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We're all going on a summer holiday


Caravanning in Portrush or a farmhouse in Italy? Karen Ireland asks well-known personalities how they jet away from it all.

‘I still see some of the friends that I made back in the caravan parks’

French connection: Carla Lockhart is a big fan of Cannes

Upper Bann DUP MLA Carla Lockhart (33) is married to Rodney Condell, a quantity surveyor and part-time farmer. She says:

I haven't travelled very far yet this year. Rodney and I had a few days away on the north coast and it was a lovely time away. I love holidaying in Northern Ireland. The scenery is beautiful and of course the people are amazing.

I am a bit of a homebird but we do travel when we get the chance and love to go to the south of France.

Life is incredibly busy at the moment and we will probably try to go away at the end of August or beginning of September.

I am not the type of person who plans holidays months in advance.

I just like to book it at the last minute and then go.

Rodney and I got married seven years ago, in September, and we went to New York, Miami and took a cruise to the Bahamas.

I loved it and it was the holiday of a lifetime. I really enjoyed New York. It was very busy and the atmosphere was amazing.

I also enjoyed the Bahamas as it was beautiful and really relaxing. There was plenty to see and do.

Miami was full of beautiful people - they would run along the beach in the midday sun and wouldn't even sweat.

I love Cannes, Nice and St Tropez, they are all very beautiful and interesting regions.

As a child I holidayed with my family in static caravans in Castlerock and Portrush or Cranfield.

My memories are of playing out in the caravan park and making lots of new friends who would be there every year, and we would meet up time and time again.

We were outside all the time playing and riding our bikes. I still see some of the friends today that I made back then when I was in the caravan parks.

One year we went on a touring caravan holiday with the whole family and granny came along. There were a few too many of us in the caravan and it was a bit cramped.

Touring wasn't my thing, I much preferred the caravan parks.

I went on my first sun holiday with the family when I was about 17 and after that I enjoyed many holidays away with the girls. I loved my girly holidays of sun and shopping."

‘We’re focused on making sure the kids are happy and entertained’

Beach life: Stephen Clements, with his daughter Poppy, has fond memories of Barry’s in Portrush

Stephen Clements (45), a Q Radio breakfast presenter, lives in Carrickfergus and is married to Natasha. They have two children Poppy (7) and Robbie (3). Stephen says:

We are just back from a two-week holiday to a Eurocamp in the south of France. It was amazing as there was so much for the children to do, and happy children leads to happy parents on holiday.

They were swimming all the time and on the slides, and then they would go horse riding and do crafts.

It was really action-packed and there was something for everyone.

It was close to Cannes and Monaco so there was plenty of sightseeing to do.

Right now, our holidays are very much focused on the children and making sure there is enough to entertain them and keep them occupied and not getting bored.

We also go to Spain at some point every year as Natasha's parents have a place there and there is loads for the kids to do.

For our honeymoon nine years ago we went to New York, Miami and then on a Mediterranean cruise.

It was amazing as it was just after Christmas and New York was beautiful - and then we had the heat of Miami and stayed in a very posh hotel.

Growing up, my holidays were always in Portrush. I wasn't on a plane until I was 19.

My memories of those holidays are of long summer days when the weather was great.

We would spend all day on the beach, play football and then go to Barry's amusements in the evenings.

Through my rose-tinted glasses, it was always lovely weather and the days were fabulous."

‘We had the best time when we combined a break and a wedding’

Holiday haunt: Peter Corry with Fleur in Puglia for their wedding

Peter Corry (52), a singer, actor and producer, is married to choreographer Fleur Mellor. He says:

Our summer holiday this year was special as it was combined with our wedding. We got married in Puglia in southern Italy last month.

It was a small, intimate wedding with just 40 close family and friends and we all travelled out and spent a few days there together.

I’ve always loved Italy, and my wife Fleur worked on a film in this part of the country and thought it would be perfect for our wedding.

We went out and looked around a few masseria, which are small boutique hotels and farmhouses and we found one that was just perfect.

We had the best time. The wedding was beautiful and the few days away were amazing. It was lovely to be surrounded by those closest to us.

I have been going to Italy for the last 10 or 15 years and I absolutely love the country.

Another one of my favourite places to visit is Sri Lanka and I have been there a couple of times.

Fleur and I tend to go to the Caribbean in January as the weather is amazing, but I love Europe as the people are so welcoming and there is so much to see and do.

Growing up we used to go to Castlerock on family holidays and stay in a caravan.

A few weeks ago, Fleur and I went up to the north coast and it was absolutely buzzing.

It reminded me of long, leisurely holidays when I was younger and going to Portrush or Groomsport with my family.

I remember family holidays being full of days spent outside on the beaches and the weather always seemed to be good. Holidays seemed to last longer.

Fleur and I intend to have a big proper honeymoon, but it probably won’t be until about January as we are both really busy up until then. Right now I am in the middle of producing Jesus Christ Superstar with the Belfast School of Performing Arts.

I am very fortunate as I get to travel a lot with work and sing in some amazing places. One place I would like to go to is Iceland.That is definitely on the bucket list.”

‘I loved the north coast as a child and try to give my kids memories’

Staycation: Denise Watson with Beth and Samantha on the north coast

Denise Watson, a U105 presenter (46), lives in Lisburn with her husband David Scott and their two girls Samantha (13) and Beth (9). Denise says:

This year we are holidaying at home. We have a caravan in Portstewart and we’ll be taking the girls there in August. I love the north coast and am very loyal to it. We’ve had some fantastic times up there with the kids.

I remember my childhood holidays in Portrush, going along the strand in Portstewart, having ice cream and going to the beach.

We try to recreate those memories for the girls.

And I remember that, as a child, if we weren’t on the north coast we were in Douglas in the Isle of Man. I loved it there too.

A few years ago, we took our girls to Marbella but while the apartment and area was lovely it wasn’t that geared up for families. It was more for couples.

Last year, we went to Menorca, hired a car and saw round the island and the girls loved that.

We also went to waterparks. Holidays are about families and making precious memories for everyone and that can be anywhere in the world — home or away.

When David and I got married 18 years ago we had the holiday of a lifetime for our honeymoon. We went to San Francisco and then to a log cabin in California — then we flew to Las Vegas and stayed in the Bellagio, which is the hotel featured in the film Ocean’s Eleven.

We also took a helicopter ride over the spectacular Grand Canyon — it is a trip I will never forget.”

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