20 Holidays Under £500
1/ A houseboat in Suffolk
Climb aboard Twee Gebroeders, a restored 1914 Dutch sailing barge moored at Pin Mill on the River Orwell, for walking, skippered sailing trips and fishing. £465 (Easter), £480 (summer).
2/ Under canvas in West Wales
Book a ‘threepi’ (a large tipi with woodburner, sundeck and cooking facilities) at Fforest, a rural 200-acre site next to the river Teifi gorge, near Cardigan. Kayaking, coasteering and archery are available. £418 (Easter), £468 (summer), including breakfast.
3/ Cultural fun in London
Keep costs down by self-catering. Citadines Apart’hotels have fully equipped kitchens and sofa beds for children making them the perfect base for exploring the capital; £456.
4/ Cycling in the New Forest
5/ Explore nature in Snowdonia
Enjoy bat walks, pond-dipping or bushcraft at the Rhyd-y-Creuau Field Studies Centre near Betws-y-Coed, a Georgian house with family rooms. £240, including meals and activities. For more information, visit Real Family Holidays.
6/ White-water rafting in North Wales
7/ A horse-drawn gypsy caravan in Wiltshire
Clip-clop through the Vale of Pewsey pulled by either Jack, Ned or Jimmy. The horses follow a set route, which includes lunch and overnight stops at local hostelries. Tuition and back-up available. £490. For more information, visitWhite Horse Gypsy Caravans.
8/ Farm-based activities in Norfolk
Get a taste of rural life at College Farm near Beccles (voted Farm of the Year in 2013), where luxurious tents are equipped with a woodburning stove, beds, flushing toilets and running water. £399 for four nights.
9/ An adrenaline rush in Llangollen
10/ Step back in time in Shropshire
11/ Pony trekking in Brecon
Saddle up and explore the beautiful Welsh countryside on horseback. A half-day trek costs £144 for a family of four with two children under 16. £240 for two nights’ b&b. For more information, visit Tregoyd Mountain Riders.
12/ A narrowboat in Oxfordshire
13/ Camp in Sherwood Forest
Base yourselves in a cosy wooden ‘pod’ at Clumber Park, with more than 20 miles of cycle routes to explore; £179.
14/ Coastal walks in Cornwall
Book the family suite at Bre-Pen, a working National Trust farm in Mawgan Porth that overlooks the sea. £297, including breakfast.
15/ Seals and beaches in North Norfolk
16/ A head for heights in Wales
17/ Meet the Romans in Northumberland
Stay at Causeway House in Bardon Mill, an 18th-century farmhouse with a roof thatched in heather. Ideal for exploring Hadrian’s Wall and the Roman fort of Vindolanda. £418.
18/ Literary break in Dorset
19/ Steam trains in Scotland STEAM TRAINS IN SCOTLAND
Board the Jacobite steam train, made famous by the Harry Potter films, for a day trip from Fort William to Mallaig. £34 for adults and £19 for children, return. Stay at Glenfinnan House Hotel. £300 for two nights.
20/ An arty break in Cornwall
Explore Penzance and the west Cornish coast from the endearingly eccentric Artist Residence, complete with original works of art. £360 for a family room.