Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Holiday suggestions for senior parents, please

Having just returned from a truly wonderful three weeks in France, we feel as blessed as always to see such beautiful places. Despite my ongoing problems with plantar fasciitis, which prevent me from walking very far, at least I'm mobile and can enjoy our usual sightseeing trips around castles, stately homes, gardens, towns & villages.

I realise, with a guilty start, that it's been a good many years since my parents have enjoyed the same sort of thing. They used to give us wonderful holidays when we were children - we were never aware that we were on a shoestring - using every facility from relatives in convenient holiday locations (the Isle of Wight, or the beautiful Norfolk coast) to camping holidays down the west coast of France. In later years, after we'd left home, they took walking holidays, or driving tours to visit friends in a variety of places around the West Country. (Dad has always refused point-blank to set foot in an aeroplane, and while mum would manage this OK in the past she's not too keen these days.)

Now, aged 76 and 80, they're in the tricky situation that Mum really isn't happy for my dad to drive much further than the 12 miles across to visit me; she doesn't drive at all; and more importantly, while Mum is still pretty fit, Dad can't manage more than a few yards of walking before he gets out of breath.

They still like to be independent of us ("we don't want to get in your way"). They love beautiful scenery. They are quite sociable, especially my dad, but not party animals. They've come up with the idea of some kind of train tour: something that doesn't involve changing of trains or much walking, but where they can enjoy pleasant scenery and good company, and the minimum of hassle. Preferably something that originates somewhere I can take them to from Norwich!

So this random post is to ask: does anybody have any suggestions about this sort of thing? This is of course the UK we're looking at, given the veto on planes; possibly the Lakes or Scotland. I'll be searching around online, but in the meantime, if anybody has experience of such things, I'd love to hear from you!

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