Spring half-term is always the most dismal break in the school calendar: it’s never actually spring yet, everything’s still cold and damp and there’s very little on the horizon to look forward to. Instead of another week spent trying to convince the kids that really they do want to help you clean the house, perhaps this year it’s time to up sticks and treat yourself to a stay in one of our luxury holiday houses for a week of uplifting outdoorsy fun – whatever the weather! Take a look at these three stunning locations to see how you could turn rainy days into lasting childhood memories.
The Lake District is Britain’s definitive adventure playground, and the idyllic Parklaw Farm is perfectly placed for young Ray Mears and Bear Gryllses to start training for the wilderness. Stock up on Arthur Ransome’s classic ‘Swallows and Amazons’ books for the journey, then let the kids relive the adventures on Coniston Water. Hire a dinghy, explore Peel ‘Wild Cat’ Island and take a hike up the Old Man of Coniston to enjoy the view with a well-deserved ginger beer. Spiffing!
It may be too early for a seaside holiday, but there’s nothing like a sight of the beach to give hope of impending spring. The Old Stables is an ideal base for bracing coastal walks and sweeping sea views, where you can get the kids interested in wildlife by watching for the local Aberdyfi otters and ospreys together. Take a ride on the Talyllyn Railway, then pile into the car and drive the short distance to Dolgellau for treetop adventuring at Go Ape!.
For kids who dream of being knights and princesses, the Baronial Castle in Ayrshire will feel like a fairytale come true. While the adults admire the rolling hills of southwest Scotland, let the kids wear themselves out at Heads of Ayr Park. With almost fifty different breeds of animals, an aerial slide and extensive indoor and outdoor play areas, you’ll get a day out that actually lasts all day. Take older children to explore rural Dumfries and Galloway with a wildlife walk and finish up with a local Cream o’ Galloway ice cream – or maybe a hot chocolate, depending on how accommodating the Scottish weather decides to be!
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