8 West Sweden - Made for Paddling and Pedalling
Canoeing in Western Sweden
West Sweden has a coastline with 8000 islands. It also has fishing villages, a marine national park, and a lake district. If you like being on the water, you'll love Sweden. We did a canoe trip when the children were little and plan to return now they are old enough to put some power into their paddling. If you prefer to cycle, you can cruise around castles and countryside. Or take a trolley tour on old railway tracks. Gothenberg acts as a gateway to West Sweden and the nearby Lise berg Park is the biggest fairground in Scandinavia.
9 Abu Dhabi - Ferrari World meets Water World
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
This destination wasn't even on my radar for family holidays before this year. But Abu Dhabi is currently building up a bank of exciting attractions; perhaps made even more exciting because they are in the middle of the desert. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Emirates and the second largest city and its huge oil exports protect it from recession in a way that Europe can only dream of. Keen to attract cruise liner tourists, Abu Dhabi has plans for a Louvre and a Guggenheim, and at the end of January the biggest water park in the region will open its slides to holidaymakers. Yas Waterworld has 43 rides and attractions, including the Liwa Loop, the only looping waterslide in the Arabian Gulf.Next door, an indoor theme park dedicated to Ferrari has the live show RED which celebrates racing and the glamour of l 960's Italy. In the sporting spotlight along with F 1 (staged annually) will be January's PGA Golf Championship, where the high and mighty of golf will compete for the Falcon Trophy, and a share of the US $2.7 million prize money. Wildlife lovers will enjoy the award-winning Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital which treats more than 6,000 birds of prey a year, and if you want to take your family out into the wild, you can sleep under the stars in the desert.
10 Derry/Londonderry - The City with the Arts Craic
Cities don't come more cultural than Derry-Londonderry in 2013. This atmospheric Northern Irish City beat Birmingham, Norwich and Sheffield to win the title of the UK's City ofCultur2 2013, and all manner of treats have been lined up for all the family. Like a three day water based performance based on the warrior monk who founded the city; written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who scripted the London Olympics opening ceremony. The Turner Prize will be held outsideEngland for the first time, and staged in a former military barracks in the city. Music will include a celebration of punk and a world premier by the London Symphony Orchestra. In fact whatever your family is interested in, from biking to scouting to ballet to wrestling to the undead, you'll probably find it in Derry this year, along with a frothy pint of Guinness and the satisfaction of getting the kids away from the TV. After our Titanic themed trip to Belfast last year, we're keen to get back to Ireland and sample more of the craic and hospitality.