On a budget but still want to get away somewhere amazing? Amanda Statham reveals her favourite UK family escapes that will keep the kids happy but won’t break the bank
Tucked away on farmland, near the market town of Ledbury, lies this sweet little Bothy. Inside, it’s open-plan with bunk beds, galley kitchen, and toys and teddies thoughtfully supplied.
It’s the stuff of childhood dreams. Homestead Farm has a lake with an island, summer house (which you can barbecue in), pretty gardens to explore and there are surrounding hills to conquer.
Price: From £71 per night, from £500 to £600 per week
This stone cottage dates back to 1795 in the pretty village of Marloes and is full of quirky upcycled furniture in the two sitting rooms (both have wood burners), bedrooms and kitchen, and the bathroom has a rolltop bath.
For picture-postcard charm, fun interiors and lots of sandy beaches – Marloes Sands and Musselwick are less than a mile away.
Price: Seven nights from July 4, £630 for a family of four.
Eighteen four-star lodges dotted throughout a Caledonian pine forest on the Macdonald Aviemore Resort in the Highlands. They’re undeniably excellent for families; three bedrooms, lounge with comfy sofas and wood-burner, galley kitchen (though you can order pizza from the on-site Italian restaurant if you can’t face cooking) and daily maid service.
Forest, mountains, hikes and nature reserves are yours to enjoy, and if that’s not enough, you get a pass to the amazing Aviemore Activity Centre, which includes a lagoon pool, a three-storey soft play area and six activity rooms for kids aged 0-12.
Price: For a week starting 5 July with a family of 4, it is £281.75 per night.
With yurts and bell tents spread over 650 acres of farmland close to the South Downs and River Arun, this is prime ‘let the kids run free’ territory. Friday evenings are social affairs, with campers getting together around the fire to enjoy stew, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate, but you’ll have fun self-catering on the barbecue provided with your tent, too.
Play Poohsticks on the river, walk across the fields to Arundel, or visit the beach at West Wittering.
Price: 27 July for seven nights, £525 for a family of four.
Young Tolkien fans will adore this Hobbit-esque handmade circular wood creation on the edge of ancient woodland in Mill Valley. Inside there’s a double bed and sofa bed, so it can comfortably sleep four, and a wood-burner for making tea. Outside, there’s a campfire, and a wood-fired tub for a soak beneath the stars.
It’s off-grid, so a great place to escape technology, socialise with your kids and relax in the fresh air. Also, it really feels like you’re living in a fairytale house, which is never a bad thing.
Price: Seven nights from 20 July, £639 for a family of four.
Futuristic-looking geodomes on Bodmin Moor. Nessa Pod comes with a terrace, king-size bed, and kitchen and bathroom in a canvas hut next door. The bath tub’s heated by a log-fuelled heater and there’s a deck with loungers, table and chairs and barbecue too.
It’s the closest you’ll come to staying in the Eden Project. Also, you’re 20 minutes from Trebarwith Sands (great for families and surfers), can stride out for adventures on Bodmin and Exmoor and visit Cornwall’s highlights, like The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Minack Theatre.
Price: Seven nights in July in Nessa Pod, £1,325 for a family of four.
Glamping at its finest in rolling countryside just outside the sleepy village of Sheriff Hutton. Each safari tent has two bedrooms and way more than your average extras: fully stocked crockery cupboard, bunk beds, tiny kitchen, dining table to seat six and a decked terrace. On site are hot showers, washing-up facilities plus a children’s play area and shop.
Sheriff Hutton is perfectly placed for the best of all worlds: city, coast and countryside. York, with its cathedral, viking museum and boat trips on the River Ouse, is family gold, while the glorious Yorkshire moors are great to hike or bike together and finger-licking-good fish and chips and windswept beaches at Whitby and Scarborough are just an hour’s drive away.
Price: Seven nights from 20 July £764 for a family of four
The Malvern Light 1 is a cruiser the kids will fall instantly in love with and you’ll be able to steer without having an anxiety attack. There’s a tiny toilet, shower and beds for four and the price includes tuition on arrival, bed linen, life jackets and a cruise map of the Broads. Having to pull together to navigate and moor up is no-brainer for family bonding.
Price: Seven nights from 20-27 July, from £889