Review: Sunnycroft cottage, Brixham, Devon

One of the things I miss when travelling with my daughter is staying somewhere stylish – there’s no real reason that child-friendly can’t equal chic as well but quite often a focus on the essentials means you lose the aesthetics.

Thankfully that seems to be changing a bit more – and there have been a few notable exceptions, St Michael’s Hotel in Falmouth among them. Now I can add the Baby Blue Chip Collection to that list.

Exterior of Sunnycroft holiday home in Brixham, Devon - stylish family-friendly home on a hill in whites and bluesThe baby-friendly and family-friendly properties around the UK are part of the bigger Blue Chip Collection, but all chosen to make life easier for families. Sounds good – so off we went to Sunnycroft in Brixham, Devon to discover if it was as good in reality. Continue reading

Family travel in Egypt

Almost as far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by Ancient Egypt. I remember wandering the British Museum with my mum and brother, as an enthusiastic Egyptologist told us about hieroglyphics. Even today, whenever I’m in Paris I make a beeline for the Egyptology wing of the Louvre rather than fighting the crowds around the Mona Lisa.

Unsurprisingly, my first travel outside Europe was a tour of Egypt, sailing along the Nile in a felucca visiting a string of ancient temples and tombs, discovering the step pyramids at Saqqara and the great pyramids, as impressive in reality as I’d hoped.

A camel sitting in front of the three pyramids at Giza in Egypt - my tips for family travel to EgyptI also rode a camel and tried my first scuba dive, as we finished our trip at the Red Sea. Since then, I’ve been back to the Sinai peninsula to explore the desert and head underwater again – and whenever I remember the trips, I wonder why I haven’t been back since.

Because my daughter isn’t much younger now than when those mummies first sparked my interest. Continue reading

Hampton Court Flower Show with a toddler

I have never been to a flower show before today… Partly because I have whatever the opposite of green fingers are called, and for the past few years because it’s never struck me as particularly family-friendly.

Toddlers and beautifully created gardens? You can see the looming potential for disaster.

hampton-court-flower-show-inspire

Then I was invited down to the preview day for the Hampton Court Palace flower show, which is not only a short drive from my home, but promises to be more family-friendly than Chelsea (which bars under-fives) – and as the final temptation, some of the gardens were themed around travel. Continue reading

Family day out: The Golden Hind, Brixham

‘Mummy, I can see a rat!’ Not the kind of statement that usually gets me high fiving my daughter when we’re visiting a family attraction on our travels.

On the Golden Hind in Brixham, it’s one of the quirky additions which makes this replica Elizabethan ship as much fun for toddlers as for older kids and history-loving adults.

View of the Golden Hind Brixham from the harbourside, rigging silhoutted against the blue sky

Right on the harbour in the Devon town, it was top of my list of family-friendly places to visit in Brixham on our last-minute trip. Circumnavigating the globe, the original left Plymouth with four other ships in December 1577, the only one to return after 1,020 days at sea in September 26, 1580. Continue reading

Family Day Out: National Maritime Museum Cornwall

I’m a bit of a fan of Vikings. In the abstract sense obviously, I’m not saying I’d have been cheering them on as they pillaged the coast a dozen centuries ago.

But when it comes to a good Viking exhibition, I do my best to be front of the queue (and occasionally throw something of a tantrum if it looks like I might miss it). So there was no chance I was missing out on the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, while we were staying in Falmouth.

Exterior of National Maritime Museum Cornwall in FalmouthTheir Viking Voyagers exhibition is running to February 2016, alongside several floors of maritime exhibits from boats and explorers to marine life.

Continue reading