Closer check out celeb favourite Iceland for a quick getaway and five of the best places in the UK for a family staycation!
FOR FAMILY ADVENTURE ABROAD: ICELAND
Why Now? Right now it’s Iceland’s summer so you won’t have to stock up on too many woolley jumpers and the flight there is under three hours! It’s a beautiful time to explore the country’s capital Reykjavik. Then venture into the outdoors to see a whole new world of lava fields, fjords and glaciers. Actors Tom Cruise, Ben Stiller and supermodel Karlie Kloss have just named Iceland as one of their favourite plaves after visiting and if you're into Game Of Thrones, it's a must as one of their main filming locations.
What Else You Can Do? Self drive the Golden Circle – the route is easy to follow and you can download guides before you travel. On your little adventure, you can explore the Þingvellir National Park, the erupting Strokkur Geyser and the stunning Gullfoss Waterfall. We’d recommend sorting your car hire before you travel – see www.HolidayExtras.com or call 0800 1313 777 for their top deals.
Camping in Iceland is one of the best ways to see the beautiful landscape
There are lots of beautiful campsites so you can stay out in the wilderness your own family adventure! The best camping gear rental in Iceland can be found at https://www.iceland-camping-equipment.com so there’s no need to take everything with you. They can provide everything from tents and sleeping bags to pot and pans to cook up a gourmet feast in the wild.
If you fancy a bit more of a challenge, you could book an adventure through Envago – which you can access through their iphone or android app. Their one day Super Jeep Þórsmörk tour from Envago’s Icelandic planner Southcoast Adventure is around £245 with visits to Thorsmork valley, Gígjökull glacier, Seljalandsfoss waterfall, Eyjafjallajökull, Mýrdalsjökull and a light lunch.
The hike through Þórsmörk via the Envago app offers spectacular views
The tour allows you to get off the beaten track and explore the volcanic region – which can be difficult if you are driving your own car. Plus you’ll have the fun of bombing around in a super jeep! Further information at www.envagoapp.com. Follow Envago on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Stay: Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. It’s a a five minute walk from the city’s main attractions, featuring the luxury Nordica Spa and VOX restaurant & bar. The hotel is one of the city’s most popular destinations for tourist, business travellers and locals alike. The perfect place to unwind after exploring the Icelandic outdoors.
The Hilton Reykjavik Nordica is the perfect place to stay whilst exploring Iceland
Prices start from £177 per night based on a double room including up to a 25% discount as part of Hilton’s Summer Sale, only available when booking direct at www.hilton.com and applicable for stays until 8 October 2017.
And if you want to stay in the UK, here’s our top 5 picks!
Why now? For the Fun Fair, Gerry Cottle’s Magic Circus and the Race Across Tor Bay (on the 28th August) where teams compete in different ‘whacky races’ style vehicles!
What Else You Can Do? Visit Living Coasts Zoo & Aquarium to see penguins, seals and octopuses. See the Stone Age dwellings at Kents Cavern, the ‘May The Toys Be With You’ exhibition at Torquay Museum, and ‘House of Magic’ at nearby Babbacombe Model Village. Eat fish and chips at Rockfish, overlooking the harbour.
Orestone Manor is known as one of the most beautiful places to stay in Devon
Stay: Orestone Manor (www.orestonemanor.com), a manor house hotel, with sea views, bar and award winning restaurant. Family rooms start at £150 per night, including breakfast.
Why Now? It’s 140 years since Black Beauty was published in Norwich, so there are activities including an art exhibition at the Museum of Norwich, family workshops in Jarrold’s book department and visits to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
What Else You Can Do? Visit the Cathedral and the Castle Museum - kids will love the battlements and dungeons tour. Explore cafes and shops in Norwich Lanes, have afternoon tea at the Plantation Garden and take a trip to the Norfolk coast. Hike, walk or cycle on the Norfolk Broads, or visit Bewilderedwood for tree houses, a sky maze, marsh walks, zip wires, huge slippery slopes and boat trips.
Stay: Maid’s Head Hotel (www.maidsheadhotel.co.uk). Family rooms start from £250 per night, including breakfast, a picnic lunch, entry to the Art of Black Beauty exhibition, a trip to Redwing’s Horse Sanctuary, and afternoon tea at Jarrold’s.
Why Now? The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (4-28 August) has theatre, comedy, dance, circus, musicals, street performances, exhibitions and children’s shows. On 28th August there’s a spectacular firework display at Edinburgh Castle, too (www.eif.co.uk).
Edinburgh is a brilliant city to visit during the Fringe
What Else Can You Do? Visit the Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s historic old town that connects the Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Take the kids on an interactive adventure to Our Dynamic Earth (www.dynamicearth.co.uk) to learn about the planet and experience nature via special effects. Or, go on a foodie walking tour - www.eatwalkedinburgh.co.uk
Stay: Macdonald Holyrood Hotel (www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk), central and with a pool, spa and gym. Family rooms start from £179.
Why Now? Soak up the excitement of the Extreme Sailing Series (25th - 28thAugust.) Listen to live music, grab a drink and a bite to eat from the many food stalls.
What Else You Can Do? Take the kids on the film tour around Cardiff Castle to see where Dr. Who, Sherlock and Torchwood are filmed. See Poppies: Weeping Window, the cascade of thousands of ceramic poppies on display at Y Senedd on Cardiff Bay. Visit Cardiff Bay Beach – complete with Water Zorb Balls, Bumper Boats and Pirate Party.
Stay: Angel Hotel(www.angelhotelcardiffcity.co.uk). Near cafes, bars, historic Victorian arcades and the tranquil, green gardens of Bute Park. Family rooms start from £85.
HENLEY ON THAMES, OXFORDSHIRE
Why Now? Stonor Park, a historic country house and private deer park, is hosting the Henley Handmade Fair (25th - 28th August), with over 200 arts, crafts, food and drinks stalls, live music, rural craft demonstrations, workshops and kids events including access to Wonder Woods where kids can swing, climb and splash in a tree house, whoosh down a wavy slide, and brave a spooky tunnel and zip wire (www.thecraftshows.co.uk)
What Else You Can Do? Hike, walk, or hire a boat by the river, visit the River and Rowing Museum or, potter around the 12th century market town and enjoy a traditional cream tea.
Stay: At the Hotel Du Vin (www.hotelduvin.com), a boutique style hotel, in the centre. Rooms start from £159 per night.