Katy Holland: Are we there yet?

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The Independent Travel

Remember when holidays meant forking out for the kids to do nothing but lounge around for a fortnight? Times are changing along with our shrinking coffers, if two recent emails are anything to go by.

Dad of two Duncan Bosme wants to know where he can find "an educational vacation" for his offspring, while Jamie Moore is in search of "a holiday that will work harder for my money".

I've got an even better idea, Jamie: why not find a holiday where your kids work harder instead? They'll certainly have to put in the hours if you take them to Henley Cottage (0845 2680942; english-country-cottages.co.uk), a Victorian farm labourer's dwelling.

No mod cons here: the house is lit by oil lamps, you get your water from a well, and there's a fireside hip bath for washing in. Even the original outhouse is in working order, so your little darlings will get the full-on experience of Victorian life.

If that doesn't teach them a few invaluable lessons, you could always try getting them to pull their weight on a working farm.

Head for the Cornish countryside for a few days, where you'll find Higher Trevinnick ( farmerjames.co.uk), which is the ideal place for mini farm hands to get muck in.

Chores include feeding, grooming and cleaning out the animals' homes, from stables to hen huts. Parents get the added bonus of being able to watch their kids at work. That's got to be value for money all round.