UK family fun & luxury stays
UK FAMILY FUN & LUXURY STAYS
From a weekend away to a summer holiday, here’s four destinations for a perfect break with kids.
Featured image: Segway experience at The Grove.
On your doorstep…
A WEEKEND RETREAT
Left image: Whipsnade Zoo Right image: The Grove pool.
Head to Hertfordshire, a stone’s throw away, which has a host of top family attractions. Book for the Warner Bros Studio Tour, a must for Harry Potter fans, or try a family ski session on the real snow slopes at The Snow Centre. Over at the Natural History Museum in Tring, explore the fascinating collection of Baron Rothschild, including the ‘dressed fleas’ from 1905. Whipsnade Zoo, in nearby Bedfordshire, makes for a great day out with the kids, with all manner of majestic animals, including rhinos, elephants and tigers.
Stay: Head to The Grove – a luxurious five-star hotel that is perfect for families. Sign up for some tennis and archery or try your hand at laser clay pigeon shooting and a family golf camp. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool and a sandy ‘beach’ too. Parents can get some much-needed downtime with some pampering in the spa.
STYLISH CITY STAYCATION
Given you can’t count on the British weather, a city break means that if it buckets it down, there is still plenty to do. While central London takes the idea of a staycation very literally, it ticks all the boxes for a family break. Stay overnight in a luxe hotel and you can get all that holiday feeling without a trek up the motorway. New in London this summer is the Somerset House dodgem cars in the gorgeous courtyard (from July 15), bag a ticket to the V&A exhibition exploring everything Alice in Wonderland, see Fantastic Beasts at the Natural History Museum, and there’s some great new shows too, including Billionaire Boy and Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain.
Stay: One Aldwych is a top choice with beautiful suites for families. It’s right in the heart of it with Covent Garden on the doorstep and an amble away to the likes of the British Museum. There’s a fabulous pool, too. And the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory-inspired afternoon tea is a delight, with a host of imaginative sweet treats. Read our full review here.
OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN THE NEW FOREST
Left image: Chewton Glen Beehive Treehouse. Right image: Chewton Glen indoor pool.
With many gentle walking and cycling routes, the New Forest offers a vast outdoor playground for families. Visit atmospheric Buckler’s Hard, once a thriving shipbuilding village. For Peppa Pig fans, Paultons Park is a must. Head to the National Motor Museum. And zipwire across a lake or kayak at Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Centre.
Where to Stay: Five-star Chewton Glen, a member of the Relais & Chateaux group, is the perfect spot to please parents and kids alike, with organised activities to keep the little ones busy, such as treasure hunts, while you kick back with a G&T. Pick a Courtyard Suite with a private walled garden.
NATURE WATCHING IN NORTH NORFOLK
Left image: Overstrand Beach. Right image: Norfolk seals.
With miles of stunning beaches to explore, the Norfolk coastline is an idyllic place for a family break. You’re spoilt for choice for beaches but quieter options include Overstrand and Walcott. The Deep History Coast Discovery Trail is a good way to explore, with an augmented reality app revealing the area’s history. Head to Happisburgh, which has signs of the earliest humans in Britain. For tots, there is the Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure with a dino-themed trail, play areas and a splash zone. The Holkham Estate has a grand 18th century hall, a high ropes course and boat hire on the lake. Or take a boat trip out from Blakeney harbour to spot seals.
Where to stay: Try The Harper – it’s chic but relaxed and welcomes families – handily it has some adjoining rooms. The Victoria Inn is another top choice and is a short stroll from the fabulous Holkham beach.