WHAT CAN’T YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT?
A headphone splitter – a tiny, genius device that allows you ?to watch movies and TV with others. When you travel with four kids, this is a lifesaver. It also means no journey is too longand airport delays are easier to handle. Moisturiser and lip balm for long flights, when every drop of moisture is being vaporised from your skin by the heating system on the plane. A good book to read and a notebook and pen, as I’m constantly making lists. A laptop, for obvious reasons, and a huge scarf as it’s so versatile: fashion item, pillow, blanket.
WHAT WERE YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD HOLIDAYS?
We used to go to Sidmouth Folk Festival. I have such great memories of sitting in pubs and pub gardens listening to people with incredible voices serenading us as the adults drank copious amounts of beer and we ran around making mischief. We’d go to ceilidhs and take part in torch-lit processions. I’m sure those holidays are the reason I like the music I do and have such a love of festivals.
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TRAVELLING WITH YOUR OWN CHILDREN?
Skiing holidays are my favourite kind of family holiday. You’re exerting yourself physically, you laugh so much, you eat tons of food and you all sleep like babies. I’ve just booked a trip to Meribel for the Easter holidays with a great company called Alpine Elements.
The second place we always go is Cornwall because I have four kids who love the sea, whether it’s surfing or wakeboarding behind a boat. We are never happier than when we’re on or in the water. We stay near Polzeath and take over a caravan site with family and friends. Our favourite place to go and where we take the boat is the estuary between Rock and Padstow. St Mawes is gorgeousand my favourite hotel is the Tresanton. The St Moritz in Trebetherick is another lovely hotel we’ve stayed in a few times.
We’ve been to Thailand many times as a family because my father-in-law lives in Pattaya. It’s not the prettiest place in the country, but it’s always a lot of fun.
WHAT’S THE BEST HOLIDAY YOU’VE HAD WITH YOUR FAMILY?
LA was pretty special. Everyone kept asking what on earth we were going to do there and why were we going, but we couldn’t have had a better time. It suited the fact that our kids range from five to 21. We went to Santa Monica and cycled along the boulevard, surfed in Malibu, did scary rides at the Six Flags amusement park and drove along the Pacific Highway watching the dolphins in the ocean. It was the best holiday ever.
AND THE WORST?
We did a Club Med all-inclusive holiday once, which was disastrous. The kids’ clubs were French-speaking, the nightly entertainment was largely circus-based and the poolside wasn’t relaxing at all. We’re huge fans of Mark Warner holidays because they are so active and fun and friendly. We’ve all learned to water ski and wakeboard on those holidays.
WHERE WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IN THE UK FOR A FAMILY HOLIDAY?
CenterParcs is such a fun, active place and a big part of its appeal is the fact that there are no cars, so the kids are free to cycle around in safety. However, the main attraction is the rapids. We’ve spent many hours over the years throwing ourselves down the rapids under the stars. It’s the one place the kids are always begging us to take them back to.
WHERE WOULD YOU GO WITH YOUR KIDS IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT?
I’d take the whole family and an assortment of friends to Lapland. My daughter is desperate to visit Father Christmas and see where he and the elves live and I want to see the Northern Lights at some point in my life. Alternatively, I’d take two months off and pile the family into a van and do a road trip across America.
There are so many places I want to visit and so many experiences I want to share with my kids. I want them to know the excitement of New York, I want us to hang out in San Francisco, go whale watching and do a helicopter ride over the Rockies