Travel mad mum https://travelmadmum.com Travelmadmum Wed, 11 Nov 2020 13:58:27 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Christmas Train Rides UK https://travelmadmum.com/christmas-train-rides-uk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=christmas-train-rides-uk Wed, 11 Nov 2020 13:57:59 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29719 Many people believe that Christmas is cancelled this year.  While it may not be the same, you can still have fun and bring a bit of Christmas spirit to the season.  One way would be to hop on one of the Christmas train rides in the UK.   With Social distancing in place, some traditions may [...]

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Many people believe that Christmas is cancelled this year.  While it may not be the same, you can still have fun and bring a bit of Christmas spirit to the season.  One way would be to hop on one of the Christmas train rides in the UK.  

With Social distancing in place, some traditions may be out the window.  It is easy to feel down in the dumps about it or you can make the best of a bad situation.  You might even make new traditions along the way.  

Christmas train rides UK offer a unique experience and a great family day out.  Kids of all ages can tag along and of course, a visit from Santa is included.  Steam train rides are located all over the country, so you are sure to find one near you.

Christmas train rides UK
Christmas Train Rides UK

Polar Express Train Ride UK

Polar express train rides UK became popular after the film with the same name.  The film was full of magic and a Christmas train ride is sure to offer the magical experience that kids loved in the film.

However, if you haven’t read the story or watched the film then now is the perfect time to do it.  You can grab a copy here. If you have the book at home, then you could bring it along.  Some train rides may even tell the story during your ride.  

Click here to grab a copy of the Polar Express Book

Steam train rides Yorkshire

For a polar express train in the UK that lets you relive the film, then head to Wensleydale Railway.  It is hugely popular and your journey will start at Leaming bus Station, just like the movie.  

All of your favourite characters will be there and families are encouraged to wear their PJs.  Throughout the journey, the story will be retold by the singing Chefs.  Families can watch the events unfold while sipping their hot chocolate and eating their cookie.

Of course, the kids will get to meet the main character from the story, Father Christmas.  Each child receives a gift, a Silver Sleigh Bell and if you have purchased the book, Santa may even sign it for you.  

On returning back to the station, children get to check if they are on the naughty or nice list.  They also get to write their own list to Santa.  It is an enchanting experience that families are sure to remember.  

Don’t worry if you are not in Yorkshire.  The Polar Express runs from multiple locations around the UK.  Some even offer an overnight stay for you to make the most of it.  

Unfortunately, the Polar Express has been cancelled this year, but they hope to return in 2021.

Check out all the details here. 

Polar Express North Yorkshire

If you are lucky to be in Yorkshire or the surrounding area, then check out Santa Reimagined at the North Yorkshire Mors Railway.  They made a few amendments to their service and rethought out how to offer train rides for kids while keeping to social distance measures.  

With different departure times starting at 9 am, each family can book their own private compartment for up to six people.  The journey is around one hour from Pickering station to  Levisham station and back.  

The train will be decorated to rival any Winter wonderland and there will be Christmas music playing in the background.  Kids will get a present from Santa and get to interact with the elves onboard.  

The tickets usually sell out quickly and booking in advance is required.  Face masks will also need to be worn while you move about the train, but they can be removed in your private compartment.

Click here for more information.

Hot Chocolate and gingerbread cookies

Steam Train Rides, Midlands

Out in the Midlands, there is an award-winning Santa Express.  Great Central Railway in Leicestershire is inviting parents and children to board their beautifully restored compartment coaches. 

Christmas train rides UK are all about the children so there are sweets and drinks ready at the Quorn and Woodhouse station.  Father Christmas makes a surprise visit to your private family compartment to deliver your child’s gift.  No queuing up!

Up to six family members can be seated in the compartments.  You can easily print your ticket at home.  Remember to help Santa get your child’s present ready by filling out a few details about your child online.

Festive refreshments are included in the price but if you are still peckish after the Santa train ride then check out the Butler Henderson Café and nostalgic Tin Shed Shanty bar for some hot food and mulled wine.  

The station yard has a Christmas village and plenty of Christmas cheer.  Present your ticket and families can enter the yard for free.

For more information click here.

Steam Train Rides, West Midlands

In the West Midlands, this magical journey starts in Staffordshire.  Churnet Valley Railway invites families to jump on board the Santa Express and take a journey on the outskirts of the Peak District.  

Before boarding the train kids should have their wish list ready to tell Santa.  The elves greet the children as they have forgotten to Santa and the train takes a quick to detour to pick him up.  Throughtout the magical train journey to Lapland, the elves can keep the cheer going with songs and quizzes.  

When Santa boards the train he delivers a special gift for each child and find out what is on their wish list.  Each passenger receives a sweet treat and a drink during the 90 minutes trip.

For more details check out the website here.

Welsh Steam Train Rides 

If you are looking for a polar express experience in the UK then how about a trip to Lapland from Llangollen.  Hop aboard Santa’s Christmas Special, a two-hour return journey with the Santa visit included.  

This like other steam train rides in the UK takes families on a beautiful scenic route through the Dee Valley and stops in Carrog (Lapland).  There you can find magic elves to keep the children entertained and a cafe to warm up.   

Each child will receive their own special gift.  Remember to leave your child’s details in the comments section when you check out.  While children cannot meet Santa at Lapland, they will be able to wave at Santa in his grotto. 

The private family compartments can hold up to eight family members with a minimum number of four.  Babies under one are free and not included in the headcount.  Onboard each passenger receives their own drink and a sweet treat on board.  

Check out more information here

Steam Train Rides in Wales 

Santa train rides may have become popular due to the Polar Express film but some families have been catching the train to Santa’s grotto for years now.  The Brecon Mountain Railway is celebrating its 32nd year.

Guests get to travel from Pant Station to Santa’s Grotto in Pontsticill.  The Steam Hauled train takes families to receive an age-appropriate gift from Santa.  They haven’t forgotten about the parents either.  Mulled wine and mince pies will be available onboard.   

Tickets are not on sale yet, as dates and times have yet to be confirmed.  However, like other Christmas train rides UK it is sure to be a popular event and tickets are likely to sell out quickly.  

Click here for times and prices.

Christmas train rides UK

Steam train rides Scotland

Strathspey Railway is planning on a Santa train in 2020.  They have had one in previous years and they don’t want to disappoint their customers.

Right now they are working out the final details, to make sure their passengers stay safe aboard the train and in line with government guidelines.  Tickets are not on sale yet.  Stay tuned for an update on the steam train rides in Scotland.

Check here for up to date information.

Xmas Train Rides, Scotland

The Santa Steam Train at Bo’Ness and Kinel Railway has been cancelled this year. They have stated on their website that due to the restrictions in place by the Scottish Government, they are unable to go ahead with the Santa train this year.  

Their Santa train is interactive and includes a lot of singing and dancing with Santa.  They hope to return in 2021.

Check out their website here for more details.

Steam Train Rides, Kent

In Kent, there are many scenic train rides UK.  The Santa train does not disappoint as passengers travel through the breathtaking Kent and Sussex countryside from Eridge to Tunbridge Wells.  

There are two packages available at Spa Valley Railway.  The standard package includes a pre-packaged mince pie for each passenger and a socially distant seat on the train.  Both include a return ticket and a present for each child. Each family gets to see Santa from the comfort of their own seats as he makes his rounds throughout the train.

Choose the Premium package and your mince pie is upgraded to a snack box and Christmas cracker.  You also get to ride in style in one of the premium compartment coaches.  The compartment coaches can sit up to six people in the same family and just a one-off fee.

For more information check the details on the website here.

Santa Special – Spa Valley Railway

Steam Train Rides Cornwall

Lappa Valley in Cornwall is located in 35 acres of Cornish woodland.  It not only has a Santa train, but it has a number of activities to keep little ones busy.  The journey starts when you board a nostalgic train and ride it through the wooded valley into Lappa.

Kids can collect their present from Santa in his socially distanced grotto.  There is balloon modelling and music galore.  While you are there you can also take advantage of the play areas or go for a woodland walk.  

Tickets can be booked online and all bookings are seated together and treated as a social bubble.  

Click here to check out more about the Lappa Valley Santa train

Steam Train Rides Devon 

Technically this is not a train ride.  The Polar Express tram ride sets off from Seaton Tramway in Devon.  Families are able to visit Santa’s home in the North Pole in one of the decorated tram cars.  The journey is around 2.5 hours and there is plenty to do onboard.  

You can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a special treat.  Then take in the lights and speak to Santa as you walk around the North Pole.  There Santa himself gives each child their special gift and there Christmas carols will be sung on the journey home.

This Polar Express ride UK runs throughout November and December and tickets online.  

Check out the dates and times here.

Steam Train Rides in Essex

Audley End Miniature Railway is nestled in the Estate Woodland.  This Christmas you can find a magical winter wonderland there too.  The Santa express takes you through the woods, for you and your family to meet Santa Claus and his elves.  There you can pick up your gift and watch a special Christmas dance.  

The adventure doesn’t end there as you are led to the Gingerbread house to hear what mischief the resident fairy and elf have been up to.  The kids can burn off some energy at the adventure playground while parents can grab a drink at the cafe.  

There are activities set up for kids to make their own reindeer food and write a letter to be sent to Santa at the North pole.  Kids don’t just get to meet Father Christmas as Mother Christmas is there too with an interactive show of her own.   

Like all Christmas train rides UK, tickets need to be booked in advance.

For dates and prices click here.

Christmas train rides UK

Steam Train Rides, London

At Epping Ongar Railway in London Santa is returning in 2020.  They have made a few changes to their programme, but they promise to preserve the joy and wonder of seeing Santa.  

During the booking process, the names and ages of the children are collected, so the gifts can be personalised.  When you are stopped at a station the elves bring the gifts and leave them at the end of the coach.  

As in line with the current guidelines, kids cannot meet Santa.  However, there promises to be plenty of opportunities to see Father Christmas and take memorable photos.  

All trains depart from the North Weald station and the journey lasts 2.5 hours.  Compartments are available for families of 6-8 and can easily be booked online.  

For more information check out the website here.

Steam Train Rides, Peak District

Peak Rail has added a new workshop to their traditional Santa & Specials.  Families get to visit Santa at his workshop before boarding the train at Rowsley South Station.  

The workshop was added this year in accordance with government guidelines.  As families can not meet Santa personally, they still get to experience Christmas and see Santa at his workshop.  

During your journey on the beautifully decorated coaches, the elves deliver the gifts onboard.  Parents can enjoy a mince pie and cappuccino while the kids are entertained by the magicians.

The return journey to Matlock Platform 2 lasts approximately one hour and both tables and compartments are available online. Families can take in the beautiful views of the Peak District.

Click here for dates and times.

Christmas Steam Train Rides, Norwich

This December Bure Valley Railway has a Festive Express Steam train for families to meet Father Christmas.  You need to arrive at Aylsham Station early to pick up your boarding pass and your refreshments.  

Families can feel snug in their heated private compartments on a return journey from Aylsham to Brampton.  Santa greets the children from his sleigh on your return to Aylsham and boards the train to hand out gifts.  

There are several dates and times available throughout December.

For more information click here.

There are plenty of Christmas train rides UK to choose from. We have done our best to ensure the information is accurate. However as things are changing in the blink of an eye, there may be changes or cancellations.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. By using them it will not cost you any extra, we will receive a small percentage of the sale. 

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Corfu With Kids https://travelmadmum.com/corfu-with-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=corfu-with-kids Mon, 05 Oct 2020 20:44:10 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29506 Corfu is a Greek Island in the Ionian Sea. The island uniquely has lush green vegetation and some absolutely stunning crystal clear waters. Corfu is well known for having the most picturesque beaches and has always been a firm favourite for families travelling from the UK and Ireland. Corfu with kids is certainly a lovely [...]

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Corfu is a Greek Island in the Ionian Sea. The island uniquely has lush green vegetation and some absolutely stunning crystal clear waters. Corfu is well known for having the most picturesque beaches and has always been a firm favourite for families travelling from the UK and Ireland. Corfu with kids is certainly a lovely place for a family holiday.

Surprisingly the island of Corfu is far bigger than I had anticipated. There are so many different villages and beaches to discover. You could easily spend 2 weeks there and still feel like there is something more to see.

Whilst beach hopping was one of our favorite activities most days, we also got up to lots of other amazing things such as boat trips, discovering the old town and so much more. Since we loved Corfu so much, we decided to put a guide to this beautiful island together especially for families.

Corfu For Kids

We visited Corfu in late August and the weather was such a perfect temperature at that time of summer. The landing in Corfu is pretty special as the runway is surrounded by the sea. It gives you all the holiday feels immediately!

Corfu Airport is relatively small and easy to navigate. Something really important to remember is you must fill out a passenger location form for each person travelling to Greece. This is following on from the COVID situation. You will not be allowed to board the plane without it, so make sure you get your holiday off to the right start by doing it in advance.

Passengers are emailed the night before travel with a QR code and pass. You will need this at the airport so it’s a good idea to download it before in case of any WIFI issues. You can find the official form here.

Greece like most places nowadays requires you to wear a mask inside and in taxis. Therefore you should have it to hand on entering the airport.

Corfu Family Villa – Where To Stay

Is there anything better than hopping off the plane and being only minutes from your final destination? We stayed in a family villa just 10 minutes from the airport and the popular Corfu Old Town. A villa was a great option in the current climate as it allows for social distancing in comparison to a hotel.

We stayed at the beautiful Villa 1870 Corfu. Nestled on a hill top in Kerkira, it has some stunning views of the Ionian Sea. The villa provides a driver with a really lovely vehicle for the entirety of the trip. They were right there waiting for us when we got out and it was so nice to be at the villa within minutes with the kiddies.

Villa 1870 is a high end luxury villa, perfect for a multi-generational trip or a large family. It can sleep up to 16 people, with 5 bedrooms, several bathrooms, a large heated pool, not to mention several hangout areas, we were spoilt for space. The kids particularly loved the swings and mini football area.

Villa 1870 Corfu

The villa is fully serviced with a private chef, housekeeper and previously mentioned we had a driver which was so handy. They had kids car seats and the driver was amazing at bringing us to all the local spots. Being a local, we found Atkis the driver to be super knowledgeable. He was also super understanding and lovely with the kids.

The food at Villa 1870 Corfu is out of this world. As a vegan I always worry as feeding two vegan kids can often be a challenge abroad but they were awesome at catering to our needs.

The food was fresh and tasty with all the local vibes and influences we really felt spoilt with our meals. Dinner was always served with a glass of ice cold local white wine. Sipping on a cold vino and taking in all of the views from the dining area was the ultimate relaxation experience. It was just the best not having to worry about restaurant bookings and making sure there was something specific for the kids.

Villa 1870 Corfu very much lives up to its name and the owners have done everything to preserve the history and heritage of the property. It’s like stepping back inside a 19th century palace with the luxury of all mod cons. We were blown away by the architecture and design.

Check out the villa website here.

A Typical Day In Corfu With Kids

We had a little bit of a routine each day in Corfu. Every morning we’d wake up to an absolutely stunning breakfast in Villa 1870 Corfu. Soon after, we’d hang out by the pool until the afternoon when we’d get ready to head out for lunch and an explore.

Atkis the driver would always book a restaurant in advance. Being a local and knowing restaurant owners always guaranteed a table with an amazing view! Afterwards, we’d visit the beach or walk around the town depending on where he had dropped us off.

We were pretty happy for Atkis to take the lead as we hadn’t done any research before going to Corfu.

Best Beaches To Visit With Kids In Corfu

 Paleokastritsa

We visited Paleokastrista twice during our trip. We just loved the shallow crystal clear water of this bay. The beach is in an inlet and looking out to sea it reminded me so much of the famous Maya Bay in Thailand.

There are quite a few restaurants along the beachfront, it’s just a small but very cute village that had lots going on. You’ll also find a monastery in Paleokastritsa which definitely makes a lovely photograph.

We rented pedal boats one afternoon to explore the bay. The kids loved snorkeling and jumping into the water. It was just 15 euro for an hour and was well worth it in my opinion.

If peddling is not your thing you can also go on a 45 minute guided boat trip. It will take you to explore the caves nearby and the secret beach too!

There is also an option to rent a proper boat for the day, this is another really lovely option. You can bring a picnic and enjoy swimming and exploring all the local coastal spots around Paleokastritsa.

Vrachos Restaurant is right on the corner of the beach with some absolute stunning views, it is well worth a visit. Make sure to ask for a table at the furthest end of the restaurant, the view is impressive and it was so relaxing watching the boats drift by. They serve lots of typical greek food and were really willing with making alterations for our vegan diet.

Barbati Beach

Barbati Beach is on the east coast of the island and is more popular with locals than tourists. Maybe it is one of their best kept secrets? This beach is just stunning and has the most beautiful clear water in all of Corfu, the water visibility is insane, not to mention the white pebbles that really make it stand out.

It’s certainly more busy on the weekends in comparison to the weekdays. There is a lovely restaurant called Verde Blu that is perfect for drinks or food and has a green lawn for kids to play on too. The food was great and the sun loungers were so close to the water, it was such a fab afternoon.

We visited on a Sunday, so it was a little busier but they had a DJ which had lovely vibes. It was hard to get our kids to leave the beach that day. Barbati Beach is perfect for little ones as the shore is shallow and it was my husbands favorite beach in Corfu!

Glyfada Beach

Glyfada Beach is on the west coast of the island. Madonna has a massive property on the edge of this beach, needless to say it’s beautiful. Apparently this beach use to be more popular with young party goers. However we found the beachfront bars had completely changed the direction of their business. Instead of beach party bars, you’ll find lounge like relaxing areas with shade, big cushions for resting and chill out tunes.

A good example of party bar come chill out family space is Pazuzu. My understanding is many places are doing this in view of Covid to allow for more socially distanced business. This chill out restaurant was lovely. The only downside was their sun loungers were quite expensive.

There are lots of water sport activities to enjoy at Glyfada Beach. Surrounded by picturesque cliffs, you can do everything form parasailing to jet skiing within this perfectly framed beach!

Corfu Old Town

As we were based only a 10 minute drive from Corfu Old Town we visited quite a few times throughout our holiday. Whilst most of the restaurants in Corfu will always try to alter meals to a vegan alternative, most didn’t have many vegan options to choose from. Therefore we visited the old town to go to the vegan restaurant!

Simply wandering through the narrow cobbled streets and browsing at the many market shops will keep you busy for a couple of hours. Don’t forget to check out the fortress across from old town.There are stunning views over the sea and we particularly loved St George’s Church Temple with the backdrop of the Ionian Sea was everything!!

Restaurants in Corfu Old Town

There is one fully vegan cafe in town called Bizou Cafe. Nestled down a cobbled street full of character, this little piece of heaven is also an antique shop. My kids loved visiting Bizou as they had lots of lovely food they are so use to eating at home, and of course vegan treats are harder to come by abroad so they stocked up good! I highly recommend this little cafe even if your not vegan as it is such an affordable place to eat too!

Our other favorite place to eat was the vegetarian restaurant called Aubergine. They have lots outdoor seating, it’s not too far from the fortress, so it’s the perfect place to sit and people watch. There was lots of options in Aubergine for all of us, including many vegan dishes. Make sure to check these two restaurants out!

If you are looking for somewhere super fun to have ice-cream with the kids, check out the Hans and Gretel Sweet Shop in the main town. This shop is full of all things magical fairy tales.

The interior has an amazing magic tree and many characters that make you feel like you are stepping into a movie scene. That’s just the interior, the ice-creams (or sorbet if you are vegan) are every bit as magical! Stacked high with all sorts of decorations this little store shouldn’t be missed with kids, they will love it!

Chartered Boat Trip

Villa 1870 Corfu arranged a chartered boat trip for us. Setting sail from the port close to Corfu Old Town, we sailed to the other side of the island where we discovered beautiful swimming caves, private beaches and gorgeous diving spots. This was by far one the best days we had in Corfu as the water is just incredibly clear and beautiful.

We anchored up a few times for a swim and some lunch, the boat was perfectly comfortable with a mini kitchen, bathroom and a couple of beds for the kiddies to chill out in the afternoon. After a fun filled day we sailed back to town at sunset, this was the perfect finish to the perfect trip.

Aqualand Corfu

We made an impromptu visit to Aqualand Corfu on our last day. We felt it was one of the places the kids would just love on the last afternoon. The park was incredibly quiet so the kids got to use all of the slides to their hearts content. There are many different sections with slides for different ages. Our 3 year old loved the baby area with mini slides, a tiny pirate ship and sprinklers.

Our 6 year old loved some of the bigger slides and floating around the lazy river. Oh and of course hubby and I loved some of the massive slides. There are a couple of drinks and snack huts that kept us ticking over until dinner time. Aqua land is an ideal activity for an afternoon with kids in Corfu. Check out Aqualand here.

Best Ice-Cream Spot In Corfu With Kids

Just above Paleokastrista perched on the top of a mountain is the village of Lakonos. Featuring narrow streets and some epic views it has one of the best little spots for an ice-cream / drink in all of Corfu. Dolce Cafe has super modern interior and a floor to ceiling glass walls to allow for the ultimate view.

I couldn’t get over the view to be honest, it was just stunning! It’s very high up so you can see the cliff edge for miles and beaches look like little dots below. The deep blue sea against the lush green land made some amazing photographs. The kids really loved the sorbet too so they were actually content whilst we soaked up the atmosphere.

Plane Spotting In Corfu With Kids

If you head to Kanoni not too far from the airport there are a couple of awesome terraces where you can get a drink or sorbet and have an incredible birds eye view of the runway. If you are a plane lover, this will blow you away. It’s just a short runway surrounded by crystal clear blue water on either side. It reminds me of a jetty!

Aside from the plane spotting you can also get a lovely aerial perspective of the picturesque Mouse Island, home to the 12th century monastery, Lady of Vlaherna. This has to be one of the most photographed and postcard worthy spots in all Corfu so this is definitely a sun downer or afternoon drink with a difference not to be missed.

So that was our 8 days in Corfu with kids! As you can see we got to see lots of beautiful places throughout our holiday. Corfu has to be one of my most favorite places in Europe to visit for a summer beach holiday with a young family.

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Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. By using them it will not cost you any extra, we will receive a small percentage of the sale. Villa 1870 Corfu hosted our stay, as always all views expressed are entirely our own. Thank you in advance for your support as these little sales of products and experiences are what we can truly recommend.

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Best Campsites for Families UK https://travelmadmum.com/best-campsites-for-families-uk/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-campsites-for-families-uk Wed, 23 Sep 2020 10:33:32 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29500 With more and more families reluctant to travel abroad, family camping is fast becoming the ideal holiday.  No matter what age your children are or where you live in the UK, we looked at the best campsites for families in the UK to suit all ages and find somewhere that is suitable for you.  Camping [...]

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With more and more families reluctant to travel abroad, family camping is fast becoming the ideal holiday.  No matter what age your children are or where you live in the UK, we looked at the best campsites for families in the UK to suit all ages and find somewhere that is suitable for you. 

Camping is also the perfect holiday to have if you are on a budget.  Which with the Coronavirus Pandemic happening, who isn’t? 

Even if camping was the furthest thing from your mind, it is a great family holiday that never fails to disappoint.  There are plenty of opportunities to bond as a family and spend some quality time together.

However, if camping is not your thing, but you still want to experience the outdoors and quality family time, then maybe glamping would be perfect for you.  There are also the options of safari tents and bell tents.

Whether you are looking for an activity-filled campsite or somewhere quiet beside the sea, we will check out the different places for you and your kids to camp.  

Best Campsites for Kids UK

In this article, we cover all the best campsites for families UK and the facilities they offer. We cover the budget, amenities, and activities nearby for the perfect family holiday.

Before we jump into the best campsites for families UK let’s take a look at the camping gear you might like to take along with you.  

While all the facilities adhere to the social distancing rules, to give you a bit of peace of mind you could take along a few extras.

A solar shower with a pop-up tent would be the perfect solution to keep you feeling fresh and while keeping your distance from others.  A composite toilet is another solution that gives families privacy and away from others on site.

Most families like to cut costs wherever possible, camping memberships are a great way to save money and discover new camping sites.

The Best UK Campsites for Kids

Before we dive into the different areas, there are a few things to consider first.  Families may want to think about the different camping options available.  

If pitching a tent and lying on the ground is not an option, then family caravan parks might be worth looking at. You don’t even need a  caravan as most offer the option to rent one per night or the duration of a stay.  

There are also an abundance of holiday camps for kids scattered across the UK.  These have the option of camping, caravanning, or even renting out a small holiday home. 

You may also want to consider family campsites with entertainment.  If you want someone else to keep the kids entertained while you relax, then this can help narrow down your choices.

Some of the best campsites in England for families have many options available, we have everything covered in this article!  

Best Family Campsites in Cornwall

It’s not surprising that some of the best campsites for families UK can be found in Cornwall in the South West of England.  Here you can find everything you are after, from Yurts to camping. 

Tregedna Farm is one of the best family campsites in Cornwall.  It is suitable for tents, caravans, and campervans. You can even bring along the family dog.

There is a beach nearby that is perfect for kids to get their feet wet. For the more adventurous, there are also watersports available.  Make sure to pack your wetsuit if you are ready to try kayaking or snorkeling.  

Like all of the best campsites in Cornwall for families, there are plenty of restaurants nearby.  However, at Tregenda Farm they have their own farm shop on site that offers plenty of seasonal food.  

There is also a play area on-site to keep the kids busy.  Not to mention plenty of space for the kids to run around.  

Most importantly there are toilets, showers, and a wash area with a washing machine and tumble dryer for families to use. A washing machine is always a massive bonus when camping. 

Best Campsites in Cornwall for families

Another campsite that seems to offer it all is Tremovru Campsite.  While it may be popular with surfers due to its location, it is full of amenities for families. Even though Cornwall is full of some of the best campsites, this is a great family run campsite.

There are so many amenities that it is difficult to include them all.  If you are camping with a baby or little ones there are even baby changing facilities.  If you are travelling with older kids then you might be glad to hear that there is free WIFI available. We always take our Skyroam portable wifi with us!

Like the previous campsite, you will find toilets, showers, and a wash up area. There are also hairdryers and electrical shaving sockets available.  

It is the perfect place for a barbecue and the onsite shop sells local food and other essentials.  You can borrow bricks for barbecues and charcoal can be found onsite.

However, what sets it apart as one of the best campsites in Cornwall, families can sit around the hired fire pits telling stories. It is also the perfect place for parents to enjoy a glass of wine while the kids sleep after burning off all their energy at the local beach.

Family Campsites, Yorkshire

With Yorkshire known for its beautiful countryside, it is no wonder you can find amazing camping sites for kids here.  

You might not find any places to surf, but there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy.  We had a look at some of the best campsites in Yorkshire for families.  

Like many family campsites, Humble Bee Farm has a great play area for kids and it is also full of amenities for all the family.  

There are the usual toilets, showers, and wash areas available.  There is even an onsite shop for any supplies you need in a hurry.  They also have the fire pit to hire in the evening.

The farm lives up to its name and there are plenty of animals to see .  They have a pig that is sure to delight the kids and they can even get involved with collecting their own breakfast.

While you can find a beach a short drive away, one of the highlights of the farm is that the Yorkshire Wolds Way runs right along the site.  

If you are a budding historian, then Butt Farm is right up your street.  The field next door is home to a WWII anti-aircraft gun site.  

Even though the area has been around for years, the campsite is relatively new.  It is just a few years old and the owners have made sure that all of the amenities you need are on site.  

family camping sites uk
Butt Farm

If history is not your cup of tea, then just short while away you will find a great place to fish, or take a tour of the local windmill.  Like most family campsites, Yorkshire has great trails and walking routes for all family members.

Best Campsites in Wales for Families

Wales needs no introduction and it is one of the most beautiful places and home to the best family campsites.  

There are so many places to choose from, and we struggled to choose just two campsites good for kids.  

The first one on our list is in South Wales and it is the Heritage Coast Campsite.  There are some spectacular sights nearby and it has something for everyone.  

One of the best things about it is that it is family-centered. It would be very unlikely to find people partying or large groups.  

While you can’t bring your own barbecue, there are amenities on site. They even have their own cafe that not only serves food throughout the day, but it is fully licensed and serves some local brews.

You may recognise some of the popular spots nearby. Like the Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes and Southerndown and Dunraven Bay. They have both been backdrops on TV and campers can take advantage of the fantastic location.  

This is also the place to be if the outdoors is not for you.  If you are in need of some retail therapy, then Cardiff is not far away. Depending on your budget, you could spend some cash at the boutiques or head to the Bond Street of South Wales.  

Campsites for Kids

In North Wales, you will find Graig Wen. It is the perfect place for wildlife lovers nestled right in the hills. Not only is it the perfect backdrop, but it is a secluded place close to nature. 

While it promises to take you back to nature, you can still find the amenities needed like showers and toilets.  

You can sit around the communal fire pit, or count how many animals you can spot.  No matter what time of day, you won’t be disappointed. There is a site specifically for children and it is pet friendly, as long as dogs are kept on leads.  

As well as trails and cycling, there is plenty to do for the more extreme sports-minded family members.  Nearby you will find a zipline and even an attraction centered around myths and legends. 

Best Family Campsites, Lake District

It wouldn’t be camping in the UK if we didn’t visit the Lake District. It undoubtedly has the best campsites in the UK for families.

The Lake District is probably one of the most famous holiday destinations in the UK.  It is known for its lakes, mountains, and forests. Not surprisingly there are many family camping sites to choose from.

At Lanefoot Farm campsite, there are options for everyone.  Whether you have your own tent or not, you will find somewhere to stay that is great for families.  In fact, they have a field dedicated just for families.

The campsite has been around for years and it is known for its laid back atmosphere.  Although you will still find toilets, showers, and a laundry room.  There are plenty of trails nearby at Whinlater Forest and numerous cyclist routes.  It is right on the C2C route, with more routes closeby.  

The campsite is also a short walk from the village where you can explore the pubs, grab some supplies, or simply sip the local beer.

Campsites for Families

One of the best-located campsites is Moss Side Farm Campsite.  It is a working farm that has plenty to do.  

Like any good campsite in the Lake District, you will find lots of places to hike.  However, this campsite is also close to the sea and lakes and you will find the most spectacular views of the coast.

If you plan on taking advantage of the hiking trails then make sure to pack a good pair of hiking boots for the kids. Even if your kids are too young to hike, there are great backpack carriers available for them to tag along.

Everything you need is onsite, from toilets to barbecues. However, if you want to explore off-site you will find plenty to keep you busy.  You could go canoeing on the lake, visit a castle, or even visit South Lakes Animal Park.  

To keep it one of the best family-friendly campsites, big groups are not allowed.  This makes it a firm favourite for families and it had to be on our list of best campsites for families UK.

Family Camping Midlands

The Midlands is no stranger to family-friendly campsites.  There are plenty of child-friendly campsites to choose from and some of the best campsites for families in the UK are right here.

Chase camping in the West Midlands is another place for our wildlife lovers.  However here you can expect to see deer, owls, foxes, and rabbits.  In fact, there is even a Gruffalo spotters trail nearby for fans of the book.

Family camping holidays in the UK can also include some adventure.  Birches Valley visitor Centre is right next door.  There you can find a host of activities to keep the kids and the parents on their toes.  Activities like Forest Segways and Go Ape are all on your doorstep, making this a family-friendly site.

Onsite you will find all of your usual amenities, including a Pizzeria.  There are also plenty of places to eat and drink nearby that serve good food, ale, and great gin.

family camping trip
Chase Camping
Family Friendly campsites UK

In the East Midlands, you will find the small Cuckoo Farm Campsite.  It has everything you need at the campsite, including cooking equipment.  There are even farm animals for the kids to pet.

The campsite is relatively secluded, and the river runs nearby making it a great place for the kids to splash and collect rocks.  Be sure to pack some rock shoes for the kids.

A few miles away, there are a number of activities to take part in and lots of beautiful places to visit.  Whether you want to watch the birds, have a picnic, or even water sailing at Rutland Water Visitors Centre.  Camping with kids in the UK means the weather may not stay dry and we know that you have packed your raincoat and wellies. However to keep the kids dry and out of trouble, you can check out the Stamford Arts Centre.

Family Campsites, Scotland 

There are camping and caravan sites for kids scattered all over Scotland.  Family camping holidays can be near the centre or located in the beautiful highlands in the North of the country. 

The first campsite to look at is in central Scotland in Stirlingshire.  Drymen Camping offers a communicable food area where campers can prepare their own food.  

After you pitch your tent you can enjoy sitting around the picnic tables scattered about the site. Campfires are not allowed, but there are barbecues available. 

The campsite is located in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park and there are plenty of things to keep both you and the kids busy.  The park has trails suitable for all abilities and a cycling route nearby.

Loch Lomond Shores offers numerous shops and restaurants.  For parents the Glengoyne Distillery is nearby and there you will be able to sample some of Scotland’s finest whiskeys.  Which had to put it on the list of best campsites for families in the UK.

There are many restaurants nearby including The Beach Tree in Dumgoyne where kids can eat and then pet some of the friendly animals at the zoo.

best places to camp with kids
Drymen Camping
Good Campsites for Families

If you are looking for somewhere more remote then Ace Hideaways in the Highlands is perfect. As it is a remote site, there are plenty of amenities to make it the best camping holiday.  

There are different hideaways to choose from so you are sure to find the right one for your family.  Nearby the area is bursting with activities.  There are the usual walking trails, but also fly fishing, water rafting, golf and even paintballing available.  

Located near Findhorn Valley and if you are not up for one of the activies, it is still a great place for quiet walks for you to soak up nature.  There are facilities to suit every memebr of the family.

It is definitely the place for a unique family adventure.

Best Family Campsites, Somerset

Somerset is known for its apples and cider. It is also one of the most picturesque places. Located in the Southwest of England is also famous for cheddar cheese.  

At Wookey Farm, the kids can find out all about running a dairy goat farm.  There are also a host of other animals to keep the kids amused. 

Although you will only find basic amenities here such as composite toilets and cold drinking water.  There are no showers here, but if you are brave enough to give it a try then take a dip in the River Axe or bring your own solar shower with you. 

There are plenty of places nearby if you want a break from the amazing scenery and find out more about the village.  If you want to venture further afield, the kids will love Longleat Safari Park.  

If you are willing to get your fingers dirty, then this is the place for you. We included is as one of the best campsites for families in the UK due to it being a low impact, eco campsite.

Best Campsites for Children

Located just a five minutes walk from Cheddar, Petruth Paddocks has family at the forefront of its mind. There are strict rules in place to ensure that all guests have the best holiday.

This campsite has both toilets and showers, and fires pits are available for all guests.  The site is very relaxed, and there is plenty of space to spread out.  Next to the site, there is a horse paddock to keep the little ones entertained.  

There is also plenty to see and do nearby. For older kids and there is abseiling and rock climbing or you could explore the cave in the Wookey Hole.   There is also the cathedral in Wells, Berrow Beach, or head out to Glastonbury.  

With plenty of pubs, restaurants, and cafes in the local village, you will be spoilt for choice as there is something for everyone.  

family camping UK
Petruth Padocks
Tips for Camping with Kids 

If after reading this article you are itching to get going to some of the best campsites for families in the UK, then check out what you need to bring with you to make sure you have the best family camping trip.  

We all know about the essentials; a tent, sleeping bags, and blankets.  However, there are other items to consider depending on the choices you make.  If your campsite doesn’t have a cooking area then it may be best to invest in a small cooker and travelling cooking set.

  

There is also the option of entertainment.  Although we expect that many of your kids will crawl into bed after running around all day.  You may want to consider a few board games or books to take with you. Camping is a great way to stay screen-free although some sites do have WIFI.  

One of the most important things to bring is the right clothes.  We all know that the UK weather is unpredictable, so rain jackets are a must.  If you have decided on the more adventurous kind of camping holiday, then you need to invest in a good pair of hiking boots.  

It may all seem like a lot, but the items you buy can be used again on your next camping trip, as we are sure that it won’t be your last.

All of the campsites mentioned are adhering to social distance rules and they may have new rules in place. It is best to check with the campsite before going to confirm the amenities provided.  

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Glamping Near London for Every Budget https://travelmadmum.com/glamping-near-london-for-every-budget/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=glamping-near-london-for-every-budget Mon, 15 Jun 2020 18:31:02 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29383 It's the time of year to get outdoor, travel and explore. With the coronavirus epidemic happening, people are spending more time actually exploring their own cities and the beautiful places closer to home. For many people this means camping, but if traditional camping is a little too rough for you or you just prefer to [...]

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It’s the time of year to get outdoor, travel and explore. With the coronavirus epidemic happening, people are spending more time actually exploring their own cities and the beautiful places closer to home.

For many people this means camping, but if traditional camping is a little too rough for you or you just prefer to indulge, it’s time to consider glamping!

If you aren’t familiar with glamping, it’s the perfect combination of getting back into nature, and 21st century luxuries.

You’ll get the classic fire pits, beautiful natural landscapes, and lots of screen free activities but you’ll also get an actual bed, electricity, a functional bathroom and more.

No matter what your budget, there is a beautiful glamping just waiting to be explored, some with the basic amenities, and some with spas, glass roofs and more!

Some of our friends contributed their experiences of glamping near London, so scroll through the options and find the one that suits you.

Covid note: Many of the glamping site offer money back guarantees for closures due to the outbreak, so no need to worry about losing any money!

The Best Spots For Glamping Near London

Home Farm Glamping

Home Farm Glamping, offers a fantastic setting for that longed for family get together once the lockdown has been lifted.

Set in 100 acres of stunning fields and woodland it offers a space where families can gather and spend quality time together, enjoy the great outdoors combined with the home comforts that some family members could perhaps not do without.

The site can be accessed by both tube and train being just five minutes from the end of the Jubilee and Northern Lines or Elstree & Borehamwood train station.

glamping near london - home farm glamping

Accommodation consists of either yurts or bell tents; all are beautifully decorated, double and single beds made up with luxurious warm bedding.

Each has its own outdoor seating area with fire pit and barbecue. The site has six lovely bathrooms with hot showers, flushing loos and heated towel rails.

Charcoal and wood are provided, along with cutlery, crockery and glasses so no need to bring your own.

You can do an online shop and have it delivered in advance and a local livestock farm delivers boxes of free-range produce. For those not wanting to cook, there is an on-site café tent and several pubs within walking distance.

glamping london

During the day, guests can take walks around the farm, including the beautiful Tykes Waterlake and 100 Oak Wood, kids will love the woodland play area and enjoy discovering the nature trail.

The neighbouring farm will organise private visits to meet their lovely collection of rescue animals including llamas, miniature ponies, and pygmy goats.

There is also a croquet lawn, plenty of open space to play football, rounders or frisbee, and there’s a badminton set and ping pong table available for everyone’s use. Local attractions include Aldenham Country Park, Harry Potter World at Warner Bros Studio, London Elstree Aerodrome to name a few.

Tents start from £80 per night (sleeping two). For information on Home Farm Glamping go to www.homefarmglamping.com

George’s Getaway

Hidden away nestling in the fold of a hill on our private country estate, George’s Getaway offers a spacious rural retreat ideal for group or family gatherings.

The single-storey lodge started life as a stable and chicken coup and has been uniquely and stylishly transformed into a luxurious lodge, providing an unrivalled escape to the country. 

Rest and relaxation are the watchwords and George’s Getaway is the perfect base from which to appreciate the beautiful sweeping views of the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

French doors lead out onto a spacious deck area where you will find everything you could need for al-fresco dinning – including your very own eight-seater barbecue hut and seven-seater hot tub, where you can soak away your stresses. 

glamping near london, geodesic dome

Steps lead up from the outdoor deck to a 4-metre platform, where you’ll find a geodesic dome equipped with super-king-sized circular bed. This is the ideal place from which to stargaze in real comfort. – There is even a telescope provided for your convenience!

Grazing sheep, ponies and alpacas are your neighbours in the fields below, as well as wonderful wildlife including woodland deer. Binoculars are provided to spy the birds that fly in from time-to-time including woodpeckers, herons, owls and the occasional red kite. 

Centrepiece of George’s Getaway is the magnificent king-sized master bedroom, which boasts twin freestanding bath tubs within the bedroom, so you can climb straight into bed after a relaxing soak.

london glamping - George's Getaway

A family suite takes the form of another king-sized bedroom with sumptuous corner bath, a twin children’s room and a ‘Jack & Jill’ (two-door) bathroom that links them.

There’s even a small window between rooms so the children can be checked on without being woken up in the night. 

The sleek and stylish kitchen is furnished with contemporary lush SMEG and Joseph Joseph accessories. And the many thoughtful touches extend to a welcome basket on arrival for all guests, including milk, fruit and delicious cake. 

For those rainy days they’ve also got you covered, with the 55inch TV and DVD player plus selection of board games. You can even leave your mark by constructing Lego model art using the picture boxes and building bricks provided.

George’s Getaway has central heating throughout controlled by wall-mounted thermostats so you’ll stay cosy, whatever the weather.

Swallowtails, Norfolk

Contributed by Jenny from Peak District Kids.

Swallowtails is just a short walk from the old market town of Holt in Norfolk, but nicely tucked away in woodland so that you feel a million miles away, at one with nature.

Stepping in to one of their Mongolian yurts, and you may be mistaken for thinking you’ve stepped in to the set of ‘The Borrowers’.

The warm colours of the mismatched fabrics compliment the antique furniture, and the toasty glow from the log burner is perfect for those grey drizzly days.

There are six yurts in total, spaciously dotted around a central meadow, including four luxury 18 ft yurts (sleeps 4), a 22 ft yurt (sleeps 6), and a Lotus Belle tent (sleeps 4).

Each yurt is fully insulated, meaning they’re cosy warm on cooler nights, although on a hot summer’s day you can create a nice through draft by opening the door and roof.

yurts near london - Swallowtails

Everything is provided for you, including towels, bed linen, pots and pans, cutlery and crockery, and there’s even a toy box for kids. There’s no ensuite though.

You have to walk across the meadow to use the compost loo, and you have access to the shower facilities on the main campground.

Just outside of the yurts are individual BBQ areas with seating and a fire-pit. Firewood can be bought onsite, although it saves to bring your own.

During holidays, activities are laid on for kids and there’s also Friday Pizza Night and pond dipping available.

But an absolute must do is to venture out of the glamping site to the wide open beaches of the Norfolk coastline, just a ten minute drive away, or perhaps take a boat tour to see seals. 

Somerset Yurts (Yurts Near London)

Contributed by Gill.

Glamping in Somerset is the ideal getaway from London with kids. Somerset Yurts are based in the countryside in West Monkton, with beautiful views of the rolling Somerset hills. This is the perfect glamping trip not far from London – and the perfect tonic for all.

Somerset Yurts are situated next to a dairy farm, it was of much delight to our toddler to gaze at the cows just over the fence.

The campsite is a safe space for kids to explore. We enjoyed a family BBQ just before sunset and toasted marshmallows. The yurts are homely and cosy, with plenty of space to play games indoors too.

Somerset-Yurts-glamping-near-london

Waking up in nature with kids is always so refreshing. It’s beautiful seeing their eyes look up in wonder in the morning as they hear the dawn’s chorus so vividly, with the birds singing and the cows mooing.

We had a storm the night before – luckily all stayed intact but we really enjoyed being cosied up with the log burner to keep us all toasty.

Being only a thirty minute drive from Glastonbury meant we had lots of exploring to do. There are so many legends surrounding Glastonbury.

Glastonbury has lots of interesting alleyways, nooks and crannies which the small ones could run around. One corner was enshrined with beautiful crystals and sculptures of dragons.

We even stumbled across a family friendly day time festival at a skate park where kids were happily dancing or zooming around on the scooters. Street artists were creating interesting images on the walls. 

Glastonbury has remained a town of independent stores and restaurants which is always great to explore – lots of kid friendly cafes to kick back in. It is a charming, quintessential English town but with an alternative, magical twist.

Somerset Yurts are the perfect quirky, getaway from London as you have the juxtaposed, off grid glamping site in nature and the option to explore nearby Glastonbury town. You even pass the ancient Stonehenge on the drive down!

Glamping Cabins at Lee Valley Campsite in Sewardstone

Contributed by Deeptha from The Globe Trotter.

Located on the outskirts of Chingford and less than half an hour from Central London (via public transport), the Lee Valley Campsite in Sewardstone offers the best of both worlds!

Although not as fancy as many other glamping sites, this countryside campsite’s biggest plus point is it’s location which is great for exploring London as well as the countryside of Chingford/Essex. There are so many things to see and do around the site.

One can explore the numerous walking trails through Lee Valley, visit the Lee Valley Park Farms, which has a number of farmyard animals, go white water rafting at Lee Valley White Water Centre,.

Enjoy the tranquillity of Waltham Abbey Gardens, visit Royal Gunpowder Mills, or go bird watching in River Lee Country Park. The list is endless. You can even hire cycles at the site to explore the local area.

And if you want to explore London, you can reach the heart of the capital city in less than half an hour from the campsite.

Wood Cabin at Lee Valley Campsite in Sewardstone glamping campgrounds

The glamping options at the Lee Valley campsite include two-person cocoons and four-person cabins.

The cabins are insulated and doubled glazed, with heating and electricity and amenities like a microwave, hotplate, TV, a coffee table & chair, a fridge, kettle and some crockery and cutlery included.

The cabins are well-kitted out and you can relax and enjoy your glamping experience without any worries.

If you are looking for a glamping experience not far from London, where you can reconnect with nature, the Lee Valley Campsite in Sewardstone is a great choice for a glamping break.

Crafty Camping Woodman’s Treehouse, Dorset 

Contribution by Francesca from Little Lost Travel.

Crafty Camping’s Woodman’s Treehouse has been hailed as one of the most innovative glamping experiences in the UK. Located in Dorset, the multi-award-winning treehouse marries rustic elegance with luxury.

It’s no wonder it’s been featured in the likes of Vogue, Conde Nast Traveller, The Guardian and on television. Did I mention that it also has a slide?

Built on long stilts in the branches of a veteran oak tree, the treehouse offers an extraordinary eco glamping retreat.

Sustainability is at the heart of its craftsmanship and great care has been taken to ensure that the design doesn’t put a strain on the tree or damage its delicate ecosystem. 

glamping uk near london - Woodman's Treehouse
Photo credit:www.mallinson.co.uk

The Woodman’s Treehouse is both a spa and glamping accommodation. Guests can enjoy a hot tub and sauna on its upper deck surrounded by the privacy of the woodland.

In the evening, you can cosy up in front of the revolving wood burner that can be pointed in the direction of the kitchen, bed, or sofa.

Make sure you stock up on your favourite pizza toppings before you arrive because you will definitely want to have a go at the outdoor wood-fire pizza oven! 

During the day you can relax in your woodland eco haven or venture out into the stunning West Dorset countryside.

Crafty Camping is about 10 miles inland from Lyme Regis and 12 miles from Devon’s Jurassic Coast, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Site. 

The Woodman’s Treehouse offers a stylish eco glamping retreat for friends and couples rather than families (the minimum age for guests is 18) and it’s one of the high budget options.

The price for the minimum stay of two nights during the week is £990 and £1,485 for a weekend. 

Rushy Meadows Glamping

Contributed by Nikki from Brunch or Breakfast.

Rushy Meadows glamping site is on a family run organic farm and was one of the best camping experiences I have ever had. The site is idyllic with shepherd’s huts set around a lake and the loos and showers are just lovely!

We went to celebrate a friend’s birthday so there were quite a few of us in the huts and in tents.

We soon lost our daughter, she was found with several other children rowing the resident boat, Peggy Sue, around the lake (don’t worry, it was shallow and there were plenty of adults keeping an eye on them, but you do need to be responsible for your own child).

The weekend was very peaceful and relaxing, there is a great walk on site that meanders through the woods with a branch tunnel that leads to another lake, we could have been the only people in the world it was so quiet.

The huts are cosy and very well stocked and comfortable, we loved the outdoor kitchen and the veranda.

Rushy Meadows Glamping Camping Oxford Canopy & Stars

It is not far from Oxford, but the nearest town is Witney which has some lovely cafes. We can recommend the Church Green cafe for brunch.

The best thing about the whole weekend was just spending time lying in the grass next to the lake listening to the birds, it was just perfect! 

If you have time, do have a day trip into Oxford, the buildings of this famous university city are beautiful and there are lots of things to do and see like the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Oxford Castle and Prison, or a cruise down the river.

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Things To Do With Kids In Algarve https://travelmadmum.com/things-to-do-with-kids-in-algarve-portugal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-do-with-kids-in-algarve Sat, 13 Jun 2020 00:25:36 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29422 Whether they’re thrill-seekers, budding scientists or animal enthusiasts, there’s plenty of things to do in with kids in Algarve.  Whilst the Algarve, located in southern Portugal, is known for its incredible beaches, almost year-round great weather and not to mention the stunning rugged, golden cliff and rock formations that line the coast, there is so [...]

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Whether they’re thrill-seekers, budding scientists or animal enthusiasts, there’s plenty of things to do in with kids in Algarve. 

Whilst the Algarve, located in southern Portugal, is known for its incredible beaches, almost year-round great weather and not to mention the stunning rugged, golden cliff and rock formations that line the coast, there is so much more to see, do and explore on an Algarve family holiday.

Portugal with kids

As such, I’ve decided to go ahead and list my top suggestions for planning the best family-friendly Algarve holiday, to make the best of your time in this incredible part of Portugal!

Algarve With Kids

  1.  Have a Beach Day

Algarve is home to some of Portugal’s best beaches. You and your kids will be able to spend the day swimming in the sea and relaxing in the sun. There’s also plenty of room for young athletes to show off and get some exercise.

Cove beaches like Paia de Marinha allow for some awesome photo opportunities. And curious minds will love searching for dinosaur footprints on the Salema beach. 

algarve family holiday

Another fun thing to do in Portugal is surfing. The Algarve offers some awesome waves. And there are plenty of surf schools that’ll teach you and your kids the art of riding a wave. 

  1. Visit Zoomarine

Another best thing to do in Portugal for kids is to spend the day at Zoomarine, Algarve’s biggest attraction. The marine theme park has so much on offer that it’ll be tough to get your kids to leave. 

With incredible shows, water slides, pools and a beach, this attraction offers a fun and educational adventure. There’s also a Ferris wheel, carousels and an aquarium..

  1. Play Some Mini Golf

A visit to a golf course is one of the top things to do in Portugal, and Algarve is home to some of the best greens on the planet. Luckily, they have their fair share of kid-friendly courses as well. 

Dinosaur lovers will have the time of their lives at Adventure Golf Alvor. This mini-golf course has 18 Jurassic Park themed holes that will delight both you and your children. 

Alternatively, you can experience Ancient Rome, or at least a mini-golf replica of it. The Family Golf Park is one of the best things to do in Vilamoura. It’s full of fun obstacles, exciting water features and beautiful landscapes. 

During the summer months, the course also organizes live music, face painting as well as arts and crafts fairs. 

  1. Go On a Boat Trip

Your Portugal family vacation would be incomplete without a boat trip. While sitting still might not be their favorite pastime, most kids love a good excursion out on the water. Especially if it takes them to hidden caves and sandy beaches. 

You can tailor your boat trip to your kid’s interests. For animal lovers, a dolphin-watching cruise will allow your family to see these mammals in their natural habitat. For kids who like adventure, there are plenty of boat tours that explore the magnificent caves and coves of Algarve. 

algarve with kids

There’s something for all kids out on Portugal’s waters. Plus, it’s the best and most enjoyable way to explore the Algarve coastline. 

  1. Make a Splash at Aqualand

If your kids love a little thrill, then Aqualand Algarve is the place to go. An entrance ticket will give you access to the park’s amazing activities which are suitable for older kids (and adults too). 

Older kids will love the range of waterslides that this park has to offer, especially budding adrenaline junkies.

The Hydra slides are perfect for competitive youngsters, challenge them to a race and see who reaches the water first. The wave pool is great for water-confident kids, allowing them plenty of room to splash around. And the whole family can regroup and take a break on the relaxing winding river.

If your kids are a little younger, there’s a water playground with mini waterslides and shallow pools.

  1. Try Some Indoor Karting

Another great thing to do with children in Portugal is indoor karting, perfect for those with a competitive streak. Hot Wheels Raceway is great fun but it’s definitely better suited for older kids who can drive their own kart.

The 400m track features 12 tricky corners to test your skills as well as long stretches that provide the perfect opportunity to overtake other drivers. 

With older kids, you can book group races which include practice laps, longer race time and a podium for the winner. After racing, you can celebrate your victory at the bar or head to the bowling rink for even more fun.

  1. Spend Some Time at Lagos Zoo

While there are plenty of educational things to do for children in Portugal, this is one of the most fun. Besides their extensive conservation efforts, Lagos Zoo also offers an incredible experience for kids. There’s even a restaurant where you can grab lunch. 

The zoo is home to over 140 thriving animal species from all over the world. Whether your kids are into mammals, reptiles, amphibians or birds, Lagos has it all. Some of the animals even wander freely. Various feedings are offered throughout the day that will fascinate your youngsters.

The zoo is involved in many captive breeding programmes through the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They are also home to many endangered species like Darwin’s Rhea and Tapirs.

  1. Explore the Lagos Ciência Viva Science Centre

Your kids will be fascinated by this educational adventure. The Lagos Ciência Viva Science Centre is perfect for curious children and budding scientists. 

You’ll be able to unpack the history and science of discoveries and navigation with the main exhibition, entitled “From Astrolabe to GPS”. There’s even a submarine and pirate ship, just waiting to be explored. 

With plenty of displays and interactive activities, the Living Science Centre offers entertaining hands-on learning for the whole family. 

  1. Visit a castle

One of the things that make Portugal such a great family travel destination is its enchanting history. And there’s no better way to see this than on a trip to a castle. 

algarve for kids

One of the things that make Portugal such a great family travel destination is its enchanting history. And there’s no better way to see this than on a trip to a castle. 

Your kids will love exploring the ancient architecture and imagining themselves as kings and queens. 

Algarve’s castles are quite impressive and well-preserved. And make a great backdrop for some awesome family photos. Great palaces like the Castle of Silves, Tavira Castle and the Castle of Castro Marim will excite your little ones to no end.

Where to Stay in the Algarve, Portugal For Kids & Families

Having a comfortable home base makes any trip with kids a lot more enjoyable. Resorts offer plenty of room for kids to get rid of extra energy while you kick back and relax.

Monte Santo Resort

This 5-star resort is perfect for kids. With a kids’ swimming pool, awesome restaurant and kids’ club, your family will love the Monte Santo Resort. The resort even has a spa, perfect for a little pampering for the adults. 

algarve family holiday

Pestana Palm Gardens

Pestana Palm Gardens overlooks the ocean and is within walking distance of the beach. It has a stunning pool and a leafy garden, perfect for active youngsters. There’s also a gym and sports court. 

Rocha Brava Village Resort

Rocha Brava Village Resort is located on a cliff, offering magnificent views. The gardens are the perfect place for your kids to run around while you soak up the sun. The resort has a heated pool and an on-site supermarket. There’s even a Crazy Golf course which your kids will love. There’s even transport to the beach three times a day.

Author Bio:

Born and raised in South Africa, Marco Santos from Travel-Boo, together with his partner moved to sunny Lisbon over 3 years ago. With an absolute love for Europe, he is on a mission to rediscover his own Portuguese heritage along the way. Marco has set out to blog and share his passion for travelling through and exploring both Portugal, Spain and throughout Europe, through his blog Travel-Boo.

Blog Links:

Homepage  https://travel-boo.com/ 

Social Media Links:

Facebook    https://www.facebook.com/thetravelboo/

Pinterest     https://www.pinterest.pt/marcopsantos/

Twitter         https://twitter.com/Travel_Boo

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A Weekend In Peak District With Kids https://travelmadmum.com/peak-district-with-kids?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=peak-district-with-kids Fri, 12 Jun 2020 22:13:20 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29325 Sandwiched between the cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Derby, the Peak District is the UK’s oldest National Park and popular with outdoor loving families who come to hike amongst the green rolling hills, or cycle along the miles upon miles of traffic-free cycle paths. The landscape and grand estates here have been used as the [...]

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Sandwiched between the cities of Sheffield, Manchester and Derby, the Peak District is the UK’s oldest National Park and popular with outdoor loving families who come to hike amongst the green rolling hills, or cycle along the miles upon miles of traffic-free cycle paths.

The landscape and grand estates here have been used as the backdrop for Pride and Prejudice adaptations, and it really is one of the most beautiful areas of the UK. Plus, with its central location in England it’s pretty easy to get to and makes for a perfect staycation destination. 

As a family, we have travelled all over the world, but the Peak District is the place we call home. We have been living here for two years now and armed with our hiking boots and a flask of hot chocolate, we love nothing better than a long walk across the dales to a family friendly pub.

Psssst… check out our best uk family campsites.

peak district with kids

Then there’s the caverns to explore, vintage trams to ride, and farm animals to meet. Plus, some pretty epic theme parks just outside the park boundaries. 

If you’re looking to visit the area for a weekend you may be overwhelmed with all there is to do. I’m here to provide you with a local’s insight into how to spend the perfect weekend staycation in the Peak District with kids. The Peak District attractions for families are endless!

But before I launch in to an itinerary, just a heads up. The weather here in the Peak District is unpredictable and it does rain a lot. So be flexible with your plans, and pack a waterproof and layers.

Muddy boots and paws are welcome (and expected!) in most of the pubs and cafes, although it’s an idea to bring some shoe coverings with you (though these are often provided). 

Looking for more UK nature excursions? Check out these incredible glamping sites near London.

Peak District With Kids

Day 1

Morning

The number one reason to visit the Peak District is, of course, to enjoy the open countryside. What better way to spend your first morning that on a family walk?

Our favourites are the Nine Ladies Circle through Stanton Moor Peak or the walk along Curbar Edge near Baslow, with spectacular views across the Peak District. Check out our top family walks in the Peak District.

Alternatively, hire some bikes and ride along one of the many old railway tracks criss-crossing the National Park that have been transformed into gravel paths. These are all traffic free! Our favourites are the Monsal Trail and Tissington Trail.

Our boys love riding through the long dark tunnels and making echo sounds as they pedal along. Insider tip: there’s an unwritten rule that everyone keeps to the left. If you’re on the right, people will know you’re a tourist!

Lunch

One of the charms of the Peak District are the old pubs and cosy cafes. They are the perfect place to retreat after a long bike ride or family hike in the hills, to warm up by the fire and enjoy a hearty meal.

One of our favourite pubs with a playground is the Bull Head in Monyash. For a café, head to Matlock Meadows (which has a small indoor play area perfect for toddlers and small pedal tractors to ride) or Hassop Station Café, right next to the Monsal Trail.

Afternoon

Head over to the grand estate that is Chatworth. You can pay to go inside the house, although with little ones in tow you may not feel this worthwhile with all the delicate ornaments and grandeur to be appreciated.

Instead head over to the Farm Park to play with animals and go crazy in the best adventure playground around! Have the puddle suits at the ready as kids will get wet and muddy here!

If you’ve got time for cake (always?) take the short walk over to the tea rooms at Edensor, perhaps one of the prettiest villages in the UK. 

Day 2 

Head underground to explore one of the many limestone caverns of the region, and some of the best and biggest in the UK.

These are always a good option for a rainy day as when you’re underground, the weather doesn’t matter! Although do wrap up warm for the caves and wear footwear with a good tread, as it does get rather chilly down there even in the height of summer. 

Depending on where you are situated, I would suggest either visiting the caverns at Matlock (Heights of Abraham in the South East on the Peak District) or Castleton (in the North West). Either option would take up a full day, and I recommend taking a packed lunch. 

Option 1 – Heights of Abraham (Matlock)

Your journey starts with a cable car ride across the Derwent Valley and up to a hill top estate. From here your ticket also gives you entry to two caverns where you venture deep underground and learn about the history of lead mining in the area.

There is also tower to climb, fossil hunting, and two adventure playgrounds (one with massive long slides!) It’s a fantastic day out and we go a few times a year. 

Option 2 – Castleton

The caverns around Castleton are home to Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern, and Treak Cliff Cavern.

In the latter two, you will find deposits of the rare Blue John stone. But if you asked us which is the best cavern in Castleton to visit with kids, I’d have to say have to say Speedwell Cavern.

peak district with kids

Visitors descend 105 steps from the almost hidden cave entrance, down to an underground canal to board a boat to take you deeper into the cave system. Lots of fun!

If you find yourself doing just one cavern in Castleton, you may want to spend the afternoon walking up to Mam Tor for spectacular views across the Edale Valley. And you must pop for some melt-in-the-mouth fudge from The Real Fudge Company on the main road, who specialise in traditional fudge in over fifty different flavours. Yum. 

Ideas for extra days

I could honestly fill my days with hiking and biking every day in the Peak District. If you want to make walking outdoors fun for kids then check out some ideas here. But some other fun family days out in the Peak District include:

  • Crich Tramway Museum – Enjoy unlimited rides on the electric vintage trams, woodland walks with kid-friendly activities, and an indoor and outdoor playground.
  • Peak Rail – Ride an old steam train on this preserved railway line between Rowsley South Station and Matlock Platform 2.
  • Peak Wildlife Park – Come face to face with exotic and endangered animals from across the world at this small and manageable wildlife park just to the south of the Peak District in Staffordshire.
  • Gulliver’s Kingdom – a theme park aimed at children aged 3 to 13 just outside Matlock.
  • Alton Towers – Just 4 km south of the Peak District boundary is the UK’s biggest theme park, Alton Towers.
peak district with kids

Where to stay

Booking a self-catering holiday cottage makes for a lovely break. Sykes Cottages is a good place to book these online.  There are even some where you can stay on a farm. Before we moved to the Peak District, we used to love staying at Bluebird Cottage in Parwich with donkeys and goats to feed each day. 

If you are staying just for a weekend and looking for budget accommodation, YHA hostels are a good option. There are a handful dotted around the National Park and they are perfectly geared to families with toys in common areas, family rooms, and breakfast served on site. 

But if you are visiting in the warmer months, why not try one of these Peak District family campsites. Some even have playgrounds, and almost all of them are within walking distance of a pub. 

How to get around the Peak District

The TransPennine Express connects Manchester to Sheffield with a few stops in the north of the Peak District, including Edale, Grindleford and Hathersage. This is a good option if doing a day trip from one of these cities.

There are buses, but these are extremely infrequent and never go where you want them to.You could always do a guided tour of the area as a day trip from Manchester. We love this Get Your Guide trip.

The best way to experience the Peak District is by car. This gives you the freedom to explore to your own schedule, as well as taking roads away from the main tourist areas of Matlock, Bakewell and Castleton. 

Author

Massive thank you to Jenny from Peak District Kids for sharing her experiences and tips in this post. You can find her on the following social channels.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peakdistrictkids/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peakdistrictkidsuk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/travelynnfamily

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Things To Do In Brighton With Kids https://travelmadmum.com/brighton-with-kids/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brighton-with-kids Thu, 04 Jun 2020 16:10:09 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29315 Brighton is the perfect day trip from London with the family. The sunny south coast of England is home to lots of great towns, however Brighton is notoriously famous for being fun, quirky and great for kids. There are lots of things to do in Brighton with kids and it is well known as a [...]

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Brighton is the perfect day trip from London with the family. The sunny south coast of England is home to lots of great towns, however Brighton is notoriously famous for being fun, quirky and great for kids.

There are lots of things to do in Brighton with kids and it is well known as a very family friendly city.

There is nothing better or more refreshing than escaping to the coast, whether its winter or summer! The seaside is literally a tonic for big and little members of the clan. Brighton has so much to offer families. Brighton with kids can be super fun and offer a wide variety of activities, rain or shine. 

What to do in Brighton with kids?

childrens activities Brighton 

Beach

The beach is top of the list of things to do in Brighton with kids. It is always extra special going to the beach with kids if you do not near live the coast or are on a day trip from London. It certainly feels like a tonic and kids absolutely love the beach!

days out with kids Brighton 

Although Brighton is a stoned beach, it still makes great fun for all. Whether its dipping your toes into the calm shoreline or skimming rocks on the water with little ones. Brighton for toddlers really is so much fun!

The perks of having a stoned beach in Brighton is all of the interesting shells and variety of stones on the beach itself. If you have some eagle eyes – keep a look out for some pretty beach glass!

There are so many great places to eat in Brighton with kids – however nothing beats bringing a picnic to the beach and kicking back watching the waves. 

Or do the old fashion way and enjoy a big tray of salty chips and delicious creamy ice cream from one of the services along the beach. These are the special moments your kids will treasure and remember well.

The promenade along the beach is interesting for the whole family, whether its the little beach huts or decorative boats. Dotted along the promenade are lots of small cafes and pubs, as well as independent stores which sell crafts, art, toys and books. They always make for an interesting peek.

brighton toddler activities
brighton things to do with kids

There is also Kings Road playground along Brighton beach for kids, where you can sit and relax on a bench with a takeaway coffee if that is your thing, while the little ones run wild taking in all the sea air. This playground has a wee paddling pool that is sure to keep little ones entertained in the warmer months. 

Another bonus of going to the beach in Brighton with kids is the fresh sea air is sure to reset you all and tucker the kids out, meaning they will get a great nights sleep. 

This picnic set is the perfect accompaniment for your day on the beach!

Pier 

You will find it hard to miss Brighton Palace Pier while searching for things to do in Brighton with kids. The pier is packed full of fun things to do and see for all ages of the family, whether you have a toddler or a teenager. 

There are lots of rides and attractions on Brighton pier which is one of the top Brighton kids activities. Some of the rides include a mega slide, race cars and spinning saucers. There is even a turbo roller coaster for the older children and adults alike if you have some thrill seekers amongst you.

There are more places to grab typical pier nibbles and refreshments like chips, ice cream and candy floss along the way. Although you might struggle to be at a lose end in Brighton, Brighton Pier has a four story soft play and can tailor for childrens birthday parties, adding to the list of things for kids in Brighton 

Throughout the year Brighton Pier hosts events such as music festivals, live entertainment and Christmas markets. 

It is free to walk down the pier and enjoy the sites, however if you purchase a wristband, this gives you access to unlimited rides!

The wristbands vary in prices for weekday, weekends, groups and whether you book for one or two days.

If you buy your wristband for the pier online – you will receive 25% discount. 

brighton festival kids 
things to do with kids near brighton 

Brighton Zip Line

This is the ultimate family attraction in Brighton! For slightly older kids Brighton Zip Line would be sure to please all the thrill seekers. After a full safety briefing, you are taken for launch down twin zip wires, 30 meters above sea level!

In this unforgettable experience, you are taken zip lining down Brighton beach on the zip wire. There is even an additional drop zone for all of the adrenaline seekers!

Get your tickets for the Brighton Zip Line here!

Upside Down House

When strolling along the promenade, you might come across the Upside Down House. This is Britains first inverted house for all the fun photography! Brighton with kids has so much to offer and this is just another quirky, fn activity. 

Tickets are £5 but children under the age of 3 go for free.

 The Royal Pavilion 

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is a must see. It is an exotic palace boasting beautiful gardens, where families can relax. It has a colourful history, built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.

The interiors are decadent and vibrant and staff are very helpful for offering guidance throughout the palace. There are lots of Brighton facts for kids to discuss surrounding this colourful Indian influenced architecture. 

The gardens here are always a winner. My toddler loves it here as there are so many birds to chase. I’m pretty sure chasing pigeons in these gardens are amongst his top things to do with toddlers in Brighton! There is also a cafe in the grounds where you can grab a cake and coffee if you fancy. 

Tickets for The Royal Pavilion are offered on a discount online.

Get your tickets here.

Brighton half term activities 
day out with the kids brighton 

Volks Electric Railway Line

This is the worlds oldest electric operating train line. The route is from Palace Pier to Black Rock Station near Brighton Marina. It is a twelve minute journey but sure to capture your kids imagination!

Brighton Fringe Festival – Brighton For Kids

Brighton Fringe Festival is renowned for attracting visitors and families alike to Brighton around May each year. The festival boasts a number of events and attractions for children and teenagers. This includes talks, comedy, dressing up, live music and a circus.

Although it is understandably postponed this year due to Corona Virus.

Brighton Hop On Hop Off

The Brighton hop on hop off bus tour is perfect for seeing the city as a whole – especially with little ones if the start to get tired legs! Brighton bus tours is a great way to explore and is cost friendly. The tickets are 24 hours but you can do exactly what the ticket says – hop on or off wherever you please! The buses run every hour and takes approximately 50 minutes to do a whole round tour of Brighton. 

The bus offers a great introduction to the city, running from Brighton Palace Pier, past beautiful St. Anns Well Gardens,  to the City Centre and more.

Get your Brighton Hop on Hop Off tickets here.

Indoor Activities Brighton

i360 Degree View From a Height

brighton things to do kids 

British Airways has a viewing tower offering a vast view of Brighton and the coastline. It is also the countries highest observation tower.

The i360 viewing tower is ten times bigger than a London Eye capsule – making it ideal for families with children. There is plenty of space to see the beautiful view of Brighton, the seaside and coastline from a variety of angles. This is especially good for energetic little ones!

The viewing tower makes a great activity for kids to spot seagulls, the ships at sea or the tiny any like people down below.

There is a bar on board for any refreshment needs, baby changing facilities and the entire site is buggy friendly (although this might change if it is super busy, buggies can be left with security).

There is a free exhibition on board where children can learn about the pioneering engineering of the structure and how it is now one of Brightons top attractions. 

In case it is raining, the i360 makes for a memorable indoor activity in Brighton with kids.

This would definitely be a memorable experience amongst Brighton attractions for kids.

If you book online you will receive a discount of 10% – it is usually advisable to book ahead so you don’t miss out on the day!

Get your tickets for British Airways i360 here.

Things for For Kids To Do In Brighton 

Toy museum 

Brightons Toy Museum is a fun, educational activity for children. Nestled just under Brighton Railway Station, it is more of an immersive visual experience than hands on – which may be disappointing for toddlers scrambling to climb the toy artefacts (we have been there).

However boasting over 10,000 toys – it certainly makes a wonderful experience for slightly older children. You can see old slot machines, aircraft toys, cuddly bears, puppets and train sets built through the ages.

Brighton Toy Museum also hosts educational visits, puppet shows and heritage learning. They also host events during Brighton Fringe Festival, ordinarily held in May.

The Brighton Toy Museum are open Tuesday – Saturday and incur a small fee as it is primarily run by volunteers.

family activities brighton

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Situated in the Royal Paviolion’s Gardes, there are a number of themes explored in the museum, from the history of Brighton, Ancient Egypt, WW1 to Leisure and Tourism.

They boast a number of resources for children to complete activities at home if they wish to continue learning after their visit or from online. Excellent for homeschooling families or children curious in the topics. 

Sama’s Circus Softplay – Toddler Activities Brighton 

If you find yourself in Brighton on a rainy day and want little ones to burn some energy – Sama’s Circus Softplay is a good option. Not far from Brighton train station, it also has cheap parking nearby. With all the usual softly contraptions of ball pit, climbing frames and slides – this is a great option for things to do in Brighton with toddlers. 

Softplay isn’t everyones cup of tea – but luckily you can enjoy a hot drink in the cafe here. Sama’s Circus Softplay also do delicious food and cake. Sometimes a day out with smaller children can be tactful, in a way they can burn some energy – ready for their nap then the parents can go exploring all the wonderful independent shops and markets in the North Laines.

This soft play also offer a ‘Drop and Shop’ service – where you can leave little ones in their care if you need to run any important errands in town. They also host a movie night with hot chocolate and popcorn!

The Painting Pottery Cafe

The Painting Pottery Cafe is a wonderful activity to do with kids, spending quality time over crafts. Choose from a number of creative masterpieces to throw up with clay. It is suitable for all ages and abilities – there is lots of inspiration to choose from on which pottery piece you could make. 

You leave your finished piece to be glazed and collect within a couple of days, or the friendly staff can post it to you.

Where to Eat – Brighton with Kids Brighton for kids

Whether you are keen for a sit down meal, to grab something and go or for a meal on the seafront, Brighton has a range of options for all of your needs. There are plenty of kid friendly places to eat in Brighton. Lots of people opt for bringing a good old picnic to the beach, which saves having to round the troops up and go find somewhere to suit everyone. 

There is a real mix of independent cafes and restaurants, with your usual recognisable chains like Pizza Express, Pho, Byron Burger and Wagamamas. There are many lovely cafes, restaurants and smaller shops along the beach which sell breakfast, brunch, lunches and dinners. 

Brighton has a range of culinary experiences to offer, with many vegan and vegetarian restaurants around too. You certainly won’t go hungry in Brighton as there is so much great choice. 

One of our favourite treats as we wander the lanes is a trip to the independent old style sweet shops and milkshakes parlour. 

How To Get To Brighton

Brighton is relatively well serviced by trains from London Victoria, London Bridge, London Clapham Junction and Gatwick. It really is the perfect day trip from London as it is easy and to get too and a fresh scenery away from the big smoke!

Parking can be expensive in the allocated car parks, however there are often options for street parking which is only a fraction of the cost. 

It really doesn’t matter if you visit in Winter or Summer, there are so many Brighton childrens activities, offering a variety of experiences for each individual. We love it so much we moved from London to the coast!

Rental Cars are always a good option, with affordable deals including childrens care seats if needed.

Book your rental care here.

Where to Stay in Brighton With Kids

Perhaps you would prefer an extended stay in Brighton with the family, rather than a day trip. With so much to see and do – taking a few nights to explore all the special nooks and crannies of Brighton is a great idea!

The Whitehouse Hotel

The Whitehouse Hotel is a boutique B&B that offer great deals on family rooms. Not far from the seafront and centre, it is uniquely decorated and has a warm, friendly atmosphere. 

Check out rates and availability for The Whitehouse Hotel.

Strawberry Fields B&B

Strawberry Fields is an affordable, family friendly B&B with beautiful views of the seafront. It is vibrant, homely and welcoming. It is just a few minutes walk from the Pier and Brighton Centre.

Check out rates and availability for Strawberry Fields B&B.

Avalon Escape

This is a private, self-catering apartment which understandably some people prefer, especially with little ones. Located just a stones throw from the beach, it offers a comfortable stay.

Check out rates and availability for Avalon Escape.

The Downs Hotel

A littler further out (2.5km) from Brighton City Centre, the Downs Hotel is a family run pub B&B in the historic village of Rottingdean. It overlooks the picturesque and famous South Downs – which you may plan to explore too!

They offer great quality food, comfortable surroundings and larger rooms for families, including triple & quad en-suites.

Check out rates and availability for the Downs Hotel.

child friendly Brighton and hove Brighton 

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Escape to the Arctic in 24 hours https://travelmadmum.com/escape-to-the-arctic-in-24-hours/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=escape-to-the-arctic-in-24-hours Tue, 07 Apr 2020 11:38:54 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29276 You might think that the Arctic is something that only penguins and scientists get to see, but you'll be surprised to know that tourists have been flying over it for years and you can also visit the Arctic on a private charter jet too. 24 hours in the arctic can change your life. Granted it's [...]

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You might think that the Arctic is something that only penguins and scientists get to see, but you’ll be surprised to know that tourists have been flying over it for years and you can also visit the Arctic on a private charter jet too. 24 hours in the arctic can change your life.

Granted it’s not a sun-drenched break in the Maldives but the Arctic is so much more. There is so much to see in this unexplored baron ice massed land. So much is yet to be discovered there. 

Here’s a look at the top reasons you should consider a trip to the Arctic:

The Views On The Approach 

Flying to the Arctic, you will fly over icebergs, ice sheets, snow-capped mountains and superb views over the snow-covered continent. It’s a fantastic sight to see. 

The Landscape

The views of the landscape are out of this world. Every direction is spectacular, and it changes as the sunlight shifts throughout the day. The sunsets are spectacular. 

The icebergs are like nothing you will have ever seen, and it’s insane to learn that when looking at an iceberg, you can only see 10% of it. The dark, icy waters against the white snow and ice are striking. There is something to see here all the time. 

The Wildlife

The wildlife in Antarctica makes the mission even more worthwhile. From penguins on ice sheets to whales swimming in the distance, the spectacular wildlife makes a visit to the Arctic a bucket list location. The unpredictability of the sightings makes the whole experience of being there so exciting. One minute you could be learning about the impacts of climate change on the area and the next you could be watching Elephant seals. 

The Food

You wouldn’t think that the Arctic would be an excellent place for a meal, it’s not hard to not expect that much from a meal here, but there is a lot on offer. From buffet breakfasts, salad lunches and hot dishes including fresh grilled fish you could be spoilt for choice. The food out in the Arctic is excellent! 

Educational Value

No matter where you head off to in the Arctic, you will most likely attend an informative presentation. These aren’t drab and boring lessons designed to bore your brains out they are exciting and educational. Those who give talks are experts in their field, they live and breathe the Arctic and usually have excellent knowledge of a broad range of the region. 

The Activities

There are lots of activities in the Arctic. As well as enjoying downtime and enjoying the scenery, visitors can also enjoy kayaking, boat trips, ice walks and more. There are lots of opportunities for great photos when taking part in activities here, and the surrounding beauty makes the trekking worthwhile. 

You Can Go To The Arctic Alone

Many solo travellers go to the Arctic for many different reasons. Visiting the Arctic is on a lot of peoples bucket lists and going alone isn’t going to stop them, it shouldn’t prevent you from going either. There’s pretty much a zero crime rate, everyone going there has similar interests and it’s a safe place to be on your own. 

Reasons To Fly By Private Charter Jet To The Arctic:

  • Less time on the Ground
  • A faster trip
  • More Private
  • Facilities to get any work done while you fly 
  • Can take large groups with more equipment 
  • Suitable for teams of scientists 
  • Better views when landing
  • Great for photographers who want to take photos of great landings

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Things To Do With Bored Kids At Home https://travelmadmum.com/things-to-do-with-bored-kids-at-home/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=things-to-do-with-bored-kids-at-home Wed, 18 Mar 2020 14:06:23 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=29041 The coronavirus has taken a hold of the world, more and more schools are shutting down for a number of weeks to try and contain things. I bet you're asking what the hell you are going to do with your kids for that long? Even as a homeschooling parent I am asking myself the same [...]

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The coronavirus has taken a hold of the world, more and more schools are shutting down for a number of weeks to try and contain things. I bet you’re asking what the hell you are going to do with your kids for that long?

Even as a homeschooling parent I am asking myself the same since we always attend so many groups and classes with our kids.

That said, we are armed with the right tools to make things work without the need for our usual groups being a home education family.

bored kids

The thing is, social gathering are not appropriate, there are no kids clubs to pick up the slack and it’s looking like many of our ‘go to’ museums and places we usually rely on are out of the question at the moment. 

More than ever, us parents are going to need to get inventive and creative to keep everyone sane during this period of self-isolation. 

If your kids are out of school for a month, you might want to keep them in the swing of things, doing some home education activities could keep them going.

We are big advocates of keeping educational work intriguing and easy as possible. Aside form the educational things, there are heaps of other fun things to do with kids at home.

The good thing is you don’t have to stay literally in the house, you can go for a walk to the woods or forest, collect up some treasures and return home again.

Kids Activities At Home

Forest School Activities For Bored Kids

We are big fans of forest school, we take our kids from time to time and do our own nature activities if there is nothing going on.

I bought an awesome book with nature activities for kids and have seen my little ones do quite a few great things at forest school. Here are a few ideas for your next trip to the woods / park / beach!

bored kids

You can make up a DIY bag for your kid and go and explore your local woodlands. Inside you may want to pack binoculars, a magnifying glass, a notepad, pencils and a jar.

You can keep all of these below activities up your sleeve and do one every day you go. I usually find one activity per forest school session is enough.

Pick Up Sticks

Collect some small sticks as you walk through the woodlands. You’ll need about ten per child. Bring a vegetable peeler and set up a little area for them to sit down.

Let them peel the bark off, it will keep them busy for some time. You can either bring some paint, a coloured elastic band or coloured tape, whatever you have really so you can make the sticks different colours.

Come up with a number for each colour, keep it low for younger kids and possibly a bigger number for older children.

bored kids

Once you’ve finished making the sticks into colours and giving them each a number you will have a game you can take home with you.

If you haven’t played the game before, one player drops all the sticks into a pile and leaves them however it lands. You can have three or four players with 20 sticks.

Taking turns each person has to pick up a stick without moving any other stick. If they move the pile, they can not take the stick.

Keep doing this until all the sticks are gone. At the end, add up the number for each colour, it’s a great way for kids to practice addition in a different way.

It’s not necessarily the person with the most sticks that wins, it’s about the amount of points each colour is worth.

You can even do this in your own garden if you have a tree, or if you don’t want to be out for long periods, go and collect the sticks and set the kids up on a picnic blankets at home to do the activity.

Nature Mobile

Making a nature mobile is super easy. Go for a walk in your local park or woodlands and pick up treasures that you find along the way.

It could be a pretty leave, pine cone or conker. Whilst collecting the treasures also pick up a couple of sticks.

When you get home get a ball of string to hang the beautiful treasure from the stick. You may need a drill to put a hold in the conker etc.

This craft is very low cost, can give the kids something to do for an hour, not to mention actively looking for things whilst out in the fresh air. I love anything that will make them walk for longer.

Leaf Rubbing

Leaf rubbing is another free, simple and fun activity for kids. When your out on a walk or if you have some nice garden trees / plants with cool leaves you can use them.

Place the leaf on a flat surface with a piece of white paper over it. Using the side of a crayon, rubbing back and forth in different directions across the paper, you’ll create a beautiful print.

My house is literally full of art with all of these things we regularly do so we started making a folder for each term so Esme has something to look back on.

You can use the leaf rubbing activity as a way of identifying trees. Checkout out this tree identification book here.

Flower Crowns

Depending on where you live, you may be able to make a flower crown as an activity. We currently have daffodils in our front garden so we are planning to make a flower crown. You’ll need a measuring tape to see what size your kids head is first.

Once you have the measurement, find some soft twigs that can bend, if you have wire at home you can also use that. You are going to need some duct tape once you’ve bent it into the right shape to hold it in the right shape.

Pick the flowers and weave the stem in and out of the frame you have made. if you find daisy’s you can simply make a daisy chain without the frame. That is probably the most easiest way of doing it.

This activity is great for dexterity and fine motor skills.

Build a Den

If you have access to woodlands away from civilisation, make a den! It’s great for siblings to work together as it requires a little bit of team work.

Even if it’s you have one child, let them take the lead. The benefits of making a den is all about communication and problem solving, they can give you jobs to do, my kids love bossing me around!

Make Nature Clay Faces

We absolutely love playing with clay when we are in the woods. The kids make little fairy doors, faces and so on. Clay is relatively inexpensive and can go far if you save it in an air tight container.

bored kids

Again, you can do this in the comfort of your own garden or balcony. if you don’t have a garden, they can do it in the woods. You can pick up some clay here .

Turn Nature Into Art

When you do go for a walk in the woods, keep every single treasure you find. Whether it’s acorns, conkers or pine cones that are otherwise just lying on the ground. Collect a few so you can make crafts at home with them.

If you go onto Pinterest and type in pine cone crafts. you’ll see a tonne of ideas. I often let Esme have a scroll to see what she’d like to make herself.

During this period, having a good stash of art supplies is probably vital. This is the one thing that’s really worth spending a few quid on.

Home Crafts For Bored Kids

If woodland walks is not an option for you, getting crafty at home might be better. Like I mentioned, having arts and craft supplies are going to be vital to your sanity right now.

If you don’t have a whole lot, maybe get a pre-made pack that has a selection of a few different things. You can check out the arts and craft packs here.

Keep things like loo rolls and egg boxes (if you eat eggs), old cartons and cardboard boxes for additional supplies.

The best piece of advice I can give is to have a solid ideas of the craft you want to do with your child. If you need inspiration, checkout this craft ideas book here.

We’ve been homeschooling for several months now and I realised I need to be really clear with instructions and make it age appropriate.

I do lots of prep before I even give the kids the tools to make something. I also give them an example craft to see how to make it. I find this a really helpful approach to keep them interested and ensuring they don’t get frustrated.

Our daughter is a complete perfectionist so I find doing the tricky parts such as cutting out in advance helps to keep her happy and engaged.

Think about upcoming holidays such as St Patricks Day, Mothers Day & Easter, This will give you inspiration. Use Pinterest to research ideas of crafts. Again prep is key and trying to make the activity age appropriate.

Make A Photo Book

We are all guilty of living in a digital age and photos generally stay inside our phone. Now is the perfect time to make a photo book, or simply print some photos out to stick in an album.

bored kids

We did this just the other day with our Tanzania photos and Esmé just loved it. It’s so nice for our kids to have something physical to look back on.

We have several photo books from over the years, they are such great keep sake treasures for the kids, not to mention how fun they are to put together.

Do A Fun Project To Prevent Bored Kids

We are currently doing a project about our recent Tanzania trip. Depending on your kids interest, get some old magazines, newspapers, print some photos and buy a scrapbook to do a fun project.

It could be about climate change, a place you’ve visited, something historical, whatever really. I find doing something about a recent trip nice as we also have an opportunity to reflect and reminisce.

bored kids

We manage to do about a page a day. In general we look up some facts about the culture, landscape or wildlife and include a couple of those. Esme draws pictures and sticks photos into the book as well.

I find this a great way of working on her hand writing and teaching her some random facts.

Do Science Experiments

We have a KiwiCo subscription that we receive monthly as part of a subscription. It’s age appropriate and comes with a fun activity as well as a magazine.

The magazine lasts for ages with lots of things to do throughout the month. Each set has so many different learning points. Wether its chemistry, gravity, speed, movement or light, it’s always so much fun and engaging.

It’s one of those kids activities that us parents love doing just as much! So far we’ve made our own pinball wizard machine, focusing on the concept of time.

We’ve also made a whale looking at the mechanism of their teeth and how they collect krill.

bored kids

The whale activity was our favourite as Esmé was give water colours to paint the whale and learned how a hoover works.

It was nice how we could relate the activity to different things, not just how the whale eats. This also gave her some insight into mechanics.

You can buy one off Kiwico crates but the we find the monthly subscription better value for money.

The contents of the box are high quality, it’s not the sort of thing that falls apart after one use. Check out the website to see if you like them here, they deliver worldwide.

Keep Up With Their Education

If you are worried about your kids stopping their education, you can really easily keep it up yourself. You don’t need too many resources. At the moment I actively teach my daughter maths, phonics, reading and handwriting every morning.

This is when she is at her best to engage with learning I find. Every kid is different and you can try a variety of approaches to get it right for you.

I use the Reading Eggs app! It teaches Esmé reading, writing and maths. There is also a tonne of free bonus material for parents, so you can print out sheets related to each lesson. This allows us to also work on her handwriting.

bored kids

I don’t just give her the iPad and tell her to get on with it, I generally sit with her and help. It’s more of a tool for me as a parent than anything else.

Its really fun, there are great characters throughout the programme and I have managed to get my 5 year old reading purely through using this app, we are really happy with her progress. To check out the app and the program see here.

Doing just 20 minutes to half an hour a day is plenty, especially if you are sitting with them going through it. You can do another 20 minutes of math seeds on the same app at a different point in the day to break it up.

You really don’t need much more than Reading Eggs, it literally gives you everything, including printable worksheets. We also loved that we can add both of our kids onto the one account.

Teach Your Kids To Cook

I’m not going to lie, I am a clean freak so anything that involves mess inside the house makes me agitated – truth! Similar to doing arts and crafts I’ve found doing as much as prep as possible also reduces the sibling rivalry.

When I am cooking with both of them, say for example a cake, I divide the ingredients in two and give them both a little bowl of sugar, flour etc.

bored kids
Making their own pancake mix

I always find the sibling rivalry the hardest to deal with when it comes to cooking. However I have found a handful of things that work well with two strong minded kids.

  • Pancakes, I allow them to make their own batter.
  • Pitta pizzas under the grill they can make with toppings themselves.
  • Cauliflower wings, again they make the batter and dip the cauliflower!
  • Muffins
  • Homemade hummus, it’s so easy to whizz up in the blender

Start Learning A Language

If you guys have been reading my content for a while. you’ll know we are big fans of trying to teach our kids a second language. We are trying to teach them Spanish even though we speak very little of the language ourselves.

We use The Cultured Kid for learning Spanish and we really don’t need to know much of it ourselves, we also learn from the programme.

Counting in Spanish

They offer other languages as well which is really great. It’s fun and engaging, again a perfect time to make a start with something like this if it’s been a dream of yours.

Check out the programme here, they give you a refund if you don’t like it within the first few days.

Keep Em Quiet Packs

I usually get a Keep Em Quiet pack when we are going on a long journey but these packs also work great at home. They are full of fun activities that are age specific. Sometimes they last us the entire holiday and the journey back home.

If you are at a loss and just need something to last a few days, Keep Em Quiet bags are great. Check them out here.

So there you go! A tonne of free activities followed by some educational tools out there that we can testify to as regular users.

We hope you find this article useful in these tough times and please do comment with anything else you can suggest for other families out there.

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post, by using them it will help us out hugely for the loss of earnings being a travel website. We have been hit hard by coronavirus but feel very happy we can share our home education ideas to support your time at home with your kids. By using affiliate links it does not cost you any extra, we just get a small proportion of the sale.

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Flyaway Kids Bed Review https://travelmadmum.com/flyaway-kids-bed-review/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=flyaway-kids-bed-review Thu, 12 Mar 2020 20:29:39 +0000 https://travelmadmum.com/?p=28726 As a family of frequent travellers, we are always keen to keep our little ones as comfortable and happy as possible on a long journey. Sleep is the number one thing that keeps us all in check but sometimes trying to bed kids down on a flight can be a nightmare. That was until an [...]

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As a family of frequent travellers, we are always keen to keep our little ones as comfortable and happy as possible on a long journey.

Sleep is the number one thing that keeps us all in check but sometimes trying to bed kids down on a flight can be a nightmare. That was until an airplane bed for kids came onto the market.

We’ve tried a number of products, from the Plane Pal to the Jet Kids BedBox, they all have different pros and cons to the design.

Flyaway Designs reached out recently asking us to review their new kids airplane bed and of course we were keen to give it a try.

The first and foremost thing I have to say about the design of the Flyaway Kids Bed is it trumps all others when it comes to comfort for the kids.

Flyaway Kids Bed Review

The Flyaway Kids Bed is essentially a blow up mattress that goes on top of the airplane seat and fills the legroom space as well. This set up creates a flat soft bed so kids can lie down and catch that all important beauty sleep.

It has a clever support stand that hold the mattress in place. The entire bed and support stand inflates in 90 seconds with a handy little pump.

It’s quite a small pump in comparison to the ones that come with similar products, this was a big plus, as it takes less space in hand luggage.

The other good thing about the pump is it’s not noisy so it doesn’t draw attention when setting it up. We loved the little bag it comes with as it packs up into a good size for hand luggage.

Setting Up Flyaway Kids Bed

The instructions suggest giving it a try at home first and I have to admit this is a good idea. Of course we were a little silly and didn’t read the instructions first!

Our little boy fell asleep in such an awkward position before we had set it up, note to self, just read the damn instructions!

flyaway kids bed

The thing is you need to get your little one out of the seat in order to put the bed in place. It only takes a couple of minutes to set it all up including pump time so they can sit on your knee whilst you are doing it.

flyaway kids bed

When you initially unravel the mattress it looks really big in comparison to other products I’ve used. So the best thing to do is store it in under the seat in-front of your child’s seat.

Unpack it within the seat space rather than out on the isle and inflate both valves- that’s it!

flyaway kids bed

Choose Correct Seats For Use

Something that is super important is to choose appropriate and safe seats if you plan to use this product. The window seat is fine as is the centre two seats if you are flying on a large aircraft.

My personal preference is to use a window seat for this product as little ones don’t have the distraction of someone on both sides. You can use the product on bulk head seats and obviously you can not use it on exit rows.

I was really happy to find this product has an emergency valve, you can pull in case you needed to deflate the product instantly.

Comfy Kids Airplane Bed

Once the comfy kids airplane bed was all set up, we used one the blanket and pillow provided by the airline to settle our little one down. He went back to sleep instantly.

The reason this product is more comfortable than others is because it’s completely flat but also full of air.

With other products they are not quite as thick so my kids could feel all the lumps and bumps in the seat. This is definitely the best thing about the Flyaway Kids Bed!

flyaway kids bed

There is enough air inside to ensure they can’t feel any bumps. It even has mini bumpers on edge.

We used this product for our toddler on the outbound flight and our 5 year old had a chance to use it on the way back.

Our girl is a tall 5 year old so she obviously couldn’t stretch out but she was able to articulate that she found it more comfortable than other ones she had tried.

I really like the finish on this product, I didn’t even feel it needed a cover. The material was fine to sleep directly on with their PJ’s.

Do all airlines accept Flyaway?

The Flyaway Designs website has a list of airlines that do currently accept the product. You can find a full list of them here. There are a handful of airlines that do not accept and some others where the cabin crew will have the final say.

I have been taking these kind of products onto the flights for the last few years without any issues.

The main thing is to be discreet, use the correct window, keep your little ones seat belt on and make sure there head is not at the tray end. This should be the right way around.

Put a blanket over your little one and keep the seat belt over it so cabin crew can see it, they are less likely to disturb you.

We always get our kids into PJs once we are on the flight, they also have eye masks, plane blanket and pillow. This all contributes to a great night sleep.

The other week we flew home from Tanzania on an overnight flight. Both kids slept like a dream the whole way thanks to Flyaway kids bed. The irony is hubby and I were exhausted and needing some sleep and our kids were literally perfect.

We arrived home at 8am, thank goodness we had our babysitter that day because we were definitely going to bed! We were delighted that they slept but seriously they had far too much energy after a long flight – lol!

Any downsides to the Flyaway Kids bed?

The Flyaway Kids is most certainly a superior product in terms of design and comfort. However that does come with a price tag of $120.

This is obviously quite expensive, however if you are a frequent flyer, it is worth the investment.

You may also like:

Flying with a baby

Flying with a toddler

Flying with kids

This post is sponsored by Flyaway Designs. As always all views expressed are entirely my own.

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