If you want to visit a French Chateau then you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Loire Valley, where there are plenty. Villandry is one famous Loire valley chateau. It is known for its extraordinary gardens which are laid out in the French Renaissance style. The gardens were recreated and restored by the current owners, mainly based on historical records. They are truly stunning, and extensive. It took us a long time to get around the grounds and view it from many interesting angles. Visiting Villandry Most visitors start with the chateau itself and its grand interiors and…

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I can’t remember quite how we ended up deciding to visit the National Memorial Arboretum. We were staying in a Youth Hostel nearby in a large extended family group. What we really wanted was somewhere to stretch our legs and chat to each other, and the other thing we wanted was lunch. The thing that clinched it was the free admission, so off we went. Arrival and Entrance We managed to find a very winding country route to get there, which was probably us being daft. In fact the National Memorial Arboretum is in Staffordshire just off the A38 between…

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Camping at its best is all about the delights of fresh air, newly mown grass, prosecco from a plastic wine glass and sausages spitting on the barbecue. Naturally you don’t want piles of smelly rubbish attracting the wasps or a carrier bag of waste that keeps getting kicked over. No matter how much bunting you decorate your tent with, the fact remains that camping requires a lot of housework. “Tentwork” if you like! There are a few ways I get our tent tidy and I’m sharing the first of these today. You want your camping waste bin to – 1.…

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This post contains affiliate links which help pay for the running of this website. There are lots of possible routes to your French destination. Finding the best one is not as simple as looking it up on Google maps. When we go on a family holiday to France we need to take into account the cost of the channel crossing, the cost of fuel, the amount of time between stops, the amount of time off work it will take, and also the cost of tolls. As a family with school age children we travel at peak times. All channel crossings cost…

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This is a sponsored post It’s now 8 years since we visited the USA with our children to see my brother and his family. At the time our girls were 7 and 4 years old. We flew to San Francisco and took a trip for a few nights to Yosemite. We booked into a motel near El Portal. It was August and very hot. It’s Snowing Ash! When we pulled up at the hotel it was immediately obvious that something was wrong. We stepped out of the car and our clothing began to be covered in large white flecks. There…

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