One of my favourite holiday memories is when I was about 12 and we stayed in a caravan on a campsite in France and the sun shone every day.

But that’s not what made it brilliant – what made it stand out was how we spent the days:

  • building sand castles
  • jumping in waves
  • making our own ice lollies
  • playing with the French kids from the caravan next door

A friend of mine is just back from her honeymoon – 5 star hotel, servants, a never ending supply of gourmet food and drink, fluffy fresh towels every morning; luxury wherever they went.

Now don’t get me wrong – it’s not that I wouldn’t enjoy a swim in an infinity pool every morning and evening, but wherever I holiday, it’s hard to beat that French holiday from the late nineties.

So this week we’ve been looking at ways to recapture the simple life – out with the iPod, Nintendo DS, plastic chairs and long flights to sit in an Irish bar and watch football.

And in with the simpler pleasures that will bring out the nostalgia in even the most committed gadget lover.

things to do this summer, eco living, sustainable livingThe countryside

What better way to unwind on a weekend than laying on a tartan picnic rug watching the clouds and listening to the breeze?

If some fresh air, cool green grass and great company sounds like an afternoon you’d enjoy, then pack a sturdy picnic basket containing a Thermos flask of tea, English sandwiches (with the crusts cut off) and homemade cupcakes with strawberries and clotted cream.

Picn-eco sets are a great time saver – ethically sourced and made entirely from sustainable plant resources, they contain plates, cups, glasses, cutlery and napkins that are 100% biodegradable so you can just pop it all in the composter when you’re done.

So roll up your rug, tuck it under an arm and find a patch of cool grass to set-up base camp.  And don’t forget your copy of Enid Blyton’s Five Go Adventuring Again….

eco holidays, sustainable living, environmental holidaysThe seaside

Leave the string vest and knotted handkerchief at home, and enjoy the traditional British seaside at its best.

Daisy Hill overlooks the beautiful town of St Ives in Cornwall, where red and blue stripe deckchairs line up along the beach and the air is fresh and cool off the sea.

You don’t need to pay big bucks to enjoy 5* luxury here – cover up with a wide-brimmed sunhat,  crack open a box of homemade fruit ice lollies, and head to the beach where you can kick off your shoes and bury your toes in the sand.

I guarantee you’ll never want to leave.  We don’t.

family holidays cornwall, simple holidaysFamily fun

I don’t know about you, but my memories are made up of experiences – most of the enduring memories from my holidays don’t involve lounging about by the pool or laying on a beach.  They involve doing something.

Here are some great ways to spend a day the old fashioned way – no need for jet skis, theme parks or expensive trips to the toy shop.

Bring out your creative side with a scrapbooking workshop, and learn how to use keepsakes to create amazing pictures that you’ll want to save as long as the memories.

Or join friends for a bracing stroll with the National Trust, which will be showcasing its best walks as Autumn sets in, showing you the great views, historic buildings and wildlife on your doorstep.

Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore did a lot for interest in pottery…. but it’s still a rewarding way to spend a morning or afternoon, whether you want to get your hands dirty and throw your own pot, or paint one that’s been made for you.

Or (and you won’t be surprised to see this one) get your feet wet (and everything else….) and hit the waves on a board.  If Jeremy Clarkson can do it, so can you.

What are your favourite holiday memories?  Please share them in the comments below so we can start planning next year’s big break.