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.
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!