As much as we all enjoy holidays abroad sat by the pool drinking a cool Pina Colada, going away is not quite the same as it was having small children or babies in tow. Packing up, delayed flights, jetting off, controlling the kids through foreign passport control isn’t quite as fun anymore. Also, with the current financial climate still in recession, people are choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays this year as they realise the UK has plenty to offer for everyone. Here are 5 amazing reasons to holiday in the UK this summer!
1. The Weather
The met office report for the coming months of summer in the UK are ‘high pressure in control and some semblance of summery weather for all areas with these very warm and settled conditions’. Obviously we are all equipped and un-suprised for a bit of rain here and there- it wouldn’t be England without it. But as temperatures reach 24-27 degree’s it has been hotter than Spain and Portugal in some areas. Look at our article on how to keep children safe in the sun.
2. Avoid airports, queues, delays and having to surrender your baby’s bottle through customs.
We all know what it’s like to travel with small children. When the kids are saying ‘are we nearly there yet’ and you are still in the queue for Easyjet a mile deep, booking in and haven’t taken off yet, things can get a little…agitated. Children can become bored easily once you are on the plane with no space to explore or jump around. When you choose to fly anywhere you put your holiday in the hands of the airline, and worryingly it only takes one delay or cancelled flight to spiral your holiday time out of control. You could end up spending the whole time in the airport rather than lying on the beach. Avoiding this altogether by packing up the car or jumping on the train, knowing that you’ll be at your destination in a few hours, with the kids happily asleep/watching dvd’s or playing eye spy!
3. Discover amazing child friendly Britain and Ireland.
There really is so much to do in the UK and much of it is geared up for young children. Many companies are now offering specific baby friendly retreats that are equipped with everything you may need including bottle sterilizers, baby change mats, cots and highchairs. Certain places offer a ‘high tea’ for children at 5pm and Luxury Family Hotels offers a babysitting service in the evening so you can have a romantic evening with your partner: they even offer family-friendly spas!
4. Your budget
Staying in the UK will allow you to save money at the same time as having no issues regarding the currency or exchange rate. You can stick to your planned budget, and know exactly what you are spending throughout the whole holiday. With a little bit left over for fish and chips on the pier for tea.
5. Having an adventure
Wherever you are in the UK, you're never more than two hours drive from the wonderful coastline. This means you could visit several places and see much of our varied country. Discovering parts of the UK on holiday is such a delight- especially when you come across a deserted Cornish beach with rock pools and sand dunes for the kids, or the enchantment of a Scottish castle, with a picnic in the grounds. Don’t forget, toddlers and young children are at an age where everything feels like an adventure. You don’t have to jump on a plane to have a family holiday with a bit of get up and go!
Holiday ideas for families in the UK
Delight the kids with a holiday on a working farm. Stay in tents equipped with actual beds (ah!) and log burning fires for the evening. The ease of it all starts when you don’t have to bring anything from home, they have it all there! You can even rent some chickens for your stay and have them in a little pens where the kids collect the eggs every morning. www.featherdown.co.uk/
Camping in the UK
Whether it’s a tent, wigwam, tipi or yurt, camping has never been so much fun. Many campsites offer facilities for families sometimes even play areas for kids. Camping is ideal for families because it is probably one of the most inexpensive ways of holidaying but is also good old fashioned fun. Tents have now gone supersize (so you and the kids being squashed together is a thing of the past) and cooking on a camping stove has never been more fun! Also, our friends at the Met Office are tentatively suggesting that we are going to have a hot summer, so why go to Ibiza when you can go to Wales! Look at our gurgle article on Camping with Kids.
Cornwall and Devon:
A holiday to Cornwall or Devon is ideal for all the family. For adults, there are loads of outdoor activities to take part in, everything from fishing to hiking, cycling and, of course, surfing. For littlies, there is also plenty to enjoy: from stomps in the beautiful countryside to building sandcastles on the beach. There are also the Crealy adventure parks that the kids are sure to love: your child can meet adorable little animals such as bunnies, goats, lambs and guinea pigs, explore the Adventure Zone and Magical Kingdom and make friends with the ponies in the Pony Grooming Parlour! Click here to find out about Crealy Devon and here for Crealy Cornwall.
Isle of Wight:
Beautiful and inexpensive, even the short ferry ride over will be a big treat for the kids. You can take your car and once you are there, there are numerous child friendly places you can stay. With Victorian promenades and simple pleasures such as collecting fossils in the hills or crabbing, amusement parks, museums, animal parks and farms galore. Most importantly, the Isle of Wight is an island so there’s an abundance of beaches to keep the kids happy! For more information on family holidays in the Isle of Wight, click here.
The Lake District:
Deep in the heart of the English countryside, the Lake District has something to offer everyone; stunning views to admire, opportunities for long hearty walks, fishing and sailing for the adults and great open spaces where children can be at one with nature. The Miles without Stiles routes are perfect for families as they are ideal when you're bringing a little one in a buggy. These are short routes which are perfect as you're unlikely to hear the inevitable 'I'm booooored' wail that emerges from young children dragged on long walks and, as the title suggests, there are no stiles so you don't have to worry about putting your back out every 5 minutes lifting your buggy!
Brighton or Bournemouth:
'Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...' Well don't we all and young children especially love day trips to the beach. Brighton is incredibly child-friendly and there's lots to entertain your little one. Brighton Beach is seven miles long and there's a playground to keep babies and toddlers happy. Although it's a pebble beach, nearby is the sandy Hove Beach. There is even a Children's Pleasure Beach with a carousel and a Seafront Play area which has a huge sandpit, a paddling pool and climbing frames. Older children will love Brighton Pier which has rides, arcade games and a funfair. Also in Brighton is the Sea Life Centre where you can marvel at exotic fish, giant turtles and...sharks!
Bournemouth is another great British holiday spot for families as it's got absolutely loads of fantastic activities for young children. Like Brighton beach, Bournemouth beach stretches seven miles long. In addition to the beach, there is plenty else on offer that will appeal to little ones: Abbotsbury Children's farm, where your child can pet and feed adorable farm animals, the Bournemouth Oceanarium, the Alice in Wonderland Family Park, which has a fabulous indoor play centre called 'Wild Thing', and Monkey World, which houses over 15 different types of monkey, are just a few of the attractions on offer.
Scotland is another beautiful holiday destination with children. If you haven't already been, you're in for a treat. In Edinburgh there's a fantastic zoo where you can see penguins, red pandas and Siberian tigers. Or you could pay a visit to the Museum of Childhood, which has a gigantic dolls' house, an extensive doll collection and a bevy of different types of toys. Don't forget to check out the world-famous Edinburgh castle while you're in the area.
Or you could visit the Highlands and take the children on a boat trip along Loch Ness, telling them all about the Loch Ness Monster (as long as they don't scare easily!). While you're in Inverness, don't miss out on the opportunity to go dolphin watching on the Moray Firth.
These are just a few of the great British spots where you and your family can holiday, but of course there are many other fantastic destinations. Why not visit the Lifestyle area of our chat forum and find out where other gurglers will be going on holiday this Summer?
To comment on this article or recommend somewhere you've been that is child friendly to other gurgle members, see below,
The information in this feature is intended for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your health, the health of your child or the health of someone you know, please consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.