Sunday 9 February 2020

Planning our Travels for 2020

{This post contains gifted content}

As soon as Christmas is over, I am always keen to start planning the year ahead and plotting out when we might be getting some nights away and quality family time. We're not a family that has loads of disposable income, so I can't generally plan European short breaks and Florida summer holidays. I have to be a bit more creative with the money we have, and try to make it go as far as possible. It's also incredibly fortunate that I can secure some breaks away due to this blog.

2020 is panning out really well and I am feeling excited and looking ahead to the great times we'll have. The kids half term is next week and I'm always dubious to book anything much in the February half term as you can never tell what our weather will do. So, the kids and I will just be heading for February for a few days to spend time with my parents, and we always love doing that.

April - Spring Harvest at Butlins, Skegness
On Easter Sunday we'll head up to the in-laws to celebrate Easter and then on to Skegness for our yearly holiday at the Spring Harvest Christian festival. JJ won't be coming with us, as he will be staying with my parents and revising for his GCSEs that will start the next month.

So, it will be just the four of us and the one good point of that, is that it is cheaper, but I always miss my boy when he isn't there. I love this holiday as it is a mix of relaxation and fun, with swimming, the fun fair and chilling with my hubby, as well as great times of teaching and celebration. It is completely joyous and I haven't been to Skegness since 2011, so it will be great to experience the changes they've made there in the last decade.

Image Credit: Ladram Bay Holiday park

May - Ladram Bay Holiday Park, Devon
In the May half term, we are heading to Devon as a family. I'm hoping this will be the kind of time away that JJ will need as an interlude in his GCSEs. I suspect he'll still have to do some studying, but it will be nice to do it in a beautiful setting with some breaks for good food, swimming, beach walks and family fun,

Devon isn't an area we have explored much before, so it will be good to see more, but given the amazing location of Ladram Bay on the cliffs of the Jurassic Coast, I suspect we may stay at the holiday park for much of it. This Monday to Friday break has been gifted to us, so I can share during our time there and write up a full review. Reviewing holidays and days out is one of my favourite things to do, so this will be a joy for me.

I was showing the brochure we received to the kids the other day and they all agreed it looked great fun. All our children are a bit old for the kids club, but I love that as a family owned business Ladram Bay are keen to organise activities for all the family, so we will definitely join in with the entertainment team for the ultimate family challenge. Miss E and my husband are up for taking a kayak out in the bay, I'll be playing crazy golf with JJ, as is our tradition of every family holiday for the last 13 years, and Miss M wants to try the water walkerz in the pool. I can't wait!

July - Featherdown Farm - Bucklebury Reading Collection
I was thrilled to see the kids have an inset day in July as this means we can have a three-night weekend break away, without impacting their schooling. So at the beginning of July we will head to Berkshire to stay at Bucklebury Reading, which is part of the Featherdown Farm collection. I have to admit that two of my three children are feeling a bit apprehensive about this break away, as there will be no electricity in our Canvas Frills Lodge, but I am totally looking forward to turning off.

Bucklebury Reading Collection is set in 77 acres of rolling hills, and is home to numerous varieties of deer, pygmy goats, cattle, donkeys, ponies and more. This is the reason I choose this site as my husband is a keen nature and wildlife photographer, so he will be in his element.

I'm looking forward to playing card games, reading a book, cooking on the wood-fired stove or BBQ and taking some walks. Of course, I am realistic and I know with three teenagers we'll probably have to head into Reading town for a mobile phone recharge, food out and maybe the cinema.

It will be a new experience for me having a weekend like this, as I haven't done anything like camping since I was a teen. My husband and Kids should all be fine as they've all camped multiple times in recent years with the Scouts and youth groups, and realistically this is far more like a regular holiday, as we have an en-suite with a warm shower and a flushing toilet.

August - House swap with a friend in York
I'm hoping this one will come together, we're still chatting at the moment, but basically we'll swap our house with a family from York and we can both explore a new area. We stayed in a friend's house once before in 2015 and it was one of the best family holidays we've ever had, as you have all the home comforts, without any major cost.

Then if we are really lucky, we are hoping to head to the Canary Islands in the October half-term and have a bit of proper sunshine, but I'll organise that one further down the line as we have quite enough excitement to focus on for now.

I think we have a great year lined up, don't you?  Have you made plans yet?

If you have any recommendations for us of places to visit near Otterton, Devon or Bucklebury Reading I'd love to hear them.

Disclosure: We are being gifted the stays at Ladram Bay and Bucklebury Reading Collection in exchange for honest reviews when we stay with them. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest. 

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