What an exciting experience it was! First of all I should probably mention our lovely accommodation, it was a sweet little cottage in a tiny village called Helwith Bridge. The views across to Pen-y-Ghent were wonderful!" Read more here > > >
Days Out & Getaways 2016
Whether you enjoy camping, caravanning or staying in hotels, holiday time with the family is the perfect way to spend time together and have fun! We've got some great ideas for trips away, and a few products you might want to take with you!
- Holiday & Weekend Getaways
- Camping, Glamping & Retro Caravanning
- Days Out
- Travelling with the family...Great products
Holidays & Weekend Getaways
“Idealic, peaceful, relaxing, fun!”
What's On 4 recently enjoyed a weekend away with Wigwam Holidays and this is what we thought...
"My family and I had a fantastic weekend at New Mills, glamping in their pods. We are seasoned Caravan and Campers, and were really looking forward to a different type of break. Appealing to us was the ability to arrive and not argue over putting up the tent whilst trying to keep an eye on the kids and dogs. With a kids play area in eyesight and also a dog friendly paddock, we were able to unpack and get settled quickly ready to enjoy a sun downer on the deck.
The Pods are bigger than they first look and certainly are equipped with everything you would expect; (hot water, heating, fridge, tv, shower, cooker, microwave). We were more than comfortable and there wasn’t a deflating air bed in-sight! The family running the site couldn’t have been more helpful. We were given the low down on the site and the nearby amenities in Brampton, and were able to buy some wood to get the fire pit roaring… There is nothing nicer than having an open fire going as the sun has set and it comes in handy from deterring the midges!
Over the weekend we managed to catch some trout with the very welcomed assistance of the warden’s son. It was my son’s first catch so we just had to gut and cook it on the open fire… What could be a better experience for him to catch, kill, cook and then eat his prize! FANTASTIC. We hope to visit again soon. Thank you for a very memorable Weekend."
What is Wigwam Holidays?
If you’ve heard of ‘glamping’ but don’t know what to expect, try Wigwam® Holidays! With over 70 sites to choose from across the UK, our timber cabins are family-friendly with comfy mattresses, lighting, heating lockable doors and Velux windows as standard.
Wigwam® cabins come in four different models, from a Wee Brave to a Running Water Deluxe*, which includes an en-suite bathroom and a kitchenette. Our cabins sleep between three and five guests and are placed in locations up and down the country close to visitor attractions amid beautiful countryside. You can even take the dog to some Wigwam® sites!
So why not book a Wigwam® and enjoy the great outdoors – find out more on www.wigwamholidays.com. You can also find Wigwam Holidays on Facebook and Twitter. *Please note, Wigwam® cabin models vary from site to site.
This Summer it's time for a waterborne adventure with our great value family offers. City Cruises is the No.1 sightseeing tour on the Thames!
Our cruises departing every 30 minutes, every day of the week, all year round, City Cruises gives you the freedom to explore the many sights of the River Thames from four fantastic piers near popular attractions: Westminster, London Eye, Tower of London and Greenwich. It is the most convenient, picturesque way to travel between London landmarks.
Pass by some of the capital's best-loved landmarks and enjoy the open-air deck or treat your kids to an ice cream at our on-board café-bar! You can make a quick hop between piers with a single ticket, or take in a round tour with our all day hop-on and hop-off River pass and make the most of our informative and entertaining live commentary.
The Family River Red Rover, hop-on hop-off sightseeing ticket is ideal for families on an ambitious day out in London.
Pay for two adults and up to three kids go free! Possibly the best value sightseeing ticket in town.
Sykes Cottages are the UK’s leading provider of family-friendly holiday cottages with over 25 years’ experience letting holiday homes. With over 5,500 self-catering cottages to choose from across the UK and Ireland, you’re sure to find the perfect property to suit your family.
From the sandy beaches of Cornwall to the breath-taking scenery of the Cairngorms, Sykes’ holiday cottages are the perfect place to spend some quality time with your loved ones away from the normal routine and the hassles of everyday life.
Looking for a summer holiday by the sea? Take a look at Sykes’ wonderful cottages on the Isle of Wight - often considered to be one of the warmest and sunniest places in the UK! You can just picture spending all day on the beach and then relaxing in the garden of your holiday cottage with a cold drink while the children play. In search of a tranquil break in the countryside? How about browsing their range of cosy cottages in the Lake District, where you can be surrounded by fields with spectacular walks right on your doorstep.
To see the cottages that Sykes have to offer, visit their website: www.sykescottages.co.uk.
Our Junior Editor recently stayed in a Sykes Cottage in the Yorkshire Dales. "Gales in the Dales…My Easter Adventure! One of the best things about going on holiday is being able to see and explore new places and although we live in Yorkshire, it’s kind of a HUGE place so we were all really looking forward to visiting the Yorkshire Dales (for the first time) and staying in a cosy cottage!
A Forest Holiday is all about spending quality time with the family in unique and secluded woodland locations where you can take time to talk, reconnect, explore the great outdoors and unwind. If you’re looking for a UK break then Forest Holidays has nine stunning cabin sites across the country, set exclusively within Forestry Commission estates in beautiful woodland and lochside locations. From Scotland to Cornwall via North Yorkshire and the heart of England each site has its own unique character offering the perfect setting for a relaxed holiday.
Every one of the Forest Holiday sites provides energising and exciting activities for all ages from wonderful forest walks and trails to archery, kayaking and stargazing. Forest Holidays gives kids the freedom to explore, make dens and play endless games. It’s hours of outdoor fun; chasing butterflies, spotting wild animals, pond dipping and tree climbing. And if children are happy discovering the forest, then parents are happy too. While the children charge about, you can recharge and spend some precious days reconnecting with nature, with your family, and with yourself.
If you’re not the adventurous type or simply want to use your holiday for utter relaxation then you’ll find that catered for too with a fabulous range of pampering experiences in the comfort of your own cabin. Most cabins have their own outdoor hot tub to unwind in too and a cosy log fire so you can curl up at the end of the day to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the forest.
Enjoy a Staycation with Jurys Inn
Jurys Inn hotels has 28 hotels in cities throughout the UK, Ireland and the Czech Republic, offering great value and a warm, friendly service - every time! Ideally located for sight-seeing, shopping and business, all hotels provide spacious, comfortable bedrooms to relax and unwind in.
Why not combine at stay at Jurys Inn Southampton with a visit to Paulton's Park, home to Peppa Pig World, this summer? Located in the heart of the city overlooking East Park, Jurys Inn Southampton is just a 15 minute walk from the Central Train Station. The hotel is conveniently situated for all the city’s key attractions, from the City Art Gallery and the Mayflower Theatre, to WestQuay Shopping Centre and 02 Guildhall Southampton.
Alongside the many city attractions, Southampton has a rich cultural history and some beautiful parks. Hawthorns Urban Wildlife centre is just a twenty minute walk away. Alternatively the Old Town is a 15 minute walk with over 90 listed buildings and 30 ancient monuments. The Old Town Walls date back as far as 1175, making this the ideal attraction for those keen to explore the local culture and heritage.
Also in close proximity to the hotel are Southampton Tudor House and Gardens and SeaCity museum which all make fantastic family days out. The hotel is also close to the port and offers an overnight package for customers departing on cruises.
Gladwins Farm Cottages
For families looking for the perfect rural retreat, Gladwins Farm Cottages in Suffolk is the perfect choice. In the heart of the beautiful Suffolk countryside, but only a stone's through from major tourist attractions and just an hour and a half from London, Gladwins Farm is the perfect destination for families looking to relax and unwind whilst the kids get busy on the fun-packed farm.
Based on a farm, Gladwins boasts nine beautifully-refurbished eco-cottages that can cater for couples to groups. With goats, sheep and chickens gracing the surrounding farm land, along with woodland trails, cycle routes, an indoor heated swimming pool, play areas, a games room and on-site beauty suite, Gladwins offers something for everyone. Run by husband and wife team Susie and Stuart Bradshaw, who have two young children of their own, the couple have thought long and hard about ways it can stand out from the crowd, which is why everything a family could need is all available on site. "As parents ourselves, we know exactly what is needed when you go on holiday with the kids. Having everything available in one place is vital, which is why all our activities, equipment and services are included in the price of the booking," explains Susie.
The cottages can be booked for mid-week, week-long or weekend breaks and prices start from £30 per person, per night. All equipment such as cots and high chairs are included in the booking price. For more information about Gladwins Farm Cottages visit www.gladwinsfarm.co.uk.
Top 5 Mediterranean Beach Cities: Hotels.com selects Southern European cities for families looking to combine city and beach
Lisbon is built on seven hills on the spot where the river Tagus flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Just outside the Portuguese capital locals and travellers can choose from the beautiful beaches of Oeiras, Carcavelos, Estoril, Cascais and Caparica. The beaches are easily accessible by public transport, but there are also some hidden gems where visitors can relax among the rocks. Lisbon is the most economical beach town to spend the night. Travellers pay on average 78 euros per night for a hotel, according to the Hotels.com Hotel Price Index.
Athens is best known for its many remains from Roman and Greek times, with the Acropolis as a historical high. Many travellers do not know that the Greek capital also boasts beautiful white sand beaches. Along the Athenian Riviera, just outside the city, visitors can cool off at various beaches. The coastline consists of paid and free beaches. The beaches where visitors must pay feature luxurious amenities, while the others are more basic. In Athens travellers pay an average of 79 euros per night for their hotel stay.
Nice has been one of the biggest attractions in the southern French Côte d’Azur for years. The historic city center, which is full of picturesque streets, local markets and famous museums, still exudes a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Along the famous Promenade des Anglais one can find numerous beaches, hotels and casinos. The vast majority of beaches on the cosmopolitan promenade between the old town and the airport of Nice are littered with pebbles and stones, but there are also some sandy beaches. Last year, travellers paid on average 113 euros per night for their hotel stays in Nice.
Discover more family holiday ideas and city breaks at Hotels.com.
Lantern & Larks Luxury Camping
Lantern & Larks offers luxury camping at small, carefully selected and beautiful sites, deep in the glorious British countryside.
You’ll be living the simple life – no wi-fi and no electricity – but any similarity with conventional camping starts and ends there. Our colonial-style tents are fully furnished and beautifully equipped, with hot showers, flushing loos, sinks, functional kitchens, pots, pans, crockery and glassware. We’ve even installed a wood-burning stove!
Whether it’s a long weekend, a mid-week break or a week-long get-away, Lantern & Larks glamping retreats are perfect for the whole family with sizzling camp fires, fantastic scenery and cosy interiors. So if the great outdoors is calling, you don’t have to leave all the comforts of home behind. It’s simple and fun to get back to nature with the canvas retreats of Lantern & Larks.
To find out how you too could enjoy the natural charms of some very special corners of the British countryside visit www.lanternandlarks.co.uk, call 01638 563478 or find us on Facebook and Twitter. Also check out our 5* reviews on TripAdvisor by searching 'Lantern & Larks'.
Campervanning Voted the Stress-free Getaway of choice by British Families
Campervan and caravan holidays are overtaking standard package holidays as the most desirable escape for British families, according to new research. More than two thirds of parents (68 per cent) say they would choose a leisure vehicle holiday not only to avoid airport stress and luggage restrictions but also for the freedom, adventure and flexibility it offers.
The rising number of celebrity fans has also substantially upped the glam factor, making campervan and caravan holidays a stylish option. High profile fans including Jamie Oliver, Kate Moss, Take That’s Mark Owen, Lorraine Kelly and One Direction reveal how ‘on-trend’ this type of holiday has become in the UK in recent years.
- 68 per cent of British parents would choose a campervan or caravan holiday over a package holiday
- Celebrity campervan fans One Direction, Kate Moss, Jamie Oliver and Rio Ferdinand have made ‘holidays on wheels’ a style choice, not just a budget option
- 4 in 10 families say planning a package holiday is too stressful
- The ability to bring along the beloved family pet is a key holiday choice driver
With Summer Holidays just around the corner, founder and director of award-winning campervan, caravan and motorhome insurance provider, comfort-insurance.co.uk, Peter Cue, shares some of the best hidden camping gems in the UK for tranquil scenery and stunning locations.
Hooks House Farm, Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire : A family-friendly campsite on the coast, this is a small but friendly relaxed family-run place which is situated on a working farm. Enjoy the epic sea and country views which are simply breathtaking. It’s also the perfect place for beginning the classic coast-to-coast walk across the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and the Lake District that finishes on the Cumbrian coast.
Compton Park, Isle of Wight : A peaceful, traditional campsite, Compton Park is the perfect place to take the children, boasting huge space and freedom for kids to fly their kite and ride their bikes around the farm. There is a nearby sandy beach where ancient dinosaur fossils can been seen at low tide and, for more sporty visitors, surfing, hand gliding, paragliding, windsurfing and horse riding are all available.
Rivendale Caravan Park, Derbyshire : Part of the Peak District National Park, the Rivendale Holiday Park is surrounded by spectacular scenery. It has a range of accommodation to suit all needs and the 37-acre-site has a mixture of pasture, woodland and various wildlife ponds including a fly fishing lake. Not only that, but the place is ideal for mountain biking, rambling and walking with trails and cycle ways leading directly from here.
Pleasant Streams Farm, Cornwall : A tranquil campsite nestled within rural surroundings, Pleasant Streams Farm has plenty of space to mix with an abundance of wildlife. It has a summerhouse with books and games for a rainy day and animals galore, where you’ll be able to see owls, hawks, herons, jays, rabbits and much more! One for the country purist, the campsite is in a hamlet and only a ten minute walk from the picturesque village of Stickler.
Scotland & Wales
Ardgartan, Scotland: Ardgartan is situated along the shore of Loch Long. The great mountains of Argyll Forest Park are brilliant for exploring, especially if you like walking or cycling. For those who are keen hikers, the Ardgartan campsite is on the main route to Oban and there are also routes up Ben Arthur.
Llyn Gwynant Campsite, Wales: The Llyn Gwynant campsite is a firm favourite in Wales. Back to basics, this location has no electrical hook-up and offers the sense of a real escape. Ideal for those who want to get back to nature and love the outdoors, this retreat offers a river to explore and brilliant outdoor children’s activities.
Caerfai Bay Caravan and Tent Park, Wales: Situated on the cliffs of Caefai Bay, campers won’t be short of incredible scenery overlooking Pembrokeshire beach. It offers a perfect balance between relaxation and adventure. Venturing outside the campsite, a whole host of activities are on offer ranging from canoeing to kayaking, boat cruises to whale and dolphin tours.
For more information about Comfort Insurance visit: www.comfort-insurance.co.uk
Drayton Manor Theme Park & Hotel
Drayton Manor Theme Park is the place for the whole family with something for every age. The park is also home to Europe’s only Thomas Land™, which is a must-see attraction for fans of all ages of the little blue engine and his friends. After undergoing a huge £2.5million expansion Thomas Land™ will be bigger and better than ever in 2015. Thomas & Friends™ enthusiasts will come face to face with new characters with the introduction of Flynn the Fire Engine, who is equipped with on-board hoses so riders can help to put any fires out, and Captain’s Sea Adventure, which introduces not one, but six rotating Captain lifeboat carriages, all complete with their own cannons to squirt water! To book tickets, or for more information about the park, visit www.draytonmanor.co.uk or call 0844 472 1960.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Have a magical summer and escape to the moors and coast with trains running to and from Whitby every day on the NYMR. Enjoy marvellous 60s and 70s music events, a heritage diesel gala, classic cars, vehicle displays, summer story trains and Pullman dining trains too.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers a superb day or afternoon trip, get away from the hustle and bustle as you climb on-board a steam or heritage diesel train for a delightful scenic journey through Heartbeat Country. Relax in cosy compartments as you enjoy the enchanting landscapes of the North York Moors National Park. Enjoy the atmosphere in heritage tea rooms at Pickering, Goathland and Grosmont or on weekends and bank holidays at Levisham’s Weighbridge tea hut. Adjacent to Pickering Station is Mulberries Tea Room & Terrace offering seasonal menus and wickedly good treats. Or why not hop on-board and experience an unforgettable lunch, afternoon tea or evening meal in the luxurious setting of the Pullman Dining Train.
There are plenty of family events throughout the year to keep the whole family entertained. Book your tickets online and save up to 20% visit www.nymr.co.uk, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Chatsworth House, Garden & Farmyard
Visit Chatsworth to admire the splendour of the house, explore the garden, meet the animals in the farmyard, enjoy an afternoon tea and shopping in the stables or take a trip to the award winning Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop in Pilsley.
There's also a busy events programme including the annual International Horse Trials in May, Country Fair in Sept and Christmas market in Nov, as well as a brand new event for 2015, Chatsworth Festival - Art Out Loud.
The 105 acre garden is a magical landscape, beautiful in all seasons, and it can be visited separately from the house. The maze and the waterworks provide hours of fun and exploration, but everywhere there are wonderful things to see, touch, smell and discover, with intriguing sculptures, a Victorian tunnel, the herbs and vegetables of the kitchen garden and a giant rock garden.
Families will enjoy the farmyard with its wide variety of animals and lots of new babies arriving throughout the year. The spectacular woodland adventure playground with its water and sand play for younger children and Climbing Forest including towers, ropewalks, spiral slide and commando wire for older children will keep even the most active child busy.
The barn is the focus for a wide range of indoor activities throughout the year and the canopy area is the setting for a varied entertainment programme while there are also milking demonstrations and daily animal handling sessions, to trailer rides around the wider estate.
For opening times and ticket options, visit www.chatsworth.org.
Read our Junior Editor's Review: "We recently enjoyed a jam-packed day at Chatsworth which combined history (for me and the adults) and exciting places to explore for eager children (my little sister & brother!). Chatsworth is set in beautiful countryside, just the place for summer picnics, the drive towards the house was stunning - we were all wishing we could've lived in a fantastic house such as this!
We explored the gardens which are fantastic. There are plenty of places to run in and around, fabulous water features including an enormous lake with a towering fountain...read more here>>>
Paradise Wildlife Park
Paradise Wildlife Park is set in the beautiful surrounding of Broxbourne Woods in the Heart of the Hertfordshire Countryside.
Set in 30 acres of woodland, this award winning zoo has something for everyone. Home to over 400 exotic wild animals including Tigers, Lions, Monkeys, Zebras, Camels, Lemurs, Meerkats, Red Pandas, Tapirs, Penguins, White Lions, Wallabies, Emus, Birds of Prey, Parrots, Reptiles & Snow Leopards. It also offers a full programme of daily animal shows and events including On Safari Adventure Golf, National Speedway Museum, Animal Resource Centre plus the Jungle Theatre, Woodland Railway, playgrounds, Tumble Jungle & Paradise Lagoon.
The Park is situated 20 miles north of London, 7 miles from Junction 25 on the M25 and approximately 20 minutes from London Liverpool Street by rail. The Park operates a mini-bus service to and from Broxbourne station which is 3 miles from Paradise.
New Forest Aqua Park
Just 2 years ago, New Forest Water Park launched their state of the art Rixen Cable wakeboard system which proved to be a huge hit but on 2nd May 2015 they created an even bigger splash when they launched the UK’s first outdoor aqua park, in partnership with Heart FM.
Similar to the assault course used on ‘Total Wipeout’, the Wibit consists of interlocking sections providing endless on-water activities from the likes of slides, monkey bars, trampolines and even a climbing ice tower.
The inflatable, interlocking modules will provide New Forest Water Park with a floating playground of fun, entertainment and fitness to participants aged from 6 to 66. The Park’s MD Mark Jury enthuses “We couldn’t be more delighted about this new addition to the Park. The response has been phenomenal and video footage
of the Aqua Park has been viewed by nearly 1 million people already. The phone hasn’t stopped ringing for bookings and our website crashed due to high demand”.
Further information and advance bookings can be made on or call 01425 656868 or at www.newforestwaterpark.co.uk.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
At Portsmouth Historic Dockyard you’ll discover an ocean’s worth of 10 amazing attractions on one big day out at the seaside!
There’s loads to explore – massive awe-inspiring ships, including Nelson’s HMS Victory and the most powerful ship of the Victorian age, HMS Warrior, plus the chance to go aboard a submarine. Hear edge-of-your seat stories of bravery, have interactive fun at the unique museums, and enjoy loads of exciting kids’ events during the holidays.
Action-packed fun at Action Stations includes climbing walls, one of the tallest indoor climbing towers in the UK and simulators. Get free harbour tours too, and enjoy a great selection of lovely cafés.
Getting there is easy as it has its own train station, plus plenty of parking. It’s a great place to host a party and tickets to the Dockyard attractions are valid for a whole year so you can come as many times as you want! For more information visit www.historicdockyard.co.uk
Travelling With Kids! Great Product Ideas...
Face The Future Sunscreen
Face the Future is an innovative advanced skin clinic that has expanded into one of the UK’s market-leading online retailers of skincare and sunscreen products. Products include:
Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Matte Moisturiser SPF 32. Best for: Oily Skin: “This broad spectrum sunscreen absorbs excess surface oils to leave skin with a non-greasy, matte finish, making it ideal for oily or problematic skins.”. Price: £39.95
Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Hydrating Moisturiser SPF 30. Best for: Dry Skin: “As well as providing high SPF 30 sun protection, this lightweight, ultra-sheer UVA/UVB broad spectrum hydrating moisturiser is perfect for dry / dehydrated skins.”. Price: £39.95
What's On 4 mums recently tested these products and found them to be "lighter than ordinary sunscreens and well absorbed without a greasy feeling", a "luxurious feel to the product" and "effective for all the family". Well recommended!
Face the Future's experienced skincare advisers are available to answer your questions on a dedicated advice line six days a week on 0113 282 3181. For a fabulous range of skin products this summer visit www.facethefuture.co.uk/shop.
These award winning cosy sleeping bags are designed specifically for toddlers as they move into their first bed. They are recommended by The Children’s Sleep Charity as an ideal sleep environment for children.
Snuggle Sac understand the importance of a good night’s sleep and have created a wonderful range of sleeping bags to help overcome common sleep disturbance issues. Snuggle Sacs give a child the security of a comfort blanket, the tactile appeal of a favourite teddy bear and the practicality of a sleeping bag. Great for holidays and sleepovers, the Snuggle Sac ensures that your child feels warm and comfortable in their own special bed - and they won’t wake up in the night, cold with their covers on the floor!
My First Snuggle Sacs have 100% cotton linings, are machine washable and measure 150cm x 60cm. They retail at £35 and come in a choice of 5 different designs. The whole range are recommended by The Children’s Sleep Charity.
Australia's number one sunscreen SunSense offers SPF 50 and 50+ protection using specially designed formulas and quality ingredients - now with the added skin nourishing benefits of Vitamin E. A firm favourite with busy parents thanks to its Toddler Milk and Ultra products which come in easy-to-apply roll-ons. SunSense Ultra is a light, smooth, easy-to-apply high factor sun cream for children and adults providing SPF 50+ protection with 4 hours water resistance. Great for use at home or on holiday, it is water-resistant for 4 hours and available in a 500ml pump, 125ml bottle and a handy 50ml roll-on, ideal for school bags.
Bev's Review: "We tested the roll-on SunSense and it's a genius product for children. They were happy to apply the lotion themselves and it covered little legs and arms very easily, so I was happy that they were getting full coverage. It lasted well too and didn't need re-applying all afternoon. We'll definately look out for the roll-on variety in future".