Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Looking Back at 2017 - Our Travel Favourites

Whilst we are looking forward to all our planned adventures for 2018, it is also great to look back and reflect on the travel opportunities we had last year. I therefore wanted to share with you, some of our travel favourites from 2017.

January - Our year began with a trip to the fabulous Bluestone National Park Resort, in South Wales. Although we live in North Wales, we had never actually ventured to the South before and after a very scenic four hour journey to Narberth, we enjoyed a lovely few days in a beautiful lodge and enjoyed the wonderful Blue Lagoon and some other local attractions. Bluestone is a stunning holiday resort, set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. It has 345 luxury lodges set amongst 500 acres of spectacular countryside. It is marketed as an all year round short break holiday destination, where fun can be enjoyed in all weather conditions and offering guests the chance to enjoy a relaxing break, or an adventure fun-packed holiday. As Bluestone offers so much, it is suitable for families, couples, or groups of adults and caters for all ages, with over 100 activities to enjoy. You can read all about our visit to Bluestone in our review here.


February - This month saw our first overseas trip of the year, where my family travelled to Silvaplana in Switzerland to attend the World Ski Championships being held in St Moritz. This trip actually came about as a result of a competition that my husband had entered on Twitter and we couldn't believe that he had won the family such an amazing opportunity. During the trip my family travelled on the Glacier Express taking in some wonderful sights, enjoyed the fabulous opening ceremony, watched some skilled skiers taking part in the championships and also had the opportunity for a skiing lesson and some sledging fun. You can read more about Silvaplana here.


March - In March my husband and I enjoyed a weekend break at the Shibden Mill Inn for my husband's birthday. This was our first and only time away without the kids throughout the year as I really don't like going away without them, but it was a relaxing time with delicious food. The suite we stayed in was stunning and had been tastefully decorated with a great combination of both modern and traditional furnishings. You can find out more about our stay here.


April - We travelled to a few places in the Easter holidays during April. The first was to Somerset where we visited some wonderful local attractions that included Puxton Park and the Wookey Hole Caves. On our return to the North, we enjoyed a stop at Drayton Manor where Riley had an amazing time in Thomas Land. We also travelled to Yorkshire for some cliff top camping in Filey, where we also spent the day at the fabulous Alpamare Waterpark in Scarborough and had an absolutely splashing time!


May - In the May half term we travelled to Salou in Spain, where we stayed at Sanguli Holiday Park with Al Fresco Holidays. This was an absolutely wonderful break and we spent our days between the onsite Africa themed resort pool and the sandy beach located a short walk away. This holiday resort certainly ticked all the boxes for us and you can read all about our stay here.


June - June saw us head to Shropshire where we enjoyed a weekend break with my parents in Ironbridge. Whilst there we travelled back in time to the Victorian era and visited Blists Hill Victorian Town. My children absolutely loved it here and we had a great experience. You can read more about our time at Blists Hill here.


July - The school summer holidays began in July and we started the six week break off, with a trip to the Lake District. This really is a stunning part of the world and we had a wonderful week exploring and visiting some fun attractions. Some of our favourites included a day out with Windermere Lake Cruises, spending some time at Old Hall Farm and finding out more about transport at the Lakeland Motor Museum.


August - In August we spent two days in Hamburg, Germany thanks to the Come to Hamburg scheme. We only spent a short amount of time here, but managed to fit so much into only two days. The Miniatur Wunderland was magnificent and Hagenbeck Tierpark provided the opportunity for my children to feed some elephants, which is definitely an experience they will never forget. Whilst in Hamburg we stayed at the Appartello Smarttime Living hotel, which offered fantastic apartments with plenty of room for the whole family.


September - In September we had the chance to visit France and stayed with Al Fresco holidays at the La Croix du Vieux Pont holiday park in France. The park offered so much for families that we didn't get the chance to see it all, so it is definitely on our list of places to return to in the future. Ideally situated only 90 minutes from Disneyland Paris, it also meant that we could enjoy a magical day out together before the return back to school!


October - The October half term saw us return to Somerset, where we stayed with John Fowler Holidays at their Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. There is so much to do both onsite and in the local area and we had a lovely day out at Bristol Zoo Gardens whilst here.


November - As the end of the year approached we spent the majority of November and December staying local as there was just so much on offer throughout the North Wales and North West areas. We are very lucky to live right on the North Wales/Cheshire border so this means that we have the lovely North Wales coast twenty minutes in one direction and the great cities of Manchester & Liverpool 40 minutes in the other. Some of our favourite events and days out during November were going to see The Snowman at the Manchester Opera House and meeting Santa at Bridgemere Garden Centre.


December - Well we definitely enjoyed a month of family fun throughout December, with my personal highlight being the Dick Whittington pantomime at the Manchester Opera House. I have never laughed so much at a panto and at one point I was actually crying it was so funny.

My youngest son Riley also had a lovely experience of a theatre production at Waterside where we saw the beautiful performance of The Bear.

Topped off with a family evening of fun at Winter Wonderland and a trip to Dunham Massey to see their stunning festive lights, December was certainly a month to remember.


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