All posts filed under: Travel

Christmas on the i360

Today we took a flight with Santa, in Brighton of all places. The sea a reflection of the slate grey sky, I was not very optimistic that we would see a great deal, but the children were rather giddy with excitement. We were asked to arrive at the British Airways i360 20 minutes pre-flight, which gave enough time to have our tickets scanned, pose for photos, present our bags for checking and be scanned before entry. Soon after checking in, we were boarding the i360. The children, of course, couldn’t wait to check out the views. Inside the donut, as we affectionately refer to it, is spacious with seating around the back wall. There is a champagne bar but no toilet. Then there are the views. Admittedly, beneath today’s drape of mist, we could not see much further than the Marina, but it was interesting to see Brighton from a new perspective. All this week, right up until Christmas Eve, there are Santa flights twice daily, at 2 and 4pm. There is an increased fee …

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Breakfast with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centre

On the day that Jasmine turned eight, we visited our local Wyevale Garden Centre to have breakfast with the big man himself. This is our third year and we always enjoy it. There is so much included in the ticket price, as well as the magic of meeting Santa. When we arrived, we were shown to our table, which was decked out with activity sheets for the children and Christmas crackers for all. The children busied themselves with pulling crackers and doing some colouring whilst waiting for breakfast to arrive. We adults were offered tea or coffee and the children were given a choice of orange or blackcurrant squash (I chose to upgrade my coffee to a latte as I’m not keen on filter coffee). Breakfast itself was delicious, and the only minor complaint was that Jasmine would have liked bacon as part of the child’s plate, though she did enjoy what she had. Sonny, still the fussy monkey he has always been, did not want his cooked breakfast – the staff were very obliging …

Travel Tips for Flying with Children

As parents, nothing stops us (personally) flying with our children, but there is no doubt it’s a stressful time for all concerned. So far, we have avoided anything longer than four hours but, in all honesty, it’s the airport wait rather than the actual flight that has always caused us more problems anyway. So many airports are not equipped for children and, let’s face it, technology is always going to let us down when we most need it, that’s just the way it goes! To help ease the pain of flying with children, Schofields have come up with 12 travel hacks to make life that little bit easier…   What do you think? Do you have any tried and tested tips to add? I would love to hear them!

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Half Term Breaks Made Easy with Cottages.com

Last weekend, we were invited to review Redbridge Farmhouse; an absolutely gorgeous cottage in Lytchett Matravers, near Poole. We loaded up the car after school and work and headed over, arriving around 9pm.  We were delighted to find that Redbridge was totally geared up to family time and comfort, with a well-appointed kitchen, three double bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms, one twin bedroom, a family bathroom, downstairs loo, large dining table and the most incredible sofa. It is the sort of place that you could easily, and very happily, stay in all weekend and not have to leave – perfect for an autumn or winter break (and, yes, there is a fire!). If you are looking to take the children over half term, there is also plenty to do in the surrounding area, which I will talk about more later. Back to the house, and the bedrooms were very comfortable. The master had its own television and an ensuite with both a shower and a large corner bath.  The second double upstairs was beautifully finished …

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Elmers Court MacDonald Hotel, Lymington

Last weekend, James and I did something we have not done for more than three years – we spent a weekend away together, without the children. Leaving late Friday evening and returning early Sunday morning, it was not quite as long as we would have liked, but it was lovely nevertheless. We were invited to stay at Elmers Court; a sumptuous MacDonald Hotel bordered by coast to the south (in fact, the grounds look out across the sea to the Isle of Wight)  and lush green New Forest beauty directly to the North. It was dark when we arrived and we had unfortunately missed dinner by about half an hour. We headed to reception where a kind and knowledgeable member of staff talked us through our stay. We were shown on a map where to find our room, which is more accurately described as the top half of a chalet, given times for breakfast and dinner, and told we could make full use of the leisure facilities whenever we chose during opening hours. Armed with …