2016 Round Up – What a Year!

2016 has flown by in our household. We’ve experienced a lot and luckily had a year of good health and adventure.

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Enjoying local wine at our Agriturismo site in Piedmont

 

There are definitely some highlights. Internationally we still haven’t taken our tots long haul but this year we explored the Piedmont region of Italy. Our boys rambled around the city of Turin, accompanied us wine tasting and felt truly at home in an Agriturismo site in the rolling hills of vineyards and hazelnut groves.

In February we got some winter sun in Tenerife. This destination is a no-brainer for family friendly breaks. It’s especially easy if you’re flying out of Scotland and don’t want to drag your tots too far. We went on a Pirate Ship and stayed in a brilliant hotel in Los Gigantes. We’re returning to Tenerife in 2017 but I’ll tell you more later.

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The stunning Lake Banyoles

And in late summer we were blown away by Costa Brava. As well as the lively, tourist friendly beaches and strip we discovered the most picturesque lake to take our kids swimming called Lake Banyoles. We explored Santa Clotilde Gardens, which again defied expectation. And near Barcelona our jaws dropped whilst visiting the Montserrat Monastery.

We spent a lot of time enjoying Scotland. We know how lucky we are to live here. In May we ventured to Glasgow, staying at a spanking new Travelodge, and visiting the National Museum of Rural Life and finding a load of child-friendly activities for our tots.

We had two trips to Perthshire. It’s the first time I feel I’ve explored this region properly. Highland Safari’s Red Deer Centre and the Scottish Crannog Centre were two highlights for our family. We also discovered the Birnam Oak, and went on riverside walks in the rain! Staying at the Moness Resort, then the Blair Atholl Arms in Dunkeld, we were made really welcome and enjoyed traditional Perthshire hospitality and some great food.

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Magical Macduff Marine Aquarium

We went north to visit the Scottish Lighthouse Museum (fantastic day trip for kids) and the Macduff Aquarium which was magical.

In summer our kids got their first taste of glamping at Dundas Castle in South Queensferry, before venturing into Edinburgh to learn more about our planet at Dynamic Earth.

During a very warm, sunny autumn weekend we were privileged to stay in a wood cabin in the Trossachs National Park with Forest Holidays. Quite something to wake up in a forest! From here we went wild at Blair Drummond Safari Park which brought back memories for me as I last visited when I was about twelve.

I’m trying to cover Aberdeen in more depth. Because I live here I’ve neglected it a little and Aberdeen is such a great destination for families that I intend to cover a lot more on my doorstep.

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View of the Shard from the Sky Garden

I got some child free time in London. Being on a plane on my own felt hugely indulgent and luxurious. I could think straight enough to write a guide to visiting the Sky Garden and tips on visiting The Shard for free.

Lastly we did touch on Aviemore in 2016 as it’s a great winter wonderland getaway for families in Scotland. We stayed in the Hilton Coylumbridge and met tiger and bears at the Highland Wildlife Park. We plan to return soon for a Macdonald Aviemore experience and will report back soon.

In the meantime thanks for your support throughout the year and I know that some of Tots2Travel’s posts have encouraged families to get active and visit new places so I hope this continues. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Tots2Travel.

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