Take 12 Trips: 2016 so far
It’s the third year I’ve taken on the Take 12 Trips Challenge, dreamed up by Clare at Need Another Holiday – I was in two minds about whether to do it once more, but one thing I’ve discovered about travelling with kids is that the challenge is always changing.
In Year one, we were also in year one – past the nervous newborn stage but with teething on the agenda, crawling and walking to come as we travelled. Perfect for motivating me to keep getting out there. Year two, it felt like we were finding our feet but with my daughter developing her own opinions, there was more to adjust to.
Now, it’s year three. She’s old enough that we’ve ditched a lot of the paraphernalia and got a bit of a travel groove going: the new challenges are to head further off the beaten track and later this year, to work out how I combine school with seeing the world. So how has it gone so far?
Quick answer? Not bad. The first three months of the year are usually quiet for us – cold, grey, depressing and short of money.
But we kicked off January with a break at the seaside, heading to Brighton for a few days. Too cold and stony for sandcastles, we did find time to wander along the beach and head to the Sea Life Centre, set in its fantastic old Victorian building.
There’s plenty to entertain kids in Brighton but I’m glad we made time for the Pavilion. Not obviously family friendly, it was huge fun to wander round the ornate rooms.
Then a day trip to Winchester for me, enjoying the amazing cathedral and its history without a small person running around testing the acoustics.
A second child-free outing for me in February (is this a new trend?) just along the river Thames to Hawker House Street Feast where I guzzled a lot of wonderful food and realised I hadn’t taken Minnie to one of my favourite parts of London, Greenwich.
First up, another London day out which I’d been planning for a while and never managed to do – a trip to Coram’s Fields in central London, a play park that’s only open to kids and families, followed by a visit to the nearby British Museum. I’d wondered how my three-year-old would enjoy it, after the more obviously child-friendly Natural History Museum and Science Museum but the activity trail for preschoolers meant we had a lot of fun. Check out my tips for more details.
Then into March where I finally got to put that boat trip along the Thames into action and whisked Minnie off to see the Cutty Sark in Greenwich where even her miniature attitude crumbled in the face of the clipper ship and its carved monkey…
And along with not one but three trips to National Trust properties – the start of spring at Polesden Lacy, a brief stop at Tyntesfield and a Easter Egg hunt at Cliveden – we had our second ‘proper’ break with a few nights away in Cornwall. I still have plenty to write about there, including our lovely holiday home at Gwel An Mor and a visit (finally!) to the Eden Project.
But for a taste of our getaway, and a reminder that while she’s stopped teething it isn’t smooth sailing with a three-year-old, some Cornish beach in the shape of St Ives.
So eight trips or days out in total, more than meeting our goal of one per month. And the next few months are looking good as well. First, and most excitingly comes our *big* holiday to Burma. Well, first comes a little break for me with a child-free weekend in Cardiff (see, I said it was a trend) at the travel blogging conference Traverse, with a little exploration on the side.
I have plans for another holiday overseas in June as well and some UK short breaks on the ‘must plan’ list so that should keep us busy until the school holidays. Beyond that, who knows? Here be dragons…
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