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Top family friendly holiday destinations in the UK

Posted on July 5, 2021 by Vicky Smith
Family holding hands running on a field in summer

The UK has a broad range of holiday destinations for families looking to get away from it all this summer.

From beachside locations to quiet woodland retreats, there are so many different corners of the UK to explore with kids.

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to enjoy a vacation in the UK, we’ve got some fantastic options where you can enjoy a child-friendly break this summer. 



It’s already an annual tourist hotspot and this year is set to be busier than ever. But there are still some beautiful locations where you can find peace and quiet away from the bustling seaside towns such as St Ives, Fowey and Padstow.

Look inland towards the pretty Cornish countryside which offers quiet accommodation with beautiful views. Plus, you’re never a long drive away from one of Cornwall’s many beaches.

Many farms have converted barns and outbuildings into pretty cottages where families can stay and enjoy exploring the fields around them. Kids can make friends with the animals when staying at the fun Tredethick Farm

If you’re looking for something a little different why not try glamping at a location such as The Park, home to magical yurts with all of the facilities you need for a relaxing stay.

Fishing port in Clovelly


Devon is a perfect location for a family holiday in the UK. With lots of open space you will find plenty of freedom to explore the great outdoors without encountering huge crowds. 

If seaside is what you are seeking then head for one of the county’s pretty and quiet coastal towns such as Brixham, Clovelly or Salcombe.

Day trips to the beach are a must, but Devon also has two National Parks – Dartmoor and Exmoor – which families who love to get back to nature will enjoy exploring.

Fossils on the Jurassic coast Lyme Regis


If you’re a family looking for adventure off the beaten track then the Jurassic Coast is a wonderful choice for a holiday.

Known as the Jurassic Coast due to the large number of fossils to be found along its beaches. It is well worth taking your kids to see what you can find at beaches such as Lyme Regis and Charmouth. The Jurassic Coast Trust has lots of tips for making the most of your fossil hunt.

Child exploring tidepools

For a spot that’s a little quieter during the summer season then head to Kimmeridge Bay, which has wonderful rock pools that kids will love to explore. Don’t forget your bucket and net!

Lake District

The home of Beatrix Potter is the perfect place for a family-friendly holiday.

The Lake District features beautiful walks, boat trips and plenty of adventure playgrounds to help kids run off all of their energy.

The Lakeside Hotel and Spa by Lake Windermere is a great option if you want a hotel with a pool. Grown ups can relax in the spa while kids will love splashing into the pool.

View of Lake Windermere and Langdale Pikes

Rent a boat from the Coniston Boating Centre and get onto the water for a beautiful view of the mountains. Older kids can give paddle boarding a go, or for family groups wanting to explore the water there are motor boats available for hire. 

New Forest

There’s so much to explore in the New Forest. If you want a quiet day out then a walk in the countryside is a great way to relax, and the kids will love spotting the famous New Forest ponies!

For a busier day out children will enjoy Paultons Park, the home of Peppa Pig World – featuring rides and a chance to meet Peppa and the rest of her family in person! Another great day trip is the National Motor Museum.

The Sandy Balls Holiday Village is a perfect family retreat with something for all ages. It features swimming pools, a zip wire and Segways to rent and ride through the forest.

Seal pups on the beach at Blakeney Point


With its beautiful beaches and plentiful countryside, Norfolk is a great choice for a UK holiday where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city!

You’ll find holiday cottage rentals, glamping sites and holiday parks aplenty in this beautiful part of Britain.

Blakeney is a lovely, quiet village to base your holiday. This coastal spot offers boat trips where you can visit local seal colonies.



This stunning seaside resort in Scotland’s south Ayrshire is a wonderful place for a holiday.

It has plenty of choices for dining out with the family, an esplanade with a long sandy beach, plus nearby golf courses.

Doon Valley Railway is a great afternoon out for the kids where they can ride on a heritage steam train – an exciting trip for fans of planes, trains and automobiles! The Isle of Cumbrae, which is amazing for water sports fans, is just a ferry ride away too.

View of Brodick Bay in Isle of Arran

Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is the ideal staycation for the family who loves to get outdoors!

The island is accessed by ferry and is known on the Visit Scotland website as “Scotland in Miniature”.

There are castles to visit, wildlife to explore and a whole host of outdoor activities including horse riding, archery and sea kayaking. There’s a wide range of choices for where to stay, including hotels, B&Bs or self-catering holiday rentals.

Urquhart Castle in Scotland

Scottish Highlands

If it’s big scenery that you want then the Scottish Highlands can definitely deliver!

It’s home to Britain’s largest National Park and the stunning Moray Coast, which has more than 100 bottlenose dolphins living off of its shores that the kids will love to see in their natural habitat. 

For kids who love monsters then they will enjoy a visit to the Loch Ness Visitor Centre and learn all about the legend of the Loch Ness monster. 

If it’s a quiet day at the beach you seek, the Loch Linnhe Beach is a wonderful spot to visit, featuring a sandy beach and rock pools for kids to explore. 

This is a beautiful part of the world to stargaze, with the lower levels of light pollution making for stunning views on clear nights once the sun has set.


Coastal town of Abersoch


Located on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, this pretty seaside resort has stunning family-friendly beaches.

The beach is a renowned centre for sailing and watersports plus the town hosts an annual jazz festival if you’re seeking a bit of culture. 

The pretty beach huts can be rented by the week plus there’s plenty of choice for rental accommodation in this area of stunning Welsh countryside.

For adventurers there is a treasure hunt trail at nearby Porthmadog which is perfect for older kids.


Another great holiday option in North Wales, Snowdonia has heaps of outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy, including a steam train, biking trails and farmers markets where you can find locally produced food.

This part of Wales can cater to both adventurers who want to enjoy the outdoor adrenaline activities such as zip wires and climbing and those who want to soak in the peace of the stunning mountain views.


County Antrim

County Antrim is home to the vibrant city of Belfast, but it is also the perfect place to visit if you want to slow down and get back to nature.

There are spectacular cliff top walks and dramatic sea views, as well as exciting places like Carrickfergus Castle to explore.

The village of Ballygally doubles up as a holiday resort and makes a lovely place to be based during your stay. It has its own castle and is located around an hour from the famous and spectacular Giant’s Causeway.

The Channel Islands


The kids will love the ferry ride to Jersey, which takes just over four and a half hours.

Once there, they can enjoy exploring its sandy beaches and rock pools, or visiting the Jersey Zoo. A boat ride to discover the sealife, including dolphins, puffins and seals, off the coast of Jersey is also a must-do.

Town of Ventnor in the Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

You can make the most of the summer sun at the Isle of Wight, which gets the most hours of sunshine in the whole of the UK.

This quiet and relaxing destination has a huge range of options for where to stay, from caravans to holiday parks, such as Lower Hyde that are geared up to welcome families.

If you stay close to Bembridge there is a ferry that can take you over to Portsmouth if you fancy exploring somewhere different for the day.

by Vicky Smith

Vicky Smith is a journalist and freelance content creator. She loves to travel with her family. Her favourite place in the world is a sandy beach in Cornwall.