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Family Holidays to Spain

Rk Hotel El Cabo

Rk Hotel El Cabo

Agaete

Room Only

Thu, 06 Feb 2020 for 2 Nights

From London Stansted

From
£102 pp
Apartamentos Monte Feliz

Apartamentos Monte Feliz

Bahia Feliz

Self Catering

Thu, 06 Feb 2020 for 2 Nights

From London Stansted

From
£120 pp
Hostal San Gines

Hostal San Gines

Arrecife

Room Only

Wed, 11 Dec 2019 for 4 Nights

From Leeds Bradford

From
£200 pp

Family Holidays to Portugal

Praia Vau 17 By Atlantichotels

Praia Vau 17 By Atlantichotels

Praia Da Rocha

Room Only

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 for 4 Nights

From Bristol

From
£83 pp
Studio 17 Atlantichotels

Studio 17 Atlantichotels

Portimao

Room Only

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 for 4 Nights

From Bristol

From
£84 pp
Albufeira Jardim

Albufeira Jardim

Albufeira

Self Catering

Mon, 10 Feb 2020 for 4 Nights

From Bristol

From
£85 pp

Family Holiday Deals to Turkey

Ozlem 1 Apart Icmeler

Ozlem 1 Apart Icmeler

Icmeler

Self Catering

Sat, 04 Jul 2020 for 7 Nights

From Bristol

From
£397 pp
Nature Apart ( Ex Mustis Family Apartments )

Nature Apart ( Ex Mustis Family Apartments )

Marmaris

Self Catering

Sat, 04 Jul 2020 for 7 Nights

From Bristol

From
£398 pp
Carmina Hotel

Carmina Hotel

Hisaronu

Bed & Breakfast

Sat, 04 Jul 2020 for 7 Nights

From Bristol

From
£425 pp

Family Holidays to Greece

Toula Apartments

Toula Apartments

Petra

Room Only

Sun, 28 Jun 2020 for 7 Nights

From Birmingham

From
£527 pp
Marianthi Paradise

Marianthi Paradise

Molyvos

Room Only

Sun, 28 Jun 2020 for 7 Nights

From Birmingham

From
£545 pp
Kalloni Bay

Kalloni Bay

Skala Kallonis

Bed & Breakfast

Sun, 28 Jun 2020 for 7 Nights

From Birmingham

From
£555 pp

Family Holidays to Mexico

Iberostar Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel

Cozumel

All Inclusive

Sun, 20 Sep 2020 for 14 Nights

From Manchester

From
£1,557 pp
Ocean Coral & Turquesa

Ocean Coral & Turquesa

Cancun

All Inclusive

Sun, 20 Sep 2020 for 14 Nights

From Manchester

From
£1,653 pp
Ocean Coral & Turquesa

Ocean Coral & Turquesa

Puerto Morelos

All Inclusive

Sun, 20 Sep 2020 for 14 Nights

From Manchester

From
£1,694 pp

Recent Family Holiday Information and Recommendations

  • From cage to conservation: the reinvention of Australian zoos

    Zoo attendance in Australia is steadily increasing, but so are the public’s expectations of institutions that hold animals in captivityThe elephant temple at Taronga zoo on the lush north shore of Sydney harbour does not look like a great home for giant mammals. Its oriental pastels and concrete floors speak of a zoo as a place of oddities from far-flung places. A place for gawking and gift shops.Which, of course, it was. Related: Rare white-cheeked gibbon born at Perth zoo Related: Melbourne zoo hatches plan to save southern corroboree frog Continue reading...

  • Country diary: magical mushrooms spark the children’s imagination

    Durham University Botanic Garden: Curious fungi open a gate to the mysteries of mycologyBefore I retired from university teaching, I brought undergraduates to this valley at the bottom of the botanic garden to demonstrate the rudiments of mycology. It’s a perfect location for a fungal foray: deciduous beech and oak woodland on one side of a small stream, a conifer plantation on the other, with plentiful fallen timber.The site is managed for mycological diversity, allowing dead branches to decay where they fall, entering an afterlife where wave after wave of fungal hyphae slowly reduce them to humus. As that great woodsman Oliver Rackham once said: “A horizontal tree – alive or dead – is at least as good a habitat as an upright one.” Continue reading...

  • City breaks with kids: Edinburgh

    There’s a great family trip to be had exploring Edinburgh’s museums, beaches and parks, while an underground tour brings spooky moments, tooMore of our city breaks with kidsWe love to stand on the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and wait for the one o’clock canon to fire. It always makes us jump, even though we know it’s coming, but there are just such wonderful views across the city, and to the sea beyond, from here. Continue reading...

  • Powder sharing agreement: plans to create Italy’s biggest ski area

    The small Alps resort of Champoluc, with its famed off-piste, is set to be linked with mighty, pricey Zermatt. So go now, while it’s relatively untouchedIs there such a thing as too much snow? The week I arrived in Champoluc, in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, the whole village seemed to be buried. Trees resembled sticks of candyfloss, huge mounds hid cars that would take days to dig out, and the air itself was laced with a diaphanous glittery frost.Each morning a fresh set of hastily printed warning posters was plastered over the walls of the Chalet Hotel Champoluc, which can be booked through Inghams, one of few operators that offer trips to this resort: “High avalanche risk today,” read one. “Avoid the area around the church.” Continue reading...

  • Tiny house holiday: can a family of four fit in a 15-square-metre space?

    Tiny houses are presented as the ultimate in back-to-nature minimalism, but tiny people are rarely in the picture“Oh,” I say as we pull into a clearing off a dirt track. “It’s really small.”Which should not have come as a surprise, really – “it” being a tiny house and smallness being rather the point of it. But, as I checked my rear-view mirror to see my five-year-old unbuckled and silently trying to release her two-year-old sister from her car seat, I thought again: “That house is very small.” Related: Five affordable alternatives to Australia’s extravagant luxury lodges Related: Goats, bonfires and eggs: four city slickers head for the farm Continue reading...

  • Family skiing in the French Alps – fun on and off the slopes

    The small resort of La Rosière has great beginners’ pistes, but for these kids it’s the non-ski activities – from ice hockey to dog sledding – that make their holidayMy six- and eight-year-old sons are watching an ice hockey match, their noses pressed to the Perspex. They gasp as the star player of the Tigres Blancs, Patrick “Pat” Adin, gets slammed into the barrier by an opponent: his face is squished a few millimetres from theirs. When he then wins back the puck and scores, they erupt with a fervour usually reserved for their football team.All around us, French families and holidaying friends were cheering and chanting Pat’s name. What made this more unusual is that Pat is in his mid-60s, and we later saw him driving the ice resurfacer in the interval and selling refreshments at the end of the match. He also gave us a skating lesson at a group session here the day before. Continue reading...

  • Jewel of the Atlas: mining for pleasure in a Berber retreat

    Morocco’s Atlas mountains are a short hop from Marrakech – but a world away from frenetic city lifeMy daughter spots them first, glinting like diamonds in the midday heat of the Moroccan sun, irresistible for small fingers to pick at. “Treasure!” she exclaims, kneeling down to pick clusters of tiny crystals out of the earth, some of them clear, others in ochres, oranges and yellows. From gold and silver to cobalt, nickel and zinc, the Atlas mountains are a mineral paradise, as well as an ancient and lucrative industry.Centuries ago, explains our walking guide Abdelkarim, the original silk route would have passed through these mountains en route to Timbuktu, transporting gold and silver from the area. Mining is big business in Morocco, its applications ranging from cobalt for phone batteries to quartz crystals in watches and zinc oxide in agriculture. Continue reading...

  • Peak and mix: adventure activities in Glen Coe, Scotland

    Whether it’s ice-climbing, hiking, cycling or skiing, our writer and her family find there’s much more to this elemental Highland landscape than stunning viewsThe Lost Valley of Glen Coe isn’t hard to find. The path to it starts at a car park on the A82, crosses the glen and River Coe, then starts to ascend. After a nerve-racking narrow stretch above a gorge, the route continues, curving round boulders and crossing the river again via stepping stones. Then, there it is – the Lost Valley or Coire Gabhail, hemmed in by the steep sides of two ridges. Three hundred years ago it made the perfect hiding place for the Macdonald clan’s rustled cattle (its Gaelic name means the Hollow of the Capture). Today, it’s an idyllic spot for walkers and wild campers – we could just make out a tent on the valley floor. Continue reading...

  • The Lake District: a giant natural playground for adventurous kids

    It’s the UK’s most popular national park but there are plenty of wild expanses for young families to hike, kayak and climbI grew up going on family holidays to the Lake District. It feels now as it did then: an inspirational place for adventure, a place of Swallows and Amazons with easy access to the water and the promise of the encircling craggy fell-tops. The immediate draw for our family is the exciting outdoor activities. Despite being the most visited of the UK’s national parks, the Lake District is always big enough and wild enough that we can find our own cherished niches in the landscape, where the children can run free and discover a vast natural playground for themselves. Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Scotland’s Secret Bunker, near St Andrews

    Beneath the green Fife countryside a hidden complex with radar room, dorms and even a cinema makes for an unnerving but memorable visit Rewind half a century to the height of the cold war. Leonid Brezhnev has gone potty, pressed the “red button” and dropped a clutch of nuclear bombs on Scotland. Half the population is dead; the other half is slowly dying from the fallout. But all is not lost. In a field in rural Fife, 30 metres beneath a lone brick farmhouse, the country’s top brass is keeping the show on the road. Their home for the foreseeable future is a 2,200 square-metre “command centre”, complete with radar control room, broadcasting studio, dormitories (for the military), posh suite (for the secretary of state for Scotland), plus the basic rudiments of “normal” life: washing facilities, cafeteria, cinema, chapel. Fortunately, the bombs never fell and the bunker was decommissioned in 1993. Fast forward to today and this warren of underground rooms is one of Scotland’s quirkiest tourist attractions. Continue reading...

  • Vendée, France: an old-school family holiday

    From seaside fun on sleepy Noirmoutier island to gobsmacking historical reenactments at Puy du Fou theme park, this area of western France offers a delicious dip into temps perduLow tide on the Passage du Gois reveals a scene that has barely changed in centuries. As the sea retreats, people armed with rakes and shovels set out across the sand flats either side of the cobbled causeway connecting Noirmoutier island with the mainland. Hunched over the rippled sand, they fill baskets and buckets with cockles and clams. Others use penknives to prise oysters off the rocks and pop them straight into their children’s mouths. One family offered our eight-year-old son an oyster, which he golloped down, declaring it delicious. For a moment we felt a little bit French. Continue reading...

  • 10 of the UK's best railway cycle paths

    Former railway lines up and down the country now offer great, family-friendly off-road cycle trails – and some even go up and down a bitStart/finish Wenfordbridge/Padstow (with a short spur to Bodmin)Distance 18 miles Getting there/away From Bodmin Parkway station it’s a short ride to the trail at Boscarne Junction, north-west of Bodmin town. Alternatively, pop your bike on one of Bodmin and Wenford Railway’s steam trains from Bodmin Parkway to the junction. Head north-east along the trail to reach Wenfordbridge or north-west for Padstow. Alternatively, from Bodmin Parkway take the 11A bus (plymouthcitybus.co.uk) to Padstow and hire bikes thereBike hire In Bodmin at Bodmin Bikes and Trail Munki; in Wenfordbridge at Snail’s Pace Cafe; in Wadebridge at Camel Trail Cycle Hire; and in Padstow at Trail Bike HirePotential stopovers Bodmin, Wadebridge and PadstowTop tips Check out the Camel River Festival or the Cornwall Folk Festival, both in Wadebridge each August Continue reading...

  • Next stop, Stockholm: one family’s European rail adventure

    London to Sweden by train and ferry made for a fun, frenetic family trip – then calm arrived at a holiday cabin amid the blissful waters of the Stockholm archipelagoWatching my two children struggle along the platform like geriatric tortoises under their new backpacks, I had a moment of doubt. It was 5am on a dull, Monday in London and we were about to embark on a journey that would take us, by train, all the way to Stockholm.With the help of the Man in Seat 61 website, I worked out that a Global Interrail pass was the best way for our crew (my husband, me and our 11- and nine-year-old daughters) to get there. The pass covers most continental trains, is extremely flexible and – best of all – free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. I also booked our hotels and a cabin on the Stockholm archipelago. Continue reading...

  • On the crest of a wave: Portugal’s new eco holiday retreat

    A stylish hotel north of Lisbon is part of a plan to spread tourism beyond Portugal’s popular cities and surfing spots. For our writer and family, it works a treatRows of bungalows on stilts are stacked up a slope. Some are painted a pale terracotta colour; others are clad in wood. Sliding glass doors open onto balconies that overlook a wide, sandy beach. Clumps of grass sprout from the bungalows’ flat roofs. Spotlit in the early evening light, the geometric buildings of Noah Surf House are as incongruous as they are striking, as if someone has airlifted a Californian beach resort and accidentally placed it in an unremarkable Portuguese town. Continue reading...

  • Boats and beach huts: a family holiday on Denmark’s Ærø island

    A Danish camping break … with three generations under canvas. It may not sound fun but this picturesque island makes it a memorable escape from ‘reality’There’s a thrill attached to going somewhere by boat. An expanse of open water separates “real life” from ice-cream-for-breakfast holiday mode, offering a much-needed mental and physical distance from the daily grind. Boarding a ferry from the mainland to a small island famed for its beer and beach huts makes for an even greater thrill. Our destination was Ærø, a picturesque island off the south-east coast of Denmark with a population of around 6,000. It is a popular wedding destination and, since 2015, it’s had another attraction, too.On top of the sands at Ærø’s Vesterstrand beach is the yellow beach hut from the cover of my book, The Year of Living Danishly – first spotted when friends visited years ago and sent back a slew of photos. The book was a surprise bestseller and the hut became popular – prompting the owner to get in touch and readers to start sending their own hut pics. Continue reading...

  • 10 of the UK’s best open-top bus rides

    Venturing further than city sightseeing tours, these affordable public buses take in seafronts, ruined abbeys and Unesco sitesOperator: MorebusThe Purbeck Breezers have great year-round open-top routes. Breezer 50 came third last year in a UK poll of scenic bus routes (beaten only by routes through the North York Moors and Scottish Highlands). Usually, the 50’s USP is crossing over to sandy Studland Bay on the chain ferry but this summer the ferry is out of action so the bus has to go the long way round. It follows a similar route to the Breezer 40 – through the time-warp town of Wareham and past the dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle.• Adult dayrider £9 (up to two under-7s free with a paying adult).Hourly all year, with seasonal variations Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh

    Children will be spellbound at this temple of storytelling, which also puts on plays and spoken-word performances (for all ages)‘A story should be told eye to eye, mind to mind, heart to heart.” So runs the Scottish travellers’ proverb that inspires this cultural centre dedicated to the telling of tales and the sharing of stories. The main draw is its programme of spoken-word performances, most of which take place in its 100-seat basement theatre. The storytelling doesn’t just happen on stage, though. The ground floor has a large, airy room used for exhibitions, workshops and open-mic events, as well as a monthly story session for tots (Tiny Tales for one- to three-year-olds). Pre-show, my kids had a fun 20-minutes opening lots of wee doors and peering through lots of wee windows that form part of the room’s interactive story wall. Continue reading...

  • Corsica’s cape of good campsites

    With cliffs and crags, views and sandy beaches, Cap Corse, which juts out from the top of the island, offers a perfect mobile home stay‘It’s like being in a car advert!” The corniche road along the western side of Cap Corse, the spiny promontory pointing north from the body of Corsica towards Genoa, must be one of Europe’s most dramatic drives. Cliff-hugging hairpin bends hurtle around rocky outcrops and across densely forested hillsides, with the sea seeming both unnervingly close and dizzyingly far below. The kids leaned with glee one way and I leaned the other; taxis casually overtook us; at one point a wild boar (or possibly tame pig) wandered into view round a bend, and at another metal struts and wooden planks carried the road over a landslide. Continue reading...

  • Bank holiday bangers: great late August festivals and fun

    The long weekend will see brilliant music, arts and food festivals, along with great-value breaks. Our pick takes in giant feasts, outdoor adventures and cool places to stayIt’s not too late to book a last-minute bank holiday getaway. Carmarthenshire in Wales is quieter than many of the UK’s hotspots and Brechfa Farm on the River Pid in the Cothi Valley makes a great base. The 22-acre smallholding has geese, chicken and alpacas (which guests can take for a walk) and Brechfa village with pub and play park is close by. The four yurts (each sleeps four) have proper beds and woodburners and the whole site can be hired. There’s currently a 25% discount; three nights from 23 August cost £356 sleeping up to four). Continue reading...

  • Take the kids to … RSPB The Lodge nature reserve, Sandy, Bedfordshire

    Its wildlife trails and play areas make this free attraction a fun and affordable day out in the countryside – with the odd woodpecker for company, tooThe RSPB’s headquarters is in a nature reserve that’s free to visit year-round and has great outdoors activities for children. It covers more than 200 hectares (494 acres) of heathland, grassland and woodland. Three trails run through the scenery, each a manageable 11/2 miles, and kids can pick up a wildlife-challenge checklist from the information point at the start, then exchange it for a certificate at the end. The woodpecker and nuthatch trails loop past a hide where it’s possible to watch birds feeding and the buzzard trail passes through an area that was once an iron-age hill fort. We walked this route, and the change in the landscape was incredible: from flat, open heathland cloaked in purple heather, to deep, thick woodland so gloriously overgrown that my children thought we were on a jungle expedition. Continue reading...

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