Caroline MillsSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Caroline Mills
Fancy trying something different on your caravan holidays this Easter?
How about an historic family holiday with these seven great ideas for discovering Britain’s heritage.
The UK does heritage very well – after all, there’s a lengthy history upon which to call.
Combine it with an Easter egg hunt and a stay at a fabulously located caravan park, and you’ve a recipe for a momentous, history-in-the-making family caravan holiday.
Until 23 April, this hunt will feature several clusters of glow-in-the-dark coloured eggs that have been carefully placed at various out-of-reach places throughout the world-famous Gough’s Cave.
Spotting all of the bright and shiny eggs, and taking note of all the different colours, will prove to be quite a challenge for even the most observant of visitors. But kids and families who manage to 'crack' the task and hand-in a completed form will be rewarded at the end of the trail with a suitably chocolatey treat.
The glowing eggs and other illuminations for the Easter period will help to add to the magical atmosphere of the prehistoric caves, which have been welcoming visitors underground for decades.
Tempted? Where to pitch, then? Our pick of the parks in the area is Petruth Paddocks, an easy-going ‘free-range’ campsite with few rules, that's a big hit with families.
A Tudor Easter
Visitors to Stratford-upon-Avon this Easter can enjoy a host of events across the five Shakespeare Family Homes.
Meet the new springtime arrivals at Mary Arden’s Farm and make a pompom chick or lamb to take home. You can join the curious creatures at Zoolab’s Tudor Workshop on the farm over Easter, too.
Alternatively, build and fly a kite at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and create your own finger puppet at Shakespeare’s New Place before re-enacting a Shakespeare play in the puppet theatre.
Take part in an Easter Bunny Trail at Hall’s Croft – you’ll need to explore the house and gardens to find William Rabbit.
‘All that Glisters is not Gold’ is also on at Shakespeare’s Birthplace – track down the treasure in the gardens with the help of music, comedy and fun, led by the in-house acting troop, Shakespeare Aloud!
To join in the activities at all five properties, it’s worth purchasing a Town, Cottage and Farm Family Pass, which works out cheaper than buying individual entrance tickets. Plus it provides additional visits free of charge for 12 months.
For a great place to stay when visiting Stratford, Riverside Caravan Park is just a mile from the town centre and, as its name implies, is right on the banks of the beautiful River Avon. There’s a regular river taxi service that runs throughout the day.
Archery with the Normans
For an Easter to remember in the glorious Sussex countryside, head to Arundel Castle where the Normans and Crusaders spectacle takes place from 15 to 17 April.
The family-friendly event will transport visitors back to 1215 during the Barons War, when unpopular King John battled with the Barons over money and leadership disagreements.
Set on the American Lawns, beneath the oldest part of Arundel Castle, Raven Tor Living History Group will showcase 12th-century crafts, weapons and combat, all set within a period-style encampment.
You’ll also have the chance to witness archery shows, as well as test your own target skills with have-a-go archery for the over 8s. The event will also feature falconry displays, ancient cookery demonstrations and enchanting tales from a professional storyteller.
The Camping and Caravanning Club’s Site at Slindon Park is a picturesque place to stay when visiting the area. It’s set in an old orchard and is a part of 3500 acres of land owned by The National Trust. Be aware, though, that there are no toilets or showers on site, so you’ll need suitable facilities in your caravan.
Full of eastern delight
The National Trust always comes up trumps with exciting family entertainment at its properties throughout the Easter holidays.
This year, activities include the, now annual, Cadbury Egg Hunt, the potential to help with newborn lambs, gorgeous springtime family rambles or creating woodland dens and, maybe, a spot of canoeing.
In Eastern England, the Battle of Waterloo is coming to Ickworth on the 8 and 9 April. Families can join in the fun with authentic camps, training, processions, living history demonstrations and a grand battle re-enactment.
Easter activities at Cambridgeshire’s Wimpole Hall include treasure hunts and lambing, while there’s den building, pond dipping, mud oven cooking and nature survival skills at Wicken Fen.
Children can go Wild in the Woods with the Outdoors Team at Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham, or look for clues in the 55-acre gardens of the Blickling Estate, near Aylsham, to be rewarded with, yes, chocolate!
So, where to pitch? Well, where better than a selection of parks from Practical Caravan's very own Top 100 Sites Guide 2017?
Highfield Farm Touring Park, near Cambridge, is a useful site to base yourself for visits to Wimpole Hall and Wicken Fen. While the Old Brick Kilns Caravan and Camping Park, near Fakenham, is a great place to stay for visits to the Blickling Estate.
Striking a pose with the Vikings
Get your best smile at the ready and follow the footprints around York to complete the new York Selfie Trail – and 10 of the most iconic photo locations in the historic city have been chosen to be part of the trail.
You can get a right royal selfie in front of Queen Victoria’s Gladstone carriage at the National Railway Museum, cosy up to Constantine for a group shot by York Minster or wear Clifford’s Tower like a crown from the corner of Tower Street. The selfie trail promises to help visitors find the best angles and guarantees a great photo in every spot.
You can use a new online map, where you can click on the different locations to find out more, or pick up a postcard map from the Visitor Centre.
But there’s another excuse to visit York this Easter: be one of the first to visit the JORVIK Viking Centre when it re-opens on 8 April following a multi-million pound refit.
Damaged by floods in 2015, the Viking attraction has been completely updated and re-imagined. Hop aboard the ride experience and be transported back in time over 1000 years to the Viking Age.
There are several caravan parks in and around York but none quite match up to the convenience of the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s York Rowntree Park site. With a five-minute riverside walk to the city centre and a vast green park and playground adjoining the campsite, this is an ideal site for families.
Strike a coin at the Royal Mint
Be a part of history in the making with a visit to the Royal Mint, where you can strike your own brand-new £1 coin, launched at the end of March. You’ll learn about the detailed processes involved in producing a coin, discover the meaning of coins, and the people and events found ‘in your purse’.
There’s 1000 years of history associated with coinage and the Royal Mints to explore, but a visit also includes a guided factory experience where you’ll see blank pieces of metal become coins. And, there’s the option to strike your own coin to take home.
With the Royal Mint just 20 minutes from Cardiff, why not base yourself in the city centre? Cardiff Caravan and Camping Park is a short walk from Cardiff Castle and other major attractions within the city centre. And it is great for families, because the campsite is situated in a vast park with loads of space to charge around.
On location in the Isle of Skye
May 2017 sees the release of the major new blockbuster 'King Arthur: Legend of the Sword'. Director Guy Ritchie and a Hollywood cast retell the classic story of the legendary British leader made famous by medieval mythology.
Much of the film was shot on location across Britain, including The Quiraing – a massive landslip on the Trotternish ridge on the Isle of Skye.
The Hollywood cast members have already set foot on the ridge, but you, too, can venture to the isle before the film is released. The island has magnificent mountain ranges, captivating history, and miles of dramatic coastline.
Other sites on the island worthy of lacing up your walking boots include the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin rocky mountain range, both incredible ancient geological features. After a day of hiking, the island's town, Portree, and small villages are welcoming places to try tasty local fare.
The Trotternish ridge is in the northeast of the island (accessible from the Scottish mainland by road bridge) and, for fabulous views of this majestic part of the island, a stay at Staffin Campsite is in order.