Ultimate guide to UK family holidays
Whether you’re planning a short break or the entertainment schedule for the whole school holiday, we’ve got loads of ideas and tips to help your family trip be the best yet. From the locations of all of the UK’s farm parks to travel tips for long car journeys, we’ve got you covered.
A trip to the farm is great for kids of all ages, even adults who are big kids at heart are bound to love a day getting to know fluffy farm animals, making it a perfect destination for the whole family. Not only can you see behind the scenes at the farm, lots of farm parks also have adventure play areas and a whole host of indoor and outdoor activities to entertain everyone for a full day.
We’ve put together a map showing all of the members of the National Farm Attractions Network, a group of over 250 rural attractions including lots of the UK’s most loved public farms.
Geo-what exactly? In a nutshell, geocaching is a high-tech modern version of a treasure hunt that is suitable for the whole family. It’ll get your children away from their screens and out into the great outdoors for some exercise. It also challenges them mentally and encourages exploration.
You’ll need a GPS device, most people just use their mobile phone, to track down hidden caches by following geo coordinates. Geocaches are always hidden rather than buried underground so you won’t need shovels or run the risk of getting too dirty! Once you find a cache you sign the log-book and hide it back where you found it. The official geocaching site at www.geocaching.com has 1000s of locations in the UK so you’re bound to find one nearby wherever you are holidaying.
When you think of the National Trust you probably imagine stately homes, exquisite gardens and lots of adults promenading around calmly. While these have a degree of truth to them, many National Trust properties also have amazing activities and attractions for children! Whether it is the wild play area in the woods at Acorn Bank in Cumbria, the giant yew tree maze at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire or the tractor to play on at Dyrham Park near Bath, you’ll find lots to keep your little treasure entertained.
When we think about the school holidays, many of us think fondly of family holidays to the beach. The sun on our face, sand between our toes and of course, an ice-cream in our hands. They offer the perfect chance to enjoy some quality time together while out in the fresh air. Even since the Victorian era, we have trusted in the restorative effects of the seaside and its fresh air.
Even if you’re not going away during the summer, the beach can still offer hours of entertainment. Enjoy walks along the sand, go rock pooling, build sandcastles together or appreciate how much better fish and chips taste when soaking up the salty sea air.
If your family includes a dog, then this map detailing dog-friendly beaches across the UK should come in handy.
A popular past-time and a wonderfully free holiday activity, walking is a great way to keep the kid occupied and get them out into the fresh air. You won’t need anything special to get outside and enjoy the everchanging landscapes that the UK has to offer. With 15 National Parks, numerous Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and plenty more countryside to explore, there is no shortage of walks to choose from.
Make sure to choose a route which suits the ability of your group. If you have to bring a pushchair check out the National Park’s ‘Miles without Stiles’ which offer easy walks suitable for people with pushchairs, wheelchairs or limited mobility. Plan ahead and make sure you have plenty of water and snacks for everyone.
If you need some inspiration to get you started, here are some of the UK’s best hikes:
Go Ape are famous for getting groups of work colleagues on team building days to fly through tree top canopies on exhilarating zip lines but did you know they also have Go Ape Tree Top Junior? This one hour experience includes wobbly bridges, intricate crossings and an exciting zip wire finale, all designed for the whole family. As long as you are over 1m tall and under 130kg you’re able to join in making it perfect for parents, kids and even adventurous grandparents! Anyone scared of heights can rest assured that they’ll be attached to safety harnesses at all times.
We’ve asked our wonderful community of Snaptrippers for their top tips for travelling with kids, here are some of the best:
- If your kids are young you should consider getting them in their pyjamas and setting off at bedtime so they sleep, rather than squawk, for the duration of the journey.
- Make sure you’ve got plenty of healthy snacks and drinks in a cool box, you never know when you’ll get stuck in a traffic jam but you can bet it’ll be a hot day!
- You could go the whole hog and get TV screens for the little ones but if you’d rather avoid giving them square eyes you could go ‘old school’ and embrace audio books. They are also much better for children’s imaginations.