Elderflower Fields Family Festival, Review – Can it go …

Disclosure – family ticket provided for purpose of review, …

View Post

Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

AD – hosted ferry trip provided for review purposes, …

View Post
Sitting on the lawn in the sunshine at Gites de la Richarderie

Super relaxing French family holiday in the Loire …

Hosted trip – accommodation provided by Gites de la …

View Post

Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

Hosted trip – we were provided with flights, accommodation, …

View Post

Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

Castles, coastal paths, dunes, beach cafes, sweeping bays, …

View Post

Family Travel Guide: Swansea Bay, Gower and Mumbles, …

Hiraeth. (n.) a homesickness for a home to …

View Post

Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

Would I like to share my favourite parts …

View Post

The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

From our ivy-framed hotel bay window Narnia style …

View Post

The True Art of Memory – Our Snaptrip in Kent

Snaptrip Kent Forge Cottage  - 02

Look closely and you will see why this post is titled as it is!


I know some kids have already been back nearly two weeks, but mine went back on Monday, so the memories are still strong. It was two weeks with lots of playing in nature, which was the perfect thing for all of us. I needed to switch off from screens, 6yo G is currently uncontainable indoors, and 8 yo L is always at her happiest when in nature. Climbing trees, having picnics, damning streams, poking in ponds, hiding in bracken and lots of picnicking. At the last minute we booked Forge Cottage, via Snaptrip…


For the last three months Mr A has been working away a lot. It’s really taken its toll on us all. We all miss each other so much and the family dynamic has been wonky whichever way you look at it. His last long stint away fell over the Easter holidays.  So when Snaptrip offered us a discount on a last minute holiday cottage booking, we snapped their hand off to be ‘together’. Basically the discount was the difference between all staying in Mr A’s little hotel, or upgrading to a stunning cottage where we could pretend we lived in the country for a few days. More on booking with Snaptrip at the bottom of this post.


When we arrived I immediately fell in love with the cottage. The owners had left muffins, wine, dog biscuits and flowers and it was so well equipped and organised, it was also beautifully furnished.

We’d booked to be near Mr A, with no real idea what we could do locally, so you can imagine my solo-parenting-without-car absolute delight when I took Max the dog for a walk the next morning and discovered we had landed a cottage right next to Hothfield Heathlands, with miles of beautiful heathland. We rounded the corner from here, to be greeted by heath, and a noticeboard that promised all kinds of exciting wildlife.

Hothfield Heath Sunrise

When I took the kids back later, we walked further, and the misty view I had seen unfolded under bright blue skies – yellow gorse, purple heather and lots of old and fascinating trees.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 027

Snaptrip Kent Forge Cottage  - 03

It was such a good feeling to just walk across the path from Forge Cottage and into woodland. Daffodils, primrose, celandines. Woodpeckers flying past, and blue tits tweeting, the sound of cuckoos calling.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 008

The trees that fall are left as homes for wildlife and insects, so there are so many old trees to make dens in, fir cones, twigs, sticks and logs lying about, it’s such an inspiring place to play.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 022

I had to keep reminding them not to disturb precious habitats too much, but they found some sawn off logs and started building a picnic spot.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 012 Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 014

They left signs to remind them where the spot was…

Snaptrip Kent Forge Cottage  - 01

When Mr A got back from work they had already made up a picnic tea back at the cottage, so he was whisked out the door and brought to their spot.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 025

Our three days were spent roaming with Max, and a picnic, made up in a Highland Cattle shortbread tin we found in the cottage. We’d been looking for the horned cattle that roam free on the heath, so the tin was quite apt. Kate Takes 5 was frantically messaging me at this point, trying to plan her next getaway to the Peak District and wondering if I was around – see I really was in the middle of nowhere – it was fab to chat though!

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 059

On Day Two we finally found the long horned cattle of Hothfield Heath, you can just see them munching behind this pair. G is wearing Max’s coat/blanket as a superhero cloak, in case you were wondering. We also made it all the way to the other side of the heath and Hothfield village, where we had lollies from the post office and a play in the playground.  Our Snap trip was perfect.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 063

After a full day with these three (I’m counting Max the dog), and all that fresh air, I really loved coming home to this.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 080

And this…


And a long soak in this, while Mr A took over the tv supervision parenting for the witching hour.

Forge Cottage, Kent, Snap trip - 093

It’s a little trip I won’t forget, I even bottled a bit in this little video. My two seem to have hit a sibling rocky patch, is that a 6 and 8 yo thing I wonder? But, when they are outdoors they are absolutely the best of friends. I even caught them holding hands.

The cottage has two double beds, a large living room/diner and a kitchen and bathroom and small, but beautiful garden. It is situated right next to the A20, so the only downside is traffic noise, but living on an A road I’m used to that, and it was a very small price to pay for such an excellent base. The lane was lovely and the neighbours stopped to chat to the kids. Next door on both sides had small children, so we never felt too worried about making noise.

Booking on Snaptrip

Snaptrip on average save holidaymakers £100 on last minute holiday bookings, after introducing a last minute booking system to the holiday self-catering market. Booking on Snaptrip is really easy, its really intuitive to navigate and search. The map function really helped me to see which cottages would be nearest to where Mr A was working  – I’ve wasted so much time on self catering rental sites, trying to work out where the cottage actually is – this was really seamless, perfect for finding a last minute cottage in Kent. All the info you need, and live pricing in one place.

Screenshot 2015-04-22 14.50.52

After deciding on our cottage, I entered a few simple details – party number, name, address and email. Within 10 minutes I got a call to take the booking further, much less than the promised 30 minutes, and the caller actually apologised for not calling immediately. Snaptrip do this to smooth over any potential issues with making a late booking, it also provides reassurance against fraud and phishing risks. I was then emailed a final link to make payment.



  1. Becky
    24/04/2015 / 11:06 am

    ah it all looks so lovely x

  2. 24/04/2015 / 11:55 am

    Oh take me there now! It just looks so glorious, and the perfect idyll. We were looking at booking our very own snap trip soon, and so this looks a great way to do it.

  3. 27/04/2015 / 1:44 pm

    Oh it looks great. The living area looks just like a cottage we stayed in a couple of years ago in Devon – how spooky. Never come across Snap Trip before and we love our cottage holidays so will definitely check it out! Great pics too Penny x

I'd love to know your thoughts!