Best family-friendly destinations in the UK worth being on any parent’s radar

The UK is filled with brilliant family-friendly destinations.

We’re talking breathtaking coasts, golden sandy beaches, rolling green hills hiding away heaps of adventures and fascinating historic sites.

Then there are the countless attractions sure to be a hit with kids of all ages, not to mention they’re fun for parents to visit too.

Of course with so much on offer trying to narrow it down for your family holidays can be time-consuming – so we’ve done the leg work for you.

We’ve rounded up our pick of the top 10 best family-friendly destinations in the UK, and how to have a cheap and cheerful break there.

Happy holiday hunting!

1. Cornwall


Cornwall has heaps of things to see and do with the kids, whether you’re after a lazy day on the beach, thinking of exploring the Eden Project or want to spend your days exploring its breathtaking coast.

Then there are the charming villages and towns, friendly locals and restaurants serving up proper British grub.

Who needs Spain when you can find plenty of sunshine and golden sand beaches right here?

Check out our Cornwall guide created with insiders for top tips on what not to miss if you visit.

 

2. Isle of Wight


If it’s an idyllic seaside break you’re after, the Isle of Wight won’t disappoint.

For a start it boasts plenty of child-friendly beaches with the likes of Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor proving popular thanks to the calmer waters and facilities on offer.

Then there are all of the activities and adventures to be had whether you go exploring Robin Hill park’s green landscapes and playgrounds, pretend to be giants at the Godshill Model Village, or get up close to donkeys at the local sanctuary.

TripAdvisor has a handy round-up of the best kid-friendly attractions on the Isle of Wight if you need more inspiration too.

3. Dorset

Durdle Door

Home to the Jurassic Coast, Dorset is an ideal destination for families who prefer to go exploring the Great Outdoors.

You’ll find heaps of fascinating trails (including easier ones for smaller children), as well as breathtaking views and highlights such as Lulworth Cove.

Another coastal highlight is the eye-catching limestone Durdle Door, with the added bonus that it’s right by a popular beach if you’re visiting in the summer and want to make the most of the sunshine. (Hotels.com can be a good source for cheap hotels near Durdle Door ).

As for days out, choose from popular attractions such as Sandworld Sculpture Park or Splashdown water park. Weather letting you down? There are heaps of musems – the Teddy Bear Museum never fails to be a hit.

You can also find out more about family days out in the area on the Visit Dorset website .

4. The Lake District

Ullswater

Not only do the landscapes here look like the stuff out of storybooks, but they’re home to countless adventures whether you’ve got small children or trying to keep the teenagers entertained.

Lakes like Ullswater are a must for thrill-seekers thanks to the wide array of water sports on offer, while the countless walking trails are ideal for hikes before heading back to the charming towns and villages with friendly locals and cosy accommodation.

Head to Bowness-on-Windermere and you’ll find The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction , home to plenty of displays and fun activities based on the author’s beloved works including Peter Rabbit.

For those planning to explore the region, we’ve picked out our favourite things to see and do in Cumbria .

Not sure where to stay? Check out the Lake District’s best family hotels based on TripAdvisor reviews. 

 

5. Scottish Highlands


The Scottish Highlands were named one of the best regions in the world for 2019 and it’s not difficult to see why.

For a start, the breathtaking lochs offer up heaps of adventure whether you’re searching for Loch Ness’ mythical monster or enjoying the waterside activities to be found at Loch Lomond.

Check out our favourite beautiful places in Scotland’s Highlands for extra inspiration.

While there are plenty of sweeping, remote landscapes, you can also find a wealth of different activities historic castles, museums and even water sports centres.

Oh, and for families who love to go for long walks, you need to check out Scotland’s Storybook Trail where tales of your most beloved characters and authors await!

Not sure where to stay first? Booking.com has rounded up 30 of the region’s best hotels including family-friendly options.

 

6.  Blackpool

Blackpool Central Pier

If you’re after a cheap and cheerful weekend away by the seaside, Blackpool could be just the place.

For a start there’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach where you’ll find thrilling rollercoasters for teens and adults as well as a Nickelodeon themed land for smaller children, while the Central Pier never fails to draw in visitors looking for fun arcade games and seaside views.

British weather letting you down? Head to Blackpool Tower where you can take in the views, discover the elegant Ballroom, or give yourself a scare at the Blackpool Dungeons.

Meanwhile, celebrity fans might want to head to Madame Tussaud’s in search of their favourite stars!

The good news is you don’t need to splurge for a stay – for example, you can find hotels from £18 per night on Lastminute.com .

 

7.  Devon

Woolacombe Beach
Woolacombe Beach

You can easily enjoy a week’s holiday in Devon without running out of things to do with the kids.

For a start there are the brilliant sandy beaches and swim-friendly waters along the coast, not to mention the nature reserves where you can take in the scenery and have a fun day out/picnic lunch.

As for the attractions, you’ll find spots like Diggerland which never fails to be a hit with children, as well as theme parks such as Crealy Great Adventure Park and Woodlands Leisure Park.

For those rainy days, there are plenty of historic castles and museums on offer to while away a few hours.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out the top 10 best hotels for families according to TripAdvisor reviews.

 

8. Giant’s Causeway coast


The Giant’s Causeway coast in Northern Ireland is home to plenty of incredible natural landmarks and fun attractions, and it can make for a pretty unique road trip .

Meanwhile, the Giant’s Causeway itself is well worth a visit thanks to its quirky rock formations and myths and legends which surround it – not to mention that TV fans may recognise it as a Game of Thrones filming location .

Don’t fancy a road trip along the coast? You can easily make a day trip out of it from nearby Belfast if a city break is on the cards. (You can find hotels in Belfast from £33 a night on Hotels.com ).

 

9.  Yorkshire

Yorkshire has some incredible landscapes

Countryside retreats don’t have to break the bank – and Yorkshire is the perfect example.

Here you’ll find plenty of budget-friendly days out, museums, estates and farms to visit, cosy hotels with friendly staff, and pubs serving up proper British grub.

(Highlights include the Forbidden Corner and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway ).

Then of course there are the breathtaking landscapes where you can easily while away a few hours as you go exploring.

Want to know more? Check out this parent’s review of a family holiday in the Yorkshire Dales and the top things to see and do.

10.  Bournemouth

Bournemouth beach
Bournemouth beach

Bournemouth is officially home to the UK’s best beach for 2019 , so it’s a perfect excuse to go and check out exactly what the seaside resort has to offer.

The beach itself boasts seven miles of golden sands and blue flag beaches, with all the facilities you need if you’re planning a full day on the beach.

There’s a plethora of activities on offer too including paddle boarding, surfing, jet-skiing, kayaking and even the world’s only pier-to-shore zip line.

Bournemouth is also filled with restaurants, shops and cafés, and even an aquarium or two.

It’s also about a 40 minute drive to Paulton’s Park, home to Peppa Pig World !

Want more inspiration?

We’ve got a dedicated UK holidays page where you can find more travel tips, destination guides and holiday deals.

On a budget? Check out our picks of the best affordable destinations in Britain, as well as top UK holiday parks that the whole family will love.

Or for something a little different, you could always go exploring some of Britain’s most incredible places .

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