The summer holidays are a time when families look forward to getting away together and spending quality time with their loved ones. If the heat of European beach resorts and the hustle and bustle of airports sound more like work than relaxation, why not book a break in one of the UK’s beautiful holiday spots? Here are the best family summer staycations for 2017.
1/8 The Vogue Lodge, Swanage, Dorset
This high-end park lodge boasts stunning views across the Jurassic Coast and is ideally located for an outdoorsy holiday. Nearby are the beautiful clean sands of Studland and the cosy cove of Lulworth Bay. Corfe and Durlston castles provide plenty of opportunities for delving into the history of the area and the rocky bays are perfect for searching for fossils.
The lodge itself is a light and airy and has the feel of a luxury country cottage. With a king-sized bed and ensuite shower room as well as the on-site gym and swimming pool, it might be trickier than you think to tear yourself away from your holiday home to explore the surrounding area.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation at The Vogue Lodge, Swanage Bay View Holiday Park
Where: Swanage, Dorset
When: 26 August- 2 September
Find out more and book Vogue Lodge at Sykes Cottages
2/8 Kilconquhar Castle Estate, Fife, Scotland
If you’ve always fancied playing Lord or Lady of the Manor this stately home just 15 minutes from St Andrews might be the ideal place for your family break. Staying in the Castle Family Room, families can enjoy the luxury of the resort while getting back to nature in its beautiful setting.
Kids will love running wild in the 130 acres of stunning countryside and making a splash in the on-site pool that is complimentary for guests. The kids’ club offers both indoor games and outdoor activities on fine weather days, so parents can make the most of the grown-up offerings. Why not try horse riding at the estate’s stables, play a round of golf or unwind in the sumptuous spa?
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation in a Castle Family Room (sleeps 4)
When: 4-11 August
Where: Fife, Scotland
Book Kilconquhar Castle Estate at Away with the Kids
3/8 ‘Blue Cabin by the Sea’, Berwickshire, Scotland
The ‘Blue Cabin by the Sea’ is a picture-perfect rustic retreat for families looking for a classic seaside holiday. The cabin has a terrace overlooking Cove Harbour, described as ‘the coviest of coves’ by Stephen Fry and for good reason. The views are breathtaking and the cabin’s location means that guests can step outside and take in the picturesque harbour whilst cooking dinner on the terrace barbecue.
Two bedrooms and a living room give the quaint lodge a surprisingly spacious feel, although being surrounded by nature means that guests may not be inside for much of the time. Children will enjoy rockpooling, fishing from the harbour and building sandcastles on this nostalgic family break.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation in the ‘Blue Cabin by the Sea’ (sleeps 4)
Where: Cove Harbour, Berwickshire, Scotland
When: August (various dates)
4/8 Lake View apartment, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Bathe in the peaceful forest that surrounds this luxury two-bedroom apartment in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands. The holiday home provides the perfect blend of privacy and outdoor lifestyle, with its own spacious garden leading out to winding forest walks.
Its position on the shores of Lough Killyfole means that guests benefit from having the stunning 60-acre lake on their doorstep as well as a sandy beach that is perfect for paddling. Other activities include cycling in the car-free areas of the nature reserve, using the apartment’s hot tub and sauna or releasing your inner child to play in the bespoke treehouse!
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation in August at Lakeview apartment (sleeps 4)
Where: Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
When: August (various dates)
Find out more and book Lake View apartment at Gorgeous Cottages Ireland
5/8 Family Glamping & Adventure Experience, Northern Ireland
For those on a tight budget but still looking for something fun to do with the family, this overnight adventure is the perfect package. Camp out in a Glamping Pod, where you can enjoy all the excitement of real camping without the inconvenience or chilly nights. Toast marshmallows on the open fire and snuggle down in the warm pods to get energised for the next day.
The next morning, you and the kids will take part in three fun activities, from canoeing to archery and zip lining to climbing. This is a great option for families who can’t get away for a long time but love to make memories together.
What: 1 night glamping in a ‘glamping pod’ (sleeps 5) plus three family activities of your choice
Where: Carrowmena Activity Centre, Limavady, Northern Ireland
When: August (various dates)
Find out more and book the glamping experience at Outdoorni
6/8 Snowdrop Cottage (Clydey Cottages), Pembrokeshire, Wales
The only downside to having a holiday at Clydey Cottages is that you will be spoilt forever. The ultimate family-friendly resort, Clydey goes out of its way to make sure that kids are always entertained and happy, which means the adults are too. Inside the cottages everything that parents could dream of is provided, so there’s no cramming sterilisers and baby carriers into the car boot.
Roaring log fires and fresh flowers are the luxury touches for parents to really feel treated at Clydey. In the grounds, children can choose from woodland adventure sessions, circus school and feeding the resident animals. There is also a playroom and heated indoor pool to ensure that everyone has a week full of fun and relaxation.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation at Snowdrop Cottage (sleeps 4); all activities and play facilities for the children
Where: Boncath, Pembrokshire, Wales
When: 11-18 August
Find out more and book Snowdrop Cottage at Clydey Cottages
7/8 The Dairy of Croft Farm Cottages, Pembrokeshire
Step back in time and treat yourself to a stay at a rustic yet modernised dairy cottage in the heart of the Welsh countryside. Take in the exposed wooden beams and curl up in front of the fire in the evenings after a day exploring the grounds.
There’s an adventure playground for the kids, barbecue and picnic areas and the chance for little ones to become farmers for the week as they help the owners on the animal-feeding rounds. If you fancy venturing further afield, there are plenty of museums, castles and outdoor activity fun to be had nearby.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation at Dairy Cottage (sleeps 4); farm activities such as animal feeding and petting
Where: Cardigan, Pembrokeshire, Wales
When: 28 July-4 August
Find out more and book Croft Farm & Celtic Cottages
8/8 Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire
This awe-inspiring stately home proudly notes that it was ‘the first country house of its kind to welcome children’. After 400 years as a sprawling home in 14 acres of manicured grounds it became a luxury family hotel in 1989. Guests are welcomed with hot coffee for the adults and juice and biscuits for the kids after a long journey, and this caring and child-friendly ethos is evident throughout the resort.
Woolley is proud of its ‘been there, done that’ attitude towards children so parents can relax safe in the knowledge that there will be no cold looks when the little ones act like… little ones! Kids will love the Woolly Bears Den creche and older kids can enjoy the games rooms, allowing parents to take advantage of the spa and a treat from the beautiful Orangery.
What: 4 nights’ B&B accommodation in a Family Double room (sleeps 4 cosily)
Where: Woolley Green, Bradford-upon-Avon, Wiltshire
When: 7-11 August