Travelling times: our “bests” of 2013

Welcome to
We have been really lucky to visit some incredible places this year, but which ones have been particularly brilliant? Here are our top ten!
Best Beach


essica says: The best beach of the year, and probably the nicest one I’ve ever been to, was the famous seven mile beach at our holiday in Beaches Negril (post coming soon). The beautiful blue sea seemed to stretch out forever and the white sand was soft and lovely to walk on. This was combined with the wonderful weather – always hot and barely ever a cloud in the sky.

Best View

Robert says:
My best view was in Austria (read our post here).When I looked out of my hotel room window I could see enormous grey mountains. When I looked higher I could see no grey just a big blob of bright white snow. I could also see beautiful dark green hills. I thought it was a great view because there weren’t any buildings in the way.

Jessica says: My favourite view ever was looking out of the window on our flight to Jamaica. The Caribbean looked incredible from above. The sea was clear blue and there was such a variety of colours. My favourite part was looking at the change of blue in the sea and an island that looked like a giraffe with a massive foot!
Best Day Out

Robert says
: My best day out was by far the London Bridge Experience and The London Tombs. It is fun, scary, interesting and funny. I liked both parts, the educational and the scary, but some people do find the London Tombs terrifying. Click here to see my post.
Best Day Out For The Whole Family

My best day out for the whole family was at Universal Islands Of Adventure, Florida (read our blog post here). The rides were awesome and it was fantastic weather. Rob and I both loved everything, but the best had to be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as it looked so real.
The atmosphere was amazing, but it was slightly cagey at the start of the day as everyone was rivals in a race to get to the Harry Potter ride first! Disney World felt kinder and more relaxed, but the rides at Universal were better suited to us.

Sarah says:
I think the best day out has to be the Harry Potter studio experience in Leavesden. There is so much to see, and it’s not all about the rides! It’s brilliantly done and works for every age (though there is a lot of walking). Read more of what I thought in my post here.

Best Hotel
The gorgeous Hilton Grand Vacation Suites at Seaworld

Jess says: We have stayed at loads of places during 2013, but a few have really stood out. Firstly, as part of our visit to Orlando in February, we stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacation Suites. This hotel had gigantic and luxurious rooms, as well as massive pools. We were there for a week and thought that it was so convenient as it was near to just about everything and we could walk to Seaworld easily.
Mum and I also adored Beaches Negril in Jamaica, as there was so much to do, everyone was charming and friendly and the food was delicious. It was, really, a holiday in itself.
A more unique and engaging hotel was St Ermins, which is situated right in the middle of London and near all the best sightseeing spots. I have written a review of it here and we got to try out the “Budding Bonds” package, letting us become secret agents. We cracked codes and searched local landmarks for clues, eventually being rewarded for our hard work with mocktails!

Best Ride

Robert says:
Jess and I have three best rides. I will tell you about two of them and Jess will do one. The Simpsons ride is at Universal Studios. Our family was laughing before the ride had begun because when you were waiting Krusty would tell you funny jokes. In the ride, you are on a rollercoaster that has been sabotaged by Sideshow Bob. Bob seeks revenge so there are a lot of surprises throughout the ride. The ride is a simulator. The Spiderman ride was also at Universal, but in the Islands of Adventure section. It was an action simulator and a lot of fun. This ride was in 3D.You could feel the car bump when Spiderman landed on your car. You get to see all the baddies use their powers on you. There was real fire.

Jessica says: Harry Potter: A Forbidden Journey, also at Universal Islands Of Adventure is a mixture of a ride and motion simulator. It uses state-of-the-art graphics and motion technology to make you feel like you are actually flying through a quidditch match with Harry, Ron and Hermione!

Most Educational Day Out

Jess says:
 We had a really brilliant time in Bristol, where I learnt loads without ever getting bored. We went on a City Sightseeing Bus Tour which was fascinating, but the best part was At-Bristol, a fabulous interactive science museum that I enjoyed more than the one in London! As well as this, we visited Bristol Zoo, which I also enjoyed more than the ones at London. The best bit was feeding the Lorikeets – tiny, colourful birds.

Sarah says: We also had a lovely day out in Bath, which was full of things to see and do. The Roman Baths are a must, but we also did a bus top tour, which gave us some historical background, ate at Sally Lunn’s (you can read about that here) and simply walked around taking in the sights.

Most Comfortable Bed

Sarah says: We stayed in a lot of lovely places this year and slept in a lot of beds, from the Premier Inn in Bristol, to the gorgeous Meridien Etoile in Paris. But we had our best night’s sleep in Thornbury in Bristol. The fabulous double bed at the magnificent Thornbury Castle (Read here for more on our stay at Thornbury) was just so comfortable, I would have liked to have taken it home with me. I even found out what the mattresses were, and they are Vi-Spring mattresses. Fab.

Best Way To Travel

Sarah says:
I’m not a huge fan of flying, although I know that it’s the only way to get to far off places. That’s why my favourite way of travelling this year was via the Eurostar to Paris. I couldn’t believe how convenient it was. The security procedures didn’t take hours and hours (unlike airports) and there was space to get up and move around. I had been told that it was an extremely boring journey, mostly through a tunnel, so was pleasantly surprised by how much of it was outside, where you could watch the countryside whizz by. Even better, we were in the centre of Paris in just a few hours without being exhausted from an early start or much hanging around. Brilliant.

Coolest Room
Jessica says: I loved our very atmospheric room at Thornbury Castle, which made me feel like I was in medieval or Tudor times! There was a stone staircase leading up to the room and a massive tapestry, and very posh toilet roll. There was loads of space, and it was like no hotel room I had – or imagine ever will again – experience in my life…

8 Responses

    • J

      We have been incredibly lucky – it’s been the most holidays I’ve ever had in a year, and the best ones too!

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