Families Can Travel in 2020: Our year in review

Families Can Travel in 2020: Our year in review

Anyone looking back on 2020 will remember it as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’d mentioned the words ‘social distancing’, ‘furlough’, ‘lockdown’ or ‘tiers’ at the beginning of the year, you’d get a puzzled response.

It’s certainly been a tough year for many people in many ways. Thousands of people in the UK have very sadly lost their lives to the virus and a significant amount of people have been affected by the loss of employment and mental health issues.

For us, 2020 has meant less travel which we have missed, but overall we consider ourselves lucky. We managed a New Years trip to Dublin, a ski trip to Zakopane and a motorhome trip around the Scottish Highlands.

Other than the above, lockdown forced us to explore our local area, finding places we never knew existed. We mastered homeschooling (kind of) and we welcomed a new member to our family when baby Alessia was born in September.

Below is our year in review month by month… we hope you enjoy it 🙂


We welcomed in the New Year in Dublin which was brilliant. For the first time since our party days (pre-children), I really enjoyed New Year and we said we’d do the same next year (little did we know that wouldn’t be possible).

Dublin was magical at Christmastime. We explored the whole city and fell in love with live Irish music and dancing. For more about our trip, read our 21 amazing things to do in Dublin with kids post.

We also started work on building a new garage extension at home.

Dublin 2020


We went to London and spent our first night away together without the children. We did the Secret Cinema – Stranger Things experience and had a great time, although looking back now, it would have been the perfect breeding ground for Covid-19. The experience involves hundreds and hundreds of people crammed into a room for the show’s finale!

Stranger Things 2020

During half term, we spent our third year in a row skiing in Poland. This time we stayed in Zakopane and skied on the slopes at Białka. Zakopane is the perfect place for families because you can ski but also do other winter activities like dog sledding, sleigh rides and visit the thermal spas and snow mazes. To find out more about our trip, read our Perfect skiing holiday in Poland post.

Bialka 2020
Zakopane 2020

February was also the month we announced our pregnancy with our third baby!

Baby Announcement 2020


This was the month the government started its response to Covid-19 in the UK. I got the message from work to stay at home, the government declared lockdown on 16 March and schools closed on 20 March.

Although Lee was still going to work, we really took the virus and our instructions to stay at home seriously. We learned how to work from home and homeschool at the same time. We left the house once a day for no more than an hour to exercise, choosing the quietest places to go.

FootPathMap website was a saving grace and we found new walks on our doorstep that we never knew existed. In fact, I don’t think anyone else knew either because we barely met anybody else on our walks.

Lockdown also meant that work on our new garage extension stopped.

Baby Announcement 2020


We were blessed with good weather in April which made lockdown more bearable. We tried to stay fit doing PE with Jo Wicks, we took part in Clap for our Carers, homeschooling continued and so did our walks.

We were due to spend a week in Devon during Easter but we unfortunately, had to cancel.

Our home project for most of this month was decorating and fitting new wardrobes into Freya’s new bedroom. This freed up Freya’s old bedroom for Florence which freed up the nursery for the new baby.


Baby Announcement 2020


The good weather continued into May so we were able to continue with our walks and get some good pregnancy photos too.

On May 10, the government announced its easing of lockdown restrictions. We started to venture further afield for exercise and experienced some social interaction with a VE Day street party.

VE Day 2020


After resisting an envelope we had at home containing the sex of our baby, we finally decided to do a gender reveal. It was so much fun, I’m not sure who was more excited, us or the girls.

It was also a great opportunity to play around with video creation and YouTube. See our very first YouTube video – Our Confetti Cannon Gender Reveal.

We also celebrated Florence’s fourth birthday. We still had restrictions in place but were able to have a socially distanced tea party in our half-built garage.



Covid-19 deaths and cases continued to fall and further easing of restrictions were announced. This meant that we were able to go and stay with my sister, nieces and nephew for a few days.

After being locked up and not socialising for so long, just staying somewhere different and seeing family felt so good.

We’d also managed to keep our gender reveal a secret so we could do another reveal with them.

The easing of restrictions meant that work on our garage extension could finally be finished. Once complete we moved the builders straight on to relandscaping the garden.

Gender Reveal 2020


We’d been keeping our fingers crossed that our planned trip for August would go ahead and we were so happy when it did! We rented a motorhome and drove up to the Scottish Highlands to do the NC500 route.

We spent 2 weeks travelling over 1500 miles, visiting the beautiful beaches, exploring castles and chasing waterfalls in Scotland.

We thought it might be busy but it was the opposite. We’d booked the motorhome before Covid-19 emerged but it ended up being one of the safest types of holiday to do. We were self-contained and the NC500 route was really quiet, despite it being peak time.

Motorhome 2020
Scotland Beaches 2020
Scotland Views 2020


We started to go out a little more this month with the governments ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme. We even got invited to a VIP event at Waterworld, which the girls loved with not being able to go swimming for so long.

This was also a momentum month for our family as I gave birth to our third baby girl! I’d planned a home birth and was worried that it might get cancelled as Covid-19 cases were starting to rise again.

In fact, it couldn’t have worked out better. My sister had planned to drive up from London on the Friday after the children finished school and I just happened to go into labour that day! By the time she arrived I was in established labour, the birth pool was ready and the midwives had arrived.

Whilst I laboured in the pool, the children were outside playing. When little Alessia arrived, everyone was able to come in and meet her. I’d heard so many stories of people giving birth alone in hospital due to Covid-19 restrictions, so I feel extremely lucky that I got the perfect birth at home with my family.

As well as this, schools started back after being closed since March and Florence had her first day at school in reception class.

Work also continued with our new garden patio.

New Baby 2020


I don’t know how we got to October so quickly! Baby Alessia settled in really well and we enjoyed getting used to being a family of five.

As soon as I felt I could, we started getting out for walks again. We had a day out at the Heights of Abraham in Matlock Bath. We’ve lived close by all of our lives, driven through Matlock Bath and watched the cable cars overhead and yet never visited.

The girls loved the cable car ride and we enjoyed the magnificent cavern tours. To learn more, read our Heights of Abraham – cable cars and caverns post.

Heights of Abraham 2020

Despite Covid-19 cases continuing to rise and a new three-tier system being introduced, we still managed to celebrate Halloween. 

We visited our local pumpkin patch the day it opened and chose our pumpkins. Instead of trick or treating, we got creative and did a treat hunt in the woods. 

We also did a treat hunt with clues around the house for the girls to do in the dark. They loved it so much they even asked to do the same next year instead of trick or treating.

Heights of Abraham 2020


November didn’t start off great. On 6 November, England went back into a 4-week lockdown due to the second wave of Covid-19.

Then on 13 November, after not fully recovering from a stroke and deteriorating with old age, we had our 14-year old miniature schnauzer put to sleep.

The rest of November, we threw ourselves into walking and teamed up with Peak District Kids to find and share pram-friendly walks in the Peak District.

The weeks were flying by and we fell into the routine of school, looking after a newborn baby and walking at the weekends.

We also finished our new garden patio… and then decided to build our perimeter wall higher and install a new composite fence.

Even More Walks 2020


December is one of my favourite months because I LOVE Christmastime!

We normally have a really big family Christmas, getting together with my sister, nieces and nephew. After nearly a whole year of living with the pandemic and the restrictions imposed to try and control it, we were all so excited at the prospect of spending Christmas together.

That was until a new and more transmissible strain of the virus was identified, resulting in our Christmas plans being cancelled. The government introduced a new tier 4 lockdown for London, which meant we couldn’t travel to my sisters in Surrey and stay for Christmas. After the initial upset, we came to terms with it and still had a lovely Christmas, just the five of us.

We also celebrated Freya’s birthday the week before Christmas and managed a few festive events including a Christmas lantern trail and Christmas Tractor Lights parade.

And we finally finished off our new fence.

Even More Walks 2020

Our plans for 2021...

The end of 2020 sees the UK still fighting a tough battle against the Covid-19 pandemic. Many are living under strict restrictions, which don’t allow them to travel. Yet, the vaccine rollout is underway and there is hope that we may return to some kind of normal in the months ahead.

We hope to travel more than we managed in 2020 but we will need to consider travel and quarantine requirements, as well as cancellation policies.

For now, we’ll sit tight a little longer and dream of the places we’ll go. We’ll end 2020 being grateful for our health, the things we have managed to do this year and of course, the new addition to our family.

Stay safe and Happy New Year to you all, with love from Families Can Travel x