Today started as a thoroughly grumpy day. I won’t bore you with the list, but for starters it’s anyone’s guess if that house move I mentioned is actually going to happen. Throw in some selective hearing from Minnie and there was only one solution: get outside asap.
The sky was thankfully blue, as being stuck indoors definitely wasn’t going to help my mood, and as it’s been a while since we last went to Kew Gardens, we hopped into the car and headed over – Minnie’s balance bike in the boot for a spot of practice.
And while it was the perfect morning to blow away a few cobwebs, we had slightly mistimed it. Because in two days, Christmas at Kew starts. Continue reading →
Dover Castle has stood on the cliffs overlooking the Channel for nine centuries. I couldn’t help feeling we had chosen one of the least promising days since the 11th century to visit…
Staying with friends in Kent at the weekend, we had been looking around for a great family day out which wouldn’t involve too much, well, outdoors. On a day which started with sleet and snow, turning to torrential rain then some impressive winds, I wanted nice thick walls.
Fortunately, after our slightly late departure (wrangling a one-year-old, three-year-old and an almost five-year-old meant the universe scoffed at our schedule), we missed the worst of the deluge and booted, hatted, gloved and raincoated, set off to explore. Because with 80 acres, there is plenty to discover.
It’s been a sad and thoughtful weekend. Paris is a city very close to my heart, and on my most recent visit last year (my daughter’s first trip), we stayed very near the site where the first shooting took place.
But it’s not the only city suffering. Beirut, once called the Paris of the East, has also come under attack by ISIS. It’s almost five years since I was in Lebanon, which I loved for so many reasons – its mix of tradition and chic city style, its sea and mountains, the historic cities and temples, and which has battled to rebuild after the long civil war.
So my Sunday Photo is a shot along the Corniche, Beirut’s promenade by the Mediterranean, where we sauntered under a few January clouds along with locals and families, enjoying the views to Pigeon Rocks and the mountains.
If Ljubljana is one of Europe’s most underrated cities for a weekend break, Slovenia’s capital is even further under the radar if you’re travelling as a family.
But it’s a great place to visit with children. The centre is compact enough for even small legs, most is pedestrianised and from my visit, everywhere seems incredibly welcoming to families. And as well as exploring the cobbled streets with their brightly painted buildings, before criss-crossing the river on decorative bridges, there’s plenty to discover.
Trotting obediently along in a group of 50, behind someone waving an umbrella, is not my idea of fun. I know this because I’ve tried it.
But taking an organised tour in a city? Sign me right up. However much research I do in advance, I can’t hope to think I’ll know all the secrets, the hidden corners, the history and highlights that a specialist would, especially when they’re local.
And whether it’s walking or cycling, food-themed (one of my new favourite things to do) or uncovering ghosts and history, I always try to fit in at least one. And on my recent trip to Slovenia, without a three-year-old’s attention span to worry about, I made the most of it – here are my three top tours in Ljubljana.