Best Family Holiday Destinations in the UK

Best Family Holiday Destinations in the UK

With summer just around the corner, it's time to start looking at options for an amazing break away.

If you are looking to plan a family holiday why not consider a trip closer to home? Rather than flying off overseas you can save yourself a lot of money and also enjoy some amazing destinations which you might never have considered visiting before.

There are short and long breaks away throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. So whether you fancy a beach break, an escape to the country or doing something more wild, you will be sure to find a break to match your interests. 

Check out our list of top rated family-friendly holiday destinations in the UK below.


1. Dorset


The south coast of the UK is beautiful in summer and it is easy to see why thousands of people head to Dorset every summer. This is the top destinations due to the beaches, nature and weather. 

Bournemouth is one of the best to visit due to the beautiful white sandy beach, affordable places to stay and lots of day trips. Recently a new wooden beach cabin accommodation has opened allowing families to literally stay infront of the beach!

During summer there are free firework displays on the beach on Friday nights, and the famous Bournemouth airshow which takes place in August and September is another highlight.

Other places in Dorset you might want to consider include Weymouth, Swanage, the New Forest, Isle of Purbeck and the Studland which are some of the best summertime family days out in the UK. Popular activities include sunbathing, surfing, fossil hunting at Chesil Beach and checking out the local National Trust and English Heritage sites.


2. Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is a popular island located off the south coast of England and easily accessible by ferry from Southampton. The Isle of Wight is a great destination for families due to the beaches, campsites, seafront promenades and quiet little villages.

Popular things to do here include heading to the sandy Shanklin or Ventnor beaches, or seeing ancient dinosaur remains and fossils in Compton Bay and Yaverland Beach. 

There are photo opportunities around every corner, don't leave before seeing 'The Needles' on the island’s western point, these 3 huge, white chalk rocks, guarded by a 19th-century lighthouse are spectacular.


3. Yorkshire

Aysgarth Waterfalls Yorkshire Dales

Keen for an escape to experience the rural side of England? Not much is more enjoyable than taking a rural break in Yorkshire in the English countryside. Explore those unspoiled woodlands and lush landscapes. 

There are quaint market towns and English villages that await you. You could take a luxurious train ride through picturesque moorlands on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Spend some time near the waterfalls in the Durham Dales, or have a picnic in the Hidcote Manor Garden on the edge of the Cotswold hills. 

At the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre you can watch graceful feathered predators from very close. All you need to do is take your family to the Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre to get -close and personal with those Falcons. Just see for yourself how those fast and furious birds can reach an amazing speed of 200mph while diving for their prey.

Apart from falcons, you will also spot other birds like hawks, buzzards, eagles, and owls. So, go ahead and book a falconry experience this summer in the UK and enjoy watching those magnificent creatures.


4. Snowdonia

Mt Snowdon

North Wales is spectacular and Snowdonia is one of the most underrated destinations in Europe. With Mt Snowden looming high above, and beaches for miles around, you won't regret visiting here.

Families love this region due to the activities like swimming, surfing, zip lining, biking and more. This is one of the best adventure destinations in the United Kingdom and if you are feeling like a challenge you could climb Mt Snowden, or for something more relaxing go beach hopping along the coast.

There are breath-taking vistas and also lots of castles to visit. You could explore the golden-sandy beaches of South Shields, and you can relax here the whole day, reading a book or making sand castles with your family. Enjoy seafood and gaze at those fishing boats sail in and out throughout the day.


5. Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

If you are looking to take a much-needed family-friendly break, and want to discover an off the beaten track destinations then you can't go wrong with a trip to Scottish Highlands.

Scotland has spectacular nature with scenery to rival New Zealand and in summer time it is a great place to spend a holiday with your family. For a few days or weeks, you will simply forget about the outside world!

There is a lot to do and see here, you could book day tours, or explore independently taking in famous sights like Loch Ness which is definately an unusual UK holiday idea. There are lots of family friendly fun spots, castles, wildlife and accommodation throughout the region.


6. Eastbourne


Eastbourne is a resort town on England’s southeast coast and although this is a popular retirement destination, you can have a lot of fun here on a holiday break. 

On the seafront are good value Victorian hotels, the 19th-century Eastbourne Pier and a 1930s bandstand. Towner Art Gallery includes modern British works. Nearby, Redoubt Fortress, built during the Napoleonic Wars, has a military museum. 

Eastbourne’s seafront is a great place to visit during summer due to the concerts which take place on the Eastbourne Bandstand. You can enjoy a wide range of rock and pop tributes right from Abba, Blondie and many more. Families with kids will love the musicals and kids party nights. 

There are some great day trips available top, if you travel southwest along the coast, to the South Downs National Park, there are the tall chalk cliffs of Beachy Head and its striped 1902 lighthouse.


7. Cornwall

St Ives, Cornwall

Looking for incredible scenery, beaches and pretty towns? Head to Cornwall as this is one of the top destinations in the UK. Although on a map Cornwall is far from everywhere, well it is, but the trip here and the memories you will make are worth it.

There are lots of hotels, b&bs and also unusual places to stay like the wooded cabins at Ruthern valley. Tucked away in a secluded spot, the family-friendly site is inhabited with squirrels and wild rabbits. 

Families love Cornwall and the weather is perfect during summer. Children can have loads of fun without disturbing anyone and watch those squirrels and wild rabbits. There is fun to be had for the whole family with the Camel Trail cycle route and the on-site adventure playground. 

One of the favorite spots Cornwall for families is the Trelissick Gardens. You can pack a picnic basket and spend a lazy day enjoying the great outdoors. Enjoy gazing at the gorgeous Cornish countryside and watch boats going up and down the water.


8. Cotswolds


The English countryside is spectacular and the Cotswolds is one of the best summer destinations. You can take peaceful walks and enjoy a really relaxing holiday here.

There are local farmers’ markets that sell local delicacies and mouth-watering produce. You can also find lots of old pubs that are child friendly, quirky restaurants that offer traditional English food. The Cotswolds Distillery is renowned not just for foodie delights but for outstanding natural spirits for the adults.


9. Brighton

Brighton Pier

Brighton is an excellent city break summer destination for families. There is always a lot going on in the city and nothing is more fun than visiting Brighton Pier and taking the thrilling rides and games.

You could get a fighter pilot experience, get wet on the Wild River flume, have fun in the penny arcade, try to win a prize at the bandstand. You must taste the traditional fish and chips and enjoy the atmosphere of sunset over Brighton beach.

There are lots of things to do in this city and the surrounding areas when the weather is good and you will love visiting especially if you have never been here before.


10. Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills is located south of Bristol and Bath in Somerset. Running east to west between Weston-super-Mare and Frome, the hills overlook the Somerset Levels to the south and the Chew Valley and other tributaries of the Avon to the north.

This is an underrated relaxation spot for families that are keen to be outdoors and see an area of outstanding natural Beaty. You can choose to stay in cottages or holiday rentals located in areas of outstanding natural beauty.

There are plenty of family and group activities here to explore in the Mendip Hills and if you have never tried frisbee golf before, you can play here as there is a 10-hole disc course. 


11. Lake District

Lake District

The Lake District, is the UK's largest national park located in North West England. This is one of the most popular summer destinations in the UK and an area is famous for its lakes, forests and mountains - perfect if you fancy a walking holiday.

This area is built for tourism and there are lots of trails, things to do and also visitor centres with friendly staff helping you to make the most of your visit. You can choose a relaxing break or go for something more adventurous like mountain biking, climbing, walking, kayaking and canoeing. Cruises on the Derentwater are also available. 

When visiting the Lake District you will also get to Beatrix Potter's home in Ambleside and learn about William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.


Hopefully our list of the best UK holiday destinations has shown there is lots to do here, and made you think twice before booking that overseas break. If you have any recommendations for places we have missed off our list please leave feedback in the comments section below.

So what are you waiting for, start researching our featured destinations and plan an amazing UK holiday break today.