As another year draws to a close, I have once again been reminiscing about all of the adventures we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy throughout 2018.
From day trips, to a month long adventure, and everything else in between, I worked out that we have visited over 20 towns and cities across 5 countries throughout the year. I haven’t written about all of them across the blog, but here is a round up of just some of the things we got up to this year.
As always, January was a very quiet month for us, to the point where we barely even left our home area! But I often relish weeks and months like this. We have so many beautiful spots nearby to us, and it’s lovely to get out and enjoy them.
This month saw me heading to meet the lovely Jo from Bookings for You who was hosting a Tuscan cookery masterclass with the Giovannini family, who had travelled over from Volterra in Tuscany to show us some of their signature dishes, and teach us a few tips along the way.
It was such a wonderful day, that not only allowed me to meet some fellow bloggers for the first time, but also to get a little taste of what to expect the following month….
…which saw me travelling to Tuscany with a lovely group of fellow family travel bloggers to stay at Villa Cappane hosted by the Giovannini family themselves!
I spent a wonderful weekend discovering exactly what this beautiful villa, and the equally wonderful hosts, had to offer. To say I ate and drank well would be a massive understatement!
During our weekend we also spent time visiting the beautiful towns of Volterra, Siena and Florence. In Florence we were hosted by LivItaly Tours, who showed us not only the beauty of Florence, but also what it has to offer to families.
In April we seemed to make the most of the Easter Holidays and packed in a load of UK day trips.
We went hunting for Peter Rabbit and his friends at Kew Gardens, which despite the torrential rain, Miss T (our massive Peter Rabbit fan) absolutely loved!
We also spent a day in Brighton, eating fish and chips on the beach and finding street art.
Took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather with an epic walk, including a bit of Geocaching, at Newlands Corner in Surrey.
And finally managed to visit The Magic Garden at Hampton Court, which despite being very local to us, we hadn’t yet done. It was brilliant and the kids had so much fun!
In 2016, Miss T and I tagged along with Mr DLT who was in New York on a work trip, it inspired our 2017 trip to New York and Long Island, and 2018 saw us back in the Big Apple.
We once again got a New York CityPASS and explored more of the city, as well as discovering it in a new way by taking a trip with The Ride.
We also had an awesome visit to the Central Park zoo, which was perfect for Miss T.
We ended the month with the start of a very special adventure for our family – a month in France where our two boys would experience time in a French school.
We packed up the car and headed the full length of France, before boarding a ferry over to Ile de Porquerolles – which would be our home for the month!
Most of June saw us in France, and we used weekends and Wednesdays (when there is no school) to explore, not only the stunning beaches of our little island, but lots of the places nearby on the mainland too.
We stayed at Kon Tiki Huts on Pampelonne Beach in St Tropez, which was a real family-friendly park that we all enjoyed.
We also took time to visit some of the beautiful costal towns of Provence including Bandol and Cassis.
As well as drive to visit family in the Ardeche region too.
July saw us heading back to Camp Bestival to see if the British weather would treat us any better than it did for our first visit in 2017….unfortunately it didn’t!! I saw the viewing stats for this post rocket during the weekend, and being there myself I could see exactly why!
Despite the weather, we did have some fab moments, which we will remember. But I think we will be looking for a new festival in 2019 – perhaps not so close to the blustery British coast.
Seeing as we had spent lots of time in France already in 2018, we decided to head to Spain for our summer holiday. After a lovely stay at the Sofitel London Gatwick, we flew to Malaga and ended up taking a road trip stopping in some lovely places along the way.
Despite my reservations, Malaga proved to be a great city for a stopover and we had a lovely time exploring.
We then headed to the extremely beautiful Granada, where not only did we visit the world famous Alhambra, but we also took a tapas tour, wandered the narrow markets and admired the views from the Miradors of the Albacin area.
Next we spent an idyllic week overlooking lake Vinuela, where we watched sunsets and moon rises, splashed and played all day, kayaked on the lake itself, and even threw in a beach day.
We then headed to the beautiful old town of Marbella, which really blew me away. The old town was the complete opposite of what I imagined Marbella to be like and was a world away from the stereotype you might find down at Puerto Banus.
Back home and back to the reality of school life once again, we kept things quiet. One highlight being a gorgeous early Autumnal walk at Denbies Vineyard in Surrey – it was just beautiful!
This month we squeezed in a visit to the family cottage in North Wales, which we always find such a treat. It is where I holidayed as a kid and I love taking my kids back there now.
We discovered the Llyn Peninsula, somewhere I haven’t explored enough, as well as heading to more of the beautiful beaches of Anglesey.
I will never get tired of this part of the world!
The kids were absolutely delighted when we were invited by Zoggs UK for an evening at Coral Reef Waterworld in Bracknel. We haven’t visited this pool for many years and we all loved our visit back there. And how amazing do they look in their Zoggs DC Super Heroes swimwear?!
This month saw me spending many wonderful days and nights out in London. Despite it being where I grew up, I still feel like a tourist when I go into town! I absolutely loved looking at all the stunning Christmas lights.
2019 Travel Plans
I am super excited to have three trips already booked for 2019 – and are in talks with Mr DLT for a few more too!
I am headed to Paris with my mum in January, to Seville in July and then our family summer holiday this year will be in Portugal where we will take a road trip from Porto to Lisbon and back. I cannot wait!!
I hope you will follow along for another year, and I hope I can help inspire a few trips for you.
Sounds like a busy year! How brilliant to send your kids to school in France. And I love the sound of the tapas tour! #mondayescapes
So nice to have a post that summarizes the travel year. A great memory to have. #MondayEscapes
You visited some fabulous places – just look at all that sunshine too!
I’m excited for your 2019 itinerary. We loved Seville a couple of years ago. We’re returning to Portugal too, after a fantastic trip to Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon in 2017. Have fun!
What a fab year! Love this roundup. Jemma x #MondayEscapes
Lovely to take the time to look back on such a busy year. I didn’t realise you’d done a month in France with the boys at school. What a great experience for them. I look forward to seeing how 2019 pans out for you. #MondayEscapes
Great round up of fun family trips! It must have been lovely to stay a bit longer in France too and have a chance to experience daily life there.
So lovely to have all your travels in one place to look back at! I love that you spent a month in France, how did the boys enjoy school there? My sister was also at CampBestival, I was so jealous before the heavens opened!!! #MondayEscapes
What a fantastic year. It will be lovely to look back at these posts in years to come #MondayEscapes
What a fantastically fun year! And so nice to see all your travels in one place to reminisce over. #MondayEscapes
Wow, what an amazing year you had, and your month in France sounds amazing -how did the boys feel about the school? Such an opportunity. #mondayescapes
Sounds like you had a wonderful year with both lots of travel and lots of family time. I know it’s nearly the end of January, but I’m wishing you and your family a very happy 2019!
What a year you’ve had
I’d love to hVe done your Tuscany trip #mondayescapes
What a year you guys have had! I also went along to one of Jo’ Italian foodie workshops – that boar was amazing! #MondayEscapes
Sounds like an amazing year. I love Tuscany and would love to go to new York one day. #mondayescapes
You’ve had an exciting year! 🙂 #mondayescapes