Britain with Kids by William Gray

When the weather’s cold and the nights are dark, I often find myself digging out dog-eared travel brochures and guides, fantasising about where I might head when the temperatures rise. I bought a copy of Britain with Kids by William Gray last year; it sits on a shelf in my living room and I often find myself reaching for it and flicking through for inspiration.
I must confess that despite being impressed by much of the content, when I first bought it I was surprised by the tiny amount of coverage given to cities such as Manchester and Brighton – places I consider brilliant places to take kids. However, I quickly realised that the aim of the book is to highlight outdoorsy type holidays, rather than to comprehensively cover everywhere in the UK. Hence, urban areas get a quick mention whilst countryside and coastal locations get centrestage. Fair enough.
What this little book does brilliantly, is give you a real feel for a place, through beautiful photography, evocative descriptions and quickfire information categorised helpfully into handily titled sections. For instance, information on Devon is split into Fun and free, Best beaches, Action stations (boat trips/canoes/bike hire etc) and Big days out. Accommodation recommended is mainly camp sites, cottages, farms and holiday parks. Current trends are reflected and there’s plenty of examples of places to hire tipis/yurts etc.
The book is almost like a cool little catalogue of beautiful places, designed to tempt you into finding out more by checking out the websites for the various places mentioned. It certainly worked like that for me; there’s a list of the Llyn Peninsula’s best beaches, printed over a photo of gorgeous Porth Oer (pictured above) which resulted in my becoming borderline obsessed with this fantastic part of Wales and taking two trips there last year.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to flick through my book and see where I feel inspired to visit in 2011…

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