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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

10 Reasons To Stay At The Alba Queen, Antalya


Recently we returned form a 2 week all Inclusive holiday to the Alba Queen Hotel in Side, Near Antalya in Turkey. We had an amazing time and we were slightly shocked to see someone wrote a bad review on TripAdvisor, even though they were there the same time as us. These people were actually bragging that they had been given white bands to get into the neighbouring hotel, because they were friends with guest relations so as they were hardly at the Queen, I am at a loss to see how she could find so much wrong with the hotel. I know everyone has a different view to holidays but here are the ten reasons why we loved the Alba Queen

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

42 Things To Know When You Travel Europe As A BackPacker

When we recently travelled Europe by InterRail, we learned a few things that we thought we would share with you. Some of it is common knowledge and some of it is what we discovered along the way. We have listed some travel advice below, you never know we might have some advice that you never thought of. I would recommend that you all travel like this and it really does give a life time of memories


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Sightseeing In Copenhagen

We were staying in Orestad, just outside of Copenhagen and it was a fab place to stay as it was one stop away from Copenhagen and two stops from the airport. We were there for 2 nights and bought a 72 hour bus ticket on the Stromma Bus company, this included bus hop on hop off rides on both green busses of Open top Tours and the red City sightseeing busses as well as unlimited boat tours in the canals and the land train. It as DKK300 and was worth every single Krona of my money. By this time of my holiday I was really skint and struggling for money, so my thought was that if we did this then I would get out of having to pay to get into other attractions that would cost more in the long run.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Visiting Copenhagen With Tilly


So here we are at our last destination, Copenhagen. I had wanted to come here since the older kids were little - but it never seemed the right time to go. So we found ourselves here this summer, and this is how we got on.

Copenhagen is the Amsterdam for kids, It is a city that cares for the environment and they want to be completely carbon friendly within the next few years. There are bicycles everywhere and recycling is a big thing for them.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Taking A Trip To Efteling Theme Park

when we were planning our trip to the Netherlands, we were offered some tickets to Efteling Theme park in Kaatsheuvel. Tilly has grown up going to theme parks and was a regular visitor to Chessington and Legoland but this theme park totally out ranks them in the leader board for one of the best theme parks we have been to.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

Travelling To Copenhagen By InterRail


Again as I tried to make the journeys between destinations no more than 4 hours, I found myself in Hamburg. The travel from the Harz to Hamburg was only a couple of hours and we have managed to get a bargain hotel on Ebookers, It was a four star Best Western hotel and it was just gorgeous, It was much needed after the naff hostel we had just been in. I had gone two days with out a shower and to be able to use one, was the best feeling ever. The staff were fab and the hotel was a quick train ride away on the Sbahn.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Visiting Malmo With A Child

If you are staying in Copenhagen, then it would be a shame if you didn't cross the bridge into Sweden to spend some time in Malmo. It is easy to get there and takes just over half an hour from Copenhagen, by crossing the Øresund Bridge. It is about 16 km long  and is a combined road and rail link between Sweden and Denmark. It is a bridge, an artificial island and a tunnel. It is the longest bridge that I have ever been on and was very exciting. When we went to Malmo, we had to change at Copenhagen Airport and before we got on the train, our passports were checked and they were checked again on the train.


Monday, 15 August 2016

Chasing Fairy Tales in The Harz Mountains

During the cold war, Germany was split into East Germany and West Germany, the division went right through the Harz country park and sadly this beautiful part of the country was unavailable to so many people. In Wernigerode there is a steam train that goes up the highest mountains in the Harz, this stopped running in the time of the split and since reunification it has taken the trip to the top of Brocken several times a day.


Saturday, 13 August 2016

Hostelling In Goslar

We had booked into a hostel in Goslar and from the outside it looked like a cute German house, it was huge and perfect for hostelling, but inside it was not too nice at all. When we booked it, it had said they spoke English, but when I checked in, the office stank of smoke from what seemed like a 60 a day habit and the man checking us in didn’t speak English. At this point of the holiday we were tired and decided to make the best of a bad thing. We walked up two floors with our heavy suitcases and were shown to our room. Because it was a hostel we had to put our own bedding on the bed, but this is something I have been familiar with over my years of staying in hostels. We tried to hook up to the WIfi but we were out of range ….. it kind of summed up the failure of a booking that we had made.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Wernigerodes Secret Charms And Fairy Tales

Wernigerode is at the base of Brocken and it is actually worth a visit in its own right. We had a few hours there but it was a rush and there is so so much to do. We arrived in Wernigerode after a trip up the Brocken on the steam train, We got off at Wernigerode Westerntor and it was a five minute walk to the old town square. Once you are there you can find the tourist information very easily and it is in the same premises as a bank, so convenience is excellent as I knew I would need some cash here.

Ever since 1400 the houses in the town have been bringing charm and colourful landscape to the area. Wenigerode even holds the nickname "Bunte Stadt am Harz" which translates to "the colourful town in the Harz foothills". Wernigerode is a fascinating town with the fairy tale charm, which is what i was looking for with Tilly.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

The Musicians Of Bremen - The Fairy Tale Trail

Next on our fairytale trail part of our InterRailing adventure was a sneaky little quick trip to Bremen, The story of the Musicians of Bremen isn’t really know outside of Germany, but once again because I had grown up with the story I wanted to show it to Tilly. I had arranged for us to get an early train because we were on our way to the Harz mountins and it was going to be a longer journey as we were going 45 minutes out of our way.

We finally got out of bed, which was surprisingly comfortable after the shower debarcle. And we went to have breakfast, It was 7 Euro’s and Tilly ate for free. I am sure they think kids don’t eat much but they have obviously never met Tilly!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Reliving My Childhood in Osnabruck

Like I said in the previous post is that my son and his girlfriend live in a town outside of Rotterdam, about an hour by car. So when it came for time for us to move on, We got up Early (like 6am) and took a bus to Rotterdam Central train station. We got on and took our seats, that was a moment when I thought to myself - Great its only me and my kids now for for the next week. I started to panic about no adult conversation and then being suffocated by Tilly. I thought again for a brief moment that I couldn't possibly do this alone, but I shook myself and just realised I had to get on with it.

The thing about all the transport in Europe is that WIFI is everywhere, you get on a bus and there is WIFI, I was glad for it this morning because it helped to pass the time as Tilly went to sleep. Before I knew it we were at the bus centre in Rotterdam and we had to take a quick Metro ride to the train station. I hadn't booked tickets and preyed the train would not be busy - Luckily it wasn't, we had a change  to do but it breaks the journey.



Monday, 8 August 2016

And Then There Were Two ....... A Train Trip To Rotterdam

So we waved goodbye to Eileen at Amsterdam Schipol airport and it was time to pull my big girl pants up, we were on our own form here. Although I have had about 6 months to prepare for this time on our own, suddenly Europe became a bigger place than it had been over the past two weeks. We tried to go down to the platforms and get the train to Rotterdam, I suppose we were cheating for the first two days of being alone because we wouldn't really be alone - we were off to stay with Zach and Amber. They live on an island about an hour outside of Rotterdam. At Amsterdam Airport, you can actually have your picture taken with Areoplane parts - what a fab opportunity to get up close and personal with a plane.


Sunday, 7 August 2016

Amsterdam - Not A Place For Kids


Amsterdam, well what can we say about this city? Firstly do not take children - I repeat DO NOT TAKE CHILDREN!


Sex and drugs are everywhere! Amsterdam is a beautiful city but as soon as we stepped off the train, the smell of drugs hits you. Not that it bothered me, because we all know that cannabis is legal there anyway and whether they admit it or not, that is the reason the Brits go over there. I think it was curiosity that bought us to Amsterdam, and I am pleased we added it to our European trip.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A Visit To Prague With A Six Year Old

Last year Prague welcomed 6,605,7776 visitors, with 5.714.835 of them coming from worldwide and 890,941 visiting from inside the Czech Republic. A further 2 million visitors came from abroad and visited other destinations in the Czech Republic. We became a statistic this year when we visited Prague alongside all the other foreign visitors.

Prague has been a destination that I have wanted to visit for many years now and finally we made it there as part of our InterRail visit across Europe. We booked into Hostel Cortina, which was a tram ride away from the train station and you simply buy a ticket and hop on until the ninth stop. Then when you get off you see a side road and there is the hostel.

Friday, 5 August 2016

A Visit To Hameln To See The Pied Piper

On our trip from Berlin to Amsterdam, we were worried about the train journeys being too long for Tilly so we decided we would stop in Hanover and spend a night there. We had a few problems with our booking as we were booked into a hotel in Hanover and they cancelled it without telling me. So on the morning of Thursday 4th August we were frantically looking again for a hotel to stay in. Luckily we found somewhere called Hotel Zentrum.

We took the train to Hanover and we left our luggage in the lockers at the station, By the time we got to Hanover we were experts in leaving luggage in lockers and It always turned out to be the favourite part of our day. We then jumped on a train to Hameln, I had grown up in Hameln as part of the British forces in West Germany. I was so lucky to grow up in such a great country and I lived there when I was Tilly's age. So I knew I had to take her to go and get to learn the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. I feel sad that kids these days know all of the Disney movies, but fairy stories often get forgotten and I wanted to bring them to life for Tilly.

How To Use The Travel System In Prague

Something that we kept getting confused with as we travelled around Europe was the different transport systems. Each country had its own way of doing things and we had to adjust quite a bit with the different ways. Here we have a guide to help you get around Prague and enjoy your visit there. They have many different ways of getting around the city and here is a little help for you.


Metro
This operates between 5am and midnight, you can buy tickets at the stations. The trains run every 2 – 4 minutes in peak times and off peak times they run every 4 – 10 minutes.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Two Days In Berlin

I was an army kid and spent 8 years of my childhood in the former West Germany, but I had never been to Berlin, either before or after the unification and what I learned in Berlin was not quite what had been interpreted by the press.

Visiting The Old Town Hall And Tower In Prague


The old Town Hall was established in 1338 on the order of the Czech King, John of Luxembourg. It was established in one of the old town houses and over the following centuries it grew to include many more houses. It is still preserved to this day and when you go in you get to see parts of the building as it was in the 14th century.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A Visit To Budapest With A Six Year Old


First impressions can be an important thing, especially when you are visiting somewhere for the first time. We were so excited to be going to Budapest as it seemed such a fab location and many of my friends had been there and fell in love with the country. We pulled into Budapest Keleti station and got off the train, this was when I decided I needed the toilet! Typical of me, so I went to the loo and paid a few euros to get in to see the toilet cubicles were like prison cells. The big metal doors that you get on a cell to keep the prisoners in at night. I found it slightly scary, did my pee and we left  there, pretty quick

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Be Careful When You Book Accomadation Online - Always Read Reviews

This is the story of how we dragged my 6 year old around Budapest at 10pm at night because it was safer than staying into the the hotel that we had booked into through Booking.com. Now what I am about to tell you is in no way down to booking.com but the property itself. The property was Westend Mini Hotel DO NOT BOOK TO STAY IN THIS HOTEL.

We arrived in Budapest about 7pm and walked to our hotel, we found it next to a pub and the outside looked ….. the only way to describe it was like a slum. We really should have turned back then, but you know that sometimes the outside of buildings look different to the inside, so we carried on and we found our hotel on the second floor. I went up the lift that looked like something out of a 1950’s horror movie!

We found our room and as soon as we walked in, our gut instinct was to walk out, but like all good horror movies you just have to go in and see how bad things really are ….. why do we do this? We put our bags down and we were faced with

  • Dirty and marked towel, simply used and refolded
  • No TV and just a loose aerial wire going across the floor
  • A filthy toilet that hadn’t seen bleach for a long time
  • A dirty table with crumbs from a previous guest
  • Dirty bedding
  • Dirty tissues behind the radiator
  • Dust all over the room, where it wasn’t cleaned properly
  • We couldn’t touch the light sockets as they were so dirty
  • No toiletries or hair dryer in the room as advertised
  • A dirty tissue or sanitary towel shoved behind the radiator, I didn't want to get too close!

Monday, 1 August 2016

A Visit To SchonBrunn Is A Must In Vienna - Loads For Children To Do And A Full Day Of Fun


Whilst we were in Vienna, I wanted to show Tilly some of the history involving the royalty, after all Vienna is renowned for being a very regal city. There is so much history in the city surrounding the royal family of Hapsburg and this year brings the 100 year anniversary of one of the last rulers from the Hapsburg Dynasty, Emporer Franz Joseph 1. There is a special exhibition in his honour until November at the Shonnbrunn Palace. We actually took a trip to the imperial palace of Shonnbrunn whilst we had our brief stop in Vienna. It was easy to find on the metro as the stop is actually called 'schonnbrun and then it is a short walk to the palace, if your not sure where you are going, then you simply follow the crowds as you can be sure that you are going in the right direction. Before you go, it is easier to buy tickets if you can, because you could be queuing for a long time to even buy the tickets. Then you get given a time slot to enter the palace and on the desks there are notices saying that it can be up to an hour before you get in the palace on busy days. My friend went to the Imperial palace, whilst I chose to take Tilly to the KinderMuseum, as I thought she would enjoy it more.

Saturday, 30 July 2016

A Visit To Dachau Memorial, munich

Due to the recent terrorism threats, I will admit that it scared me a bit to be going in to Munich, especially after the attack and the Olympic shopping centre, but the room was booked and we were staying on the outskirts of the town and we were not going anywhere near the town for shopping. And if terroroism starts to put you off going to beautiful places like this, then you wouldn't leave your house, would you?

So we had booked into Motel 1, It was the cheapest i could find, that looked nice. It was out of the city but literally a 3 minute walk form the metro line. It was a lovely hotel, for the budget and we were welcomed with open arms.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

A Stay In Tent Village, Interlaken.


When we had decided to add Switzerland to our European trip, we didn't really know what was the best place to visit in the summer so we just looked on a map of mountains and chose Interlaken. It was only two hours away from Basel airport and the accommodation on booking.com looked a good price for Switzerland. I booked Tent Village before telling my friend because camping isn't for everyone. But staying in Tent Village is actually a step up from camping because you get a bed!


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Three More Sleeps Until We Go To Europe - EEK!


So here we are 3 more sleeps until we embark on our massive trip of Europe. 10 countries in 23 days, can we do it?

The bags have been packed and repacked. Can you imagine having to squeeze everything from your life into a backpack? Okay I cheated, I have a backpack on wheels but I will still end up carrying it some on the time. I have stuffed it full of food just in case we die of starvation and my first aid box is better than the first aid kit that a paramedic carries. Every day I seem to think of new things that I must take on holiday and then I make a swift visit to poundland. Really I am looking at all of my possessions and thinking ‘Do I really need my curling tongs?’ But then I think about how much better you feel with nice hair, so the tongs are an essential travel item. I am even taking less clothes to make room for the tongs.

When we first planned the trip, we had decided that we were not going to tell anyone where we are going, we wanted to be free spirits and come and go as we wanted but sadly due to recent terrorist attacks, we feel that it is something we can’t do anymore and both kimmy and my friends daughter have our itinery to follow us and contact us if they need it. We have also been told to check in to all the places we visit so that everyone can keep an eye o9n what we are up to.

I am excited and so is Tilly, I think she is grasping the whole backpacking idea and she has been practicing with her back pack, I filled it to the brim with all of her belonging and she walked to town and back a few times. My suit case was weighed on my scales and it is a massive 17 KGs! I guess all that food and drink that I have packed does weigh a bit.

                

Of course I am worried about the threat of terrorism, after all you never know when they will strike, you never know what you’re about to stumble across, So yes I am so worried that I could be taking my baby in to danger – but then it could happen on a trip to London! Nowhere is safe these days. I will protect my baby from harm and that’s all I can do, because if we really thought too much about the threat, then we would never leave our homes.

I am so under budget on our spending money, but you know what? we will just have to do free things and be careful with money.

We will have a wonderful holiday. Please follow us on Facebook Being Tillys Mummy and follow Tillys Travelling Telegram as well as beingtillysmummy.co.uk, to share our adventures with us. have a fab summer everyone

Friday, 1 July 2016

Make Sure You Know Where You Stand When A Travel Company Changes Your Plans


Tourism in Turkey has taken a real knock this summer with the ban on Russian tourists, In fact there are 81% less tourists in the Antalya area. Now with these people missing it has had a detrimental effect on the country. Terrorism is another thing that puts families off going to Turkey. People are asking me 'Aren't you worried about going to Turkey?' I say no because the last terrorist attack was at an airport in Istanbul which is nearly a 9 hour drive away, its like people saying, I wont go to Edinburgh because there was a terrorist attack in Portsmouth. Having no tourism means that hotels are closing up, shopkeepers have no one to sell to and the whole country is suffering.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Dreamlands First Birthday And Exciting News

We live in a little corner of Kent and although we all love it here, we were always having to travel for hours to get to a theme park when the kids wanted to go and have a day at the somewhere like Chessington or Thorpe Park. Then on top of the travel, you have to pay an entrance fee to get in and a for a family of four, this can cost nearly £200 for a day. This works out to a very expensive day out.  Now that the Phantom Express is open, it is going to make it a more exciting visit for us as Tilly has been waiting for it to arrive at Dreamland


Last year we were thrilled to learn that Dreamland in Margate was re opening, it meant the end of travelling to travel, We could get a train and be there within half an hour. Dreamland has opened up and bought all of the fun of the fair back to the local area. Considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, the site of Dreamland (as it was re-named in 1920) dates back to the British railway boom of the early 1860s when, in its original form, the ‘Hall by the Sea’ was operated by the famous circus impresario, ‘Lord’ George Sanger. Dreamland Re-opened last year after a huge campaign to save Dreamland was launched and this weekend we celebrate Dreamlands first birthday. for more info, visit The Dreamland Website

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

THOUSANDS OF FREE CHILD PLACES THIS SUMMER!



STENA LINE are offering tens of thousands of free child places for travel to Ireland by car all summer long on its 4 Irish Sea routes. Their Kids Go Free offer means that you can travel any day and on any sailing, but you need to book quickly so you don’t miss out – it really is that simple with no catches or conditions.

Get online and book your getaway now and you can start looking forward to your family summer holiday or a last minute weekend away as you can travel any time until December 18.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Only Fools And Horses Jolly Boys Outing Exhibition At Dreamland


The Only Fools and Horses Jolly Boys Outing Exhibition welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors in its opening weekend at Dreamland Margate. Situated in the beautifully restored 1920s Ballroom, fans queued up to take a look at the sets, memorabilia, props and costumes, from the British Cult TV series.

For the duration of the Bank Holiday weekend, guests were in for a special treat, as John Challis AKA Boycie and Sue Holderness AKA Marlene made an appearance. The on-screen married couple greeted fans with book signings, photos and autographs and reminisced about the ‘Jolly Boys Outing’ episode that was filmed here at Dreamland in 1989.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Taking A Toddler To DisneyLand

When you go on holiday with a child, it is stressful enough. Especially if you are going to one of the top toddler and pre school holiday destinations in Europe.  When we went a couple of years ago, we picked up a few tips and this is what we would love to share with you now.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

We Went To LegoLand Windsor

On Saturday, Tilly took a trip to Legoland with myself and Kimmy. The reason for the day out was for Kimmy's birthday - yes, even at 24 years old, Legoland is still fun!

We took the train to Windsor and there was a but that took us from outside Windsor Castle and took us right up to the entry gate, but take note of which bus company you use because if you buy a return ticket you will need to use the same company to get back to Windsor. We paid £10 for a family ticket, which I thought was an okay price and it does take you from point to point.

Monday, 9 May 2016

A Day Trip To Dymchurch


Last weekend, as the sun was shining I thought it would be a lovely idea for us to take the bus along the coast to Dymchurch. Although we live on the seafront, it is a pebbled beach and not a proper speck of sand in sight! So of we went with our swimwear under our clothes, sun block in the bag and snacks and drinks.

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Day We Went To Dover Castle .....


When the older kids were little, I was a member of the English Heritage and we used to go to so many places. This saved me a lot of money as they grew up because all I needed to do was buy a pass for myself and the kids went in free. We would even travel as far as Northampton to go to a weekend event. As they got older, the membership slipped because as they become teenagers, they didn't want to be going to castles and historical places any more! I mean what teenager would.

Monday, 18 April 2016

May Half Term Activities At London Transport Museums



If you are in London, this May Half Term, why not take a visit to London Transport Museum  for some fab storytime sessions and creative workshops for families. Your children can get artistic with foam block printing inspired by the Museum’s iconic posters, and make their own postcard to take home, or listen to a fun storytime session about the loveable pelican Mr Beak.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Six Things To Do For Free In London

Tilly is very high spirited and although we live in a small town, she just loves being in the big city! So when we go to London, she is in her element but I always try to do free things. There are so many free things to do, so many hidden gems, here are my top six tips for a free day out in London (apart from train and tube fare)

Friday, 8 April 2016

Welcome To My First Post

So here we are, starting a travel blog to work alongside my other blog www.beingtillysmummy.co.uk. Travel is important to us as a family and I believe that children learn a lot from travelling. It is so important for their life experiences, and they learn more than being in a classroom learning about places. Yes I do disagree with school fines, yet I see why they are in place. My philosophy is that if you can only afford a holiday in term time, then just pay the fine. The fine is still a great deal cheaper than booking a holiday in the school breaks. But saying that, I don't take holidays in the school term because you can get a cheap one by looking on line yourself. And that is what brings us to this blog, I am taking Tilly Inter-railing in the summer and we will be getting in quite a few places at the fraction of the price of a holiday booked through a travel agent. Another reason for choosing now to travel is that I am 44 this year and Tilly is 6 so If I don't do it now, then we will never do it because by the time Tilly is a teenager she wont want to be going back packing with her 50 something mother.