Tag: family travel

Staycation holiday parks for Telegraph Travel

Summer holidays, eh?

Family holidays at home save on airport hell but they can be expensive and very weather dependent. We all want a weak in the sun, right?

But, with Brexit chaos ensuring that sterling continues to plummet faster than Theresa May’s credibility, families are looking to UK holiday parks for a non-Euro alternative closer to home.

So which to choose? Well, the Atkinsons [pictured above] have been test driving some of the alternatives to Centre Parcs over the last couple of months.

Our assignment took us from rural North Wales via a wooded Peak District to Butlins in Bognor Regis.

Here’s a flavour:

We spent a morning on the stony beach, skimming stones and collecting shells. A walk along the promenade revealed little shops with buckets and spades and cafes for candy floss and coffee. For someone brought up on seaside holidays in a North Wales, it felt gloriously nostalgic.

The three articles were published this week by Telegraph Travel and you can read all three in full here:

Why a mid-week break at Butlins is the easiest holiday you’ll take this year

The Dutch alternative to Center Parcs has arrived — but is it any good?

The budget alternative to Centre Parcs — but it’s not for softies

Have you got a favourite UK holiday park, or an alternative for a post-Brexit break? Please share your comments below.

Into the woods: Family activity breaks for Telegraph Travel

Easter holidays then.

Our assignment — should we choose to accept it — was to test drive two new family activity holidays in the UK, based at holiday parks, for Telegraph Travel.

They both are, if you like, alternatives to Centre Parcs, aiming to open up the family activity break with different prices and facilities.

First up was Kingswood Camps and a visit to their facility in North Wales. The Colomendy Camp is located in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

We’re just back from a weekend of caving, archery and woodland laser quest [pictured above]. That and, despite the rain, some family bonding on the night walk.

Next we’re off to try out the new park in the Peak District from the Dutch-owned Landal GreenParks group.

It’s one of two new parks in the UK — the other located in Northumberland.

Will two weekends away bring out our inner Bear Grylls? Read the full feature in May in Telegraph Travel to find out.

Multi-generational cruise story for Telegraph Cruise

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I had a piece published this week in the family holidays section of Telegraph Travel.

It was a piece about a multi-generational cruise to appeal to a broad age range — in my case from Olivia, 6, to grandad, 76, [pictured above].

Here’s a preview.

“I’m the ultimate squeezed middle — a single father caught between my 76-year-old father and two primary-school-age children. Granddad wants history and interesting excursions from a holiday. The girls want white-knuckle water slides and pyjama parties at the kids club. No wonder I feel like a stiff drink.”

Do you have a multi-generational holidays experience to share?

Post below.

Read the full story The best multi-generational cruises.

Just back: Gothenburg with dad for Family Traveller magazine

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Another half term, another family escape.

We did the Barbie cruise and the cycling trip to Holland, both of which went on to win travel-writing awards.

Last week I took the girls to West Sweden for four nights of city-break fun coupled with some time out on the archipelago.

See a Flickr gallery of images from the trip.

Farmyard fun

The highlight of the trip was definitely the chance to spend the night on a family farm in the countryside.

The Lekander family [pictured above] made us feel really welcome.

It was a travel story for Family Traveller magazine — check out the full article in a future issue.

Latte papas

But it was also a chance to talk to Swedish dads about how liberal Scandinavia values the role of fathers, recently passing new legislation to increase paternity leave.

Sweden, we found, puts family first and, boldly, strives to make it easier for fathers to spend time with their children.

We spent a morning hanging out with the so-called ‘latte papas’ Gothenburg and, as Henric Stahl [pictured below with 19-month-old son Marcel], told us:

“We’ve come to the point whereby, if you’re not taking your full paternity leave, then you have to explain yourself.”

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Even Caligari, a stalwart of Swedish kids’ TV, whose magic show we caught at Gothenburg’s Alfie Atkins Children’s Museum, bases his act around family values.

Watch a short Vimeo of Calgary below.

Mojo rising

In an age of top ten lists and mindless-filler content, it was great, as a writer, to get a commission with scope to address real issues in the context of an upbeat travel story.

It has revived my writing mojo.

And, better still, the girls had a ball.

So, England 0. Sweden 1 then.

What did you think of this story? Post your comments below.

Liked this? Try also West Sweden: Folklore traditions of midsummer.