Tin Box Traveller Diaries: January 2017
It’s incredible to think we’re already one month into 2017. The eagle-eyed among my readers will have noticed I skipped this regular feature in December in order to share a round up of the year. I’m very pleased to be back into the routine of recording our travels and adventures. This will be a bumper edition to try to catch up with everything that’s happened in the past two months.
There’s a lot of hype about Christmas dinner but what about breakfast? We’ll be having fresh eggs and smoked salmon. The eggs were collected by Tin Box Tot during the daily animal feeding session at @bosinver. I think this is Tot’s favourite part of the day. We’ll be doing it again tomorrow morning. What’s on your Christmas Day menu? #ad #farmfun #totsphoto
- In the week before Christmas we made a trip to Hampshire to see family and friends. It was a busy seven days but it was wonderful to catch up with everyone over plates piled high with festive food and the odd glass of vino.
- Forty-eight hours before the big day we drove back to Devon and then on to Cornwall for a stay with Bosinver Farm Cottages near St Austell. It was our first Christmas away with the girls and we loved the experience. The farm activities, location and accommodation were brilliant. I’ve written quite a bit about it already and there’s more to come!
- Roll forward to January and we took our first trip of the year to Surrey. It’s a county that we have barely touched upon before, so it was great to be invited to stay at Bel & The Dragon in Churt. As well as enjoying lots of luxurious features Mr Tin Box and I were extremely impressed by how family-friendly it was.
She may only be small but she tried her very hardest to help us build a den in the garden at Saltram near Plymouth at the weekend. Tin Box Baby is very determined now but I wonder if she will soon be playing foreman with her big sister while the adults do the heavy lifting! Do your kids enjoy building dens in the woods? #NationalTrust #Saltram #SouthDevon
- Tin Box Nana and Grandad visited us in Devon at the beginning of the year and one of my lovely friends also popped in for a weekend. Having visitors gives us such a great excuse to play tourists in our home county. We visited Saltram House near Plymouth and Dartmouth Castle for wonderfully sunny winter walks.
- Also this month we applied for Tin Box Tot’s school place for September. She’s very excited about it and is already asking about her uniform.
- In other family news, Tin Box Baby has been showing quite a lot of interest in the toilet (note to self to fish out our travel potty) and I swear she’s grown a foot since December. She’s not much of a baby anymore!
For an alternative Christmas lights experience in Devon we can recommend a visit to Coleton Fishacre. It’s a National Trust house and gardens on the the South West Coastal Path between Kingswear and Brixham. For the next two weekends and then again between 27 and 31 December it is illuminated for the annual Coleton Aglow event. There’s a write up all about it on the blog. Link in bio. #SouthDevon #ColetonAglow #NationalTrust #spon
- Back in December we wanted to make the most of our first festive season in Devon. We had tea with Santa at the Wyevale Garden Centre near Teignmouth, saw the illuminated gardens at Coleton Fishacre and took the enchanted trail at Saltram House.
- At the end of the month we made our third visit of 2016 to Cornwall. Each time we’ve gone back we’ve explored a different area and have been delighted with what we have found. This time we discovered two walks on Bodmin Moor, enjoyed the views at Trelissick National Trust and rediscovered the Eden Project through its Festival of Light and Sound.
- Before our stay in Surrey, the girls and I had a couple of nights with my parents in Hampshire. We used the opportunity to visit Hinton Ampner – a National Trust estate close to Winchester.
- In Surrey we made the most of our wintery two day weekend with a walk around the nearby Sculpture Park, a visit to the butterfly event at RHS Wisley, and cycling at Alice Holt Forest. I’ll be sharing more about these visits soon.
You can see pictures from all our adventures at a glance on my Instagram account.
We’re in the Surrey Hills for our first weekend break of 2017. How beautiful is our family suite at the Bel & The Dragon in Churt? The girls love their bunk room and I’m a little obsessed by the roll top bath. It’s such a family-friendly place to stay. Even the cosy bar and restaurant have children’s books in among the classics on the shelves. There’s also plenty to do in the area. More on our sightseeing another time. Do you have any mini-breaks planned? #ad #belanddragon #surreyhills
- We’ve done two holiday reviews since November: Bosinver Farm Cottages and Bel & The Dragon in Surrey. I’ve also been firming up plans for press trips in 2017, including a weekend at Bath Mill Lodges in March, the John Fowler St Ives Holiday Village in April, Darwin Forest in June and Just So Festival in August. We’re so excited about all of these trips and there’s a few more in the pipeline. Keep an eye out for our reviews.
- In December, Tin Box Traveller was listed among the top 25 UK travel blogs and websites – a great way to end 2016.
- Over on YouTube I’ve shared a vlog about our Christmas at Bosinver Farm Cottages and the lights at Coleton Fishacre in Devon.
- My most popular post of the past two months has been 5 reasons why Ibiza is perfect for family holidays.
- Other posts I’ve not already mentioned include a review of The Little Kitchen Bistro in Winchester; UK destinations to help banish the winter blues; tips for success on Instagram; reasons to holiday in Bibione; what makes our perfect family holiday; simple ways to keep you dog healthy in winter; what matters most to us at Christmas; and a review of the travel-friendly Baby Jogger City Tour buggy.
- As well as chatting away on Tin Box Traveller, I’ve also contributed to: a round up of wildlife-themed days for Day Out with the Kids; simple ways to entertain toddlers in Barcelona for Flight Network; Top tips and reasons why you should cruise with a baby; tips for setting up a travel blog; 12 months of family travel inspiration; the Britmums Travel Round-up; the December #UKexplore Instagram community round-up; and cruising with a toddler and baby.
As ever, thank you so much for reading! I love hearing what people think about my blog so feel free to leave a comment below or browse around. You can also find me on Bloglovin’, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+ and LinkedIn.