This is a collaborative post with Vogue.
Now that we’re starting to emerge from the depths of Winter, and the bank balance is starting to look a bit healthier after the Christmas bashing, it’s at this time every year that my attention turns to what our travel plans should be for the year.
My travelling expectations have changed somewhat now that we’re a family of three (although, we were never really wild adventurers before Pickle came along either, despite my best intentions). I always have been, and hope I will continue to be, a huge fan of UK holidays. We live in an absolutely beautiful country, and although it might not be exotic or offer guaranteed blue skies and fascinating new cultures, I want to explore as much of it as we can – from the miles of sandy beaches in Cornwall to the breathtaking loch-ridden landscapes of Scotland, and everything in between. Family trips aside I’d love for us to try and get away for a more relaxing break as well. Seeing as the UK is famous for its spa breaks, it’d be a shame not to visit more together, wouldn’t it?
A little weekend away camping always leaves me feeling rejuvenated. We’re quite last-minute planners when we go camping… if it looks as though the weather is going to be dry and we’ve got a weekend without plans, we’ll often book a spontaneous trip, especially over the Bank Holiday.
I always talk about how I’m a creature of habit, and we’ve quite often returned to the same campsite (Cei Bach near New Quay in Wales is an obvious example, as well as Hogsdown Farm – which we’ve been to twice now with Pickle but I haven’t yet blogged about). But this year, I want to try some new places. After all, isn’t that the benefit of having a tent? You can rock up anywhere with it!
I’d love to maybe go somewhere in the Peak District, and enjoy long walks by day and cosy evenings in front of a campfire by night. And since I’ve spotted that there’s a decent campsite right next door to Peppa Pig World, that’s definitely on my bucket list too! In April, there’s an Outdoors Bloggers camping weekend away which I’m toying with going to as well… it’d be nice to spend some time with other outdoors enthusiasts and be inspired by their adventures and share recommendations for places to visit and things to try.
Last year, we were incredibly lucky to experience not just our first festival, but our second too. A little disappointingly, this year we have plans that prevent us from going back to the ones we enjoyed so much last year. Timber Festival and Cornbury are both on the same weekend this year, and so both coincide with my best friends hen weekend (which I wouldn’t miss for anything!). The other festival I’ve had my eye on is the Just So Festival, but this falls on the weekend we’re attending a wedding so that’s out of the question this year too.
There is another festival I have my eyes on… My parents have already booked tickets to Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival and with Seth Lakeman confirmed in the lineup, it sounds like just my cup of tea!
Although we love camping, I’m also a big fan of self-catering holidays. I’m not sure we’ll ever really be a family that goes for the all-inclusive type break away. I love the freedom of being able to cook and eat when and what we like. We’ve already got a return trip to Bluestone booked in before the Whitsun Bank Holiday and I know I’ll be wanting to return to Center Parcs if we can afford it around my birthday again.
Child-Free Breaks Away
It goes without saying that family holidays are top of our priority list, but if we get the chance to enjoy a break away without Pickle – that’s an absolute added bonus. Last year, LPD and I enjoyed a much needed weekend away to ourselves visiting Cornbury Festival which I still look back on with a huge smile on my face and a little bit of disbelief that we had such precious time to ourselves.
We do have a couple of child-free weddings in the diary that we’ll be making the most of: one near Bury St. Edmonds and one in Cornwall. I’m already looking forward to having the excuse to get dolled up and enjoying a lazy post-wedding morning feeling all loved up and restored after evenings of dancing with our friends. Even better than we won’t be spending the celebrations trying to battle with a toddler!
Of course, it’d be an absolute treat to go away for a spa break. Although we always make sure to visit Aqua Sana when at Center Parcs, a day at the spa is something I’m more likely to do with my girlfriends than with LPD. I’d love to take him to some of my favourites that I’ve visited, including the Thermae Bath Spa and Nirvana Spa in Wokingham.
And Special Love for Scotland
The only other place that I feel is calling for me to return, is Scotland. I’ve only ever been once – our mini moon straight after our wedding, but I was just absolutely won over with its natural beauty and I’d love to explore it further. I feel this needs far more planning than our usual last minute scurrying though so watch this space as I try and figure out if we can fit in our travel itinerary for this year.
So, what do you make of my travel intentions for this year? Is there any where in the UK you’d definitely recommend? What are your favourite areas to visit? And do you prefer city or country breaks? Spa breaks or activity filled holidays?
Disclaimer: this is a post in collaboration with Vogue. All content, views and content remain my own.