Monday 22 August 2011

8 Secrets for a Great Holiday in the UK

It is that time of year when all your friends are going off on holiday (or just returning) and if you are anything like me they are all heading to the South of France, Spain, one of the Canary Islands or even Florida.  So what about us, where did we go?  Well we went to Dorset, to a place called Wallisdown actually, not very picturesque and not very quaint but did we enjoy it?  YES, we had an absolute ball.

So how come we ended up there then?  In what is effectively a Uni town? Well, it is where we get cheap accommodation that suits our family needs. £390 for a week in August for a 5 bedroom house with all the facilities you need, you couldn't get that by the beach and yes the views were not fab but we were 10 mins drive from either Poole or Bournemouth and thus had a perfectly amazing time.

As someone who grew up taking UK holidays and still loves the same I thought I would share my tips for a successful holiday -
  1. Take your great British inherited wartime attitude with you. 'We will make the best of what we have'. Don't sulk all holiday that you are in Blighty and not on a hot beach, this is real life.  Open your eyes, look around and literally smell the roses, or gorgeous English country flowers as was the case here at Christchurch priory.

  2. Be prepared for all weathers; We had a storm whilst we were here and Bournemouth flooded, yep literally flooded.  Luckily it only lasted 1 day and with our wellies and macs we were able to go out for a walk and buy some supplies so the kids could enjoy some fun decorating biscuits. Our day stuck in our holiday house consisted of games of cards, board games, cutting and sticking (how valuable are Argos catalogues?), drawing, using our new LeapPad, the PC and the DS. It was good for the kids to chill down and have some low-key fun at home.

  3. Take your parents with you, we were able to send one of the kids off with the grandparents at a time so they had some special alone time.  My parents babysat whilst dh and I went out for a nice meal and to the cinema another night (loved Harry Potter). Every morning my Dad got up early with the kids and dh and I got to lie in, how brilliant is that?
  4. Get over your fear of the beach!  Both dh and I hate the sand and our first choice would not be to sit on the beach but this time we dived in and had loads of fun making sandcastles and I even got in my cossie and jumped the waves with Miss M, it was pretty warm after a while!

  5. Take your DVD player with you.  With our girls still being young they are not able to go out every night yet but they also want to feel they are on holiday, so a family film, some microwave popcorn and a snuggle on the sofa ensures they have an enjoyable early evening too.
  6. Do your washing while you are on holiday.  I am sure this will be a controversial one as many would think that doing washing on holiday is a nightmare but I do not mind washing at all and just putting the load on, hanging it out and folding it up with no pressure is far better for me than arriving home with cases of dirty clothes and a need to put the machine on a good 8 - 10 times.  My Sunday will now be a chilled one as my chores are mostly done.
  7. Forget yourself and engage in some good old fashioned (probably now known as Chavvy) fun.  We went to the arcades, we rode on funfair rides, we listened to the brass band, we played crazy golf, we ran around gardens, we strolled the prom and we had an amazing time.  Children enjoy the simple things and when us adults forget ourselves we enjoy them too!

  8. In the same vein - think before you spend.  We easily could have gone to the cinema on a cold afternoon but when it costs £30 for a family of 5 and the kids want popcorn and snacks that is a very expensive afternoon.  Put on their cardies and take a trip to the park, splash pool or beach, it was just as appreciated and was just the cost of ice-creams.  Result!

Have you got any good tips to share with us?  What ensures that you have a tip top UK holiday?
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