major expense for us! Why doesn't "Family Ticket" mean family ticket? Our children need their holidays & days out like any other kids, but most of us are simply priced out of the market when it comes to B&B or trips abroad.
Firms catering for the mass market have no facilities suitable for us and "kids go free" only if you're taking one adult per child (wouldn't that be bliss!) A friendly travel agent is investigating further for me; which firms cater for us at all, never mind offering the best deals...
*** OH NO - I'VE DONE IT AGAIN... ***
Excerpt from the bulletin board, Tuesday 2nd December 2003: "Most of the contents of my Inbox vanished when my son startled the cat, who was sleeping behind the monitor, & she trod on the "Delete" key amongst others.... so if anyone has sent me any ideas for Outings or Recipes lately, I'm afraid I've lost them again... I probably ought to do regular backups, I know, but does anyone outside a business situation?!"
I will soon have an interactive feature here for you to add in your favourite venues for "large-family-friendly" outings. In the meantime please let me know what you discover that's free, cheap or very good value for money & keep your eyes open for possibilities when you're out & about.
In the meantime, here's a list of regions to click on, if I have any info for them yet (I have emailed various Tourist boards too but am still awaiting replies...) :-
Peaks & Dales - Yorkshire & Derbyshire
The West Country - nothing yet
London & the South-East
Some general ideas...
LocalToday.Co.Uk - enter your postcode and a date and this useful site will tell you what's on nearby.
Join the YHA; this organisation is dedicated to budget travel and many of the hostels have family facilites and are in the most sought-after areas. I've heard you can even hire an entire hostel for special occasions! See the YHA website for further details
- there's even a special page listing family-friendly hostels
Join one or more of the historical organisations. We belong to the National Trust, partly to save on carparking
fees at the coast, but my kids all enjoy the odd castle, stately home or garden & there are often interesting events for them to enjoy. English Heritage & CADW have also been recommended.
UK Tourist Attractions allows you to browse or search by area or type of attraction and includes hundreds of photographs. Based on research by the author and his own family, and many of the attractions are free!
Days Out UK is a useful resource; you can search for outing ideas anywhere in the UK & there are printable coupons for some venues.
FreeToDo - FreeToDo lists thousands of free attractions throughout the Uk, Europe and the USA which helps when you're trying to find something inexpensive to do on a family day out. American biased, but some worthwhile ideas all the same.
Do a "search" on the area you're planning to visit - I turned up lots of interesting sites for London & Wales this way - some areas are better covered than others.
Camping is a relatively inexpensive way of staying away from home, best in good weather but OK in bad as long as you are reasonably weathertight. The Camping and Caravanning Club is helpful and offers discounts for up to four children. Travelling light & keeping it simple is an art in itself, but well worth learning as one of the joys of the outdoor life is not being bogged down looking after things all the time. Stay away from big sites - they are usually noisy money-traps!