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England family holidays and breaks

SS Great Britain, Bristol, SomersetSS Great Britain, Bristol, Somerset© VisitBritain
Chatsworth House, Peak DistrictChatsworth House, Peak District© VisitBritain and Visit Peaks & Derbyshire
Picnic at Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, KentPicnic at Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent© VisitBritain and Thanet District Council
Holkham Beach, NorfolkHolkham Beach, Norfolk© VisitBritain
Malvern Hills, HerefordshireMalvern Hills, Herefordshire© VisitBritain

Beautiful countryside dotted by castles and country houses, dynamic cities rammed with fantastic attractions, and a seaside that can’t be beat for its family appeal… it’s no wonder many Brits choose to remain England for their family holidays and breaks. Travel costs are generally minimal, while the wide choice of self-catering properties help you keep within a family-sized budget.

 
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Things to do with kids in England

London 
The British capital offers hundreds of family-friendly attractions and a busy program of events, from world-class museums to the latest West End shows.

East of England
Within easy reach of the capital, Eastern England (part of which is still sometimes known as East Anglia) includes Norfolk and Suffolk with their wonderful beaches, superb forests and unspoilt landscapes.

South East England
Also easily accessed from London, this region includes the lovely ‘garden of England’, Kent, with more quirky seaside towns and some great castles. Brighton and Eastbourne are further family-friendly seaside towns; Sussex, of which they are a part, has lovely rolling countryside punctuated by castles, battlesites, castles, palaces, Roman villas and gardens. Next up is Hampshire, with the buzzing maritime cities Portsmouth and Southampton but also most of the glorious New Forest.

South West England
Still on the subject of seaside fun, South West England offers up Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Often overlooked, Somerset also offers beautiful beaches, stunning inland countryside, plus historic Bath, Glastonbury and Wells, while Wiltshire is home to world-famous Stonehenge, Avebury and Old Sarum, plus stately homes and glorious gardens.

Cotswolds 
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds (covering parts of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire) is touristy yet low key, offering lots of farms and other outdoor venues, historic gardens, books and arts and crafts shops, and welcoming pubs and inns.

West Midlands
The focal point of the West Midlands is Birmingham with its incredible industrial heritage and awesome modern shopping, but this is also a good region for themepark aficionados. 

East Midlands 
The highlights of the East Midlands for families are Derbyshire, home to most of the Peak District National Park, Rutland, focussed around Rutland Water with its watersports, and Lincolnshire with its traditional seaside resorts, timeless Wolds, atmospheric Fens and beautiful historic city Lincoln.

Yorkshire and the Humber
Lincolnshire extends into Yorkshire and the Humber, where you’ll also find the historic county of Yorkshire with its three national parks, two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and three Heritage Coast areas, plus superb cities York and Leeds.

North East England
North East England’s highlight is Northumberland – a great alternative for family holidays by the sea for those who find the likes of Cornwall and Norfolk over-subscribed, plus a landscape dotted by Roman ruins and impressive castles.

North West England
North West England similarly offers idyllic landscapes, especially in Cumbria with its gorgeous Lake District. But there are also some great family-friendly cities here, with wonderful museums (many free) and other excellent attractions – especially Manchester and Liverpool.

Eat

Seasonal local produce, often organic, is one of the highlights of holidays and breaks in England. If you're self-catering, local farmers' markets and farm shops are worth seeking out, but there are plenty of family-friendly restaurants, cafés and pubs all over the region.

By Rhonda Carrier

When to go to England

With its world-class cities and indoor as well as outdoor attractions, England is a year-round destination.

How to get to England

As a major tourist destination, England is well endowed with international and regional airports as well as generally efficient domestic transport networks.

Cost

Family holidays and breaks in England will vary wildly in price depending on your chosen location and form of accommodation but there are plenty of very affordable options all around the country.

Previous Accommodation

Family friendly places to stay in England

From child-friendly country-house hotels to seaside campsites, from luxury city apartments to back-to-basics farmstays or action-packed holiday villages, England offers an incredible wealth of accommodation choices for family holidays or breaks whatever your budget.

Key:
Self-catering
Hotel
Editors favourite
Kids Club
  • Park Plaza County Hall London, London

    A hotel on London's Southbank where kids are treated like royalty and facilities include in-room kitchenettes.

  • Sands Resort Hotel & Spa, Cornwall

    Friendly hotel overlooking beautiful beaches in Cornwall with a great range of activities and childcare.

  • Fowey Hall, Cornwall

    Great service and family-friendly facilities at the place that inspired Toad Hall, located on the south Cornish coast.

  • Moonfleet Manor, Dorset

    Family-friendly, laidback and quirky, this country house in Dorset is  located on the coast and is full of family treats.

  • Ribby Hall Village, near Blackpool, Lancashire

    Self-catering cottages and indoor and outdoor leisure facilities galore, all in a plum location for Blackpool.

  • The Rosevine, Cornwall

    Luxury family holidays and breaks in Cornwall with a flexible twist – stay on a B&B basis, self-cater, or do a bit of both.

  • Country Retreat Layer Marney Tower, Essex

    A luxury glamping site on a country estate in Essex, surrounded by woodland and close to the beach.

  • Country Retreat Acton Scott, Shropshire

    Located in the Shropshire Hills, this family glamping site is home to a working farm and luxury food hampers.

  • Country Retreat Wyresdale Park, Lancashire

    A luxury campsite on the edge of the Lake District and set within a private country estate with a boating lake.

  • Retallack Resort and Spa, Cornwall

    Luxury 5-star self-catering holiday homes near the beach in Cornwall, with kids club, spa and golf course.

  • Cottages in Sussex, Sussex

    Book a family-friendly cottage in Sussex, make yourself a base and visit all this region has to offer - beach, countryside and more.

  • Cottages in Northumberland, Northumberland

    Enjoy an relaxing or active family holiday or break and base your family in a self-catering cottage in Northumberland.

  • Cottages in Dorset, Dorset

    Choose a luxury family cottage, a coastal property, a cottage with swimming pool, and much more in Dorset.

  • Cottages in Cumbria, Cumbria

    Head to Cumbria and the Lake District to enjoy an active family holiday with a variety of self-catering cottage properties to rent.

  • Cottages in Devon, Devon

    Rural and coastal cottages, ideal for family holidays and breaks in Devon.

  • Cottages in Norfolk, Norfolk

    Self-catering cottages ideal for small families holidays or large family gatherings, in rural and coastal Norfolk.

  • Cottages in Cornwall, Cornwall

    A wide range of family-friendly cottages in Cornwall, in rural and coast locations and with a choice of facilities to suit your family.

  • Cottages in Yorkshire, Yorkshire

    Family cottages in rural and coastal Yorkshire, ideal for families with young children, active families and families who want to relax their own self-catering holiday property.

  • Lipley Farm, Shropshire

    A peaceful haven where you can relax and enjoy a luxury family camping holiday or break in the Shropshire countryside.

  • Readyfields Farm, Nottinghamshire

    A Feather Down Farm Days site, surrounded by fields as far as the eye can see, whilst not being far from Sherwood Forest or Newark.

  • Upper Shadymoor Farm, Shropshire

    An ideal location for large families, with all 6 tents face inwards, giving you a sense of community, and a barn on site which is great for social feasts and gatherings.

  • Lower Rodhuish Farm, Somerset

    A family holiday and break with both rural and coastal benefits and surrounded by so many attractions and places to see, you may find yourself booking another stay here.

  • Rosliston Forest Lodges, Derbyshire

    Furnished lodges sleeping up to 10, with outdoor space and fresh air on tap.

  • Park Farm, Littleworth, The Cotswolds

    Family holiday or break away from modern life and electricity.

  • New Barn Farm, North Bedfordshire Wolds, South East England

    A great place to relax and toast marshmallows on warm summer evenings whilst the kids run free.

  • Mount Pleasant Farm, Woolland, Blandford Forum, Dorset

    A family camping experience with home comforts thrown in, in rural Dorset.

  • Warren Farm, Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

    Explore or relax - you can do as much or as little as you want at Warren Farm in Somerset.

  • College Farm, Aldeby, Norfolk

    Guests have access to a private lake shore - ideal for a warm sunny day in Norfolk.

  • Lunsford Farm, Pett, Hastings, Sussex

    Experience a luxury glamping farm experience with the family in East Sussex.

  • East Shilvinghampton Farm, Portesham, Weymouth, Dorset

    Cosy camping, with a wood-burning stove, comfy beds and eggs fresh from the coop in Dorset.

  • Midgham Farm, Fordingbridge, New Forest

    Funky family camping in the heart of the New Forest.

  • Sunninglye Farm, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

    Simple yet glam camping in the Garden of England.

  • The Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk

    Within a National Trust property in Suffolk, you get the feeling of grandeur whilst being completely family-friendly.

  • Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

    A great family hotel and resort for older kids and teens, who can take advantage of the excellent surfing tuition in Cornwall.

  • Warmwell, Dorset

    Set amongst acres of picturesque woodland, Warmwell offers a range of fun and exciting activities. A great value for money holiday park in Dorset

  • Hoburne Naish, New Milton , Hampshire

    On a cliff-top location, this car-free resort with plenty of activities in Hampshire is spot on for family holidays.

  • Gurnard Pines, Isle of Wight

    Holiday park on the Isle of Wight with childrens play areas and fun family activities and indoor and outdoor pools.

  • Captain Cook’s Haven, near Whitby, Yorkshire, Yorkshire

    A quiet self-catering family holiday and break location on the North Yorkshire Coast, with indoor pool and playground.

  • Darwin Forest Country Park , Derbyshire

    Located in the Peak District, this holiday park provides activities for those looking to relax or for the more active.

  • Haven Perran Sands, Cornwall

    Located on the Cornish coast, with direct access to the beach and its own surf school, making this holiday park a hit with all the family.

  • Dolphinholme House Farm, Lancashire

    A family-run dairy farm within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Lancashire, with family-friendly glamping facilities.

  • Hollings Hill Farm, Herefordshire

    A working dairy-farm in Herefordshire where you get treated like one of the family, whilst staying in your own luxurious tent and get to enjoy the on-site hot tub.

  • Feather Down Farms, Boswarthen Farm, Cornwall

    Family-run dairy farm, just a ten minute drive from the north and south coasts in Cornwall.

  • Manor Farm, Hampshire

    A 400 acre traditional family farm, with crops, livestock and Llamas. Hard to believe its only 1 hour from London!

  • Feather Down Farms, Aller Farm, Devon

    350 acre dairy farm in Devon perfect for family glamping holidays, only 20mins from the beach and local towns just a few miles away.

  • Feather Down Farms, Billingsmoor Farm, Devon

    Traditional organic dairy farm with views of rolling countryside and further stretching views of the Devonshire coastline.

  • Feather Down Farms Knaveswell Farm, Dorset

    A family-run dairy farm in Dorset, with acre up on acre of land to explore and not too far from attractions and beaches.

  • West Sussex Feather Down Farm, Canfields Farm, Sussex

    A family-run farm in West Sussex, with luxury canvas tents, surrounded by woodlands and cycle routes and only 25mins from Brighton.

  • Feather Down Farm, Howbeck Lodge, Cumbria

    A lovely beef and sheep farm at the foot of the Skiddaw range in the Lake District National Park.

  • The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

    A luxury family-friendly country-house hotel in Hertfordshire with a spa and kids club, whilst not being far from the capital.

See more >

Family friendly organised days out in England

Key:
Self-catering
Hotel
Editors favourite
Kids Club
  • Warwick Castle

    Relive Horrible Histories in the grounds of one of England's greatest castles.

  • Cadbury World

    The wonderful world of chocolate in the UK's second largest city.

  • The London Dungeon

    Sitting beneath the streets of London, the London Dungeon offers a frightening experience for older members of the family.

  • Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World

    Family-friendly theme park, suitable for all ages, and home to the much-loved Peppa Pig World.

  • Go Ape!

    Tree top adventures for ages 4+, in 29 woodland locations around the UK.

  • London Theatre - Mamma Mia

    The ultimate feel-good show, especially popular with mums and daughters.

  • Pleasure Beach Blackpool

    A longstanding favourite on the northwest coast, with rides for all ages, live shows and more.

  • Tate Modern

    Modern and contemporary art from around the globe, presented with an eye for families and free to boot.

  • Stonehenge

    This UNESCO-listed ancient site retains its power to intrigue young and old alike.

  • Eden Project

    An iconic Cornish venue where where you can expand your knowledge of nature through exhibits and interactives.

  • Chessington World of Adventures

    A family-favourite theme-park, animal park and sealife centre a short hop from London.

  • Alton Towers

    The biggest themepark in England, with attractions for everyone from tots to thrill-seekers.

  • London Eye

    The best views over the British capital are offered during a 30-minute ‘flight’ on the iconic London Eye.

  • London Theatre - The Lion King

    Disney's famous tale comes to vivid life on the London stage.

  • Tatton Park

    A place worthy of a big day out, with a farm, an adventure playground, lovely gardens and a vast estate to explore by bike or other means.

  • Museum of London & Museum of London Docklands

    Two free museums charting the fascinating history of London in general and as a port.

  • Science Museum

    Fun and learning are inextricably mixed at this enormous free venue in London's 'Museumland'.

  • Windsor Castle

    A unique royal residence accessible to families via audio-tours and trails.

  • Thorpe Park

    A thrill-seekers' paradise not far from London, with a few rides for younger visitors too.

  • Whipsnade Zoo

    One of the biggest conservations zoos in all Europe, showcasing wildlife from near and far.

  • London Zoo

    A long-established and respected if smallish zoo in the plum surrounds of London's Regents Park.

  • Tower of London

    Bloodcurdling history comes to the fore at this atmospheric one-time royal dwelling.

  • World Museum Liverpool

    One of Britain's most wide-ranging museums, exploring everything from world cultures to bugs and sealife.

  • Kew Gardens

    A London institution, brilliant for introducing kids of all ages to the wonders of the natural world.

  • British Museum

    A vast repository of artefacts from cultures around the world, free to visit.

  • London Transport Museum

    Plenty of interactives to get kids engaged by London's transport systems past, present and future.

  • Natural History Museum

    London's vast Natural History Museum is an astonishing free resource for anyone interested in our planet.

  • Knowsley Safari Park

    A fab day out, with a safari drive, fairground rides and a high-ropes course.

  • Legoland

    The younger kids' themepark, with rides and attractions for children up to 12.

  • Chatsworth House

    The 'jewel of the Peak District' offers masses of fun for younger visitors.

See more >

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Previous Accommodation

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