Family Travel

Badly behaved…

Rudeness and bad behaviour just isn't necessary

Recently we visited a restaurant on our holidays. It was about 7pm, and after a long drive, we were looking for some great pub food, as recommended by our hotel. As we walked through the bar area en route to the restaurant, we got a glare from the barman. Odd, but not unusual – sometimes pubs don’t allow children in the bar, and that’s fine. But what happened next left us speechless. “Oh, we can’t have children in the restaurant. Or the bar. We do have this table in the lobby, but unfortunately it’s taken at the moment.” The Rising …

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Great British Holidays: 5 reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth

Lynton and Lynmouth is an ideal base for exploring Exmoor

The rumble of the cattle grid beneath the wheels announced our arrival on Exmoor, and immediately the landscape changed. Trees gave way to vast green plains, peppered with gorse and sprays of heather. Here and there a paint splash of pink as rhododendrons grow wild, making an easy home, tipping the hat of irony at my futile attempts to cultivate them in my own garden. A smile rushed onto my face and took up permanent residence for the next two days. 5 Reasons to visit Lynton and Lynmouth Wildlife Immediately there were sheep, suicidal as they wandered the roads, peering …

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A new family adventure has begun…

Earlier this year we went skiing for the first time as a family. Each of us had different expectations of our trip, but none of us knew how it would pan out. You see, although all of us had experienced skiing before, this time was going to be different; this time we were a family of four. From my ‘headlong into the thrills’ approach, to Mummy’s nervous ‘will I have to carry 3 pairs of skis and a wailing child’ trepidation, we ran the gauntlet of ‘what-if’s’ for weeks before our arrival on the slopes. Would Daddy be frustrated with …

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The 7 secrets to the best family ski holiday in Europe.

Seven secrets to the best family ski holiday in Europe

If you’re looking for a very sensible set of tips on how to have a successful family ski trip then you’re reading the wrong post. We wrote that one last week, and you can find it here. No, in this post I’m going to tell you how to really have fun. Read on… Secret 1: Eat whatever you want. As I sat in Hotel Le Val d’Isère on my first night, experimenting with my first ever Beouf Bourgignon, I got to thinking about food. “I’m going to have an enormous croissant for breakfast tomorrow,” I declared, already savouring the thought of my favourite …

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Easter skiing in Val D’Isère with Mark Warner: the perfect choice for families

If you've never been skiing with the family, here's why you need to be brave and give it a go!

By Actually Daddy. Given the importance of skiing for Actually Daddy I’ve decided to hand over the blog to him for the day. Here’s what he thinks of Easter skiing in Val d’Isère. I’ve used my bible, Where to Ski and Snowboard as the basis for my report; there is a short précis online, and much more detail in the book. It gives a great summary of the pros and cons of a ski trip to Val D’Isère, so rather than repeat what is a very accurate guide I will attempt to add some value around it. Why go to Val D’Isère with …

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I’m a convert! Tips for a successful family ski trip.

According to The Bug… You may recall that I was a reluctant skier. I was totally happy to sip a hot chocolate while my sister did the energetic bit. But my Dad insisted, and so my Mum set about getting me ready for our first family ski holiday. We spent last week in Val d’Isère with Mark Warner, and the person least inclined to come home when it was all over was me. So how exactly do you prepare a child to enjoy his first ski trip? Tips for a successful family ski trip: Book Lessons: I had several lessons at …

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What to pack for a ski trip

… before and after kids. By Helen… Whilst making a packing list for our forthcoming ski trip it struck me that what I’m taking now is considerably different from what I would have packed 10 years ago, before we had the children. So for anyone planning a holiday in the snow, with or without kids, here’s my advice. What to pack for a ski trip Before kids: Fleece headband that matches  your ski jacket – prevents earache,  but avoids the shame of hat-hair. Duty-free Absolut vodka – distracts the mind from occasional sprains and bruises. Multivitamins – with all that …

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How to prepare for a ski trip with children

By the Bug… This winter I’m going skiing. I’ve been pretty nervous, but I’m ready for my first ski trip. In fact I’d go so far as to say that I’m exceeding expectations, and my plan is to ski faster than Mrs Kamikaze my sister before the holiday is over. How have I made this transition from cautious to courageous? It’s simple really – it’s all in the preparation. How to prepare for a family ski trip Get ski fit: some in our family have been training for long runs recently. This is good as you’ll need cardiovascular fitness on the …

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Our 5 family travel tips.

By GG… With the news this week that baby George, the future king, is off on his first holiday I decided it was high time I shared the benefit of nigh on 10 years of travel experience with children. As we pack for our forthcoming Mark Warner trip, I am reminded of the stressbucket that used to be my mother, and I savour a proud smile at how far she has come since our first holiday as a family. As an aside, I’m also going to tell you how bloggers can win a Mark Warner holiday themselves, as well as …

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Bug can ski!

Two years ago my brother took his first ski lesson. We’re lucky enough to live a short drive from The Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead, and I had been skiing a few times already. I’d done ok with the slippery sticks and will happily fling myself face down in the snow whenever I get the chance, so The Bug, quite naturally, was willing to give it a go. To cut a long story short, he managed his first lesson, with some coaxing from my mother, and consented to a second. To which Daddy was the responsible adult. He’s not as …

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We are Mark Warner ski ambassadors!

Last week GG told you why she needs to take us all on a family skiing holiday. There was much mirth over poor old Actually Daddy and his lack of ability to say something that didn’t sound like it was destined for the board room. Well I am absolutely bowled over and blown away by the news that Mark Warner have today asked us to be ski ambassadors for them. This is how I revealed the news to the rest of my family: Apparently I was too cryptic, although GG confessed that she got it by the second watching, but …

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Why I MUST take my family skiing! #MarkWarnerMum

TWO SKI HOLIDAYS A YEAR! It’s non-negotiable! You knew that  when we got married! It was inevitable that I would become a skier. It was in-utero that I heard these words, flung down the stairs in frustration and anguish. Daddy was having to come to terms with the fact that I would turn 9 weeks old as the ski season began, and Mummy was not as keen to hurtle down the black runs as she used to be. He couldn’t fathom it. I think the words “baby-backpack” were used… Apparently this was acceptable attire in the 90’s. Don’t worry, I’ll …

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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland: Wot so Funee?

Last week we had an invite to the spectacular Hyde Park Winter Wonderland experience. Mummy has always wanted to go, but balked at stories of queues and prices with young children in tow. Come the day, Mummy was ill in bed with gastric flu. Being caring souls, we deposited a tray of lucozade and paracetamol by her pillow, and gave her a cheery wave before heading off with Daddy in search of hedonism. What we did at Winter Wonderland   We rode the giant observation wheel – 3 revolutions in 5 minutes were just perfect to show us everything we …

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Harry Potter Studio Tour London review – don’t bother with Universal

I am not well-known for wanting to go out. I may have mentioned before that leaving the house is a process which requires expert “people management” skills on behalf of my parents. It begins with a bright and cheerful “Today we’re going to….” followed by some strategic groaning and face-making by yours truly. So I astonished even myself when I was up and dressed before the old’s alarm went off, on the day we had scheduled to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. When you book tickets you have to choose a time-slot, and we were a tad early …

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7 things you need to pack when camping with kids

I dragged my parents camping several times this summer. Some of it they enjoyed (namely, the parts where they were asleep, and the parts where they were drinking cider), some of it they didn’t. I enjoyed ALL of it. I know how to have a good time, and so I offer you my best tips for getting rid of the camping jitters and throwing yourself into the spirit of camping with kids. What to take when camping with kids Friends: there is nothing like a couple of middle-aged people whining about boredom to wreck your holiday. There are fields full …

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7 reasons why you want to be a Center Parcs blogger in 2014

This year I was a Center Parcs blogger. What this means is that I had a bit of a giggle joining in with challenges every month and writing about them on the blog, and then I had a free holiday at Center Parcs. As an 8 year old, anything which forces my mother into the craft box with me is welcome, so I can thoroughly recommend it from that perspective. You too can be a Center Parcs blogger! Center Parcs are now looking for next year’s recruits, so I thought I’d give you 7 reasons why you might like to …

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Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival the only family-friendly festival you need (review).

Highs for the kids at Big Feastival 2013

Call me Victor Meldrew if you will, but most of the time I enjoy staying at home. I like my own company, my family (though if you tell my sister I said that I will shoot you with my best stick), and just hanging out with my toys. Going out is – well, it’s hard work to be honest: getting dressed, putting shoes on, walking, all of those things are just an irritation, and I prefer to be getting on with life. But on Sunday I was actually keen to leave the house. I surprised everyone, including myself by looking …

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A Just So Festival Review – Not your average camping trip…

The Just So Festival feels funky and colourful

This year we attended our first festival as a family. Prior to my arrival, M&D spent a fair bit of time at festivals, by all accounts being carefree and jolly, though how that’s possible without the presence of a fun-loving child, I have no idea. Anyway, they’ve been in enforced festival-hibernation for 8 years, and this was the summer they intended to go back to their grass roots – literally. We started with Magic Summer Live – a music festival, breaking ourselves in gently with just one day. That ticked, could we manage a whole weekend? We donned our wellies …

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5 things you never knew you could do in London for kids

We live close to London, so we’re lucky to have it on our doorstep whenever we’re stuck for something to do. From lunches in Chinatown, to cycling practice in Regent’s park, via an hour (or several) in Hamley’s. Our children are so lucky to have this city available to explore. And yet more often than not we go to the usual places, the obvious sites, missing the many hidden jewels that London for kids has to offer. So this holiday we decided to explore some of the secrets of London for kids. London for kids: Stratford This week we visited The …

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