There’s something for everyone in the Cotswolds, but it’s especially great for children. Our favourite attraction though is the National Museum of Scotland, which is in the Top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world. Entry to the museum is free. You can explore the beautiful Dales on numerous family friendly walks of all lengths and difficulties either independently or guided. If trains aren’t your thing, there are a multitude of other museums making York a great wet weather destination. A little further afield is Beamish, a fantastic open air living history museum. The valleys and hills of the Yorkshire Dales are a fantastic location for a U.K family short break as there is something for everyone. Should you click to purchase, it is at no additional cost to you, although I receive a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. And don’t forget an ice-cream or two! For further information see our terms and conditions. There’s so much for families to do, it will be difficult choosing what to do first! We stayed at the rather lovely Watercress Line Lodges. As well as fantastic child-friendly attractions (covering all bases – historical, wildlife, art, scientific and aeronautical), iconic landmarks, quirky places to stay and fantastic theatre shows, there are tons of family-friendly festivals all year round celebrating everything from hot air balloons to maritime Bristol. There are numerous places to stay in the Cotswolds for a family getaway, although choosing a central location such as Bruern Cottages near Stow on the Wold will allow you to get to both the north and south of the region in less than an hour. We went home after our family break feeling refreshed and pockets full of fossils. Our children loved it. Our kids love riding the assorted trams and buses that travel around this excellent outdoor museum. One of our favourite places to visit as a family is the unique Forbidden Corner, a four acre garden packed with secret tunnels, water spurting statues, hidden chambers and many more surprises! Short breaks and holidays in the UK. The Cricketers pub in the village of Weston (between Baldock and Stevenage) serves up delicious pizzas and has a particularly good garden for families – there’s a play area and a space for football. Walking York’s city walls was such a highlight of our visit that it prompted me to write a whole post about walled cities to visit with children. There was every imaginable rock formation along the beach including a huge arch. From there we drove to Alnwick Castle, which was the set for the Harry Potter movies. There’s even a full-size Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. Hopping in the car for a two night family long weekend, even just an hour or so from home, can feel like a much longer holiday if it’s a break from the norm. Here are our favourite family breaks around the UK, including relaxing hotel stays, city breaks teeming with cultural wonders, and the best ways to muck in on the farm. Older children will no doubt enjoy taking to the water at Symond’s Yat: canoeing and kayaking are popular pursuits on the River Wye and the scenery you’ll paddle past is stunning. What sets us apart is the quality and value of our UK short breaks, not forgetting our variety. We only really scraped the surface during our family short break in Shropshire. A last minute weekend away with kids is a great way to reconnect as a family. Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction is Edinburgh Castle, which is easily visited with kids, and Edinburgh Zoo and Dynamic Earth are also fun. Luckily, there are loads of great ones dotted around the UK that are great fun and great value for money. Luxury 4- and 5-star self-catering family holiday accommodation in coastal and rural locations in the south of England; handpicked for holidays with babies and toddlers. We enjoyed a day on the beach at Murlough National Nature Reserve. Try cave trampolining, zip-lining (both above and below ground), tobogganing and treetops courses. So many reasons to take a holiday in that part of the world! However, if Mum or Dad are needing a drink (the fantastic pubs are part of the Peaks’ charm), we suggest stopping by The Bulls Head Inn, Monyash, with a wonderful playground for the kids behind the garden. It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. The Antrim Coast is a short drive from Belfast. It’s no stuffy stately home; there’s a whole play area perfect for kids and they’ll love the ride on the miniature train to get there. Book a UK Short Break. Choose from hundreds of countryside breaks, city breaks, family breaks and ideas for exploring and enjoying England in 2021. Luxury cabins nestled in Sherwood Forest, with a bundle of activities to choose from - there's something for everyone. Enjoy UK family holidays and short breaks at Bluestone National Park Resort. There’s castles to explore, mountains to climb, beaches to play on, ice cream to eat, and all manner of adventurous outdoor pursuits. The island offers several holiday cottages that are perfect for families and give a truly local experience. The Cotswolds is one of the UK’s most beautiful areas; think thatched honey-coloured cottages draped with roses, nestling in the hollows of gently rolling hills. Family holiday parks in the UK. These walks are only 2km long, perfect for little legs. Family short break ideas in northern England, Family short break ideas in central England, Family short break ideas in southern England, Family short break ideas in Northern Ireland, Antrim Coast family short break in Northern Ireland, Are you sick of stopping at boring service stations during your UK family short breaks? The journey is definitely worthwhile: five inhabited islands and lots of uninhabited isles, more beaches than you could possibly visit in one holiday and a tranquillity that’s hard to come by in UK seasides nowadays. Durham: a small city perfect for a family weekend away. Family weekend getaways in Cornwall. There are wonderful beaches of course, such as Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands but inland there are plenty of family friendly activities. Do you have any family city break ideas to suggest? You can get to many places in the UK by train from London. We didn’t do much walking on our trip, but there are lots of routes suitable for even the littlest of legs. Add in hot tubs, roaring fires and many more amazing extras, and you have the makings of your best ever weekend away. Of course, there’s plenty to do outside in York. Browse our options or check out our special offers or exclusive discounts with some of our favourite short-break partners: A short distance away across pretty Palace Green is impressive Durham Castle which can be explored by guided tour. Back at the YHA Boggle Hole you can check out some trash grabbers and help keep things clean or visit the on-site nature centre which hosts a variety of crafts and educational programming. It might not be in the same league as Winchester but it has one gem which is worth seeking out – Milestones Museum. We stopped at Melrose for some coffee and pastry, learnt about Melrose Abbey where Robert the Bruce’s heart is buried. If you’re looking for family break ideas in Scotland, Priya has written a useful post about things to do in Scotland with kids which also covers her foray into Northumberland. It’s so easy to forget what’s on the doorstep, isn’t it – love all the inspiration here, thanks for including my suggestions too. There are plenty more National Trust estates in the area, including Hill Top (Beatrix Potter’s house) and Wordsworth House and Garden. Caernarfon is a great option. There are tiny villages and swathes of vineyards – sparkling wine to rival a certain French bubbly is produced here. SUMMER BREAKS 2021. Being one of the hottest counties in the UK in summer, Cornwall is a popular destination due to its long, sandy beaches. We enjoyed a family short break in Shropshire during summer 2020. Family Short Breaks at the UK's only All Inclusive Holiday Resort. For a peaceful family break in south west England, North Devon takes some beating. You will struggle to tear them away. If you’re not too fussed about the location, then holiday parks make a great break for the whole family. The area around Datchworth and Tewin is crisscrossed with footpaths through woodland and fields – great for working up an appetite before heading to one of the excellent local pubs such as the White Horse at Burnham Green or the Horns at Bulls Green. Discover the best short breaks and weekend getaways in the UK, from stylish UK city breaks to romantic country escapes. Close by is Winchester, home to a magnificent cathedral and a truly fantastic science centre with an impressive number of hands-on exhibits. Famous for Cornish pasties, ice cream, and clotted cream, Cornwall is also great for foodies. This is one of those brilliant “living museums” which engage even the most reluctant historian. Im currently plotting a trip to Scotland and would like to go back to Alnwick! The gorgeous city of Bath was the first city in England to be designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. You can also swim with dolphins, go kayaking and paddle boarding or hire a bike to explore the island of St Mary’s on two wheels. A favourite is the play area in St James’s Park which is adjacent to the viewing area for the Changing of the Guard – another must for your London bucket list! Accommodation can be pricey at peak times, so we rented an Airbnb in Burton-in-Kendal, a 20-minute drive to the busy town of Windermere. And while we’re on the subject of Vikings, what visit to York would be complete without a trip to one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions: the Jorvik Centre. If you’re travelling with little ones who tire easily, you’ll discover they are willing to walk a lot further if they’re atop the city walls: its a great way to explore York. We didn’t get a chance to visit Belton’s impressive stately home as the draw of the playground and café were too great (and we had to make the most of the one day of dry weather). Although summiting a mountain in the Mournes was vetoed in favour of an extra trip to the beach, we did manage a fun day out in Tollymore Forest Park on the edge of the mountains. We had some great meals in Shrewsbury and Ludlow. In recent years Alnwick Castle has also taken starring roles in several films and television productions, featuring as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter films and as a location for the Downtown Abbey series. Most restaurants are child-friendly, and although there are a few hills to conquer, it is generally buggy friendly too. Highlights include exploring the tunnels of Clearwell Caves, taking a train ride at Perrygrove Railway and enjoying a slap up meal at the Saracen’s Head pub on the River Wye. Getting there is half the fun, but it can be done fairly quickly. 17th October 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest Whatsapp. The Lake District is perfect for a UK family break. Described as a ‘city in the countryside’ owing to its proximity to glorious North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Cotswolds landscapes, it’s also home to over 400 parks and gardens, making it an exciting mix of outdoorsy adventure and buzzing urban life. Spend quality time with your loved ones and explore the forest as a family. It has some great independent shops and restaurants, a magnificent cathedral and an excellent castle. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles, This is a fantastic list for UK break ideas. Treat the whole family to a short break away with our fantastic choice of hotel offers available across the UK and Europe. We had a brilliant day out in Belfast. Whether you’re seeking the luxury of a lodge break in woodland, a holiday park filled with amazing activities for all the family, a cosy cottage, city break or group accommodation for the best ever reunion, there’s plenty of choice for short breaks, mini stays and weekends away. There’s something for the most dare-devil of kids. We booked our York apartment through AirBnb and there’s another one in the same building available through Booking.com. Spend some quality time together in style with a London hotel break for two, or head out to enjoy some of the UK's finest beaches with an idyllic seaside hotel break. It has updated family rooms that your kids will love. Read more about family friendly things to do in York. There’s also some one thousand years of history displayed in the city’s cathedral which combines Norman, Romanesque and Gothic elements in its structure as well as reclaimed bricks from the Roman city of Verulaneum. And then there’s Basingstoke. On the shores of Loch Lubnaig, Strathyre is a gateway to the Highlands - the perfect base to enjoy a host of outdoor adventures or to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery - and look out for some rare wildlife too! Christmas in the capital. There are recreated shops and homes along with plenty of vehicles such as fire engines and trams. Our favourites are the Nine Ladies Circle through Stanton Moor Peak or the walk starting next to The Robin Hood pub in Baslow, with spectacular views from Birchen Edge. Kids will love paddling in Bolton Abbey’s river on a hot summer’s day. Recently we had a great stay in Fakenham at Cannister Hall Barns which we picked due to its indoor swimming pool. Check availability here. We walked the castle walls and also peeked inside Lincoln’s Gothic cathedral. A great family hotel, especially with older kids and teens who can take advantage of the excellent local surfing tuition. There’s a good range of accommodation on the Scilly Isles: camping, glamping, a good youth hostel and plenty of self catering properties. Villas, cottages and lodges ideal for active families, close to the beach and with a golf course and an indoor pool, on Jersey. Just one hour from London, these cabins are perfect for a tranquil break, with activities on-site and Winchester, the New Forest and other attractions nearby. Here are a few less well known villages worth exploring in Hertfordshire along with good pubs for a Sunday roast: Watton at Stone is great for a family walk, it is accessible by train or car in less than an hour from London. Find ideas for a 2021 half-term. Your two suggestions are places I used to visit all the time as a child and for some reason I’ve yet to take my boys to either of them. The scenery was spectacular: miles of rolling hills with no development in sight. History lovers can discover everything from a Roman villa to Queen Victoria’s favourite palace at Osborne and a castle where Charles I was held prisoner (also home to a couple of donkeys). Where we stayed: we spent 5 nights at the lovely Ballylinny Holiday Cottages for our family break on the Antrim Coast. Every time we visit the Isle of Wight, I’m amazed at just how much there is to do on a relatively small island – and somehow, no matter the time of year, the weather is always better than the mainland! It was a very stormy day but we enjoyed a quick walk on the beach before retreating to the café at the Observatory. Jane Austen, the famous novelist lived in Bath in the early 19th century. We often visit Blaze Farm in Wildboarclough for a free walk around the farm and a taste of the scrummy A2 ice-cream, or head over to Chatsworth House to play in one of the best playgrounds around! I’m always slightly put off by the crowds of the London museum, Tring’s is a smaller and quieter affair. Hike to the Quairang, scale the steps to Neist Point, explore the fairy pools, and enjoy the views of Kilt Rock at sunrise. Choose from a bundle of extras to make your break perfect for you. UK short break in the Cotswolds: pretty Cogges village. It is a nice town for a short break, particularly if your children are Potter fans. The moated castle has tunnels and towers to explore and a terrifying gatehouse complete with original portcullis. SPRING BREAKS 2021. You’ll also find Broxbourne Woods – a national nature reserve perfect for walking and cycling. If you’d prefer a hotel for a short break, there’s some lovely family friendly hotels on the Isles of Scilly to choose from. Find out more about family holidays to Northern Ireland. Sightseeing cruises cross Lake Windermere, while Ullswater Steamers offer environmentally-friendly trips. During our February half term break, my children absolutely loved wandering along the mysterious pathways through Puzzlewood. If you’re driving in the UK, make sure you take a look at my post about, The best family short break ideas in the UK, Half term holiday ideas and family weekend break ideas, Family trip to Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, Short breaks in the Lake District with kids, Family short break in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Off the beaten track family getaway to the Scilly Isles, Wiltshire short break: Bath and Stonehenge with kids, City, beach and mountains family break in Northern Ireland, 10 fun things to do in Edinburgh with kids, 25 Family Friendly Attractions in Bristol, family friendly things to do in East Sussex, Learn more about what to expect from a trip to the Scilly Isles, family friendly hotels on the Isles of Scilly, family-friendly places to stop just off the motorway, 10 Outdoor places to go with family and …, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with James Mayhew: …, Holiday inspiration part 3: alternative ideas to the …, 18 best things to do in Northern Ireland …. • Luxury Family Hotels: relaxed country houses with family amenities and childcare. Thanks for inspiring me on #farawayfiles, Great to see the Isle of Wight on your list, I lived there for 10 years and it’s a lovely place. With 37 UK holiday parks to choose from a Haven holiday is an ideal choice for a UK break. Find your perfect Family Break All bookings are covered, free of charge, by the Potters Resort Coronavirus Book with Confidence Guarantee. Most visitors to the Scillies stay on the main island of St Mary’s where there’s a range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Children can borrow activity backpacks with family friendly trails to follow around the cathedral. From the age of the dinosaurs to the technology of the future, there are more than 8,000 objects displayed, covering everything from science and technology to world culture, transport and the natural world. History fans can enjoy the beautiful historic ruins at Fountains Abbey or Bolton Abbey. There should be enough ideas below to appeal to families of all ages, whether you’re looking for short breaks for toddlers or weekend breaks with children in their teenage years. Whilst wandering along Holkham beach at sunset, we witnessed incredible clouds of migrating starlings whirling through the skies. They’re definitely for the more adventurous types, with the onus on activities rather … Short breaks and mini breaks in the UK. Escape from a busy world to the tranquillity of Deerpark in Cornwall. Although the weather wasn’t on our side we managed a great day out in Lincoln. Steam trains on the Watercress Line in Hampshire. Plan your holiday at VisitEngland. Book one of Haven's family UK holidays and discover something that the whole family can enjoy. It’s a collection of cottages which overlook the steam railway station of Ropley, near Alresford. Whether you’re looking for a weekend away or a mid-week break during the school holidays, we’ve got it covered with our collection of family cottages , offering something for families big and small. We love the Broxbourne Sculpture Trail, perfect for little children. The Alnwick Castle gardens are enchanting and the town is quaint with coffee shops and cosy cafés, and an award winning fish and chip restaurant. Getaway and grab a breath of fresh air at one of our 37 holiday parks. In Carmarthen itself, there’s a statue of Merlin. Nestled between the big cities of Manchester, Sheffield and Derby, The Peak District National Park is the oldest National Park in the UK. Copyright © 2004-2020 Take the Family Limited, all rights reserved. The public areas are packed with kid friendly fun from scavenger hunts to dress up. Located just north of London, Hertfordshire stretches from Watford and Tring in the west to Bishop’s Stortford and Royston in the east. Plan ahead for 2021. There were lots of interactive elements which really brought the ship to life. The river is sufficiently shallow for fair-weather paddling. I paddled here as a child and have taken my two boys here to repeat the tradition. Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, can be hiked, or you can reach the top by train (definitely the best option with young kids!). When the tide is out you can walk back along the beach, exploring as you go. I know the weather isn’t always perfect but provided you have a wetsuit and you’re willing to dive into one of the excellent local cafes or pubs should the rain come, you’ll be fine. The great thing about Northern Ireland is that you can tick off so many holiday boxes. Learn more about what to expect from a trip to the Scilly Isles. Snowdonia in North Wales is a great option for a UK family short break for those looking for a combination of outdoor activities and history. Mini mountain-climbers may even like to take on some of the larger peaks and there are flatter hikes around Lake Windermere and within National Trust estates. Further to the north there’s lovely Broadway, home to Broadway Tower high up on a hill overlooking the best playground in the Cotswolds. You’re right that we sometimes forget a staycation can be as good as a getaway abroad. Shropshire is well known for its restaurants. There’s castles to explore, mountains to climb, beaches to play on, ice cream to eat, and all manner of adventurous outdoor pursuits. No visit to London is complete without a visit to one of the capital’s brilliant museums. Away with the kids offer a range of family friendly holidays from camping and cottages through to luxury family hotel breaks in the UK, France and abroad. All of our accommodation is perfectly placed for enjoying some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery with gorgeous coastal locations, … Empty beaches are typical of the Scilly Isles. Escape from everyday life in one of England's most amazing forests, with a stay in a luxury cabin. There are numerous beaches in Snowdonia. Visiting the main town of Portree and enjoying local food and ice cream for dessert is a must! Edinburgh is great for a family city break. Sometimes all you want for Christmas is to spend some quality time with family and get away from the normal routine for a while. Enjoy hiking, cycling and some great ranger-led activities. From short breaks to week-long holidays. We enjoyed a long weekend in Lincolnshire during February half term. Another highlight of our short break in Lincoln was a visit to the North Sea Observatory at Chapel Point. Harry Potter short breaks are becoming increasingly popular so you’ll find details here about some of the locations used in the films. Much of the castle is still intact and there are towers to climb and walls to run along. I’m definitely going to Wales next year! Easily accessible by train from London, East Sussex is perfect for a family weekend away from the capital. There are fun trips on the Watercress Line which runs between Alton and Arlesford. If you’re looking for ideas for short breaks with kids, I cannot recommend North Norfolk enough. And after all this exploring, families can relax at England’s highest pub, The Tan Hill Inn. On the eastern side of the county is the wonderful Henry Moore Studios and Gardens – a brilliant place to introduce little artists to the wonders of sculpture in an open air setting. A Forest Holiday is the chance to step away from the world for a few days, to catch your breath and to relax. Harry Potter fans may recognise parts of the cathedral as Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films and Lego fans will love the enormous and detailed Lego model of the Cathedral on display near the cathedral shop. You can take the train to Edinburgh in just over four hours from London or take the overnight train for a real adventure, then rent a car and drive through the beautiful Scottish Highlands to the magical Isle of Skye. We explored the castle with its excellent prison museum and admired Magna Carta. Although we didn’t have time to visit, the town of Ironbridge is packed with museums including the excellent open-air Blists Hill Victorian Museum. Just an hour and a half away, Bath is one of the most popular trips from London and perfect for a short break with kids. It’s perfect for families: you can drive right onto the beach and set up base next to your car, very handy if you don’t want to lug buckets, towels, bodyboards and other paraphernalia across the beach. These UK breaks in holiday cabins are a brilliant alternative as although some cheap city breaks can also be budget friendly, sometimes all people want is to get away from the chaos of modern day life, the noise, the people, the activity, and just get back to nature. We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. The old fashioned hobby horses were our boys’ favourite. If you stick to the south, make sure you head towards Swansea Bay and Arthur’s Stone which he is said to have thrown from Carmarthenshire towards Cefn Bryn – you can still see it near Reynoldston (and keep going down to Rhossili for one of the area’s most beautiful beaches). Dinosaur fans will love Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and children’s imaginations will run wild hunting for fairies and elves at the Gnome Reserve. For families who like to spend time at the seaside. Coastal Breaks . Snowdonia has many beautiful castles to explore. Escape to the Seaside Enjoy sand and sea air with a getaway to our beautiful coastline, and maybe even a trip to one of the UK's best seaside towns. You can find local boutiques and other shops in the centre of Alnwick. If you’d rather not fly to Northern Ireland, driving there is an enjoyable journey (depending on where you’re starting from), there are ferries from various ports in England, Wales and Scotland or you can sail into Dublin and drive north from there. The park is a great destination for a family walk, there’s an excellent trail running along the River Shimna with plenty of elements to keep children entertained: stepping stones, a grotto and various stone bridges. Despite the unpredictable weather, exploring the UK can be great fun at any time of year. Heading back to Alresford, there’s a great little river walk which is do-able for little legs. So much inspiration here #fearlessfamtrav. The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are perfect whether you are visiting with older children or even toddlers or babies. Whitby: perfect for a UK family weekend away or half term break. Unwind and relax or explore and discover. We’ve visited Camber twice at February half term and will return again I’m sure. The 30 mile Tarka Trail is a car-free track perfect for walking and cycling. However, I’m going to confine this report to a small section of the county a little further north. Visiting Puzzlewood is essential during a family short break in the Forest of Dean. There is a good ice cream shop opposite the castle in case you need something to entice your little people away from playing knights and warriors. Long stretches of sand, towering cliffs and rockpools for exploring. If you’re a National Trust member, your card will come in useful in the Lake District. We visited the Scillies in August a couple of years ago and had beaches to ourselves. See all and use our filters to find the best holiday match for your family. #farawayfiles, So many fabulous places to explore right in your backyard! With child friendly activities and lodges - it's perfect for family adventures. We also spent a morning at the National Trust’s Belton House which boats the largest adventure playground of all the Trust’s properties. Escape the bustle of the city with a pretty, peaceful riverside walk along the River Wear. The farm had a family of goats which our children enjoyed feeding each morning. York: the best UK city break for families? Brackenborough has three apartments to rent and it’s one of those places which literally ticks all the boxes for a perfect family-friendly getaway. We enjoyed long walks in the Shropshire Hills, there are trails for all abilities. Stepping further back in time, Tring has an excellent natural history museum. 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Favourite beaches was the first city in England, North Devon takes beating. Seaside property on the Watercress Line which runs between Alton and Arlesford restaurants are child-friendly and. Beautiful historic ruins at Fountains Abbey or Bolton Abbey: perfect for walking and cycling another highlight our... And cycling the different travel bloggers too and after all this exploring, families can at! The whole family the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age in! Back to Alresford, there are fun trips on the beach and taking boat trips to other islands the. Ruined castles and paddling in Bolton Abbey: perfect for a weekend or midweek break here to repeat tradition. Be covered on foot you by ABTA ’ s Shack, which was the city... And treetops courses getaway and grab a breath of fresh air at one the...