Are We Nearly There Yet?

A Family's 8,000-Mile Car Journey Around Britain

  • Imprint: Summersdale
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: £9.99
  • Publication date: 1 August 2011
  • ISBN: 9781849531559

About the book

If you think writing a guidebook is easy, think again…

They were bored, broke, burned out and turning 40, so when Ben and Dinah saw the advert looking for a husband and wife team with young kids to write a guidebook about family travel around Britain, they jumped at the chance. With naïve visions of staring moodily across Coniston Water and savouring Cornish pasties, they embark on a mad-cap five-month trip with daughter Phoebe, four, and son Charlie, two, embracing the freedom of the open road with a spirit of discovery and an industrial supply of baby wipes.


'so funny ... and incredibly touching'

Jenny Colgan on Simon Mayo Drivetime BBC Radio 2

'The sign of a really good book is when I don't want it to end and I start to read more slowly to eke it out to the last page. This is exactly what happened with Ben Hatch's splendid book. Rarely have I laughed so much one moment, or been nearly moved to tears the next... this book is hilarious!'

Best of British

'Ben Hatch's hugely entertaining Are We Nearly There Yet? is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who has ever travelled with small children. Hatch captures the pleasures and pitfalls of the Great British Family Holiday as he spends an exhausting five months visiting pretty much every tourist attraction on the map. It's a daft romp, but also a touching paean to family life (and at one point he does something baffling and regrettable with a toothbrush).' Christmas Books Round-Up

Herald Scotland online

'Emotional reconciliations and family dramas are part of the journey in this amusing voyage of self-discovery... Poignant and moving, he struggles with grief and goodbyes as well as celebrating a new-found closeness with his family.'

Marie Claire

'I laughed out loud... I read this book, devoured it, and am now reading it again. This book has it all, it's the kind of book that stays with you afterwards. I literally wanted to force people to sit down, screaming at them, 'read this book, you HAVE TO!"

Frustratedyukkymummy Blog

'a cracking book... I think it's a funny, sad, outspoken book which has hints of the Brit sitcom Outnumbered.'

Tim Brooke-Taylor The Saucy Gibbon Forum

'I can't recommend it highly enough... this one is about a living, loving, occasionally quarrelsome but clearly very happy marriage and it felt curiously life-affirming to read about it. It's very warts and all, extremely funny, very human and very sad. If you liked One Day... or just good books in general, don't let this one pass you by.'

Jenny Colgan JennyColgan.com

'As arduous journeys go, it's nearly up there with Scott's trek to the South Pole or the conquest of Everest... Ben Hatch is an extremely gifted comic writer; but what makes this book truly special is that the comedy is played out against the background of his father, former BBC Producer, Sir David Hatch, slowly dying of cancer... As in all great travel books, the actual voyage becomes an emotional one too... An absolutely wonderful book.'

The Daily Mail

'a very amusing, often unexpectedly touching account of a trip that explores every facet of family relationships.'

The Good Book Guide

'a comic account of the chaos of researching a UK Frommer's guide with a young family in tow.'

The Bookseller

'The book is part tourist guide, part parental manual ... humour courses through the 345 heart-warming, and at times moving, pages while he tells the story in a suitably self-deprecating voice... All this could very easily come across as sentimental or worse still, smug, but it avoids either. There is laughter and tears ... captures a snapshot of life in all its full wonderful silliness.'

Yorkshire Post

'Anyone who voluntarily chooses to travel 8,000 miles in a Vauxhall Astra with two small children is either insane or has a finger hovering over the 'self-destruct' button... Any parent having driven further than the end of their own road with children in the car can immediately sense the mental agony that this odyssey will generate, and Hatch doesn't let us down for a moment in this book. It's belly-achingly funny, heartwarming, depressingly familiar, and there are a few sad bits, but above all it perfectly embodies all the grot, grind, and affection of family life... the supreme test of survival skills, pushing the likes of Ray Mears and Bear Grylls firmly into the shade! I enjoyed every word of this book.'

The Shropshire Star

'hugely entertaining... the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who has ever travelled with small children. Hatch captures the pleasures and pitfalls of the Great British Family holiday... It's a daft romp, but also a touching paean to family life (and at one point he does something baffling and regrettable with a toothbrush).'

Dan Rhodes The Scottish Sunday Herald

'You don't have to be a parent to laugh out loud at the trials and tribulations of Hatch and his wife…'

Lancashire Evening Post

'Some books have a personality of their own, a uniqueness that puts them in a class apart. [This book] is a perfect example. A memoir, a travelogue, laugh-out-loud entertainment, a moving tale of life and death and a heart-warming affirmation of "familyhood". It should come with a label saying "Read me or miss out on something really special."'

Lancashire Evening Post

'A sort of road movie with museums, the author and a missus and two small kids tests [sic] out hotels, attractions and swear words so that you don't have to… very amusing.'

Families Magazine



'Hatch sets out to turn a guidebook into art and accomplishes it with humor and candor… Cramped in a hatchback with his wife and toddlers, he hilariously navigates 8,000 miles' worth of doll surgeons, ''smug farmers' sons,'' and a toothbrush incident not fit to reprint here. These droll episodes… are offset by moving memories of his late father and a touchingly frank look at his own parenting skills.'

Entertainment Weekly (USA)

'... this little treasure... a delightful delve into a family's life... one minute you will be laughing out loud... and the next (if you're anything like me) you w3ill have tears rolling down your face... emotional and entertaining tale of a close-knit family which doesn't lose sight of the fun in life and the optimism about all that it has to offer.'

Fife Free Press

‘Be warned, though: bring tissues. You may well need them to wipe away the tears of hysteria.’

Brighton and Hove Independent Newspaper