Are you counting down to Christmas yet? Fancy planning a visit to a typical French Christmas markets? Or have you considered one of the most famous 'foodie' Christmas markets in England in York? We're lucky to have done both in the last 12 months, so here's our '5 Top Tips' to make it a memorable experience for your family too.
As we've found on our European Roadtrip Adventures, with so many cultures to show off — and so many centuries of practice — Europe knows how to throw a party. The array of fiestas, medieval fairs, music festivals, and national celebrations could light a fire under the most burned-out sightseer!!!!
Sure you might have been to a haunted house for Halloween? But can you imagine the possibilities of a haunted cornfield or corn maze. Well nor had we, but as they recommend you need to be 14+ yrs old to brave the evening 'Hallowscream'....... We thought we'd opt for the more family friendly daytime option to visit York Maze. Little did we know it's enormous!!!! Easily the largest maze in the UK, it’s proved to be a fun filled, day out with well over 20 rides or activities that's kept us busy all day (our visit lasted 5hrs!!)
Is there a more apt and inspiring place than Whitby Abbey to hear the tales of Dracula? A Gothic Abbey set imposingly on a cliff above the bustling coastal harbour at Whitby.... It's ruins offering a spectacular backdrop for the night-time illumination show and performance of Bram Stoker's Dracula. A truly memorable evening from one of the most iconic English Heritage sites.
Hot on the heels of our trip earlier this week to the National Railway Museum in York, we thought we use our increasingly useful 'York Pass' to take a nostalgic steam train ride on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. A stunning steam train journey from Pickering towards the picturesque Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby.
Earlier in the year, we all went fruit picking near London and whilst we were there, we discovered that high quality farm shops do in fact grow vegetables too and even more exciting than that… they grow pumpkins! Just like 'The Ballon Tree Farm Shop' near York... So as we've focusing our road schooling in Yorkshire over the next month, we thought we'd pop in to have a closer look!!
Due to the dash down south from York to celebrate Lottie's birthday in Stamford, we've leapt at the chance to give the girls a sleepover and take in a little of the activities you can find around this corner of the East Midlands..... Close to the tiny county of Rutland, lies the thriving market town of Stamford and it's impressive Burghley House. A town perhaps left behind by the Industrial Revolution that remains full of timber framed buildings and numerous fine spired churches, cobble streets and mellow old stone buildings...
Imagine standing on the cobbled street of the Shambles in York..... having made your way through some of York's main attractions including York Minister, York Chocolate Story, Cliffords Tower and the National Railway Museum.... So now's the time to leave the crowds of tourists snapping away on the famous medieval cobbled street and head for one of York's impressive sightseeing options.
With Yorkshire literally dripping with historical significance, visits to cities like York are a crucial part of our roadschooling adventure across Europe. There maybe hundreds (& thousands) of history resources on the web! But we're taking a different approach, bringing history to life by taking them to places like the WW1 battlefields or the iconic Berlin Wall. Trying hard to give our daughters the broadest understanding of European History...
Squeezing York into one day is a hectic thought..... Its bustling historic city centre is full of attractions that will boggle your brain if you don't have a plan.... But we thought we'd share our first hand experiences to help give you the best place to start any family day out in York...... Especially as it's become one of our favourite European Cities that we've visited on our European Roadtrip... So if you're looking for the first tip from our visit, we'd suggest everyone should try wall walking when you arrive.... giving you a chance to get your bearings by strolling around some of the 3 miles of medieval city walls and gatehouses (just like Dubrovnik...)...
Family Holidays to Pembrokeshire are all about living life to the fullest and enjoying things outside… Ranging from glorious coastal paths, beaches, breathtaking scenery and some of the world's best seashore based outdoor activities. From Victorian seaside towns like Tenby to historic Pembroke, to the breathtaking Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and beyond, there is so much for families to explore in this proud and diverse region of Wales.
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."
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.
For those who've followed our progress, you might remember our last visit to the Stubai Glacier in April 2016. Yet again it was the lure of the outside space nr Ranalt which proved the perfect spot for a family breakfast and morning's free entertainment (apart from the 3 Euros parking fee for 3hrs)... But this time we wanted to go one better and explore the 'Wilde Wasser Weg / Grawa' waterfalls
Having driven from Lake Bled across the Gerlos Alpine Pass to get to Camping Aufenfeld, we'd been blessed with scorching hot weather for late May... and this didn't relent with the thermometer reaching the dizzy heights of 33°C. So what better place to spend a couple of days than a campsite with it's own outdoor lake!
It seems almost impossible to take a road trip without stumbling upon yet another wonderfully scenic journey in Austria.... a country we've enjoyed visiting, especially our time in Vienna. However 'stumbling' might not quite describe it accurately... as the wonderful Gerlos Alpine Road website conjured up some exciting images that meant we simply couldn't miss a scenic drive through the raw, rugged natural beauty of the Austrian Alps.
Croatia has so much more to offer than just the established tourist sites such as Dubrovnik, Split or hidden gems such as Korčula or Rovinj. With the region of Zadar fast becoming the newest member of Croatia's tourist elite due to the beautiful cities (Zadar or Sibernik) and wonderful countryside, explorable islands and coastline. There are endless tracts of wild mountain paths to explore, as well as some spectacularly beautiful stretches of coast between the pebbly beaches. So how better to explore this diverse countryside than on horseback....
Seemingly scattered among the waves by the gods themselves, the Croatian Islands surrounding Zadar were made to be seen by boat. You’ve probably seen their quaint villages and azure waters a zillion times on postcards and travel brochures, but even the greatest images are no match for the real thing. Think Kornuti Islands Archipelago or beach paradises like Dugi Otok.
So a chance to explore Zadar's islands with skipper Milan & his authentic 1932 'ZvizdaMora' boat gave us sight of a side of Croatia you’d otherwise miss. An opportunity to see where history (and myth) happened, meet the present-day inhabitants, and, of course, soak up as much sun as we could get. (just check out his Trip Advisor reviews and you'll know why we chose his boat tour! - click here).
They say you should visit Croatia in late spring or the end of summer to explore the inland National Park of Krka or the Velebit mountain range. Considered a great hiking country you'll find plenty of opportunities in Croatia on the islands such as Korčula, whilst others might prefer to sail the archipelago of the Kornati islands National Park.
But have you ever considered a Buggy Safari? No? Well, nor had we until we until we chanced upon Buggy Croatia's fantastic 'adventure tour' at Vransko Jezero, Biograd. So if you fancy a day filled with views of emerald lakes, azure blue seas, islands galore and a little adrenalin filled fun... then read on!
Zadar was recently elected Best European Destination 2016. Winning the prestigious title over more established rivals such as Athens, Plovdiv, Nantes, The Azores Islands, Paris, Novi Sad, Brussels, Kotor, Milan, Prague, Rome, Vienna, Madrid and Nicosia.
So where better to discover more about Zadar's wealth of attractions than Zaton Holiday Resort just outside Zadar, another of the fantastic campsites that fall under the banner of Europe's Leading Campings.
Apparently the new buzzword is ‘3G’, with three generations of a family holidaying together – grandparents, parents and kids. But could 'Camping Šimuni' offer enough activities to suit everyone’s holiday needs alongside a chance to relax together as a family? It certainly impressed us on our first visit in April but what would it be like with more people to please (see our first blog post on Camping Šimuni here)
For those that have never explored the amazingly varied Dalmatian Coastline in Croatia... You'll never forget that moment that you crest the hills that line the Adriatic near Rijeka... to be met with that dazzlingly alluring blue of the Adriatic Sea.... Even after seeing it numerous times during the course of our two year European Roadtrip, we're still in awe of that first glimpse of the crystal clear waters of the island of Krk! So where better to stay than at Camping Resort Krk.
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