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The Best Places For Family Holidays In The UK

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Friday, 19 January 2024

The Best Places For Family Holidays In The UK

Are you planning your next family holiday? There are fabulous family-friendly destinations across the UK, from seaside holidays in the South West to city breaks near Edinburgh. We’ve collected some of our favourite family holiday destinations to help you decide where to go with the kids.

The best family seaside holidays: Cornwall

If you’re looking for a seaside holiday, CornwallDevon and South Wales are among the best places in the UK. Choose from famous Cornish destinations such as St Ives, Padstow and Newquay, as well as all the picturesque harbour towns dotted along the county’s 422-mile coastline. World-class beaches include Fistral (the spiritual home of surfing), Sennen and Porthminster in St Ives, as well as the sweep of Mount’s Bay, dominated by island fortress St Michael’s Mount.

Learn to surf or have a go at stand-up paddleboarding, or simply take a marine cruise along the coast. There are also plenty of indoor attractions for families in Cornwall, including the Eden Project, the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth and Lanhydrock House (National Trust).

Find out more about the best places to visit in Cornwall, and explore our large collection of family holiday cottages in the South West.

The most to do in a small area: The Isle of Wight

The beautiful Isle of Wight measures just 27 miles by 13, but there is simply so much for families to do here. Animal-loving kids will have a great time at Wildheart Animal Sanctuary and there’s also Monkey Haven, a donkey sanctuary and the chance to go trekking with a llama or alpaca.

Adventure parks include Blackgang Chine and Robin Hill, or head to the Dinosaur Isle Museum if it looks like rain. Add to all this almost 60 miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches and a lot of incredibly pretty villages, and you have everything you need, all within a pleasingly compact space. Crossing over to the Isle by ferry also adds to the excitement of the holiday.

Take a look at our gorgeous selection of luxury cottages on the Isle of Wight and find out more about family holidays on the Isle of Wight in our guide.

The best of both worlds: Edinburgh

The key to a successful family holiday can be to have plenty of choice and a holiday outside Edinburgh is just the job. As well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site itself, the countryside surrounding the city is stunning, offering plenty of opportunity for outdoor adventures and walks with the family dog.

Edinburgh is an excellent city to visit at any time of year, making it a great choice for the February and October half term holidays. There’s the magnificent castle to visit, as well as the Royal Yacht Britannia, the National Museum of Scotland and the Camera Obscura. Hike up Arthur’s Seat for astonishing views and explore the nooks and crannies of the Old Town and the shops of the Royal Mile.

The luxury lodges at Airhouses, such as The Lamont, make excellent bases for a family holiday near Edinburgh.

Something for everyone: Hampshire and the New Forest

The New Forest National Park is the perfect place for families who like a varied holiday. There are trails through the trees (suitable for all abilities), where you’ll meet the creatures who roam freely around the Forest, including the famous ponies and beautiful deer. If you can, visit in the autumn half term holiday, when the leaves are spectacular and the local pigs are turned out to graze (drive slowly).

Kids of all ages will love the New Forest Wildlife Park, which is home to animals who once lived in these woods, including wolves and wildcats. Other must-see attractions include Beaulieu Motor Museum and if you’re on holiday with younger children, Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park. There are plenty of lovely towns to visit, such as Lymington and Lyndhurst, and if you need an urban fix, head for the shops, restaurants and museums of Southampton.

Bluebell Copse Cottage is a luxury family-friendly cottage with a hot tub. It’s in a great location, set in 70 acres of farmland on the edge of the Forest, but close to Southampton.

For four-pawed family members: The Cotswolds

Does your idea of a family holiday involve a good walk with the dog, a hearty lunch in a family-friendly pub, then an afternoon exploring a visitor attraction? It certainly sounds good to us and the almost-unbelievably pretty Cotswolds is an excellent place to bring your pooch on holiday.

The Cotswolds is home to several well-managed walking trails, such as The Cotswolds Way, The Warden’s Way and The Windrush Way, all with plenty of spots for your pup to enjoy a paddle en route! It seems that there are several inviting old inns in every Cotswold village, serving hearty home-cooked pub grub. Many pubs welcome pets, while dog-friendly visitor attractions include Cotswold Wildlife Park and Birdland Park and Gardens.

The gorgeous Shipton Cottage near Chipping Norton sleeps a family of six plus the dog. As a real bonus for families, there’s access to a swimming pool and an outdoor play area.

For outdoor adventures: The Lake District

If you have your own gang of swallows and amazons, the Lake District is the best place to go for an outdoorsy holiday. With its sixteen lakes, soaring peaks and miles of walking trails, it’s the ideal place for the family who believes in plenty of fresh air and exercise. Take to the water in a kayak or sailboat, or head out into the hills to explore this gorgeous part of the country.

However, you don’t have to be Bear Grylls to love a holiday in the Lakes. There are great family-friendly attractions like Muncaster Castle and the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (known affectionately as “the Ratty”). Fans of Beatrix Potter can find out more about her life and famous characters at her old home at Hill Top (National Trust), and if you want the Swallows and Amazons experience without crewing your own vessel, take a boat trip around one of the larger lakes.

Discover our family-friendly holiday cottages in the Lakes, and find out more about Lake District holidays in our guide.

Book your self-catering family holiday in Britain

There are so many excellent places for family holidays in the UK, and here at Handpicked Cottages, we have luxury holiday lets all over the country. Take a look through our collection of child-friendly holiday cottages to find your perfect stay.

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