Editor Liz is up next in our 2015 family travel plans series…
When Saphie was 5 weeks old, we took her to The Beckford Arms for a night. We were pretty daunted beforehand, but she was amazing (having her bath in an enormous clawfoot tub, sleeping in a sling on my husband Jon’s chest as we had dinner in the restaurant), and it was a really liberating and lovely experience. So during the first year of her life, we went on lots of Euro hops and jaunts around the UK, and we’re always planning more!
We tend to be quite last-minute about our holidays and go on a few mini adventures throughout the year rather than one big trip; that’s the beauty of having a little one and not having to limit ourselves to school holidays. So at the moment we only have one definite plan for 2015, and the rest are just pipedreams.
The definite plan is Bilbao for 4 nights at the start of May, which we are super-excited about. Jon and I have always wanted to see the Basque region of Spain, and now that EasyJet are flying from Bristol, it’s a really easy trip. We’ve chosen to stay in an apartment while we’re there as we love the mix of self-catering a few meals and going out for a few nice ‘treat’ meals. It also means we get lots of room so Saphie can toddle around, and somewhere nice to hang out in the evenings once she’s in bed.
We’re really looking forward to visiting the Guggenheim, strolling along the river, and trying pintxos (the Basque version of tapas). It will be interesting to see what Saphie makes of new flavours like duck breast with orange, and cherries stuffed with blue cheese (I suspect a lot of it will be thrown on the floor!).
We’re planning a day trip to San Sebastián while we’re there; the gastronomic capital of Spain. I’m thinking a stroll around the Old Town, a nice lunch out, then an afternoon on beautiful La Concha beach so Saphie can bucket and spade in the sand and play in the shallows.
Back in the UK, I’m dreaming of a trip to Cornwall, and a couple of nights at The Rosevine.
This gorgeous apartment hotel looks like a real treat for all 3 of us. For Saph, there’s a big playroom, an indoor pool, a massive garden, and a sandy beach a toddle away. For Jon and I, there’s a modern British restaurant (we’ll pack our baby monitor and ‘dine out’) and a bar serving perfect G&Ts! I love the stylish rooms and relaxing sea views.
We’re also debating a trip to Scotland, but are torn between the practicalities. Driving (positives: independence, being able to pack the car full, stopping at the Lake District on the way up; negatives: Saphie gets bored in her car seat after 20 minutes!) vs flying to Glasgow then driving around. When we eventually wrangle out the details, we love the look of Monachyle Mhor – a family-run gourmet bolthole in the Highlands.
The stunning Trossachs National Park is on the doorstep so we’ll go walking with Saphie in a backpack, and there’s lots of wildlife for her to excitedly point at. We’ll also go to Skye for a long weekend with friends – the scenery looks stupendous.
Other things we’re tempted by? So many! I love the look of Menorca, would return like a shot to family-friendly Catalonia, and Palmizana in Croatia is a long-held dream…