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Family Holidays to Spain

Palma Mazas

Palma Mazas

Arenal

Bed & Breakfast

Tue, 26 Mar 2019 for 7 Nights

From London

From
£139 pp
Hostal Vista Alegre By Eurotels

Hostal Vista Alegre By Eurotels

Alcudia

Room Only

Tue, 26 Mar 2019 for 7 Nights

From London

From
£148 pp

Marisol

Marisol

Room Only

Sun, 14 Apr 2019 for 3 Nights

From Manchester

From
£158 pp

Family Holidays to Portugal

Algarve Gardens

Algarve Gardens

Albufeira

Self Catering

Wed, 15 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Manchester

From
£84 pp

Monte dos Avos Village

Monte dos Avos Village

Self Catering

Wed, 15 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Manchester

From
£84 pp
Alto Fairways

Alto Fairways

Alvor

Room Only

Wed, 15 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Manchester

From
£100 pp

Family Holiday Deals to Turkey

Anahtar Aparthotel

Anahtar Aparthotel

Alanya

Room Only

Sun, 19 May 2019 for 10 Nights

From Manchester

From
£249 pp
Pineta Park Deluxe Hotel

Pineta Park Deluxe Hotel

Marmaris

All Inclusive

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 for 7 Nights

From Bristol

From
£304 pp
Labranda Mares Marmaris

Labranda Mares Marmaris

Icmeler

All Inclusive

Sat, 13 Apr 2019 for 7 Nights

From Bristol

From
£328 pp

Family Holidays to Greece

Studios Pahnis

Studios Pahnis

Alikanas

Room Only

Mon, 13 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Liverpool

From
£231 pp
Letsos Hotel

Letsos Hotel

Alykes-Alykanas

Self Catering

Mon, 13 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Liverpool

From
£232 pp
Amarylis Studios

Amarylis Studios

Alikes

Room Only

Mon, 13 May 2019 for 7 Nights

From Liverpool

From
£243 pp

Family Holidays to Mexico

Vive La Vida Hostal

Vive La Vida Hostal

Playa del Carmen

Room Only

Sat, 25 May 2019 for 6 Nights

From London

From
£838 pp
Hacienda de Castilla

Hacienda de Castilla

Cancun

Room Only

Sat, 25 May 2019 for 6 Nights

From London

From
£855 pp
Suites Gaby

Suites Gaby

Cancún

Room Only

Sat, 25 May 2019 for 6 Nights

From London

From
£881 pp

Family Holidays to Egypt

Amar Sina

Amar Sina

Ras Um Sid-Hadaba

Room Only

Mon, 26 Aug 2019 for 7 Nights

From London

From
£656 pp
Gaddis Luxor Hotel, Suites and Apartments

Gaddis Luxor Hotel, Suites and Apartments

Luxor

Bed & Breakfast

Mon, 26 Aug 2019 for 7 Nights

From London

From
£671 pp
Delta Pyramids Hotel

Delta Pyramids Hotel

Cairo

Room Only

Mon, 26 Aug 2019 for 7 Nights

From London

From
£671 pp

Recent Family Holiday Information and Recommendations

  • Wild weekend: a family activity break in Yorkshire

    Raft building, zipwires, archery, buscraft skills … Kingswood adventure centre in South Yorkshire offers families a whirlwind of organised fun ‘We don’t have to join in with other people, do we?” said Gracie, my 10-year-old daughter, as she swiped through photos of helmeted folk engaged in outdoorsy activities. She had voiced my fears that our visit to the Kingswood activity centre near Doncaster would involve team-building, singalongs and awkward British socialising. A boyhood of Cubs and Scouts had provided enough kumbaya and cooperative shelter-building to last a lifetime, I grumbled to myself.Still, our family has embraced (endured) camping for years and our two girls like high wires, water sports and pottering outside, so the prospect of “challenging and rewarding” adventures in South Yorkshire appealed. Continue reading...

  • 10 of Europe’s best beach restaurants

    There’s nothing like eating freshly-caught fish with the scent of the sea as an accompaniment. Travel writers pick their top beachside restaurantsThe menu, like the decor at this family-run oyster cabin, is stripped back: six grades of oysters, red shrimps with mayonnaise, whelks and country paté, accompanied by baskets of bread, and the choice of either rosé or white wine. That’s it. But the views from the garden and the little wooden jetty are cinematic, stretching over the Bay of Arcachon to the monumental Dune du Pilat shimmering on the horizon. Chez Boulan is in a run of shacks down this narrow peninsula, where oyster farmers have been plying their trade for generations, but have in recent years added tables and chairs to their rustic sheds, spruced up their gardens, and thrown open their doors to the fashionable Bordelais who have holiday homes here, and the daytrippers coming over the bay on the ferry. Lunch (around €20 a head) has a funny habit of slipping into sundowners at this place.• 2 Rue des Palmiers, chezboulanferret.frAndy Pietrasik Continue reading...

  • 10 of the best beaches in the UK

    In a hot summer, there’s no better place than a UK beach – but even in more typical weather these shores offer walks and wildlife, picnics and rockpoolsA network of paths and boardwalks crisscrosses this 6,000-year-old dune system leading on to expansive sand flats and the shingle beach. The unusually high dunes are nearly four miles long and lie across the head of Dundrum Bay, with views of the Mourne mountains in the near distance. There is plenty of room here to hunker down among the marram grass, open a flask and, in summer, watch butterflies and moths (more than 620 species) and look for lizards. Common and grey seals are also frequent visitors.Stay Portaferry Hotel (doubles from £80 B&B, family room from £120) at the head of Strangford Lough is a half-hour drive and a short ferry journey away. Continue reading...

  • 10 of the best beach bars and cafes in Europe: readers’ tips

    Our tipsters pick beach bars for lazy days, fantastic seafood and one last cold beer near the airport before flying homeA short boat ride from the town of Olhão, on the quiet side of the Algarve, is the island of Armona. After a walk along the beach path to the far side of the island, you are greeted by a sign for Camaleão Beach Bar that says “Welcome to Paradise” – but it’s better than that. Shaded seating areas perch in the white sand, along with a chilled jazz/reggae/house soundtrack and stunning views, creating the perfect place to spend a day or three. Great cocktails and Portuguese beers at low prices make it even better. Stagger back across the island to catch the last boat home.• On FacebookJack Sears Continue reading...

  • 10 of the UK's best new family attractions for 2019

    Books and boats, surfing, science and sculpture … these day trips to new and improved venues offer an array of thrilling experiencesOpening on the shore of Windermere in March, this new museum will trace 200 years of boats and boat-building in the Lakes. The vessels on show (on the water and in boathouses and galleries) will range from historic steam launches to sailing yachts and record-breaking speed boats. The exhibits include Beatrix Potter’s tarn boat (from where she once sketched) and SL Dolly, thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world. The conservation workshop will also allow visitors to watch the restoration work take place. Venture out on to the water on cruise boats and grab the opportunity to sail on the Osprey, a restored Edwardian steam boat.• Opens 23 March, adult £9, under 16s £7, windermerejetty.org Continue reading...

  • 20 of the best new and recently refurbished hotels in the UK

    From Cornish boutique rooms to a west Highlands bunkhouse we sift for value among arrivals on the hotel and hostel sceneOn the coast in Marazion by St Michael’s Mount, the boutique Mount Haven hotel has been extensively refurbished and reopens on 7 April. An additional bedroom brings the total to 20, while the new restaurant and terrace have sweeping ocean views – the perfect backdrop to modern, seafood-rich cuisine. It’s on the South West Coast Path, so ideal for walkers, and there’s plenty for art lovers too, with the galleries of Newlyn and St Ives nearby. Rooms range from the “Snug” category to spacious “Blissful Bay”.• Doubles from £100 B&B, mounthaven.co.uk Related: 50 of the best hotels and B&Bs in the UK Continue reading...

  • Six of the UK's best guided nature walks for families

    A fun activity on a guided walk brings the countryside to life for kids. One dad even gets his three splashing about in the rainy Norfolk BroadsSmall children will never rapturously welcome the announcement of an activity they’ve never done before. Especially if it involves the dreaded word “walk” – and definitely not when temperatures are close to freezing on a day of constant rain. Continue reading...

  • The best UK adventure trails: readers’ travel tips

    Kids can run wild and enjoy imaginative play, fun nature tasks and art trails through these glorious woodsWith one very active and another dreamy nephew, entertaining them is sometimes problematic. While holidaying in Scotland, we visited Pressmennan Woods, near Dunbar, a perfect compromise. As well as opportunities to run free and spot wildlife, including deer and otter, there’s an amazing circular sculpture trail. Our “bookworm” was entranced by the carved wooden characters, the floor-living “glingbobs” and canopy-dwelling “tootflits”, whose “homes” he discovered. Busy creating stories about these mythical creatures, he scarcely noticed the climb to the top of the hill. There, we picnicked with two happy lads and magnificent views towards the Firth of Forth.• woodlandtrust.org.uk Louise Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick

    Rebuilt after flood damage, this cult favourite in the Lakes is a big draw for visitors when the weather is a bit sketchyThe ultimate rainy-day venue in one of the rainiest areas of England, this small museum already had cult status long before its starring role in the 2012 horror-comedy film Sightseers. After being damaged during Storm Desmond in December 2015, its interior has been rebuilt and is now a bright open-plan space that tells the story of Keswick’s pencil industry from its origins in the 1550s. That’s when Borrowdale shepherds are said to have discovered that the black substance clinging to the base of an upturned tree was really useful for marking their sheep. The mineral was graphite, known locally as “wad”. In the 17th century some saw it as more valuable than gold, which led to a thriving black market, centred on a Keswick pub. Related: Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top house, the Lakes: ‘It feels like a game of Potter I-spy’ – review Related: Take the kids to … Old Hall Farm, the Lake District Continue reading...

  • Peaks and Downs: the best family-friendly breaks in national parks

    England and Wales’ national parks date from a law passed 70 years ago. Our writer, who has walked all 13, picks fun breaks and youth hostels in eachLegal protection of England and Wales’ national parks began with a law passed by the post-war Labour government that also created the NHS. The 1932 mass trespass at Kinder Scout in the Peak District helped bring about the 1949 National Parks Act, and two years later the upland area was designated Britain’s first national park. It embraces five counties, receives 13.25 million visitors a year and is a walker’s Shangri-La. The massive moors and gritstone crags of the northern Dark Peak are impressive, but it’s the White Peak’s limestone dales and wooded gorges that are most appealing for weekending families in spring. Continue reading...

  • The UK’s best living museums: readers’ top 10 travel tips

    Bringing the past to life with historic buildings and costumed guides has revitalised the museum scene across the countryMy daughter loves the school at this living museum at Newtonmore (on the Highland train line). She is taken back to when Granny was at school, with a strict teacher overseeing proceedings. The challenge is completing the writing test without smudging the ink, avoiding the dreaded Tawse (the thick leather belt that sends a shiver down her granny’s spine). The school is just one of 30-odd buildings – relocated to the 32 hectare site – from different eras of Highland life from the 1700s onwards. You might also be lucky to see red squirrels scampering up surrounding scots pine trees before you retreat to the excellent cafe for hot chocolate and cake. • Open from 3 April, free, donations welcome, highlifehighland.comKeith McCarthy Related: The best family-friendly museums in the UK: readers’ travel tips Related: 10 of the best new UK museums and galleries for 2018 Continue reading...

  • A father-and-son ski trip to Andorra

    Returning to the Pyrenees for a family skiing adventure many years after a stag-do, it’s not just dad who has grown up. So has Andorra …It is 10am and I’m trying to engage my two sons in their first skiing lesson. My vow to be a patient teacher and never raise my voice to Rafa, 16, and Luca, 14, has already broken. “Get that bloody foot up,” I yell as an outraged professional instructor and his junior students serenely practise snowploughing nearby.It’s day one, we have only been on the nursery slopes for 20 minutes. I watch groups of young men on the piste ski past me and can’t help feeling middle-aged. The last time I was here was on a stag-do in nearby Soldeu with a bunch of mates. Fast forward 13 years, and I’m back with the groom and our three teenage sons. Times have changed. No more beery nights with the lads, the plan is a different sort of male-bonding experience; fathers and sons on the piste. We’re staying for five nights in El Tarter, opting for half-board at Neilson’s Hotel Del Clos, 350m from the chair lifts to the pistes. El Tarter is very much a family resort and Hotel Del Clos has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, crèche, games room and good-sized bedrooms, and for the ski-weary, an impressive range of spa treatments. Continue reading...

  • Amid lava fields and lizards: a walking trip on El Hierro, Canaries

    Before Columbus, the island of El Hierro was the ‘edge of the world’. Today, its volcanic peaks and forest offer superb family trekkingClouds of volcanic dust envelop the car as we judder down the track through the Malpaís – the badlands. Contorted lava fields and cinder cones surround us in a fierce display. This was once believed to be the end of the Earth. Before Columbus voyaged to America, El Hierro – the smallest and least-visited of the Canary Islands – was the westernmost edge of the known world. Continue reading...

  • 20 great UK cottages with pools

    Holiday homes with swimming pools sell out fast in peak periods, so get in early this year at some of the best around the countrySitting on the edge of Newtown national nature reserve, Shalfleet Manor Estate is in a top spot for birdwatching, canoeing and walks around the Newtown estuary. The 17th-century Grade-II listed manor and separate outbuilding conversions have been recently renovated, and share the heated outdoor pool (May-September), tennis courts and gardens. The heritage colour palette keeps spaces light, while a large restored oak fireplace in the main house adds a touch of drama. A mooring on the nearby river is also available to guests. No more than a 35-minute drive to anywhere on the Isle of Wight, it makes a good base to explore the many bays and beaches, sea-view eateries and activities from sailing to fossil-hunting.Cottages sleep 2-14 (+ cots), dog-friendly, from £352 a week, bluechipholidays.co.uk/shalfleet-barn and bluechipholidays.co.uk/shalfleet-manor Continue reading...

  • A festive outing to a fairytale French château: a day at Vaux-le-Vicomte

    Like Versailles but more manageable, this château turns into a winter wonderland at Christmas – perfect for a family day trip from ParisFor most of its long and inglorious history, Vaux-le-Vicomte has been ignored. Shunned by the royal court after a jealous and vengeful king left its owner to rot in jail, overshadowed by its neighbour Fontainebleau, Vaux-le-Vicomte has hidden for centuries in plain sight, less than an hour by car or train from Paris.Many of those driving south en route to the Burgundy vineyards, Alps or winter warmth of the Côte d’Azur won’t even know it’s there. This is a pity at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas when for five weeks the 17th-century baroque château is transformed into something of an enchanted palace.This magical kingdom is delightfully low-tech and in places the kind of over-the-top kitsch that enchants the very young Continue reading...

  • Our big exotic sleepover: a single-parent tour of Egypt

    As the Land of the Pharaohs edges its way back on to the tourist map, our writer and her daughter join other single-parent families on a new group tourWater buffalo call softly as the waters of the Nile lap at the boat. Kingfishers swoop in the dim light, silhouetted against a mosque on Aswan’s distant bank. Mia, 13, is in a huddle of kids on the upper deck of the wooden felucca, our home for the night. Thanks to some expert child-whispering by our Egyptian guide, Walid – and some instructions from YouTube – they are fashioning a kite from bits of wood, string and tarpaulin, while the adults chat over cool beers. Related: Sailing the Nile in style Related: Alive with artisans: Cairo’s al-Darb al-Ahmar district – a photo essay Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Bodmin Jail, Cornwall

    An imposing 18th-century prison brings to life an era of harsh punishments – fun for all the family, if your children like grisly tales and ghost stories A former jail on the edge of the town, built in 1779 by prisoners of war. Inside the gloomy and imposing granite building there are six floors of chilly cells, life-size models of inmates, and grim tales of crimes and punishment. Thanks to its grisly past, it claims to be one of the most haunted attractions in the UK, with a resident medium and a cast of ghosts. In short, it’s the perfect attraction if you want to scare your children with some real-life horror stories. The jail is in the midst of a £30m development that will add a 63-bedroom hotel within the two original prison wings, and a new £8.5m attraction and education centre. Related: A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Legoland Discovery Centre, Birmingham

    This indoor twist on a Legoland theme park builds up the fun with its miniature city, rides and play area but crumbles when it comes to entertaining older kidsThe latest UK collaboration between global heavyweights Merlin Entertainments and the Lego Group recently opened in Birmingham city centre (in a former car park) at a cost of £7m. It’s an indoor (more compact) version of a Legoland theme park: imagine a giant playschool designed by a creative, six-year-old Lego fanatic. Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Gilbert White’s House and Gardens, Hampshire – review

    The home of the nature-obsessed clergyman is a treasure trove of flora, fauna and kids’ games. And there’s even a gallery devoted to heroic explorersThe home of an 18th-century naturalist may not seem the obvious choice for a day out but a £2.5m revamp – aided by the Heritage Lottery Fund and finished this summer – really ups the ante for this house and beautiful garden in Selborne, Hampshire. The nature-mad clergyman poured his love of flora and fauna into what has become the fourth most-published book in the English language (and never out of print), the 1789 Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne. Budding Gerald Durrells will love the stuffed animals and delicate skeletons of bats and more, plus interactive wildlife-spotting games. Continue reading...

  • It’s a jungle out there: Costa Rica with kids

    Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventureIt’s dark in the rainforest, the air thick with strange croaks and chirps, and our group moves slowly, following José’s torchlight. As he gestures for us to stop, we gather around in silence, the adults as keen as the children to see what he’s spotted. There on a leaf, with its bulging orange eyes, neat green body and comically big tangerine feet, sits a Costa Rican tree frog. Cue delighted squeals all round.“It’s so cute!” whispers my niece, Georgia, and I nod, partly relieved it’s not a boa constrictor or tarantula. Continue reading...

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