I love writing this post which gives me the chance to look back at our travels for the past year. In 2017 we managed 14 trips of 1 night or over. 2 of the trips have just been myself and the husband, 1 has been a girlie night away, 9 trips with the family, and the kids have enjoyed 2 school trips.

2017 - Looking back at our year of travel


Our first trip of 2017 was to the beautiful city of Bath. Staying in a luxurious 3 bedroom lodge at Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, it was the perfect base to explore the city. We enjoyed visiting the Roman Baths, wandering around the stunning Bath Cathedral, and enjoyed a bus tour around the city.

Roman Baths - Bath

Bath Abbey Ceiling

Bedroom at Bath Mill Lodge


The husband and I got the chance to escape for the night, as we went away and celebrated our friend’s wedding. We stayed over at The Grosvenor Hotel just outside Chester, where the wedding reception was held. As we were attending the evening reception, it gave us the chance to experience the spa facilities at the hotel before getting ready for the evening with friends. For some reason I am holding my husband’s pint in this picture.

Sunday wedding vibes


It was time to return to our favourite hotel Ikos Olivia in Greece, which we had fallen in love with the previous year. We were welcomed back to the hotel like old friends, and we had an amazing week. Granted we didn’t have the best weather, but that didn’t stop Katie from enjoying the pool. We had a wonderful week and we plan to return in 2019.

Ikos Olivia Deluxe pool

Fusco at Ikos Olivia

Deluxe Pool at Ikos Olivia

Ikos Olivia wine cellar


The beginning of May saw us head to Liverpool for the night to see The Vamps in concert. This trip was part of Katie’s birthday present, and I booked the Premier Inn at the Albert Dock so we could stay over. We danced to The Vamps, enjoyed some shopping at Liverpool One, and finally put our love lock on the Albert Dock to celebrate 15 years of marriage.

The Vamps in concert

Love Lock - Wedding Anniversary

It was another chance to escape with the husband, and we booked into the Victoria and Albert Hotel in Manchester. In the day I enjoyed Blog On which is a brilliant blogging conference, whilst the husband rediscovered his old UNI haunts. In the evening we enjoyed cocktails in The Alchemist.

The Alchemist Cocktail


My blogging highlight of the year has to be when I got the opportunity to review a brand new hotel at the Sani Resort in Greece. Sani Dunes is a breathtaking hotel which caters for children aged 12 and above (though they are removing the age limit from 2018). I got the chance to experience Sani for 5 days with Hywel and Katie, and it was an incredible experience.

Pool at Sani Dunes

Sani Dunes Hotel at Sani Resort

Eating out at Sani Marina

We also enjoyed a night away in Blackpool after I had booked 2 rooms in the Village Sale back in the New Year. A bargain at £60 which included bed and breakfast, oh I do like my bargain breaks away. We combined our night away with a trip to the beach huts which are in nearby Lytham St Annes.

Beach hut at Lytham

Beach huts at Lytham

The teen at the beach


It was time for Katie’s end of primary school trip with a 1 night stay in London. She came home full of stories after making memories for 2 days with her friends and teachers. They enjoyed a trip to see the Lion King, the Natural History and Science Museums, and a stroll through Covent Garden.

At the end of July we took the train to Edinburgh for an overnight stay. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself that I had bagged return train tickets for the four of us for less than £100, AND we got to travel home in first class. We spent a fun packed two days exploring the city, and we all agreed that we would love to return at Christmas time one year.

Scottish Bag Piper

View from the Scot Momument


Having not gone away in August, we were all ready for our little trip to Northumberland. I had booked 3 nights in a lodge at Slaley Hall for the bargain price of £250. It was a chance to chill out before the new school term started, but also gave us the opportunity to meet our friends in nearby Newcastle, another new city to us.

Slaley Hall

Newcastle Bridge

The end of September was a chance to enjoy a girlie night away in Birmingham. I love Birmingham and our time away was filled with gin, laughter, bellini’s, afternoon tea and girlie gossip. Perfect for the soul.

Marco Pierre White



The highlight of the year for the teen has to be his school trip to Iceland. I was following the trip on the school’s instagram page as they got to experience glacier walking, huge waterfalls, and on the last night the amazing spectacle of the Northern Lights.

The Northern Lights

Whilst Morgan was away enjoying himself in Iceland, I booked a surprise night away for the husband’s birthday. We stayed at Cottons Hotel in Knutsford and had a lovely night away with Katie joining us too. It was nice to spend some time with just the one child, and hopefully we can take Morgan away in 2018 when Katie is at Scout camp.

Dining at Cottons Hotel


It was time to return to Bath Mill Lodge Retreat for our festive break. As the kids were breaking up from  school on the 15th December, I took full advantage of the following week to go away. I love going away at this time of year as I knew Christmas was all organised back home, and it gave us the chance to reconnect as a family after the busy last half term at school. We explored Bath and also visited nearby Wells which has the most stunning cathedral I have ever seen. Plus I even got the chance to meet up with blogging friends on the way home.

Hartfield Lodge - Bath Mill

Bath Mill Lodge Retreat

Chicken Chorizo

What another year of travel it has been for us as a family, and also with the kids experiencing their own adventures. 2018 will be a slightly different year for us, as due to exams there won’t be much travel in the first 6 months of the year. However we have MEXICO to look forward to at the end of summer. How are your 2018 travel plans looking ? Have you booked somewhere or still contemplating where to go to ?

14 Thoughts on “2017 – Looking back at our year of travel

  1. WOW what a fab year of travel! So many exciting places you have seen! The children have had a fab time. Can’t wait to hear more from you guys in 2018 xx
    Jessica Soothill recently posted…Christmas, my birthday and a new year aheadMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 4, 2018 at 8:17 pm said:

      Ah thanks Jess, it has been another brilliant year and it’s nice to see the kids going off and having their own adventures. Though of course I was VERY jealous of the teens trip to Iceland x

  2. Ah what an amazing year, I so want to try Bath Mill lodge it looks fab. And do you know I have never been to Bath. And the Northern lights are so on my wish list. I cant wait to see what you all get up to this year. Apart from our trip to the Caribbean and Center Parks we are not sure yet. Have a great 2018 my Tracey x

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm said:

      Thanks Sarah, it was another year when you look back on it and think ‘well that was pretty awesome’. Trouble is you need to top it every year don’t you, but I think there will be far less travels this year because of the GCSEs. You travelling to places that begin with a C in 2018, Caribbean and Center Parcs lol. Sounds an already amazing year Sarah x

  3. What a lovely year of travel you’ve had. I love that you will just book a night away in different places. We didn’t go away enough in 2017 for my liking, although both of the younger kids had two trips away with school and Scouts. 2018 is an exam-free year for us – our only one for a few years – so I’m hoping we will get away a bit more this year!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…Silent Sunday 7.1.18My Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 9:02 pm said:

      I am never one to miss the opportunity for a night away, plus you can’t beat a good old Premier Inn. I forgot to mention about Katie’s scout camps too as I think she went on 3 last year. Love that they go on adventures without us, but also love our family holidays. Hope you get to travel more this year Sarah x

  4. Lovely photos! That place in Greece looks amazing and we love visiting Northumberland x

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm said:

      Greece certainly has some amazing 5* hotels, and one of our favourite places to visit. We really want to explore more of Northumberland as it’s such a beautiful and vast county x

  5. wow what a year it’s been! I’ve loved following your adventures and can’t wait to see what 2018 holds for you all x
    Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog recently posted…What to do in Cramlington, Northumberland – 5 Reasons to visit with kidsMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 9:05 pm said:

      Ah thanks Sam. I think 2018 might be a little quieter for us which is down to GCSEs but we do have Mexico in the summer which I am so excited about. Can’t wait to see what you get up to as well this year x

  6. You’re a proper gad about, I’m always so impressed whenever I see you’ve gone off on another adventure! It’s so exciting that you’ve got such good plans for this year too – keep it up!

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 9:06 pm said:

      Ah thanks Jane. Since having the kids it’s always been our main priority to travel as much as we can. One day the teen will be opting for Magaluf with his mates rather than family holidays so trying to cram it all in lol x

  7. Wow so many amazing places to visit and see and what adventures you have been on to make those amazing memories that last forever. Just beautiful. I need to live vicariously through you.

    • Tracey Williams on January 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm said:

      Ah thank you so much Jenny. We love travelling as a family so much, and also love going away when it’s just the hubby and I too. The kids have had some pretty amazing adventures too in 2017 x

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