I am often asked by friends where I would recommend for a weekend away. The criteria are always
- Not too far from London
- Nice things for the kids and adults
- Child friendly accommodation
Based on that I thought I would give you a little write up of the weekend away we went on to Arundel.
I will describe each of our activities (this was by no means everything you could have done, for example contacts on twitter recommended the Wetlands Centre and the Lido and we never made it to either) and give details at the end of where we stayed etc.
All in all it was the perfect weekend and I would recommend it to anyone.
On the Friday we drove down to Bocketts Fam. This was the perfect break point as the kids only had to endure an hour in the car before they got to run around like lunatics. For details of Bocketts Farm, please see my blog post.
From there we had a quiet (the kids were fast asleep) 45 minute drive on to Arundel.
After waking the kids up and settling into our little holiday home (see details below but it was a wonderful place) we walked into town for an explore. Arundel is a small market town but boasts a spectacular castle, a lovely stretch of river, lots of cafes and restaurants and some fabulous shops. We fed the kids a quick dinner (it has a Prezzo and Pizza Express) but we settled for a sunny pub garden.
Sadly the weather on Saturday was pretty shocking. We drove the 10 mins to Littlehampton Beach. The Beach itself was gorgeous but it was too cold to do much more than collect pebbles and go for coffee in the lovely café (East Beach Café).
Post this we headed home for the kids to have a rest while my mother-in-law and I went for a very enjoyable 2 hour wander round the shops in Arundel (they have everything from gorgeous antique shops, kitchenware to a walking stick shop so it is perfect for a mooch – ideally without kids!)
Post sleep we went for a walk down by the river, visited the local craft fair and had a very competitive game of Mini Golf in a local park (by the Putting Green Café)
Saturday evening we went for dinner all together at a fantastic (and very family friendly) restaurant in town called La Campania.
Sunday was my favourite day of all. We spent the whole day exploring the castle. The kids loved roaming around and hunting for dragons (apparently they live in castles so The Bear tells me!) and I loved getting pics of them playing in the grounds.
We did go inside but in honesty I wouldn’t recommend that so much as the kids were very restricted on what they were allowed to do and quickly became frustrated. The gardens however were wonderful.
Post this we had afternoon tea in a local tearoom – Belinda’s Tea Room (a very English experience which the kids thought was fabulous – “Really Mummy can I have cake for lunch?!”).
Last but not least we drove to Bognor Regis where we ran along the beach front, had a ride in a little train (that runs up and down the front) and had fish and chips on the beach (The Bear’s highlight I believe!).
Come 7pm we put two very tired little ones into PJs and drove back into London in less than 2 hours. PERFECT!
Links to the places mentioned above
Bocketts Farm – http://www.bockettsfarm.co.uk/
Littlehampton – East Beach Café – http://www.eastbeachcafe.co.uk/
La Campania – http://la-campania.co.uk/
Arundel Castle – http://www.arundelcastle.org/
Belinda’s Tea Room – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Belindas-Tea-Room/287681334605967
We had my mother-in-law staying with us so we opted to go for a 3 bedroom self-catering cottage. We found a lovely little place, just under 5 minutes walk from town. It had 3 bedrooms, was very clean and new and also had a selection of DVDs, toys and books for the kids as well as providing a high chair and a travel cot.
Overall I was very impressed (though you should note it only has a small courtyard and no garden – not that we needed one with Arundel on our doorstep).
For details please see – http://www.stgeorgescottage.com/