How to improve holidays with children

Hey mum, let's go camping in five-star tents

My children went on a camping expedition last weekend. They spent two days pitched on the living-room floor, pretending to be explorers climbing Everest, and using every blanket and tea towel I possess in the process. I put up with it for a while because I know imaginative play is supposed to be encouraged, but I eventually decided I'd had enough - it's not easy trying to watch I'm A Celebrity with two mountain explorers navigating their way through a blizzard in the room.

Until recently, thank goodness, the land of make-believe has proved more than adequate in satisfying my kids' camping desires, but - predictably, and to my horror - they're now on at me to do the real thing, preferably on Everest, but they will settle for anywhere, as long as it is actually outdoors.

So here I am again, going against my instincts and foraging around for holidays I wouldn't dream of going on if I didn't happen to have two kids. But if I am to suffer, I'm going to do it in style - I'm looking for a camping holidays with knobs on.

So how about a tent with an en suite bathroom, for starters? I'm thrilled to report it's a real possibility. Wigmore Holidays (020-7836 4999; aspectsoftunisia.co.uk), for example, offers some amazing canvas accommodation in the wilderness. Its desert tents at Pansea Douar Ksar Ghilane in Tunisia are decorated with wrought-iron furniture and tribal throws and have en-suite showers, flushing sit-down loos, and even air- conditioning. Not exactly your genuine Bedouin experience, but I'm not complaining.

At the other end of the scale, for a simple, old-fashioned Five-Go-Mad experience, head for Herm, one of the lesser-known Channel islands. This crowd-and-car-free adventure playground, is home to some glorious beaches where children can run wild. And it boasts a rather splendid hilltop campsite: hire your own fully equipped tent, sleeping up to six, and dine in one of three decent eateries on your doorstep when you get bored with boiling beans. Book through Herm Island (01481 722377; herm-island.com).

Even if it's a city break you're after, you don't have to book into the nearest hotel. An increasing number of families now choose to sleep under canvas as a way of cutting costs and adding to the adventure, even for mini-breaks. Check out Camping Marina di Venezia with Venue Holidays (01233 629950; venueholidays.co.uk), which offers the chance to sleep on the beach near Venice in "house" tents with up to four bedrooms, just 35 minutes from St Mark's Square.

For something really different, though, why not go ski-camping? This season, Thomson Al Fresco (0870-166 0366; thomsonalfresco.co.uk) has adapted its mobile homes at Le'Escale in Grand Bornard in the French Alps to be suitable for freezing conditions, promising triple thickness insulation.

It may not be Everest, but with guaranteed snow and a good chance of blizzards I reckon that should keep my little mountaineers quiet for some while ...

Katy's top tip

The camping holiday I most fancy has more than a hint of luxury - a stay at the Hoopoe Yurt Hotel in Andalucia (0034 952117055; yurthotel.com) These luxurious canvas houses, each with their own meadow, offer a return to nature without forgoing the usual luxuries.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Lifeguards / Leisure Club Attendants - Seasonal Placement

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Qualified Lifeguards are required to join a fa...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Exhibition Content Developer

    £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Based in South Kensington, this prestigi...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003