The Fox and Goose is a good country pub, within reach of Exmoor and the South West Coast Path, which has an excellent range of beers (Barn Owl, Cotleigh Brewery, especially good), and a wide-ranging food menu. The cheeseboard has local cheeses as well as Cornish classics, such as Yarg. Staff are friendly and helpful.
The interior of the pub is somewhat utilitarian, but gives the impression of having been put together with care over many years, with fading photographs of long-deceased local drinkers, yellowing maps, newspaper cuttings, and an enormous stag's head, with a scarf tied loosely round its neck, given pride of place. While vegetarians might find this somewhat off-putting, visitors made of sterner stuff will enjoy the atmosphere greatly.
Parracombe is just off the A39 between Blackmmor Gate and Lynton. The village is at the bottom of a steep hill, with a narrow road. Take care driving down. The visit is well worthwhile. Phone 01598 763239.
1- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove is the most visited museum in Scotland and the most visited in the UK outside of London. It recently underwent a massive refurbishment which has added new collections to its already impressive invitory.
2- Museum Of Transport
Everything from a horse and carriage to vintage steam trains are available here. A great place for kids or for a family day out, plenty to see.
3- Glasgow Cathedral
Worthwhile just to see the building itself, it is hundreds of years old and still looks magnificent, not bad inside either.
4- Burrell Collection
Located opposite the Kelvingrove Museum and well worth doing along with its more popular neighbor. Plenty to see from Ancient Egypt to information on Sir William Burrell who donated the collection.
Long gone are the days of my childhood, spent hunting for huge, edible pink crab with my great-uncle on the rocks of West Pentire. However, Vugga Cove on Crantock beach still holds many delights for rockpoolers, young and old.
This archipelago of pools is a tapestry of oxygenating wispy lime green and the burnt umbers and siennas of bladderwrack. Skylarks sing overhead as you hunt with bucket and net for fish and crab. The tiniest of creatures await to be inspected; sea lice, baby translucent fish, shrimps. Two-inch long stickleback and little shore crabs lurk in crevices.
Later, hot and sticky from the chase, you can swim in the warmed waters of Peggy's pool before the tide sweeps in to cover it.
Crantock beach, near Newquay, Cornwall
You sit on the side of the harbour and dangle a net/hook into the water and wait. After a while you pull the line back up and hope there's a crab or two hanging onto the end. You can buy a crabbing line from nearly all the toy/corner shops around Padstow for about £1. We found that by tying and net or an old vest onto the hook and filling that with 'welks' you caught more crabs as they attached themselves to the net. You can buy welks from the local fishmongers for a pound a pot. Or simply ask to have the leftovers of the fish parts which they will give you for a small contribution of 50p or so. Another tip is to take a fishing net, as we found the crabs fall off. So once you pull the line out of the water, put the net under crab and it will fall off into it - then you can put it into your bucket filled with water and watch them move about. Once finished crabbing however, then done thing is to take your bucket to the waters edge and tip it over and watch your crabs run back into the water. It's so much fun, and if visiting Padstow harbour, this is one the the things you MUST try.
West Quay, Padstow, PL28 8AQ
About three miles east from the pier at Herne Bay are some fantastic rock-pools. They cover a large area and are entirely made up of weirdly flat boulders, so it looks a platform game. You can happily spend time jumping from boulder to boulder, or playing games to work out the quickest way to the sea without stepping on the sand. The boulders are covered in weed though, so be careful you don't slip.
Best of all, there are lots of little rock-pools between the boulders with crabs, anemones, little shrimp-things etc. And the flat boulders provide the perfect standing platform to watch them all.
The whole place was totally deserted on a warm Saturday in June - a hidden gem!
Once you head back to Herne Bay, Ernie's Plaice does excellent fish and chips (eat on sea-front) or you can have a classic Knickerbocker Glory sat in one of the kitschy red booths at KC's Ice cream parlour. Their chocolate-orange ice cream is especially nice.
Turn right (as you face the sea) and walk along the sea-front, then down onto the beach when it finishes. Rock-pools are about 3 miles from the centre of town at low-tide only. Or you could drive to Reculver Lane and walk down from the church car-park (much closer).
This family owned and run ski chalet with direct ski access and fantastic creche is where we spent our best holiday ever in New Year 2009. My eldest started on skis; my little one loved the wonderful nannies at the creche.
Skiing was excellent with the portes du soleil right on your doorstep. Each evening, after the chalet served a delicious children's tea, we got the kids in bed and enjoyed the superlative cordon bleu dining and excellently chosen French wines served in the chalet.
The owners and staff were great, the atmosphere warm, friendly and helpful and the service exceptional. Delightful en-suite rooms, ideal for families. Our starlight plunge in the hot tub was one of the many highlights!
This is the best place we have found for crabbing. It's a secret what to use to attract the crabs (don't tell anyone, but we always used liver).
Sometimes you would get the crab to the top of the pier before it let go. Now it is my grandchildren's time for this treat they have a cheat; a net that lays underneath, so when the crabs let go they fall in the net.
In Carnival Week in August there is a Crab catching competition.
Cromer is a lovely little seaside town which has not been spoilt yet, lovely for children's summer holidays.
Cromer has a train station. You catch the train from Norwich.
Take crabbing to the highest possible level by competing in the British Open Crabbing Championship held every year in the seaside village of Walberswick. Described as a competition for “children of all ages” – the only condition being that you weren’t born before 1890 - there can be few greater pleasures than joining the hundreds of competitors with line, weight and bait (bacon is said to be best, but the professionals will keep their choice to themselves) and then teasing the crab out of the water and into the bucket. If you can’t make it to Walberswick on Sunday 9th August this summer then any other day will do. Our daughters, now in their late teens, have the fondest memories of hanging off a bridge, filling a bucket with crabs and then releasing them, often a hundred at a time. An essential family experience.
Walberswick is in Suffolk, across the river from Southwold (take the rowed ferry) Details of the crabbibg championships at www.walberswick.ws/crabbing/
At the southern end of the three mile stretch of sandy beach in Studland is a secret rock pool cove, cut off by cliffs on both sides. Wait until the tide slides out before skirting round the cliff face and you’ll find yourself in a hidden world of crabs, fish, barnacles, snails and weird looking worms.
My favourite way to get a closer look at these pool dwellers is with an old detergent tablet net with a bit of chicken or meat inside tied to the end of a stick. Wait a bit for whatever creature is enticed and carefully lift it out of the water, its weight will close the net behind it so it can't climb out- just take care when letting the blighters go!
Studland Bay, Swanage, Dorset
The museum's name speaks for itself I think. Basically it's guided small tours around re-created tenement rooms. Really worth a visit. If you've been to the Dennis Severs house in London you'll get the idea.
As we were travelling with our young child, the apartment was very practical and the company provided us with a travel cot for free. Other companies we enquired with wanted to charge us €30 a night for this!
Thank you Apartime for your helpfulness and great service, little Layla had a fantastic time.
This beautiful 17th century monastery is a hit with the tour buses, but even with the crowds it's a wonderful diversion from the beach, and a great way to see the entire island unfold from your car window as you climb Corfu's hills.
Perched high on a headland and surrounded by wild flowers, the orange buildings are wonderfully ornate inside, and you can look at the famous ceiling carving of the ‘Tree of Life’.
Be sure to cover your shoulders or wear respectable clothing, no matter how intense the summer heat!
Above the beach resort Paleokastritsa
A hangover from the island's British military and colonial past, we were surprised to find that cricket is a popular game in Corfu! The first game took place here between the two military groups on St George’s Day in 1823, and today you can have a game all over the island. The most popular greens are the Esplanade at Corfu Town, (although alot of that space is a car park now) and the brand new ground at Kontokali Marina. Things really kick off in July, and games last 35 overs.
Watch a game, or bring your own set and play!
Esplanade - right in the center of Corfu Town.
Lovely, well equipped cottages near three miles of beautiful sandy beach, fantastic views of Bamburgh Castle, Lindisfarne Priory and Farne Islands - also amazing old stone tower which sleeps two, called the Ducket - lovely inside - recently renovated - now 5* where you can stay - great views.
Ross and Outchester Cottages
Ross Farm, Belford
Northumberland, NE70 7EN
Melbourne is getting a collection of great little restaurants along its bay and Vincents is another one. It has fantastic views across Port Phillip Bay and the surrounding bayside suburbs from the upstairs dining room.
The menu is mediterranean based and of course offers lots of fish choices.
The pastas were great as were the home made dips. Service was smart and efficient. BYO and also licenced, Vincents is just a nice place to go and have a meal
This museum is one of the most unique and fun museums I have ever been to. It is primarily aimed at kids but if you are young at heart you can have loads of fun crawling in tunnels and through caves along with the kids.
The highlight is outside the museum where you crawl around wire mesh several hundred feet above the ground and cap it off by sliding down a roller slide!
www.citymuseum.org -official site
For those living in the South of England, who can't afford to travel abroad (in these credit crunch times) and who want to experience a working vineyard then it is an ideal place to go. Fun for the family, tours, cafe and gift shop. The wine is quaffable too!
The location has to come first, only 30 minutes from the Lakes but nowhere near as over run. This part of the North Lancashire coast is relatively undiscovered - an spectacular area of natural beauty - and you can have the beach all to yourself.
The Holgates park is wooded, with lots of wildlife, including rare birds that nest at the nearby RSPB site. We stayed in a very luxurious caravan that we hired, but you can take your own and there is also some space for tents. On the day that it rained, we used the truly luxurious swimming pool and spa - incredibly clean changing rooms and decent lattes in the cafe.
The village of Silverdale is a short walk away and had a great butcher and greengrocer as well as a couple of good pubs. There is also an art and pottery gallery with a good cafe attached.
The kids were happy running wild - the park is about 24 acres I think, but feels rural and safe with a great play area. We were happy outside the van with a glass of wine watching the most amazing sunset I have ever seen in my life. It takes quite something to get me to relax so quickly but this place certainly has it.
It's free! OK, it's only one day so no camping as such but you'll be struggling to find such a mixture of attendees from hardcore hippies to grans and granchildren, plus a fine selection of music.
Midsummer Common, Cambridge, 6th June 2009 www.strawberry-fair.org.uk
I think parents shouldn't underestimate how much their kid absorbs at a festival, big or small! I got taken to Glastonbury at nine-years-old with a friend and for me it was the most surreal but memorable weekend of my life.
As a small person, every colourful character, smell, taste and sound was somewhat magical.
My friend and I liked to make up stories about the people we saw walking past - such a thieves, delinquents, rock stars etc - kids really have developed senses of humour by that age!. Oddly I am grateful of even the toilet memories too, plus tons of life experience to never forget - like developing a great par with the surrounding adults.
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