The Gallery: Cold

As a family, we are quite partial to a cold holiday.

Plane to lapland
Yes, we get a little snow here in the UK, but there is nothing like posing for a family photo while ankle (or higher) deep in the white stuff.

Family in snow
Of course, you have to  make sure everyone wraps up warm.

children dressed for snow

As long as everyone is dressed appropriately, the temperature doesn’t matter. It might be -10 but you can have lots of fun when it’s cold and snowy outside.

You can build a decent sized  snowman.

Big snowman

You can go on a reindeer trek.

Reindeer sled ride in lapland

And of course there is always sledding.

Sledding Lapland


Even the adults can enjoy themselves. Taking control of a husky team is surprisingly satisfying.

Husky team in Lapland

If you aren’t that keen on snowy activities, then how about renting a cottage somewhere cold and just chilling? (See what I did there?)

You could rent a fisherman’s hut, like this.

Lauklines Kystferie

And enjoy a view like this.

Lake view Norway


Rent a car and drive around in the snow. With snow tyres, it’s easy and fun to go exploring.

We found a beach.

beach winter Norway


Even the rock pools were frozen.

Frozen rock pools
The roads were a bit frightening.

Scary roads Norway


But the scenery was truly spectacular.

mountains and lake norway
frozen waterfall norway

We’d recommend a cold family holiday. As you can see, you don’t have to go skiing to have a good time in the snow!

kick sled


ETA that these photos were taken during 2 separate holidays. The first seven were taken in Finnish Lapland in December 2011 when we visited Father Christmas with Esprit.
The second eight were taken when we rented this fisherman’s cottage 30 miles from Tromsø in Norway during February halfterm in 2013 and spent a week just driving around playing in the snow and looking at scenery.

This post was written for this week’s Gallery over at Sticky Fingers.


Last Day In Lapland: Part 4.

We had to get up at 10 past 6 on our last day in Lapland, as we’d booked in for a Husky Heaven Safari. The coach left at 20 past 7, and was supposed to deliver us back to the hotel at 9:15, which would leave us just over an hour to pack before we were taken to the airport. Because, of course, we hadn’t bothered packing the night before…

DS was not impressed about having to get out of bed at such an ungodly time;  he’s a 12 hours a night kind of boy. He consequently refused to go to the toilet and of course we didn’t dare put him in his snowsuit until he’d been, but in the end we bribed him with our last remaining Tesco’s chocolate pancake. We wore all our kit down to breakfast, which was interesting and hopped straight on the bus after eating. read more

Activity Day At Lapland: Part 3.

Our third day in Saariskella with Esprit was our designated activity day.

After breakfast we trekked back to our rooms, and togged up for a day in the outdoors. We waited outside the hotel for our designated bus, Dancer. All the buses were named after one of Santa’s reindeer and have signs hanging in the front window.

It was still snowing lightly and a little colder than the previous day, so we were a bit nervous about being dropped off in the middle of nowhere for hours, but we needn’t have worried.

The Activity Centre was on the edge of a forest, on a slope down to a frozen stream. There were at least 4 bus loads of people there, but it didn’t seem crowded. On the coach we were given a time to go for lunch, and a time to meet for the husky ride, but otherwise we were free to do whatever we wanted to, in what ever order we preferred. read more

We Went To Lapland With Esprit: Part 2

Our second day in Lapland was a free day; we had to organise our own activities.

We were in Saariselka on Santa’s Spectacular Break, as opposed to Santa’s Magic Break, and I’d recommend the extra day if you can stretch to it.

Even if you don’t do any of the paid-for activities (Northern Lights chasing, Snow Mobile Safari, Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Reindeer Safari and Husky Safari are all offered), you will easily be able to spend a day playing in the snow, tobogganing, and if you are staying at the Holiday Club Hotel, swimming in the pool. read more

We Went To Lapland With Esprit: Part I

3 months ago we bit the bullet and booked 4 days/ 3 nights with Esprit in Santa’s Lapland. Our eldest was going to be 10 2 days before our planned departure date, and although I’m not convinced she still really believes in the Big Man, she’s still happy to play along. Our youngest is almost 4, the youngest age that you’d really want to drag a child outside in the sort of temperatures they have in Lapland at this time of the year.We did see a couple of under threes but they were usually crying miserably, even with all the protective gear on.

The first day was probably the longest, so the most exhausting.

We left the house at 4:30 am on the first day to get down to Gatwick for our 8am flight to Ivalo. The flight was chartered with Easy Jet which hardly thrilled us, but it wasn’t too bad at all. The worst bit was queuing for an hour to check in, then realising, just as we reached the front of the line, that there was a special, much shorter, check in on the other side of the hall especially for our flight. read more

Back From Lapland.

We are back from 4 days and 3 nights in Saariselka, with Esprit.

Saariselka is in Northern Lapland, and sits within the Arctic Circle. At this time of the year the sun never rises. From about 10 am, until 2 pm, the area enjoys a kind of twilight and then, suddenly, it’s dark again. It makes the UK look positively tropical, even on an overcast, drizzly day like the one we arrived back to, at Gatwick, today.

Despite the lack of sunshine, the days were long. We had a lovely, magical, unforgettable time but have arrived back in the country tired and grumpy. Real Life has come crashing down around us. read more