Family Travel Times

Family Travel Times: July 2014

Friday, 25 July 2014

London In The Summer With Kids By Jess

We love London; no surprise there! Out of the four people living in our house, three of us have lived in London for their whole life, and we all agree that it is an incredible place to visit. Lately, our family have been involved in two amazing projects to do with London, and really enjoyed them both.

Mum and Rob meeting the "Lord Mayor", Morris (as opposed to Boris!)
Firstly, we were invited to go to the opening of Top Trumps: 30 Things To See In London, where they launched their newest theme - all about London!

My brother Robert loves Top Trumps, so we were all very excited to attend the launch. We discovered that the new game would have information about different landmarks in London, and that children and their parents would be able to use the Top Trumps as a kid friendly tour of the best places to go to in the city.
Rob on an old bus in the transport museum

First of all, we were greeted by the Night-Mayor in front of the London Transport Museum, and were given a sheet full of questions about London landmarks. For half an hour we looked around the museum, and learnt cool facts about trains, buses and more. After this, we went on a bus and saw sights such as Big Ben and Tower Bridge. The day finished with a trip up the Shard, which was looads of fun.

Another amazing experience that Rob and I loved was helping to film a video about the best things to do in London, which is here. We were asked to get involved by Bound Round.

It was a really strange experience to be filmed and talk to a camera, but it was loads of fun and we love the video. We hope you find it useful!

Read more posts about London:

A Great Trip To Buckingham Palace By Me

The London Dungeons By Robert

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Monday, 21 July 2014

Carlton Towers: an unusual overnight experience staying in a stately home

Jess and I had an unusual experience a few weeks ago when we stayed overnight in a stately home. This is not something we - and I am guessing you - are used to. And it was unlike anything we'd experienced before...

The stately home in question is called Carlton Towers and is in the small village of Carlton (now, there's a surprise), near Selby in Yorkshire. We were there to make macaroons (and you can read about this, excellent experience, on the Britmums blog) and, because we live in London, it was suggested that we could stay overnight before the course began the following morning. This option is something that other guests coming to Cooks, the Carlton School of Food, are offered, as otherwise all attendees would have to live nearby. However, I imagine that the experience will be rather different from ours. I am assuming that, as Cooks becomes more established, the overnight issue will evolve.

I should say first that Carlton Towers is glorious. It is a magnificent house, the ancestral home of the Duke of Norfolk and can trace its roots back to the Domesday Book of 1086. Today's house (the residence of Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard, a direct descendant of Edward I) dates back to early Jacobean times although much of it was built in the 19th century and is Victorian Gothic. It really is a spectacular building, set in 250 acres of land. You can see at first glance, especially once you've walked through the very beautiful Venetian drawing room, why it would be an excellent wedding venue, and indeed it does host a number of these. As we found out.

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Monday, 14 July 2014

An Amazing time In Northern France With School Part Two

As I explained in my last post, I went on a trip with the rest of my school year to Northern France (mainly Normandy and Brittany) to learn French, and had a fabulous time. Here are some more things that I really enjoyed...

The Chateau Of Fougères
The Beautiful Castle In Fougères
Fougères is a lovely town on the border of Normandy and Brittany, and it is fascinating - the castle was originally only a wooden fort, but was destroyed by King Henry II of England in 1166, and quickly rebuilt by Raoul II Baron de Fougères. The castle wasn't involved in the Hundred Years' War until 1449, when it was taken by surprise by an English mercenary. In 1488 the French troops won the castle back after a siege and the castle lost its military role. Today the castle belongs to the municipality and is one of Europe's largest medieval fortresses.

There is loads to see inside the castle, as there is just so much history to explore. We walked up one of the 13 towers and looked at the sublime views, before learning about what life was originally like in the castle and discovering cool facts about battle tactics. Something that really interested me was that French windows were slimmer than English ones, as they used crossbows for defence, whereas Englishmen used bows and arrows.

The castle also provides audio tours.

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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

An Amazing Time In Northern France With School (Part One)

 The Chateau
A few weeks ago, I had the amazing experience of going on a trip to Normandy with my school to learn French. We visited lots of wonderful places in Northern France, and here are my highlights from the trip...

Our year stayed at Chateau Beaumont, a lovely chateau built between 1837 and 1852. It is surrounded by loads of grass and places to explore, and on some afternoons we took part in fun activities, such as tir à l'arc (archery), tyrolienne (zip wire) and escrime (fencing). All of the instructors were so much fun, made us use French as much as possible and were really encouraging - so much so that they somehow managed to get me to climb all the way to the top of an incredibly difficult climbing wall!

Our room was nice, and actually very spacious for a group of ten people. I was lucky enough to be placed with my best friends, and we had a fabulous time together.

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