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England family holidays and breaks

Holkham Beach, Norfolk.Holkham Beach, Norfolk.© VisitBritain
Chatsworth House, Peak District.Chatsworth House, Peak District.© VisitBritain and Visit Peaks & Derbyshire
Picnic at Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent.Picnic at Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet, Kent.© VisitBritain and Thanet District Council
Malvern Hills, Herefordshire.Malvern Hills, Herefordshire.© VisitBritain
SS Great Britain, Bristol, Somerset.SS Great Britain, Bristol, Somerset.© VisitBritain
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Timezone GMT
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Today

Overview

Gorgeous 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 parents choose England for a family holiday or break. And the benefits of holidaying in England when you live in the UK are low travel costs and a fabulous choice of self-catering properties to help you keep to a family-sized budget.

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 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, and then the charming Isle of Wight

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

Cotswolds 
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this region (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 this part of the country is the city of Birmingham with its incredible industrial heritage and awesome modern shopping, but it's also good for themepark aficionados, and there's some fabulous countryside too, especially the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

East Midlands 
The highlights of this area for families are Derbyshire, home to most of the Peak District National Park, Rutland, focused on Rutland Water with its watersports, and Lincolnshire with its traditional seaside resorts, timeless Wolds, atmospheric Fens and 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
The highlight here 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
This region 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.

When to go to England

With its world-class cities and wealth of both indoor and outdoor attractions, England is a year-round destination, perfect for Christmas holidays, Easter breaks, half-term holidays and summer getaways, as well as short breaks and weekends away.

Cost

The cost of family holidays and breaks in England varies wildly depending on your location and the type of accommodation you choose, but it can be a very affordable option, especially if you choose a self-catering property.

By Rhonda Carrier

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