Prepare to be amazed if you visit Pembroke Castle! We certainly were! Expecting to see a small provincial castle overlooking a small town in Pembrokeshire. Little did we know just how much was on offer for families. You can visit the impressive Norman Keep/Tower, take a walk across the brilliantly innovative map of Welsh Castles/Cathedrals..... or for those brave ones you could even venture into the Castle Dungeons or the enormous Wogan Cavern. Who'd have known that Pembroke Castle would be such an exciting place for the whole family to visit.....
As we were helping to write an article for the 'Wales Online' newspaper about 'RoadSchooling our Children across Europe'....(see here) it dawned on us that Wales is famous for many things... From Male Voice Choirs to Coal/mining, Leeks, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Daffodils, Welsh Cakes, The Eisteddford, Richard Burton and Dylan Thomas.... but did you also know that the rapidly growing sport/hobby/pastime of Coasteering also originates from these Welsh shores?
If you're on holiday in Pembrokeshire and your children love animals? Then the national award winning 'Folly Farm' might just be the place to visit! Situated just outside the impressive Bluestone Resort, close to some fantastic family experiences and fine beaches lies this family friendly Adventure Park & Zoo. If you regularly visit the south-west corner of Wales (a little north of Saundersfoot and Tenby), you've probably already heard of this fantastic family friendly attraction. But if you haven't, it's well worth every second of the visit...
Find all about our latest Roadschooling Experience as we teamed up with 'Wild About Pembrokeshire' and enjoyed a 'Sea Shore Foraging & Wild Cooking' experience that our kids absolutely loved!! Situated close to the pretty city of St Davids (the UK's smallest city with just under 2,000 residents), you can find the beautiful secluded bay of Caerbwdy (signposted to Trelerw). The perfect opportunity to grasp a family 'foraging & wild cooking' experience that echoes American writer Dale Carnegie's famous quote "Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind."
Just how you condense all of the amazing European sights we've seen into a simple 'Top 10 European Views'? It sounds like an impossible task...!! Especially when you consider that we've only just added the Ardéche to the list of areas visited. But as the Gorges de l'Ardèche is made up of a series of vertiginous gorges and is know locally as the "European Grand Canyon" perhaps it was always going to be worthy of consideration.... But more of that list of 'Top European Moments' later on as we thought we'd jump in the van, start the dash cam and give you a little taster of what you can find on your bike, in your van or even on a kayak!!
It's hard to narrow down our top five or even ten favourite watersports adventures on our European Roadtrip, but an opportunity to head out kayaking always seems to send everyone in the van into a frenzy of excitement. And as we've been fortunate to experience sea kayaking in Dubrovnik, fjord kayaking in Norway or river rafting/kayaking in Croatia.... just how would the Ardéche fare against such amazing opportunities?
France | Looking For The Best Riverside Campsite in France? Have You Tried Camping Nature Parc l'Ardechois
For couples or families searching for a quiet break, a riverside pitch normally offers peace and tranquility..... and we've not found many better pitches than this one at Camping Nature Parc l'Ardechois in the Ardeche, South of France. However, add in the ability to kayak directly from your pitch, down the Ardèche Gorge, one of France's most picturesque rivers, then you've got all your bases covered for a week in the South of France..... Plus it's dog friendly too!!
If you've got an adventurous family and are visiting France, then don't miss one of the South of France's most exciting treetop adventure, ropes and zipwire courses at 'Le Roc de Massereau' in the Languedoc Roussillon. The ultimate place for all ages to flex their adventurous spirit and test themselves mentally and physically with over 200 elevated platforms connecting over 50 zip wires to a huge variety of rope ladders, wobbly bridges, tunnels and cargo-nets.
Everyone knows France is serious about its food and wine as we discovered at the vineyard tour & degustation at Domaine de Masserau's campsite. With the region's history wedded to it's strong agricultural tradition, where better to learn about wine making than in the Languedoc Roussillon? So we're pretty sure campsite visitors will love the wine tasting vineyard that's twinned with the campsite.... It's a hidden gem and well worth the detour so here's a few reasons you should take a closer look...
With the last of the summer sunshine hitting Europe, thoughts might just be turning to summer holidays next year. So if you're looking for a luxury yet good value 'family motorhome site' in Europe? A place to unplug from daily life whilst keeping the kids fully entertained? Why not consider taking your family on a camping / motorhoming holiday to one of Europe's best 5* campsites at Domaine de Massereau in the South of France.
If you’re visiting the Aude with your family, why not visit Leucate's stronghold/castle? A fortress that served as a border between the kingdoms of Aragon and France. Worth every minute of the easy family hiking trails, everyone will enjoy the panoramic view of the lagoon (Étang de Leucate) across the Mediterranean towards the mountainous Canigou and Albères. But there's plenty more to explore at this viewpoint including the impressive fortress turned into a ruin by Louis XIV's signing of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659
As the road unravels across the French Coastline, it's hard to say whether this beats the Croatian Equivalent (Highway 8 - click here) or the route into Geirangerfjord.... But either way, it's certainly one of those drives you should try if you're visiting the Languedoc-Roussillon.... and here's why!
Whether you're seeking a little tranquility, nature, comfort or an ideal spot for your family and your children... this place has something to offer you all... Located beside the Mediterranean in pine and palm trees, Le Brasilia boasts an extraordinarily mild climate (it was 25°C in mid September!) and a crystal clear, blue sea that seems to draw you into spending a fun day beside the beach....
Want to know which country is the worlds 11th smallest (population) or 40th smallest (by land mass)? Well, you've probably guessed it by the title.... Andorra!! With a population of only 80,000 and a country that measures only 468 sqkm, the stunning yet tiny principality of Andorra is located high in the snowy peaks of the Pyrénées between France and Spain. So with a day to spare in our packed schedule, we thought we'd check it out from our base at Thuir, France.
If you've stayed at this large resort-style campsite near Tarragona, you'll know it's set in a spectacular sub-tropical setting with direct access to its own sandy beach. ... So imagine holidays spent jumping into the sub-tropical pool for yet another splash around with the kids or evenings enjoying the numerous activities/shows on offer for all ages. All this in an idyllic setting amongst palm trees and flowers..... the perfect recipe for some rest and relaxation!!
You just have to read our first article on Valencia to realise the truth in the statement... "Don't be fooled by first impressions: there's a lot more to this city than first meets the eye." With it's warm climate, accessible old quarter and Europe's newest cultural and scientific exhibition area, it makes for a great choice for a family city break. Valencia certainly caters for lots of tastes, perhaps aptly too, bearing in mind the first paella sizzled here over an open wood fire over 1200 years ago. It's also the city that we've revisited the most in our European Roadtrip... So why would we rate Valencia so highly?
Imagine an attraction dedicated solely to the giants of years past in Teruel? Dinopolis is sited in a place that has seen thousands of dinosaurs found within the very earth beneath you. It's the perfect playground for children with an imagination as they visit 3D/4D theatres, dig for fossils, take rides though history, play in the playgrounds, see dinosaur skeletons in the indoor museum… and so much more! With several acres of Dinopolis to explore, your family might also find yourselves wandering amongst some of the most feared predators ever to walk the planet!
Whether you're island hopping along the Croatian Coastline, punting down the canals of Venice, speeding down the Lillehammer Bobsleigh or sipping a coffee in a Viennese cafe. Europe offers plenty of iconic experiences to enjoy. So how does the North of Spain compare?
If you ever doubt that Europe can truly amaze you? Try imagining pristine ribbons of sand, dramatic cliffs of sand silhouetted against the sky and dazzling blue water stroking the shore. Lying some 65km south west of Bordeaux or some 2hrs north of the fantastic Camping Sylvamar, it’s hard to exaggerate the sheer enormity of ‘Dune du Pilat’ Towering some 114m above sea level, it is Europe’s highest sand dune and it’s still growing!! Spreading over 4.5m eastwards each year.
With 2018 summer planning about to start, you might just want to bookmark this little gem in the south west tip of France at Camping Sylvamar. Situated in the unspoilt region of Landes, it's one of the best we've seen in the south of France and a great option for all the family. So here's why we reckon it'll make it's way straight into our 'Top 50 Places to Stay in Europe' for 2018.
With a disrupted summer, our plans have been very much up in the air for weeks if not months now due to the sad passing of a close family member (see below blog post on dealing with a family bereavement whilst on the road).
If you love feeling the rush of your handmade kite swooshing above your head? Or want to get up close and personal with one of South England's most beautiful series of rolling downs... Then you might just find yourself heading for Dunstable Downs.... just like we were last weekend!
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