Family games to play on a caravan holiday with the kids

Family Smiling 2

Summer is a great time to get friends and family together on holiday. For those of us lucky enough to own lodges and holiday homes on a park abroad, it’s the perfect way to spend time exploring new scenery and a different culture, having fun and relaxing in the sun.

But if the weather takes a turn for the worse and the kids are getting bored, it’s always useful to have a few family games up your sleeve. Here are a few of our favourites that are perfect for family bonding and creating some great family memories!

Wordplay fun

Wordplay games are particularly useful when you’re on holiday because you can play them anytime, anywhere. But if you’re fed up with I Spy, here are some quick and simple ideas for a rainy day or a long car journey:

– Noah’s Ark: this simple memory game is fun for all ages and really easy to play. The first player says “I’m going on Noah’s Ark with my two aardvarks (or any other animal name beginning with A)”. The next player then repeats this sentence adding 2 animals beginning with B, then C, then D and so forth. The winner is the last one to remember the entire thread correctly.

– Who/What Am I?l: one player thinks of a person or object and then asks ‘who/what am I?’ The other players have 20 questions to guess the identity but there’s a catch. You can only ask questions to which the answer is yes or no, for example, are you a dog? The first player to guess correctly gets a chance to choose the next person, animal, building or object. The only limit is their imagination!

Let’s get arty

Don’t forget to pack colouring pencils or marker pens, a few paints and brushes, and some paper. Wallpaper lining paper is inexpensive and can be used to create all kinds of wonderful decorations.

If you have difficulty getting the kids out of doors, try some nature art activities: collect twigs and branches to create a sculpture or habitat, collect a few large stones and turn them into pet rocks or gather feathers, grasses, and other items then stick them onto paper to create beautiful natural art.

Oldies and goodies

Make sure you pack some classic games in travel versions. Scrabble is always fun while Uno is a great game for those with a cutthroat streak! You’ll also find that everyone loves a game of Wink Murder either by the campfire or on a rainy night. Just don’t get caught!

Campfire games

There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire to bring the whole family together. It’s worth investing in a fire pit to enjoy an evening under the stars safely, especially with younger children. Try seeing who can toast their marshmallow for longest as you play a game of Chinese Whispers, passing a short message around the fire until it reaches the last person who says it out loud.

Telling stories is an age-old campfire tradition so why not make it part of your family’s holiday tradition? One person starts then another adds another sentence until a wild and surprising story emerges. It’s a great way to encourage creativity and build some wonderful, long-lasting memories!

How to keep your mobile home cool in hot summer weather

Atlas Tempo mobile home

For dedicated sun worshippers, holiday homes in the sun are what it’s all about. From static caravans to grand lodges, mobile homes are an affordable way to enjoy beautiful weather for longer, especially when you buy your holiday home on a fantastic park in Spain, Portugal or the Greek Islands.

But when a heat wave hits, day after day of high temperatures can take its toll. However much you may enjoy the heat, sleeping and going about your daily life can be much more challenging, changing your summer fun to a nightmare of heat exhaustion. Atlas Tempo mobile home

The good news is that there are plenty of measures you can put in place to keep yourself cool, even in the height of the hot weather. Most importantly, if you buy wisely, you’ll even reduce your energy bills and create a more comfortable atmosphere all year round.

Opt for air con
If you’re relocating abroad permanently, installing air conditioning in your mobile home could be a smart investment. In that case, opt for a heat pump system that can be used to warm your home in colder weather.

If you only spend a part of the year in your holiday home, then a mobile unit coupled with some sturdy fans should get some cool air moving around your home.

Add a verandah
If your lodge doesn’t already feature a shaded verandah, now’s the time to add one. This could be a simple off the peg wooden or metal structure, or you could build something bespoke for your home.

It’s essential to add a cover for shade. Some pergolas come with a material roof or for a more casual, beachy look, you could rig up a sail. If you’re a permanent resident, then consider creating a shaded outdoor room but be careful if you decide to use glazing; you will need to ensure that the glass is treated to prevent heat build-up.

Reassess your interiors
If you own an older lodge or mobile home, think about upgrading the insulation in the walls and roof to help prevent heat from getting in and building up. If you don’t already have blinds or curtains, have them fitted. By keeping them drawn, you’ll stop the glare of the sun penetrating the interior so that you stay cool.

If you don’t already have fly screens, think about adding them to your windows so that they can stay open, creating a flow-through of air without you getting bitten to death! And change your interior bulbs for LEDs; not only do they generate light more efficiently to save you money on your energy bills, but they also generate less heat than incandescent bulbs.

Consider the outdoors
One benefit for those buying holiday homes is that you can opt for a location that’s surrounded by natural shade. Opt for a placement with trees on the western side, for long-lasting shade at the hottest times of the day.

Lodges located on parks with air-conditioned cafes and restaurants are also worth looking out for and if you love to cook yourself, invest in a barbecue. There’s no better way to enjoy summer dining al fresco and you won’t steam up your interior by putting the stove on!

Follow these simple tips and you’ll stay cool all summer long. So why not beat the heat and lower your environmental footprint!

Our favourite reasons to visit Costa Brava this summer

Costa Brava Ocean View

Costa Brava Ocean ViewOne of the many benefits of caravan ownership is getting to know the places that the tourists don’t see. And nowhere is that truer than on Spain’s Costa Brava. This stunning 200 km long stretch of coastline is famed for its crystal clear waters and golden sandy beaches but there’s plenty more to explore.

This spectacular coast offers great food, fascinating history and incredible art alongside those fabulous lazy beach days. Those of us with holiday homes on the Costa Brava already know some of its best-kept secrets. Isn’t it time you found out more?

Fascinating history

Walk among the Greek and Roman ruins of Empuries and you’re walking in the footsteps of Emperors. Plus the views of the sparkling seas of the Mediterranean are spectacular.

But the Costa Brava isn’t all ancient history; medieval towns such as Peratallada and Besalù are filled with charm while Game of Thrones fans won’t want to miss the medieval quarter of beautiful Girona where the series was filmed.

Incredible weather

The Costa Brava can be slightly cooler than some of Spain’s southern beaches, but that means you can enjoy them all year round. The climate is mild and warm with plenty of sunshine for enjoying the legendary shoreline.

You could spend ages exploring these stretches of wide golden sands from the trendy town beaches to unspoiled and hidden coves. We love Tossa de Mar for its spectacular scenery and choice of three superb beaches with great facilities. Plus the old town itself is absolutely unmissable.

Superb sport

If sport’s your thing then there’s no better place than the Costa Brava. Whether you fancy a round of golf on a world-class course, superb kayaking and snorkelling or some of the best cycling country in the world (Girona is where the professionals live and train) there’s no better part of Spain.

Amazing art

One of Catalan’s most famous sons is Salvador Dali, the surrealist who made a sofa out of Mae West’s lips and turned melted clocks into desirable objects. The Dali Theatre and Museum in his hometown of Figueras is the largest surrealist monument in the world and is packed full of his weird and wonderful artworks.

Marvellous mountains

You might come to the Costa Brava for the beaches but you won’t want to miss the mountains. Discover gorgeous Pyreneean villages such as Beget and Oix and peaks up to 3,000 metres with commanding views of the surrounding area. Visit in the winter months and enjoy some super skiing at Vallter 2000 and La Molina. Explore by foot or on an e-bike to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

Gorgeous gastronomy

No trip to this part of the world is complete without exploring the local gastronomy. The Costa Brava is one of the most gastronomic destinations in Spain, with traditional cafes and Michelin-starred restaurants to tempt you.

You won’t want to miss a fully loaded paella with delicious local seafood, but you’ll also want to try other surf and turf dishes and local specialities including Xai Rostit Amb 12 Cabeçes d’All or lamb cooked with 12 heads of garlic and Suquet de Peix the traditional seafood stew that changes with the seasons. And no visitor should leave without tasting pata negra ham, pan con tomate or creme catalane!

Adding an outside room to your mobile home with a porch

Mobile home with porch

One of the best additions you can make to your mobile home is a porch. More than just somewhere to sit and sip a glass of wine when the sun goes down, a porch adds an entire outdoor room, giving you some incredible extra living space.

It’s easy enough to plan a deck, although you’re likely to need permission from your park management. Once you get the green light, the only limit to what you can create is your imagination – and your budget!

Mobile home with porchAn open and shut case

The biggest design decision you’ll need to make is whether you want to leave your porch open to the elements or you intend to add some kind of roof. This doesn’t have to be a permanent structure; you could add an awning in the summer when you need the shade, or even a pergola that plants can scramble over for an attractive cottagey look. Perhaps you want to add some glazing so that you can use your outdoor room throughout the year.

For holiday homes abroad, the option of creating a roof makes a lot of sense as you’ll value the shade at the height of the summer. And when the weather turns miserable, you can still enjoy the view from your porch. But be warned, a conservatory-style glazed structure can get incredibly hot in the summer. Be prepared to add blinds or even consider a lightweight tiled roof.

You could also consider extending the roof to create a carport. And don’t forget the underside of your deck; this makes a great storage area for all your summer furniture and other seasonal gear.

Budgeting for materials

Once you’ve made your design decisions, you’ll need to set a budget. It’s advisable not to skimp on materials unless you want your deck to need major repairs within a few years. Always buy the best materials you can afford because cutting costs at this stage can be expensive in the long run.

Composite decking may be the most expensive option but it outlasts both hard and softwood decking and stays looking good without treatment for years. Hardwood is a longer lasting option than softwood such as pine but both will need treating to stay looking their best. And don’t forget to factor in the cost of fixings and creating a concrete foundation at least 12 inches thick.

Keep it safe

Whether you’re a young family or an older couple, there are some safety considerations you’ll need to take into account. You’ll need to create either steps or a ramp to the door of your home so the budget needs to include a sturdy grab rail and posts.

You might also want to consider fencing and safety gates for animals and young children. And always use a non-slip material to prevent accidents in the wet.

Get creative

It’s the finishing touches that give your deck personality and make it a defining feature of your holiday home. Decks are made for outdoor living and can really add value when it comes to those long lazy summer evenings.

Furniture and lighting are a must, so invest in some LED or solar powered lights to create the right atmosphere. Then kick back and relax in your new garden room!

Willerby Scottish Showground Exhibition

Willerby open weekend

Location: Willerby Scotland Showground, Beechwood Nurseries, Williamsons Garden Centre, Uphall, Livingston EH52 6PA, United Kingdom.

Join us at the Willerby Scotland showground on Saturday and Sunday, 15th & 16th of June, 10am – 5pm.

When you arrive at the Willerby Scotland Showground one of the team will be on hand to greet you. If you’d like, we can have a chat about your requirements or you can wander around at your leisure.

There will be an array of stunning new mobile homes and lodges for sale which can be sent to one of our beautiful park locations abroad

Models on display
Willerby Linwood
Willerby Sierra
Willerby Skye
Willerby Avonmore
Willerby Winchester
Willerby Waverley
Willerby Sheraton
Willerby Portland

Why Millennials are flocking to relocate in Lisbon

woman in Lisbon holding shoes

There are currently 1.1 million people working in the gig economy in the UK alone. But because of the flexibility of their work, many millennials are upping sticks and heading for the sun. After all, if your office is your laptop, all you need is an internet connection – and who wouldn’t want to work somewhere sunnier and more affordable?

That’s why millennials have been flocking to Lisbon since 2014, when it started appearing on lists of must-visit destinations. Since then, tourists have come flocking. Whether you’re thinking of relocating abroad or you’re looking for great value holiday homes, there are plenty of reasons why you should head for the Portuguese capital too!

The weather
Lisbon enjoys a subtropical climate, with balmy average winter temperatures of 14C and just a few months of rainfall. The last time it snowed was back in 1945, so if you’re looking for the endless sun to enjoy Lisbon’s incredible white sandy beaches, you’re in luck. Who wouldn’t want to go to work every day under a deep blue sky?

The history
Steeped in heritage and history, there’s so much to see in Lisbon. Join a walking tour or hop on one of the distinctive yellow trams – number 28 takes you through the picturesque Alfama district. There’s so much to see and do, you won’t want to leave.

You can’t miss the defensive tower of Belem that stands guard over the quayside, an incredible blend of architectural styles that reflect Lisbon’s long history. Take a day trip to beautiful Sintra and see the battlements of St George’s Castle, then finish your day underwater at the incredible Oceanarium.

The food
If you love Nandos, then you’ll love Lisbon. It’s the home of Piri Piri chicken and those moreish custard tarts known as Pasteis de Nata. But there’s so much more on offer when you visit Portugal, and Lisbon’s oceanside location means the fish and seafood are to die for – don’t miss superb crab and June’s sardine festival!

For superior street food try Bifana, garlic and white wine marinaded pork, slapped in a bun and served with hot sauce and ice cold beer. Or feast on Arroz De Marisco packed with herbs, vegetables, and spanking fresh seafood. Portuguese food is fresh and packed with flavour – just right for the climate!

The hospitality
The Portuguese are some of the most laid back people in Europe and are famed for their hospitality. If you’re a millennial wanting to go city hopping it has a wonderful laid back vibe that’s very welcoming. If you’re on holiday you’ll enjoy a charming experience in one of the safest cities in Europe.

The culture
Lisbon’s culture is unlike that of any other country. Fado, the traditional folk music, has no equivalent anywhere in the world. This unique entertainment embraces love, longing, and loss and usually takes place after a good dinner. If visual arts are your thing the national museums house fantastic jewelry, fine porcelain, the famous azulejo tiles and works by Warhol and Bacon.

Lisbon boasts Livraria Bertrand, the world’s oldest bookshop built in the 1700s alongside some stunning modern architecture. It’s the way that the old and the new coexist so seamlessly that makes Lisbon such a fascinating city to visit – or make your home!

View our homes available in Lisbon and Portugal – https://shortly.cc/CSDh

The World of Park and Leisure Homes Show, 7th – 9th June 2019

The World Of Park And Leisure Homes

Join us at The World of Park and Leisure Homes Show, located at the NAEC Stoneleigh, on the 7th, 8th and 9th of June 2019. From 10 am we will be located by the Tingdene Savannah.

FREE entry & car parking for all visitors to The Annual World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire – Your dedicated Park & Leisure Homes Show!

Address: Stoneleigh Park, Stoneleigh, Kenilworth – Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ

Opening and closing times:
7th, 8th and 9th June 2019 from 10am to 5pm

Tingdene are launching a brand new unit, The Quantum, which will be a show stopper!
The Quantum is being launched to celebrate Tingdene’s 50th Anniversary. In total, we have 5 homes on display, the Quantum, Addington, Harrington, Hayden Classic (single) and Savannah (single)

Stoneleigh Show Layout 2019

Which Greek islands are best for a spring visit?

Greek Islands

Spring is the perfect time to head for the Mediterranean and the beauty of the Greek islands. Renting holiday homes and immersing yourself in the culture is the best way to really experience this stunning part of the world. With summer temperatures climbing into the mid 30C, the climate in springtime lets you explore the real Greece.

Head for the Ionian islands

These islands just off the mainland have long been a popular destination, thanks to their lush green landscape and easy flight times from the UK. If you loved The Durrells on TV, then you’ll head straight for glorious Corfu, but if you want to avoid the crowds, then the southern islands of Zante and Kefalonia simply have it all.

If you dream of white sandy beaches and turquoise seas, then the beaches on Kefalonia are some of the most beautiful in Greece – in fact, Myrtos beach has been voted the best in Greece 12 times.

Visit in spring and you won’t want to miss the incredible May Day festival, when the entire island celebrates the coming of summer. Holiday homes are available across the island, so you can choose whether to stay in one of the elegant towns or head for a beachside apartment.

Beautiful climate

Zante, or Zakynthos as it is sometimes known, is just a boat ride from Kefalonia and it shares the same beautiful springtime climate. Enjoy swimming and sunbathing on the beautiful beaches including the stunning Navagio beach in Shipwreck Bay, which can only be reached by boat.

Explore the incredible blue caves or the cultural treasures of Zakynthos Town, with its superb Venetian architecture. Zante has a reputation as a party island during the summer, so if you want to enjoy everything it has to offer without the crowds, visit in spring and have the beaches and museums to yourself.

Must see sights

If Greek culture is high on your list of must-sees, then Crete is unmissable. The Palace of Knossos, site of the fabled labyrinth with the Minotaur at its centre, is a World Heritage site for good reason. Believed to be Europe’s oldest city, and mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, there’s been a settlement here since the Bronze Age.

Crete is packed with treasures, many of which can be found in the Heraklion Archeological Museum. But for real drama and mystery, head for the birthplace of Zeus, high on the slopes of Mount Ida. The hike to the Dikteon Cave, like the Samaria Gorge, features breathtaking scenery and is not to be missed.

Why you need to head for Greece in the spring

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoors type or you just need to feel the sun on your skin, the Greek islands have it all. From the incredible beaches to mountain meadows filled with wildflowers, the landscapes are never less than stunning. And with fewer people around, you can afford to relax and take your time, immersing yourself in the beauty and culture of your surroundings.

Enjoying these beautiful islands without the crowds is a special experience and you’ll find that off-season prices are incredibly affordable. So which Greek islands are best for a spring visit? We’ve shared our choices, but there are so many islands to enjoy, you’ll want to return every year!

Tingdene Kensington

Tingdene Kensington front

Take a look at the stunning new Tingdene Kensington starting from £82,495.00

The Kensington with its stunning colour scheme of mustard, greys, pinks, along with fresh clean lines and Scandinavian style, set this home apart from many others.  The home offers a spacious lounge, excellent dining area and large contemporary kitchen.  2 double bedrooms, master with generous walk-in wardrobe and en-suite bathroom, and a study complete this home.

Render exterior with Canexel features
High pitch roof with loft space, side gable and external feature pillars
Ergonomically designed internally beaded PVCu double glazed white Georgian Bar windows
Vaulted ceilings in part
Contemporary kitchen with large roof window
Eye level oven with hob and extractor hood
Integrated appliances
2 double bedrooms with an en-suite and large walk-in wardrobe to master
Study
Fully furnished to a Scandinavian interior design
Heated by a combi boiler
Built to residential BS 3632:2015 standards
10-year structural warranty

View more here: https://bit.ly/2GACFRT
Call to inquire on UK Freephone: 0800 644 4546

How do the French celebrate Easter?

Eiffel tower

An Easter break across the Channel is the perfect way to recharge your batteries. But it’s also an opportunity to experience some very different Easter customs. So whether you plump for holiday homes in Brittany or lodges in the Dordogne, here’s our guide to celebrating Easter the French way!

The legend of the bells

The French think of chocolate as the ‘food of happiness’ and each Easter 13,000 tonnes of it are sold across the country. In every chocolatier’s window you’ll see incredible eggs of all shapes and sizes. But you’ll also see bells fashioned from delicious chocolate and praline waiting to be gobbled up at Easter time. Legend has it that all the church bells in France fly to Rome on Maundy Thursday to be blessed by the Pope, before flying home and dropping eggs and other Easter treats in the gardens of lucky French children.

That’s why you’ll never hear church bells ringing in France between Good Friday and Easter Day, when they ring out joyfully across the country. That’s the sign for French children to run outside and grab the goodies!

An Easter feast

Wherever your holiday home is located, you’ll be in for a treat when it comes to the Easter feast. In Brittany, the end of the scallop season is celebrated in style around Easter time in the beautiful port towns of Pampol and Saint-Quay-Portrieux. With oysters still just in season, what better way to celebrate Easter in Brittany than with a fruits de mer feast followed by the famous salt marsh lamb?

In the Vendee, you can enjoy a host of regional dishes like prefou – a type of garlic bread often stuffed with cheese and meat – and the famous mogettes, a type of white bean, cooked with ham. Accompany your meal with the famous troussepinette, the appropriately named ‘wine of thorns’, flavoured with the young shoots of blackthorn or hawthorn.

If you’re staying in the Dordogne, a visit to the town of Bessieres on Easter Monday is well worth it to participate in the world’s biggest omelette! This strange tradition celebrates the night that Napoleon Bonaparte and his army passed through the town. Having enjoyed an omelette for his dinner, Napoleon ordered that all the eggs in town be used to create a giant omelette for his troops to enjoy. Nowadays, around 15,000 eggs are cracked into a huge dish and stirred by over a dozen chefs before being devoured by the hungry crowd!

Go on an Easter egg hunt

Just like in the UK, this is a hugely popular activity over Easter. The greatest of them all takes place at the Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte where the kids can search for some of the tens of thousands of eggs hidden in the formal gardens while adults can enjoy a tour of this stunning chateau – the inspiration for Versailles. Situated just outside Paris, it’s worth popping over for the weekend to experience the Easter egg fever!

If you prefer an Easter egg hunt with a difference, then try the annual hunt at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Another incredible hunt takes place in the majestic world heritage site of Provins, while dinosaur lovers will adore the hunt through the Jurassic World inspired grounds of the Chateau des Aventuriers in the Vendee.