At the start of 2015 I was clueless about the blogging world. I could not have told you what a blog was, I certainly could not have named any blogs!
I started reading blogs during the long night feeds with baby Harry and was inspired to set one up myself. I have always loved to travel and have visited over 80 countries to date. Although my travelling pace has slowed down since leaving a life at sea onboard cruise ships and having children, my husband and I thoroughly enjoy travelling abroad and around the UK with our two young sons. A blog focused on family travel therefore seemed like the obvious choice and Travel Loving Family was launched! My first article posted at the end of June 2015 features the first time we travelled as a family with Charlie as a four-month old to Mexico.
I cannot imagine not blogging now, it has become a big part of my life. My family and I have been very fortunate to experience some incredible opportunities over the past few months due to blogging and we hope to continue to do so in 2016 and beyond.
Summer 2015 – After launching our blog in June we had a fun-filled, busy summer visiting many local Gloucestershire attractions including Slimbridge WWT, Cotswolds Wildlife Park, Cotswolds Farm Park and a scenic train ride through the Cotswolds onboard a GWR steam train.
We also enjoyed a staycation in Windsor, visiting the popular Legoland Windsor Resort, followed by a lovely day exploring the wealthy, historic town and nearby Eton College.
As a family we love to camp and took full advantage of the fabulous weather we experienced in the summer. In July we took a road trip up north in my parents camper van. We set up our temporary home at Low Wray Campsite on the shores of the beautiful Lake Windermere in the Lake District.
As we enjoyed it so much (and the boys both proved they could sleep well on a ‘glamping trip’… always a bonus!) we organised another camping trip, this time with friends, closer to home. Our stay at Croft Farm Waterpark in Tewkesbury was slightly less glamorous and involved trudging across fields to use the on site facilities as we ditched the motor home and pitched up a tent. Thankfully, it was a glorious sunny weekend and we were able to make full use of the water sports facilities. Although it was our first time camping with baby Harry, it was certainly an experience we will repeat and we learnt a great deal about what to pack for future camping trips.
To take full advantage of the incredible range of attractions on offer in the UK we also managed to squeeze in visits over the summer to Warwick Castle, At-Bristol Science Museum and Eureka Children’s Museum in Halifax, Yorkshire.
In perfect time to experience the stunning autumn colours, we were kindly invited to visit Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury. Halloween weekend was spent reviewing Cattle Country Adventure Park in Berkeley where we spent a memorable day toasting marshmallows, exploring the castle and coming face to face with the animals and spooky actors! Unfortunately, a week later we made the mistake of visiting the National Sealife Centre in Birmingham during the October half term holidays along with every other parent in the West Midlands!
At the beginning of the autumn I began to promote our family travel blog on Twitter and joined up with other Gloucestershire based bloggers helping to support local businesses. Our first collaboration was supporting Hotter, the multi chain shoe company.
The last couple of months in 2015 were incredibly busy! We commenced our festive celebrations with a family city break in Copenhagen. We flew with my brother-in-law as our pilot which as you can imagine was very exciting for Charlie and Harry! They absolutely loved hearing their Uncle Chris welcoming them onboard in his tannoy announcement and sitting in the cockpit was a family highlight of 2015.
Whilst in the Danish capital we reviewed a couple of popular attractions including the famous Tivoli Gardens and the hop on and off boat and bus tour.
Upon our return from Denmark, we were invited to a few Christmas events closer to home in Gloucestershire including Cinderella Panto and a return to Westonbirt Arboretum to experience the Christmas lights trail.
We finished our year with a fabulous family city break in London, again proving that city breaks (although not the most obvious choice of a holiday with kids), are definitely for families too:) The highlights of our time in London were travelling first class as guests of GWR trains, reviewing a few attractions at Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park and our visit to Harrods Santa’s Grotto.
Thank you for supporting Travel Loving Family in 2015. If you would like to see what we plan to get up to in 2016 our blog plans and travel wish list can be viewed here.