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Catherine Lofthouse

Coalville, United Kingdom
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About Catherine
Catherine Lofthouse is a journalist based in Stevenage, United Kingdom.
Languages
English
Services
Feature Stories Investigative Journalism Interview (Print / Radio / Podcast)
+1
Skills
Current Affairs Health & Fitness Investigative Reporting
+2
Portfolio

I took my family on a budget winter Spain caravan holiday for £80 a week – it was great value but not like we imagined

04 Apr 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
Catherine Lofthouse shared her experience of taking a budget winter caravan holiday in Spain with her family, which cost less than £80 for a week. They stayed at Vilanova Park, located above the town of Vilanova i la Geltru on the Costa Dorada. The accommodation was more basic compared to what they were used to in the UK, with chilly nights and flimsy beds. Despite some stormy weather, the family enjoyed the park's outdoor pools, water slides, and indoor pool (with mandatory brown swim hats). The park also offered a supermarket and a restaurant but had limited entertainment and activities during the off-season. Catherine noted the popularity of the park among retired Brits who spend extended winter stays there, and she reminded readers of the 90-day Schengen limit post-Brexit. The trip also included a visit to Barcelona, balancing holiday park life with a city break.

The money saving trick that gets my family two holidays for the price of one

04 Apr 2024  |  thesun.co.uk
Journalist Catherine Lofthouse shares her strategy for getting two family holidays for the price of one by utilizing cashback sites and booking providers' loyalty schemes. She details how booking through sites like Quidco and Hotels.com instead of directly with hotels can yield significant cashback, which she then uses to fund additional vacations. For example, a trip to Innsbruck, Austria, earned her family credit towards a summer stay in the UK, and a visit to Cape Verde resulted in enough cashback to cover a holiday park break. Lofthouse emphasizes the importance of comparing booking options and being aware of cashback conditions, such as the exclusion of taxes and fees and the time it takes for cashback to be confirmed.

I’ve been visiting Butlin’s for 40 years – here’s how it’s changed for better… and worse

04 Apr 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
Catherine Lofthouse shares her 40-year experience with Butlin's, a chain of holiday parks in the UK. She recounts her childhood memories and how the parks have evolved over the years, offering more entertainment and activities. Catherine notes the improvements and rebranding efforts that Butlin's has undergone, particularly in the last decade, with new attractions like the pool at Bognor Regis and the Skypark at Skegness. She also reminisces about past attractions like the monorails and chasing a villain around the park, which are no longer present. Despite some changes, she appreciates the continuity of the Butlin's experience and enjoys introducing her sons to the parks, continuing a family tradition spanning four generations.

I stayed at one of the UK’s oldest holiday parks – great for cash-strapped families but now at risk of closing forever

04 Apr 2024  |  thesun.ie
Billing Aquadrome, a holiday park near Northampton, UK, which has been operating for nearly 80 years, went into administration earlier this year. Despite this, the park continues to offer affordable family fun, with a variety of activities such as soft play areas, exotic animal sessions, music events, circus skills, kids' shows, bingo, and a funfair. The park assures that it's business as usual for the summer, with administrators from Grant Thornton UK LLP expressing confidence in finding a solution to keep the site running. The article provides a firsthand account of the park's offerings and its appeal to families looking for budget-friendly vacations. The park's history dates back to the end of WWII and is compared to the family-friendly atmosphere of traditional British holiday camps.

SCHOOL'S OUT I take my whole family away in October half term every year for just £100 – it’s the best week for finding bargains

04 Apr 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of booking family holidays during the October half term, particularly highlighting the affordability of such vacations this year. The author shares their personal experience of booking a holiday at Haven Hopton for just £100, emphasizing the value for money given the typically high staycation prices post-pandemic. The staggered school holidays across different regions are mentioned as a reason for the lower prices, allowing families to find bargains. The author also reminisces about past holidays at various parks, including Butlin's Bognor Regis and Duinrell in Holland, and notes the potential for good weather and seasonal activities during this period. Additionally, the article touches on the challenges of coordinating holidays with friends and family due to staggered term dates and provides tips from experts on avoiding costly mistakes when booking holidays.

My £10 kitchen gadget saves hundreds when staying in hotels on family holidays

04 Apr 2024  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the benefits of bringing a health grill on family holidays, particularly when staying in UK hotels without cooking facilities. The author shares personal experiences of using the grill at various destinations such as Alton Towers, Butlin's, and Legoland, highlighting its convenience for preparing meals like toasties, nuggets, and sausages. The grill is praised for being space-efficient, easy to clean, and versatile, although it requires careful use due to safety concerns in small hotel rooms. The author also touches on the strategy of buying discounted food items and the logistics of food storage without a fridge. While there is uncertainty about hotel policies on bringing personal electrical appliances, the author compares the grill's safety to that of hair straighteners or phone chargers when used responsibly.

I visited a hidden Welsh beach you can only access at low tide & it cost £38 for my whole family to stay there

04 Apr 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article describes a family's adventure to a secluded beach in Wales, accessible only at low tide through a narrow tunnel. The beach, near the Pembrokeshire coastal path and close to Tenby, offers a sense of isolation and the opportunity to swim and explore cave formations. The family stayed at YHA Manorbier, a hostel costing £38.25 for a night for a family of five, with an additional £17 for unlimited breakfast. The hostel, a renovated former military building, offers various accommodations and amenities such as a cafe, bar, self-catering kitchen, games room, and laundry facilities. The article emphasizes the importance of timing the visit with the tide to avoid being stranded and highlights the natural beauty and affordability of the experience.

I stayed at one of the UK’s oldest holiday parks – great for cash-strapped families but now at risk of closing forever

04 Apr 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
Billing Aquadrome, a holiday park near Northampton, UK, which has been operating for nearly 80 years, went into administration earlier this year. Despite this, the park continues to offer affordable family vacations and day visits, with a range of amenities such as soft play areas, exotic animal sessions, music events, and a funfair. The park is confident of remaining operational through the summer, with administrators from Grant Thornton UK LLP actively seeking a sale and expressing optimism about finding a solution. The article provides a firsthand account of the park's offerings and its appeal to families looking for budget-friendly holiday options.

How I save hundreds on my Haven seaside holiday every year with a very simple hack

04 Apr 2024  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses a simple money-saving hack for family holidays, which involves booking a trip just before the school year resumes in September, when prices are lower. The author shares personal experiences of staying at Haven Wild Duck near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk and Parkdean Breydon Water, also near Great Yarmouth, for significantly less than the peak summer prices. The article highlights the benefits of fewer crowds, more relaxed atmosphere, and the ability to manage the holiday budget more effectively after summer expenses. It also mentions that Haven is offering 2024 UK holidays at low prices and recommends the best Haven holiday parks with pools.

I fell in love with England's only grade 1 listed seaside pier - its surprise location keeps it off the radar for many

08 Mar 2024  |  The Scottish Sun
Clevedon Pier, the UK's only Grade 1 listed pier, offers a unique and serene seaside experience away from typical British resorts. Located on the North Somerset coast, it features historical elements like the Glass Box cafe and an ornate glass pagoda. The pier's history includes a dramatic collapse in 1970 and a successful restoration campaign. Nearby attractions include Clevedon Marine Pool and Salthouse Fields, making it a special spot for visitors heading to Devon or Cornwall.

I fell in love with England's only grade 1 listed seaside pier - its surprise location keeps it off the radar for many

08 Mar 2024  |  thesun.co.uk
Clevedon Pier, the UK's only Grade 1 listed pier, is celebrated for its unique charm and historical significance. Despite its unexpected location off the North Somerset coast, it offers a serene seaside experience with its Victorian structure, devoid of flashy attractions. The pier has overcome past challenges, including a collapse in 1970, thanks to community efforts and has been named Pier of the Year three times. It was also praised by poet laureate Sir John Betjeman. Nearby attractions include Clevedon Marine Pool and Salthouse Fields, making it a noteworthy destination for those traveling to Devon or Cornwall.

My £10 kitchen gadget saves hundreds when staying in hotels on family holidays

02 Jan 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of bringing a health grill on family holidays, particularly when staying in hotels without cooking facilities. The author shares personal experiences of using the grill to prepare meals for the family, highlighting its convenience, cost-saving benefits, and versatility. The grill has been used at destinations such as Alton Towers, Butlin's, and Legoland. The author advises on practical considerations such as food preparation, safety, and hotel policies regarding personal electrical equipment. The article also mentions other travel products but focuses on the utility of the health grill for family trips.

My £10 kitchen gadget saves hundreds when staying in hotels on family holidays

02 Jan 2024  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of bringing a health grill on family holidays, particularly when staying in hotels without cooking facilities. The author shares personal experiences of using the grill at various UK destinations such as Alton Towers, Butlin's, and Legoland. The grill is praised for its versatility, ease of use, and ability to cook a variety of meals. The author also provides practical tips for using the grill in a hotel room, including food preparation and safety considerations. While acknowledging the need to be cautious about hotel rules regarding personal electrical appliances, the author suggests that a health grill is no more dangerous than other common items like hair straighteners if used responsibly.

I played Ryanair roulette and won – how I saved on our family flights

01 Jan 2024  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experience with booking flights for a family trip to Fuerteventura. By monitoring fare fluctuations and being flexible with travel dates and airports, the author managed to save £30 on Ryanair flights. The author suggests that contrary to popular belief, flight prices can decrease as the departure date approaches. The article also mentions Ryanair's new website feature, the 'any destination' function, which is designed to help customers save money. Additionally, the author shares tips on using flight comparison sites like Skyscanner and the importance of balancing the risks and rewards of last-minute bookings.

I played Ryanair roulette and won – how I saved on our family flights

01 Jan 2024  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the author's personal experience with booking flights for a family holiday to Fuerteventura. The author describes a strategy of waiting to book flights with Ryanair, which resulted in a saving of £30. The article suggests that contrary to popular belief, flight prices can decrease as the departure date approaches. The author emphasizes the importance of flexibility with travel dates and airports, monitoring fare fluctuations, and booking midweek to save on costs. Additionally, the author mentions a new website feature by Ryanair called the 'any destination' feature, which could help save money on future holidays. The author concludes by sharing the success of the strategy, which allowed for extra spending money at the airport.

I played Ryanair roulette with our family flights - and won

01 Jan 2024  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experience with booking flights for a family holiday to Fuerteventura. By monitoring fare fluctuations and being flexible with travel dates and airports, the author managed to save £30 on Ryanair flights. The author suggests that contrary to popular belief, flight prices can decrease as the departure date approaches. The article also mentions the use of flight comparison sites like Skyscanner and a new 'any destination' feature launched by Ryanair to help travelers save money. The author emphasizes the importance of balancing the risk of waiting for lower fares with the security of booking in advance, especially when traveling with a family.

The money saving trick that gets my family two holidays for the price of one

26 Dec 2023  |  thesun.ie
Journalist Catherine Lofthouse shares her strategy for getting two family holidays for the price of one by utilizing cashback sites and booking providers' loyalty schemes. She details how booking through sites like Quidco and Hotels.com instead of directly with hotels can yield significant cashback, which she then uses to fund additional vacations. Lofthouse provides examples from her own experiences, such as trips to Austria and Cape Verde, where she earned cashback and credits that were used for subsequent holidays. She advises readers to be aware of non-eligible cashback expenses and the time it takes for cashback to be confirmed.

The money saving trick that gets my family two holidays for the price of one

26 Dec 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
Catherine Lofthouse shares her strategy for getting two family holidays for the price of one by utilizing cashback sites and booking providers' loyalty schemes. She details how booking through sites like Quidco and Hotels.com instead of directly with hotels can yield significant cashback, which she then uses to fund additional vacations. For example, a trip to Innsbruck, Austria, earned her credit on Booking.com, which she used for a summer stay in the UK. She cautions that cashback may not include taxes and fees and that it can take months to be approved. Lofthouse also hints at her method for taking affordable October half-term holidays.

I’ve been visiting Butlin’s for 40 years – here’s how it’s changed for better… and worse

26 Dec 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
Catherine Lofthouse reflects on her 40-year history with Butlin's, a chain of holiday parks in the UK. She recounts her experiences from childhood visits to working as a lifeguard and introducing her own children to the parks. Lofthouse notes the improvements and expansions in entertainment and activities over the years, including new venues and sports options. She acknowledges a period when Butlin's reputation shifted towards stag and hen dos but commends recent rebranding efforts and investments, such as the new pool at Bognor Regis and the Skypark at Skegness. Lofthouse expresses nostalgia for past attractions like the monorails and a villain-chasing event, but overall, she appreciates the opportunity to relive her childhood and create new memories with her family during their festive breaks at Butlin's.

I’ve been visiting Butlin’s for 40 years – here’s how it’s changed for better… and worse

26 Dec 2023  |  thesun.ie
Catherine Lofthouse reflects on her 40-year history with Butlin's, a chain of holiday parks in the UK. She recounts her experiences from childhood visits to working as a lifeguard and introducing her own children to the parks. Lofthouse notes the improvements in entertainment and facilities over the years, such as new pools and activity centers. She acknowledges a period when Butlin's seemed to cater more to stag and hen dos but commends recent rebranding efforts and investments. While she misses certain old attractions like the monorails, she appreciates the nostalgia and the opportunity to create new memories with her family during their festive breaks.

HAPPY HOLLY-DAY I spent Christmas Day with my family in an empty caravan park – it was the best idea ever

25 Dec 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article describes the author's experience of spending Christmas Day with their family in a luxury lodge at Broadland Sands, a nearly deserted holiday park on the Norfolk coast near Great Yarmouth, managed by Park Holidays. The author chose this location to avoid the hectic preparations typically associated with hosting Christmas at home. The lodge cost £275 and included all utilities, which was a relief during the cost of living crisis. Despite some travel mishaps and illness among the children and a relative, the stay was stress-free and allowed for a comfortable family gathering with ample space and facilities for cooking and dining. The quietness of the off-season park added to the enjoyment of the holiday.

HAPPY HOLLY-DAY I spent Christmas Day with my family in an empty caravan park – it was the best idea ever

25 Dec 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article describes the author's experience of spending Christmas Day with their family in a luxury lodge at Broadland Sands, a nearly deserted holiday park on the Norfolk coast near Great Yarmouth, managed by Park Holidays. The author chose this location to avoid the stress of hosting a large family gathering at home, especially during the cost of living crisis. The lodge provided a comfortable and spacious environment for a dozen people, with all utilities included in the hire price. Despite some travel mishaps and illness among the family members, the holiday park's solitude and the festive surroundings contributed to a stress-free Christmas celebration. The author highlights the benefits of such a setting for a family get-together during the holiday season.

DOUBLE PARKED How a ‘two-resort’ staycation can save you hundreds on your next family holiday

18 Dec 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of a 'two-resort' staycation, particularly in terms of cost savings and variety. The author shares their experience of spending a week in Lincolnshire, UK, by splitting the time between a weekend at Away Resorts’ Tattershall Lakes and a midweek at Butlin's Skegness. By doing so, they saved approximately £130 compared to a full week at Butlin's. The article suggests that combining two mini-breaks can also save on transportation costs and provide a change of pace. The author advises booking the weekend first, as it's usually more expensive, and then looking for a cheaper midweek deal, possibly even last minute. They also recommend checking what facilities are available and planning accordingly, as well as ensuring bookings for activities are made in advance.

DOUBLE PARKED How a ‘two-resort’ staycation can save you hundreds on your next family holiday

18 Dec 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of a 'two-resort' staycation, particularly in terms of cost savings and variety. The author shares their experience of spending a week in Lincolnshire, UK, by splitting the stay between a weekend at Away Resorts’ Tattershall Lakes and a midweek at Butlin's Skegness. By doing so, they saved approximately £130 compared to a full week at Butlin's. The article suggests that combining two mini-breaks can also save on transportation costs and provide a change of pace. The author advises on how to plan such a holiday, including booking a weekend deal first and looking for last-minute midweek deals. They also recommend checking the facilities and entertainment options at each resort to maximize the holiday experience. The article hints at future developments at Butlin's, including entertainment for 2024 and new holiday lodges.

There were two things I missed about having my own home

25 Nov 2023  |  the-sun.com
The article discusses the author's personal experiences of living long-term in hotels, contrasting the perceived luxury with the reality of missing home comforts. The author recounts two specific instances: one during an all-expenses-paid EU language program in Spain, with its glamorous perks, and another less glamorous stay at a Travelodge in Birmingham's red light district due to an electricity outage in their student flat. The author reflects on the novelty of hotel living, the lack of personal cooking space, and the desire for personal space and home comforts over time. The article also touches on the choices of older people to live on cruise ships and the mixed reviews from others who have lived in hotels for extended periods.

There were two things I missed about having my own home

25 Nov 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experiences of living long-term in hotels, contrasting the perceived luxury with the reality of missing home comforts. The author recounts two specific instances: one in a beachside hotel in Spain as part of an EU language program, and another in a Travelodge in Birmingham's red light district due to an electricity outage in their student flat. While initially the hotel life seemed glamorous, with conveniences like housekeeping and no need to cook, the novelty wore off. The author missed having their own space, cooking facilities, and the quietness of a private home. The article also touches on the choices of older people to live on cruise ships and the varied opinions of others who have lived in hotels.

There were two things I missed about having my own home

25 Nov 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experiences of living long-term in hotels, contrasting the perceived luxury with the reality of missing home comforts. The author recounts two specific instances: one by the beach in Spain as part of an EU language program, and another in a Travelodge in Birmingham's red light district due to an electricity outage in their student flat. While initially the hotel life seemed glamorous, with amenities like food service and housekeeping, the novelty wore off. The author missed having their own cooking facilities, space, and the quiet of a private home. The article also touches on the experiences of others who have chosen to live in hotels, with mixed feelings about the lifestyle.

There were two things I missed about having my own home

25 Nov 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the author's personal experiences of living long-term in hotels, contrasting the perceived luxury with the reality of missing home comforts. The author recounts two specific instances: one during a language program in Spain with beachside amenities and cultural immersion, and another less glamorous stay at a Travelodge in Birmingham's red light district due to a power outage in their student flat. The author reflects on the novelty of hotel living, the limitations of not having personal cooking facilities, and the desire for personal space and quiet. The piece touches on the broader phenomenon of people choosing to live in hotels or on cruise ships for extended periods, including the elderly as an alternative to retirement homes, and mentions varied opinions on this lifestyle.

HAVEN SENT The best time of year to visit Haven holiday parks to get free caravan upgrade and activities

21 Nov 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of visiting Haven holiday parks during the shoulder season, which is just as the park opens or closes for the year. The author shares personal experiences of staying at Haven's Hopton holiday park near Great Yarmouth, highlighting the significant cost savings, fewer guests, more relaxed staff, potential for free activities, and chances of accommodation upgrades. The downside mentioned is the possibility of ongoing maintenance work. The author notes that they paid half the price for a weekend stay compared to peak times and provides tips for families looking to enjoy budget-friendly holidays.

HAVEN SENT The best time of year to visit Haven holiday parks to get free caravan upgrade and activities

21 Nov 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of visiting Haven holiday parks during the shoulder season, which is just as the park opens or closes for the season. The author shares personal experiences of staying at Haven Hopton near Great Yarmouth, highlighting the advantages such as lower prices, free activities due to fewer guests, potential accommodation upgrades, and more relaxed staff. The downside mentioned is the possibility of ongoing maintenance work. The author notes that they paid half the price for a weekend stay compared to peak times and provides tips on enjoying free Christmas attractions and avoiding rip-offs at London's winter attractions.

YULE NEED TO GO The Christmas events taking place at UK holiday parks this winter with Santa villages, festive shows and gift-giving

11 Nov 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses various UK holiday parks and the Christmas events they offer. Haven is opening its Seashore site near Great Yarmouth for the first time during Christmas. The author has previously visited Center Parcs, Butlin's, and Ribby Hall, and this year plans to visit Away Resorts Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire. Center Parcs is highlighted for its Winter Wonderland and forest festivities, while Butlin's is noted for its live shows and festive pool party. Park Holidays offers accommodation-only breaks, and Ribby Hall provides a Winter Wonderland experience. The author also hints at a potential visit to Haven for Christmas 2024 and mentions a recent affordable stay at a Haven park near Great Yarmouth.

YULE NEED TO GO The Christmas events taking place at UK holiday parks this winter with Santa villages, festive shows and gift-giving

11 Nov 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses various UK holiday parks and their Christmas offerings. Haven is opening its Seashore site near Great Yarmouth for the first time during Christmas. The author has previously visited Center Parcs and Butlin's, enjoying their festive activities and shows. This year, they have booked a stay at Away Resorts Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire. The article details the different Christmas events and activities available at these parks, such as Santa's woodland village at Center Parcs, festive pool parties at Butlin's, and luxury lodge stays at Park Holidays Broadland Sands. The author also mentions a past visit to Ribby Hall near Blackpool and anticipates a future Christmas at Haven, highlighting the variety of options available for families seeking different types of holiday experiences.

DUE SOUTH I took my family on a budget winter Spain caravan holiday for £80 a week – it was great value but not like we imagined

31 Oct 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the experience of Catherine Lofthouse, who took her family on a budget winter caravan holiday to Spain for under £80 a week. They stayed at Vilanova Park, located above the town of Vilanova i la Geltru on the Costa Dorada. The accommodation was basic and chilly at night, but the family found it to be a great value. The weather was not always sunny, with autumn storms causing some disruptions. The park had pools, a supermarket, and a restaurant, but limited entertainment and activities during the off-season. The author also mentions the need to be aware of the 90-day Schengen limit post-Brexit for long stays. The trip included a visit to the local beach and a couple of nights in Barcelona, balancing holiday park life with a city break.

DUE SOUTH I took my family on a budget winter Spain caravan holiday for £80 a week – it was great value but not like we imagined

31 Oct 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the experience of Catherine Lofthouse, who took her family on a budget winter caravan holiday in Spain for less than £80 a week. They stayed at Vilanova Park, located above the town of Vilanova i la Geltru on the Costa Dorada. The accommodation was more basic compared to what they were used to in the UK, with chilly nights and flimsy beds. The weather was not always sunny, with autumn storms causing some disruptions. Despite this, the family enjoyed the park's facilities and the local beach. The article also mentions the need to be aware of the 90-day Schengen limit post-Brexit for long stays. The trip concluded with a visit to Barcelona, balancing holiday park life with a city break.

And two items you should never pack, as you'll never get them back

24 Oct 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article provides expert packing tips for parents preparing their children for school trips. The author, a seasoned parent with 12 years of experience, advises against strictly following the school's provided kit list. They share personal anecdotes where their children returned from trips with unused items, suggesting that kids rarely change clothes or use all the footwear packed. The key advice includes packing only old clothes that can be discarded if ruined, avoiding new purchases, and labeling items to ensure their return. The author also recommends against sending children with wallets or purses, as they are often lost, and instead suggests tucking some spending money in an old wallet. The article concludes with a nod to another mum's tips for saving money on family holidays.

Mum reveals her expert packing tips for kids’ school hols – & they’ll never lose their clothes again

24 Oct 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article provides expert packing tips for parents preparing their children for school trips. The author, a seasoned parent with 12 years of experience, advises against strictly following the school's kit list, as children often do not use all the items packed. The author suggests packing only essentials and items that can be discarded if ruined or lost. The key advice includes not buying new items for the trip, packing spare clothes that are already stained or torn, and avoiding sending valuable items like wallets, as they tend to get lost. The article emphasizes the importance of labeling belongings and packing minimally to avoid unnecessary expenses and losses.

The Haven holiday trick that can save you money and bag you a free activity

20 Oct 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses a money-saving trick for families planning a holiday at Haven parks. By spending over £45 on activities in one transaction, guests can receive a free session on their cheapest activity. The author shares a personal anecdote of missing out on this deal during a previous visit to Haven Wild Duck but plans to utilize it on an upcoming trip to Hopton holiday park. The article provides tips on how to maximize savings by booking expensive activities together and keeping an eye on the Haven website for new activity releases. It also mentions the affordability of Haven parks, with a recent visit to a park near the UK's best beach costing only £25 a night. The author expresses hope that Haven will continue to offer such deals to help families enjoy holidays without overspending.

The Haven holiday trick that can save you money and bag you a free activity

20 Oct 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses a money-saving trick for families planning a holiday at Haven parks. By spending over £45 on activities in one transaction, guests can receive a free session on their cheapest activity. The author shares a personal anecdote about missing out on this deal during a previous visit to Haven Wild Duck but plans to utilize it on an upcoming trip to Hopton holiday park. The article provides tips on how to maximize savings by booking expensive activities together and keeping an eye on the Haven website for new activity releases. The author also mentions the value of the £45 bargain bundle in managing holiday expenses and expresses hope that Haven will continue offering such deals.

I took my boys to the UK’s largest pumpkin farm – it costs just £3 and has loads of indoor Halloween events

09 Oct 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
Cattows Farm in Leicestershire, known as Halloween Farm during October, is the UK's largest pumpkin farm and offers a variety of Halloween activities. With an entrance fee between £3 to £5, visitors can enjoy Pumpkin Land, the Pumpkin Express land train, a playground, and a funfair with additional costs per ride. The farm also offers a selection of pumpkins and ornamental gourds, with a limit of four pumpkins per person. Indoor attractions include a circus, cinema, inflatables, and Trick or Treat Street, with bundle discounts available. The farm caters to families and offers a special sensory-friendly day. A wheelbarrow can be rented for a charity donation, which also provides a discount on future visits. The journalist visited with their child and recommends the farm for a full day of family fun during the Halloween season.

I took my boys to the UK’s largest pumpkin farm – it costs just £3 and has loads of indoor Halloween events

09 Oct 2023  |  thesun.ie
Cattows Farm in Leicestershire, known as Halloween Farm in October, is the UK's largest pumpkin farm and offers a variety of Halloween activities. With an entrance fee between £3 to £5, visitors can enjoy Pumpkin Land, the Pumpkin Express land train, a playground, and a funfair with additional costs per ride. Pumpkins are available at £1 each with a limit of four per person, and wheelbarrows can be rented for a charity donation. The farm also features indoor attractions such as a circus, cinema, inflatables, and Trick or Treat Street, with discount bundles for these activities. A special sensory-friendly day is available for those with extra needs, and a discount is offered for return visits when renting a wheelbarrow. The farm is open from 9am to 9pm and caters to all ages, making it an ideal family destination for Halloween festivities.

I took my boys to the UK’s largest pumpkin farm – it costs just £3 and has loads of indoor Halloween events

09 Oct 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
Cattows Farm in Leicestershire, known as Halloween Farm in October, is the UK's largest pumpkin farm and offers a variety of Halloween activities. With an entrance fee between £3 to £5, visitors can enjoy Pumpkin Land, the Pumpkin Express land train, a playground, and a funfair with additional costs per ride. The farm features a pumpkin patch with a limit of four pumpkins per person, and wheelbarrows available for hire with a donation to charity. The article describes the farm's attractions, including haybales, ornamental gourds, outdoor stages, food vans, and indoor attractions like a circus and cinema. There are also special events for different age groups and a sensory-friendly day. The author recommends the farm for a family-friendly Halloween experience and notes the possibility of a discount on a return visit when hiring a wheelbarrow.

WINNING IN THE RAIN I get free tickets to UK attractions if it rains – it saves my family hundreds

29 Sep 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the 'rainy day guarantee' offered by various UK attractions, which allows visitors to return for free if it rains during their visit. Attractions like Alton Towers, Warwick Castle, Chessington World of Adventures, and Thorpe Park offer this guarantee, while Legoland Windsor does not. The guarantee is subject to certain conditions, such as the tickets being purchased directly from the attraction's website and the rain lasting for a continuous hour or more. The author shares personal experiences with the guarantee and suggests the idea of an 'extreme weather guarantee' to cover both wet weather and heatwaves. The article also mentions other attractions with similar guarantees and provides tips on how to take advantage of these offers for cost-effective family outings.

WINNING IN THE RAIN I get free tickets to UK attractions if it rains – it saves my family hundreds

29 Sep 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the 'rainy day guarantee' offered by various UK attractions, which allows visitors to return for free if it rains during their visit. Attractions like Warwick Castle, Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures, and Thorpe Park offer this guarantee, while Legoland Windsor does not. The guarantee is subject to certain conditions, such as continuous rain for a specific duration and purchasing tickets directly from the attraction's website. The author shares personal experiences with the weather during visits to these attractions and suggests the possibility of an 'extreme weather guarantee' to cover both rain and heatwaves. The article also mentions other places with similar guarantees and provides tips on how to take advantage of these offers for cost-effective family outings.

SCHOOL'S OUT I take my whole family away in October half term every year for just £100 – it’s the best week for finding bargains

27 Sep 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the benefits of booking family holidays during the October half term, particularly highlighting the affordability of such vacations this year. The author has successfully booked a holiday at Haven Hopton for just £100, taking advantage of the staggered school holidays which have resulted in lower prices. The piece also touches on the challenges of coordinating holidays when school breaks do not align, especially for families with children in different schools. The author shares past experiences of holiday park breaks at various locations, including Butlin's Bognor Regis and Duinrell in Holland, emphasizing the potential for good weather and seasonal activities like Halloween and Bonfire Night events. Additionally, the article mentions tips from experts on avoiding common booking mistakes and the best times to book to save money.

SCHOOL'S OUT I take my whole family away in October half term every year for just £100 – it’s the best week for finding bargains

27 Sep 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of booking family holidays during the staggered October half term, highlighting the potential for finding bargains. The author shares personal experiences of booking a holiday at Haven Hopton for just £100 and mentions past trips to various holiday parks like Butlin's Bognor Regis, Haven Golden Sands, Away Resorts Tattershall Lakes, and Duinrell in Holland. The staggered school holidays lower prices and reduce competition, although they can make coordinating with friends and family in different regions challenging. The author notes the advantages of holiday parks, such as indoor activities and the possibility of good weather, and shares tips for saving money on holiday bookings.

I stayed at one of the UK’s oldest holiday parks – great for cash-strapped families but now at risk of closing forever

19 Sep 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
Billing Aquadrome, a holiday park near Northampton with a history of nearly 80 years, went into administration earlier this year. Despite this, the park continues to operate as usual, offering affordable family breaks and day visits. A glamping pod can be rented for under £100, and other amenities like caravans, lodges, and a funfair are available. The park provides free entertainment and activities such as soft play, exotic animal sessions, and seasonal events. Grant Thornton UK LLP, the administrator, is confident about finding a solution to keep the park running and is currently in negotiations with potential buyers. The park, which started after WWII, is still popular among families and offers a budget-friendly alternative to seaside vacations.

PARK UP I went to the holiday park next to the best beach in the UK – it’s just £25 a night in half term and my kids loved it

13 Sep 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article reviews Haven Wild Duck, a holiday park located near the best beach in the UK as per TripAdvisor's 2023 Travellers' Choice awards, Gorleston-on-Sea. Unlike other Haven parks, Wild Duck is not directly on the coast but is set in mature woodland, offering a different experience with wildlife and outdoor activities. The author compares the park to Center Parcs, noting similarities in activities and the natural setting but highlighting differences in swimming facilities and accommodation costs. The article mentions the affordability of Wild Duck, with prices significantly lower than Center Parcs, and includes personal experiences of the author's family enjoying the park's offerings.

PARK UP I went to the holiday park next to the best beach in the UK – it’s just £25 a night in half term and my kids loved it

13 Sep 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article reviews Haven Wild Duck, a holiday park located near the best beach in the UK as per TripAdvisor's 2023 Travellers' Choice awards, Gorleston-on-Sea. Unlike Haven's other coastal sites, Wild Duck is inland, set in Norfolk woodlands, offering a different experience with its wildlife and outdoor activities. The park provides a range of accommodations, from standard caravans to more luxurious lakeside lodges, at prices significantly lower than Center Parcs. The author highlights the park's nature ranger station, swimming pools, and children's activities, noting that it's a great option for families interested in nature and looking for a more affordable holiday compared to Center Parcs. The article concludes with the author's positive personal experience and recommendation of Wild Duck for those seeking a woodland holiday with wildlife encounters.

PARK UP I went to the holiday park next to the best beach in the UK – it’s just £25 a night in half term and my kids loved it

13 Sep 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article reviews Haven Wild Duck, a holiday park located near the UK's best beach as per TripAdvisor's 2023 Travellers' Choice awards, Gorleston-on-Sea. Unlike Haven's other coastal sites, Wild Duck is inland, set in Norfolk woodlands, offering a different experience with its wildlife and outdoor activities. The park provides a range of accommodations, including caravans and lakeside lodges, at prices significantly lower than Center Parcs. The author highlights the park's nature ranger station, swimming pools, and children's activities, noting that it's a great option for families interested in nature and looking for a more affordable holiday compared to Center Parcs. The article concludes with the author's positive personal experience at Wild Duck, emphasizing the park's appeal to those who enjoy wildlife and woodland settings.

COSTUME DRAMA The crazy European holiday rules that have cost my family hundreds

30 Aug 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experiences with unexpected swimming pool regulations while traveling in various European countries. The author's family had to purchase additional swimwear items such as swim hats in Spain, tight swimming trunks (Speedos) in France, and armbands in the Netherlands due to local rules that were different from what they were accustomed to in the UK. The author highlights the importance of being aware of local pool rules to avoid inconvenience and extra expenses. The article also touches on a unique experience in Germany where the family encountered a nude spa/sauna/pool, which was a departure from the norm for them. The author concludes by advising travelers to research pool rules before visiting a new country to ensure compliance and avoid fines or being turned away.

COSTUME DRAMA The crazy European holiday rules that have cost my family hundreds

30 Aug 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the author's personal experiences with different swimming pool rules across various European countries, which often required purchasing additional swimwear items, leading to unexpected expenses. In France, the author's family had to buy tight swimming trunks, known as Speedos, due to hygiene rules at a holiday park. In Spain, swim hats and additional items like locks and flip flops were necessary. The Netherlands required armbands for children under a certain height. The author also recounts a visit to a German spa where nudity was the norm. The article advises travelers to research pool rules before visiting a new country to avoid inconvenience and fines, as some regions in Spain and Italy also enforce strict swimwear regulations.

COSTUME DRAMA The crazy European holiday rules that have cost my family hundreds

30 Aug 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the author's personal experiences with unexpected swimming pool regulations while traveling in Europe with their family. They encountered a requirement for swimming hats in Spain, tight swimming trunks (Speedos) in France, and armbands for children in the Netherlands due to height restrictions. The author recounts having to purchase these items, which were often different from what they were used to in the UK. The article also mentions an experience in Germany where the norm at a spa/sauna/pool was to be naked, which was a surprise to the author's family. The author advises travelers to research pool rules before visiting a new country to avoid inconvenience and potential fines, as some places in Spain and Italy also have strict swimwear regulations.

Coalville fitness instructor is holding charity bootcamp in memory of mum to raise awareness of Sepsis

29 Aug 2023  |  coalville.nub.news
Samantha Heap, a fitness instructor and owner of Village Green Fitness, is organizing a charity bootcamp at Cattows Farm to support The UK Sepsis Trust. The event is in memory of her mother, Diane, who passed away from sepsis after contracting a Strep A infection. The bootcamp aims to raise funds and increase awareness about sepsis, a condition that can affect anyone. Sam emphasizes the importance of recognizing sepsis and educating the public. The UK Sepsis Trust has been instrumental in supporting Sam's family, and the charity relies on donations to continue its work. The event will also honor Diane's memory with her favorite music and a message to 'Be More Diane.' The bootcamp is scheduled for September 2, coinciding with the start of Sepsis Awareness month.

A WALES OF A TIME I went to the ‘best holiday park in the UK’ – it has brand new lodges and my kids loved everything there

12 Aug 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article reviews Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire, Wales, highlighting its new platinum lodges and family-friendly amenities. The resort's design embraces the Welsh weather, allowing guests to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of their lodge. The resort is noted for its environmental efforts, such as using full-size ESPA toiletry bottles and a comprehensive recycling system. For entertainment, there's The Serendome with play areas and a pirate-themed circus, Smokey Joe’s Shindig for dining and dancing, and the Blue Lagoon swimming pool. Although the pool didn't meet expectations, the resort's unique Welsh character and other amenities provided a satisfying experience. The article also mentions the convenience of using a golf buggy to explore the resort's scenic views.

A WALES OF A TIME I went to the ‘best holiday park in the UK’ – it has brand new lodges and my kids loved everything there

12 Aug 2023  |  the-sun.com
The article reviews Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire, Wales, highlighting its new platinum lodges designed to embrace the Welsh weather with features like bifold doors and an upstairs open-plan living space. The resort's commitment to reducing environmental impact is noted, with full-size ESPA toiletry bottles for reuse and a recycling system in place. The Serendome offers covered entertainment with play areas and a pirate-themed circus show. Dining experiences like Smokey Joe’s Shindig provide lively entertainment and delicious food. While the Blue Lagoon swimming pool didn't meet expectations, the overall experience was positive, with the resort's Welsh character and activities keeping the kids fully engaged.

A WALES OF A TIME I went to the ‘best holiday park in the UK’ – it has brand new lodges and my kids loved everything there

12 Aug 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article reviews Bluestone National Park Resort, a holiday park in Pembrokeshire, Wales, highlighting its new platinum lodges and family-friendly amenities. The resort's design embraces the Welsh weather, with features like bifold doors and a roll-top bath. Emphasizing sustainability, Bluestone provides full-size ESPA toiletry bottles and has a comprehensive recycling system. The Serendome offers covered entertainment with play areas and a pirate-themed circus show. Dining experiences include Smokey Joe's Shindig with live music and barbecue. The Blue Lagoon swimming pool, while enjoyable, did not meet the family's expectations but is expected to receive investment soon. The resort's Welsh character and the convenience of golf buggies for transportation are also noted. The article suggests that while Bluestone may not be cheaper than similar parks, it offers a unique Welsh experience.

Ferry vs. Overnight Train: Comparing European Transport for Comfort, Cost, and CO2 Emissions

07 Aug 2023  |  ru.euronews.com
A family of five tested the comfort, cost, and eco-friendliness of overnight ferries and trains during a month-long trip across Europe. They compared a ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam with a Nightjet train from Hertogenbosch to Innsbruck. The ferry offered spacious cabins but had downsides like seasickness and noise. The train provided a more compact space and was less comfortable but was more cost-effective, time-efficient, and environmentally friendly. The ferry cost nearly £180, while the train was part of a half-price Interrail pass for £560. In terms of CO2 emissions, trains are slightly more eco-friendly than ferries, and both are better than flying. The family concluded that while the ferry was more comfortable (except for seasickness), the train was superior in cost, time, and eco-friendliness.

Ferry vs Night Train: I compared Europe's no-fly transport in comfort, cost, and CO2

07 Aug 2023  |  es.euronews.com
Catherine Lofthouse traveled with her family across Europe using ferries and night trains to compare comfort, cost, and sustainability. They found the ferry spacious but noisy, with seasickness as a downside. The night train was more compact and less comfortable but won in terms of cost, time, and sustainability. Both modes of transport were significantly less polluting than flying, with the train being slightly more eco-friendly than the ferry. The family enjoyed the adventure and the unique experience of waking up in a new location.

LOUNGE AROUND The clever airport trick that gets you free drinks and snacks

04 Aug 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses a travel hack for getting free drinks and snacks at airport lounges. It explains that passengers with O2 mobile or Virgin Media broadband can register their flights in advance to receive a LoungeKey Pass voucher for use during flight delays. The article also mentions the possibility of using the voucher for discounts at certain airport eateries, like the Grain Store Cafe and Bar at Gatwick's south terminal. The author shares a personal experience of accessing a lounge at Amsterdam Central train station with an Interrail pass. The article suggests that while luxury lounges might increase travel costs, the amenities they offer can provide savings and comfort during travel.

LOUNGE AROUND The clever airport trick that gets you free drinks and snacks

04 Aug 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses a travel hack for getting free drinks and snacks at airport lounges. It explains that passengers with O2 mobile or Virgin Media broadband can register their flights in advance to receive a LoungeKey Pass voucher for use if their flights are delayed. The voucher can also be used for discounts at certain airport eateries, such as the Grain Store Cafe and Bar at Gatwick's south terminal. The author shares a personal experience of accessing a lounge at Amsterdam Central train station with an Interrail pass. The article also mentions that some bank accounts and credit cards offer lounge access as a perk, and provides a general overview of the benefits of lounge access, including comfort and savings on food and drink.

LOUNGE AROUND The clever airport trick that gets you free drinks and snacks

04 Aug 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses a travel hack for getting free drinks and snacks at airport lounges. It explains that passengers with O2 mobile or Virgin Media broadband can register their flights in advance to receive a LoungeKey Pass voucher for use during flight delays. The article also mentions that some bank accounts and credit cards offer lounge access as a perk. The author shares a personal experience of using a lounge at Amsterdam Central train station with an Interrail pass. The article suggests that while luxury lounges might increase travel costs, the amenities they offer can save money on food and drinks at airport prices.

Blackpool's Resurgence as a Beloved British Seaside Resort

01 Aug 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article describes the author's recent visit to Blackpool, a seaside resort town in Lancashire, UK. Despite a previous visit that left a less favorable impression, the author notes significant improvements and developments in the town, including new attractions like the Gruffalo Clubhouse by Merlin, renovations at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and the restoration of the historic Winter Gardens. The article highlights Blackpool's wide range of attractions suitable for different age groups and interests, such as the zoo, Sea Life, Sandcastle water park, and various indoor activities. The author also mentions the economic aspect of vacationing in Blackpool, suggesting it offers good value for money compared to other UK tourist destinations. The piece concludes with the author's newfound appreciation for Blackpool and the possibility of making it a regular holiday destination.

Blackpool's Resurgence as Britain's Beloved Seaside Resort

01 Aug 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article describes the author's recent visit to Blackpool, a seaside resort town in Lancashire, UK. The author reflects on the town's transformation since their last visit, noting the investment in attractions and the sprucing up of existing ones. Merlin has opened the Gruffalo Clubhouse, and Blackpool Pleasure Beach is redeveloping rides like Valhalla. The town's profile has been boosted by the filming of 'Strictly Come Dancing' at the Tower Ballroom. The author highlights the variety of attractions for all ages, including the zoo, Sea Life, Sandcastle water park, and multiple piers. Despite the British weather, the author appreciates the balance between the lively atmosphere and quieter spots in Blackpool. The article also mentions the affordability of the destination, exemplified by a meal at Tower Fisheries. The author concludes with a positive outlook on Blackpool as a cherished UK holiday spot.

Blackpool's Resurgence as a Beloved British Seaside Resort

01 Aug 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article describes the author's recent visit to Blackpool, a seaside resort town in Lancashire, UK. Despite a previous visit that left a less favorable impression, the author notes significant improvements and developments in the town. Merlin, the company behind attractions like Alton Towers and Legoland, has opened the Gruffalo Clubhouse, and Blackpool Pleasure Beach is updating its rides. The town's historic Winter Gardens are being restored, and the filming of 'Strictly Come Dancing' at the Tower Ballroom has increased Blackpool's visibility. The author highlights the variety of attractions available, from piers and zoos to indoor water parks and waxworks. The article also mentions the affordability of the destination, exemplified by a meal at Tower Fisheries, and suggests that Blackpool is a valuable destination for British staycations.

BADGE OF HONOUR My kids’ Blue Peter badges get them into hundreds of attractions for free – you can still get one easily

19 Jul 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the benefits of the Blue Peter badge, which allows children free entry into over 200 attractions across the UK. The author shares personal experiences of visiting various attractions with their children using the badge. The badge, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, can be earned by children aged five to 15 for various achievements and activities, such as sending in creative work to the Blue Peter show or participating in environmental projects. The article also notes the importance of checking entry conditions at each attraction and mentions the different types of Blue Peter badges available. The author suggests earning a Blue Peter badge as a summer activity for children.

BADGE OF HONOUR My kids’ Blue Peter badges get them into hundreds of attractions for free – you can still get one easily

19 Jul 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of the Blue Peter badge, which allows children free entry into over 200 attractions across the UK. The badge, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, is awarded to children aged five to 15 for various achievements and contributions to the Blue Peter TV show. The author shares personal experiences of visiting attractions with their children using the badge and highlights the pride and excitement it brings. The article also mentions that there are eight different types of badges to collect and encourages parents to consider badge-related activities as a summer project for their children.

BADGE OF HONOUR My kids’ Blue Peter badges get them into hundreds of attractions for free – you can still get one easily

19 Jul 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of the Blue Peter badge, which allows children free entry into over 200 attractions across the UK. The badge, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, can be earned by children aged five to 15 for various achievements and participation in activities related to the children's TV show. The author shares personal experiences of visiting attractions with their children using the Blue Peter badges. Attractions mentioned include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Adventure Island, Grand Pier, Eden Project, Tower of London, and the British Motor Museum. The article also notes that there are different types of badges for various achievements and encourages parents to consider the badge as a fun summer activity for their children.

I visited a hidden Welsh beach you can only access at low tide & it cost £38 for my whole family to stay there

12 Jul 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article describes a family's adventure to a secluded beach in Wales, accessible only at low tide through a narrow tunnel. The beach, near the Pembrokeshire coastal path and close to Tenby, offers a peaceful picnic spot with cave formations and golden sands. The family stayed at YHA Manorbier, a hostel costing £38.25 for a night for a family of five, with an additional £17 for unlimited breakfast. The hostel, a renovated former military building, offers various accommodations and amenities such as a cafe, bar, self-catering kitchen, games room, and laundry facilities. The article emphasizes the importance of checking tide times to ensure safety and avoid being stranded.

I visited a hidden Welsh beach you can only access at low tide & it cost £38 for my whole family to stay there

12 Jul 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article describes a family's adventure to a secluded beach in Wales, accessible only at low tide through a narrow tunnel. The beach, near the Pembrokeshire coastal path and close to Tenby, offers a sense of isolation and natural beauty, with opportunities for swimming and exploring cave formations. The family stayed at YHA Manorbier, a hostel located a short distance from the beach, which provided affordable accommodation and amenities such as a cafe, bar, and games room. The author emphasizes the importance of timing the visit with the tide to avoid being stranded and recommends the hostel for its welcoming atmosphere and convenient location.

SAVE IT I save hundreds on UK family holidays by staying at these little-known budget gems

10 Jul 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the benefits of staying at Youth Hostel Association (YHA) properties across England and Wales for budget-friendly family holidays. The author shares personal experiences of saving money by staying at YHA hostels, which offer a variety of accommodations including historic buildings, glamping, and camping options. The YHA celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2020 and provides amenities like self-catering kitchens and bars. The article highlights the affordability of YHA stays, discounts available for members and young people, and the current summer sale. It also touches on the changes in hostelling, such as no longer needing to do chores or bring bedding, and the potential downsides like dynamic pricing and the sale of some hostels. The author advocates for the value of YHA stays and expresses hope for their continued existence.

SAVE IT I save hundreds on UK family holidays by staying at these little-known budget gems

10 Jul 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of staying at Youth Hostel Association (YHA) properties across England and Wales for budget-friendly family holidays. The author shares personal experiences of saving money by staying at YHA hostels, which offer a variety of accommodations including historic buildings, glamping, and camping options. The article highlights the convenience and affordability of YHA stays, such as discounts for young people and members, and the current summer sale. It also mentions the changes in hostelling, such as no longer needing to bring bedding and the availability of meals on-site. However, the author notes some downsides, such as dynamic pricing and the sale of some YHA properties due to financial pressures from the pandemic.

SAVE IT I save hundreds on UK family holidays by staying at these little-known budget gems

10 Jul 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the benefits of staying at Youth Hostel Association (YHA) properties across England and Wales for budget-friendly family holidays. The author shares personal experiences of saving money by staying at YHA hostels, which offer a variety of accommodations including historic buildings, glamping, and camping options. The article highlights the amenities and discounts available, such as family rooms, self-catering kitchens, and membership discounts. It also touches on the social aspect of meeting new people at hostels and the convenience of having meals on-site. However, the author notes some downsides, such as potential overcrowding during school trips and the impact of dynamic pricing. The YHA's financial situation is mentioned, with 20 hostels being put up for sale. The author expresses hope that hostelling will continue to be a viable option for budget travel.

WILD K-NIGHT My family stayed in an English fairytale castle for just £68 – with medieval banquet hall & Harry Potter-style rooms

06 Jul 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article describes a family's experience staying at YHA St Briavels Castle, a historic building on the Welsh border, for a budget-friendly price. The castle, part of the Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales network, offers a medieval atmosphere with modern amenities like Wifi. The family stayed in a room named Oubliette and enjoyed a medieval banquet hall, Harry Potter-style rooms, and a cooked breakfast. The article highlights the affordability of the stay, with discounts for families with children and YHA members, and the unique experience of staying in a castle with a rich history. It also mentions other fairytale accommodation options near Alton Towers and in Wales.

WILD K-NIGHT My family stayed in an English fairytale castle for just £68 – with medieval banquet hall & Harry Potter-style rooms

06 Jul 2023  |  the-sun.com
The article discusses a budget-friendly family accommodation option at YHA St Briavels Castle, located in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border. The castle, part of the Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales network, offers stays for as low as £50 per night for a family. The author describes the medieval features of the castle, including a banqueting hall and Harry Potter-style rooms, which particularly delighted their children. Additional discounts are available for families with children and YHA members, with the possibility of a room costing around £68 per night, and breakfast for a family of four for an extra £17. The castle is also noted for its history as a prison and is known as one of the most haunted places in Britain. The article also briefly mentions other fairytale accommodation options near Alton Towers and in Wales.

WILD K-NIGHT My family stayed in an English fairytale castle for just £68 – with medieval banquet hall & Harry Potter-style rooms

06 Jul 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses a budget-friendly family accommodation option at YHA St Briavels Castle, located in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border. The castle, part of the Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales network, offers stays for as low as £50 per night for a family. The author describes the medieval features of the castle, including a banqueting hall and Harry Potter-style rooms, which particularly delighted their children. The castle is also noted for its haunted reputation. Discounts are available for families with children and YHA members, with additional savings on meals. The article also briefly mentions other fairytale accommodations near Alton Towers and in Wales.

WILD K-NIGHT My family stayed in an English fairytale castle for just £68 – with medieval banquet hall & Harry Potter-style rooms

06 Jul 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses a budget-friendly family stay at YHA St Briavels Castle, located in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, near the Welsh border. The castle, part of the Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales network, offers accommodation for as low as £50 per night for a family. The author describes the medieval features of the castle, including a banqueting hall and Harry Potter-style rooms, which particularly delighted the children. The castle is also noted for its haunted reputation. Discounts are available for families with children and YHA members, with additional savings on meals. The article also briefly mentions other fairytale accommodations near Alton Towers and in Wales.

Gen Z don’t want to share dorms or do chores, but will they pay to see the YHA change?

04 Jul 2023  |  inews.co.uk
The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) is facing financial challenges and is selling over 30 hostels, which could impact the traditional rite of passage for young travelers. Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2020, the YHA has been hit hard by lockdowns, the cost of living crisis, and inflation. The charity relies on volunteers and school trips but is still recovering from the pandemic. The YHA aims to provide travel and outdoor experiences for all children by 2030, but this goal is threatened by the need to sell properties. Hostelworld shows rising prices for YHA rooms, and the YHA hopes new buyers will continue to run the properties as hostels. Girlguiding UK is also selling properties, raising concerns about the loss of opportunities for youth travel. The YHA competes with modern hostel chains like Generator and Selina and has modernized to attract a social media-savvy generation. Despite modernization efforts and a successful 2019, the pandemic has caused setbacks, including the permanent closure of YHA hostels in New Zealand. The YHA remains a significant provider of school trips and is campaigning for government funding to ensure affordability. However, the sale of hostels and increased room rates during peak periods have led to criticism about the YHA's affordability in the current economic climate.

I visited the UK’s ‘cheapest chippy’ – it cost more for car parking than it did for a meal for two

27 Jun 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the experience of visiting Tower Fisheries in Blackpool, which has been recognized as the UK's cheapest fish and chips shop. The author, along with their son, sampled the menu, with items starting at £3.95 for cod and chips, and found the prices to be significantly lower than other establishments, such as Harry Ramsden's. The author compares the cost of their meal to the higher prices paid for parking and at a local chippy at home. They highlight the value for money, the cleanliness of the eat-in area, and the quality of the food. The article also mentions the Winter Gardens and St John's Square, noting the ongoing refurbishments and the pleasant environment for enjoying a meal outdoors, provided one can avoid the seagulls.

I visited the UK’s ‘cheapest chippy’ – it cost more for car parking than it did for a meal for two

27 Jun 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the experience of visiting Tower Fisheries in Blackpool, which has been recognized as the UK's cheapest fish and chips shop. The author, along with their son, tried the food there and found it to be excellent value for money, with a meal costing less than the parking fee. They compared the prices with other places, including Harry Ramsden's, and highlighted the affordability of Tower Fisheries. The author also mentioned the clean and bright eat-in area of the shop and the ongoing refurbishment of the nearby Winter Gardens and St John's Square. The article concludes with the author's intention to return to Tower Fisheries on their next visit to Blackpool.

I visited the UK’s ‘cheapest chippy’ – it cost more for car parking than it did for a meal for two

27 Jun 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the experience of visiting Tower Fisheries in Blackpool, which has been recognized as the UK's cheapest fish and chips shop. The author and their son were able to enjoy a meal for less than £6, which was cheaper than the parking fee. They highlighted the affordability of the meals, especially in comparison to other local eateries such as Harry Ramsden's, and the pleasant dining environment. The author also briefly mentions the Winter Gardens and St John's Square, noting the ongoing refurbishments and the suitability of the area for enjoying a meal outdoors. The article concludes with the author's endorsement of Tower Fisheries for its value.

I visited the UK’s ‘cheapest chippy’ – it cost more for car parking than it did for a meal for two

27 Jun 2023  |  the-sun.com
The article discusses the experience of visiting Tower Fisheries in Blackpool, which has been recognized as the UK's cheapest fish and chips shop. The author, along with their son, tried the food there, with meals costing less than £6, which was even cheaper than the parking fee. They found the food to be excellent value for money, with clean dining areas and reasonable prices compared to other establishments like Harry Ramsden's. The author also briefly mentions the Winter Gardens and St John's Square, noting their refurbishments and suitability as a dining spot, free from seagulls. The article concludes with the author's endorsement of Tower Fisheries for a budget-friendly meal.

How I save hundreds on my Haven seaside holiday every year with a very simple hack

20 Jun 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses a simple money-saving hack for family holidays by booking at specific times. The author, Catherine, shares her personal experience of saving money by planning a family holiday to Haven Wild Duck near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, just before the school term begins in September. She compares the prices of a weekend in a bronze caravan during different times in the summer, highlighting significant savings when booking after the August bank holiday. Catherine also recounts her positive experience from the previous year at Parkdean Breydon Water and suggests that fewer crowds and the ability to enjoy free activities like swimming and the beach can make end-of-summer holidays more enjoyable and cost-effective. The article concludes with a mention of Haven's 2024 holiday offers.

How I save hundreds on my Haven seaside holiday every year with a very simple hack

20 Jun 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses a simple money-saving hack for family holidays, which involves booking a trip just before the school year resumes in September, when prices are lower. The author shares personal experiences of staying at Haven Wild Duck and Parkdean Breydon Water near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and highlights the benefits of holidaying at the end of summer, such as lower costs, fewer crowds, and more relaxed atmospheres. The article suggests that this timing allows families to know their budget better after a summer of activities and to still have a holiday to look forward to. Haven's 2024 holiday deals are also mentioned, with breaks starting from £4 per person per night.

B-EAT IT I’m an ex-hotel worker who always steals from breakfast buffets

15 Jun 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article is a first-person account of a former hotel worker who admits to taking extra food from hotel breakfast buffets. The author argues that taking food for later consumption is not a significant issue compared to other guest behaviors and suggests that hotels and their staff are generally unconcerned with guests who take a pastry or fruit for a snack later in the day. The author also discusses the issue of food waste in hotels and the practicality of having extra food on hand when traveling with children. The article mentions that the practice may vary depending on the type of hotel, with less impact at larger chains compared to smaller, family-run establishments. The author concludes that as long as guests do not excessively take food from the buffet, staff are likely to overlook it.

B-EAT IT I’m an ex-hotel worker who always steals from breakfast buffets

15 Jun 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article is a first-person account of a former hotel worker who admits to taking extra food from hotel breakfast buffets. The author argues that taking food for later consumption is not a significant issue compared to other guest behaviors and suggests that hotels and their staff are generally unconcerned with guests who do so. The writer also discusses the wastefulness of food in hotels and the practicality of taking extra food to prevent waste and to keep children fed during travels. The author mentions staying at a youth hostel in Berlin and the value for money when it comes to food. The article concludes by advising against overdoing it but reassures that staff usually overlook minor transgressions.

B-EAT IT I’m an ex-hotel worker who always steals from breakfast buffets

15 Jun 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article is an opinion piece by a former hotel worker who confesses to taking extra food from hotel breakfast buffets. The author argues that taking food for later consumption is not a serious offense compared to other guest behaviors and believes that hotels are generally tolerant of this practice. The article discusses the practicality of taking food to avoid waste and to keep children fed during travels. The author also distinguishes between taking food from large chain hotels versus small family-run establishments and suggests that moderation is key to not attracting negative attention from hotel staff. The author shares personal experiences and opinions on the matter, advocating for a common-sense approach to buffet etiquette.

B-EAT IT I’m an ex-hotel worker who always steals from breakfast buffets

15 Jun 2023  |  the-sun.com
The article is a first-person account of a former hotel worker who admits to taking extra food from hotel breakfast buffets. The author argues that taking food for later consumption is a minor issue compared to other guest behaviors and suggests that hotels are generally tolerant of this practice. The article discusses the practicality of taking extra food, especially when traveling with children, and the author's personal stance against food waste. The writer also distinguishes between taking food from large hotel chains versus smaller, family-run establishments and shares a positive experience at a youth hostel in Berlin. The author concludes that as long as guests don't excessively take food, hotel staff are likely to overlook the practice.

How to go on holiday using your Tesco Clubcard points – but you’ll have to be quick to get a bargain

12 Jun 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article discusses the upcoming changes to the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme, which will reduce the value of points when exchanged for vouchers from triple to double. The author emphasizes the importance of acting quickly to take advantage of the higher exchange rate before the change occurs. They share personal experiences of using Clubcard points for family outings to theme parks, meals out, and travel, highlighting the scheme's benefits for budgeting family expenses. The article also mentions the extension of voucher validity to a year and suggests using points for summer holidays or Christmas to alleviate financial pressure.

How to go on holiday using your Tesco Clubcard points – but you’ll have to be quick to get a bargain

12 Jun 2023  |  thesun.ie
The article discusses the upcoming changes to the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme, which will reduce the value of points when exchanged for vouchers from triple to double. The author shares personal experiences of using Clubcard points for family outings to theme parks like Alton Towers and Drayton Manor, as well as dining out at restaurants such as Bella Italia and Pizza Express. The article also provides tips on how to make the most of the points before the change takes effect, including using points for Megabus vouchers and railcards. It mentions that reward vouchers are currently valid for a year and highlights the importance of using loyalty points to ease financial pressure during peak times like summer holidays and Christmas.

How to go on holiday using your Tesco Clubcard points – but you’ll have to be quick to get a bargain

12 Jun 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article discusses the upcoming changes to the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme, which will reduce the value of points when exchanged for vouchers from triple to double. The author emphasizes the importance of acting quickly to take advantage of the higher exchange rate before the change occurs. They share personal experiences of using Clubcard points for family outings to theme parks, meals out, and travel, highlighting the cost-saving benefits. The article also mentions the extension of voucher validity to one year and the ease of exchanging points online. It suggests using Clubcard points for summer holidays and Christmas to alleviate financial pressure during these times.

My family of five travelled Europe by train for just €645 for the month. Here’s how we did it.

28 May 2023  |  euronews.com
Catherine Lofthouse shares her family's experience traveling around Europe with an Interrail pass, which they got at half-price during a flash sale. The pass allowed them to travel through 33 countries over a month for €645. She discusses the benefits of train travel with children, such as flexibility, no need for early check-ins, and city center arrivals. Lofthouse provides tips on keeping travel times short, opting for sleeper trains for longer distances, and considering accommodation options outside tourist hotspots to save money. She also touches on the planning required for such a trip and suggests that while it may not be restful, it can be an adventure of a lifetime for a family.

I went to the brand new Gruffalo attraction in the UK with all the characters and live dance parties – my kids loved it

26 May 2023  |  thescottishsun.co.uk
The article reviews the new Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse attraction in Blackpool, UK, which is designed for children under ten. It features six stories by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, including a Room On The Broom soft play area and a Deep Dark Wood adventure play area. The author visited the attraction with former Corrie actor Helen Flanagan and her son. The facility includes sensory rooms, a live dance party, and character meet-and-greets. The author appreciates the inclusion of a Changing Places toilet for those with additional needs and recommends visiting the nearby Peter Rabbit Play and Explore. The author's child enjoyed the visit, indicating the attraction's success.

I went to the brand new Gruffalo attraction in the UK with all the characters and live dance parties – my kids loved it

26 May 2023  |  thesun.co.uk
The article reviews the new Gruffalo attraction at Blackpool, UK, which is part of Merlin's entertainment offerings. The Gruffalo & Friends Clubhouse is an indoor playground that brings to life stories by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. It features various play areas, including the Deep Dark Wood adventure play area and a sensory room for children with additional needs. The author attended the opening with former Corrie actor Helen Flanagan and her son. The attraction is praised for its facilities, including a Changing Places toilet, and is recommended for families visiting Blackpool. The author's child enjoyed the visit, indicating the attraction's success.

I travelled by overnight ferry and sleeper train in Europe to see how they compare on comfort, cost and sustainability.

05 Apr 2023  |  euronews.com
The article compares the experience of traveling by overnight ferry and sleeper train in Europe, focusing on comfort, cost, and sustainability. The author, along with their family, tested both modes of transport during a month-long trip. They found the ferry, which they took from Newcastle to Amsterdam, to be spacious and comfortable but noted issues with seasickness and noise. The Nightjet train from the Netherlands to Austria was more compact, with less comfortable sleeping arrangements and shared facilities. Safety procedures differed between the two, with the ferry offering more secure accommodations. Cost-wise, the ferry was more expensive than the train, but the author took advantage of discounts and Interrail passes to reduce expenses. In terms of sustainability, both the ferry and train were significantly less polluting than flying, with the train being slightly greener. The author concludes that while the ferry was more comfortable, the train was better in terms of cost, time, and sustainability, and the adventure was a memorable part of their European journey.

Human placenta is legally classified as a food - this British doula tell us why it's suitable for vegans.

30 Jan 2021  |  euronews
The article by Catherine Lofthouse discusses the practice of placentophagy, particularly focusing on the consumption of human placenta, which is legally classified as food by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Sian Young, a vegan doula from Hitchin, UK, and owner of 'Birth with Sian', advocates for the health benefits of consuming the placenta post-birth, stating it is rich in nutrients and helps in postpartum recovery. The article also mentions Siobhan Durkin, a midwife from Birmingham who operates under 'Pretty Little Placenta', and discusses the historical context and current scientific research on the practice. The FSA has called for better regulation in the preparation of placenta for human consumption, requiring those making remedies to register with local authorities for safety and hygiene inspections.

Dementia challenge: Swimming in my garden pond makes me feel so alive

20 Jan 2021  |  inews.co.uk
The article discusses the trend of cold-water immersion in the UK, particularly during a time when traditional swimming locations are inaccessible due to lockdowns. Keith Digby, a firefighter, has raised over £10,000 for Dementia UK by swimming in his garden pond and continues to do so for health benefits. Research suggests cold-water immersion may help with depression, dementia, and physical ailments. Michael Morris of Chill UK and the University of Portsmouth's study highlight both benefits and risks. Other individuals, like Helen Helliwell, have also adopted cold-water immersion using wheelie bins. The article also touches on what to wear for winter swimming and where to seek advice, directing readers to the Outdoor Swimming Society's website.

Not specified

19 Jan 2021  |  The Sun
The article discusses Brittany Balinski, a mother who encourages her two-year-old son Sylvester to cook independently, following the Montessori education system. Sylvester can prepare various dishes, and his mother ensures safety by never leaving him unattended in the kitchen. Brittany introduced cooking to Sylvester at a very young age, using child-safe knives and close supervision. The article also touches on Sylvester's older brother Benedykt's interest in religion and the family's use of Montessori principles. Brittany has turned her passion for Montessori into a business, creating and selling Montessori materials inspired by her children. The article highlights the family's embrace of Montessori methods and Brittany's success in integrating these principles into her business and family life.
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