner? We’ve shortlisted our favourite reasons why your doggie needs a Hatchbag item this Valentine’s Day.

Your dog can’t be blamed for muddy stains

The Hatchbag Company creates boot-liners specially designed to fit more than 521 cars, acting like a second skin within your boot so that no dirt, grit or fur can sneak through any gaps.

This is perfect for those post- walk scenarios where your dog is covered head to tail in mud. Simply pop him/her in the boot where your trusty boot-liner is fitted, and wait until you get home to give them a wash. The best part? You won’t find a spec of mud in your boot, all thanks to your boot-liner.

Dog comfort in the car

A car boot-liner not only provides aesthetic value to your car, it can also help to keep your furry friends safe and comfortable while they travel. With a secure fit, the liner will hold in place while the car is in motion and your dog is sat in the back. Why not upgrade your boot-liner by adding on one of our Hatchbed mats, recommended by vets and pet care professionals alike, to provide your four-legged friend with extra comfort during their car trips.

A HatchBed mat is designed and tailored to fit inside a Hatchbag Boot-liner. It has a unique non-slip ribbed rubber backing to fit comfortably and securely in your boot.

dog in a boot with a liner

No doggy smells

We offer tailor-made odour mats to fit on top of your boot-liner, or, if you want an odour mat to use in a dog bed or on the car seat , then why not opt for one of our pet odour mats which come in three standard sizes. Not only to they provide comfort to your furry friend due to their quilted material, but, they also trap unwanted odours both around the house and in the car.

Whatever you end up doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, we would love to see pictures, especially if they include your pet pooches. Send us your snaps to @HatchbagCompany for Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company for Facebook.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

How to get crafty with the kids when you don't 'do' crafty

Not all of us are gifted when it comes to art and creativity. By this, we mean being able to draw, improvise with art materials, use a needle and thread or create games for the children to play. However, if you do have the desire to get artsy with the kids but are unsure of how to do it without making a mess, here are some tips to make it a little less daunting.

1. Limit the number of art supplies

Think outside the box when it comes to supplying art materials for your little ones.

You don’t need to go out and spend the earth buying the entirety of Hobbycraft to have a great arts area. Paint, paintbrushes, a waterproof apron and a pair of child-friendly scissors will do the trick just fine.

Make a mental note to save leftovers such as newspapers, cereal boxes, even the remnants of dried pasta to add to the art supplies box.

If your child’s interest in art increases, you can always add to the supplies.

2. Protect the craft area

If you’re using materials such as paint and glue, it’s definitely worth dressing your kids in aprons and covering the surface where they’re working. You can use anything from a large piece of paper or a plastic, waterproof tablecloth.

Protecting the area and your kids from nasty stains will also reduce the time it takes to clean up. 

3. Embrace the hot glue gun

There may be times when you’re working on an art piece that requires more stick than the standard Pritt Stick can provide.

If your kids are old enough to handle a hot-glue gun then this is fine. However, if your kids are young, they’ll need your help.

4. Start small

Creating crafty pieces with your kids doesn’t have to take all day. Start small and try to aim for a 20 to 30-minute session, including setting up and cleaning the craft area.

Keep it simple, have fun and remember, stay small.

5. Process the finished ‘masterpiece’

No one is expecting your finished art piece to win the next school award.

If you’re not going to be selling your masterpiece on Etsy, then don’t worry if your end piece doesn’t look perfect. It’s all about the process you’ve taken. You’ve stimulated the kids’ minds, you’ve spent fabulous quality time together and you’re enhancing your creativity.

What more could you want?

We’d love to see what art creations you and the family come up with. Why not send your snaps in by posting to our Instagram @thehatchbagcompany or tweeting us to @HatchbagCompany.