Destination Europe

Our Year of Travel in 2018

Posted on
January 2, 2019

Last year I wrote a post all about our travel plans for 2018 and although we succeeded in travelling to the places we had already booked, plus a couple more, we didn’t manage to achieve any of the places on our wish list.

This time last year we had planned holiday’s booked with Martinhal Resorts in Lisbon, Portugal, Camp Bestival and Christmas at Coombe Mill to look forward to, but this year we have booked nothing, mostly due to the fact that Hubby was threatened with redundancy at the end of the year and we only learned that he had a job to go to in late December.

Where we visited in 2018

It feels like we have had a quieter year of travel this year, until I look back and see where we have been.


We started the year with a visit to Lisbon, Portugal for February half term and spent four days with Martinhal Resorts, staying at their Cacais Resort for two days and then moving to their Chiado Hotel in central Lisbon for a further two days.

Martinhal Portugal

Both hotels were very different, but the perfect base for family holidays and we fell in love with Portugal, which was unseasonably warm for February. We got to explore Sintra, Cabo de Roca and as much of the city of Lisbon that we could squeeze into two days. The first day saw us exploring the local area on foot, but day two we boarded a tram and the underground to find the Torre De Belem and Oceanaria de Lisboa.


Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is really close to us here in Bournemouth, so we normally just head across the water on a day trip, but in April we were invited over to stay with the newly refurbished Rookley Park.

Rookley Lakes

It is a beautiful location with lots of fun activities for the kids to enjoy, plus is the perfect base to explore everything the island has to offer and we made visits to Carisbrooke CastleOsborne House, as well as family favourites Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill.

Osborne House

Yorkshire Dales

Half term saw us heading to Yorkshire for a family walking holiday with HF Holidays.

HF Holidays

We stayed in Newfield Hall, a grand 19th century country house with magnificent views of the Yorkshire Dales and took part in daily walks and activities organised by the leaders.

Bolton Abbey

The kids walked an impressive 6-7 miles per day, across some quite challenging terrain and we got to see some amazing natural wonders including Ingleborough Cave, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove.

Gordale Scar

Puy Du Fou

In June I was invited on a press trip to Nantes, France with Britmums to a little known theme park called Puy Du Fou in Les Epesses.

Puy du Fou

Calling Puy du Fou (pronounced “pwee de foo”) a theme park is actually doing the park a disservice as it is so much more. There are no rides and no tacky merchandise, just pure entertainment in the form of spectacular daytime and evening shows and four period villages.


I still struggle to describe just how brilliant France’s top rated theme park is, even now, and cannot wait to take the kids back to visit this year to stay in their themed hotel see the amazing shows that are packed full of action and entertainment. The finale, La Cinéscénie literally blew me away.

La Cinéscénie Puy du Fou

Camp Bestival

After 2017’s Camp Bestival being a bit of a washout, we had high hopes for this years festival as we were enjoying a heatwave and it started brilliantly.

Camp Bestival Dusk

The kids got to take part in a world record attempt, try their hands at tree climbing, met some of their favourite stars of kids TV as well as rocking out to some cool bands.

The weather dramatically changed on Saturday with high winds overnight, leaving our tent in a sorry state of repair and when we returned to it after a day full of fun, we decided to abandon ship – a very good decision as the weather got so bad that they cancelled Sunday’s activities all together.

A Summer of Fun

We stayed local for the summer holiday’s but enjoyed lots of days out, making the most of our English Heritage Annual Pass by visiting Old Wardour Castle and Stonehenge.

stonehenge heel stone

We also attended Countryfile Live, a very wet and windy New Forest Fairy Festival, Victorious Festival and Dorset County Show.

Victorious Festival


September saw us heading to Manchester and Media City, where the kids got to explore the Blue Peter Garden, Imperial War Museum and the Football Museum.

Blue Peter Garden


Hubby and I got a rare day away from the kids and headed to London with Red Letter Days for a meal and to see Les Miserables.

Les Miserables


I have wanted to visit Paris for years and in October we headed to France with Al Fresco Holidays to stay at their La Croix du Vieux Pont park, situated just outside Paris.

La Croix du Vieux Pont

We used the site as a base to explore the surrounding area and enjoyed a day trip to Paris, the Palace of Versailles, Disneyland Paris and Parc Asterix.


Coombe Mill, Cornwall

Our final trip away was to Coombe Mill for Christmas.

What sets Coombe Mill apart from other cottage and farm holidays, is that it is set on a working farm and the kids are invited to join other guests to take part in the feed run everyday at 9am, where they get to meet and feed the animals which includes ducks, chickens, pigs, a herd of fallow deer, alpaca and even a wallaby!!

There is plenty for the kids to do onsite with numerous indoor and outdoor play areas, a daily train ride, games room and a new crazy golf course!

Plus, you have beautiful Cornwall to explore whilst you are there too!

So, now my focus is planning and organising our holiday’s for 2019 and we have Northern Ireland, North Wales, Iceland and Florida in our sights for this year, although we may postpone Florida as Hubby wants to go for the new Star Wars themed land and its launch has been postponed until the Autumn.

What are your travel plans for the coming year?

  1. Reply


    January 2, 2019

    Woah! Look at all those places you guys have been to!! I’m so jealous! It looks like you all had a blast visiting places like Portugal to Paris, Manchester to Cornwall! You all must have made some fantastic memories while out on your adventures. I hope 2019 brings you lots more exciting and interesting adventures. X

  2. Reply

    Elizabeth Keene

    January 2, 2019

    Omg these places look amazing! I especially want to visit Manchester sometime, and I love that all of these places are perfect for the family!
    Xoxo – Elizabeth

  3. Reply

    Luz I Getting It Right 2Day

    January 2, 2019

    It is so great that your family gets to travel! That is my goal for 2019, to travel more with the kiddos. Beautiful pics especially of the Eiffel Tower. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Reply

    Kim Seghers

    January 2, 2019

    Wow!! Your family has traveled to some amazing places! What great memories you’re creating with your children. I enjoyed looking at your beautiful photographs from your many adventures!!

  5. Reply


    January 2, 2019

    Oh wow! Your family took some amazing trips! We didn’t do as much traveling this year as we usually do, but we were okay with it. It was sort of a “break” year. LOL

  6. Reply

    Charlotte Marsh

    January 2, 2019

    Wow you went to some wonderful places in 2018. Here is to an even more adventurous 2019!

  7. Reply

    Danielle Wolter

    January 2, 2019

    OMG you guys went to so many places! I have been dying to go to portugal, but would also like to go back to paris for a visit. have fun with your 2019 planning!

  8. Reply


    January 2, 2019

    Oh wow so many lovely places that you managed to visit last year. Lets hope you get to do even more this year I’m sure they are all great fun for the whole family. I love going to the theatre in London 🙂

  9. Reply

    Emma Raphael

    January 2, 2019

    I have so many to list right now, I always go a bit mad at this time of year for booking travel! 😀 Sounds like you had a really happy productive year full of exploration, hope 2019 is equally so! 🙂

  10. Reply

    Lydia Smith

    January 2, 2019

    You did a good job with exploring in 2018. You just didn’t stick to plans. But i love how you made do with what came your way. Guess, that’s one of the beauty of travelling. I created a 30 places before 30 bucket list as one of my goals, hoping I hit it. Have a great year ahead.

  11. Reply


    January 2, 2019

    Wow you travelled so much last year! It looks like you all had so much though! Stonehenge is on my travel bucket list. I can’t wait till I can mark it off!

  12. Reply


    January 2, 2019

    What an amazing experience, I cant imagine traveling with my littles yet but im hoping to book a Disney trip soon. I look to traveling the world and seeing these beautiful sights in person one day

  13. Reply


    January 3, 2019

    What a fun year! I’ve always wanted to visit London and hope to make time one day soon!

  14. Reply


    January 3, 2019

    Looks like 2018 was filled with blessings for you and your family! Wishing you the best for 2019!

  15. Reply

    Lydia Smith

    January 3, 2019

    You did a good job with exploring in 2018. You just didn’t stick to plans. But i love how you made do with what came your way. Guess, that’s one of the beauty of travelling. I created a 30 places before 30 bucket list as one of my goals, hoping I hit it. Have a great year ahead.

  16. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    January 3, 2019

    Some great trips from 2018, I’m quite jealous of Portugal as it’s somewhere I’ve been meaning to go for a long time x

  17. Reply

    Laura Dove

    January 3, 2019

    What a great year! I really want to do Florida this year too but not sure whether to wait one more year until my youngest is a little older?!

  18. Reply


    January 3, 2019

    What a wonderfully adventurous year you have had! I travelled a fair bit too, despite taking six months off for health issues. We’re kick starting this year with a Carribean Cruise press trip – and I get to take my husband this time!

  19. Reply


    January 3, 2019

    This looks like an amazing family vacation.

  20. Reply

    Bella and Dawn at Dear Mummy Blog

    January 3, 2019

    You’ve had some really cool adventures! We remember the IOW post and of course seeing you briefly at Camp Bestival. Hope you have an even more fun-filled 2019 full of adventures x

  21. Reply


    January 4, 2019

    What a fun year to look back on. The travel looks like fun.

  22. Reply


    January 4, 2019

    Another incredible year of travel, congrats and good luck with the future plans. I am focusing more on UK travels in 2019

  23. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    January 4, 2019

    2018 was a busy year filled with travel for you and your family. Very nice.

  24. Reply

    Sincerely Miss J

    January 4, 2019

    Omg 2018 looked like it was a great year for you and your beautiful family. Best wishes in 2019.

  25. Reply

    Erica D Ardali

    January 4, 2019

    WOW! If your family travels like this often can you adopt me?

  26. Reply

    Rhiannon-Skye A Boden

    January 4, 2019

    I’m glad you had fun in the dales! I have so many fond memories of going there with my family as a kid, and this round-up has inspired me to make the trip again sometime soon!

  27. Reply

    Jasmine Hewitt

    January 4, 2019

    you guys went on some amazing adventures in 2018. cant wait to see where 2019 takes you

  28. Reply


    January 4, 2019

    Anmaaagad Yorkshire dale looks absolutely amazing I have to add that to my list this year! I hope that 2019 brings you and your family even more adventures fun and love!

  29. Reply

    Super Busy Mum

    January 5, 2019

    Wow, that a year of travel for you guys! The Yorkshire Dales isn’t somewhere I have ever visited, but WHOA….how beautiful is that place?

  30. Reply

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    January 11, 2019

    Wow! 2018 would be a year of travel to you and to your family. It seems that you are having so much fun in Puy Du Fou. Wish we can visit that place too.

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog