Exploring Europe

William and I talk often about travelling

My 7 year old boy wants to see the world

He has a very methodical head on his shoulders

A mind that craves information

A memory that forgets nothing

A way with facts and figures beyond his years

A real sense of adventure

And a true longing to see the world

He spends hours studying maps

Globes and road atlases

He reads myths and legends of faraway lands

He wants to sail the seven seas

Being William

He has a plan

Or at least the beginnings of one

He has a growing list of places he would like to see

Places he would like us all to go

To explore together

Some of the ideas are all him

Others we have come up with together

And now I would like to share some of our ideas with you

Exploring Europe

Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen

As a child I lived in Germany

And often visited Holland and Belgium

I would love to go back to some of my favourite places

Taking my own children there

Amsterdam and Brugge are two places on the list

The city of Enschede

Cities I visited as a child and a young adult

Cities I would love to go back to as a mother

Cities I imagine changed beyond my recognition

To add an extra element of adventure and fairytale

I would love to go to Denmark

It is a place I have longed to see

Since my own childhood

An expedition I now hope to share with my own children

Adding extra excitement for my little people by

Making the journey on a cruise ship

Stopping off to see The Little Mermaid

And all things Hans Christian Anderson

Before travelling to see the house of Anne Frank

And experiencing the chocolate and lace of Brugge

I think it would be quite magical

A voyage for the story books

Or our memory books at least

Viva Italia

I have friends of Italian origin

Who always tell me how wonderful Italy is for children

A country with so much culture and history

William wants to see the Colosseum in Rome

I want to visit Verona

And see the Casa di Giulietta

Most of all I want to explore the Italian Lakes

I lived in The Lake District for years

I trained to be a teacher in Ambleside

There is something comforting and captivating

In mountains and lakes

on the lake

I love to walk

I love to swim

I want my children to enjoy these things too

I want them to stand on top of mountains and feel alive

I want their adventures in nature to begin with me

I think some time getting lost together

Might help us find ourselves as a family

lake play

I like the sound of Riva Del Garda, Lake Garda

I also love the sound of Lake Maggiore

Over time we would love to do all of these things

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia – Let little Leonardos loose in Italy’s best science museum in Milan.
Centovalli Train – Cross the vertiginous ‘Hundred Valleys’ on this historic train ride into Switzerland.
Museo Mille Miglia – Marvel at the vintage racing beauties in Brescia.
Rocca di Angera – Lake Maggiore’s most imposing castle with one of the best doll and toy museums in Europe.
Sacro Monte di San Carlo – Climb the colossal statue of St Charles and peep through his eye holes.
Laveno Funivia – Lake Maggiore’s funkiest funicular with open-air capsules.

As a home educating family

We can travel for longer periods of time

And we are not restricted by school term time

We have more flexibility and freedom

And I am determined to make it count!

jennie and dave aug 08 103

Recently I have been tweeting with Bookings For You

They have inspired me to put Lake Maggiore firmly on our map

And to investigate the potential of Puglia too

Lake Constance

Ever since reading The Silver Sword as a child

I have wanted to visit Lake Constance


I would love to read the book with my children

Timing our reading so we had the final chapters

On the shore of the lake


For the longest time William has wanted to go on the Euro Star

We have friends in Paris who we should see more often

I would also love to travel on a sleeper train

From Paris to St Raphael on the Cote D’Azur

This is a journey I have made before

From Krefeld in Germany

To the South of France

My family went on holiday

I decided not to go with them

Age 18 I think

Soon after they left I changed my mine

Booked a train

And travelled alone across Europe to join them

I did not tell them I was coming

I just turned up in the early hours of one morning

I would never have the courage to do that now

But I want my children to be brave and confident travellers

I would love to make this journey with them

Then revisit some of the places I explored

In the South of France as a child


William wants to be a volcano hunter

An Iceberg explorer

A blue lagoon bather

A puffin spotter

Iceland is high on his wishlist

As an adventurer



As a young child

I lived in Cyprus

When we moved back to the UK

We drove home through Greece

What was then Yugoslavia

Austria and Germany

Not knowing then that we would soon be living in Germany

I remember a national park in Yugoslavia

Mountains and waterfalls

And I know that we stayed in Dubrovnik

I would love to go to what is now Croatia

And Dubrovnik

To retrace my childhood footsteps

And see the walled city through new eyes

David recently went to Croatia

And wants us all to go back

Another place that draws us

With it’s lakes and mountains



This is a dream that I hope will come true

Sooner rather than later

The children and I talk all the time

About travelling to The Arctic Circle

Finding Father Christmas

Playing in the snow

And chasing The Northern Lights

I think for this trip

We would hire a log cabin

With a sauna

When all our children are old enough to safely

Play and explore in the cold and the snow

I want my children to know snow

Real snow

And I would like us as a family

To have a few days of no place to go

So that we can just play and explore

Getting out in the cold

Snuggling together with books

Puzzles and games

A true retreat from the hustle and bustle of the world

With one organised trip

A night out to see those incredible

Northern lights

I know that this experience would make us feel so close

To Matilda Mae

And to each other

ullswater paddlers

These are just a few of our ideas

Places we would like to explore in Europe

Inspired by one 7 year old boy

Who loves maps

Who longs for adventures

Who yearns to learn

To discover and explore

I cannot wait to start making his dreams come true

captain william

Ships Are Safe in the Harbour (poem, author unknown)

All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments

As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments

Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for

Where would you go?

This is a collaborative post

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