Top places to visit in Malta

We have visited the beautiful Island of Malta many times, and over the years visited many places. The following places in this list are places that we have visited with our young children and would recommend a visit.

Popeye Village

Popeye Village is a film set that is over 30 years old, it’s the set of the 1980 Musical Production of ‘Popeye’ and it is now one of Malta’s major tourist attraction. Popeye the sailor and his friends are around the village to greet the guests and entertain throughout the day.

Take a walk around Popeyes cabin, explore Olives house, play games in the sawmill, become a part of the film in the main square or relax by the splash pool whilst the children have some fun.

Anchor bay comes alive in the summer with an inflatable adventure course, so whilst you top up your tan the children can have fun in the sea.

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Popeye Village is open all year round.

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St Peters Pool

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St Peters Pool is the most beautiful natural swimming pools in Malta, situated South of the Island near the Fishing Village Marsaxlokk (which is where you will find the market where they sell fresh fish, local delicacies and an abundance of souvenirs to take home)

The drive and parking to St Peters Pool isn’t smooth but it is definitely worth it. I would advise anyone who has young children who are not strong swimmers not to leave them alone swimming. There are ladders to help visitors to get down into the water but for those who are feeling a little more adventurous, you can always dive down into the deep pool below.

There are no shop nearby, so take along everything you will need to spend the day there.

st peters pool

The sea water is crystal clear, the flat rocks surrounding the pool are ideal for sunbathing on and perfect for place to get away from the business of the sandy beaches.

The walk down from the parking area is about 5 minutes away

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My boys loved it here and spent ages diving into the deep blue water, they even plucked up the courage to jump down from the highest point (not when Mummy was watching though!)

Mellieha beach

Malta doesn’t have many beaches to boast about the ones that it does have are beautiful. Mellieha beach being one of them. The beach is long and there are plenty of beds to relax on and kiosks to dine from along it. During the summer months it hosts an inflatable playground, costing £6 euros for the hour. The boys enjoyed an hour of fun whilst I managed to grab an hour of peace reading a book. We managed to barter the hire of the sunbeds down from £12 euros down to £8.

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Lots of free parking is available and is easily assessable via bus.

Mdina and Rabat

 Located in centre of the Island, Mdina is the old capital of Malta.

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Mdina is a fascinating place to visit, one of Europe’s finest examples of and ancient walled city, it traces back more than 4000 years. Tradition says that The Apostle St Paul lived here after being shipwrecked on the Island. Just outside the city walls, in Rabat, you can visit St Paul’s Grotto.

Mdina was built high up on top of a plateau. Standing on the edge of Mdinas walls you have some spectacular views of the surrounding fields and villages.

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Mdina and Rabat is full to the brim of cultural heritage and history. Lamp lit by night,the Mdina is also referred to as ‘The Silent City’.

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Take a walk around the cobbled, narrow shady streets and take in all of the historical beauty within.  It is home now to some of Malta’s noble families living in the impressive palaces that line the streets.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes within the walls for refreshments and Souvenir shops to visit.

It is free the enter the Mdina but it costs to enter into some of the attractions, like the Malta experience and the Dungeons.

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Mdina is a favourite place of my boys, they adore the Norman and baroque architecture in the buildings.

Just outside of the Mdina walls there are beautiful gardens to walk around and also a little play area for the children to enjoy.

Church in Rabat
Church in Rabat

The Splash and Fun park

Malta’s only water park, that’s not in the sea, ideal for all the family.  The Splash & Fun Park has several swimming pools, water slides, Children’s Dinosaur Park & Splash Land, a large wave pool, diving pools, lazy river and deck chairs to relax on. Throughout the day there is entertainment put on in and around the wave pool area. We sat and watched a spanish dance routine, took part in the aqua aerobics and the boys entered a football competition.

PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage water park

My middle boys favourite thing to do was Dive from the high board into the diving pool.

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On the way out of the water park we noticed that there was a trampoline enclosure, everyone had a good jump around before leaving

juming around

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Pretty bay Birzebbuga

If you are visiting St Peters Pool then just a little further around the coast you will find Pretty Bay in Birzebbuga. It’s in the southern region of Malta.

The sight looking out from Pretty Bay isn’t spectacular, unless you like looking boats and dock yards, but the beach is pretty and there is a lovely play area and football pitches that runs along the beach. Also its the only beach that we visited where you can sit on the grass, and sit under a tree shielded from the sun.

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Blue lagoon Comino

The only way to get over to see the beautiful blue water at blue lagoon, Comino is by boat or ferry. Situated in between Malta and Gozo, the island of Comino is only 3.5  square kilometers, it is car free and only has one hotel. The Blue lagoon is the popular attraction here, with the white sand and clear water, the sea becomes a gorgeous aquamarine. The water is clean and transparent, ideal for snorkelling and swimming, the water is shallow so it is perfect for young children to enjoy.

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I would advice to attempt to get there early as in the peak times it can get very busy, and the beach is only small. Many people lay down there towels up on the rocks and walk down the steps to get down to the water.

There are refreshment vans parked up where the boats are, selling fruit, drinks and hot food.

Rinella Bay

This little bay situated just passed Kalkara is not normally a busy attraction to holiday makers, it used more by the locals. It is the beach that I myself attended regularly as a child when we holidayed in Malta as we had family living in Kalkara. Looking out from the beach you can see the Capital of Malta, Valletta. There are refreshment vans parked up and portable toilets to use.

Not only is this beach a little quieter than others it has a slide that goes down into the sea from the walkway.  Beware that the sea is deep here, there are some steps coming out of the water very close to the slide.

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Smart City is just around the corner, a new build to Malta, where you can watch the water fountain and have a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants and bars.

Kalkara marina is a pretty little place to stop after a swim, it’s quiet and peaceful. There is also a little park for the children to play in whilst the adults can sit on a bench and look out to the boats

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Kalkara
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Luzzu (maltese boat) and fishing boats

I hope you like reading our top places to visit in Malta. There are many more places to visit like the peaceful island of Gozo, the stunning infrastructure of Mosta, the hustle and bustle of the capital city Valetta, the aqua marine park in Bugibba ( which also has a pretty impressive play area for the children to play in outside) and Marsaxlokk fishing village. I could on, but I think that I may have shared enough already 🙂

Thank you for reading

Looking for flights to Malta check out www.airmalta.com

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A Short Break At Hermanus, Winterton On Sea

Hermanus Holidays park is situated In Winterton-On-Sea, Norfolk. The site is close to the beach with just the sand dunes separating them from each other. It’s a small site with a choice of beautiful scenic accommodation to choose from; charming thatched round houses, chalets and bungalows. The family run site makes for an ideal retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday lives.

We went to Hermanus for a short weekend, arriving late on Friday evening and left around mid day on Sunday. Although we was there for only a short time, we managed to do so much. It may seem like we had a busy weekend but it was actually very relaxing.

Arriving late on Friday meant that we missed our dinner so we headed on out in search of a nearby Fish and Chip shop. The chip shop in Winterton closed at 8pm so we had to drive to a nearby village, which was also closed but we did find a kebab shop that we ordered a salad from. There was also a co-op where we stocked up on the essentials we would need for the weekend. I hadn’t packed anything as I had no idea where we was going, as my partner had booked it as a surprise for my birthday (otherwise food would have been organised).

After Dinner it was time for the boys to choose what room they wanted to sleep in. Our chalet had 3 bedrooms; 1 double bed, 2 single beds and a room that had a double and a single in. All rooms had a spacious wardrobe and a desk.

There is ample of parking right outside of the Chalets and table and chairs for those moments where you want to sit outside and take in the surroundings.

The boys spent most of their first night running from one to room, playing hide and seek.

We had a lovely nights sleep and all refreshed for our first day at Hermanus Park. Whilst I made breakfast the boys went outside and played on the field at the bottom of the park. We had brought along boules and a bat and ball to play with.

The whole idea of the weekend was for us, as a family, to spend quality time together. The first thing we did after breakfast was to head on over to Gorleston for the 5k Parkrun. The boys in my family love to run, wherever we go they are either joining in on a race or going out for early morning/evening runs.

Gorleston Parkrun is in fact a course along the sea front, whilst the boys joined the rest of the runners at the start line I positioned myself along the promenade ready to cheer them on.

Jak came second in the run
Daddy and Oliver running along

As parkruns go, this has got to be one of the most beautiful scenic one. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend your morning, than running along with your family next to the sea with the sun shining.

On our way back to the site we stopped off at a strawberry picking field and picked some strawberries and raspberries to eat once we got back to the chalet

Once back at the chalet it was time for a quick drink and then out to the field for a game of rounders and Boules. It was so quiet, we were the only family around playing. The children ran along the grass with their shoes off; we laughed, we played, we cheated and we won.

A game of Boules
A game of rounders

It was also a perfect time to get out my new little toy that I had received for my birthday present; A canon EOS200D. I don’t know much about how to use it to its full potential at the moment but I am loving learning and looking back at the photos that I took. It’s great for catching those moments that the phone can’t do.

We went back to the chalet to eat some of our berry pickings and then packed up a bag ready for a walk along the dunes down to the beach. Walking from our chalet, we passed by the gorgeous thatched round houses

Could you imagine staying in one of those, looking out of the window at the sand and the sea…Breathtaking!

We was very lucky with the weather; the sun was shining and the sky was clear. There wasn’t even a breeze to taint the day.

Walking along the dunes and down to the beach was like being abroad. The beach and dunes go on for miles.

walking along the dunes
taking in the views if the sea
Jumping down to the beach below

The beach has a vast stretch of sand between the dunes and the sea that gives it an open feel to it. As we walked along the sand, there were moments that we were the only people around. It was quiet, relaxing and beautiful.

We walked along watching the Turns dive in for fish and the seals swimming amongst the waves. I tried to get pictures of the seals but they didn’t come in close enough. It was just so nice to walk along with nature all around us.

The boys spent time cracking open stones to look for geodes.

We must have walked about 4  miles and quickly realised that we would have to walk back, we could have walked forever, just enjoying each others company. Dad decided to run back to the site and get the car, we arranged to meet at the next car park along at Horsey gap. About 45 minutes later we met up with Dad and got in the car ready to go back to the site. On our way back we stopped off at Horsey National Trust Windpump for a refreshing drink and ice cream

The windpump
relaxing along the river bank

Before long it was time to head back to Hermanus Site for a spot of lunch.

It was a lovely day weather wise, so we headed on over to the heated outdoor pool for a little swim. The pool has a brick wall around keeping out the coastal breeze. It has plenty room around it to sunbathe and spend time relaxing, whilst watching the children play in the pool

After our swim we headed on into the bar area where there was a small arcade that had pool tables in. Here we taught our youngest how to play pool, he loved it. Along with the arcade and bar, Hermanus also has a restaurant and a function suite.

The site and accommodation are quite dated but that is what gives it its charm. It feels unspoilt by the ever-growing community around it. It doesn’t need any fancy updated leisure facilities as it is just perfect the way it is.

We cooked dinner in our chalet that evening and enjoyed it sitting around the huge dining table, all together talking about the day that we had.

The next day was our last one and we had to be out of the chalet by 10am. We woke up early and sat outside on the bench with our morning coffee. The site welcomes pets and most of the accommodation is pet friendly. We had families either side of us dogs but didn’t hear a peep out of them all night long.

Before it was time to say goodbye to Winterton and Hermanus we had one last walk along the beach, where we made pebble towers, ran through the waves and felt the sand between our toes. We even got to spot a few more seals in the distance

Morning run on the sand
pebble tower
walking through the dunes
his face when he runs! lol

We had a lovely weekend and I am sure that we will be visiting again soon. Winterton On sea is very close to the broads so Hermanus is ideally situated for the beach and days out on the broads. It is also just down the road from Great Yarmouth, so you can visit the shops if you wanted to. For us, it was just nice being together in the idyllic scenery of Hermanus Holiday Park

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Top beaches (hidden gems) to visit in Malta

Malta is a great place to explore and travel to, the coasts around the island is rugged and has lots of caves and cliffs. There are not many sandy beaches but swimming from the rocks can be just as fun. The island basks In about 299 days of sunshine a year, with the summer months reaching up to 35c, its an ideal country to catch some rays any time of the year.

Malta along with its sister islands, Gozo and Comino has many popular sandy beaches but these can become very busy during peak times.

I suggest going off of the beaten track and explore the island and it’s many hidden gems.

Here are a few that we have visited

Imgiebah Bay / Selmun Beach

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Found on the North of the Island, this bay is a sandy and secluded beach. The road down to it is very small and uneven (pretty much a dirt track) there is just about enough space for one car to drive along. Once you’ve parked the car you need to walk down a hill, which can be slippy under the foot on very dry days, to the bay. Because it is untouched, there are no amenities –  just a few bins. Make sure you take plenty to drink and food to eat. The beach is small, so no space to kick a ball a round and you can get plagued with wasps, as they fly around the bins. That said, it is quiet and doesn’t attract many tourists.

St Peters Pool

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One of our favourite places to visit when in Malta, the boys love to dive into the cool, crystal clear water at this natural swimming pool. St Peters Pool is close to Marsaxlokk on the south of the Island. There are flat rocks that surround the pool, which offer shade and a place to sunbathe. Although, it is advertised as a place to relax and sunbathe, everyone that visits here to dive off of the high rocks. It can get very busy here with the younger visitors and groups of adults. So i would advice to visit earlier on in the day to get a spot, especially if you have children.
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Not only is St Peters Pool a pretty natural swimming pool, with it’s crystal clear blue-green waters and beautiful to look at, it also has something rather cool going on the rocks surrounding it. People have carved names of singers, bands, groups and famous people into the rock.

Slugs Bay

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This place really is an amazing little find. It is one of the most secluded little bays that we visited, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, apart from the odd couple. It is situated on the south of the Island, over looking Mellieha bay. The path down to it is winding and uneven, but definitely worth the climb down. 20170825_142138

There was a tiny amount of fine sand but enough for the children to play in. Lots of rocks to search for crabs in and the shallow water was ideal to look at the fish. 20170825_124240

Again, there are no amenities around so go prepared. We found a little cave at the bottom which we took shelter in, it was big enough to fit our bags in and a chair to sit on and take shelter from the glaring sun

Fomm Ir-rih

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Is a small bay on the west side of the Island of Malta. It is surrounded by vertical cliffs and has a pebble beach. It is not easily accessible, making it quite secluded. It’s a popular bay to reach by boat. The only way down is via a tricky, steep and slippery pathway which takes about 15-20 minutes. The climb down is worth the views over the bay. I would advice not to do the journey wearing sandals or any type of footwear that can aid your feet in slipping, as there are many rocks and boulders to climb over. Once down, the beach is full of pebbles and the water is calm and clear. My boys found a huge flat rock in the water by the shoreline, which made a great slide. They spent their time sliding down it into the water, there were lots of squeals of laughter and fun. Again, like many of the bays that i have mentioned, there are no amenities. As the climb down is steep and tiring, carrying lots of extra baggage can be exhausting.

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Kalanka Bay

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This bay is next to St Peters Pool and is very similar, but is more family friendly. The water is crystal blue and is not as deep. There is still a height to the surrounding rocks, so jumping in can still be fun however, there is more of a variety for those not as confident in jumping in. The water is calm and there is an overhang which is fun to swim under.

Mistra Bay

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Is based on the North side, close to Mellieha bay. It is of shallow waters, that makes it ideal for young children to paddle in. We like to visit here and spend time to relax, it is a quiet bay, with not many visitors. Take a walk up to the battery and walk down to rocks towards the waters edge for a more of a secluded swim. Ideal for jumping in and sunbathing.

Gozo

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Xlendi bay

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Is a popular swimming and diving spot, with a small beach that is surrounded by lots of fish restaurants. As the beach was small we took a walk further along and found an ideal place to jump into the water from a diving board.

Wied il-Ghasri

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Based North Gozo, this inlet is very small which means it can become quite busy. This beautiful, secluded inlet is wedged between two cliffs. The view down from the top of the valley is stunning.  Take the steep staircase down to the beach, which is tiny and full of pebbles. Rock shoes are advised. When the water is calm, it is a lovely place for a swim but when the sea is rough it can become quite dangerous. The waves start crashing against the valley.

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Although the sea looks calm in the photo, the waves were thrashing against the cliff rocks and making a large banging noise. The boys managed a little swim down the inlet, before heading back.

Inland Sea at Dwejra

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This small salt water lake is next door to where the Azure Window once stood proudly, before the structure fell down.  It is connected to the Mediterranean sea by a tunnel that goes through the cliffs. You can get a boat trip through the cave or just sit and chill by the water. The water is calm and many people swim over to the caves and climb up the cliff surface to jump into the sea.

Like anywhere around Malta and Gozo, the sea is made easily accessible by ladders, they have been placed around the rocks so that swimmers can get in and out with ease. Malta is an ideal holiday destination for divers and snorkelers, there are dive sites situated all around the islands.

If the weather is rough I wouldn’t advise a trip to any of these beaches as they can become dangerous. We visited Malta during August and we only had a few rough days where we wasn’t sure about the sea currents, so we visited the sandy bays instead. What this island lacks in sand makes up for it in cliffs, rocks and shorelines.

Although the island is small, every time we go (We have been 5 times) we always find somewhere new to explore.

Do you know of anymore secret hidden gems that the island has to offer?

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A Guide for planning your Disneyland Paris trip

Disneyland Paris is a magical place and with the right type of planning your trip to the theme park could be an even more enjoyable one. Planning is the key to make the trip run smoothly.

Disneyland Paris is an amazing place, not as big as WaltDisney World but a much more . affordable and easily accessible park to visit. With the journey time from London St Pancras being just under a few hours (quicker if using a direct train) it just makes it even more of spot to place onto your bucket list of places to visit. Disneyland Paris consists of two parks, many themed hotels and the Disney Village where there are many places to dine and enjoy yourself.

We have just arrived back from a 5 day trip to DLP, where we stayed at NewportBay Club Hotel and managed to have a day trip into Paris too. I didn’t do too much planning before going with the children and there are plenty of things that I have learned since coming back from our little break and would like to share with you all. I definitely know for next time where to head to at what time, the best places to stand during the illuminations and parade and where to eat.

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1 Take along some Mickey or Minnie ears with you, these are the headbands that have the mouse ears attached to them. I checked on ebay and you can buy them for a fraction of the cost they are selling at Disneyland.

2 Ponchos come in handy for when the weather takes a little wet turn. They are light to carry and fold away when not in use. They are especially ideal for Autumn, Spring time when you don’t want to be carry around your coat

3 If you are staying in one of the many Disney Hotels then make the most of the parks magic hours, where you can enter the park before it opens. That’s 2 whole hours prior to everyone else. Not all ares are open early but you can do the meet and greets with the characters and rides in Fantasyland and Discoveryland are open.

  1. Avoid the Disney parks about midday as this is the busiest time. We took this time to go back to the hotel for a swim in the pool, take a rest in the hotel room or just walk about the Disney village and have lunch
  2. Download the EuroDisneyLand App prior to going. This app will tell you where to eat, how long the queues for the attractions are and what is closed. It’s a handy little map too. I found that my 4G wasn’t particularly great in some areas, so I used the app as a map to help guide us around the parks.
  3. Take comfy shoes to wear. DLP is not about fashion. Your feet will ache from all of the walking around and waiting in queues.
  4. Use your fastpass as soon as you can as the time slots soon fill up pretty quickly on busy days. We used ours for the most popular rides, like Hollywood Terror Towers, Ratatouille, Buzz light year and Thunder Mountain. When you use your fastpass for a ride check the bottom of the ticket as it will give you a time when you can use it again

  5. Head on over to the studios and take a seat at one of the many shows to watch. The Moteurs show is one not to be missed. A spectacular action stunt show set amongst a full scale mediterranean village. Watch the hero red car speed away from the bad guys using some nail biting stunts, there is even a fiery finale

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  1. Be prepared to queue for up to an hour on most rides. We saw queues with a waiting time of up to 130 minutes.
  • Although DLP does not allow picnics to be had inside the parks you can take in snacks. They come in handy when waiting in the long queues especially with the little ones
  • Book your meals before you arrive as the restaurants quickly become full especially Chez Remy, which is situated in The Studios. You can book over the phone up to a month before your trip starts or book with the concierge in your hotel on the day of your arrival

  • We ate in Agrabah, Cafe Mickey, Sequoia Lodge, Cape Cod and Earl of Sandwich

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    Buffet breakfast at Newport Bay Club
    Buffet breakfast at Newport Bay Club

     

    1. Meet and Greets are available in the mornings from 8am in the Disney Hotel foyers
  • Pushchairs are available to hire out in the parks
  • If your child is not tall enough for a ride but you want to give it a go the most rides do a Rider switch where you all queue up at the same time and take it in turns to ride the attraction without queueing again. Just tell the member of staff when you begin to queue that is what you want to do.

  • Certain attractions offer a Single Rider option where you can join a special queue if you don’t mind filling up a spare space on the attraction and not ride along with friends or family. This queue is normally not as busy as the main queue

  • Turn up for the parade and illuminations about half hour before they begin. You will find that most people begin to find a spot about an hour before. We watched the parade at the bottom of the main street. I would advice to look out for where the sun is especially if you want to take some snaps as you dont’ want the sunshine to ruin your photos in the back drop. The illuminations start when the park closes, everyone tries to get just in front of the castle but we found that we had a great view from the entrance to fantasyland

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    1. Take along a spare charge lead and a portable charger. If you are only using your phone as a camera then the battery will quickly go and you dont want to miss out on any photo opportunity
  • For quieter rides head on over to the back of Fantasyland where you will find Les Pays des Contes De Fees a gentle boat ride amongst Disney Storybook land and Casey Jr – Le Petit Train Du Cirque, a train ride above miniature land. We only queued for about 10 minutes for these rides.
  • For the magic to really come alive you must visit the dragon that lives in the caves under the castle

  • Explore the many winding caves and see the waterfall or walk over the rickety walk way in Adventure isle in Frontier Land. From the eerie gloom of Skull Rock to the stunning landscape of Spyglass Hill, there are secrets and stories to uncover at every turn. At Adventure Isle keep a watchful eye on what’s ahead as danger lurks beneath crisscrossing suspension bridges, beside narrow pathways and within spooky caves.

    1. If you’re arriving at the le marnee de valley train station there will be shuttle busses taking you to your hotel just outside of the station. each stop is sign posted with the hotel that the shuttle stops at and they run about every 20 minutes
  • Don’t miss out on the many photo opportunities you get not only with the meet and greets but also with the many statues that are around both parks. Playland in The Studios is a fabulous place for the young ones
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    My boys also enjoyed attempting to pull the sword from the stone, it obviously was never going to budge as they are not King Arthur

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    1. Disneyland doesn’t have to be all princess and Mickey mouse. My boys particularly enjoyed spending time in the Studio Park as they got to meet Storm troopers as they paraded around the park looking for any rebels to pick out from the crowds. At certain times of the day you get to watch the First Order March and the A Galaxy Far, Far Away show
    1. Take along some fancy dress for your children to wear whilst they explore the parks, you never know you just might be picked out from the queue and taken to the front on a ride
  • There are many water fountains around the park so take along a water bottle for you to fill up. Drinks can be very expensive, about £3.50 per drink and £2.80 for a coffee.
  • The quieter times to attend the attraction and rides are between 8-10 in the morning, while the parade is on and after 7 at night. The park closes at 10 just as the fireworks and illuminations start.

  • And last of all relax and enjoy the experience. Enjoy your evenings in one of the many restaurants in Disney Village or have a drink and watch the buffallo Bill show.

  • My youngest is about 107cm tall and he managed to go on most of the rides apart from a few, unlike a few of the theme parks that we have visited in England where he got very frustrated and upset as he wasn’t tall enough to go on them. This just made our family experience a while lot better as we all went on the rides together. It was just India Jones, Rc Racer and Rock n Roller coaster. Space mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean wasn’t open.

    Rides I would reccomend are: Crush Coaster, ratatouille, Buzz light year, Autopia, Star tours, Thunder mountain, Terror towers and Rock n Roller coaster

    Thank you for reading, I hope this post has been helpful

     

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    Our mystical short break to Lee Valley

    We found a little haven within the suburbs of London, a new favourite place for the boys and I to visit.  Lee Valley Regional Park is a 10,000-acre, 26 miles long park, much of it green spaces, running through the northeast of Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire. It is made up of a diverse mix of countryside areas, urban green spaces, heritage sites, country parks, nature reserves and lakes and riverside trails, as well as leading sports centres and camping sites.

    We have visited Lee valley before but I never knew it was as beautiful as it is. We fell in love with the pure nature of it, the river lea runs through the whole length of the Valley. Starting at Stratford, heading north through Enfield, Waltham Abbey and up towards Stanstead Abbotts. There is a heavy emphasis of wildlife and natural habitats. We loved cycling along the river watching out for otters and birds.

    The park has beautiful scenery and is so peaceful.

    Not only does the regional park have rivers, lakes, green spaces and 2012  sporting venues but it is also home to a few camp sites.

    We booked into the Lee Valley Campsite based in Ponders End. We wasn’t sure what to expect as you couldn’t get more urban than Enfield. As we arrived we looked around and listened. It was hard to believe that this little campsite was on the edge of the A10, North Circular and within a short distance of the M25. It was quiet. It was beautiful. The site has a shower and wc block, outdoor play area, and lots of pitches for caravans and tents. Next door is a cinema and an athletics centre. We had booked to stay in one of the campsites wooden cabins.

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    How beautiful and mystical is the cabin? We felt like we had walked into a Lord of the Rings/ Harry Potter film set.

    The cabin came equipped with a fridge, electric, a couple of chairs, table, beds, kettle and even some tea and coffee to refresh you after your journey. There is also wifi throughout the campsite.

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    The shower and toilet blocks need a code to get in so only holiday makers can enter, it gives you that little piece of mind that if your children go off to the toilet and they will be safe inside from random passers by. The wood cabins are ideal for a family of 4, there is double bunk red and a small camp bed. They are situated under trees at the back of the campsite and just behind the trees is a golf course.

    As soon as had arrived the boys were off exploring the site, playing in the park and running around on the grass, exploring the edge of the golf course (looking for pokemon) and just generally enjoying the little freedom that they get when on holiday. They loved going off to the tap to collect water and didn’t even grumble when asked to take the rubbish over to the bins. One thing that was missing was a little BBQ. As we travelled by bicycle, we had limited space to carry one. It would have been nice to sit on the veranda cooking up a few veggie burgers and some vegetable kebabs in the early evening, watching the children run around. The site is clean and the staff are very helpful.

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    The River Lea was about 10 minute walk away. We decided to take a walk and look around.

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    The boys helping out on the locks
    The boys helping out on the locks

    After an early evening walk we took to our camp beds and chatted away, enjoying each others company.

    The next morning we was up and ready for a fun day by the river. With our back packs on, full of food and water we was ready to go off and explore the area. The boys were looking forward to cycling along the river.

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    The river bank is wide enough for two bicycles to be alongside each other but when others passed by we had to go into single file. I told the younger boys to cycle as close as they can to the bushes so that they was not near the river. DSC_5210-opt

    There were plenty of places along the river that you can sit down and enjoy the peace and nature around you. We found a cute little park near Enfield Lock where we sat down and had a snack.

    We made our way through a country park towards Waltham Abbey. What a beautiful town. Here we explored the Abbey Gardens and the White Water Centre

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    We had been out for a good few hours and was beginning to get a little tired so we headed back towards the campsite along the River Lea Navigation. But not before stopping for a little cool down by the river eating an ice cream

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    We had booked for two nights. So another night under the stars in our little cabin. The boys were full of excitement and had so much fun sleeping in the cabin. It was hard to get them to sleep as they were full of energy, even after there long cycle ride that day.

    The boys were up early ready for another day by the river. First though, they wanted to try out the athletics track. For just £3 children under 16 can enjoy the indoor and outdoor track all day long. My eldest was in his element. The boys love to run and being so close to this activity was amazing. They spent about an hour and a half running around the track and getting agood training session in before they were ready to get back onto their bikes and explore the regional park again.

    This time we went a little further than the day before, heading past the white water centre, pass Cheshunt and onto the Lee Valley Farms. Even though it was a very active day it was ever so relaxing. With so much peaceful water around it was hard not to feel relaxed.

    We cycled, we looked, we listened, we rested, we enjoyed the surroundings and each others company.

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    We found a perfect place to sit and rest, whilst the children played. Just near to Cheshunt station is a little park called Pindar. A place where children can explore the natural play area. The boys enjoyed climbing the natural wooden areas and playing football in the wide open space. There is even a dog agility course nearby so our four little legged family members don’t miss out on the fun.

    We had so much fun. I thought that it would be hard to cycle through the park alongside the river with the boys but it was perfect. I made sure that I run through the dangers of the river first and dropped some cycling rules too. The boys listened and behaved well.

    We managed to cycle about 30 miles over a couple of days. We laughed, we rested, we enjoyed.

    We even managed to find two geocaches and we would have found more if I had a back up charger for the phone. There are tons of geo caches hidden along the river and surrounding areas, mostly at the locks.

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    Found at Ponders End Lock
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    Found at Valley Farms

    We have definitely found our little favourite place in London. We have even gone back for a day out after we came back. This time we went in the car and drove to Broxbourne to take to the water this time. We hired out a motor boat for the hour and steered our way along the river, the sun was shining , it was perfect.

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    Without a doubt we would absolutley recomend a visit to the River Lee Regional Park but also beyond any doubt a stay in the camp site. We have made some magical memories as a family.

    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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