Having a big family – and all of the expense that comes with that – doesn’t necessarily mean a hugely rewarding holiday is beyond your financial reach. Here are 10 of the best British family holiday destinations that make as much sense to the head as they do to the heart.
- Newcastle and Gateshead
This part of North East England offers no shortage of family-friendly attractions, ranging from the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and the Discovery Museum to the Life Science Centre and Seven Stories – The National Centre for Children’s Books. The Quayside area is especially beautifully developed, with regular buses to the city centre and great cafes and restaurants to be found nearby.
- Eastbourne and the South Downs
But what if you’d prefer to get some country air into your kids’ lungs by embarking on bracing rural walks? Well in that case, you can’t do better than the gorgeous south coast resort of Eastbourne and the glorious backdrop provided by the South Downs National Park. Check out the listings for Eastbourne Bandstand to time your trip to coincide with an outdoor concert or show.
London – one of the most notoriously pricey cities on the planet? Have we gone utterly mad including such a heaving metropolis on this list? Well, not necessarily – as the Money Crashers site makes clear, there’s actually a wealth of free things that you can do with your kids in London, ranging from visiting world-class museums and galleries to relaxing in fine parks and gardens.
Llandudno has been frequently declared to be the “queen of the Welsh resorts” since the late 19th century, so you can be sure that you are onto a good thing when you bring your family here. That initial impression will be confirmed by such sights as the charming Victorian architecture, the exciting hiking trails and the jaw-dropping nearby mountains of Snowdonia.
If your dream family holiday in the UK involves exploring the finest in historical English architecture and pleasing scenery, you might as well head to the part of the world where the Queen spends every Christmas. Yes, Norfolk is where you’ll find Sandringham Estate, which you can visit yourself from this Easter. Such charming towns as King’s Lynn and Hunstanton also await your discovery.
- The Fylde
This western Lancashire coastal plain is replete with all of the sweet little country villages your family could hope for, with their cafes, tea shops and boutique hotels. That’s not to suggest that this part of the country is entirely sleepy, though, as it’s also here where 3q takes place every year. The 2018 event in July will see the likes of Steps, Pete Tong and Nile Rodgers perform.
Whether you’d like to spend your family holiday strolling around captivating historical sites such as Pembroke Castle, experiencing the high-octane thrills of Oakwood Theme Park or getting up close and personal with the animals at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo, there really is something for everyone in this underrated corner of southwest Wales.
As far as popular British seaside resorts go, Southport is especially brilliant at combining the best of the old and new. We’d recommend it for such sights and sounds as the enchanting Botanic Gardens, the amusement park Southport Pleasureland and Southport Model Railway Village, the latter spread across an amazing 1.5 acres of beautiful miniature landscape.
Don’t be fooled by Brum’s formerly unglamorous reputation – in recent years it has become a truly 21st-century city in the finest sense, while still representing excellent value for a family break. Attractions like the Tolkien Trail, the Lapworth Museum of Geology and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery mean that you barely even need to spend money on anything other than the hotel.
Glasgow’s compactness helps to make it an easy city to get around with your family. There’s a good mix of child-friendly sites and activities to enjoy as well, such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Science Centre and the Tall Ship, the latter holding regular maritime-themed events and activities, including Toddler Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Combine the free attractions and activities of any of the above destinations with a cheap hotel room secured through a popular online booking portal such as Toprooms, and you can look forward to a family vacation that you will remember for all of the right reasons.