Whether you find pleasure in long walks in the countryside, get excited about riding a thrilling rollercoaster, or prefer canoeing on a peaceful river – the UK has plenty of family attractions to offer, especially for short family breaks. Not sure where to go and what to do? We’ve made a list of our top 10 family weekend getaways, and enjoyable things to do for both adults and children. 

Please note, that this post was originally written before the Coronavirus pandemic, so certain attractions may currently be closed, or have their own Coronavirus policies in place.

The Cotswolds | Cornwall  | Devon | Sussex | Lake District | Brecon Beacons

Kent | The Midlands | Peak District | Yorkshire

1. Family weekend getaways in the Cotswolds

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who love nature.

The Cotswolds, located in the heart of England, is the largest ‘Area of Outstanding Beauty’ in England. With its stunning countryside, charming villages and rolling hillsides, it makes the perfect family getaway for those who want to recharge in nature.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Blenheim Palace: Titled ‘Britain’s Greatest Palace’, the World Heritage Site just outside of Oxford represents over 300 years of history. 
  • Corinium Museum: Located in Cirencester, this museum showcases rare collections from the Roman and pre-historic age. 
  • Cogges Manor Farm: Farm animals and adventure playgrounds – Cogges Manor Farm in Witley is great for families with younger children. 
  • Birdland Park and Gardens: Across nine acres in Bourton-on-water you get the chance to interact with flamingos, penguins, falcons and more. 

Places to stay: Our luxury cottages are the perfect place to relax and soak up new energy after a long day of walking through nature.

2. Family weekend getaways in Cornwall

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who like to spend time at the seaside.

Being one of the hottest counties in the UK in summer, Cornwall is a popular destination due to its long, sandy beaches. Famous for Cornish pasties, ice cream, and clotted cream, Cornwall is also great for foodies.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Newquay Zoo: From six-banded armadillos to Brazilian tapirs – at Newquay Zoo you will find various exotic animal species. On top of that, you can book special animal experiences, such as lion feeding. 
  • Carnglaze Caverns: This spectacular underground experience does not only include an underwater lake but is also a popular event and concert venue. 
  • National Maritime Museum: Right by the sea in Falmouth you can learn about Cornwall’s rich maritime heritage. 
  • Eden Project: Don’t want to travel to South America to visit the rainforest? Don’t worry – Cornwall’s Eden Project is the largest indoor rainforest in the world. 

Looking for more things to do with your family? Check out our suggestions here

Places to stay: Why don’t you check out our holiday homes directly by the sea? Unwind in the whirlpool or on the outside terrace and listen to the sound of the sea. 

3. Family weekend getaways in Devon

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who are into water-sports.

Beautiful coastlines, national parks, and medieval towns – Devon is known for its versatile scenery. Whether you like surfing, fishing or climbing, there is always something to get stuck into.  

Family-friendly activities include:

  • River Dart Country Park: Set within Dartmoor National Park, you’ll get the chance to camp, cycle a bike trail or canoe along river Dart. 
  • South Devon Railway: Being the longest established steam railway in the southwest, South Devon Railway offers picturesque rides between Buckfastleigh and Totnes. 
  • Exmouth Beach: Whether it is kitesurfing, windsurfing or stand-up paddleboarding that you’re into – Exmouth Beach offers (almost!) every watersport you can think of.
  • Golden Hinde Museum Ship: Travel back in time to the Elizabethan era – discover the first English ship to circumnavigate the world and embark on a journey with its captain Francis Drake. 

For a further read on the best activities for kids in Devon, have a look at our blog

Places to stay: Fancy a retreat with the whole family? We’ve got a wide array of holiday homes in Devon available for you. 

4. Family weekend getaways in Sussex

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who like having a stroll on the beach.

Sussex is home to many seaside towns, including Hastings, Brighton, and Eastbourne – all of which are charming in their own way. Walking along the seafront and visiting the pier with its many arcades is a great activity for the whole family.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Drusillas Park: Targeted towards children between 2 and 10 years, the rather small zoo in East Sussex is a great family day out. 
  • Lagoon Watersports: Located in both Brighton Marina and Hove Lagoon, the company offers courses ranging from wakeboarding to sailing for both children and adults. 
  • Bluereef Aquarium: Find Nemo and his friends in Hasting’s renowned aquarium. 
  • Ashdown Llama Farm: In East Sussex, you’ll have the exclusive chance to take llamas on a walk – a highlight for children and adults alike.

For more family-friendly activities in Sussex, have a read of this blog

Places to stay: From countryside manors to seaside villas – find your dream home during your stay in Sussex. 

5. Family weekend getaways in the Lake District

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who love exploring the countryside.

The Lake District is not only the UK’s largest national park but also a World Heritage Site. The picturesque park offers both scenic walks, canoeing opportunities, and hikes, among other outdoor activities.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Coniston Boating Centre: Rent a motorboat, or canoe, and explore the beautiful scenery around Coniston Water. 
  • Windermere Islands: Being the biggest lake in the Lake District, Windermere is home to over ten islands. Why not rent a boat and go island hopping?
  • Langdale Valley: Split into two valleys, Langdale is a great place to discover the beauty of the Lake District with its guided walks. 
  • Hardknott Fort: Revisit the Roman age at this remote fort which was founded under Hadrian’s rule. 

For more information about the Lake District, check out our exclusive local guide.

Places to stay: Would you rather stay in a secluded mansion or live directly by the lake? We’ve got options for all your desires. 

6. Family weekend getaways in the Brecon Beacons

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who enjoy kayaking and horseback riding.

What the Lake District is to England, Brecon Beacons is to Wales. The national park includes Wales’ highest mountain and is a great spot for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Cantref Riding Centre: Whether you only want to try it out for 20 minutes or go on a full-day pony ride, this riding centre takes care of your preferences. 
  • Llangorse Multi Activity Centre: For a perfect family excursion, head to the award-winning indoor and outdoor centre which offers everything from horseback-riding to indoor climbing. 
  • National Showcaves for Wales: Named as ‘The Greatest Natural Wonder in Great Britain’, the cave system stretches to over 17 km underground. 
  • Wye Valley Canoes: Enjoy a day, or more, full of kayaking, canoeing or mountain biking at Wye Valley. 

Places to stay: How about residing in a converted chapel? Whether you like it relaxing, romantic or adventurous – we’ve got you covered.

7. Family weekend getaways in Kent

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who love wildlife.

Kent, known as the gateway to France, offers a wide array of activities. While charming towns grace the seaside, cities such as Canterbury feature medieval and historic sights.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Wildwood: Discover British wildlife at Wildwood. In over 40 acres of woodland, you can come nose-to-nose with arctic foxes, bears, and wolves. 
  • Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation: Showcasing over 50 bird species, visitors can marvel at majestic Andean condors, eagles, and more. 
  • Chiddingstone Castle: Nestled in the upper valley of the River Medway, the historic house displays world-renowned collections from ancient Egypt, Japan, and more. 
  • The Canterbury Tales: No stay in Canterbury is complete without visiting the legendary The Canterbury Tales attraction. See how the tales are brought back to life during the re-created medieval tour. 

For more information on what to do in Canterbury, check out our blog.

Places to stay: Whether you prefer the countryside or rather stay in a farmhouse, guaranteed you’ll find a great fit among our holiday home selection.

8. Family weekend getaways in the Midlands

For families who like sightseeing and theme parks.

Whether you’d like to explore film sets, embark on rollercoasters at Alton Towers, or indulge in chocolate at Cadbury’s World – the Midlands have plenty of activities in store. Cities such as Birmingham, Leicester or Nottingham are also great places for sightseeing.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Alton Towers: UK’s biggest theme park is worth a visit for children, and adults of all ages who love a bit of thrill. 
  • Coventry Transport Museum: Located in Coventry, the museum exhibits the largest collection of British-made road transport and offers interactive tours. 
  • Trentham Monkey Forest: Meet monkeys in their (almost) natural habitat. Home to 140 Barbary Macaques, Trentham Monkey Forest is a great way to spend a non-standard afternoon. 
  • Cadbury World: This is a must for all chocolate lovers – find out how Cadbury’s famous chocolate is made and manufactured. How about a chocolatey snack in their exclusive cafe after?

Fancy a delicious meal? Have a look at our foodie recommendations in the Midlands!

Places to stay: After a busy day sightseeing, our luxury cottages are a great hideaway in the Midlands’ countryside.

9. Family weekend getaways in the Peak District

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who are interested in both heritage sites and adventures.

Located in Central England, Peak District is most famous for its impressive limestone valleys and moorland plateaus. Scenic cycling paths and cute country villages are just one of the ways to get the most out of your visit.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • Pooles Cavern: The two-million-year-old limestone cave in Buxton is a natural wonder of the area. Rather staying overground? Beautiful trails lead to a scenic hilltop viewing point. 
  • Chatsworth House: Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House boasts a historic interior with various art collections and a stunning garden outside.
  • Heights of Abraham: The hilltop park, which offers a wide range of activities – including adventure plays and heritage walks, can be reached via a scenic ride in a cable car. 
  • Peak Wildlife Park: A short ride from Stoke-On-Trent away, Peak Wildlife Park showcases both endangered and exotic animals from over three continents and offers activities such as penguin walks. 

Places to stay: Our holiday homes in both Yorkshire and the Midlands make a good starting point to explore the beauty of the Peak District.

10. Family weekend getaways in Yorkshire

family weekend getaways in the UK

For families who like outdoor activities.

Known for its Roman and Viking heritage, Norman castles, medieval towns, and Tudor houses can be found across Yorkshire and showcase a rich history.

Family-friendly activities include:

  • National Coal Mining Museum: Based in Wakefield, the museum provides you with the unique opportunity to travel 140 metres underground and explore England’s last deep coal mine. 
  • Treetop Nets: Bouncy nets, treehouses and ball zones in the trees – what’s not to love?
  • Cannon Hall Farm: At the award-winning farm you don’t only have a high chance of seeing the live birth of a piglet. Other attractions include indoor and outdoor adventure playgrounds for children.  
  • Flamingo Land: The name might let you think Flamingo Land only has the graceful wading birds to show. In reality, Flamingo Land comprises a theme park and zoo with various attractions for both the young, and young at heart.  

Are your kids up for even more activities? Have a look here for more fun things to do. 

Places to stay: Check out our beautiful range of cottages, villas, and farms in Yorkshire – they are the perfect base to explore the historic sites and activities. 

So, which region will you pick for your next weekend break in the UK? Let us know in the comment section below! 



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One Response

  1. Elena Gilbert

    Wow, really impressive blog, I loved reading it, so amazingly written, please keep on writing blogs like this in future as well.


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