If you're looking for an amazing family-friendly destination for your next holiday, look no further than your own backyard. There are plenty of great places to travel in the UK with kids that will keep the whole family happy (and that are perfect if you only have a few days holiday). From the highlands of Scotland to the beaches of Wales, here are a few of our favourite family-friendly destinations in the UK!
Belfast makes for an excellent city break with the kids. With plenty to do for parents and guardians - you'll be spoiled for choice with restaurants, museums, and cafés - kids will also love the many activities and interactive experiences to be had around the city. For an educational morning, try the Ulster Museum to learn about the history of Northern Ireland. Then spend the afternoon burning off energy at Lost City Adventure Golf, Colin Glen Forest Park, or one of the We Are Vertigo locations around the city. Kids and teenagers who love hands-on activities will especially enjoy W5, an incredible science and discovery centre on Queen's Quay.
Check out even more recommendations on things to do in Belfast with kids!
Devon is a dream destination for families. With plenty of beaches to choose from in Devon, there truly is a beach for everyone. Kids will especially love Westward Ho!, a soft stretch of sand that lasts two miles (perfect for building sand castles). Older kids will love surfing at Croyde Bay, and families with dogs can relax knowing that even Fido can have fun if headed to dog-friendly Beesands Beach. With lots to explore, base yourself in a Devon hotel and set out on a new adventure every morning of your holiday... it's impossible to get bored with so much to see and do!
North Coast 500, Scotland
If your family loves road trips, then this is the road trip for you. The North Coast 500, a loop around the Scottish Highlands, truly has it all: beaches, mountains, castles, museums, and even a Highland cow or two. Budding photographers in the family will never run out of backdrops along this route, so hire a car in Inverness and see where the road takes you. Our suggestion? Start counter-clockwise from Inverness, leaving the stunning West Coast of Scotland for the end of the trip (and if there's time, many of Scotland's most beautiful islands are only a ferry ride away).
Margate, a charming seaside town in Kent, has a lot to offer. Adults will love the town's diverse range of restaurants, the Turner Contemporary art gallery, and the shops that feel like they'd be right at home in London's hip East End. The little ones will love the beach, where there's plenty of sandcastle building and splashing to be had. And everyone - everyone - will love one of Margate's main attractions, the revamped amusement park Dreamland. Modelled after the traditional English seaside funfairs of days past, Dreamland has rides, a roller rink, arcade games, and all the popcorn and candy floss you can handle. The town makes for a perfect day trip or for a long weekend holiday, as there's plenty of lovely hotels in Margate to choose from.
The gorgeous Welsh coastline really shines along the Pembrokeshire Coast, and there's plenty of family-friendly activities to boot. Whether you're exploring one of the coastline's many beaches, stopping in for a bit of fun at Tenby's Dinosaur Park, or imagining yourselves as kings and queens at the Pembroke Castle, family members of all ages will find plenty of Pembrokeshire activities both indoors and out. If you're an active family, make sure to head to St. David's, where you'll be spoiled for your choice of adventure; think kayaking, climbing, surfing, and coasteering (in fact, coasteering, an activity where you clamber along the rocks and jump in an out of the water as necessary, was invented here). Just make sure your activity of choice is age-appropriate! There's also Castell Henllys, an Iron Age village, where kids can explore the ancient ways to their heart's content.
Leeds is another fantastic choice for a staycation with the children. Basing yourself at a hotel in Leeds will offer access to many of Leeds' top attractions, most of which will be within walking distance for older kids and adults! Make sure to check out at least one of Leeds' museums, including the Middleton Railway Museum, the Abbey House Museum, or the Leeds City Museum. For the active family, a visit to the West Leeds Activity Centre is a must; go-karting, climbing, and canoeing are just a few of the activities on hand here.
There's no shortage of things to do in Edinburgh to keep the whole family entertained. Attending Hogmanay makes for a memorable family holiday, as does a visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August. Kids of all ages will love the National Museum of Scotland, Dynamic Earth, and the Edinburgh Castle. Harry Potter fans will love the Harry Potter tour, while older children might get a good scare out of a ghost tour. There are also plenty of good walks and hikes around Edinburgh, namely the climb to Arthur's Seat, which makes for a good sunny day activity for avid hikers. Note that Edinburgh's Old Town is quite hilly and cobblestoned, so keep that in mind if you're travelling with a buggy and/or a wheelchair.
The Lake District
If you're looking for the quintessential English holiday, look no further than The Lake District. With rolling green hills, shimmering lakes, and plenty to do indoors as well as out, there's plenty to do with kids in the Lake District. Take your family out for some exploring; try hiking a Wainwright peak, kayaking on Coniston Water, or walking around the Langdales (there's a buggy-friendly and wheelchair-friendly route). Have someone in your family who loves trains? The mini steam train ride on the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway. And any bookworm in the family will love a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter!
What would this list be without London? Although perhaps an obvious choice, there's no denying that London has something to offer everyone in the family, no matter their age. Top hits with kids in London include the Warner Brothers Studios London (a must for any Harry Potter aficionado), the London Dungeon (best for older children and teenagers), Shrek's Adventure! London, and the Natural History Museum. With dozens of museums and galleries to choose from, a trip to London can make for both an educational and a fun holiday. For an extra treat, make sure to hit up a musical in the West End.
What are you waiting for? Book your family-friendly holiday in the UK today! You can also check out our recommendations for the best family-friendly holidays abroad.