Planning a Cabin Getaway in Wales

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I was recently invited to join a group of friends on a trip to Wales for a 4 night break. I’ve never stayed in a log cabin before so I was unsure what to expect or what to bring. We drove down from Scotland so for the five hour journey I knew we’d need some drinks and snacks, then when we got there we had a self-catering lodge so I wasn’t sure how well equipped it would be. Would I need a pillow? Did they provide cleaning stuff? Should we have packed the hoover? These are all questions I had and as four us were travelling down in one car as part of our friends convoy I knew we didn’t have much room for everything in my kitchen cupboards. We booked our cabin through the website hotels.com, here is an exclusive hotels.com discount for you.

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We eventually arrived at the cabin near Colwyn Bay at about 4pm on a Friday night. As we walked in I felt a bit nervous that I hadn’t brought the right things. But luckily it turns out I was spot on in my decision making. So for anyone heading down to the land of leeks and dragons here is a list of essential items you should take:

Clothing

Plan your clothing choices carefully. Depending on the time of year make sure you are prepared for all weather conditions. We’re talking wellies, jumpers, vest tops and if your cabin includes a hot tub you’ll swimwear and a bath robe. You’ll need a raincoat or suitable outerwear and walking boots for a woodland environment.

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Toiletries

Most cabins won’t have any free miniatures of shampoo or soap so remember to take your own. Just remember it’s like your own home so you’ll need toothpaste, lotions and scrubs. If there’s a group of you why not buy large size toiletries and share them?

Food

We had quite a long journey down to the cabin so we couldn’t buy perishable food before we left. I done a shop for dry goods, juice and beer to bring down and share amongst our housemates. Everyone brought crisps, beer, vodka and things that wouldn’t go off during the journey. When we were about one hour away from the cabin we stopped off at a Tesco and got some fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and milk so we could stick in the fridge as soon as we got there. If you had a lesser journey you could prepare some food at home and put it in containers or a freezer bag.

Torch

Your cabin may have one of these, but don’t take the risk. Most cabins are in estates that are pretty far spread out and have no street lights or proper outdoor lighting. Play it safe and invest in a few good quality torches that will fit in your handbag but also light the way for you getting home at night.

Towels

Don’t get caught out when you step out of the shower! Our cabin wasn’t serviced to the extent of supplying towels so check before you go. You’ll need enough towels to last your stay and one extra in case you go paddling on the beach so take some nice fluffy ones of out your wardrobe.

Disposable barbecue

For those clammy summer nights, there’s nothing better than getting everyone around a campfire and enjoying some drinks and food with music playing through someone’s ipod speakers. A disposable barbecue is a must for the occasion – they are not expensive and can hold a good quantity of hot dogs and burgers for a small group.

5 Reasons Not to Miss Christmas in Bath

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Bath’s beautiful buildings make it a wonderful place in which to spend Christmas, and there are a whole host of fantastic festive events that make the city even more of a winter winner. Here are our top five reasons to come to Bath this Christmas.

  1. Torchlit Dining at the Roman Baths

Take in a slice of history as you savour a five-course meal. The special dining area overlooks the spectacular Roman Great Bath that gives the city its name, and the Terrace, which is usually reserved for private events and functions, is only transformed into a restaurant for five nights each year. Candles and garlands create a festive air while Searcys deliver mouth-watering dishes.

  1. Bath Christmas Market

One of the most popular festive events in the UK, the Bath Christmas Market plays host to 170 stalls over 18 days. Most of the stalls are manned by businesses based right here in the city, so this is a fine chance to pick up artisan products, including some delicious refreshments. Situated right in the heart of the city, there are a number of beautiful hotels that you can stay at and pop into the markets whenever you feel like it.

  1. Shoppers Carols at Bath Abbey

Wonderful as the Bath Christmas Market can be, even the most ardent of shoppers will eventually want to take a break and rest their feet. Why not take a look inside Bath Abbey? The choir regularly performs 20-minute ‘Shoppers Carol’ services, and the building’s striking interior is well worth appreciating while you catch your breath.

  1. Bath Philharmonia Snowman Concert

There are plenty of great shows on throughout the year at The Forum, but this might just be the one we’re looking forward to the most. Bath Philharmonia, Bath’s own professional orchestra, will treat audiences to live music alongside the magical ‘The Snowman’ animated film. You’ll appreciate ‘Walking in the Air’ like never before.

  1. Bath on Ice

Taking a stroll up to the Royal Victoria Park means having a chance to get your skates on when you visit during the winter. From November 18th right through to January 3rd, although not on Christmas Day itself, you’ll be able to hire some skates and spend an hour or two gracefully carving up Bath’s very own outside ice rink.

Out-of-the-Box & Unforgettable Tourist Attractions

Travel destinations always have a set list of tourist attractions for people to visit and enjoy during their stay. But with a little effort, you can find hidden gems that really make the experience special and leave a strong impression.

We always enjoyed finding unusual, but beautiful attractions that moved us. Rather than go to run-of-the-mill locations with thousands of other tourists, we liked the challenge of finding something unforgettable and unique about each location we visited. And so with that in mind, my husband and I ran into some fun adventures during our travels.

These are the out-of-the-box experiences that we remember most fondly. Maybe they can inspire others to go off the beaten path and try finding their own interesting attractions!

Strange & Unique Tourist Attractions

Most people head to the usual and famous tourist attractions, like Stonehenge, Machu Pichu or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Not us – we try to find unique tourist attractions that are less popular and famous, but all the more interesting. Among the crazy things we have seen were a crazy castle in Montevideo where doors lead nowhere and rooms are built in a strange way, a gnome reserve in England, and a huge pineapple weirdly located in a South African farm. We took great pictures and they gave us great, out-of-the-box stories for our friends and families on our way back. Not to mention, our Facebook picture albums were very popular!

Musical Fountain Water Shows

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I still remember our very first musical fountain water show. It was a long time ago, but it feels like only yesterday. We were in our honeymoon in Aruba, which is an island that is heavily focused on entertaining tourists. We decided to walk to an active area in the city and were impressed by a beautiful water fountain. Then, the speakers told us to sit and enjoy the show – we had no idea what was going on. We spent the next hour absolutely fascinated by an exciting water show combining dozens of colors, bursts of water and beautiful music. As the water and colors swayed to the beat and harmony of the music, we felt so much emotion. It was an unforgettable experience and one of my best memories of Aruba. I highly recommend these water shows – they are inspirational and stunning!

Crazy Hotels

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Imagine waking up in an ice igloo smack in the middle of Norwegian winter. Or waking up with a stunning view of the mountains… from every angle of the room including underneath it. Sure, we could stay in a boring, walled up hotel, and now that we have children, for their safety, we do. But back in the day before the children, we always tried to find the most interesting hotels. The hotel had to be a part of the experience so we stayed in treehouse hotels, a salt hotel were everything (beds, walls, seats, etc.) was made of salt, and a completely see-through extension room on a cliff. Next time, we want to stay in an underwater room!

Try to find the more unique, impressionable tourist attractions wherever you go and you will see a different side of the location. It’s so much fun to diverge from the usual attractions and enjoy the diversity!

Enjoy a family day out at The Open

A day out watching a golf tournament can prove to be a fantastic and memorable family occasion. It gives you the opportunity to spend quality time together as a family, enjoy some fresh air and watch top-class sporting action as well.

Across the world, there are countless spectacular venues to watch golf, but one of the most iconic is at St Andrews in Scotland and this year The Open will be held at the course between Thursday 16th July and Sunday 19th July.

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by  Piano Piano! 

THE COURSE

As one of the oldest golf courses in the world, St Andrews is steeped in history and tradition, and it provides an unforgettable backdrop against which you can watch the world’s best golfers play for the Claret Jug, which is the trophy awarded to the winner of The Open.

The Old Course on which The Open is played is unique in golf in that seven of the greens are shared by two holes each, making it a fascinating test of a golfer’s ability.

There are also notable landmarks on the course, such as the Swilcan Bridge. This is what golfers will cross on both the first and last holes, and it is where golfers playing at St Andrews for the last time in their careers will stand and pose for photographs. You’ve also got the Road Hole, which is a devilish penultimate hole on the course. There have been many occasions in the past where a golfer has hit a slightly wayward second shot to end up off the back of the green and been forced to hit their next shot against a wall in order to get onto the green.

The way the course is set up as well makes it accessible for families of all ages to get around or remain in one place. There are seats for 20,000 people around the course, so there is ample opportunity to catch your breath for a moment during a long day of golf.

TICKETS

What makes going to The Open particularly attractive from a family perspective is that children under the age of 16 are admitted for free providing they are accompanied by an adult who has bought a ticket. This provides an excellent opportunity for youngsters to be introduced to the sport without costing too much money.

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by  tiarescott 

In terms of prices, for this year’s Open, tickets can be bought from £70 on a championship day. This may seem like a lot of money, but when you consider you could be at the course for 12 hours, it works out at good value. But perhaps what is also worth considering is going on a practice day when tickets are priced from £10.

The practice days are held from Sunday 12th July through to Wednesday 15th July. There is a more relaxed atmosphere on these days and you can often find that you have better and greater access to the professional golfers. It is much easier to get close up to the main players. Of course, you may have to play it by ear in terms of which golfers are going to turn up at what time, compared to the scheduled tee-off times of the tournament. But it can provide a valuable insight into the preparation it requires for a golfer to win one of the most prestigious prizes in sport.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are also several ways for you to get to the course. If you’re driving, then it is advisable to follow the signs for parking, rather than just relying on your satellite navigation system to get you to the course. It is going to be extremely busy around the local area during the week of the tournament, but fortunately there is plenty of information to help you out. There will be clearly marked routes for you to follow and these signs will also give you the details of the local radio stations which will be providing regular traffic updates.

There is a cost attached to parking as well, so you should bear this in mind. It costs £10 if you are visiting the course between the Sunday and Tuesday, while it is £15 from Wednesday onwards. You can pay in advance, but if you are going to pay on the day, then you will need to have some cash handy.

A simple way to help you cut down on the likely stress levels of driving around St Andrews is to use the Park and Ride service which is being put on. Taking the dedicated bus service, which runs regularly throughout the day, will help you to reach the course much quicker. Signs will be displayed in the area to inform you where you can find the Park and Ride.

One way to avoid being stuck in traffic and the risk of missing any of the action is to take the train. ScotRail will be putting on an enhanced service for the week of the tournament that will also provide a bus journey to the course. You will need to catch a train to Leuchars Station and then you jump on a bus to the course.

But one other way to get to the course is a great option if you are on a family holiday in the area and are not just going to Scotland for the golf. You can travel to St Andrews by bike as there will be a designated Bicycle Park near the course. You are not allowed to take your bikes on to the course, but if the weather is fine then it would be a fantastic way to get there.

If you are travelling from slightly further afield and will be flying to Scotland, then Dundee Airport is only 15 miles away. It may be more likely that you will fly into Edinburgh, but even that is only 48 miles away from the course.

ACCOMMODATION

If you want to stay near the course, then there is a wide variety of accommodation, going from five-star hotels, to guest houses, and bed and breakfasts. However, these can get booked up quite quickly.

To help you in your search for accommodation, then there is an Official Open Accommodation Bureau which can provide you with advice. This Bureau will provide details on the various accommodation options which are available. So it could be that you want to book into a hotel for just one night, or maybe you want to rent a house for the week. If you visit the official Open website, you will find details of how you can make contact with the Bureau.

Scotland’s National Tourism Organisation – Visit Scotland – is also a valuable tool to use when you are searching for accommodation in the country. This will help you to search within a certain radius of St Andrews for somewhere to stay. Alternatively, it can provide you with details of accommodation in Edinburgh, which is something worth considering as it is straightforward to travel up from the Scottish capital to St Andrews.

ST ANDREWS

If it is the first time you have been to a golf tournament, then the location of St Andrews makes it an excellent way to make it part of an overall trip to Scotland. Situated on the east coast, just an hour north of Edinburgh, it can easily be done as a day trip.

It all depends on what you think would work out best for your family, but that option can be a great introduction to golf.

At the same time, you don’t want to make the mistake of thinking that St Andrews is only home to one of the most famous golf courses in the world. There is more than just the golf course to take in.

Let’s not forget that St Andrews is home to the university where Prince William and Kate Middleton met. Given the Royal couple have recently celebrated the birth of their second child it seems somewhat fitting that this year’s Open is being held at St Andrews. The University is also the oldest in Scotland and there is a rich history to be discovered.

St Andrews Castle should also not be missed and this can be a fun and educational attraction for the children. It is by no means in pristine condition these days following numerous battles over the centuries, but there is a ‘bottle dungeon’ which should be explored.

Another landmark that offers a hint of the grandeur of yesteryear is St Andrews Cathedral. It may be mostly remains these days, but you are still able to climb to the top of the cathedral. If you do, then you will not be disappointed as you will be greeted by some jaw-dropping views.

For the film buffs among you, golf is not massively represented in the movies, save for the likes of Tin Cup and Happy Gilmore. But there is a film and sporting interest to St Andrews, and it doesn’t actually involve golf. The beach at West Sands, which runs alongside the Jubilee Course at St Andrews, was in the opening scene of the film Chariots of Fire.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

So, if you do decide to head to St Andrews this summer to watch The Open, you’ll want to know which players to watch and there are several to keep an eye out for this year. Your kids could even discover some new heroes to look up to.

The current world number one in golf is Rory McIlroy and he won The Open last year when it was held at Royal Liverpool. He could be the favourite to win The Open again and his talent, combined with a personable nature, make him one of the most popular players in golf. He has won a Major four times in his career and he finished in a tie for third the last time The Open was played at St Andrews.

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by  TourProGolfClubs 

The former world number one Tiger Woods has twice won The Open at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005. But, in more recent times, he has attracted plenty of headlines off the course in his personal life, and also on it for the way he has struggled to find any consistency in his golf game. He has also recently shown a softer side to his character after emerged that Woods had written a letter to a fan who had been bullied due to suffering from a stutter.

Jordan Spieth is the rising star from the United States and he has many similarities to McIlroy after winning the Masters in April. He has a likeable personality to go along with a magnificent golf game which doesn’t just rely on being able to hit it as hard and as far as you can.

Arguably the smartest dresser in golf, Ian Poulter even has his own clothing range. But it’s not his dress sense that makes him worth watching, it is the fact that he is one of the most passionate players on the tour.

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by  Keith Allison 

Another golfer on the tour to be known for his snazzy dress sense, Rickie Fowler used to be seen wearing an all-orange outfit with his hair flowing out of the bottom of his cap.

Tom Watson has won The Open five times in his remarkable career and he will be playing at St Andrews for the final time this year at the age of 65. He has yet to win The Open at St Andrews, but he did finish in a tie for second behind Seve Ballesteros in 1984.

Like Watson, Nick Faldo will be playing at St Andrews for the last time and he won The Open at the course in 1990. In all, Faldo has won six Major titles to make him the most successful British golfer in history.

So, whether you want to visit St Andrews solely for the golf to watch the world’s best players compete in The Open, tie in the golf with a visit to the local area itself or head for a day trip to the course as part of a wider holiday in Scotland, then you really are spoilt for choice.

St Andrews is easy to get to, there is no shortage of information and, providing the weather holds up, it is going to offer some breathtaking and spectacular scenery.

Great Ideas for a Family Vacation

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Often, the experience of trying to plan and pull-off a family vacation leaves travelers more tired than restored. Between trying to find activities and destinations that appeal to each family member, and the unanticipated costs that arise on the road, planning time away can be frustrating. When trying to put together a family trip, there are some tips that can make it more relaxing, stress-free, and restful, while keeping it fun.

Some tips to make the trip a lot less stressful, and perhaps more affordable, include the following suggestions:

A Resort Villa

A really restful vacation idea is to book a stay at Palmilla Los Cabos. The area is known for luxury resorts and villas, each with access to the crystal blue surrounding water. The best thing about a villa is that the staff pampers guests and meets their every need, so there is never a problem or an oversight that can’t be remedied. These villas have access to unique business districts with shops, galleries, and eating establishments, but also have their own on-site features. If travelers want to alleviate the worry of renting vehicles and driving about the region, the resort’s staff can arrange cars. Additionally, guests can choose to stay on-site and take advantage of all that their distinct accommodations have to offer. Guests with small children will appreciate the secure feeling of these full-service resorts and villas for the stress-freest vacation possible!

On-Site Amusements

If traveling with kids, it is important to take a look at some age-friendly activities and sights that may interest younger guests. Some fun vacation ideas may include theme parks, museums, and annual carnivals or trade-shows. Base the trip around one simple attraction, and build on it from there.

Many travelers make the mistake of trying to plan too much during their family vacation. Since it may be an infrequent occasion, they try to pack as much fun in as short a time as possible. What typically occurs is that it becomes burdensome, restrictive, and can result in tired, cranky travelers. A better approach is to plan the trip around one location or sight, and to allow some room for spontaneity during the actual trip. A rainy day may hinder tickets to a ballgame, and might be the best time to roam around and check out the region. Don’t try to over-plan and put too much in a short stay; this will lead to stress and conflict.

Luxury Amenities

Be sure to look for luxury style accommodations that offer something special for mom and dad, too. Some great amenities may include on-site spas, restaurants, lounges, golf courses, and fitness facilities. This will allow parents to get up early and get some time to themselves, or have something fun to do while the kids are watching TV at night. The convenience and access of these services and features make it possible for people to carve out some time for themselves during the adventure.

Unconventional Travel Times

There are many benefits for planning travel during the off-season. This strategy may save time waiting in lines or during travel due to the decreased traffic during particular times of the year. This approach may also save money, as rates may dip during these off-peak seasons. Traveling during off-season can be a lot more relaxing and less stressful, as long as travelers take weather conditions into consideration. Lines for amusements are shorter, pools and public areas may be less crowded, and hosts may be less stressed.

Plan some time away with the family, and use these strategies to cut down on worries and issues on the road. Book early online and take some time to research the area(s) well before you leave home. Getting an overall sense of the destination, and gathering some most-helpful information and insights, can help ensure that the journey is smooth and relaxing for all.

This article was contributed on behalf of Del Mar Escapes. Check out their website and see why you should consider their available Cabo Villa rentals!

Family Friendly Summer Getaways

When it comes to planning your travels with a young family, is can often be a somewhat arduous task – especially if you’re attempting a little holiday research alongside your busy day-to-day family life. From finding activities to suit all ages, to considering how your youngster will cope in the heat and to discovering comfortable hotels that are family friendly (and not necessarily full of other families), there are plenty of considerations to be made. It may seem light-years away with the wintery weather conditions not quite wanting to fade away quite yet, but summer is closer than you think and there really is no time like the present to get planning your summer getaway.

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Whether you’ve already begun to make arrangements for your family holiday or you’re simply looking for a little inspiration to help get your dream vacation underway, here are just a few destination ideas for family friendly European getaways to tempt you.

France

France is perhaps the perfect stepping stone from a staycation to a first foreign holiday, offering delicious local delicacies, stunning beaches, historical cities and an abundance gorgeous countryside – not forgetting Disneyland! Whether you fancy a week away camping in the Dordogne, a city break in Paris or a fortnight in a gite, there is certainly something to suit every taste.

Italy

There really is no place quite like Italy, and it has plenty of things to see and do for the young and old alike. Italy is steeped in a rich history, meaning there is a generous amount of exploring to be done, and of course, there are plenty of delectable freshly cooked dishes to be sampled too – including a copious amount of pizza to keep your kiddos happy. Whether you’re looking to explore the breathtaking countryside, want to spend some time in historic Rome or would rather have a fortnight on the golden sands of the Italian coastline, there is somewhere to suit whatever your needs might be, and companies such as Chic Retreats offer stays in luxury accommodation that’s child-friendly too!

Cornwall

If you’re not quite ready to take the leap and embark on a family holiday abroad just yet, then a staycation in Cornwall can offer the perfect alternative. Cornwall boasts tranquil country walks, a stunning coastline, harbour towns and of course the opportunity to try your hand at surfing. A staycation in locations such as Cornwall and the surrounding areas are the perfect choice for holidaying with a young family or if you’re working around a specific budget, taking away the costs of factors such as airline tickets and passports for the whole family.

5 star hotels for all the family to enjoy

Some people, when they travel, only like to stay at the best hotels that each destination has to offer. These are people that only book 5 star hotels and will accept nothing less than the finest and most luxurious settings whilst also experiencing some of the world’s finest dining experiences. When these people look at a world travel blog, they are obviously interested in the many attractions that a destination may provide but, will not compromise their luxurious lifestyles but fortunately today there are luxurious 5 star accommodations at nearly all the tourist destinations and some additional destinations that are more exclusive and so the luxury traveller today, has no shortage of choices as to where to go for their vacations.

As with almost everything else today, there are of course internet web sites that these types of travellers can go to in order to assist them in finding the best hotels that each destination has to offer, among them would luxury travel blogs, 5 star alliance perhaps Forbes or similar sites as well, all of which cater to the more discerning traveller’s tastes and requirements.

When you book any 5 star hotels, you know that the standards which that hotel maintains are to the highest quality and can be relied upon to afford the most luxurious rooms. The service in these hotels, must of course be beyond reproach and be of a type that has no bounds in its ability to provide a guest with whatever they may need, whenever they may need it. This standard of hotel will obviously have details for the best in transportation during your stay in the destination and may well have their own limousine service. Often a hotel of this standard will have a restaurant to match, one that offers the finest in an assortment of cuisines, some of which may be their own renowned chef’s unique recipe.

Whilst not all of these hotels may have their own spas, the vast majority will have or will at least have connections with a local spa in the area, only ones though, that meet their own high standards in excellence. Although many of these hotels will cater for the more formal dining, some may also have facilities for more casual eating but, if they do, the hotel will always ensure that that too is of a high standard.

There is little doubt that when you book a 5 star hotel, you will get exceptional service and food that is of the highest quality but like everything else, the service and quality come at a price and so often these hotels are among the most expensive. For most people that stay at 5 star hotels though, the cost is not the major concern, they are far more concerned with getting luxury, elegance and a sense of feeling that they are being pampered to which, of course in most cases they are. The 5 star hotels pride themselves on their hospitality and so work very hard to maintain their standards which in turn, ensures that their guests get the best available.

 

Family breaks without the hassle in England

Yorkshire in North East England is well known for its own brand of hospitality and it can be seen at its best with the welcome you receive at the Clifton hotel Scarborough. The hotelis renowned for its warm Yorkshire welcome and the hospitality continues right up until the time you leave. Although in the 1960s claims were made that the town was first founded by Vikings, as yet no proof has been offered to support this claim but what is known about this historical town, is that during the English Civil War of the 1640s the town came under two major sieges and changed hands a total of 7 times, leaving the town in ruins. In 1660, after acidic water was found streaming from one of Scarborough’s cliffs, Scarborough became the first English seaside resort although not until 1735 did it receive the first of its rolling bathing machines. Travel blogging today claim that the Scarborough railway station, with its seat that is 139 meters long, holds a record for having the longest seat in the world.

The town is divided into two bays, the North Bay and the South Bay, by a rocky outcrop that is home to the ruins of an 11 century castle. The original town and harbour were located on South Bay, which today is known as the old town and has the main transportation hubs for the town. The Clifton Hotel is located in North Bay which although more peaceful, is ideally located for those that wish to visit the Japanese themed Peasholm Park. From this park a miniature railway runs through Northstead Manor Gardens and on to the Sea Life Centre. The miniature railway itself has a claim to fame as it is said to be the oldest of its type in the world, which still runs today. The Sea Life Centre is a popular attraction as it affords visitors the opportunity to pass through tunnels to see all the sea life without even getting wet. Of course, as a true depiction of the sea with all its diverse life, a visitor will have the chance to see many different things from shrimp to shark and can also witness some of the feeding processes. Other sea life of interest at the centre is the otters, jellyfish and penguins.

Another attraction that Scarborough has to offer is Playdale Farm Park. This is a park that has children in mind and gives them an opportunity to see many animals in the surroundings of a farm. Among some of the favourite animals that can be seen are Chinchillas, Alpacas, rabbits and pigs. As mentioned, this park has kids in mind and so there is also a play area which includes a tractor to ride on and underneath a covered picnic area, there is also a sand pit with buckets and spades.

Scarborough today, certainly has something for all the family and you can make the most of it by enjoying the hospitality of a hotel like the Clifton.

Why Staying Closer To Home Can Be The Easiest Option For A Family Holiday This Year

When you have young children, the thought of taking a holiday may actually fill you with dread. Home life is routine and easy. The kids know what to expect, and they know what is expected of them. Travel is something we do so rarely, it can be worrying to think about how the kids and us as parents, will cope. It can be a real upheaval. Prolonged periods of time strapped into a car seat or airplane seat does not suit a child at all. They want to be able to run about and scream and shout, and find lots of fun and exciting things to do instead.

Sticking with a break closer to home may be easier. You won’t have over tired, jet-lagged kids and husbands to deal with! Instead, if things go drastically wrong, you can just turn around and go back home again. You’ll also know the standard to expect of the local facilities. Things like kids’ parks and toilets overseas can be a little horrifying when compared to what you get at home. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to visit wherever you go. All you need to do now is put a pin in the map!

Places in the UK are plentiful when it comes to family holidays. For a little place, the UK does really punch above its weight for great kiddy attractions. You may be wanting something that is quiet and serene for some camping. Alternatively, you might want to try something with heart-stopping rides, and lots of space to run around and make noise. Most of the UK’s theme parks have accommodation attached, and many of them provide far more than just a roller coaster.

Some theme parks are attached to beautiful country estates, and others are in the middle of wildlife parks! Some are right on the beach, and others are just outside of the hustle and bustle of London. Wherever you want to be and whatever else you want to do, a theme park could be just the ticket for you and the kids this year. Whether you want a holiday or just a few days out with the kids, start picking up some pamphlets and look into which one may suit you best. You might enjoy Blackpool for a week, or visit Legoland for the day. You can find and book tickets to the parks as well as locate good accommodation online.

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Thanks to Flickr.com for the Blackpool pic

Whatever you choose to do with the family this year, a trip to see more of what the UK can offer you could be just what you need. No passports or vaccines to worry about, and no panic about finding somewhere to change the baby’s nappy! All of these parks have restaurants inside, and some great choices for eating outside too. Some kids are quite into a favourite TV character, and many of the nation’s theme parks have them included, like Postman Pat, Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer and Thomas the Tank. Whether it’s a day out or a whole week of fun, you can enjoy more in the UK this year.

Celebrate the Beauty of the Thames this Autumn

“Totally Thames” is a riverside festival that takes place through the month of September each year. It represents the new culture of the city throughout the 42 mile stretch of London’s pride, the river Thames.

While backing packing to London to get the best of the “Totally Thames” festival, consider staying at one of the best Kings Cross hotels, like Comfort Inn Kings Cross St Pancras London, near Kings Cross Station in Central London, which offers clean and comfortable accommodation at budget rates.

The Best of the Totally Thames Festival

Thames Festival

The festival has something for everyone, so take part in the activities with friends and family to get the best out of it.

  1. Mapping London (September 9 – September 14): For history enthusiasts

Daniel Crouch Rare Books brings an exhibition of London maps to the Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, which is just about 10 minutes from your Kings Cross hotel.

You will be able get a glimpse of the first printed London map, which was published in 1574. You can also view the extremely detailed modern map that depicts the investigated parts of subterranean London, with all its lost rivers and transport tunnels. You can also study the intricate Georgian examples by John Rocque and Oliver Cromwell.

While you are here for the London Mapping exhibition, go around the city and take in the historic sights that the British museum and British Library offer. You can reach these destinations through the underground tube network from St Prancras Station.

  1. The Great River Race (September 27): For athletes

The Great River Race is London’s traditional boat marathon, featuring over 300 crews. They start from Millwall in the east and go up to Ham in the west. Crews from around the world come to participate, right from those who want to enjoy a piece of the boating experience to serious sportsmen who look to win. For the best possible view of this stunning feat, head to the river side of Thames where you can catch a glimpse of these fleets throughout the day. You can even head to Ham House at 3:30 pm to catch the winner cross the finish line alongside booming cannon celebrations. Use this opportunity to visit Hyde Park, London Zoo and Regents Park too.

  1. Blue Ribbon Village (September 13 – September 14) : For the family

From tiny tots to teenagers and even parents and grandparents, Blue Ribbon Village is a two day river side festival packed with truckloads of fun for the entire family. It involves live music from the Boatshed Stage, a series of art and crafts activities for the entire family, poetry readings, dance and music. If you are coming to London for this festival, choose cheap and budget hotels near Kings Cross to make the most of your time here. Also consider visiting the rich Camden Market with your family for the best shopping and street food experience.

Although the “Totally Thames” festival is already in full swing, with the event having started on September 1, there is still a long way to go and over 100 events to explore until September 30.  There is an event for everyone, and something everyone can participate in.