I love this time of year for reflecting on the year that’s just gone and planning for the next one. Writing a blog helps with this of course. I have many blog post to look back on and lots and lots of photos. Through this blog, we’re also fortunate to be invited along to some lovely events and attractions too. Below are my highlights of a year filled with family adventures. Please note these are a mixture of things we’ve paid for and others we were invited a long as a guest.
Exploring East Lothian and Edinburgh
For our main holiday last year we chose to visit Scotland, somewhere I’ve only been once before. We chose East Lothian as we wanted to visit Edinburgh, which is a good 5 hours from home. With a 5 and 2 year old, a short city break didn’t seem like the best idea so we decided to spend a week near the coast, just a short train ride from the city. I love researching holidays and found us a lovely little flat in the centre of North Berwick, a gorgeous seaside town with lovely independent shops, cafes and a train station with train journeys just 30 minutes into the heart of Edinburgh.
Whilst we were there my highlights include a day at Edinburgh zoo where we were lucky enough to see the giant panda, exploring Dirleton castle and Archerfield walled garden where the girls enjoyed the woodland fairy trail. We had two day trips into Edinburgh where we particularly enjoyed the National Museum of Scotland and the girls really enjoyed all the mirrors and illusion in Camera Obscura.
A summer spent camping
We finally got our tent out again last summer, after 3 years gathering dust in the garage. The weather was mostly perfect for camping (let’s ignore the one trip to Abersoch where our tent poles all snapped in 30 miles an hour winds). More successful trips include a weekend in Conway, one near Preston and one at a gorgeous little family site in North Yorkshire. Our kids loved camping and for us starting taking them as toddlers works well (find my tips for camping with toddlers here). I’m hoping this summer will include lots more successful trips and perhaps a family festival too.
We had a couple of trips to Anglesey and for the longer one particularly we were very fortunate with the gorgeous weather. We enjoyed lots of beach days and a fantastic trip to Greenwood forest park. If you are thinking of visiting Anglesey, this post is packed with ideas for family-friendly ideas for places to visit.
Autumn in the Lake District
This has become a bit of a family tradition now to visit the Lakes in autumn. The scenery is stunning all year round but the autumn colours really enrich it. It’s a great location for outdoor loving families with plenty of opportunities for walking, days out and even adventure sports for those that are more adventurous than us. If you are looking for ideas of things to do with kids in the Lake District I have the perfect post for you here.
National Trust days out
This was our second full year as National Trust members and we have used our passes so much. We are on the doorstep of some great family days out here in the North West. We have visited Quarry Bank, Alderley Edge, Dunham Massey and Hare hill more times than I can remember. We’ve also visited ones slightly further away such as Fountains Abbey, Plas Newydd, Allan Bank, Tarn Hows and Bodnant gardens. We love our National Trust family membership and think it is fantastic value, find out more here.
Christmas days out
We were fortunate to have quite a few Christmas days out last year. Our favourite had to be the North pole express at the National Forest Adventure Farm. Festive theatre trips were also a highlight for us. We enjoyed Raymond Briggs Father Christmas, The Snowman and Aladdin.
What do we have planned for 2019?
I’m sure 2019 will be filled with as many family adventures. We’re starting though with a weekend in York without the kids (our first in almost 6 years). We are thinking of visiting Pembrokeshire for 0ur main holiday this year. Again somewhere that I remember visiting once as a child. I’m sure we’ll be back in Anglesey again and we’ve just booked another autumn break in the Lakes. We’re on the lookout for a good deal to take the girls to Legoland too. We’ve been twice now and love it. Of course, we will be renewing our National Trust membership again this year and we have been gifted a 12 month English Heritage family pass too so we’ll have lots of new places to explore and share.
I’d love to know if you have booked any family holidays and if so where you will be going. Or if you’ve been to Pembrokeshire, I’d love to know your recommendations of where to stay and visit in the comments.