Whether you’ve got really little ones in the family or a couple of teenagers, these days out will keep everyone happy
Sure, jetting off to some far-flung destination is exciting – and yet there’s something oh-so charming about a Great British escape. Here we pick the top five locations for a family break in the UK that everyone will enjoy…
1. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Wales
Best family break for: Fun on the beach
This part of Wales is the country’s most beautiful section of coastline. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a haven of azure ocean, craggy, dramatic cliffs and soft yellow-sand beaches.
But days don’t just have to be spent by the sea – spend them in the ocean and get active. Eco-lodge and adventure centre Preseli Venture is the best place to get your fix, with kayaking options, coasteering tours and surfing lessons. Walk the Wales Coast Path for some truly exceptional views, and stop in at one of the many pretty fishing villages – the Ship Inn in Fishguard is an idyllic place for a seaside supper.
Best family break for: Culture
There’s nothing quite like a theatre show to get the whole family talking, and London has something to suit everyone. Come for a family weekend break and you can also hit the museums (the Science Museum, pictured, is a great place for hands-on fun) and take in some of the city’s iconic sights. By night, enjoy a family-friendly show such as The Lion King, Aladdin or Wicked.
Best family break for: Hands-on, interactive learning
Most people head for the coast when planning a family getaway, but look inland and you might be surprised. For starters, the West Midland Safari Park (pictured above) makes a glorious day spent with animals. Just a 45-minute drive away, the Black Country Living Museum is a real gem. This huge outdoor living museum is famous for its role in Peaky Blinders, but a day here is far less dangerous than the show makes out – the family-friendly attractions include canal cruises on historic barges and tours down replica coal mines. And the chips here are some of the best in the region, cooked in flavoursome beef dripping! Birmingham itself is excellent for families, with plenty of accommodation options and some great museums. Don’t miss the Mini Museum for little ones.
4. Hastings, East Sussex
Best family break for: An old-fashioned seaside experience
Hastings has all the fun of a traditional seaside town, with loads of history thrown in. The beach is pebbles rather than sand, but that won’t stop you enjoying the seaside – at its upper end is a working fishing beach, where huge boats sit ready to go out the next morning. Nearby is Hastings Contemporary (formerly the Jerwood Gallery, pictured above), an exceptional arts centre. There’s a fantastic pier (main picture), renovated in 2016, and of course the arcades – get your pennies out and spend an hour playing old-school games, or have a go at crazy golf on the seafront.
Beyond the beach area, Smugglers Adventure is an interactive exhibition in a cave system where pirates hid their loot, and funicular railways are a thrilling way to get up the steep cliffs to enjoy the sea views.
Best family break for: Festivals
With over 10 different celebrations throughout the year. From the most famous comedy and theatre festival in August – the Fringe – to the Storytelling Festival in October and the Science Festival in spring, almost every month has events for adults and kids alike. Plus, you’ll get the chance to see the impressive Edinburgh Castle and climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. Nearby, head to Dynamic Earth for an interactive, immersive journey through our planet’s history. If you’ve got teens who are partial to shopping, Princes Street is perfect.