Earlier this year I asked my mum if she’d have Bella and Reuben overnight for the last weekend of February. It’s the month of mine and Ben’s anniversary and we’ve now been together nine years. I wanted to go away for one night and explore somewhere new together. I wasn’t sure where, but as we only had around 30 hours in total kid-free, it couldn’t be too far.
We’ve been to the Gower in Wales two times before kid-free and love it there. We’ve previously been to Rhossili Bay and Oxwich Bay. We decided to go again as it’s not too long a drive, around two hours. This time we decided to visit Mumbles!
Read on to discover what we got up to in Mumbles and where we found lots of yummy vegan food!
Continue reading “24 hours exploring Mumbles, Gower, kid-free!”
Whenever we travel we have a budget to try and stick to. This is money we have saved specifically for that trip, plus we can add on what we would have allowed for food shopping if we were at home that week.
As well as keeping a travel spending log to stick to our budget (or at least try to), I also like to see exactly where we are spending money and how much things cost. It means we can see where we can cut costs on travel, if we need to, and also helps me predict how much similar trips will cost in the future.
Hopefully it’s also useful for others to see how much family trips cost or can cost.
When planning our recent six night stay in Portugal, I had a rough budget in mind of £1000. This all depended on how much we could get our flights and accommodation for as it was half term so prices were, of course, higher than usual.
£1200 was around our maximum and for six nights in Portugal as a family of four with all travel, food, accomodation and entertainment, I think this was a more reasonable amount as a budget. £300 per person for almost a week’s stay, food and transport.
Read on to discover how close to our ideal budget of £1000, but maximum £1200 we managed to get. Continue reading “Travel spending diary: 6 nights with kids in Portugal on a budget”
Castelo Branco in Portugal has a lot to offer. There are many beautiful traditional Portuguese villages that are almost stuck in time. The landscape is vast and we discovered lots of beautiful historic places to explore mixed with stunning mountains and the natural environment. We spent a day in the centre of Castelo Branco, but also ventured to Penha Garcia and Monsanto to explore castle ruins, rock villages, fossil mountains and more.
If you already follow me on Instagram then you’ll have already seen my top Instagrammable locations in Castelo Branco from our recent trip, but here I will share some more photos that I haven’t put on Instagram yet.
Here are my favourite Instagram photos and locations from our recent Portugal travels. Continue reading “The most Instagrammable locations in Castelo Branco, Portugal”
I can now add another location to my list of most amazing places I’ve seen. My favourite beach so far is Hemmick Beach in Cornwall and now my favourite village has to be Monsanto rock village in Castelo Branco, Portugal.
Whilst visiting my brother-in-law who is now resident in Portugal, we took a half day trip to Monsanto mountain after visiting the amazing nearby fossil mountains of Penha Garcia in the morning.
What a day! Two really incredible places that can be visited in central Portugal in the same day. A feast for the eyes!
In this blog post I’ll share what we discovered at Monsanto in Portugal and lots of our incredible travel photos of the rock village, boulder houses and castle!
Continue reading “The amazing rock village + castle of Monsanto, Portugal”
Last week we stayed in Portugal for one week in the district of Castelo Branco. We were visiting my brother-in-law who has moved to an offgrid farm in Vale de Prazeres. Not too far from the centre of Castelo Branco is an absolute gem of a place called Penha Garcia.
If you want a holiday with a difference then I’d recommend looking at villas in Portugal and getting off the beaten track to explore some of the incredible inland landscapes. We discovered rugged mountains, stunning wild swimming spots and old worldly Portuguese villages.
The best part about visiting parts of Portugal beyond the well-known beaches and tourist hotspots was just how quiet it was. We had many of these places to ourselves and rarely saw another person.
Read on to learn of the historic mountain houses, rocky fossil mountains and castle of Penha Garcia with lots of our travel photos! Continue reading “Visiting Penha Garcia fossil mountains in Portugal with kids”
We have just returned from one week in Portugal to visit my brother-in-law. He’s been living in Portugal for one year and it was the first chance we had to visit him. Originally he bought a plot of land and lived in a caravan with a dream to set up permaculture land to live off. It was around 10 minutes from the town of Castelo Branco. This was where we were originally going to visit when I booked the trip, but he has since moved to a much larger plot of land a little further from the centre of Castelo Branco in a village called Vale De Prazeres.
It’s still in the Castelo Branco district, but more rural. His plot of land looks over vast amounts of countryside, goes up a mountain and he’s living offgrid with no electricity or water to the house! Water comes from the springs on the mountain and wells and he currently has two solar panels with plans to increase the number so he can run some more appliances. It’s an amazing place and he is just starting to develop the offgrid house into a self-sufficient abode and two other outbuildings will be turned into Airbnb residences. Continue reading “Things to do with kids in Castelo Branco Portugal for one day”
For the second year running we stayed at Bluestone National Park Resort for a ‘twixmas’ break. That’s the days after Christmas and before New Year if you didn’t know. I didn’t!
In this blog post is my Bluestone 2019 Christmas review and photos.
I wrote a pretty thorough and honest review of Bluestone last year too. We did do things a little differently this year as we stayed in a wooden lodge instead of a cottage in the village. We also decided not to book any activities.
Last year we had two activities each day (for the two full days we were here) and we didn’t fit much else in. With kids we were restricted with eating times, especially as Reuben was only three last year. So our days were pretty much: breakfast, paid activity, lunch, paid activity, dinner, bed.
We didn’t get to explore the whole site and grounds or the woods or trails that are accessible straight from the resort.
For our trip at twixmas 2019 there was also a new feature to the resort – the ‘Serendome’. We heard all about it last year from the staff as it was to open in summer 2019. It’s a huge outdoors dome. A see-through roof in the forest to bring the outdoors in. New activities and play areas for the kids to explore!
Read on to discover everything we got up to on our 2019 Bluestone twixmas holiday.
Continue reading “Bluestone National Park Resort twixmas holiday review + Kingdom of the Elves”