Our 2015 family day out plans

Last week I reviewed our favourite (and least favourite places) of 2014. This week it’s time to look forward and plan some family days out and weekends away for 2015. I’ve chosen places within a 3 hour journey of our home and as the kids are older I’ve added in some mini adventures such as a two day cycle ride and a mountain walk. Anything to get them away from sitting in front of the Xbox.

1. Cardiff

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never visited the Welsh capital. From Cardiff Castle and Bute Park to Techniquest and the Doctor Who exhibition, I think the hardest decision will be what not to see. Definitely worth a couple of days of our time.

2. South West coastal path walk, Devon or Dorset

I’ve started planning a two day walk along the south west coastal path, either from Brixham or Charmouth. The final route will depend on the train and bus timetables and availability of accommodation but both options look good. It’s quite a leisurely walk so there will also be time to fossil hunt in Charmouth or enjoy the seaside. Fingers crossed for good weather.

3. Imperial War Museum and Churchill War Rooms, London

This is somewhere we’ve been waiting for the kids to be old enough to visit. Our eldest has studied World War II at school (and went on an evacuee experience) and we’ve previously visited Anne Frank House so they have some background knowledge. I’m sure it will be a sobering, but important, visit.

4. Climb Pen-y-Fan, Brecon Beacons

The kids have been up a few hills but despite visiting the Brecon Beacons in 2014 we never went up Pen-y-Fan. It’s a lovely mountain to climb, and the closest to us (albeit >100 miles away) so I definitely want to make the effort this year.

5. Historic Dockyard Chatham, Kent

Whenever we head out for the day we inevitably head south, north or west. For some reason we hardly ever go east so this year I’ve purposely picked a couple of places in Kent. First on the list is the historic dockyard at Chatham. It’s a maritime museum that contains three warships, a lifeboat collection and a Cold War submarine set in 80 acres of dockyard.

6. Wild camp on Dartmoor, Devon

Some of you may have read my earlier post about family microadventures. I think it’s time for us to up the game this year and head out on a slightly more adventurous night out. Wild camping is allowed in many parts of Dartmoor so I’m tempted by a bivvy on the moors. I think my eldest will require some persuasion though as she has visions of us being trampled by Dartmoor ponies in the middle of the night. I haven’t told her about the Hound of the Baskervilles yet.

7. Whitstable, Kent

Whitstable sounds like the kind of seaside town we’d enjoy.  After a wander around the town and fishing harbour we’d walk along Tankerton Slopes before heading back for coffee and cake in one of the tea shops.

8. Red Squirrel Cycle Trail, Isle of Wight

We had a particularly memorable VW campervan holiday on the Isle of Wight a few years back. The weather and campsites were perfect so I’m always a little hesitant about going back just in case we spoil our memories. However, whilst looking for a family cycling route I came across the Red Squirrel cycle trail on the island. It’s mostly traffic free and easy cycling with an overnight stop in Shanklin. There’s even the chance of spotting red squirrels along the way.

9. Overnight camp at Northmoor Lock, Oxfordshire

This small campsite beside the River Thames is one of the closest to us and is perfect for a quick overnight getaway. It’s back to basics camping with compost toilets, fire pits and no cars on site. Sounds great!

10. A theme park

Whilst I’m more than happy with the wild outdoors the kids enjoy theme parks, as did I at their age. Not sure where to go yet but Alton Towers, Thorpe Park or Chessington are likely contenders. So readers, how about you? What plans do you have for 2015? Do drop me a comment and let me know. In the meantime I guess I’d better get saving!

20 thoughts on “Our 2015 family day out plans”

  1. Great to hear you’re goung to visit the Imperial War Museum & Churchill War Rooms. At the Imperial War Museum we loved the Spies exhibition and the medals in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery on the top floor. I couldn’t get my kids to leave the Lord Ashcroft gallery. Can I also recommend HMS Belfast. Get a kids audio guide (free), my lids loved it. Lots of climbing up ladders as there are 9 decks and loads of museum mannequins showing what life was like on board. The ships cat (stuffed) is even in a hammock. I’ve blogged about HMS Belfast a couple of times if you want to read more. Happy new Year & happy family days out. Katharine

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Katharine, I think we’ve just managed to miss the end of the Spies exhibition which is disappointing, we should have visited last week. We visited HMS Belfast a couple of years ago and really enjoyed ourselves, have you been to the SS Great Britain in Bristol? Another great ship, although I didn’t enjoy the room with the mannequin being seasick in as much as the kids did!

    1. The exhibition has very good reviews although to be fair it’s probably my other half who’d enjoy it the most!

  2. I think that is a fantastic list. I’ll look forward to seeing your great days out – particularly the Breacon Beacons… I’ve never been, but it looks beautiful. Also Whitstable. I’ve hear the The Sportsman is a fantastic pub for a beverage and food!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Ting. I’ve just had a look at the Sportsman and immediately spied a dark chocolate and salted caramel tart on the menu. Sounds right up my street although it does look like it would be out of our everyday price range…..

  3. Fabby list! My hubby just climbed Pen Y Fan a couple of weeks ago and loved it so much he went and did it the following weekend! He loved it and the pictures he took were incredible so you would love it x

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