Easter Egg trails this weekend in London and beyond… and a few sheep!

There are lots of events for all the family this Easter weekend. If you are still not sure where to go, here are a few trail ideas in the London area and slightly further afield.

Shaun in the City
Shaun the Sheep is making an appearance all over London, with no less than 50 giant Shauns dotted around the capital. You can download the Sheep Spotter app and get involved in others ways too. All proceeds go to the Wallace & Gromit’s Childrens Charity.

The Shaun in the City trail will be in London from 28th March through to 25 May so if you are busy this weekend there is plenty of time!

Easter Day Easter Egg Hunt, Gibberd Garden, Old Harlow, Essex


The Gibberd Garden is one of our favourite hidden treasures, and one I do not like to freely share. It is such a wonderful garden full of character, lots of sculptures, a moat and a traditional wooden swing hanging from an old tree with views across the fields. The Easter Day Easter Egg Hunt is a fun day where the whole family can enjoy the garden and activities including an Easter Egg hunt.

When: Sunday 5th April 2-6pm

Ashridge Annual Cadbury Easter Egg Trail, Ashridge Estate, Near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, HP4

The annual Easter egg trail is sponsored by my fabourite chocolate brand, Cadbury, follow the trail through the gardens exploring along the way and enjoy a little treat at the end!
No booking necessary

Friday 3rd April to Monday 6th April 10am – 4pm

Giant Duck hunt at the WWT London Wetland Centre

duck wwt
Some of the ducks have gone astray, follow the giant Easter duck trail around the nature reserve among the real ducks, there are also craft activities too.

When: every day from 10am 28th March to Sunday 12th April 2015

Bertie Bunny’s Eater Egg Hunt, Epping Ongar Railway, Essex

Join Bertie Bunny at the Epping Ongar Railway and bop away with him at the Bunny Hop Disco. There will be clues to help find the hidden eggs around the railway. The Bunny Hop Disco will run for 25 minutes throughout the day. Epping Ongar Railway is the longest heritage railway in Essex and the closest to London.

When: Friday 3rd April until Monday 6th April from

An Enchanted Easter Adventure at Strawberry Hill House, Twickenham, Middlesex

Follow the clues and answer the riddles as you explore this fairy tale garden offering your little one an enchanted experience and chocolate rewards!
No advanced booking required

4th to 6th April 11am – 4pm

Horniman Easter Fair at the Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill London SE23

EasterFair2014 horniman
Hop your way around the gardens with the Horniman Bunny and join in the Easter egg hunt. There are also lots of other activities for all the family from arts and crafts to live music and a farmers market.

Events are at various times and days but the Easter Egg Trail runs 10.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th April

Please let us know what you are up to this Easter weekend :)


Stop press: Easter activities and availability for your last minute family getaway

There are some last minute Easter week bargains to be had in Cornwall and France, from a short family weekend break to a holiday for the week. Here are a few child-friendly holiday ideas below with Easter availability and all are baby and toddler friendly too! Click on the reference number for more details and how to contact the owners directly…

Holiday Cottages in Cornwall with facilities including indoor pool: ref TVTH

Hidden away in thirteen acres or gardens and woodland are these lovely self-catering holiday cottages. Activities running over the Easter period include basket making for the Easter egg hunt, bush craft, archery and tennis tuition and more including a weekly magic night and themed evenings in the onsite restaurant.

Indoor pool

Indoor pool

2 bedroom cottages now only available:

7 nights now £855 (save £300)
4 nights now £645 (save £150)
3 nights now £635 (save £130)

There are plenty of local events too: Truro Festival (art, culture and music festival), Treireife Easter Food and Craft Fair, Viking Voyagers at the National Maritime Museum, Pirates Ahoy (30th March to 3rd April) and Tudor Castle Capers (6th to 10th April) at Pendennis Castle and more.

Wine and Olive chateau, Languedoc France: ref VCC1 and VCC2


2 cottages available for Easter weekend at this lovely chateau. Easter Bunny leaves a trail of eggs through the olive groves and vineyards so your children can have a great time hunting for them on Easter Sunday while you can enjoy the taste of something more local in the form of a glass of wine!

Easter egg hunt at the Chateau

Easter egg hunt at the Chateau

Last two cottages now available:

Only 2 cottages available for Easter Weekend from Friday to Monday ( 3 nights)
Cottage one ideal for 2 people and a small child ( there is room for a cot or fold out bed in the master bedroom)
Price: 200€
Or cottage two deal for a family with 2 or 3 children
Price 325€

Child-friendly play all the way at these wonderful holiday homes in the Lot region France: 

Oooh Arrrr!!!

Oooh Arrrr!!!

This fabulous hamlet of childfriendly holiday homes are so kitted out for the chidlren that you will have a hard time draggin them away. Lots of toys and games, swimming pool, pirate ship, climbing frames, dressing up clothes the list is endless

There are two self-catering holiday properties left for the Easter week

Children will love the The Three Bears themed holiday lodge

Children will love the The Three Bears themed holiday lodge

Holiday home one: Goldilocks themed lodge with bears galore: ref LMLC

better wisteria terrace

Holiday home two: a two bedroom cottage with an amazing terrace. ref LMW1
Both priced at £695 for the week commencing 4th April and include a family lunch to the local Atelier with pottery painting included as well as an Easter egg hunt if they join in the family BBQ.

If a luxury child-friendly micro resort is your thing try out these wonderful luxury cottages in the Languedoc. ref MYKG and MYKS both available from 3rd to 25th April


The chickens and ponies are waiting to meet you and the pool will be heated! The cottages are located just 10 minutes from the Etang de Thau (inland sea) they enjoy a great spot for exploring the area’s best of the Languedoc with heaps of family friendly activities: take the “oyster boat” from Bouzigues and discover how oysters are produced, enjoy fresh seafood in one of the many restaurants in Meze or Bouzigues, take the kids flying through the trees at the nearby ropes course, visite the dinosaur park, find treasures on the sandy Mediterranean beaches just 15 minutes away…

Or why not try your hand at glamping in these luxury domes near Biarritz in France: ref SGD


There are lots of family friendly Easter activities happening and if the sun is out the beach will be a hit a the temperature reaches the early 20s. Prices start for just £399 for Easter week.

Holiday Tips from KidStart

Kidstart logoOne of our lovely holiday home owners on Holiday Tots also runs a company called KidStart, an ingenious way to save for your children’s future. It’s a simple idea, you earn savings on purchases made at various retailers like Mothercare, ELC, ASOS, Waitrose and more. If you would like to know more just visit their website:


If you want to see their beautiful child-friendly holiday home on Holiday Tots you can view it here:

Child-friendly holiday home in Hampshire with pool!

Child-friendly holiday home in Hampshire with pool!

Clare from KidStart and owner of holiday cottage above shares her top tips for your next family holiday…

If you’re travelling abroad: 

  • Check passports are up-to-date, purchase travel insurance and get your European Health Insurance Card (as well as your travel money/travellers’ cheques prior to travelling.)
  • Packing liquids – If you’re flying to a destination think about the liquids Whether you are packing medicine, suncream or milk for your newborn, this should not be carried in your hand luggage as it will be taken from you by customs. You could either pack this into your suitcase or add to your shopping list for a great excuse to visit the Duty Free area!
  • Keeping your children entertained on the journey is probably the most important thing that you will need to prepare for in order to keep you sane and your journey stress free! Pack as many of their favourite toys as possible…colouring books and crayons are always good on the plane.
  • Pack clever – Pack anything you’ll need on arrival at your destination at the top of your suitcase: swimsuits, sun cream, hats, etc. That way you’ll be able to get your holiday started straight away…unless, of course, you arrive in the early hours and may need your jim jams close at hand!
  • Don’t forget that special comfort item that your little one just can’t sleep without…whether it be a blanket, teddy or a spare dummy, it’s the one thing you do not want to leave behind!
  • Be prepared – take plenty of nappies, milk and baby food in case you can’t find what you need when you get to your resort. If bottle feeding, you can buy a travel size sterilising kit to ensure your baby’s bottles are clean.

If you’re flying – things to remember on board the plane

  • Changing your baby’s bottom can be hazardous at the best of times so you need to be well prepared. Aeroplane bathrooms are small, so keep a nappy, small pack of wipes/cotton wool, tube of nappy cream, lightweight plastic change mat/hand towel, flannel and nappy sack in a side pocket of your cabin bag. Take only these essential items into the bathroom for each nappy change and restock the side pocket once you have resettled baby. It may seem a lot to think about, but you’ll be glad you did!
  • When flying, the changes in air pressure can cause ear ache in babies and young children, especially during take-off and landing. Ensure you provide your little one with plenty of water to relieve the pressure build up in his or her ears. If your child is older, a lollypop or boiled sweet is a nice treat.

Fun in the sun

  • Have peace of mind knowing that your child is protected whilst having fun in the sun.
    It can be difficult to re-apply sun-cream as often as needed when your children are enjoying themselves in the pool or the sea. Here are some additional ways to ensure your little ones are protected against the sun’s harmful rays.
  • UPF50+ Sun Protection Swimwear – all-in-ones, hats, T-shirts, shorts, etc.
  • Sun visor and sunglasses
  • Umbrella attachment for the pushchair
  • UV Pop up tent – for protection and shade for around the pool/beach
  • Armbands/Life Jackets – safety in the pool

Happy Holidays and remember to visit KidStart to save money on all your online shopping


Win a free glamping weekend for a family of four at Caalm Camp in Dorset

HT logos final

To celebrate the launch of our newest child-friendly holiday collection on Holiday Tots, glamping, we have teamed up with the owners at Caalm Camp in Dorset to offer the chance to win a weekend family holiday for four. To enter; visit the competition on our website. (closing date 3rd April 2015)

Here is a little information about these baby and toddler friendly yurts at Caalm Camp where the owners can even arrange babysitting!


Beautiful hand-painted Mongolian Yurts

There are six traditional Mongolian yurts in total each furnished with a double bed and two day beds.





Wood burners to keep you warm and cozy!


Each yurt is hand-painted and offers a luxury alternative to camping. There is a wood-burning stove and single ring hob for that first cup of tea or coffee in the morning.



Private shower rooms with heated floors!

Private shower rooms with heated floors!

Every yurt has its own private shower room and toilet situated in the communal Old Hay Barn with underfloor heating and vanity units so you can leave all your wash items here.




Safe secure grounds


The grounds are secure for children to explore and run free and get closer to nature by meeting resident goats and sheep.





Play room and lounge area


There is a communal lounge/play area with television and toys for wet days and communal kitchen/dining room if you prefer eating in formal surroundings.





Each yurt is positioned to allow your own private outdoor area with miles of unspoiled views. Have a baby to bring along? No worries there are cots, high-chairs, baby monitors, play mats, toys and even babysitting!

To enter just visit the Holiday Tots competition page here Holiday Tots Competition – Competition closes on Friday 3rd April 2015 at midnight UK time.

Good luck!!! x


News from North Devon

Situated in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are six beautiful self-catering holiday cottages. They benefit from woodland, streams and three ponds bringing wildlife day and night and are only a short drive away from the North Devon coast.


Each one is suitable for families with babies, toddlers and young children and can accommodate a couple and baby up to large family gatherings or groups of friends sharing. The facilities are second to none and the location is stunning.

The indoor swimming pool is heated to 30 degrees and if the beautiful rolling hills are not enough there is plenty to keep families happy: indoor play room, games room, play area, pirate ship, two story Wendy house, sand pit and more. Peacocks wander freely and there are plenty of other animals to pet too including ducks, hens, goats, Alpacas and more.


Life never stops on the estate and so during the winter months the owners have been busy updating, refreshing and adding.

Refurbished swimming pool

Refurbished swimming pool

The indoor swimming pool has had a complete make-over, it is now all one depth making it easier for children and has had a new floor all around which is made of soft material promoting soft landings!

New tractor

New tractor

There is a new wooden tractor for children to climb with slide which is going to appeal to tractor loving toddlers

Newest addition to the family

Newest addition to the family

There are two new additions to the menagerie of guinea pigs. These little furry critters are always happy to see guests and children love to pet them.

If you want to venture further afield there are lots of things to do from the Dinosaur Park, just 2 miles away as is the local beach of Combe Martin, Exmoor Zoo is just 6 miles and there are many other activities and places or interested all within 30 minutes drive. We will add a Top 10 guide to the area soon.

If you are looking for somewhere to unwind and have some quality time with your family and / or friends there is still availability. You can view their properties and contact the owners on the Holiday Tots website here:



Osea Island sign

Our visit to Osea Island, I think I’m in love…

We visited Osea Island last week for just two and a half hours and left with a sense of contentment and the feeling that we had witnessed something rather special. A little like the feeling you are left with after watching a thought provoking film…


It’s hard to find the right words to describe Osea as everyone’s idea of perfection is different. If you are looking for perfect lawns and manicured accommodation then it’s probably not for you. If however you are looking for something with a distinctive personality that will disconnect you from everyday life  then you will not be disappointed. With a feeling of easing backwards in time its like no other place this close to London that I have been to.

I actually think I am in love…

So where and what is Osea Island?

Osea Island

Osea Island is a private Island located just off the Essex coast of England: it is so secret even the locals have never heard of it. It is steeped in history (which I will cover in another post) and owned by music producer Nigel Frieda. Here is a little insight on what i think about Osea Island as a short break family holiday destination…

Why I think adults will like Osea Island

The Osea Island Causeway - tide out

The Osea Island Causeway – tides out!

The only way to access Osea by car is when the tide is low via the causeway. When the tide is high the island is closed off from the rest of the UK for eight hours at a time giving you an amazing sense of freedom and pure escapism.


You will love watching the children explore nature’s natural playground and the whole family will indulge their senses in this quite majestic place.

Osea Island transport

Osea Island transport

The island is safe, no traffic (transport on the island is in the form of foot or pedal power) and only guests are allowed to be here.

Osea Island Gamesroom

Osea Island Games Room

The small games room is kitted out with the usual ping pong table and games but you will also find piles of vinyl (that’s what us oldies used to play music on for those too young to know!) and a selection of old fashioned record players to play them on giving you a little glimpse into the world of Osea’s owner Nigel Frieda. Through the door at the back of the games room is a small cinema room with a few rows of comfy arm chairs. This small club-house is simple and offers an eclectic mixture of entertainment which will delight the senses of both young and old.

Osea Island Gym

Osea Island Gym

If taking in the scenery, fresh sea air and strolling around the 4 ½ mile stretch of beach and gardens is not enough for you don’t worry there is a gym and tennis court for all residents to use.

Osea's swimming pool

Osea’s swimming pool

If you are looking for water activities then why not try Kayaking, boating or fishing and the outdoor swimming pool is open during the summer months.

Why the kids will like Osea Island

Foraging on Osea's beach

Foraging on Osea’s beach

All the above! Mum and dad will be so relaxed the children will be in their element foraging for treasure on the beach, climbing trees, building camps, playing games in the garden, splashing in the pool, playing ping pong in the club house or petting the lovely resident donkeys Salt and Pepper.

Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper

We took our five year old when we visited and he still hasn’t stopped talking about the causeway, we let him drive along it too (well steer on daddy’s lap). The excitement of driving where the sea usually sits and going to a private island has been a talking point for him ever since!

Driving on along the Causeway

Driving on along the Causeway

Osea Island is a place like no other, we were transported back in time and taken to a faraway place after just a couple of hours here, I can’t wait to spend a couple of nights! Just imagine…

Sunset on Osea

Sunset on Osea

There are 19 child-friendly holiday homes on Osea Island of varying sizes, accommodating from 2 – 22 people alternatively you can hire the whole island and there is a fab venue licensed for weddings (more on that in my next blog post). If you can’t wait take a look at their holiday cottages and Manor House, Captains House and Beach cottages and apartments here on Holiday Tots:

Top 10 ideas for your family holiday on Tresco Island

Holiday Tots Tresco

Tresco Island is the second biggest island of the Isles of Scilly in Cornwall, England. It is an idyllic holiday destination of unspoilt beauty, with turquoise sea, sandy beaches and secluded coves. You could quite easily be fooled into thinking you were somewhere far more exotic than the UK. (For child-friendly holiday properties on Tresco Island visit our website).


The island is located 28 miles south west of Land’s End, Cornwall and benefits from a relatively mild climate (all year round). Your journey begins before you even arrive whether by boat or plane…

Tresco Island is very much an  island for families wishing to holiday but also all the businesses and homes on the island are run by the Dorrien-Smith family who still live in Tresco Abbey today.

There is a real family-friendly vibe on the island with a strong community spirit: there are about 150 island residents (not including the wildlife!) with some families having lived  here for many generations.

There really is something for everyone on Tresco, the island is famed for its beauty and you cannot help but be impressed….

Here’s our top 10 things to do on Tresco Island with the family


Beaches galore

The beaches offer a mixture of white sand gently shelving into the sea; quiet coves to rugged coast line with rock pools. So it is ideal for sand castle building, paddling or foraging for crabs and sea life.



Bikes are the primary transport on Tresco and are available to hire. There are bicycles to suit all ages and also children’s trailers available. Explore the island on wheels and no need to lock it up either!


Tresco Abbey Gardens

Tresco’s Abbey Garden is a sub-tropical garden home to thousands of exotic plants. There is an extraordinary diverse selection of plant life within the garden from all over the world. The hotter drier terraces at the top of the garden are ideal for plants from South Africa and Australia where the lower down plants favour flora from South America and New Zealand. Even the most uneducated botanist will be impressed. The amazing thing is that less than 30 miles away on the Cornish mainland many of these plants wouldn’t stand a chance of survival, even at winter solstice more than 300 plants will be in flower! Good news for an out of season break – weather-wise!

sailing scilly (1)

Boat trips

Boat trips on Tresco are a must! There are regular shuttle trips for a little ‘Scilly Island hopping’. Alternatively explore Scilly’s hidden coves, private deserted beaches or try your hand at fishing either by hiring a private boat or joining one of the many guided tours. (Island Sea Safaris also offer rib excursions but these are not suitable for very young children). If sailing is your thing why not hire a dingy for the whole family or take a lazy trip in a Kayak. Whatever you are after the local sail boat club have an assortment of boats to choose from that are ideal for all ages.


Tresco and Bryher Rowing Club

Every Friday and Wednesday night (from May to September) you can cheer on the Tresco and Bryher Rowing club in their traditional races from Nut Rock to St Mary’s quay, pick a team and scream as loudly as you like!



The giant pool surrounding Tresco is perfect if you don’t mind a little chill! Alternatively there are plenty of swimming pools to choose from if the sea proves a little too cold. Take your pick from the indoor swimming pools at the Spa and Sea Garden cottages or two three heated outdoor pools dotted around the island.



The fresh air here is intoxicating and there is no better way to take it all in other than a good old fashioned family stroll! Tresco Island has a network of footpaths to explore with an abundance of nature to take in and a wealth of historical forts and monuments to discover as well as long deserted beaches. A favourite is the walk along the coastal path to Cromwell’s seventeenth century castle located northwest on the island, a short hike up the hill behind will lead you to some fabulous views of the islands and to King Charles Castle.


Bird holes

There are two fresh water pools on the island providing a haven for birds so perfect for birdwatching. Tresco also has three bird hides so if you have an avid bird loving toddler who can sit quiet for a while then this is a must. Or maybe just a visit to the fresh water pools and/or feeding the locals might be enough!


Ruin Beach Café

The Ruin Beach Café offers all day beach dining with fab view and of course wonderful food. It was awarded the Gold Standard by Conde Nast Traveller magazine in 2013. At the heart of the restaurant is the wood-fired oven producing pizzas, roasts and fresh fish as well as baking bread. Open all day, the Ruin Beach Café can offer a buffet breakfast in the morning, lunch, afternoon cakes and dinner.


The New Inn

The New Inn is Tresco’s local friendly pub offering award winning food and drink. It is filled with locals and guests all year round with regular live music, and plays host to the island’s beer and cider festivals. It really is the heart of the island community. You will also be spoilt by its menu choices from the old favourites such as beer-battered fish and chips, New Inn burger or sausage and mash to the Tresco surf and turf: succulent Bryher lobster and chargrilled Tresco beefsteak. Great for families there are baby-change facilities, high chairs, pencils and colouring sheets and a good children’s menu.


And a little for the adults

For a little adult time there is plenty on offer: diving, fishing, cricket and plenty of events held throughout the year including the Tresco Triathlon, Beer Festivals, Art festivals, Cider Festival, Food Festival and more plus…

Tresco_Island-Enjoying_Spa_1200x679_4 (1)

Leisure Spa

For adult relaxation, although Tresco has an extraordinary natural environment that is a tonic in itself, the spa will deliver. There is an indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, gym, beauty treatment centre and yoga classes. The Spa also manages the astro-turf tennis court bookings if you’re feeling energetic!


There is an assortment of family friendly holiday accommodation on Tresco Island. The New Inn offers bed and breakfast, there are characterful Scillonion cottages available to rent too.


For self-catering holiday cottages that are perfect for families with pre-school children why not take a look at the beautiful Sea Garden Cottages located on the beach offering accommodation for families looking for one to four bedrooms.


Or the Flying Boat Cottages, a collection of contemporary New England style beachfront cottages offering up to four bedrooms.

These child-friendly cottages can be found on our Holiday Tots website too and if you enquire via Holiday Tots, not only do you pay the same as going direct but also get spa membership and free entrance to the Tresco Abbey Gardens (usually £12pp). Tresco is also happy to provide complementary bike hire to all Holiday Tot guests. You can view Tresco’s child friendly holiday accommodation on Holiday Tots here.