The Best UK Holidays for Families
There is no better time for a staycation in the UK. With open countryside, historic cities and stunning coastlines, there are plenty of places to visit with the family this year without needing to set foot on an aeroplane. From camping and caravanning to holiday homes and hotels, there are plenty of great places to choose from. So, start planning a fun getaway at one of the best UK holidays for families.
You don't need to jet off to a foreign country for golden sands and cascading waves. Here in the UK, we are lucky to have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So, here are just some of our favourite staycation spots by the sea.
Home to the English Riviera, famous for scones and bursting with varied coastlines and picturesque scenery, Devon provides the perfect coastal holiday. With stunning beaches, outdoor fun and pleasant villages, Devon is the perfect place for a coastal staycation.
Things to do
River Dart Country Park: There really is no better place to let loose and blow off some steam. Perfect for kids and adults, spend the day climbing through the forest, tackle the assault course over the river or test your free-riding skills at the bike park.
Splashdown Quaywest: During the summer months, the weather in Devon can often feel like you are abroad. So, head to a water park to enjoy an exhilarating day zooming down slides, lounging on the lazy river and soaking up the sun. Take the short drive to Paignton for a walk along the coast and an ice cream at the end of the day.
Explore Babbacombe: With a stunning shingle beach and the highest cliff top promenade in England, Babbacombe promises some stunning views. You should also visit the infamous Model Village and step back in time to the Victorian era at Bygones.
Dartmoor National Park: With around 1,500 wild ponies, vast open moorland and stunning landscapes, Dartmoor is ideal for a country walk. Visit a local farm shop for fresh food or hop into the car for a trip to one of many local towns.
A stunning coastal county in the south-west of Wales, Pembrokeshire is home to golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. With a rugged coastline and stunning countryside, Pembrokeshire is the perfect place for an outdoor staycation by the sea.
Things to do
Go to the Beach: Pembrokeshire is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. Take the little ones rock pooling at Broad Haven, Saundersfoot or Monkstone beach and Castle beach or Barafundle Bay to spend the day building sandcastles and soaking up the sun.
The Dinosaur Park: Does your little one know the name of every single dinosaur that ever walked the earth? Then you MUST take them to The Dinosaur Park in Tenby. Walk amongst the giants through the dinosaur trail and enjoy rides, activities and playgrounds for a fun-filled day with the kids.
Pembroke Castle: The first Pembroke Castle was built in 1093 following the Battle of Hastings when the Normans invaded Wales. Look down from the dungeon tower, venture down into Wogan's Cave beneath the castle and look up to the domed roof of the great keep.
Tenby Ghost Walks: Voted one of the top 5 ghost walks in Britain, the Tenby Ghost Walks are a lighthearted spooky look into Pembrokeshire's history. Filled with ghosts, fairies, witches and omens, uncover Tenby's spooky past.
Colourful, vibrant and full of culture, Brighton is a seaside resort in East Sussex on the south coast of England. With a beach, seafront, fairground and pier, it really is a typical British seaside holiday. There are also some fantastic days out nearby.
Things to do
Brighton Seafront: Get some traditional fish and chips, grab an ice cream and head to Brighton Pier. A treasure trove of classic rides and amusements, Brighton Pier offers some good old fashioned family fun whilst on your holidays.
Brighton Sea Life Centre: Filled with amazing sea creatures, big and small, the Brighton Sea Life Centre is the oldest operating aquarium in the world. With over 150 sea creatures under one roof, the UK's first glass-bottom boat and underwater tunnel, the Sea Life Centre is a must for all ages.
i360: The 162m tower has the highest observation pod in England outside of London. The cylindrical pod reaches 138m high and provides 360° views of Brighton, the coast and beyond. Soar high in the air for the best views of Brighton.
Royal Pavilion: Brighton's Royal Pavilion is quite simply breathtaking. The exotic building was a seaside pleasure palace of King George IV with a grand visual style of India and China. This grand building is instantly recognisable and is awe-inspiring so you shouldn't miss out on a visit.
With stunning coastlines, the magnificent broads and stunning villages, Norfolk is in the south-east of England between Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. Great all year round, Norfolk offers a different kind of seaside holiday that you can't get anywhere else.
Things to do
Norfolk Broads: Hire a boat for a day, or a week, and discover the magnificent Norfolk Broads. Explore 125 miles of man-made waterways and let your little ones get a taste of what it's like to be the captain of their own boat.
Beaches: Each Norfolk beach has its own unique charm. Head to Wells-next-the-Sea for colourful cabins and wide-open sands, Great Yarmouth is action-packed with amusements and activities or Gorleston-on-Sea for a hidden gem that's been seen on the big screen.
Thursford: Especially magical at Christmas, Thursford is a must for any family holiday in Norfolk. See the magnificent steam engine collection, thought to be the finest in the country, and climb aboard traditional fairground rides.
Hilltop Outdoor Centre: The family-run adventure centre is great for an outdoor adventure with the kids. From high ropes and zip wires to climbing walls and archery, this is the best place for adrenaline junkies who want to push themselves to the limit.
Always vibrant and bustling with life, there are plenty of cities to discover in the UK. Packed full of history and plenty to do, each city has something new to offer. Whether you plan to travel to the other side of the country or want something closer to home, you may be surprised to find a hidden gem right on your doorstep.
The capital of England is bursting with life and there is always plenty to see and do. With historic monuments and buildings to discover to wide open spaces and tourist attractions, there is always plenty to see and do in London.
Things to do
Sightseeing: See how many of London's famous landmarks you can find during a day of exploring the city.
Play in the parks: Despite being the largest city in the UK, there are over 3,000 parks in London! With so many places to play, have a picnic and relax, you really can have the best of both worlds.
Zoos: There are 25 zoos in London. With so many animals to discover, you can enjoy a fun day out for all of the family.
LEGOLAND Windsor: Just over an hour away from London, Legoland Windsor provides the perfect day out for the kids.
A vibrant, cosmopolitan city, Bristol is the perfect place to visit with older children. The former port is now bursting with culture with plenty of museums, galleries, restaurants and shops to discover. With so much to discover nearby, Bristol is the perfect base for discovering south-west England.
Things to do
The Wave Summer Surfing: This inland lagoon is the perfect place to perfect your skills on the board or try something new. Surf on top-quality waves all year round on the 180m long surfing lake.
Escape from the city: Less than 45 minutes away from the beautiful city of Bath and the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, Bristol is perfectly placed. Envelope yourself in a city full of culture or enjoy a family trip to the seaside to enjoy England's south-west coast.
Street art searching: Popular for an eclectic mix of street art by artists including Banksy, Bristol is a great place to discover street art. With something new around every corner, the Banksy walking tour should definitely be on your list.
Family days out: On rainy days, discover Bristol Aquarium or We The Curious Discovery Centre. Bristol Zoo Gardens, Brunel's SS Great Britain and Aerospace Bristol also offer lots of new things to discover.
Founded by the Romans in the 1st century, Chester is known for its red sandstone walls surrounding the city. Packed with history, Chester is a great place to get stuck into the ancient Romans, but there are also plenty of fun activities to enjoy nearby.
Things to do
Chester Zoo: Often called the best zoo in the UK, Chester Zoo is less than 15 minutes away from Chester city centre. With so many animals to see, places to play and things to eat, you are guaranteed a great day out.
Cheshire Oaks: This designer shopping outlet is more than just a place to shop. With a cinema, restaurants, trampoline park and the Blue Planet Aquarium, it is the perfect place to visit on a rainy day.
City Walls Walk: Complete the full 2 mile walk around the defensive city walls. They are the oldest and longest in the UK and give the city its unique charm.
Escape from the city: The stunning North Wales countryside is within reach to the west, with Manchester to the east and Liverpool to the north. Visit another city packed with museums and culture or escape to the countryside for the day.
Another medieval city, founded by the Roman's, York is a treasure in the north-east of England. With the historic York Minster, city walls and the Shambles, it almost feels like you are stepping back in time. The city is full of ancient wonders to discover and there are lots of great places to visit nearby.
Things to do
Escape to the Countryside: Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors are easily within reach.
Discover the city: Walk through the historic Shambles and be transported to a world of Harry Potter. Have a drink in old taverns, walk around the ancient city walls and marvel at the magnificent York Minster.
The Forbidden Corner: Just over an hour away from York in the Yorkshire Dales, Forbidden Corner is a maze of caves, tunnels and surprises. This outdoor attraction is great fun for all the family with something new to find around every corner.
Jorvik Viking Centre: The Vikings were some of the first settlers in York. Experience the sites, smells and see how the Vikings lived in the Jorvik Viking Centre. Take a ride through the city and see ancient artefacts discovered beneath the city.
The UK is home to some of the most beautiful countryside and places of natural beauty. So, for a calming getaway, a break in the countryside is exactly what you need. Discover glistening lakes, rolling hills and magical forests on a countryside break in the UK.
The Lake District national park in the north-west of England is home to England's largest lakes and tallest mountains. With rolling hills and shimmering waters, the Lake District is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure with the whole family.
Things to do
Beatrix Potter: Home to the creator of Peter Rabbit and friends, there are lots of ways to experience the magic of Beatrix Potter. Visit Hill Top Farm, the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead or pick up a souvenir in one of many gift shops in the Lake District.
Derwent Pencil Museum: In Keswick, on Derwent water, you will find the home of the first ever pencil. Learn all about how pencils are made, see one of the largest coloured pencils in the world and pick up some stationery for budding artists.
Family Walks: If you love walking with the kids, there really is no better place than the Lake District. Enjoy a peaceful walk around a lake or hike through the mountains to appreciate mesmerising views before tucking into an ice cream.
Honister Slate Mine: Perfect for those with older children, Honister Slate Mine promises a day filled with adventure. From via feratta and bridge challenges to mine climbing and tours, Honister Slate Mine is great for adrenaline junkies.
With stunning rolling hills and meadows and picturesque sandstone villages, the Cotswolds spans across five counties in the south-west of England. Explore quaint towns, castles, country houses and plenty of outdoor fun.
Things to do
Broadway Tower: A visit to Broadway Tower is a must if you are in the Cotswolds. Walk to the top of the iconic landmark for a magnificent view of eight surrounding counties. This is the highest point in the Cotswolds so you really can be the king of the castle.
The Model Village: Ever wondered how it might feel to be a giant? With a visit to The Model Village in Bourton on the Water, you can soon find out. This is the only Grade II listed model village in the country and you can even see the tree-lined streets and river flowing through.
Kilkenny Lane Country Park: Relax as the kids play the day away. With a huge play area filled with sensory elements, tunnels, zip lines and slides, this is the perfect place for them to let loose and play the day away and enjoy a family picnic.
Cotswold Wildlife Park & Gardens: Take a relaxing walk through the stunning gardens surrounding the Victorian manor house and pay a visit to the animals. Set in over 160 acres of land, see a range of mammals, reptiles, birds and more in the wildlife park.
Bordering Scotland in the north-east of England, Northumberland is a beautiful historic county. With national parks, coastal towns and Scotland right on the doorstep, there is plenty to see and do in Northumberland to please all the family.
Things to do
Hadrian's Wall: The UNESCO world heritage site spans 73 miles across the country. It has stood since AD122 and is a great place to take a family walk and soak up some history. Enjoy breathtaking landscapes, country pubs and picturesque picnic spots wherever you choose to take your walk.
Alnwick Castle: If you have a Harry Potter enthusiast in your midst, Alnwick Castle is a must. Dating back to 1309, the castle is packed with centuries of British history and brings to life the much loved Harry Potter series so there is something magical for everyone to discover.
Heatherslaw Light Railway: Thomas the Tank Engine is arguably the most beloved steam train in Britain. So, your kids will be mesmerized by a train ride at Heatherslaw Light Railway. Tucked away in the countryside towards the Scottish border, enjoy a train ride between Heatherslaw and Etal.
Farne Islands: Just off the north-east coast, the Farne Islands promise an exciting day out. The rocky islands are home to seals, sea birds and the iconic puffin who call this place home. Sail around the island, with the chance of spotting bottlenose dolphins, or take a boat trip to the Inner Farne and Staple Island.
With breathtaking views, the deepest loch and the tallest mountain in the country, the Scottish Highlands is not to be missed. Enjoy mountain walks, watersports, steam trains and hunt for mythical creatures in the stunning Scottish Highlands.
Things to do
Find the Loch Ness Monster: Legend has it that 'Nessie' has a long neck, humps and lives in the loch. So, take a picnic, get your walking boots on and spend your day walking around the loch and looking out for the monster as you go.
Landmark Forest Adventure Park: For an action-packed day with the kids, The Landmark Forest Adventure Park is the perfect place to visit. With high-rope trails, rides, mazes, dinosaurs and tropical animals, this is sure to be a day full of fun.
Cairngorm Mountain: See the UK's only free-ranging herd of reindeer in the Cairngorm Mountains then take the funicular railway for breathtaking views. If you have time, why not squeeze in some indoor play at The Fun House and enjoy a round of family golf.
Cairngorms National Park: When you're in Cairngorm, there is no better place to try something new. Try mountain biking or horse riding, test out some water sports in a canoe or white water raft or hop onto a quad bike or high ropes course. The possibilities are endless.
If you're looking for a family-friendly staycation this year, the UK has so much choice and so much to see and do. So, forget about stuffing your suitcase and printing off your boarding passes, hop on the train or load up the car for a family-friendly staycation in the UK.