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Close by is Winchester, home to a magnificent cathedral and a truly fantastic science centre with an impressive number of hands-on exhibits. Stepping further back in time, Tring has an excellent natural history museum. The moated castle has tunnels and towers to explore and a terrifying gatehouse complete with original portcullis. It’s not just the scenery which is straight from a fairy tale in Wales, wherever you look there are myths and legends to be discovered, especially from the tales of King Arthur. Hopping in the car for a two night family long weekend, even just an hour or so from home, can feel like a much longer holiday if it’s a break from the norm. Although the weather wasn’t on our side we managed a great day out in Lincoln. Whether you’re seeking the luxury of a lodge break in woodland, a holiday park filled with amazing activities for all the family, a cosy cottage, city break or group accommodation for the best ever reunion, there’s plenty of choice for short breaks, mini stays and weekends away. Short breaks and mini breaks in the UK. Much of the castle is still intact and there are towers to climb and walls to run along. Mermaid Inn, Rye, is a must see during family breaks in East Sussex. There are several steam railways in the area and plenty of popular theme parks including Watermouth Castle and the Big Sheep at Bideford. I think my sons would vote York as their favourite city for a family weekend getaway for its railway museum alone. A classic child-friendly property on the Atlantic coast, with indoor and outdoor pools, an adventure playground, and a spa. It charts the history of Basingstoke – with an emphasis on its Victorian past. Im currently plotting a trip to Scotland and would like to go back to Alnwick! It’s a collection of cottages which overlook the steam railway station of Ropley, near Alresford. Family weekend getaways in Cornwall. There are several museums including the Museum of Bath Architecture, the Victoria Art Gallery, the Museum of East Asian Art, the Herschel Museum of Astronomy and the Holburne Museum that you can visit. The high street is great for a lazy amble: there’s a good range of independent shops to browse and cafes to linger in although our kids prefer to wile away the time at the excellent play ground which has a pirate ship to clamber on. Short Breaks & Weekend Getaways UK. I hope you find a destination in here which appeals to your family. Discover the best short breaks and weekend getaways in the UK, from stylish UK city breaks to romantic country escapes. There’s also a brilliant sculpture trail in the Forest of Dean to keep little ones interested on a woodland walk. They’re definitely for the more adventurous types, with the onus on activities rather … There’s also a worthwhile kid’s explorer trail which kept ours busy and engaged. Harry Potter fans may recognise parts of the cathedral as Hogwarts from the Harry Potter films and Lego fans will love the enormous and detailed Lego model of the Cathedral on display near the cathedral shop. Dinosaur fans will love Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and children’s imaginations will run wild hunting for fairies and elves at the Gnome Reserve. Although we didn’t have time to visit, the town of Ironbridge is packed with museums including the excellent open-air Blists Hill Victorian Museum. For more ideas on short breaks with kids in Edinburgh, Marianne has compiled 10 fun things to do in Edinburgh with kids. It is a relatively small city, making it easy to get around with kids, and there is lots of wide-open green space, including the city-centre Princes Street Gardens. Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, can be hiked, or you can reach the top by train (definitely the best option with young kids!). When in the Lake District with children, you can’t really avoid a boat trip, and there are plenty of options! Harry Potter short breaks are becoming increasingly popular so you’ll find details here about some of the locations used in the films. Snowdonia has many beautiful castles to explore. Do you have any short break ideas for families to add to this list? We’ve brought together our favourite short-break destinations in the UK with children of all ages, from country-house hotels, seaside and lake retreats in holiday hotspots including Cornwall, Devon, the Channel Islands and the Lake District and city breaks in London and elsewhere, to glamping and farmstays. One of our favourite beaches was the huge Portstewart Strand. Most visitors to the Scillies stay on the main island of St Mary’s where there’s a range of shops, cafes and restaurants. We always enjoy a trip to Wells-next-the-Sea when we’re in North Norfolk. So many reasons to take a holiday in that part of the world! Game of Thrones fans will enjoy visiting the various filming locations in Antrim: the Dark Hedges and pretty Ballintoy Harbour. We enjoyed a long weekend in Lincolnshire during February half term. There are wonderful beaches of course, such as Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton Sands but inland there are plenty of family friendly activities. Where we stayed: we found a really good city centre apartment on the river which was a short walk to all of the main attractions in York. Feeding newborn calves, driving toy tractors, playing football in the huge gardens and playing hide and seek in the woods are just some of the reasons we’d like to pay Brackenborough a return visit. Snowdonia in North Wales is a great option for a UK family short break for those looking for a combination of outdoor activities and history. Like you say there is so much to see and do for a small island. This fabulous stretch of sand goes on for miles and has the Mourne Mountains as a stunning backdrop. Famous for Cornish pasties, ice cream, and clotted cream, Cornwall is also great for foodies. All of our accommodation is perfectly placed for enjoying some of the UK’s most beautiful scenery with gorgeous coastal locations, … Of course, there’s plenty to do outside in York. Family breaks at Center Parcs are perfect for all generations and are a great way to get everyone together. You can take the train to Edinburgh in just over four hours from London or take the overnight train for a real adventure, then rent a car and drive through the beautiful Scottish Highlands to the magical Isle of Skye. We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. Anther park which you must visit is Kensington as children will love the Princess Diana Memorial Playground! Luxury cabins nestled in Sherwood Forest, with a bundle of activities to choose from - there's something for everyone. • Hoseasons Go Active: holiday parks with lodges and plenty to do on-site. Choose from cosy cottages and coastal retreats, luxurious lodges, large getaways for families and friends and many more amazing weekend escapes. We loved the Yorkshire Museum with its interactive exhibits: my kids loved rowing a Viking ship across stormy seas. Bolton Abbey: perfect for exploring during a Yorkshire short break with kids. Enjoy UK family holidays and short breaks at Bluestone National Park Resort. If you’re a National Trust member, your card will come in useful in the Lake District. The sunset views from our living room window were magical. Our favourites are the Nine Ladies Circle through Stanton Moor Peak or the walk starting next to The Robin Hood pub in Baslow, with spectacular views from Birchen Edge. If you love hiking and the outdoors, the Isle of Skye is the perfect place to go for a hike and enjoy the views. A favourite is the play area in St James’s Park which is adjacent to the viewing area for the Changing of the Guard – another must for your London bucket list! Sometimes all you want for Christmas is to spend some quality time with family and get away from the normal routine for a while. Back at the YHA Boggle Hole you can check out some trash grabbers and help keep things clean or visit the on-site nature centre which hosts a variety of crafts and educational programming. From the age of the dinosaurs to the technology of the future, there are more than 8,000 objects displayed, covering everything from science and technology to world culture, transport and the natural world. Following Arthurian legends, you could head to the three separate lakes in Snowdonia which are supposed to contain Excalibur, Caerleon (reputedly the site of Camelot) as well as two possible locations for his burial – including the hill where he sits to save the country in times of need. And then there’s Basingstoke. Adventure lovers can try gorge walking and canyoneering at How Stean Gorge or go underground at White Scar and Ingleton Caves. Edinburgh is a great fun city to visit for a family short break. And while we’re on the subject of Vikings, what visit to York would be complete without a trip to one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions: the Jorvik Centre. The 30 mile Tarka Trail is a car-free track perfect for walking and cycling. All within a short drive are mountains, beaches and the country’s capital city, Belfast. Still inhabited by the 12th Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy and his family, the castle had a ‘homely’ feel. Short breaks and holidays in the UK. Our family of five visited for a long weekend at the beginning of the October half term. Shropshire is famous for its industrial heritage. Our two year old walked a considerable distance that day. Grab the kids, pack up the car, your bucket and spade and head off for a weekend or short break at Haven. Out team of holiday experts are always looking for the best staycation offers here in the UK, from the cheapest cottage holidays, theme park breaks, pet friendly holidays to all-inclusive holiday resorts. We’ve yet to visit Camber in the summertime, I can only confirm that it is fabulous in winter: amazing sunsets and three miles of sand for sandcastle builders to play in. Escape to the Seaside Enjoy sand and sea air with a getaway to our beautiful coastline, and maybe even a trip to one of the UK's best seaside towns. There is a great selection of things to do in the Forest of Dean with kids aside from the obvious woodland walks. You’ll also find Broxbourne Woods – a national nature reserve perfect for walking and cycling. Jane Austen, the famous novelist lived in Bath in the early 19th century. For families who like to spend time at the seaside. Best of all, most of our parks are only a 2 to 3 hour drive away, you'll be jumping right into the action in … The UK is bursting with short-break options with kids, whether it be family-friendly hotels in London or cosy country cottages, some with games rooms and/or swimming pools, plus baby/toddler equipment if required. Long stretches of sand, towering cliffs and rockpools for exploring. Don’t miss a visit to the 15th century Bath Abbey –the church is shaped like a cruciform and the fan vaults and stained glass windows are spectacular. Just one hour from London, these cabins are perfect for a tranquil break, with activities on-site and Winchester, the New Forest and other attractions nearby. We are big fans of nearby, shorter family trips as it isn’t always easy to find the time for the more extensive ones. • Feather Down Farms: glamping holidays on working farms. Our favourite attraction though is the National Museum of Scotland, which is in the Top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world. There’s a good range of accommodation on the Scilly Isles: camping, glamping, a good youth hostel and plenty of self catering properties. Train buffs can enjoy steam railway rides across the Dales or visit the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct, famous from the Harry Potter movies. Plan ahead for 2021. Then look no further than London! With cheap airfares allowing us to jet off to anywhere in Europe for a family short break, it’s easy to forget that we have an endless selection of family-friendly places to visit in the UK. Located in the Peak District, this holiday park provides activities for those looking to relax or for the more active. You can explore some of the UK’s most scenic villages such as Bibury and Bourton on the Water where the kids will run riot at Birdland and the Motoring Museum. Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles, This is a fantastic list for UK break ideas. It’s so easy to forget what’s on the doorstep, isn’t it – love all the inspiration here, thanks for including my suggestions too. Spending time at the beach and taking boat trips to other islands are the main pastimes on the Isles of Scilly. The valleys and hills of the Yorkshire Dales are a fantastic location for a U.K family short break as there is something for everyone. If you stick to the south, make sure you head towards Swansea Bay and Arthur’s Stone which he is said to have thrown from Carmarthenshire towards Cefn Bryn – you can still see it near Reynoldston (and keep going down to Rhossili for one of the area’s most beautiful beaches). At certain times of year there are Thomas the Tank Engine and Harry Potter themed days. I paddled here as a child and have taken my two boys here to repeat the tradition. As an added bonus, most of the London museums are free which means that it is a great place for families on a UK budget short break. Our short breaks and mini stays are located in some of the UK’s most stunning locations. The museum is vast, packed with iconic engines including the Mallard, the Japanese bullet train and a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket. Whether it's a weekend break, a four-night midweek stay, a seven-night break, or even longer, you feel the magic of the forest from the moment you arrive. There’s something for everyone in the Cotswolds, but it’s especially great for children. To find out more about this part of south east England for a UK family break, have a read of my post about our favourite family friendly things to do in East Sussex. A quintessential child-friendly seaside property on the lovely Lizard Peninsula, with an indoor pool and a spa. History lovers can discover everything from a Roman villa to Queen Victoria’s favourite palace at Osborne and a castle where Charles I was held prisoner (also home to a couple of donkeys). If you can tear your kids away from the coast, the National Trust’s Bodiam Castle, reached by steam train from Tenterden, is the perfect day out. A traditional hotel with spacious grounds which embraces modern family holidays - there's a kids club, indoor pool and loads of activities for all ages (both on-site and nearby) plus a spa and gin distillery! Where we stayed: we spent three nights at Stable Cottage for our family short break. Further to the north there’s lovely Broadway, home to Broadway Tower high up on a hill overlooking the best playground in the Cotswolds. However, if Mum or Dad are needing a drink (the fantastic pubs are part of the Peaks’ charm), we suggest stopping by The Bulls Head Inn, Monyash, with a wonderful playground for the kids behind the garden. If you’re driving in the UK, make sure you take a look at my post about, The best family short break ideas in the UK, Half term holiday ideas and family weekend break ideas, Family trip to Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, Short breaks in the Lake District with kids, Family short break in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Off the beaten track family getaway to the Scilly Isles, Wiltshire short break: Bath and Stonehenge with kids, City, beach and mountains family break in Northern Ireland, 10 fun things to do in Edinburgh with kids, 25 Family Friendly Attractions in Bristol, family friendly things to do in East Sussex, Learn more about what to expect from a trip to the Scilly Isles, family friendly hotels on the Isles of Scilly, family-friendly places to stop just off the motorway, 10 Outdoor places to go with family and …, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with James Mayhew: …, Holiday inspiration part 3: alternative ideas to the …, 18 best things to do in Northern Ireland …. Snowdonia in North Wales is a great option for a UK family short break for those looking for a combination of outdoor activities and history. Although summiting a mountain in the Mournes was vetoed in favour of an extra trip to the beach, we did manage a fun day out in Tollymore Forest Park on the edge of the mountains. And what’s more – it’s free! Empty beaches are typical of the Scilly Isles. And after all this exploring, families can relax at England’s highest pub, The Tan Hill Inn. If you’re driving in the UK, make sure you take a look at my post about family-friendly places to stop just off the motorway. If you’re travelling with little ones who tire easily, you’ll discover they are willing to walk a lot further if they’re atop the city walls: its a great way to explore York. Located just north of London, Hertfordshire stretches from Watford and Tring in the west to Bishop’s Stortford and Royston in the east. Thanks for inspiring me on #farawayfiles, Great to see the Isle of Wight on your list, I lived there for 10 years and it’s a lovely place. It’s full of children’s activities, including Peter Rabbit-themed playrooms, giant board games, and a great adventure play trail in the surrounding woodland. History buffs will love the Roman heritage in the city of St Albans – there are city walls and an interactive museum exploring the city’s past. Steam trains on the Watercress Line in Hampshire. There were lots of interactive elements which really brought the ship to life. The Titanic Experience was a real hit with our children. At Forest Holidays, UK breaks for families of five or more are easy in our spacious cabins. Where we stayed: we enjoyed a week at 14 Silver Street, a three bedroom house on the main island of St Mary. Durham city centre has cobbled streets packed with independent shops leading to the central Market Place and the indoor Victorian era market. #farawayfiles, So many fabulous places to explore right in your backyard! If you’re after more walking ideas in this part of the world, check out my post about the best bluebell woods in Hertfordshire. This type of family trip comes in many different forms, but mostly involves plenty of activities. The Boggle Hole beach is perfect for sandcastle building, tide-pooling and fossil hunting. UK family holidays and breaks. Watch out for sheep and highland cows! Enjoy hiking, cycling and some great ranger-led activities. Enjoy a quick escape on a short break or mini stay, exploring the forest at your own pace and making lasting memories together. Most restaurants are child-friendly, and although there are a few hills to conquer, it is generally buggy friendly too. Escape from everyday life in one of England's most amazing forests, with a stay in a luxury cabin. With 67 holiday parks across the UK, you’re only a short drive away from your next weekend or midweek break. One of our boys is not a big fan of museums but he was enthralled for an hour and a half, a record for him. There should be enough ideas below to appeal to families of all ages, whether you’re looking for short breaks for toddlers or weekend breaks with children in their teenage years. We offer superb value prices on our 3 night Friday to Monday weekend breaks, and 4 night Monday to Friday short UK breaks. Our kids love riding the assorted trams and buses that travel around this excellent outdoor museum. With 37 UK holiday parks to choose from a Haven holiday is an ideal choice for a UK break. If you buy other travel arrangements such as accommodation only this protection doesn’t apply. Being one of the hottest counties in the UK in summer, Cornwall is a popular destination due to its long, sandy beaches. You can get to many places in the UK by train from London. One of our favourite places to visit as a family is the unique Forbidden Corner, a four acre garden packed with secret tunnels, water spurting statues, hidden chambers and many more surprises! It is in the middle of the most dense complex of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Summit Snowdon: the perfect family weekend break! The island offers several holiday cottages that are perfect for families and give a truly local experience. However, I’m going to confine this report to a small section of the county a little further north. Treat the whole family to a short break away with our fantastic choice of hotel offers available across the UK and Europe. We enjoyed a family short break in Shropshire during summer 2020. The Antrim Coast is a short drive from Belfast. Apartments in a great location near Trafalgar Square, London, perfect for large families and each with a kitchenette. We visited the Scillies in August a couple of years ago and had beaches to ourselves. I’m always slightly put off by the crowds of the London museum, Tring’s is a smaller and quieter affair. We’re keen to return to enjoy a bit of time on the River Severn: there are lots of local outfits offering stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. There are lots of pretty villages to explore in North Devon from the steep cobbled streets of Clovelly to the popular seaside resort of Ilfracombe where boats take visitors over to Lundy Island. It’s only a short ferry or hovercraft ride across the Solent from Portsmouth and Southampton (you can also travel from the New Forest) but the second we drive off, I feel like we’ve entered another, more relaxed, little world. If you’d prefer a hotel for a short break, there’s some lovely family friendly hotels on the Isles of Scilly to choose from. Finally, it makes a great base to explore the surrounding West Country, with oodles of exciting day trips to beautiful coastline, castles, caves, World Heritage Sites and more, all within easy reach. Every time we visit the Isle of Wight, I’m amazed at just how much there is to do on a relatively small island – and somehow, no matter the time of year, the weather is always better than the mainland! We only really scraped the surface during our family short break in Shropshire. UK short break in Norfolk: paddling at Holkham National Nature Reserve. Copyright © 2004-2020 Take the Family Limited, all rights reserved. Head to the YHA Boggle Hole in Whitby for a family short break. You can explore the beautiful Dales on numerous family friendly walks of all lengths and difficulties either independently or guided. Alnwick castle is very impressive. Easily accessible by train from London, East Sussex is perfect for a family weekend away from the capital. So, with help from a great group of family travel bloggers, I’ve put together a list of diverse family short break ideas in the UK, from a family escape on the Isle of Wight to a family getaway on the Isle of Skye. There’s also an excellent café, Harry’s Shack, which serves particularly delicious food. • cottages.com: family-friendly properties in England, Wales and Scotland, with the best discounts for our newsletter subscribers (sign up at the bottom of this page). Hampshire highlights include Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight and the New Forest. Whether in a sunlit glade or a woodland hideaway, a Keldy Cabin is a perfect base from which to explore all that the North York Moors National Park has to offer. To find out more about taking a UK family break in Wales have a read of Cathy’s guide to Welsh Legends in South West Wales. Spend the afternoon on the beach building sand castles and paddling in the sea. Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is the perfect family break for Harry Potter fans. If you have little children with even a passing interest in steam trains, this is the place to stay. • Luxury Family Hotels: relaxed country houses with family amenities and childcare. Plan your holiday at VisitEngland. Sightseeing cruises cross Lake Windermere, while Ullswater Steamers offer environmentally-friendly trips. Family holiday parks in the UK. Just an hour and a half away, Bath is one of the most popular trips from London and perfect for a short break with kids. Where we stayed: we picked a perfect spot for a family break in County Down. WINTER BREAKS 2021. New, from April 2021, at Delamere Forest, discover a wide range of cabins in peaceful woodland, with lots to do for the whole family. On the shores of Loch Lubnaig, Strathyre is a gateway to the Highlands - the perfect base to enjoy a host of outdoor adventures or to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery - and look out for some rare wildlife too! Archaeologists believe it was built anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. Some of my favourite family holidays have been in the UK: an October half term city break in York; playing on Camber Sands beach during a February half term break; and camping in Wiltshire during the May half term holiday. I would love to visit Alnwick. A short distance away across pretty Palace Green is impressive Durham Castle which can be explored by guided tour. The Cricketers pub in the village of Weston (between Baldock and Stevenage) serves up delicious pizzas and has a particularly good garden for families – there’s a play area and a space for football. When the tide is out you can walk back along the beach, exploring as you go. Take the Family Ltd. sells travel services on behalf of Hays Travel Ltd. and benefits from Hays Travel’s membership of ABTA with membership number P6928. The Lake District is perfect for a UK family break. We provide financial protection for your money when you buy a package holiday. There are loads of options in the UK for Christmas breaks so pack up the kids and escape the festive madness for a few days. Hike to the Quairang, scale the steps to Neist Point, explore the fairy pools, and enjoy the views of Kilt Rock at sunrise. During our February half term break, my children absolutely loved wandering along the mysterious pathways through Puzzlewood. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. The public areas are packed with kid friendly fun from scavenger hunts to dress up. Add in hot tubs, roaring fires and many more amazing extras, and you have the makings of your best ever weekend away. There’s stacks to do come rain or shine, which means you won’t miss out if the weather takes an unfortunate turn. We stopped at Melrose for some coffee and pastry, learnt about Melrose Abbey where Robert the Bruce’s heart is buried. Throw in misty mountains, dramatic valleys, tiny villages clinging to the cliffs and lush green countryside and it’s the perfect area to make your own legends. You will struggle to tear them away. The Science Museum and the Natural History Museum are perfect whether you are visiting with older children or even toddlers or babies. Here are a few less well known villages worth exploring in Hertfordshire along with good pubs for a Sunday roast: Watton at Stone is great for a family walk, it is accessible by train or car in less than an hour from London. Stopped at Melrose for some coffee and pastry, learnt about Melrose where. Some lovely stretches of sand was White Rocks beach near Portrush, it generally. 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