Coast after coast of beaches cover every angle from wild surfing to traditional seaside fun.

Some of the most spectacular countryside in Europe is contained in English national parks.

There are cities packed with museums and galleries; towns where history’s part of every day life; cute villages with sinister tales to tell.

And the length and breadth of the country is traced by road, rail, river and sea, so nothing’s more than a few hours travel, lots of the best stuff is free and almost everywhere deserves more than a quick visit.

Why go on holiday in England

  • Scenic drives

    The country has just under 360,000km of roads running around even the wildest spaces.

  • Cultural value

    8 of England’s top 10 attractions are public museums and they’re all free.

  • Clean beaches

    Of the hundreds of beaches ringing the coastline dozens have Blue Flags and many are trimmed with the country’s prettiest towns.

  • World class heritage

    17 of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites are in England including Stonehenge, the City of Bath and Dorset’s Jurassic Coast.

  • Vibrant cities

    England has Britain’s three largest cities: London, Birmingham and Manchester.

  • Magical islands

    There are over 100 islands scattered around England, not counting the Scilly Isles and the mysterious Lake District islets.

  • Inspirational accomodation

    From camping to glamping, treehouses to legendary London Hotels, heritage guesthouses, stately homes and country cottages, England has one of the widest choices of family holiday accommodation in Europe.

Where to go

Manchester & the North

This is the area for huge dramatic landscapes, wild moors, mighty fells, historic villages and grand – but down-to-earth – cities like Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool.

  • Visit the Yorkshire Coast for tales of Dracula in Whitby, Robin Hood Bay’s spectacular cliffs and cheerful Scarborough.
  • The north of England is home to five national parks: Lake District, North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District and Northumberland.
  • Catch a ferry in Liverpool and sail to the Isle of Man in less than two hours for tail-less cats, ancient castles and coasteering.
  • Manchester is one of England’s great 19th century industrial cities, restored to 21st brilliance and where you’ll find more canals than Venice – easier to play on too.
  • The outdoorsy north of England is good for self-catering in seaside towns and the countryside, aparthotels in cities and hundreds of national park places to stay.

Birmingham & Central

The heart of England is where to find big, bright Birmingham and Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. It’s also the land of ancient Cambridge and magical sailing holidays on the Norfolk Broads and the enchanting Suffolk Coast.

  • Birmingham Museum has an Under-5s Gallery, older kids will like Drayton Manor for ridiculous rides, Cadbury World and the extraordinary British Motor Museum.
  • Great Yarmouth is brilliant for enormous sands, funfairs and award winning fish & chips.
  • The Royal Shakespeare Company introduces kids as young as five to the theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Find family apartments in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, B&Bs on the beach and heritage hotels in Shakespeare country.

South of England

From resort towns and legendary coastal cities to fabulous forests, white-knuckle theme parks and world class zoos, the south of England has lots going on above and beyond London.

  • Southampton and Portsmouth are seafaring England at its most ancient and enthralling.
  • Find huge stretches of sand at sunny Bournemouth, royal seaside traditions in Brighton and pretty harbour towns like Poole.
  • Enjoy woodland adventuring in the New Forest, tour back time round the Cotswolds and set the kids free on the South Downs.
  • Beachy hotels, B&Bs and cosy seafront guest houses are great options on the south coast. And forest chalets or eco-lodges are fun for family stays in the country.

Bristol & South West England

Bustling Bristol is loved for kids’ festivals, spectacular sights like the Clifton Suspension Bridge and masses of green space that’s free to play. Further south, the Dorset Coast is fossil-central and Cornwall and Devon still top England’s list for the best family holidays ever.

  • North Somerset is home to colourful and exciting Weston-super-Mare.
  • Bath is good for Roman history, stately homes and caving in nearby Cheddar Gorge.
  • Cornwall is where England keeps its wildest and loveliest seaside.
  • Devon’s well-marked family walks and cycle routes are the stuff of legend.
  • One of the best areas for high-quality campsites, mobile homes and caravan parks.

South East England

The south east is where Kent is called the Garden of England and the captivating coast is covered in marvels up to an including the phenomenal White Cliffs of Dover.

  • Dreamland and award-winning Turner Contemporary are by the sea in Margate.
  • The Kent Downs are one of England’s outstanding areas of natural beauty and stretch from Maidstone to Dover’s chalky headland.
  • Isle of Sheppey is known as Treasure Island and its marshes, beaches and nature reserves are spellbinding.
  • Value family hotels and guesthouses, excellent coastal camping and interesting heritage self catering are just a few south east accommodation options.

What to do

  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire
    The world’s most famous prehistoric stone circle is astonishing and the excellent visitor centre makes up for the ‘look but don’t touch’ policy. Stonehenge
  • Lake District National Park, Cumbria
    England’s biggest national park also contains the country’s highest peak, Scafell, and it’s longest lake, Windermere. Lake District
  • Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamsire
    Live in a log cabin and cycle, walk, hike and run in the footsteps of Robin Hood. Sherwood Forest
  • Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
    Kids can go caving into the depths of this natural wonder and get a certificate for their efforts. Cheddar Gorge
  • Blacpool Pleasure Beach, Lancashire
    England’s original seaside resort still has one of the most thrilling pleasure beaches. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
  • New Forest Waterpark, Fordingbridge
    The UK’s biggest outdoor waterpark for breathtaking rides and outstanding camping facilities. NF Waterpark
  • National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
    The largest aquarium in the UK and the one where kids can sleep with sharks. National Aquarium
  • Museum of Liverpool
    The history of Liverpool in one astounding new museum – free kids events all summer. Museum of Liverpool
  • Jordell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield
    The iconic observatory has one of the best kids’ science centres in England too. Jodrell Bank
  • Thorpe Park, Kent
    White-knuckle theme park and all-round remarkable family resort – all on an island in Kent. Thorpe Park

Educational value for kids

  • Discover the Ancient Roman effect from Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland to the Roman Baths in Bath – of course.
  • You can do anything from sailing to rock climbing in the Lake District all year round the help of local experts.
  • Holiday homes for budding astronomers surround Kielder Observatory, just 40 minutes drive from Newcastle.
  • From Heage Windmill in Derbyshire (the only working, six-sailed windmill in the UK) to Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, Portsmouth Docks and the Severn Steam Railway, England’s busy past is fun to find out about all over the country.
  • The National Trust has hundreds of English properties with innovative kids’ events and activities year-round.
  • The UK has over 3 million hectares of forest and the Woodland Trust is keen to teach families how to love them every one of them.
  • From Beatrix Potter in the Lake District to Jane Austen in Winchester and Roald Dahl in Buckinghamshire, England is the place to hear the storyteller’s stories.


Getting about with kids in England

England’s extensive road network makes driving anywhere possible. Motorways are easy to avoid if you want a more leisurely pace or you can hand the driving over to someone else altogether and take the train. Public transport in towns and cities is the best way to get around day and night.

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