My Great British Family Holiday #OMGBFamily

Rope Swing

I have very fond memories of holiday’s as a child and always looked forward to spending time with Great Auntie Kathleen and Great Uncle Len who lived in Somerford, then Hampshire.

I lived in West Sussex at the time, a stones throw from the shingle beach and not too far from the bright lights of Brighton, but holiday’s with my Aunt and Uncle always stick in my mind.

It’s funny what you remember, the journey through the New Forest that took 2 hours before the M27 was built, that my Uncle used to change his car every year – although it was always a Datsun, we used to save the glass lemonade bottles and take them down to the shop to get 10p back and up the road from my Aunt’s house was a giant De Havilland plane on display as it was the site of the old WW2 aviation factory, but it was our days out that I used to love.

One highlight of my stay was always a trip to the New Forest for a “picker nicker” (picnic) and a chance to fish for minnows, see the New Forest Ponies and visit the Witches Coven in Burley and I was keen to recreate this with my own children to see if their excitement was the same as mine.

Puttles Bridge

Our first stop was Puttles Bridge in the New Forest where we arrived armed with a clear bucket and some fishing nets. The kids needed no encouragement to ditch their shoes and socks and we soon wading knee-deep in the water to catch minnows, pond skaters and even a newt. We were there a good two hours fishing and playing on the rope swings before I had to take Isaac to his cub camp on the promise that we have to return very soon.

Spotting New Forest Ponies also had the same appeal it had when I was little and although there were loads in the heathland, it was those that were minding their own business in the middle of the road and stopping the cars that caused the most excitement.

New Forest Ponies

The village of Burley was the same as I remember, with the Witches Coven shop still there, selling the same witches I had in my bedroom as a child. The village is exactly the same as I remember although on our visit the annual Fairy Festival was running and much to Eliza’s delight there were fairies and elves wandering around the village as well as the festival site.


Another favourite adventure from my visit to see my Aunt and Uncle was a trip to the beaches Studland, crossing Poole Harbour on the chain ferry and playing on the beach and in the sand dunes. Our visit didn’t disappoint and the kids spent hours on the beach, playing in the sea and we even found a sand lizard basking in the sun!


My final and top highlight of my visits to Hampshire and Dorset as a child was seeing the Red Arrows perform over the sea front. Nowadays Bournemouth has taken this to another level with the introduction of the free Bournemouth Air Festival which is being held next weekend.

Bournemouth Airfest

It is still a love of mine and we never miss it, visiting all four days of the show and camping on the beach to see all our favourites which included the RAF Typhoon, Brietling Wingwalkers, Chinook and Black Cat helicopters and of course, the Red Arrows themselves.

Does visiting the South Coast of England as a holiday destination have the same appeal as when I was young?

Yes, and it’s better than ever, with these fun festivals added into the mix!

Disclosure: I’m working with Visit England and BritMums promoting the Oh My Great Britain campaign, celebrating all the wonderful experiences families can have in the UK. Share your experiences using the #OMGBFamily tag and @BritMums. Visit and follow Visit England on@VisitEngland to discover family adventures.


14 thoughts on “My Great British Family Holiday #OMGBFamily

  1. I love the south coast. Bournemouth was one of the top destinations we went to when I was a child. I must take my daughters to the air show!

  2. Sonia says:

    I really need to visit the South Coast, looks like we could have so much fun down there x
    Sonia recently posted…A Visit to SeaWorld OrlandoMy Profile

  3. The New Forest is so beautiful – I always get a thrill to see the ponies, however many times I visit.
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…A love letter to the Great British seasideMy Profile

  4. Looks like you had such a wonderful time!

  5. Erica Price says:

    Family holidays for us were all about Cardigan Bay – has to be the seaside for me.
    Erica Price recently posted…Top Tips For Children’s TravelMy Profile

  6. Kate Holmes says:

    What a celebration of England. Makes me want to set off for a day out right now. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

  7. Rachel says:

    The south as I call it it, is definitely somewhere we need to explore more, The New Forest is recommended to me alot x
    Rachel recently posted…Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF50 Hydrating ShieldMy Profile

  8. Sonya Cisco says:

    Ooh haven’t been to Burley for years, must rectify that – happy to see the witch shop remains!!
    Sonya Cisco recently posted…Camp Bestival By NightMy Profile

  9. Kerry Norris says:

    How lovely to be able to revisit places that you have such fond memories about. The air show looks great and the ferry crossing. Glad you enjoyed x
    Kerry Norris recently posted…Deciding which Disney park to choose for our holidayMy Profile

  10. Looks like you had a fab time! I remember taking my little family to the place I grew up growing on holiday to, it was quite emotional!
    Lianne | TheBrunetteSays… recently posted…A brand new hair salon comes to Leicester… RUSH HAIRMy Profile

  11. Coombe Mill says:

    There is so much down your way, I always love your photos from when the Red Arrows visit Bournemouth and how wonderful to visit your childhood holiday town and find so much the same. There are part of Cornwall that I did as a child and want to revisit one day too.
    Coombe Mill recently posted…Alpaca enjoying an Ann Summers PartyMy Profile

  12. anna nuttall says:

    Look at lot of fun! Certainly a family holiday to remember. xx
    anna nuttall recently posted…My Blogging Pet PeevesMy Profile

  13. Jen Walshaw says:

    We used to have nic pics when we were kids. I love that my boys are experiencing holidays as I did as a child. The joy of British summertime!
    Jen Walshaw recently posted…Pete’s Dragon Colouring and Activity PagesMy Profile

  14. Jenni says:

    I would love to visit the south coast, it looks like there is plenty to do. Those ponies are beautiful x

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