Staycay vacay: the best family-friendly hotels in the UK
Forget bun fighting at the Covid-testing centres for an overseas getaway this year because actually we've found some cracking family-friendly hotels in the UK that offer pools, roller coasters, and geocaching to name but a few draws. It's not secret that we’re all about making the most of the school holidays and we've been busy packing in lots of activities like making ice pops, crafting and enjoying the best West End musicals and shows. But if, like us, you want to escape the city and explore more of what the country has to offer then a staycay vacay may be on the
cards. While not all hotels are created equal when it comes to catering for the kids, we’ve been
on the hunt to find the best family-friendly hotels in the UK for all ages...
Bedruthan Hotel and Spa - Cornwall, England
Head to the beautiful Cornish coastline and settle in at Bedruthan Hotel and Spa for a holiday
with a difference. Choose from a range of family rooms with sea views or opt for a large
apartment that will give you the option to do your own food prep.
The kids will love spending time on the sandy beaches and taking surf lessons, plus creative
workshops run throughout the holidays to keep them occupied while you enjoy time at the spa
(because you’re worth it!)
Buggies, bottle warmers, and high chairs are all available onsite, so you can pack light and
focus on making memories. Need a little extra peace and quiet? Head to the fragrant Sensory
Garden and spend time among the herbs before heading for a cheeky sauna.
2. Augill Castle - Cumbria, England
You haven’t holidayed until you’ve lived out your right royal fantasies at a castle, and Augill
Castle, nestled between Cumbria’s Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales is the perfect place to
do just this. Originally built in the 19th Century, the property sits on 15 acres of land and has
been a family home for the last twenty years, so expect warm and friendly hospitality.
The great outdoors await on your doorstep here, with plenty of surrounding villages, waterfalls,
caves, and gorges to explore on foot. Spend time in the magnificent Drawing Room and
challenge the whole family to games or get your fancy on by booking in for afternoon tea.
Interconnecting rooms and suites will suit groups of any size and there are plenty of cots, baby
monitors, and spare supplies on hand to make your life a little easier.
Saunton Sands Hotel - Devon, England
If it’s a seaside holiday you’re after, then look no further than the popular Saunton Sands Hotel
in Devon. This 4-star, Art Deco hotel overlooks a three-mile stretch of beach where you can indulge in paddling, surfing, or epic sand castle-building competitions. There are plenty of great walks close by, a huge school holiday programme full of classes, and the pool is a favourite for all ages.
Deluxe rooms, sea facing rooms, interconnecting family suites, and The Penthouse apartment
are all popular with groups, so be sure to book well in advance. The Dining Room at the hotel
has two AA-rosette status and children are welcome to dine with parents from 5-6:30pm. Watch
the sun set at Beachside Grill while you chow down on steaks, burgers, or classic fish and chips
and be sure to try out the spa before you leave.
Chewton Glen Hotel - Hampshire, England
Chewton Glen Hotel is the perfect family-friendly hotel, offering amazing activities for children,
such as: art classes, archery, clay shooting, and croquet. Gorgeous Teddy Bear Sheep
surround the property, and there’s a spa, fitness centre, and tennis court on-site too.
Our pick? You’ve totally got to book-in for a stay in one of the treehouses. The newest in the collection, The Yews (which can sleep up to four adults and eight children) is equipped with a wood burner and is decked out in trendy interior design, the perfect place to relax after a day of adventuring.
A personal chef can be arranged for a special occasion or get everyone to pitch in and make
use of the serviced kitchen!
Auchrannie Resort - Isle of Arran, Scotland
Over on the Isle of Arran, Auchrannie Resort is waiting to make your holiday dreams come true.
Burn off some energy playing badminton, tennis, basketball, football, or take the segways for a
spin before plunging into the 20-metre indoor swimming pool or children’s pool.
This dog-friendly property offers rooms in the House Hotel as well as the Spa Resort, but
families may want to opt for the self-catering Luxury Lodges that can sleep up to eight people.
Three restaurants are on-hand to feed the masses everything from Spanish tapas to burgers
Chessington World of Adventures Resort - London, England
You barely need to leave London to find this epic family-friendly hotel. Part waterpark, part
zoo, part adventure wonderland, Chessington World of Adventures Resort is the perfect escape
for big and little ones alike.
By day, visit the Southern White rhinos and giraffes at the Zoo and the creatures at the Sea Life Centre before heading to the Theme Park for rides and roller coasters. By night, smaller children will enjoy themed animal rooms (there’s even a Gruffalo-themed room!) decked out in wild interiors packed with lots of books to help get people feeling sleepy.
Be sure to keep an eye out for special occasions like Howl’O’Ween and Winter’s Tail at Christmas time, as that’s when things get even more extreme.
Celtic Manor Resort - Newport, Wales
A mere 130-mile drive from London, Celtic Manor Resort in Wales is waiting to give you one of
the best holidays of your life. Entertainment is the name of the game here, with everything from
family challenges to high and low ropes courses to forest nets available to get the blood
pumping. Younger children will enjoy access to a range of activities, including bouncy spaces
and plenty of outdoor places to run around.
Expect beautiful accommodations at this 5-star property, with a selection of interconnecting
rooms available along with cots and children’s beds. A range of restaurants cater to every
dietary request and Forum Spa is on-hand for massage and facial treatments.
Crieff Hydro - Crieff, Scotland
Beloved by guests for over 150 years, Crieff Hydro is all about giving the whole family a
wonderful holiday (including the dog!) Explore the outdoor surroundings, catch a movie at the
Cinema, experience summer shows, and even visit Santa’s Grotto in December.
When you book directly with the property, you’ll enjoy free breakfasts; free access to the pool,
gym, sauna, and steam room; plus a two hour childcare session in BIG Country (the hotel’s
kids-only zone) so you can have some adult time.
Choose from a huge range of accommodations, including self-catering cabins, huts, and lodges
or stay in family rooms in the hotel that sleep up to six people. You’ll be spoilt for choice on the
food front with six restaurants and cafes on-site with lots of healthy snack options to balance out
the dessert selection at The Winter Garden.
The Ickworth - Suffolk, England
This luxury family hotel in Suffolk (pictured top) is set over 1800-acres of National Trust parkland is perfect for families of any size and age range. Once a fine country home, the Italian-inspired property is dedicated to making you comfy in the East Wing with all the modern comforts you could ask for, including audio and visual child monitoring system, cots, nappy bins, and bottle warmers. Try geocaching on the grounds, catch a movie in the Cinema Room, splash around in the indoor pool, or challenge the family to a table tennis tournament. Best of all, you’ll get 90 minutes free childcare for each night of your stay, so you can enjoy a romantic dinner, grab a drink in the Italianate gardens or book in for a pampering session at the spa.
Wherever you head, don't forget to send us a postcard!
Staying in London for the holidays? We’ve got you covered:
This story was contributed by the team at The Hotel Journal