Staying in the UK for a family holiday: 5 potential destinations
This year we’ve decided to go on a few holidays. By ‘we’ I actually mean ‘I’. Me and Ben have only ever been on an abroad holiday once together for a babymoon. To be fair, I was pretty hormonal and miserable most of the time! We have been abroad with the kids several times to visit family, but never for an actual holiday. We are going abroad this year, but we are also looking forward to holidaying in the UK too. So far we've only taken the kids to Cornwall on one holiday and a few one night stays not far. We have a Center Parcs at Longleat break booked and a Bluestone in Wales break booked so far for this year. I’ve also been looking into a short caravan holiday stay in Devon near a beach. I cannot wait! We have been putting all our money into doing up our home for four years and I’m getting cabin fever. It’s time we started exploring the UK a little more. There is so much to see and do and we’ve barely been anywhere.
The UK may be a small country, but you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to holiday destinations. From bustling seaside towns to cultural hotspots and country retreats, there’s something for every family. Why not add these five favourites to your list?
1. Hunstanton, West Norfolk
If you want to experience a traditional, British seaside holiday, then look no further than Hunstanton, which features on Visit Norfolk’s Top 10 Beaches List and is noted for its shallow rock pools. Home to stunning, sandy beaches and gorgeous sunsets, families can explore the town’s parks and gardens, challenge each other to a game of Crazy Golf (or two), and feast on fish and chips.
If you’re willing to venture further afield, make your way to Bewilderwood, where outdoor adventures like tree climbing, rope bridges, treehouses, den building and craft activities all await active travellers. Afterwards, head to Old Hunstanton, where the cosy pubs offer a range of traditional British fare.
2. Truro, Cornwall
Can’t choose between an urban adventure or a rural escape? Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? There’s something new around every corner in the city of Truro, but it’s surrounded by vast stretches of leafy countryside. Sit back and enjoy the view on the Lappa Valley Steam Railway, which takes you to a leisure park complete with play areas, crazy golf courses and canoeing, or stay in Truro and spend time browsing the unique independent shops and markets.
Rainfall can happen at any time of year in the UK — make sure you’re prepared for it. Pouring down? Head to the Eureka Escape Rooms. Children aged ten and over will love cracking codes and solving puzzles so you can get out of the rooms before time runs out. There’s also Truro Cathedral, which is free to visit and has several children’s trails, including Noah’s Ark and Riff Raff the Cathedral Cat.
Just over an hour’s drive to the Eden Project, which houses plants from all over the world in dome-shaped buildings called biomes. Often have activity days and there’s even a zipwire — the longest zipwire in England, measuring an impressive 660 metres.
3. Tenby, Pembrokeshire
Tenby is best known for its idyllic sandy beaches, where families can enjoy building sandcastles, complete with moats for when the tide comes in. But there’s more to this seaside town than it first appears.
Visitors can set off on one of the many coastal trails (there are walks for people of all ages and fitness levels) and the brave can opt for the ghost walk, which will thrill families with older children. Soak up some culture at the museum and art gallery on Castle Hill, and get a taste of Tudor life at the Merchant’s House, which is furnished 16th-century style.
Or why not visit the dinosaur park? Young children will love digging for fossils and spotting the dinosaurs hidden around the trail, plus there are rides like disco boats and the astra slide for more adventurous little ones.
4. Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park
Does your family love the great outdoors? You’ll be spoilt for choice in Aviemore, where the activities range from quad biking, zip wires, and climbing walls, to more relaxed pastimes like fishing and strolling along walking trails.
Once you’re tired out, take a trip on the Strathspey Railway and admire the vast Scottish Highlands, or sit back in a sled and let the Cairngorm Sleddogs do all the work. These hardworking canines can run over snow or dry land, so you’ll be able to visit at any time of year. 1Cover’s UK Survival Guide even singles out Cairngorms as one of the island’s best national parks in its list of must-see sights.
5. Bournemouth, Dorset
With seven miles of beach, it’s like Bournemouth was made for family summer holidays. Spend time on the sand, or venture into the sea to go scuba diving and snorkelling in the calm waters. You can even take a boat trip, or jet off on a pleasure flight to view this scenic town from above. Feeling brave? Take a ride on the pier-to-shore zipline.
And if the unpredictable British weather unleashes buckets of rain? There are still amusement arcades and an oceanarium to keep everyone entertained.