The Eden Project is a surreal, unworldly landscape born in a rather peculiar location. Hiding in a quarry in Cornwall, it's the brainchild of Tim Smit, who had a vision to build the largest captive rainforest in the world. Changing this barren quarry crater forever, the Eden Project, has been quoted as the 8th Wonder of the World, and it might just be one of the most beautiful transformations you might ever witness.
The Eden Project is an all round fabulous place for families to lay eyes on, to soak up facts, to get touchy feelie, and to meet what you eat from around the world. It's also a brilliant rainy day destination.
The Eden Project certainly has the wow factor with views like this from the Rainforest Lookout
When the sun shines in Devon, it's the most glorious place in the World.
Unpacking our Winter life and moving back into our Devon home is no simple task. Yet within a week of Devon under our belts, the girls have slipped easily back into their old school, our bags and boxes have been emptied & re-stored and it begins to feel like we never left. My beloved garden I was hankering for, is verdant green and brimming with beautiful blooms. My surfer husband and girls have re-acquainted themselves with their wetsuits & re-discovered our invigoratingly chilly ocean. The rugged, stunning coastline we call home seems more beautiful that ever as we view everything with an appreciation only seen through recently absent eyes. One of the huge pluses of being away from home, is returning home. Happy days.
There's some brilliant family action stuff to do in Devon so if you're heading this way for long bank holiday weekend, the entire week, or if you're lucky enough to live in these parts, then we've rounded up the best outdoorsy, adventure family stuff to get your teeth into this half term.
The North Devon coastline is stunning. Blessed with magnificent stretches of golden sand to secret secluded coves, this designated area of outstanding natural beauty is a fabulous place to explore as a family. We're lucky to call this beautiful coastline our home and with us fresh off the ferry from our Winter season in the Alps, we are definitely staying local this half term.
Here are our top seven family beaches for you to discover this half term.
Catch the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to the finest view in Chamonix. Ascend to the dizzying height of 3842m and freak your kids out (& yourselves!) by standing in a glass box suspended over a horrifying 1000m. What's not to love?
Not only that. The 360 degree panoramic views over the French, Swiss & Italian Alps are stunning. Plus it's the closet you can get to the jewel in the crown, Mont Blanc, without strapping on crampons, wielding an ice axe & hiring a guide. A ride up the Aiguille du Midi is definitely a go go for families who love adventure.
The fear factor and stoke valve open standing in the 'Step into the Void' glass box, Aiguille du Midi
375 days ago my husband and I made a concrete decision. To move to France to do a ski season. With our children.
As 2016 recedes, it is with gratitude and a smile that I wave it goodbye. 2016 for us was a year of planning & anticipation. And the year I started The Family Freestylers blog. A lot can happen in a year, 365 days. Decisions made that change your lives. Today we finally realised a dream of our own. Walking through the snow with our children to their first day at school in France.
Thank you so much to everyone that's shown so much support for The Family Freestylers blog and our dream of heading to the snow. Here's a round up of our best bits of 2016 and where we'll be heading in 2017.
Does lack of snow mean a disastrous family ski holiday? 5 alternative things to do in Chamonix with kids
Ok so we all got excited about that big dump of snow weeks ago in November, thinking it was going to be the most epic of all epic seasons EVER! Well it still could be. But not this week. That doesn’t help if you’ve booked your (expensive) family ski holiday over Christmas week and only a fraction of runs are open. With ski options limited the biggest hurdle to overcome is a change of mindset. Family ski holidays are not cheap and the pressure to still have a great time is high. Not skiing EVERY day can be a hard pill to swallow but luckily Chamonix, as oppose to other resorts, has plenty of other amazing activities to get stuck into.
Sure, a shortage of snow sucks but don't let it wreck your holiday. Chamonix has other activities to offer families who can't face another day on the same piste.
The sun’s shone endlessly since we arrived in the Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley affording us breathtaking views of magnificent mountain vistas on a daily basis. Whilst December thunders towards Christmas at a rate of knots, Chamonix talk is météo dominated. Long discussions on when the high pressure sat astride Europe might change and when, imperatively, the next snow fall is likely to be, are prevalent. As the resort agitates, I’m seizing the opportunity to squeeze in some family hikes whilst the snow line remains high. Stunning spots, such as Cascade de Bèrard, won’t be accessible again once the snow falls until well into the Summer months. Minutes from the Swiss-French border Cascade de Bèrard is a magical spot and an old favourite of mine. It’s a family friendly, gentle 20 minute hike into the Aiguille Rouge nature reserve, that takes in the charming hamlet of La Poya with spectactular mountain scenery.
Swap canvas for wood by booking into one of these cute hobbit houses for the weekend. Set in the heart of Exmoor, slap bang next to Wimbleball Lake, these pods are perfect for families wanting to get out on the water and guaranteed to keep you cosy this Autumn.
Perfect for autumnal weekends or rainy days, the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth is a great way to switch kids on to the threat of our oceans and how we can all play a part in protecting it. Plus after one entry, you can return free for the rest of the year!
This weekend we were the guests of Outdoor + Active, a fantastic adventure activity centre nestled into the South East corner of Exmoor National Park. With a glut of water sports activities on their perfect lake side location, and an equally impressive array of land based action, we were seriously impressed with what this centre had to offer families. If you’re like us - an outdoorsy family, loving anything with a faintly adventurous whiff, then put this place firmly on your radar!
The Family Freestylers are us - the Nixon family, who relish travel adventures both near & far