At the start of 2016, I was inspired to join in with the Take 12 Trips challenge after reading Karen from Mini Travellers post. The idea is simple, to take 12 Trips over the course of the year, which was thought up by blogger Clare from Need another holiday. I have taken a total of 14 trips during 2016 (1 night or over), of which 2 have been girlie weekends, 4 trips with my husband and 8 as a family.


15 days into the New year and we were off on our first trip of 2016. It was a double celebration at Centerparcs, with Katie and I celebrating our birthdays whilst we were there. Oh and we had snow, for the 2nd year on the run.

Snow at Centerparcs

Daughter at Centerparcs

At the end of January my husband surprised me with a trip away to Carden Park, a stunning hotel on the outskirts of Chester. We ate, drank and thanked our lucky stars as we got upgraded to an amazing suite.

Carden Park

Steak Carden Park


I was invited by Superbreak to experience 48 hours in the city of Chester. Another chance for husband and I to have a mini break together, this time staying in the 5* Grosvenor Hotel in the heart of the city.

Chester Grosvenor Hotel


The highlight of the year was spending a week at the amazing and luxurious Ikos Olivia Hotel in Greece. I had longed to experience the hotel after Katie from Mummy Daddy Me had visited in 2015. It far exceeded our expectations of what a hotel can offer, and we truly had an amazing holiday. I still pinch ourselves that we had a suite with our very own pool. Our holiday to Ikos was one of the best, and I am so excited that we are going back again in April.

Ikos Olivia Private pool

Ikos Oliva Pool

Ikos Olivia


This was the month husband and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than 3 whole nights away in the cosiest lodge ever.

Deerdale Lodge

Break away


This month I got to work with the fantastic Q Lodges, and we headed to Northumberland to stay at Slaley Hall for 3 nights. The lodge was the biggest we have ever stayed in, and we had a fantastic break away as a family.

3 bedroom Q Lodge

Slaley Hall Driving Range

Golf buggy


Our first trip of the summer holidays was to Blackpool, and to stay in the Big Blue Hotel. Having the Big One whizz past your window was certainly different.

Big Blue Hotel view


We had our first overnight stay in London as a family, and what an adventure it was.  We went to a show, Ripleys, enjoyed an evening bus tour, shopped, and ate at the amazing Planet Hollywood. We will definitely be returning to London again this summer.

Tube sign


Ripleys Believe it or not


We ended the summer with a break away to Forest Holidays in Nottinghamshire. It was what we all needed before the madness and routine of school started again.

Forest Holidays mug

Hot tub in the forest

Towards the end of the month I went on a girls weekend to Birmingham with 2 of my best friends, and quickly discovered how amazing the city was.



I managed 3 trips away this month, starting with another girlie night at a local hotel. It was time for us to put our wedding dresses back on again for the annual ‘Brides night out’

Wedding Dress

Brides night out

The week after we headed down to South Wales, and stayed at a Holiday Inn Express for 2 nights. We had a lovely family weekend celebrating the wedding of my husband’s niece.

Wedding flowers


We ended the month with a trip to Scotland, and stayed at our favourite holiday park, Auchenlarie in Dumfries and Galloway.

Sea view from caravan


Our final trip of the year was yet another night away for husband and I (HUGE thank you to my mum this year for looking after the kids). I returned to Birmingham to show Hywel what a great city it is. We stayed in the AC Marriott hotel in the heart of the city, and spent the evening wandering around the Christmas markets.

AC Hotel Birmingham

Birmingham Library

Drinks in Birmingham

What an amazing year 2016 has been travel wise. We already have 5 trips planned for 2017, and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next 12 months. As it’s only January I am sure I will be booking more in over the next few months, especially as we have nothing planned for the summer YET.

Family selfie

The Williams’ World x

Monday Escapes NEW



24 Thoughts on “2016 – Looking back at our year of travel

  1. Wow what a year! Al of your trips sound and look superb. I am tempted to join the 12 trips challenge but may keep it for 2018 after the year of being frugal 😉
    Sam | North East Family Fun recently posted…#OurWeekendAdventure – A New Instagram Hashtag CommunityMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 3, 2017 at 7:15 pm said:

      I am pretty sure the 12 trips challenge can also be days out, so all might not be lost in 2017. You have some wonderful days out Sam, infact we are hoping to head to Northumberland in the summer so I will be avidly reading your blog x

  2. Wow, you had an amazing travel year! I was glad to discover all the destinations on your list and I found some good inspiration for future trips!

  3. Wow, what a year you’ve had! So glad you’re going back to Ikos again as you loved it so much. I’m feeling rather jealous now. I think we need to get something booked!
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…What I read in 2016My Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 3, 2017 at 7:23 pm said:

      It really has been an exciting year, and a good balance of family, couple and girlie trips. Sarah I am SO excited that we are going back to Ikos. It really was one of the best holidays we have been on x

  4. Looks like a fab year Tracey! I think I will put this idea to the hubs haha x

    • Tracey Williams on January 4, 2017 at 7:22 pm said:

      I was really shocked when I counted up and found I had done 14 trips over the year. The only trouble is, I have to beat that record this year lol x

  5. You’ve had some great adventures I want more in 2017
    Angela recently posted…Review | Hi-Tec Penrith Low Waterproof Hiking BootsMy Profile

  6. Blackpool is on our doorstep (well just about) we must go this summer, it is fabulously tacky for little ones x
    RachelSwirl recently posted…A New Year, A New Me – My Weight Loss MissionMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 4, 2017 at 7:26 pm said:

      I didn’t know you lived in the North Rachel. We love going to Blackpool, but must admit one trip a year is about all I can manage x

  7. This is the type of challenge I can get into #mondayescapes

  8. Ah what afab year Tracey, I have loved following you and we have had so many parallel experiences. Arghhh cant wait for Ikos ! Thanks so much for linking up and have a great 2017 #MondayEscapes xxx
    Sarah Christie recently posted…Monday Escapes 2 Jan 2017My Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 6, 2017 at 9:17 am said:

      You are so right about the parallel experiences Sarah, and hopefully the parallels will come together one year. I am sure you will love Olivia just as much as Oceania. 3 months and counting till I am sat on the beach sipping cocktails. Thank you so much for all your support during 2016 xx

  9. Wow what an exciting year you have had! I am loving reading people’s year round ups as it is a great way to see what everyone has been up to. You certainly look like you have had a great year and I hope 2017 is even better

    • Tracey Williams on January 6, 2017 at 9:19 am said:

      Aw thanks Nikki, I love doing my round ups as sometimes you forget what a fantastic year it has been. I love reading other people’s posts too as you get some great ideas from other people’s adventures x

  10. Ooh that was fantastic to read about where you’ve been. We loved Birmingham too for a city break. That private pool in Greece looks heavenly.
    Can’t wait to hear where you’re off to next. I only have one trip planned so far – had better get my act together!
    Trish @ Mum’s Gone To recently posted…The Shot at Dawn Memorial at the National Memorial ArboretumMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 6, 2017 at 9:29 am said:

      Over Christmas I was very naughty and booked 2 trips for February and June, and we have another 3 in the diary. Birmingham is such a great city, and we plan on taking the kids later on this year. Can’t wait to follow your adventures this year Trish x

  11. Isn’t it fab to see them all written down like that and all your lovely photos too, what a year you’ve had!! So many fab places you’ve been too, your Ikos holiday looked incredible but I also love the ones you’ve been on in lodges and forests, so great to experience so many different things. I hope you manage to have as much fun in 2017! xx
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…2017 – Come What MayMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 8, 2017 at 10:20 pm said:

      Aw thanks Hayley, I loved looking back at everything we have done this year. Ikos was incredible, as was escaping for 3 days just the 2 of us for our anniversary. They have all been brilliant in different ways x

  12. What an amazing year you’ve had! I can’t wait to book a holiday abroad, I missed going abroad last year.
    Clare recently posted…Migraine ReliefMy Profile

    • Tracey Williams on January 8, 2017 at 10:27 pm said:

      Thanks Clare, it was lovely to look back and see where we had travelled to. I hope you get your holiday abroad this year x

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