Why you must head north to find the perfect family holiday destination

Mary Poppins may be quintessentially English, but her life maxim applies to how we Brits see Scandinavians: practically perfect in every way. When it comes to holidays, however, most of us don’t put our money where our hygge-heavy preconception is.

The Telegraph



Family fun in a Swedish Arcadia

Are there bears there?” asked Ella, pointing to the blur of farmland framed through the train’s window. “Or there? Maybe there are bears there?” Having travelled for less than 90 minutes from Stockholm, Ella, nine, didn’t seem convinced of this wild possibility. But there were bears, and moose and wolves, too: our neighbours for the weekend.

The Telegraph


Stay The Night: Treehotel, Swedish Lapland

Independent on Sunday, 21 June 2011

Sweden is home to a fantastical hotel experiment that will wow architecture fans but not comfort seekers, says Sarah Barrell

Like many good stories, this one began around a campfire.

In 2008, travel guide Kent Lindvall hosted one of his far-flung fishing trips to a remote part of Russia’s Kamchatka region. Here he got talking to his guests, Swedish architects, about the inspirational film Tradelskaren (The Tree Lover), where three urbanites rediscover their rural roots by building a house together in the woods.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/hotels/stay-the-night-treehotel-swedish-lapland-2296336.html

Icelandic adventure: whales, waterfalls and boiling mud

As adventure activities go, baking bread probably doesn’t rank very highly in most countries. But then Iceland isn’t most countries. We’re at the Bjarnarflag bakery in the northernmost reaches of the island, a handful of miles from the Arctic Circle. It’s midsummer and horizontal sleet steams as it hits the mud around our feet, underneath which sits the “bakery” – half a dozen pits dug into boiling soil, covered with dustbin lids, containing hverabraud – steam bread made with rye and molasses. Bending to peek inside, we’re blasted with a vapour so sulphuric that you have to wonder if perhaps “Bjarnarflag” is Icelandic for “Beelzebub” and we have, in fact, interrupted a satanic scone-baking session.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/whats-hot-an-adventure-in-the-arctic-of-course-577981.html