10 Amazing Child-Friendly UK Holiday Destinations

If you think you need to board a plane for the perfect family break, think again. The UK has an array of beautiful beaches, amazing attractions and curious cultural hotspots that will keep the little ones entertained. So whether your plans include relaxing in the sun or endless exploring, you’ll find plenty of things to do in and around Britain. Plus, holidaying at home can take the stress out of travelling with children and be a little kinder on your wallet. DAD.info has teamed up with Busy Bees Childcare to bring you 10 amazing child-friendly hot spots from around the UK...

 

1. The Lake District

England’s largest National Park is an extraordinary place for the family to visit. There are many hidden gems, with sparkling blue lakes and soaring mountains just waiting for you to explore. You can happily spend your days cycling around lakes or walking scenic routes, and really getting back to nature. 

Things to do with the kids:

Go for a relaxed family walk along one of the Miles Without Stiles walking routes. These trails offer child and buggy-friendly walks with many options to choose from and amazing views of mountains, waterfalls and woodland. For more exhilarating activities you could visit the Newlands Adventure Centre, based at Newlands Valley, which plays host to a range of indoor and outdoor activities including climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing and many more.

Or, if you have very young children, you could take the family to enjoy a spectacular experience at the Lakes Aquarium. Watch glimmering fish swimming by and walk through the incredible underwater glass tunnel where you can almost touch the playful otters and freshwater fish swimming above and beside you.

2. Cornwall

 

Cornwall is an amazing place to be when the sun is shining, and still pretty good when it isn’t. The county is home to some of the most iconic attractions in the UK and offers an unforgettable experience that the whole family can enjoy. In fact, Cornwall is consistently rated as one of the best places to go with new-borns.

Things to do with the kids:

The Lost Gardens of Heligan entice you into a magical world of gardens, woodland art and secret surprises, where the children can immerse themselves in nature within 200 acres of ancient gardens. 

The Eden Project should be on everyone's list if you're visiting Cornwall – where else would you find the world's largest indoor rainforest? With so much to see and do, the focus remains on having fun: children won’t even realise they’re learning something new here, making it a worthwhile family-friendly outing. 

Bring a bucket and spade to start building those sand castles at Porthcurno, which is a popular family beach with lots of soft sand. The stream at the top of the beach is ideal for children to paddle and splash in the water. Close by the beach is the beautiful, open-air Minack Theatre, which has been carved into the cliff above the crashing waves below. The theatre holds variety of performances suitable for all ages, including storytelling shows, musicals and opera.

3. Devon

Devon is such a great spot for a family summer holiday, you'll probably want to stay forever. From holiday-park bargains to wonderful picturesque country cottages, there's a broad range of accommodation to suit your budget. 

Things to do with the kids:

Be tempted by the Milky Way Adventure Park for a fun day out with the children. There is something to do for all ages, from several soft-play sections to assault courses built for both children and adults. 

Make sure you include a visit to the House of Marbles, world-famous for its range of glass marbles, board games, classic toys, puzzles and more. You can also watch marbles being created by an expert who will shape, mould and cut molten glass into spectacular pieces – this is a great indoor option for rainy days.

Experience the wildlife at Exmoor Zoo, with plenty of hands-on activities with the animals. Exmoor Zoo lets you get even closer to nature and become a zoo keeper for a day. Meet the meerkats, lemurs, and reindeer, and even feed the cheetah, for an extraordinary experience. 

On another day, families can take a tour through Powderham Castle for a magical journey through the centuries of history locked inside. The castle welcomes visitors to explore the grounds and be part of over 600 years of history and heritage. 

4. North Yorkshire

Yorkshire is the  ultimate blend of coast and countryside with stone-built villages, miles of ancient stonewall field boundaries and stunning landscapes forged by nature dotted all over the county.

Things to do with the kids:

There's lots to see and do here for the whole family. York Dungeon is a unique and thrilling adventure, where the stories of the city’s dark history come to life with amazing special effects and staging, plus a team of talented actors to entertain and occasionally give you a fright.

Try something a little sweeter at York’s Chocolate Story, where you can watch the chocolatiers make their treats and try a cheeky sample or two. 

Challenge yourself and work together as a family through the York Maze, a giant fun-filled labyrinth with over 20 attractions to keep the family entertained. As your curiosity grows, you'll soon find more to the maze, including activities such as a jumping pillow, Bale Mountain, water wars and pig racing.

Don't leave without a visit to the Ingleton Waterfalls and take a walk along the trails to see one the finest falls in Yorkshire, The Thornton Force: suitable for all, and a great day out surrounded by nature.   

5. Bath, Somerset

 

Take a break in the beautiful city of Bath. The city is full of character, with its impressive Georgian architecture built with locally mined, honey-coloured stone and splashes of colourful gardens. 

Things to do with the kids:

When in Bath, an absolute ‘must see’ is the fascinating Roman Baths and Museum. Go back in time inside this magnificent temple where natural, hot-water springs have been running for centuries, since the Romans originally built the baths. The museum also houses many Roman artefacts believed to have been thrown into the Sacred Spring as offerings.

Bath Boating Station offers a fun adventure on the water. Hire a rowing boat, canoe, kayak or punt and follow the River Avon steadily through the beautiful city. Take a visit to the Bath City Farm and enjoy the 37 acres in this family-friendly attraction. All the animals are super-approachable giving you plenty of good photo opportunities. Enjoy lunch at the café, take a look in the farm shop and explore the nature trails, too.

6. Aviemore, Scottish Highlands

Aviemore is situated in Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. It's a holiday destination to keep an active family happy, with an abundance of things to do and stunning scenery.

Explore Aviemore’s great outdoors with its immense mountains, beautiful lochs (lakes) and deep forests, all surrounding the lively town.

Things to do with the kids:

Take a unique trip up to 3,500ft on the Cairngorm Funicular Railway, which allows people of all abilities the opportunity to reach the top for the breathtaking panoramic views, exhibition, restaurant and shops, and see more of Aviemore and the National Park from the train.

The Spy Mission Treasure Trail is great for families, as you work together on a secret mission. Using clues to lead you along the trail, you can put your spy skills to the test trying to solve the mystery and find the treasure. 

There's lots to see at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre too, which is a perfect spot to admire the spectacular birds of prey taking off from their nests, and even see close-up views through the non-invasive CCTV camera trained at the nesting sites. Then get active with a visit to Outdoor Discovery for an action-packed day of activities, including climbing walls, quad biking, laser quest, high ropes, skiing and more. 

7. The Cotswolds

With its quaint cottages and impressive town houses, set amidst quiet medieval villages, the Cotswolds makes for a lovely, laid-back summer vacation. 

Things to do with the kids:

The children will love exploring The Old New Inn Model Village, where they'll feel like a giant as they walk through this tiny world. Discover the miniature stone houses, gardens and walk across the tiny bridge. The family could also take a trip to Magic Land, a large indoor play area of 13,000 sq.ft. that's perfect for unleashing some energy. If you’re in need of some relaxation, head to Cirencester Open-Air Swimming Pool. Set in the charming Cotswold town, swim in natural spring water with the pool heated to an average of 27 degrees.  

8. Isle of Wight

The children will love a little adventure sailing across the Solent on a ferry to the Isle of Wight with its stunning coastline and a wealth of great attractions. Ideal for a family holiday, the Isle of Wight has plenty of beaches all within easy reach to keep the children happy and the parents relaxed. 

Thing to do with the kids:

The Isle Of Wight Steam Railway offers families a unique experience as you step back in time, take a ride and hear the puffing and hissing of the powerful steam engines.

Visit the Shipwreck Centre and Maritime Museum which is bursting with treasures for the children to discover. There are fun activities and the opportunity to see thousands of relics and learn about some of the local history. The Blackgang Chine theme park will keep the whole family busy and provide plenty of fuel for the imagination with magical underwater caves, waterforce water slides and even an abandoned sunken shipwreck.

9. Dorset

Dorset is a perfect, traditional family holiday destination, noted for its warm summers and offering plenty of entertainment and attractions to discover.

Things to do with the kids:

With its miles of beautiful coastline, the Jurassic Coast is definitely a place to visit during your stay in Dorset. The coast is renowned for its outstanding geology revealing 185 million years of the earth’s history, so don't miss the chance to take the kids fossil hunting on Chesil Beach. There's also the chance to view the Jurassic Skyline from an observation tower which provides breathtaking views. 

There's more to discover at the Dinosaur Museum with real fossils, dinosaur skeletons and life- size dinosaur reconstructions including T-Rex, Velociraptor and Triceratops. If you’re looking to bring out your wild side, then Go Ape in Moors Valley on the Tarzan swings, zip wires and rope ladders – it's a day you'll never forget. 

10. Lincoln

Lincoln is the ideal base for a vibrant and exciting family city break. The city is easily walkable and offers an experience rich in history and culture, plus it doesn’t take long to reach the heart of Lincolnshire or the coastline. 

Things to do with the kids:

The grand Lincoln Cathedral is a ‘must see’ and one of the finest gothic buildings in the UK, providing stunning views from the tower. Enjoy more fascinating snippets of local history with the Lincoln Treasure Hunt. Become a super-family of detectives and use the clues to solve the puzzle, as you search for evidence throughout the city to complete your quest.

Fun Farm Lincoln is a great indoor play area full of adventurous activities for little ones. With a three-storey play frame they can climb, crawl, hide and scramble through the maze allowing their imaginations to run wild. Woodside Wildlife and Falconry Park Centre is a fantastic day out for the family to get close to the animals, including tropical birds, butterflies, monkeys, bats, lizards, snakes and beautiful white wolves. 

Busy Bees Childcare is the UK’s biggest and leading nursery care provider. Find out more at busybeeschildcare.co.uk 

 

 

 

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