Booking Your UK Family Holiday
If you're looking for a couple of weeks of action-packed family fun, and your budget can't stretch to a stay in Disneyland, then fear not - there are plenty of sites closer to home which might take your fancy instead. Here is our pick of the best family holiday destinations in the UK.
Park resort packages
The accommodation at Pontins is a little on the basic side but don't let that you put you off - most of your time is going to be spent sampling the outdoor entertainment anyway. If your priority is safe fun for young children (generally up to 8 years) without breaking the bank, this is the perfect destination. Location(s): Merseyside, East Sussex, North Wales, Somerset, Suffolk.
A mainstay of the UK family holiday game for more than 50 years, you might be surprised to learn that Haven are still (almost) as popular as ever. The unique selling point - as well as as a wealth of experience and super dedicated friendly staff - is the coast. With nautical activities taking centre stage, Haven is probably best suited for slightly older children (think 8 to 13). Location(s): Scotland, Yorkshire, Kent, Sussex, Dorset, Wales (North & South), Somerset, Lancashire, Cornwall, Essex, Norfolk, Northumberland.
Unfortunately, Butlins has long been burdened with a reputation for cheesiness (which might be a byword for cringe), so let's make this clear: it is predominantly for young children and is not going to provide much relief to exhausted parents. But what it does have going for it is affordability - and there are always plenty of savings on offer if you're prepared to book in advance. Location(s): Sussex, Somerset, Lincolnshire, South Wales.
Self-catered / "independent" holidays
Isle of Wight
One of the UK's leading tourist hot-spots going back a couple of centuries, the Isle of Wight is a nostalgic throwback to the British holidays of yesteryear. Today, it remains fairly sparsely populated - which means there's plenty of open space to enjoy if you're looking to get closer to nature.
Situated just off the idyllic South Wales coast, this charming island has more than just Gavin and Stacey going for it. The standard seaside trappings - fairgrounds, fish and chips et al - are just just part of the appeal; it's also home to some gorgeous scenery (and there are plenty of homely B&Bs if you're not keen on staying at a park resort).
The Lake District is one of the more exciting sections of British terrain to explore and is ideal for parents of slightly older children with surplus energy to burn on outdoor activities. Catered accommodation in close proximity to the action is available, but part of the charm is setting up shop and finding your own space (and entertainment).
Many backpackers are tempted by the allure of an exotic foreign vacation, but the Scottish countryside remains one of the most beautiful places in the world, and don't just take our word for it: tourists from all four corners of the globe flock there every summer.
Recent investment in England's South West corner has seen tourism in the area shoot up over the last few years. But put gimmicks to one side - it's the natural beauty of the Cornwall coast which is the biggest pull factor. You won't need to sign up to any activity clubs here; the location itself is more than enough.