Cheryl and Liam Payne’s bonding family holiday

As pals say Cheryl and Liam Payne are closer than ever, the exes have booked a trip to Disneyland to celebrate Bear’s third birthday

Cheryl Liam Payne family holiday

by Daisy McLure |
Updated on

After vowing to “always have so much love for each other” following their 2018 split, Cheryl and Liam have stayed true to their word, continuing to spend Christmases together, affectionately embracing one another in public and amicably co-parenting their son Bear.

And insiders say the pair now plan to surprise their son with a special trip to Disneyland Paris to celebrate his third birthday.

Bear turns three on 22 March, with Cheryl, 36, said to be throwing him a big party at her Buckinghamshire home. She and Liam, 26, will then take him to Paris at a later date, for what will be their first holiday as a family since the couple ended their two-and-a-half year romance in July 2018.

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The Strip That Down singer – who’s openly spoken about his struggle to cement his role as a dad – was forced to miss his son’s first two birthdays due to work commitments.

The source says, “Cheryl knows how tough Liam’s found the last couple of years with him not having been around to celebrate Bear’s milestones. So she thought it would be nice to do something with just the three of them, in addition to throwing Bear a birthday party with his family and friends.

“Her best friend Kimberley [Walsh] took her two boys to Disney World in Florida after Christmas, and told Cheryl how much fun they had, so she knows that Bear will love it, too.”

Liam recently admitted he has struggled with being a father in the public eye, revealing he has never even taken Bear to a park because of the lack of privacy.

The source continues, “Liam loves the idea of taking Bear to Disneyland for the first time. They’ve even booked a character breakfast at the hotel, and are arranging lots of surprises to make it really special.

“Cheryl said it will be good for them to reconnect as well, and to show Bear how united his mum and dad still remain.”

Liam began dating 19-year-old American model Maya Henry in the summer – his first relationship since Cheryl. And despite recent reports suggesting they’ve ended their six-month romance, they were seen out together last week.

But friends insist that despite his relationship with Maya, Liam and Cheryl are as close as ever. They spent Christmas together, with the still-single Greatest Dancer judge calling him a “fantastic dad” who “Bear just adores”. Meanwhile, Liam has previously said, “[Cheryl is] the most special person in my life.”

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Liam has admitted to suffering from anxiety and revealed that, for a short while, he was drinking too much to help him cope with fame. He says that on those “dark days”, it’s Cheryl who he turns to, as she “understands me the most.”

And pals say Cheryl has reassured Liam he’s not alone. The former Girls Aloud star has also opened up about her own mental health battles, turning to therapy to deal with her anxiety and years of self-loathing, which left her feeling like she was “dying inside”.

Closer magazine March

The source says, “Cheryl and Liam were both very young when they started their careers and, although there’s a 10-year age gap between them, they have a huge understanding for how the other one is feeling. They’ve both experienced what it’s like to be on the road all the time, constantly working and making new music – and now juggling a family together on top of it all.

“It’s really strengthened their bond, despite them not being in a relationship any more. They trust each other and have fun bringing up Bear together. Cheryl dotes on Bear and she loves how happy it makes him when he’s with his daddy, which is why this time away as a family is going to be really special for them.

“She’s been working hard on The Greatest Dancer – as well as being a hands-on mum – while Liam has been writing new music, so they’re both ready to have a nice break. And the only holiday they both want is one with their son, so it makes sense for them to celebrate his birthday together.”

Read even more exclusive celeb stories on this week's Closer magazine, out now.

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