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Suddenly, it seems like Cyprus is the only country still standing. Coronavirus doesn't discriminate but, even so, it has largely spared the third largest island in the Mediterranean (after Sicily and Sardinia), with infections low after the Cypriot government restricted travel in and out during April and May...Continue Reading

Gently chugging along the water, impromptu pub lunches and quiet villages – messing about on the canal sounds like the perfect getaway for 2020 and beyond. But does it work with teenagers?...Continue Reading 

No way am I wearing these,’ says my 14-year-old daughter Hannah. She’s referring to a pair of padded undies that were recommended by a friend when she heard we were going on a cycling holiday in France. Admittedly they’re little more than hot-pink nappies, but...Continue Reading

A gentle paddle to see the castle built by Henry VIII was what we had expected. Instead, my husband, our three teens and I, who have signed up for a two-hour excursion from the Hampshire village of Keyhaven, are battling through high winds on the Solent...Continue Reading

Remember the excitement of booking in for a spa treatment? Back in the good old days of travel, it was a highlight of any holiday, and a mood-changer — albeit an expensive one. Now, as the lockdown continues, the challenge is to...Continue Reading 

I've always preferred a lake to the sea and at first this one seems similar to the others – the water is cool, crystal clear and surrounded by mountains. Once I’ve plunged in, swum out and looked back, however, I realise this lake is anything but...Continue Reading 

My task is to jump from a high rock into a shimmering Adriatic. Peering up at me are 16 pairs of eyes belonging to people who have already leapt, three of whom are my children. I’m the last one to go. ‘You can do it, Mummy!’ Thanks...CONTINUE READING

JO KESSEL pays a visit to the up-and-coming Baltic state that is full of intriguing surprises A sublime coast and the ultimate cycle path...CONTINUE READING

It’s rare for a holiday to start with an adrenaline rush, but that’s exactly what happens on the first morning of our family holiday with Explore in Croatia...Continue Reading

When we reach our hotel in the Scottish Lowlands, my children go silent. It’s a sandstone fortress with turrets and all Hannah, 13, can muster is: ‘Oh wow,’ echoed by Gabriel 15. It's called Glenapp Castle and is a doppelganger for Downtown Abbey...Continue reading

There's something special about visiting the place where your favourite movie was set. That's how I feel on arriving in the Catskills, a bucolic region of undulating forest 90 minutes north of New York.

It's where Patrick Swayze swept Jennifer Grey off her feet in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing...Continue reading


November 10, 2017

I remember watching a video about the Amazonian jungle in primary school. It was fascinating and exotic. I longed to go there, but... continue reading

October 10, 2017

When I was ten my father challenged me to learn Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ in exchange for a pound. I memorised all four verses. Fast-forward 30-odd years and I’m in Mr Kipling’s southern Vermont home with my three children. I’m at the desk where he wrote the Jungle Book...continue reading


There comes a moment in any parent's life when you think: why? Mine comes as I dangle off a rope tethered to a ten-metre high rock-face in south-central France...continue reading

August 27, 2016

The third-biggest city in Spain is a sun-drenched adventure for parents and children alike...Continue reading

June 24, 2016

A photo of Serena Williams fills a whole wall of the clubhouse, a reminder that umpteen tennis champs have walked through these same hallowed corridors...Continue reading

September 09, 2016

The kayak rental man demonstrates how to oar: "Anything beyond the waist is a waste. Small strokes work best." With that he waves us off on a three-mile row to lunch...Continue reading

June 19, 2015

On arriving in the Netherlands, two things become very apparent. One: the Dutch are very tall. Two: they are born on bicycles...Continue reading

January 06, 2015

My three children are attacking gooey balls of cocoa sugar paste with rolling pins. They pummel the mixture and cut biscuits with gusto...Continue reading

January 03, 2015

Hit the beach and head off on two wheels past colourful clapboard houses along the Boardwalk which fronts Mission Bay...Continue reading

March 14, 2015

My son appears to have been cast under some kind of spell. He hates singing and dancing, yet here is raising his shoulders and knees to The Lion Sleeps Tonight...Continue reading 

May 31, 2013

I'm walking up a steep cobbled lane and every five paces or so I have to stop. Not because I'm tired, but because I'm mesmerised...Continue reading

April 20, 2013

It's as if we're cycling through a fairytale. We pedal past lush meadows, half-timbered Hansel and Gretel thatched cottages...Continue reading

January 26, 2013

We're hurtling along a winding country lane in the verdant peaks of the Brecon Beacons in what resembles a posh go-kart...Continue reading 

October 20, 2012

We're helping farmers deliver lambs this weekend, I tell my three children...Continue reading

May 21, 2012

As far as walks go, this one’s near perfect. A trail of steps and dusty tracks winds around craggy gorse-covered cliffs...Continue reading


August 10, 2012

Every parent faces some inevitable rites of passage: first nappy; first day of school and first theme park. I've managed to delay the latter for as long as possible, but...Continue reading


August 08, 2009

Too late now. We've already arrived at our chalet-camping site in Brittany by the time I remind myself that I'm something of a princess and practically dirt phobic. Continue reading


December 19, 2009

I'm nursing a steaming hot mug of mulled wine laced with rum as I weave my way through the Christmas market stalls at Vienna's City Hall...Continue reading

June 06, 2008

Self-catering holidays often equal hard work for parents keen to keep their children happy. BUT JO KESSEL discovers a winning combination for a relaxing family holiday at a luxury farmhouse...Continue reading

June 13, 2008

JO KESSEL goes to Kerala to meet the impoverished child that she has sponsored for five years and enjoys a relaxing holiday in the ‘real’ India...What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...Continue reading

May 02, 2009

Could you holiday on a budget on the French Riviera? JO KESSEL and her family, who booked a self-catering cottage near the glitzy town that Brigitte Bardot put on the map, went to find out Continue reading

March 29, 2009

SILENT BEACH,” reads the sign, "adults only”. Talking, mobile phones, all noise in fact, is frowned upon in this pine tree-fringed secluded cove and, despite sharing the beach with several other holidaymakers, it’s amazingly tranquil. Continue reading

June 21, 2008

André Agassi’s father hung a tennis ball above his son’s cot to “train his eye” and Martina Hingis was rallying cross-court at the age of two – proof positive that you are never too young to start. Continue Reading

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