I’ve been prompted by the Joules Explorers competition to sit and think about our ideal family weekend away and after mulling it over, my response isn’t quite what I was expecting.
I’m a planner and I need to have some kind of trip or event planned in the coming months. I do my research and when it comes to breaks away, I look at tens of destinations and accommodation options, weigh up the costs, see what activities are nearby and closer to the time, I scour Instagram to see what photogenic locations are nearby.
I nearly always have a specific location or choice of accommodation in mind for the next trip but right now it’s not necessarily a specific place that would make a trip our ideal family weekend away, it’s the feeling a place can offer.
Becoming a parent changes you in ways you never expected and the planner in me is realising that you have to cut yourself some slack sometimes and because of this, our ideal family weekend away would be somewhere where we could adventure, where we could take things at our own pace and we could be at one with beautiful, natural surroundings.
It wouldn’t be a confined bustling place like a big city, it’d be somewhere with a town centre close enough to stock up on essentials if we needed something but there’d be a chance to reconnect with nature and be in an area with so little pollution that we could see the stars.
In the UK we’ve generally opted for breaks away in the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, and more recently, the Scottish Borders. They’ve each provided the feeling we appreciate the most when we’re away – calm contentment.
It’s not an exact place per se that has created this feeling but they’ve each been the backdrop to memories we’ve made which I could have never preplanned and wouldn’t be without now that we have them.
Memories like the conversation over the purchase of The Tales of Peter Rabbit at Hill Top for a future child that felt like years off, the instant feeling of calm and contentment as we walked to our roulotte for the very first time at Roulotte Retreat, the pride at seeing my photo of Lindean Loch in The Guardian, and playing Dobble with new friends under the influence of wine as the rain pattered on the windows of our hotel in Bassenthwaite on Valentines Day evening.
With a newborn we have so many firsts to tick off the list and while I have my instant camera at the ready to capture as many snapshots in time as possible, our ideal weekend away would be somewhere we could be us. Somewhere where our little family could relax, take everything in and create memories we could have never have planned.
We’d be able to leisurely make a cooked breakfast to eat outside with mountains in view, stumble across cute tea and coffee shops for lunch and cake as we adventure, and then attempt to cook our dinner outside. Starting simply with foods that you can’t get wrong and getting more daring as the trip goes on.
Days would be spent outdoors as much as possible, seeing what we could stumble across and taking plenty of photos along the way. We’d be making the most of very little phone signal, enjoying each other’s company without distraction.
Evenings would be spent in front of a wood burner playing Dobble and chatting away with short breaks to feed Mini and go outside to enjoy the sunset and spot some stars in the evening sky.
Our wardrobe would be practical yet stylish, two traits Joules clothing is known for. Mini would be dressed in prints featuring animals like the cream zoo two-piece set complete with lion booties. To protect him against the elements in his wrap, the dazzling blue monkey splash suit would be perfect and lightweight to be stored in his changing bag when the sun is out and easily put over his outfit when the heavens opened.
Chris would be keeping toasty in a gilet like the peak fleece gilet and as there’s usually at least one of us wearing stripes, the skipperton jersey t-shirt would definitely be amongst the clothes he’d have packed.
I’d be enjoying the ability to style a chic waterproof jacket like the coast hooded jacket with a nursing dress, black tights and the silver field wellies or a Breton strip top and black jeans with the wellies or my trusty walking shoes.
We’d all be dressed for the changing weather so we could enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and to avoid a return journey with a cold.
What would your perfect family weekend away be? Let me know in the comments.
This post is my entry to the Joules Ideal Family Weekend Away competition.