Every year I write a post noting my upcoming plans for the year and the places that I’m dreaming of visiting going forward. I usually publish it on the 1st of Jan but I’m a bit belated this year due to being so busy over the Christmas period. I find January often brings a flurry of bookings owing to the depressing weather outside and the whole feeling of going back to work or school after a restful time off.
So far we’ve booked a few things with my parents. In April I’ll be revisiting Babington House for the 3rd time in April but it will be my first time taking Oscar and trying one of the child-friendly rooms.
Oscar loves swimming and I can’t wait to take him in the pool and for a play in the hotel’s ‘teeny house.’
We’ll also be revisiting the Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds in October to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We last stayed there in August 2021 and it’s one of our favourite family hotels! The ‘rooms’ are simply outstanding and we’ve booked the three adjacent cottages that we had last time. These rooms are super spacious with a full living area, two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a shared garden space, it’s just perfect for a family.
There’s loads to do in the local area of Kingham and a visit to the Daylesford Organic Farm (the Wild Rabbit is part of the Daylesford Estate) is absolutely well worth it!
I absolutely love to Oscar on little UK trips and here are few things I my eye on for this year.
Port Lympne Hotel and Reserve
Port Lympne in Kent is a one of a kind safari hotel around 2 hours drive from London. The hotel features a variety of immersive accommodation from lodges where you can get up close with lions, to treehouses and glamping in Shepherd Huts. There’s no need to plan child-friendly activities out of the hotel as everything is on your door step; safari in the ‘Kentish savannah’, animal experiences and other fun things to do such as a dinosaur forest.
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There’s plenty of options for restaurants on site too so all in all I think this would make a great easy break with Oscar as we’d have all bases covered.
Last year when I saw gorgeous pictures of The Tawny Hotel on Instagram, I immediately ‘ran’ to book it. Unfortunately I had to cancel that booking but I’m keen to get in in our diaries again. The Tawny is located in the Staffordshire countryside and the grounds look absolutely gorgeous in the pictures. Currently there seems to be a trend for unique accommodation and the Tawny offers treehouses (yes please!), woodland huts and boats houses. Many of which have a family friendly option with a children’s room. There’s an outdoor pool perfect for Oscar, especially as it’s heated, and I love the look of the Plumicorn restaurant.
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‘Old me’ would have been happy spending a few days relaxing, eating and drinking in this beautiful hotel but little Oscar needs a bit more than that. Fortunately, The Tawny is in close proximity to the inimitable Alton Towers! Of course Oscar is a little young for thrill seeking rides but Alton Towers features Cbeebies Land (there’s even a Cbeebies Hotel for the truely keen!) with lots of things to do for toddlers and preschoolers. Oscar loves Cbeebies characters such as Hey Duggee, Bing and In the Night Garden and there’s lots of age appropriate rides, shows and interactive experiences which I know he’ll love!
If you’re looking for something little more sedate, the local area is famous for pottery and you can discover more about famous brands such as Emma Bridgewater, Denby and Wedgewood or explore local lakes and nature parks.
I have teenage memories of getting up early for long coach drives to Alton Towers with the local youth club so in my mind it’s really far away but actually when I looked into it, you can get the train to nearby Stoke on Trent station from London Euston and it’s only an hour and a half!
I’ve stayed at Chewton Glen Hotel in the New Forest a few times and it’s easily one of my favourite UK stays. However, I’ve never taken Oscar there for the opportunity to enjoy the swimming pool, kids club, ponies, two restaurants and nearby beaches. An extra special stay would see us staying in one of the hotel’s treehouses (can you see I love a treehouse?) which I’m till yet to do.
One reason I’d like to stay here is the close proximity to Peppa Pig world (yes I never thought I’d write that sentence either!). Like many three year olds, Oscar loves Peppa and her little brother George, and Peppa Pig World, part of Paulton’s Park, is only a short drive from Chewton Glen. I’ve actually been myself twice but it would be Oscar’s first time there.
I’ve always wanted to visit the Lake District but I’ve never had the chance, so I’m putting it on Oscar’s bucket list. Accommodation-wise Another Place ticks all the boxes – there are treehouses (as well as other unique rooms), a pool, and delicious looking restaurants. But most importantly it is set on the shores of Ullswater, the perfect place to explore the Lake District.
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Of course, the Lake District is famous for being beloved by children’s author Beatrix Potter who bought to life the scenic area in her books. A visit wouldn’t be complete without venturing to The World of Beatrix Potter which features an immersive attraction that brings the stories to life as well as other sweet activities perfect for little ones!
I can’t wait to see what adventures Oscar gets up to this year!