'We need real space - not the cyber kind'

WHAT"S THE BEST thing about a family holiday? For me, it's escaping from the city and into the big wide world together: what I crave most is the space for us all to run free. My kids say they need space too, although I think they like the cyber variety best.

But we all need a screen break sometimes and luckily there are lots of exciting new family holidays to lure us into the real world. Take these three gems for starters: they're off the beaten track and, what's more, they still have availability in the school holidays. First is a mountain adventure, Bulgarian style. The marble-streaked Trigrad Canyon is perfect for mini explorers, with its stunning scenery and myriad caves. Book with Families Worldwide (0845 051 4567; familiesworldwide. co.uk) and they'll organise it all for you. Sleep under the stars in the Rhodopy Mountains, where activity lovers will be kept busy rock climbing, horse riding and plenty more.

Beach lovers, meanwhile, need look no further than the unspoilt Croatian isle of Vis. Organise your own trip (visit-croatia.co.uk has useful information) or book with Responsible Travel (01273 600030; responsibletravel.com) for sea kayaking, mountain biking and picnics.

Alternatively, head to the Swiss retreat of Grindelwald, where Lakes and Mountains Holidays (01243 792442; lakes-mountains.co.uk) promises a brilliant kids' programme including everything from photography lessons to boat trips. This magical area is full of beautiful scenery: perfect for anyone in need of some serious space.