Are you searching for a different type of holiday experience for your family without straying too far from home this year? Believe it or not, there are a number of British Isles cruises on offer from some of the top operators, and you and the kids may be surprised to discover just how many different cities and types of landscape you can visit!
Many companies operate 12 or 13 night cruises of the British Isles and Ireland, with a popular first port of call at the beautiful Scottish capital Edinburgh. Ships then continue north to visit the Highlands and Loch Ness plus the islands of Orkney and Skye, which are famed for Bonnie Prince Charlie’s exploits. Children will love Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura, located beside the castle, where a special camera projects an image of the city onto a table (pretty cool) and there are several floors of great interactive illusions. Look out for the singing cats, before visiting Nessie in the Highlands and learning about local island life. The beauty of a cruise means that it’s easy to visit remote places without driving for miles or worrying about public transport.
Moving on you can visit the capitals of Ireland and Northern Ireland – historic Dublin and Belfast – and the scenic Welsh island of Anglesey, where it’s possible to glimpse a rich and ancient history. Belfast has a famed shipping heritage but if you’ve had enough messing about in boats you should go to the Giant’s Causeway, an awe-inspiring site that will have your kids fascinated with geology and big rock formations! Fresh Irish air and the beautiful countryside will soon have you feeling rejuvenated too.
Another popular stop for many cruises is the palm-lined seaside town of Torquay, which can feel almost tropical compared with Scottish shores. Spend some time playing with buckets and spades on the beach to give yourselves a well-earned break. The kids can work off their energy by exploring rock pools, or paddling in the sea, and for something a little different why not discover the network of caves at Kents Cavern?
A number of British Isles cruises incorporate parts of France, either at the beginning or the end, for example the port of Le Havre in Normandy, or beautiful Paris. You could choose to extend your stay with a couple of nights in the city, picking up ice cream from street vendors, walking the winding Parisian streets and visiting the Cites de Enfants – a museum dedicated to children (although buy tickets in advance as it can be busy at peak times).
Taking a cruise is one way of experiencing an action-packed, hassle-free holiday guaranteed to keep the kids entertained since each port of call offers something unique. Cruising the British Isles ensures that you don’t have to travel too far before getting on the boat, you don’t have screaming children in the car for two weeks, and you can learn about the different cultures contained within the countries of the United Kingdom as a family. What’s more, most ships will have on-board entertainment for the evenings!