Get set for summer: Slow


Live the outdoor dream in France in a house built from old tyres, recycled bottles and salvaged timber. Brittany Groundhouse (07894 946990; – which you might remember from Channel 4's Grand Designs – is now available to holidaymakers as a tranquil rural retreat. The extraordinary dwelling, set in an organic garden with swings and dens in its trees, is furnished with vintage French and recycled pieces. It has three double bedrooms, a bathroom with a large stone bath, and an open-plan living area and kitchen. The nearest town, Rostrenen, is five minutes' drive. Rental costs from £1,200 per week, with availability between 17 and 31 August. Excludes travel.

Musical families should head to the Dartington International Summer School (01803 847080; in Devon, 2 to 9 August, for a harmonious holiday. A fun programme of inter-generational music-making has been arranged, from choral singing to "elastic band music", where everyone is invited to play along on conventional and even invented instruments. Plus there's time in the schedule to explore the local South Hams area. Accommodation is in yurts, or you can bring your own tent. The total price for a family of four staying in a yurt, including all meals and tuition, costs £2,400.

Expand your children's culinary repertoire on a street food tour of Palermo in Sicily. On the new trip from soloSicily (020 7097 1413; local guides take the guests around the best stalls for arancini (stuffed and fried risotto balls) and the Sicilians' favourite breakfast treat, warm brioche filled with gelato. Children can tick off what they try in a Street Food Eating Passport as they're shown around the food stalls at the city's Capo, Ballaro, and Vucciria markets. The tour can be booked with accommodation hire. For example, Tanguera in the beach resort of Mandello, 10 minutes' drive from Palermo, is a one-bedroom apartment sleeping four, which costs €1,460 (£1,201) for a week in August. Excludes flights.