Holidaymaker's Guide: UK Holiday Parks
Britain's holiday resorts have come a long way since the days of Butlins pantomines and donkey rides along the beaches of Great Yarmouth. But don't just take our word for it; there's a whole plethora of UK parks out there for you to enjoy - where you're looking for a relaxing week on the coast or an adventure in the wilderness. To help you decide where to go next half-term, we've profiled the five best UK holiday parks below.
Holiday parks are great entertainment for the whole family not just the kids so take your time to choose the one that will fit your interests the most. Accommodation and activities vary from park to park so make sure you explore your options in advance. There are many scenic locations across the UK, wherever you choose, enjoy the surrounding area from the comfort of your holiday home.
East Thorne Yurts
Accommodation: The South West's most bohemian resort is dotted with spacious yurts (for the unitiated, a yurt is essentially a large, free-standing tent) and cosy log-fire cottages. They're self-catered, but guests do have access to a large kitchen, as well as games rooms for evening entertainment.
Activities: East Thorne is nicely placed on Cornwall's north coast, so anyone looking to test out their sea legs will be well looked after by local surfing instructors. There's also a communal campfire, where you can catch up with other parents after a day at the adventure playground.
Cost: from £395 per week
Location: Yorkshire Dales
Accommodation: Just a stone's throw away from some of the best scenery in all of England, Stonelands are a small collection of luxury cottages finished with a touch of homely charm. If you're looking for plenty of privacy and a bit of nostalgia, you could do much worse.
Activities: Stonelands is right on the doorstep of the River Ure, home to rocky waterfalls and deep stretches of forest. More adventurous visitors enjoy the kayaking and canoeing, while those in search of something more sedate can also partake in gentle walks along the riverbank.
Cost: from £600 per week
Bluestone National Park Resort
Accommodation: The feather in the cap of the burgeoning Welsh tourist industry, Bluestone National Park Resort rents out modern self-catering lodges. They may not have the homely appeal of some of the other cottages, but they are big enough to house a large family and give everyone plenty of their own space.
Activities: Bluestone is a large resort which takes in a huge number of visitors; this means congestion can be an issue, but there is no shortage of faciltiies, from spa treatment rooms to swimming pools and adventure playgrounds - not to mention the boundless reserves of surrounding countryside.
Cost: from £700 per week
Location: Scottish Highlands
Accommodation: Log cabins? Check? Open fireplaces? Check. Deer antlers on the wall? Check. No, it's not Alaska, but the charming Scottish Highlands. Eagle Brae boasts a selection of gorgeous cabins tucked away in the heart of arguably the UK's most beautiful region.
Activities: This has been designated an area of outstanding natural beauty, and they really mean it. If you're looking for somewhere you can get closer to nature, enjoy the wildlife and explore the unknown, there is nowhere better in Britain.
Cost: from £750 per week
Accommodation: If you've grown tired of caravans, cabins and cottages, Chewton Glen might have the answer you're looking for: they rent out luxury "treehouses" suspended high above the ground, and deliver meals to your door on your command.
Activities: From the above description, it's pretty obvious this park is more of a couple's retreat than a playcentre for the little ones. It's home to some brilliant spa facilities, a huge swimming pool, and acres of woodland to explore.
Cost: Varies depending on suite, advance booking and head count. Up to £800 per night - so make this a long weekend rather than a half-term holiday.