The best family UK holiday ideas
Of the many ideas that the Victorians bequeathed to their successors, the great British family holiday must rank amongst the most successful. Shot through with as much joy (the opportunity to spend time together as a family unit) and despair (the weather) as the average soap opera, these migrations of the holiday period are proving more popular than ever.
For families looking for a frisson of excitement, the opportunities are bewildering. From time spent at the coast to adventure holidays, there is a great range of activities to keep parents and children amused whatever the weather. Factor in the advantages of cutting out foreign travel, saving on flights and keeping the money in the UK economy, and choosing to holiday in this country becomes a persuasive option.
The Cornish Riviera
With a northern and southern seaboard and miles of stunning coastline, Cornwall has long proved a destination of choice for families in search of the opportunity to relax and unwind. Whilst picturesque towns such as the cathedral city of Truro can offer sedate attractions, the real action is to be found on the beaches and cycle trails that are features of the county. Of particular interest to parents and children alike are the Clay Trails, a 12-mile long network of routes around the St Austell area that afford access to the world-famous Eden Project and Wheal Martyn Country Park. If a day spent building sandcastles and splashing in azure seas is preferable, then choosing less celebrated locations such as Carbis Bay reveals all the finer features of the Cornish coast without the press of people.
Great holidays, great days out
As one of the best known and most explored places on the planet, the UK offers plenty of places of interest to all members of the family, regardless of location. For those spending time in the south-east of England, the Climbers and Creepers Play Zone at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew will amuse the little people with its large-scale models of Venus Fly Traps, rodent nests and play area – all perfect for promoting education through fun activities.
A holiday to Wales has its own charms with extensive mountains and valleys creating a beautiful romantic backdrop, and families can see the best of it via the Ffestiniog Railway, Porthmadog, and Gwynedd. Holidaying in the North of England has plenty of charm too; with the Pennine trails complemented by world-class museums – such as the Jorvik Viking Centre in York – each offering a compelling blend of ancient history and modern displays. Parents planning to take their children to several sites in one day should be sure to pack plenty of distractions for long car journeys and plan refreshment stops to avoid the inevitable questions about arrival times.
The ultimate in low-cost, low-impact family holidays, camping or caravanning delivers excitement and economy in equal measure. Taking a trip to campsites such as Kelling Heath Holiday Park in Norfolk is the perfect way of combining the great outdoors with planned activities for kids, such as stargazing and pond dipping. Though low cost, if you haven’t the camping gear, you may need to fork out on tents, a stove and outdoor furniture but if you have these already, Norfolk is a great place to bed down for the night and enjoy relaxing under the skies.