Eurocamp is offering a number of May half term holidays from £45 per party per night in destinations including the French Riviera, the Vendee, Spain & Italy. There is also an additional 5% discount up for grabs if you have already holidayed with Eurocamp.
Offer applies to a 2 bed Horizon Midi and 2 bed Horizon price only (including decking and air con) and only at those parcs listed on their site.
Eurocamp parcs are great for activity and adventure and fun and action.
This is the perfect residential holiday for your pony mad child to learn horse riding skills as well as getting to grips with how to care for the horse. Perfect for those children who have very little experience of riding.The experience includes six half days of equestrian activities and six half days of multi activity. If your child is already confident cantering then the Powys riding holidays are the perfect choice with its six full days of equestrian activities.
The cost is £619 and there are two different age groups: 7 to 10s and 10 to 13s. The holiday runs during the summer months and already there are only a few spaces left on some of the Centre dates. In Shropshire the emphasis is on school-based riding and instruction whilst at the Isle of Wight and Powys there will be off-site trekking. Also available at the Lincolnshire PGL centre.
Halfway between Oslo (3 and a half hours) and Bergen (4 hours) is Geilo ski resort. This is a fantastic place for a family ski holiday and a great place for beginners with its easy runs and a few challenging ones. It is highly recommended as a great place for children to be introduced to skiing. Cheap flights with Ryan Air to Oslo and Haugesund and the special offers detailed below make this a more affordable family ski option especially if you book chalet/apartment accommodation with your own kitchen.
This April, there is a special offer of just 99 Norwegian Krone (approximately £11) per day per person for the ski pass which is a great saving on your overall family ski cost (children under 7 do not need a pass). There is also a great ski package option valid for certain weeks in April including 4-7 days with ski school, ski pass and ski rental from 2130 Norwegian Krone (approx £240per adult for 4 days (reduced prices for children). Season runs through till mid-May.
Ski school is available from 4 years up and there are different classes for 4-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-12 years, 12-15 years and 15 years up (including adults). All ski school lessons start on Mondays and end Thursdays. Private lessons are also available.
At Embers Beaulieu experience back to nature camping. Open from the 28 March you can pitch a tent or rent one. As every pitch has its own fire pit you can be guaranteed some warmth at this time of year. Toast marshmallows, make some hot chocolate over the fire and warm your toes.
Embers Beaulieu is located at Home Farm, The Countryside Education Trust in the New Forest. On site kids can choose your farm eggs for breakfast or you can book to feed the animals. On the doorstep, explore the New Forest with its wild ponies, cycle tracks, horse riding and falconry.
No worries if you are without a tent as you can hire one that sleeps up to 5 persons for £25 a night. The campsite is open from the 28 March 2013.
If you are looking for an affordable and fun Easter escape then look no further. Here is i-escape.com/kids top five picks in the UK and abroad.
1. Marine Villa, Charlestown, South Cornwall
A World Heritage site, Charlestown will delight children of all ages with tall ships in the historic harbour, and a Shipwreck Centre to evoke tales of sea-faring skulduggery. Rock-pooling, crabbing, kayaking are all on your doorstep, and the Eden Project is just a 10 minute drive (a Great Eden Egg Hunt is scheduled over the holidays where kids follow clues through different botanical habitats). Each guest staying over Easter in this nifty (and well-equipped) three-bedroom Grade II listed cottage receives a Lindt chocolate bunny and a cute buttercup picture.
This 19th-century Normandy chateau hosts superb family holidays in the form of laid-back house parties. This Easter they’re organising an egg hunt each day over Easter weekend plus a Bucks fizz breakfast for the grown-ups. The mansion has been converted into four large two-bedroom suites, and the four-acre grounds include a woodland den, sandpit and swings. There are bikes to borrow, croquet to play and the owner has devised a regional treasure hunt through churches and abbeys for you to try out.
For families into the great outdoors, head to South Snowdonia whose unrivalled scenery, both mountain and coastal, provides nature reserves, zip-lining, hiking, riding, climbing and abseiling. There’s a steam railway nearby, quirky Portmeirion to explore, and lovely pubs for lunch. We recommend this beautifully restored Victorian rectory turned boutique B&B (with family suite and interconnecting rooms) as an ideal base to discover this undervisited part of the UK.
Families will love staying in this fairytale castle set in magical rolling hills. Choose between large Suites in the main castle or the more rustic self-catering apartments (which have special rates for week-long stays in April) and cottage in the grounds; you’ll feel as if you’re in your own private medieval hamlet. Kids have a playground, tennis courts, mountain bikes and guided pony trekking to keep them amused, and there’s a children’s menu for lunch and dinner.
5. Merlin Farm Eco-Cottages, near Newquay, Cornwall
Get back to nature at these barns (converted to four chic contemporary pads with high quality fixtures and fittings) whose floor-to-ceiling windows give onto views across the whole valley. Kids can groom the donkey and feed the chickens; freshly laid eggs can be found in your fridge. The kitchens are open-plan and well-kitted out and the beach is just a 10 minute stroll. And you get a welcome pack on arrival detailing kid-friendly restaurants and attractions nearby.
i-escape.com/kids has chosen FIVE OF THEIR FAVOURITE AFFORDABLE PLACES IN FRANCE TO TAKE THE FAMILY
1. Les Sardines aux Yeux Bleus, near Uzes, Provence
Set in a tiny 12th-century hamlet, this elegant bijou B&B has original decor, a (fenced) courtyard pool and three self-catering apartments, which are justly popular with families. Kids under 12 stay for free and babysitting and cots are available on request.
Great value chalet which can be either B&B or catered rental in the ski season, it sleeps up to 14 with kids. If the excitement of the ski slopes, zip wires, bathing lakes and biking should pall, there’s a Nintendo Wii, playroom and electric piano to keep them entertained. Under 5s stay for free!
Children are welcomed with open arms at this chic 5-room B&B in a handsome maison de maitre in a sleepy village. Families can choose Room 1, with two bedrooms, or the charming self-catering cottage Le Petit Tresor, which sleeps 2-4. Kids under 2 are free, there’s a pool table and lovely garden to romp around.
Think weekends in Paris are over once the kids arrive? Think again! This simple airy apartment is filled with natural light, has its own terrace and two bedrooms, the smaller of which is a child-friendly twin. A baby cot is also available on request.
This quiet B&B is centrally placed in quaint olde worlde Honfleur, and has unpretentious rooms, including triples, plus a more characterful self-catering house with small courtyard at the rear. Cots are free if booking through i-escape, there’s heaps to do in the area including beaches and lovely food.
I-ESCAPE.COM/KIDS has hand-picked a further FIVE FAB FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND AFFORDABLE PLACES IN THE SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND; here’sPART 2
1. The Tide House, St Ives, Cornwall
Seaside-chic retreat that warmly welcomes families in spacious rooms, 2 of which have extra children’s beds in a mezzanine loft above. There’s also a kids den with Playstation, books and games plus a DVD library of family films. Head out for local family-friendly restaurants, surf school, beaches and St Michael’s Mount.
2. Higher Westcott Farm, nr Moretonhampstead, Devon
This large thatched cottage is set in the tranquil Dartmoor National Park and has five bedrooms, a safe enclosed garden, and a playroom with toys, games console, kids DVDs and board games – perfect for an extended family holiday. There’s a miniature pony centre, plus woodland trails, beaches and playgrounds nearby.
Explore idyllic car-free Tresco while staying in these sunny beach cottages ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms in size with spectacular sea views. Families will be in heaven here with a heated pool, sandy beach, bike hire, sailing school, hidden tree houses and playground at their disposal. You can either whip up meals in house or dine at the Ruin Beach Cafe which has a kids’ menu.
4. Twin Tors Cottage & Barn, nr Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
Proof that eco doesn’t mean scrimping on style, this elegant eco-luxe barn and cottage has great eclectic interiors, and can be rented separately (sleeping 10 & 12) or together, and boasts an innovative freshwater indoor pool. The kids will love the sense of space, games room, nature trail in the 16 acres of grounds, home cinema and imaginative playground.
This cosy, cottagey country hotel is found in classic Hardy country and is very well-equipped for families with heaps of baby equipment, family suites that have a second bedroom for the kids, half-portions on offer in the restaurant, and games and toys for all ages. Take a picnic and go for a walk, or head to the beach and go fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast.
FIVE FAB FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND AFFORDABLE PLACES IN THE SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND FROM I-ESCAPE.COMPART 1
1. The Rosevine, Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall
Set on a stunning peninsula, this grand Georgian house turned friendly apart-hotel with indoor pool is perfect for stylish family holidays. There’s a kids menu in the restaurant and kitchenettes in the apartment for easy self-catering, and bags of kids gear to borrow. Head to the beach, explore the garden with trampoline and playground or hang out in the well-equipped playroom if the weather should turn.
A colourful coaching inn with two restaurants and convivial bar may not seem the obvious choice for families. But there are three spacious Family Rooms, the kids menu focuses on pizza and puddings and mocktails are on offer, there’s table football plus plenty of toys and games, the beach is a short distance away, and, best of all, an author-in-residence hosts story-telling workshops.
These three contemporary cottages created in an old farm barn are great value, have heaps of baby and toddler equipment, and provide style, serious eco-credentials, and luxury details such as well-equipped kitchens and drench showers. Younger kids will love the pirate ship sandpit, and petting the farm animals. You get a useful welcome pack on arrival detailing local attractions and baby siting contacts.
An unpretentious country gastro pub that welcomes children and is fantastic value for money, this is a great weekender for exploring Stonehenge and Longleat, and it also has a large garden with play area, kids DVDs, and a family suite complete with baby monitors.
Whether you come as one family or two, you’ll feel right at home in these two chic and comfy barn conversions, sleeping 4 and 6 each, which have toy boxes, outdoor games, a safe garden to roam around in with trampoline, and you’re close to fab surfing beaches and Exmoor for hikes.
Guest blogger Susanna of the fab Capital tots website shares her family travel experiences
How to enjoy St-Jean-de-Luz with a toddler
The French holiday resort of St-Jean-de-Luz ticks all boxes in the holy trinity of weekend break requirements with a toddler – easy travelling, gorgeous beach and family-friendly locals. Our long weekend there at the beginning of May was a dream in terms of ease and enjoyment.
Firstly the hour and three-quarter flight from the UK to Biarritz was a doddle – by the time MLA had eaten 2 bags of popcorn, munched an apple and devoured a sandwich we were touching down. It’s then a quick 20 minute taxi journey to the centre of town or a 30 minute bus ride.
After dumping our bags we went straight out and hit the beach. St-Jean-de-Luz sits on a huge crescent shaped beach which stretches for about 2 miles along the coast. The sand is good for sandcastles and the sea although cold, is pretty safe with waves big enough to be fun but not dangerous for little ones. An added bonus is that on weekends there’s an inflatable bouncy castle / slide on the beach for children which our 2 year old really enjoyed.
It’s worth walking along the beach to the very far end (away from the town) where there’s a grassy area which climbs the cliff. Firstly at low tide there are rock pools to explore, complete with sea-snails, crabs, shrimps and the like but more importantly we found a children’s play area next to a bar with stunning views across the water. It became our favourite spot of the holiday as we could enjoy a drink while MLA went up and down the slide and bonded with the locals!
Eating was a real highlight of the holiday – because St-Jean-de-Luz is in the Basque region, the food is superb with lots of fresh fish and seafood and really interesting flavours. There are a few restaurants dotted along the sea-front and we tried each of those. Because we were in Europe there were lots of children around late into the evening and we really enjoyed having our evening meals in “proper” restaurants with our son – he was made to feel really welcome and discovered a fondness for octopus! In terms of accommodation we opted for self-catering figuring it would be easiest in terms of naps / meal-times etc but there are lots of decent looking hotels in the area. We didn’t hire a car but if you’re planning on staying more than a couple of days it’s probably worth hiring one to explore the rest of the area – Biarritz and San Sebastian are both close by and come highly recommended.
Bath may be the perfect weekend break destination with kids. It is a beautifully preserved town with wonderful architecture, great restaurants, interesting museums, lots of green spaces and is small enough to walk everywhere. It manages to feels quirky, interesting and very genteel – even with a toddler.
Despite freezing temperatures we had an absolute ball there. We spent much of our time in Royal Victoria Park, which has one of the biggest free children’s play areas I’ve ever seen, keeping my 20 month old boy occupied for literally hours. It’s also good for older children because of the sheer variety of things to play on. Sydney Gardens is also worth a visit as it has an excellent children’s play area and bridge views where you can watch trains zoom past.
The Roman Baths were great fun with a special audio guide and sticker chart to fill in for children. The staff were very friendly and knowledgeable and didn’t seem to mind my toddler walking around and exploring. There is also an open top bus ride around the City which comes highly recommended.
If you have teenagers and are feeling flush with cash a trip to the Thermal Spa is a must – the view from the heated rooftop pool across the City is to die for, I would recommend going just before dusk so you can see the sun setting on the City. Further afield Dyrham Park is worth a visit to burn off some energy – there’s a wonderful hill to run down and a superb café at the bottom. If African adventures are more your thing, Longleat Safari Park with lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants to track down is only a 40 minute drive.
Hotel accommodation in Bath is expensive so we opted for a self-catering property just outside of the City in the village of Freshford. There are lots of self-catering options to choose around Bath most of which are reasonably priced.
If you’d like to know more about adventures with children in and around London please visit: www.capitaltots.com
Set in the Atlas Mountains and just a 4 hour drive from Marrakech this is a great place to introduce little adventurers to trekking. This Easter family adventure holiday combines three days walking with four days sightseeing and exploration of the Berber culture. Follow shepherds trails, pass mountain villages, walk through a narrow canyon and meander through walnut groves. Perfect for families with littlies happy to walk for up to 4 or 5 hours each day at a leisurely pace. Relax at the end of the trip in the comfort of a 4 star hotel with swimming pool in Marrakech.
This family walking holiday is suitable for children aged 6 and over. Departs on the 30 March and 6 April and througout the year. Price is £445 per person and includes a professional local leader, airport transfers, all land transport, all accommodation (gite/hotel/mountain camp), meals as specified and camping equipment.
Here’s a guide to family bushcraft courses ranging from 1 day courses to overnighters across the UK. Kids will love being out in the woods actively learning simple bushcraft and survival skills. There are fun-filled family courses for families and also ‘kids only’ days/camps listed here. The whole family will enjoy experiencing nature in such an interactive way and it’s certainly a different way to spend your time!
1. NORFOLK Canoe Man Swallows and Amazons Adventure Days
HIGHLIGHTS: Guided canoe trail in search of Otters and Bitterns, bushcraft session, lunch in a beautiful woodland setting, and archery in the afternoon with canoe journey back. HOW TO DO IT: 7 April, 12 May, 2 June, 14 July, 21 & 24 & 28 & 31 July, 4 & 7 & 11 & 14 & 18 & 21 & 25 & 28 August, 1 & 22 Sept – costs £40 per adult and £30 per child. http://www.thecanoeman.com/swallowsandamazons.asp
2. NORFOLK Canoe Man School of Wilderness Bushcraft 1 or 2 day courses
HIGHLIGHTS: The 1 day course is an introduction to the basic fundamentals of bushcraft and no experience is required; the 2 day course covers the fundamentals in greater depth including an overnight stay in the woods under your own shelter with dinner, breakfast and lunch. HOW TO DO IT: 1 day courses 12 May, 16 June,14 July, 1 & 7 Sept and 20 Oct – costs £45 per adult & £35 per child; 2 day courses 1 June, 3 August & 21 September – costs £95 per adult and £70 per child. Both the bushcraft and the adventure days take place in Wroxham, Norfolk at the CanoeMan’s Woodland Activity Centre (WAC). http://www.thecanoeman.com/bushcraft.asp
3. OXFORDSHIRE The Bushcraft Company Summer Camps (for the kids 7 to 15 year olds)
HIGHLIGHTS: Spend the morning tree climbing, cook your own lunch over a campfire, swim in the lake in the afternoon, and spend the evening playing games. Children stay in beautiful safari-style camps and enjoy freshly cooked meals around the campfire each day. HOW TO DO IT: Runs throughout the summer for children aged 7-15 with separate camps for 7-11 year olds and 11-15 year olds. Option of 2-day (£99), 3-day (£199) or 5-day camps (£349). Takes place at the Woodland Centre Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. http://www.thebushcraftcompany.com/summercamps/
4. DEVON Wildwise Extraordinary School for Kids (for the kids)
HIGHLIGHTS: A day of skills, challenges and adventures drawing upon bushcraft, fieldcraft and nature including shelter-building, firecraft, campfire cookery, woodcraft, making traditional weapons and more. HOW TO DO IT: 10 April, 28 May, 31 October at the Dartington Estate. Costs £30. http://www.wildwise.co.uk/events+.php?nID=18&n_start=0
5. DEVON Wildwise Bushcraft Day
HIGHLIGHTS: Spend the day playing with some of the basic bushcraft skills including firemaking, shelter building and the use of cutting tools as well as bringing awareness to the natural world all around. HOW TO DO IT: Takes place on the 1 September at the Dartington Estate, Devon and costs £45 for 1 adult plus kids, £65 2 adults plus kids. http://www.wildwise.co.uk/events+.php?nID=9&n_start=0
6. KENT Natural Pathways 2 day Bushcraft Family Camp age 5 and over
HIGHLIGHTS: Light a fire without matches, build & sleep in a natural shelter, cook on an open fire, identify plants & trees, animal movements & sign, natural awareness games and more. HOW TO DO IT: Suitable for children aged 5-16. Takes place June half term close to Canterbury, Kent and costs £95 per person or £342 for a family of four. http://www.natural-pathways.co.uk/family-bushcraft-weekend.php
7. Lake District FSC Bushcraft for Families (4 nights) age 8 and over
HIGHLIGHTS: Wilderness bushcraft activities including survival skills (shelter building, camp fire, wild teas), geocaching, producing fish hooks, wilderness walk, making string from nettles and more. HOW TO DO IT: Suitable for children aged 8 and over. The course is run at the Field Studies Council centre in Blencathra, Lake District and costs £170 per adult and £135 per child. Includes all meals, accommodation & transport and sleeping in a family room.
8 & 9. Scotland and Sussex Wildwood Family Bushcraft Day
HIGHLIGHTS: An introduction to bushcraft for families covering firelighting, knotwork, water collection/preperation, shelter. HOW TO DO IT: Adult £70, child £40. Based at Glen Nevis (near Fort William), Scotland and Nutley, Sussex (dates for Sussex include 4 May, 16 June, 13 July).
10. EAST SUSSEX Ray Mears Family Bushcraft (2 nights) age 8 and over
HIGHLIGHTS: This 2 night course will give you the knowledge of the core skills involved in bushcraft: making a campfire, shelters, nature awareness, animal tracking, useful plant & tree recognition, campfire games & stories. HOW TO DO IT: The base is an expedition style camp in East Sussex, near Uckfield. The camp is in private woodland with lots of wildlife including deer, owls, badgers, fox and butterflies. Course run 5 April and 28 May and costs £225 per person.
Take a family bike trip this Easter on this self-guided cycle tour of Jersey with its 100 mile of roads, byways and Green Lanes where cycles have priority over cars. This route has been designed for families with child friendly distances and plenty of chances to sightsee. This route takes in a Neolithic burial site, castles, World War II bunkers and tunnels, reservoirs and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.
This is a great value family cycling holiday and the prices include: 4 nights half board accommodation at either the 3 star Merton Hotel or the 4 star Pomme d’Or Hotel,both in the centre of St Helier plus bicycle hire and route notes. Families benefit from £50 per child and the route can be adapted to meet your own interests.
There are departures over the Easter holidays and throughout the year. From £335 for 4 nights.
This five day family adventure holiday offers you and your family the perfect opportunity to experience unique and exciting adventure activities under the expert guidance of professional guides. You’ll be well looked after by a team of friendly staff, and enjoy excellent hospitality at a fully catered 5 star eco lodge. Typical activities include: coasteering, kiteboarding, sea kayaking, horse riding…
Preseli Venture family activity holidays in Wales include days of discovery, fun, and exploration on the inspirational Pembrokeshire National Park coastline and are the perfect way to spend quality time with your kids. There are two versions of the holiday an ‘Action Packed’ version and ‘Action and Relax’ (with a day’s free time on the Wednesday).
Dates for the Easter break are April 1-5 and April 8-12 2013. The holiday starts with lunch on the Monday and finishes after lunch on the Friday. This holiday also runs during the half term and summer holidays. Action Packed costs £399 per child, £509 per adult; Action and Relax costs £375 per child and £469 per adult this Easter. One child goes free* (when booking for a family of four or more) for the Easter holiday dates.
This accommodation is quirky yet beautiful. I’m not sure there are many places where you can stay in a wagon that used to belong to an elephant trainer complete with the metal chains on the side to which the elephants were chained to! Casa del Mundo is close to the beaches of the Costa Blanca and hosts a variety of glamping style accommodations. This post is featuring ‘Circus’ and ‘Oliphant’ – two wagons situated side by side which share a ‘summer kitchen’ and a bathroom.
Close by are nature parks, you can learn to horse ride nearby, make mosaics on site, or simply let your children make friends with other children. There is an on-site restaurant with international cuisine, bars and restaurants in the surrounding villages and Alicante is 30 minutes away. There are cards, board games and a library with a real fireplace, a 12m x 5m fenced swimming pool, petenque, basketball and hiking trails leading straight from Casa del Mundo into the hills.
An Easter break starting on the 8 April will cost £67 for 1 night, £134 for 2 nights, £201 for 3 nights, £268 for 4 nights, £335 for 5 nights and so on…