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The best UK holidays for families in 2024: An ultimate guide

Looking for your next family holiday for 2024, read through our list of Britain’s most family-friendly destinations, from Blackpool to the Isle of Wight

best uk holidays for families

Whether you’re searching for ideas for February half term ideas, inspiration for summer holidays, October half term holidays in the UK or the best city breaks with kids and places to take kids before they grow up, you’ll want to browse our ultimate pick of the best UK holidays for families for 2024.

Britain is packed with terrific places to travel with children, including family beach holiday hotspot Blackpool and the scenic North York Moors National Park, where forest walks and steam train rides are a must-do.

Families who love adventures will want to check out Snowdonia, where you can spend days enjoying watery activities, going underground and exploring the mountains. Then there’s the Isle of Wight for dinosaur-lovers will enjoy. For a fast-paced UK holiday for families, London appeals to all ages, while Paignton offers the perfect blend of beaches and the countryside.

It’s not all action on these family-friendly holidays though as we’ve picked the best family hotels in the UK, where the kids can relax after days out exploring the surroundings. And there are plenty of opportunities for the parents to unwind too, whether it’s with spa time or afternoon tea.

From St Ives to the Scottish Highlands, browse the best UK holidays for families in 2024.

1. Snowdonia, Gwynedd/Conwy

best uk holidays for families
Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia

Snowdonia offers one of the best UK holidays for families who love an adventure. From zip lining to surfing (to reopen later in 2024) and underground trampolining to the Snowdon Mountain Railway, there’s so much to experience here on an activity break. For traditional activities, there’s walking in the Ogwen Valley or the mountain biking paradise of Coed y Brenin.

However, it’s not all about burning energy as there are plenty of relaxing family-friendly attractions, such as the beautiful village of Betws-y-Coed (although the kids will enjoy wild swimming here) and Harlech Castle, which is like something out of a fairy tale.


2. Isle of Wight

Shanklin, Isle of Wight

With its dinosaur heritage, gorgeous beaches, camping sites and an array of attractions beyond the sands, the Isle of Wight is one of the best family-friendly holiday destinations in the UK. The island’s wonderful child-friendly historic highlights include Roman ruins at Brading Roman Villa, historic castles like Carisbrooke, and beautiful royal home Osborne.

One of only seven UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the UK, over 50% of the Isle of Wight holds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status, and is often rated among the best places in Europe for walking and cycling, with excellent trails for families. It’s a watersports haven too and, here, you can learn to paddleboard, kayak, windsurf, sail, wild swim and more.


3. Paignton, Devon

best uk holidays for families

Steam trains, beaches and castles – Paignton is a playground for families in search of a holiday that combines the best of the beach and countryside. You can enjoy a paddle at Broadsands Beach, ride the Dartmouth Steam Railway and visit the National Trust’s Compton Castle.

Geoplay Park is a great spot for little ones to burn off their energy and the whole family can enjoy boat trips that stop in the towns of Torquay, Brixham and Dartmouth.


4. North York Moors, Yorkshire

best uk holidays for families

Perfect for families in search of a UK holiday that isn’t Cornwall or London, the North York Moors is an unforgettable destinations, whether you fancy a picnic or a paddle. Magical woodland walks are a must in Sneaton Forest, close to Midge Hall and the 30-foot Falling Foss waterfall, while the 2.5 mile green Ellerburn Family Cycle Route at Dalby Forest is completely traffic-free and perfect for exploring the Moors on two wheels.

At Goathland station, or Hogsmeade (the Harry Potter station), you can watch the North Yorkshire Moors Railway trains chug along. Along the coast, Staithes, Robin’s Hood Bay and Sandsend are worth checking out.


5. London

best uk holidays for familiesStephen Lux//Getty Images

One of the best city breaks with kids in the UK, London will amaze children of all ages. They can stare at Big Ben, take in the views from the London Eye and pose with their favourite characters at Madame Tussauds.

The capital is simply brimming with things to see and do (check out this list of 101 activities). The Natural History Museum, the Royal Observatory Greenwich and City Cruises rides along the River Thames are other must-dos for families. Theatre trips, themed afternoon teas and a day at Kew Gardens are worth ticking off the list, too.


6. Cotswolds

best uk holidays for families

The Cotswolds are perfect for families looking for a picturesque UK holiday destination among rolling hills, chocolate box villages and outstanding gardens. Whether you’re staying in post-cad-perfect Broadway or the market town of Cirencester, there’s plenty to entertain everyone on a family-friendly trip to the Cotswolds.

You can meet animals at Cotswold Farm Park, spot butterflies and bluebells at Foxholes Nature Reserve and splash around at Cotswold Water Park. With plenty of countryside, the Cotswolds are ideal for energetic kids to run around too.


7. St Ives, Cornwall

best uk holidays for families

Cornwall is packed with dreamy family-friendly locations and St Ives has to be the loveliest. Whether you’re travelling with babies, teenagers or as a multi-generational family, this British beauty spot is a paradise for child-friendly escapes. First up, you’ll want to hit the beach to experience its stunning sands and turquoise waters.

Kids can learn to surf, go sea glass hunting and walk along the pier as they watch the boats sailing by. Older children might enjoy a visit to Tate St Ives or horseriding.

Where to stay: Tregenna Castle is a 72-acre family-friendly resort that sits high on a hill overlooking St Ives. There are family rooms and apartments, and it’s close to the beaches, restaurant and attractions of St Ives.


8. Scottish Highlands

best uk holidays for families

For the ultimate family holiday in Scotland, look no further than the Highlands, where Harry Potter-style train rides, incredible wildlife and adventures on lochs await. As a family, you can ride the Jacobite steam train, which featured in the Harry Potter films, and experience the Cairngorms, where mountain biking and canoeing are a must.

Loch Morlich and its beach are another highlight, while the pretty seaside town of Nairn is perfect for building sandcastles, paddling and beach games. For a lively day out, a trip to the city of Inverness is worth your time whatever the weather and is home to Inverness Botanic Gardens and Inverness Castle.


9. Blackpool

best uk holidays for familiesStephen Gibson / EyeEm//Getty Images

Looking for a classic family beach holiday destination? Blackpool offers oodles of fun and lots to do at the bright, bold seaside resort. You can kick off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes on the sandy beach, visit Stanley Park for its beautiful architecture and horticulture, and enjoy a splash at Sandcastle Waterpark, the UK’s largest indoor waterpark.

Blackpool Tower is a highlight and you can spend hours here practicing your quickstep in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, enjoying afternoon tea and taking a trip to the Tower Eye and admiring the stunning views across the North West.


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