As any parent will testify, choosing a family holiday that suits everyone and keeps children of all ages entertained can be a challenge. Heading abroad and enjoying some fun in the sun is universally appealing, but with holiday costs on the rise, a week away can be a budgetary nightmare – but when the other option is to stay at home and brave the British weather, spending money often seems like the only alternative.
The reality is that the UK can offer some seriously great breaks for families who don’t mind foregoing the sunny shores of the Canary Islands or the lure of the Magic Kingdom in Florida. In fact, rather than worrying about whether you’re going to end up in the middle of a downpour, why not just pack some extra waterproofs and unleash your inner child. Here are some great ideas for enjoying family friendly holidays in the UK.
Camping and Caravanning
Children love the idea of taking your house with you wherever you go, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own caravan then that’s pretty much what you can do. If you don’t have your own caravan, don’t worry, there are plenty of sites that will rent you a static on-site version at a fraction of the cost of a hotel stay. You can choose from sites on the beach or in the heart of the countryside, and most are pet friendly too. In fact, there are so many sites offering cheap holidays in luxury caravans that they are ideal for short breaks as well.
For those of us who love the idea of sleeping under the stars but can’t really be bothered dealing with soggy tents first thing in the morning, ‘glamping’ is the celebrity-styled way of getting under canvas. The best of the lot has got to be the fantastic yurts that are popping up all over the countryside. Your kids can still enjoy the wonders of the great outdoors, but inside, worn out parents can enjoy the luxuries of roll-top baths with real running water, log burners, faux-fur rugs and electricity that doesn’t come in the form of a wind up torch. Camping heaven!
If your kids need a little excitement to keep them interested, then why not introduce them to horse riding at a dedicated residential riding school? Trekking was one of the original activities on adventure holidays, partly because it gave inner-city children the chance to try country pursuits first hand. These days, of course, horse riding is popular all across the UK, but children still love spending their days around animals and learning how to ride. Parents naturally love the fact that their little ones are away for a few hours every day, freeing up some much needed ‘adult’ time.
As family adventure holidays go, booking a week in an activity centre is the ultimate trip. There are activities for all ages to enjoy, from archery and rock climbing, to swimming and rope courses, so there’s bound to be something to keep everyone occupied. Activity centres are usually self catering which gives you a little added freedom, but if you want to take the stress out of looking after yourselves, there is usually a cafe or small restaurant on site. Plus, holidays like these are perfect for giving your kids the chance to try out new sports without any added expense.
Byline: Fiona Galloway is a freelance travel writer who always tries to take her family on adventure holidays at least once a year.