In recent times more and more families are coming to appreciate and enjoy road trips for their own sake – timed carefully, and with routes selected for the interest that they hold for all members of the family, they can be immensely enjoyable. Careful planning is the key so make sure that you have provided back seat passengers with games and activities to keep them occupied during the less interesting parts of the journey. Consider taking your bikes with you so that you can enjoy cycle rides at some stopping off points.
- The Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wolds – an under-appreciated part of the country, the Wolds offer endless interesting places to stop off at. Kids love the seaside towns and beaches, and Spurn Head offers the chance for them to gasp at the peculiar elongated spit across the mouth of the Humber. Take in Beverley’s beautiful Minster and set the kids to searching for all the secret carvings around the interior. The area is easily reached off the M1 and M62 motorways.
- Take a Trip to the West Country – head for the south of Cornwall, and tour the Roseland Peninsula, as delicious as the name suggests. Take the King Harry car ferry across the River Fal, the chain-pulled flat-bed ferry always a delight for kids. Once you have explored the castle at St Mawes, catch the passenger ferry across the Estuary to Falmouth where the sister castle sits waiting to be explored. You can find endless offers of cream teas in the little villages that nestle on the coastline.
- Off the Beaten Track in the Sussex Downs – stay off the seaside roads which will be packed in summer and instead head for the Downs. The A272 is a winding road that leads off the A23 and can be followed all the way through West Sussex to Winchester. En route you will find glorious hidden villages, downland walks, open-air museums and woodland to explore, not to mention village pubs offering delicious lunches and places to stay en route.
- The Norfolk Coast – taking in a gentle exploration of the Norfolk coastline, starting from King’s Lynn and heading on the A149 to Cromer. Kids will appreciate the seaside towns, the variety of nature reserves and the famous maze cut into the corn at Compton Hall. You can also impress them by dropping in to visit HM The Queen, or at least her Sandringham estate.
- The Thames Valley to the Edge of the Cotswolds – there are some great starting points for a tour of this area of the Cotswolds closer to London. Consider getting your trip off with a cheer from the kids by starting from Windsor, perhaps taking in a tour of the castle or a trip on the Thames. Take the smaller B roads via Marlow and Berkhamsted, stopping off to explore the towns and to walk in the Ashridge Forest with its massive ancient oak trees, heading eventually to Whipsnade Zoo for a day’s enjoyment.