Planning our weekend getaways in 2014


My goodness, January can feel like a real drag after all the excitement of Christmas. All the parties, the family get-togethers and the time to have fun as a family easily make December the best month of the year.

But now it’s the New Year, we’re all back at work and school and the festive season couldn’t feel further away. And while no-one really goes on holiday in January or February, that doesn’t mean we can’t get planning for the year ahead – or have some really great daytrips.

I live in Newcastle with my husband and three kids, which means we’re perfectly placed for great day- and weekend trips to Scotland, Northumberland and Cumbria. So while the kids are busy playing with their Christmas toys, I’ve decided to plan a few little trips to keep us occupied over the coming months! Here they are.


February half-term – Flamingo Land, Yorkshire
We had a fantastic time when we stayed at Blue Dolphin Holiday Park last Easter and one of the best days was our daytrip to Flamingo Land. So good, in fact, that the kids have been begging us to go back ever since!

Unfortunately the main rides are shut in winter, but the winter zoo is fully open at weekends and luckily we live just about close enough to get there for a day trip. They’ve got over 140 species of birds, mammals and reptiles and even have new animals arriving in the winter – perfect for getting a sneak preview before the summer visitors arrive!

March – A weekend camping at Haggerston Castle
We own a touring caravan, which is great because it means we can go away at the drop of a hat and it won’t cost us a fortune.

We love March because it’s the month Haven opens its doors again to visitors and we’re always guaranteed to be the first over the threshold.

But since it’s March and we don’t want to go wild so soon after Christmas, we’ll keep our first weekend away local and head to Haggerston Castle. It’s one of the best places for family camping in the UK and it’s right on our doorstep – just one hour from home.

It’ll feel so good enjoying the outdoors again after months cooped up inside for the winter. And while the kids are eager to take a horse ride around the park, I’m planning to sneak off to the luxury spa complex – it sounds heavenly!!

April – Easter weekend in the Lake District
We’re planning to go away for a full five days this Easter so we don’t mind travelling a bit further afield. But we’ve got three kids so realistically ‘further afield’ only means about two hours away! Luckily we only live 2 hours 12 minutes away from Lakeland Holiday Park, according to Google Maps, so that’s where we’ll be heading this Easter.

Since Easter’s quite late this year, hopefully the weather will be (slightly) nicer and we’ll be able to spend plenty of time outside.

It’s practically criminal to go to the Lake District and not go walking so we’ll definitely take the kids on a mini hike to Borger Dair in Borrowdale. The walk is only four miles long but you can climb up to the site of a hill fort called Castle Crag and get some amazing views of the landscape. If that won’t make the kids appreciate the beauty of nature, then try these top 10 walking routes in the Lake District.

All in all we can’t wait for our day trips and weekend getaways over the next few months. But how about you? What are your top tips for beating the winter blues? Let us know!

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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