Guest Post – A new year, a new country

2014 is going to be a year of firsts for my family. Freddie is going to have his first day at school; Poppy’s planning on hosting her first sleepover and Jess is finally tall enough to ride a rollercoaster.

As for me and Jez, their parents, we want to go on holiday somewhere new. While the kids have been young we’ve tended to stay fairly close to home for our holidays. Living in Oxford, it’s not too much hassle to get everyone packed up and ready for a 2 hour journey to the south coast.

But now that Freddie’s well out of nappies and starting school, we’re brave enough to venture on a long car journey – we might even head to Scotland.

None of us have ever been there and while I’ve been doing a bit of research online, I’ve found some great holiday parks we could stay at. The trouble now is narrowing down the choices and choosing one. Here’s what I found.

The rolling hills of Ayrshire

Our first option is Craig Tara Holiday Park in the south west corner of Scotland. It would be a pretty long drive from Oxford but the scenery on the Ayrshire coast looks well worth it.

My first port of call for doing some research on the area was the Haven website where I found this video.

blogSource: Haven Holidays

From the looks of things there would be absolutely loads to do. From playing on the beach, to admiring the scenery, playing laser tag, swimming or eating out, a stay at Craig Tara looks absolutely action-packed.

But since we’re not really the kind of people to always want to stay on the park, I want to make sure there will be plenty of great daytrips to be had nearby.

Craig Tara Beach

For the kids in particular, a holiday isn’t a true holiday without a few days playing games and building sandcastles on the beach and splashing about in the sea. Staying at Craig Tara we wouldn’t have to travel far at all to have a day out to the beach.

Dundonald Highland Games

I’m actually a quarter Scottish (I know, it’s shameful I’ve never been to Scotland) so I really want to embrace every ounce of Scottishness while I’m there!

Luckily for us, the Dundonald Highland Games take place just half an hour from Craig Tara Holiday Park. These games have been running for 24 years and I hear they’re one of the best cultural events in Ayrshire.

I mean, really, they’ve got it all – pipe bands, highland dancing, tug-o-wars and a street procession… Everything to give you the true Highland Games experience.

Seton Sands Holiday Park

But then there’s Seton Sands Holiday Park. And while it’s got all the same great caravans, facilities and activities to offer as Craig Tara, it would let us see a different corner of Scotland – and the capital.

I mean, what is a trip to Scotland without going to Edinburgh?

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is just half an hour’s drive from Seton Sands, which makes it the perfect distance for a day trip. We could even go twice if we wanted!

Friends of mine who went to Edinburgh last year told me that climbing Arthur’s seat is an absolute must. And if we go away in August, we’ll even be able to catch some of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Our first option is Craig Tara Holiday Park in the south west corner of Scotland. It would be a pretty long drive from Oxford but the scenery on the Ayrshire coast looks well worth it.

My first port of call for doing some research on the area was the Haven website where I found this video.

– another ‘must’ when you’re in the Scottish capital.

Stirling                                                              

There’s also Stirling and its famous castle to visit. Numerous friends and family members who’ve been to Scotland tell me that going to Stirling Castle is an absolute must.

Because it’s not just any old castle visit – they also have interactive events and guided tours where you can really get involved and discover the lives of the colourful characters who lived inside the castle.

Decisions, decisions…

Now I’ve researched both parks, all that’s left to do is to decide which one to go to. Hand on heart, I’m probably swinging towards Seton Sands.

We’ve never been to Scotland, and in case we don’t go again for a while, I want to give the kids a proper Edinburgh experience. We’ll still be able to go to the beach, but we’ll be close enough to visit Edinburgh and Stirling – famous Scottish cities that, in my opinion, should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Do you think that’s the right decision? Let me know what you think and if you have any good ideas for day trips.

ood ideas for day trips.

 

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