Family holiday in Copenhagen
August, the month of holidays for Europeans all over. So what about a family holiday in Copenhagen and Lyme Regis? This year we booked two contrasting trips: a weekend staying with friends in Denmark and a week in Devon on a farm. This is my guide to enjoying a family holiday in Copenhagen or Lyme Regis.
Copenhagen is a modern city with a rich design history and Devon is an agriculturally rich, sleepy county with rolling landscapes and a striking Jurassic coast line. Despite their contrast the most enjoyable times on holiday can be described in similar ways. The moments when your not connected to the internet – physically (no wifi) or emotionally (not checking your feeds) when instead, you are immersed in your surroundings doing very simple things with lovely people.
Normann Copenhagen store
I adore visiting beautifully designed lifestyle stores displaying modern wood furniture and Parisian inspired lighting, but it was being outside; being active with friends and family that that was the most fun.
A family holiday in Copenhagen works so well because of it’s excellent public transport and is set to be the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. Our friends use Christiana bikes to get around though and we spent two days cycling around the city in the rain and sunshine. Travelling anywhere with a toddler often means they need to be carried – little legs don’t have much stamina! So the bike with a cabin mounted at the front is the best way for the whole family to see the city. We cycled through through the rain and sunshine, crossing canals and dodging pedestrians (I had some embarrassing turning moments!). Copenhagen is very safe and easy to navigate – perfect for any visiting family. There are so many design stores worth a visit but hanging out in cafes and choosing the best street food filled our days. We also saw inspiring architecture everywhere. Opposite the incredible Black Diamond (Denmark’s Royal Library), is a rotating bridge created by Danish / Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. The circular platforms turn around to let larger boats pass through; genius!
One stop you should definitely try is the understated La Banchina: a restaurant / bar on the pier at Refshalvoen, very close to the sea. Set in a quiet corner of the canal network, it serves simple bar snacks like crusty breads with olive oil and just one dish every day. We enjoyed a bottle of wine before the ride back home and my ‘not so little legs’ just about made it – boy I was stiff the next day. Copenhagen is a much easier place for a family holiday than busier cities like London, Paris and Barcelona.
We flew back to the UK and drove down to Lyme Regis in Devon. Staying on a farm wasn’t quite the romantic experience I thought it would be; too many smells, sorry! The Jurassic coast line stole the show though; words and photos won’t help, you have to go there. The beach at Charmouth is stunning and great for fossil hunting. Shale rocks splinter the edge of the cliffs whilst Flint and Limestone boulders scatter the golden sands. As the sea retracts, a large flat expanse of soft wet sand is uncovered where we spent hours playing football with Beatrix.
Everyday on holiday with children are long, as they need so much entertaining. And all long days need to start with a good breakfast in my opinion. A close friend (thanks Kate!) gave us the ultimate tip off: Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis. The concept is simple, you help yourself to any food you’d like and then cook it. This includes boiling your own eggs (timers and a pencil for marking your egg are provided) and toasting freshly baked sour bread. The food displays were simple but looked great by the use of natural materials, including plywood wall mounted boxes. Town Mill Bakery offers a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that is very family friendly… not sure this concept work in London hey, hmmm?!
Town Mill Bakery
Our final day on holiday was spent at the River Cottage, a farm and now venue for weddings established by chef Hugh Fern Whittingstall. The farmhouse and outbuildings have been converted, allowing the team to serve incredible food to large groups. All locally grown and sourced (of course), the menu was truly out of the ordinary with intense and complex flavours. We played games in the garden like tossing wellington boots and giant skittles, whilst drinking aromatic Gin & tonics.
The best family holidays are fun and simple, with no real plans. We choose Devon and Denmark. We got out on the bikes, explored beaches and enjoyed simple food; a perfect family holiday in Copenhagen and Lyme Regis.