With a birth of a new baby in Spring 2015 it was always going to be an eventful year full of nappies, sleep deprivation and the colourful challenges of weaning. Add to that a toddler with a mere 16 month age gap between him and the new baby and I was kinda busy.
We still managed to fit in some trips, looking back I don’t actually know what we were thinking, but here are the highlights to give you some inspiration for 2016. If I can manage to drag my sorry ass around Scotland and abroad anyone can.
FEARNAN, SCOTLAND – A very pregnant blogger-to-be waddled to Fearnan on Loch Tay for a weekend with friends. We shared an AirBnB property on the lochside in a truly stunning setting. It was the definition of a winter wonderland and we took Mr Toddler sledging for the first time – I waddled after him through the snow. Click here for more about this unbeatable location.
THE ISLE OF LEWIS, SCOTLAND – When Mr Baby was two months old (yes, two months old) we thought it would be a smart idea to drive from one side of Scotland (Aberdeen) to the other (Ullapool) and from there catch a ferry to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Bizarrely it was a good idea – Mr Baby was so young he slept most of the time on any given day, and Mr Toddler looked out the window – simples. The ferry was also spanking new with a great kids play area. The beaches on Lewis and Harris are quite simply breathtaking. The weather is blustery and raw. The history is earthy and tangible. And the memories stand out. For the original photo journal click here.
PORTAVADIE MARINA, SCOTLAND – Our third trip was attending the wedding of a very good friend on the west coast of Scotland. Again, Mr Baby was strapped into his carseat and dragged across the nation. Weddings often lead you to venues or part of the countryside that you’ve never explored before so it was a bonus to discover the Portavadie Marina which would make a grand family getaway any time of the year. Find out more here.
LONDON, ENGLAND – Our first flight with two under two was from Scotland down to London – a short hop that wasn’t particularly difficult. With one baby each we aren’t outnumbered and that’s the way I like it. The weather this summer was scorchio, costa del Londinium. We met good friends in Kew Gardens and realised the full extent of how child friendly these renowned gardens are. We then spent three nights at the Haven Holiday Park in Kent, sunning ourselves and swimming in their fab outdoor pools before retiring to our surprisingly stylish static caravan. This was the year when I became a convert to holiday parks and the caravan lifestyle – I’m as surprised as you are. I would recommend Haven holidays now so click here to read why it worked so well for us. And to explore Kew click here.
LOIRE D’ATLANTIQUE, FRANCE – Ok, we got cocky. Living in Aberdeen direct flight destinations can be limited or at times that don’t suit travelling with young children so we decided to go crazy and fly Aberdeen – Amsterdam – Nantes return. We did four flights with our cherubs just to go to France and back, which was a little excessive, but we were tired of having our destinations so restricted. It was a long schlepp but we were delighted with the cities of Nantes and Vannes, charmed by the small town where we rented the most child friendly gite I think I’ll ever find, indulged on the long sands of Pornichet beach and mesmerised by a magical elephant (honest) – click here to find out more.
LUNAN BAY, SCOTLAND – We fit in a trip to visit good pals in Edinburgh and shocked ourselves on the drive home by swimming in the sea at one of the east coast’s most beautiful beaches, Lunan Bay. Swimming in the sea! In Scotland! In September! Odd indeed! If you don’t know this beach discover it now here.
PORT ALCUDIA, MAJORCA, SPAIN – Before winter set in we wanted a last injection of sun and I longed to get Mr Baby in the pool and the sea again so when he was seven months old we did a no-brainer package holiday direct from Aberdeen to Alcudia, Majorca. I didn’t want any hassle, any long journeys, any grief, I just longed to be poolside by lunchtime. Mr Toddler did bizarrely find romance (odd) which I couldn’t help but write about. But did the holiday work? Find out soon: the profile of our hotel and resort is being crafted by the Tots2Travel elves as we speak, so watch this space.
IRELAND – Before long it was time to show off Mr Baby to his Irish relatives, Mr Toddler also had to come along to show everyone ‘how much he’s grown’ and we thought it smart to travel one last time before he turned two and cost us more money. In County Kerry we discovered why B&Bs (that offer dinner) are a godsend to all parents, click here to hear me out, we found an absolute cracker. And we found a way to indulge in the five star lifestyle without breaking the bank and with two tiny tots in tow – more gossip here.
Then we were exhausted and settled down/nested for Christmas. We managed some bracing local walks, dragging our buggy up hill and down dale (or sand dune) and shared this stunning beach and its wildlife with you here.
But most importantly I hope 2015 was good for you and your family, and thanks so much for reading and participating. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your tots. All the best for 2016, Janice at Tots2Travel.