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Review – Portsmouth Caen Ferry with Brittany Ferries

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

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Top Tips: Puy Du Fou, the French theme …

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Llandudno to Conwy. Walking the Wales Coastal Path.

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

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Coastal Adventures: Exploring the Stunning Yorkshire Coast

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The Malverns: A Dog and Family Friendly Weekend …

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Parentshaped – Best Family Travel Blogger Runner Up in the Family Traveller Awards

parentshaped was runner up at the family traveller awards for best family travel blogger!

Thank you so much for all the nominations and support from my lovely readers, friends and fellow bloggers. I was really blown away to be runner up in the Family Traveller Best Family Travel Blogger awards this week. It’s taken me a little while to recover from the excitement of a day out in London, an awards ceremony, three glasses of fizz and accidentally boarding the wrong train home to Nottingham*, but today, Friday I have recovered sufficiently to tell the tale!

*In my defence, they always put the Derby and Nottingham trains on the same platform, it was an accident waiting to happen, especially when your confidence is slightly buoyed by being runner up in a lovely award ceremony, and by fizz. What can I say? I’m actually a very organised and reliable travel blogger and you shouldn’t be put off collaborating with me. The staff at Derby station were very sweet and although they had no train to put me on when I emerged confused on a ghostly platform, they did point me in the direction of a reasonably priced cab who reassured me I am not the first or the last person to be fooled by East Midlands trains, while Mr A sent me repeated texts demanding the cab number and to know I was ok – bless him. I got home at 2am and got up to do the school run at 7am. Back to the awards…

The ceremony took place at The White Company’s flagship store, on Symons Street, London complete with fizz and canapés.  I tried not to get distracted by scented candles and a heart shaped Shepherd’s pie dish (NEED!) While distracting Katie’s baby** in the nursery section I also fell in love with a feather mobile. The room quickly filled with representatives from all across the family travel industry and we heard some fascinating stats about family travel, despite Brexit, it is still growing faster as an industry than travel in general and multi- generational getaways are particularly popular (did you hear that Dad?).

There were 25 categories across the travel industry, and Best Family Travel Blogger was a new award this year. Amazingly the travel inspiration site I co-edit Space In Your Case was also a finalist, along with two of my co-editors blogs Mummy Daddy Me and Actually Mummy. Our fourth Space In Your Case member Alison Perry of Not Another Mummy Blog join us to represent Space In Your Case so it was the perfect excuse for a catch up in London before hand. It was lovely to see Mums Do Travel and All Baby Advice, fellow finalists Mini Travellers and My Travel Monkey were very much missed.

Blogging has opened lots of fascinating doors for me and I’ve been lucky to win lots of awards for different things, from video to charity work during my seven years of blogging – but family travel really has become my passion. (Apart from a couple of moments in August when I had kids off school, a trip fell through, I suddenly had lots of lovely work offers coming in and I thought my head was going to explode. Luckily a digital detox in a remote Welsh cottage soon fixed that). It was incredibly exciting to have my passion for travel blogging acknowledged by a rather awesome expert panel of judges, and to be runner up for Best Family Travel Blog.

The judges are super exciting actually, especially as I spent much of my summer back and fro-ing to London to do a Travel Writing course with Susan Grossman, with the aim of widening my writing beyond my blog: Jane Anderson, broadcaster and writer Mariella Frostrup, BBC’s travel documentary maker Simon Reeve; travel editor of The Times Jane Knight, and travel & lifestyle director of Elle, Sue Ward Davies. It feels like a huge honour to have parentshaped picked out by these writing and travel experts.

Katie from Mummy Daddy Me won Best Family Travel Blogger, which does not surprise me, Katie’s stunning photography, video and honest documenting of the everyday moments of family life is utterly captivating. **Her baby boy was so well behaved all day, she’d almost convinced me third babies are a walk in the park, apart from the lack of sleep bit.

Mummy Daddy Me won and parentshaped was runner up at the family traveller awards for best family travel blogger!

parentshaped was runner up at the family traveller awards for best family travel blogger!

Gretta from Mums Do Travel, Helen from Actually Mummy, me and Jen from Britmums

parentshaped was runner up at the family traveller awards for best family travel blogger!

It was good to chat with Dr Ranj of CBeebies fame, who has presented me with an award before, for Outstanding Contribution at the MAD Blog Awards, along with Team Honk who I have worked with for the last 3 years to stimulate blogger awareness raising and fundraising for Comic Relief. Dr Ranj also writes a health column in Family Traveller, the one about Zika virus was really reassuring.

Woo hoo! parentshaped.co.uk was Runner Up in the #familytravellerawards for family travel blog. Presented by Dr Ranj of CBeebies. Thank you so much for the votes and support. Huge congrats to winner @mummydaddyme and so lovely to hang out with fellow finalists @mumsdotravel @spaceinyourcase @iamalisonperry @actuallypics @kahanka plus congrats to fellow finalists who couldn't be there tonight @mini_travellers and @mytravelmonkey Also fab to see @jhowze ❤️

Woo hoo! parentshaped.co.uk was Runner Up in the #familytravellerawards for family travel blog. Presented by Dr Ranj of CBeebies. Thank you so much for the votes and support. Huge congrats to winner @mummydaddyme and so lovely to hang out with fellow finalists @mumsdotravel @spaceinyourcase @iamalisonperry @actuallypics @kahanka plus congrats to fellow finalists who couldn’t be there tonight @mini_travellers and @mytravelmonkey Also fab to see @jhowze ❤️

Here are all the winners and runners up, it was especially lovely to see some companies and destinations we have worked with – click on the links to see the posts – including TrunkiNorthumberland, the YHA, the RSPBNational Trust, and Amsterdam. It was lovely to meet representatives from some of the lovely brands listed, travel people really are the friendliest and I was sad to have to leave to go back to Nottingham.

Best Family Cruise Line
Winner: Disney Cruise Line, Runner up: Celebrity Cruises

Best Family Ferry Operator
Winner: DFDS, Runner up: P&O Ferries

Best Family Airline
Winner: Norwegian, Runner up: Virgin Atlantic

Best Family Travel Accessory
Winner: Bundlebean, Runner up: Trunki/Jurni

Best Kids Fashion for Holidays
Winner: AlexandAlexa, Runner up: H&M

Best Family Festival
Winner: Isle of Wight Festival, Runner up: The Big Little Tent Festival

Best Family Theme Park
Winner: Efteling, Runner up: Diggerland

Best Conservation Charity for Families
Winner: National Trust, Runner up: RSPB Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Best Family Travel Blogger
Winner: Mummy Daddy Me, Runner up: Parentshaped

Best UK Accommodation (independent)
Winner: Cary Arms, Runner up: Sands Resort Hotel & Spa

Best UK Accommodation (group)
Winner: YHA, Runner up: Coastal Retreats

Best Overseas Accommodation for Families
Winner: Domes of Elounda, Runner up: Lux* Resorts & Hotels

Best Self-catering Accommodation for Families
Winner: HomeAway, Runner up: Sawday’s Canopy & Stars

Best Kids Club
Winner: Explorer Kids Club, PER AQUUM Niyama Maldives, Runner up: Sani Resort kids clubs

Best Adventure Holiday for Families
Winner: The Family Adventure Company, Runner up: Sunsail

Best Eco/Sustainable Holidays for Families
Winner: Forest Holidays, Runner up: Wilderness Safaris

Best Multi-Generational Family Holiday
Winner: Oliver’s Travels, Runner up: Center Parcs

Best Family Ski Operator
Winner: Esprit, Runner up: Ski Famille

Best All-Inclusive for Families
Winner: Ikos Resorts, Runner up: Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels

Best Luxury Tour Operator for Families
Winner: Scott Dunn, Runner up: Sovereign Luxury Holidays

Best UK Day Out for Families
Winner: ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Runner up: Seaton Jurassic

Best UK Region for Families
Winner: Northumberland, Runner up: Isles of Scilly

Best UK City Break for Families
Winner: London, Runner up: Bristol

Best European City Break for Families
Winner: Barcelona, Runner up: Amsterdam

Best Overseas Destination for Families
Winner: California, Runner up:  St Lucia


Thanks once again for all those who voted and who have supported parentshaped here, on facebook, instagram or twitter, especially big thanks to Emily from A Mummy Too for nominating me, championing this space and telling me to go for it!

To find out more about working with parentshaped go here.



  1. 07/10/2016 / 12:43 pm

    Congratulations Penny. I love following your travels and can’t wait to find out what you get up to next!

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you Emma x

  2. 07/10/2016 / 12:55 pm

    Massive congratulations Penny! Looks as though it was a fantastic bash (think very carefully about that third baby though, my dear!) xx

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks Nell, yes I will!

  3. 07/10/2016 / 12:59 pm

    Very well deserved! On with the travel and the trips!

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks Helen!

  4. 07/10/2016 / 1:04 pm

    It sounds like a brilliant night out and thank you for the mention. Sad to have missed you all. Big congrats again for coming runner up x

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:36 pm

      See you at WTM though? Thank you x

  5. Becky
    07/10/2016 / 2:56 pm

    Way to go Penny!

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:36 pm

      Cheers Becky!

  6. 07/10/2016 / 7:31 pm

    Well done Penny! Brilliant achievement especially to be recognised by some fantastic judges…I am a particular fan of Simon Reeve. Love your story about getting the wrong train. Happens to us all!

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:37 pm

      Yes, I was reading an interview with him – inspiring indeed! x

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:37 pm

      It was fab to see you in the finalist list and in real life!

  7. 08/10/2016 / 8:38 am

    Thanks for the mention my lovely: very well deserved you blog is full of inspiration

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you Karen x

  8. Lisa (Travel Loving Family)
    08/10/2016 / 8:48 am

    Ah congratulations Penny! Very well deserved;) Glad you had a lovely night (apart from the journey home!)

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:38 pm

      Thanks Lisa!

  9. 08/10/2016 / 5:30 pm

    Congrats again Penny very well deserved and thank you for all the lovely things you said about me and my blog. It’s so incredibly lovely working with you on SIYC and being your friend too! Here’s to lots more adventures in the future. xx

    • parentshaped
      10/10/2016 / 3:39 pm

      So thrilled for you! What a night, here’s to many more adventures xx

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