How to improve holidays with children

Hey Mum, let's have a real experience

Half-term is drawing to a close, and my kids can look back on the week with a real sense of achievement. I don't like to boast, but they've had some pretty action-packed adventures in the past few days: motorcycle racing, snowboarding, skiing and white water rafting down giant waterfalls to name but a few.

They have spent hours navigating mazes and mountains, jumped aboard pirate ships, hunted, gathered and fished in implausibly blue waters and even designed their own igloos. And it has not cost me a penny, because they've managed to do it all without leaving the house. Yes, my little darlings have spent most of their school break on a virtual holiday. There's no better way to beat the February half-term blues than by giving the kids a few hours in cyberspace - it's amazing where a screen and a mouse can take you.

But in the interests of stopping their limbs from seizing up, I'm trying to be a responsible parent and show my kids that surfing is not just something you do on the net. I am trying to convince them that humans, just like Nintendos, need to recharge their batteries.

Which is why I'm so relieved that I can turn to holiday companies such as Outdoor Adventures (01288 362900; outdooradventure.co.uk), whose Cornish haven is the perfect place to head for when in need of a screen break. This small, family-based operation, on the rugged north coast, offers some marvellous activity holidays for families, with everything from surfing and body boarding classes to abseiling lessons - there is so much to pack in that your kids won't even notice the lack of portable PlayStations.

You stay in family rooms on site or in nearby hotels, but, for a real thrill, you can opt to sleep in a teepee on the ocean's edge and wake to the roar of the waves.

If you'd rather take the kids abroad for their piece of the action, why not consider upping sticks to Umbria for a riding holiday? Stay in La Casella, a renovated farmhouse, with Real Holidays (020-7359 3938; realholidays.co.uk) and you'll find an equestrian centre on site as well as a kids-only pony club for those under 10. Go hacking in the glorious countryside, take night rides under the stars, and then relax together for an al fresco candelit dinner. Young (and old) bucks can also enjoy climbing, river canoeing, abseiling and archery as well as mountain biking, swimming and tennis.

If you are after something a little less taxing, how about a golf and fishing break in Scotland? The Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course (01573 459331; roxburghe.net) near Kelso in the Scottish Borders is known for its championship golf course, where youngsters can get professional tuition. The fishing facilities, too, have families flocking here: Roxburghe's trout fishery actively promotes fly fishing to children, and private tuition is offered to all guests, whatever their age, for a small charge. There's also clay pigeon shooting, archery and falconry. With any luck my kids might even discover that the real world is as interesting as the digital one.

Katy's top tip

Sailors of all sizes should check out Sunsail (02392 222222; sunsail.com). It offers daily sessions for children aged five and over, as well as lots of activities on and off the water. A new kids' club has just opened at Club Marverde in Turkey.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee