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UK family holidays and breaks

Kids in the Treetop Nets at Zip World Fforest in Wales.Kids in the Treetop Nets at Zip World Fforest in Wales.© Zip World.
The London skyline.The London skyline.© Visit London
Ponies in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.Ponies in the Shetland Islands, Scotland.© Visit Scotland
The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland.The Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland.© Visit Northern Ireland
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Today

Overview

UK family holidays and breaks are perenially popular, particularly if you’re on a budget – travelling costs are usually minimal and there's a vast choice of child-friendly self-catering properties, from cottages to tents, luxurious or otherwise, which help keep costs down while allowing you to make the most of Britain’s wonderful farm shops and farmers’ markets. 

Beautiful countryside studded with castles and country houses is balanced out by some dynamic cities bursting with fantastic attractions aimed at kids or families, many of them free to visit, while the seaside can’t be beat for its family appeal, whether you want splendid isolation or all the facilities of a classic resort.

Things to do with kids in the UK

England 

The weather aside, England has so much going for it, from dynamic modern cities such as London and Manchester to wonderful coastlines, from world-class cultural institutions in the capital and elsewhere to dramatic forests and other fantastic landscapes, that it's often hard to see why anyone wants to spend money leaving it.

Wales

This is a longstanding favourite with kids, with Pembrokeshire especially well known for its glorious beaches, and nearby Cardiff boasting sleek hotels alongside the 18th-century folly of Cardiff Castle, good beaches within a stone's throw, locations kids will recognise from Dr Who and Torchwood, and easy access to the outdoor activities paradise of the Brecon Beacons. Snowdonia and North Wales (comprising Gwynedd, the Isle of Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham) offer more superb landscapes and opportunities for outdoors pursuits, plus some fantastic seaside resorts and castles to visit.

Scotland

This has always been a good bet for a UK family staycation, with wild landscapes studded by some wonderful cities, especially capital Edinburgh, which is stuffed with so many great attractions for kids it makes for fantastic city-break destination in its own right. To the north of it, Perthshire boasts mind-blowing landscapes of mountains, lakes and rivers offering lots of scope for getting active and feeling at one with nature.

Northern Ireland

This might not be an immediately obvious choice as a family holiday destination, but Belfast and County Antrim are an interesting bet, combining a city that has undergone remarkable changes over the past decade or so, and is now full of culture, entertainment and excellent shopping, with beautiful countryside including Northern Ireland's most popular attraction, the Giant's Causeway.

Eat

Britain has shaken off its image as a culinary wasteland, with local, seasonal, often organic produce now used to full advantage the length and breadth of the country. Whether you're self-catering and making the most of local farm shops and farmers' markets, or dining in family-friendly cafés, pubs and restaurants in cities or the countryside, do your homework and you'll find that eating with the kids can be a huge pleasure.

By Rhonda Carrier
Our Favourite UK Property
Friendly, popular hotel overlooking beautiful beaches in Cornwall, with a great range of activities and childcare.
Our Favourite UK Features
Rhonda waves her sons off on beach adventures at Swanpool Beach in Falmouth.
UK Feature Two
Rhonda and boys experience the perfect blend of culture, fun… and bling.
Our Favourite UK Day Out

An iconic Cornish venue where where you can expand your knowledge of nature through exhibits and interactives.

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