Come mid-July, thousands of families will bundle the kids, luggage and leisure gear into the back of the car and head off for family holidays up and down the country. In anticipation of this annual migration from home to holiday destination, we grabbed the keys to the seven-seat hybrid Prius+ and joined up with Toyota’s #RAVTour of Britain to remind ourselves what Britain has to offer a family holidaymakers.
Our search for the best British breaks started at our southern base at Toyota GB. We began with a long drive north, traversing the backbone of Britain as we crossed the Pennines and headed to the Lake District. The miles were dispatched effortlessly in our Toyota Prius+, providing easy, economical motoring with its full hybrid powertrain and cruise control (standard on all models).
It’s understandable why thousands leave the cities and head out into the countryside when you are surrounded by the rugged beauty of areas like the Lakeland Fells and North Pennines. Armed with an Ordnance Survey map and a day’s supply of Kendal Mint Cake, the whole family can enjoy getting out into nature and soaking in the breathtaking vistas that await, safe in the knowledge that at the end of the day, the equally appealing form of the award-winning Prius+ will be there to welcome you, with its Touch and Go Plus navigation system ready to take care of the route home.
Best of the beach
From the panoramic views of the North Pennines, we continued over to Skegness on the east coast to experience a Great British staple: the seaside holiday. The British public’s love affair with the seaside break dates all the way back to the Victorian era, but nowadays you’re probably taking a lot more than just a bucket and spade and a pocketful of pennies for the the amusement arcade.
It’s here where the flexibility of the Prius+ comes into its own for, with the third row of seats in place, there’s the added option of bringing along your kids’ friends for a fun day out at the beach. And if their interests lay beyond a day of building sandcastles, folding down individual seats creates a longer loadspace ready to swallow bodyboards and large kites. Just make sure you remember to slap on the sunscreen!
From the sun, sea, and sand of Skegness we hopped back into the Prius+ and set our course for The New Forest. One of the most popular holiday destinations in the south of England, The New Forest stretches across Hampshire and is an ideal location to strap on a helmet and swap four wheels for two.
No matter what your age or abilities, the many cycling routes threading through the area provide a fantastic opportunity to get off the beaten track and enjoy the open heathland and sheltered woods with your family. With its generous bootspace and optional cycle rack, transporting the family’s cycle collection won’t be an issue in the Toyota Prius+.
Climbing and caving
A sedate cycling holiday sounds great for most people, but if you’re the more adventurous type, the next waypoint on our Prius+ road trip – Cheddar Gorge – is a more exciting proposition. With dramatic 450ft cliffs rising above the gorge floor and stalactite-filled caverns below the surface, the adventurous members of the family can experience Cheddar Gorge’s climbing and caving pursuits.
There’s plenty of less extreme activities for the rest of the family to enjoy too – cliff-top walks, guided cave tours and the inside story on the history of Britain’s biggest and most beautiful gorge. And after the exertions of the day, it’s great to climb back into the comfortable surroundings of the Toyota Prius+ and wind your way home with the minimum of effort.
Our Toyota Prius+ road trip was a great chance to revisit some favourite holiday destinations from our youth and remind ourselves of the variety of holiday destinations and experiences that Britain has to offer. And throughout it all, the award-winning Prius+ was the perfect companion: economical, spacious, comfortable and well-equipped.
If you’d like to discover how the Prius+ is a great fit for your family’s summer holiday plans, read our in-depth review or leave a comment below and we’ll arrange a test drive to get you behind the wheel. Prius+ is available from £26,145 on the road, and is currently available with a £1,000 finance deposit available*, so head over to the designated section of the Toyota UK website to find out more.
*Terms and conditions apply, for more information, visit the latest offers section of the Toyota UK website.
By Andrew Biddle