Looking for the best UK holiday destinations? We have trawled the country to find the best British holiday ideas for 2011 and 2012 whether you want a family summer holiday or a relaxing short break.
Many parents visited the Isle of Wight as children, perhaps on a school trip. Now is a great time to rediscover this traditional destination whose appeal is greater than ever. Check out the latest special offers.
The West Country has never lost its allure. For sandy beaches and lots of family attractions, it’s hard to beat a self-catering holiday in Devon. Further along the coast in Cornwall, we like the Sands Hotel Resort & Spa which is excellent for families.
Other options in Cornwall include renting a cottage, or staying in a cool and contemporary luxury seaside apartment overlooking stunning Carbis Bay and close to arty St Ives. In Dorset you can stay in one of the superb – and great value – Countryside & Coastal B&Bs. We also recommend cottages4you.
Camping is one of the most exciting holidays for children. If you have your own gear, try a touring holiday.
You don’t have to sleep in a tent. At Haven’s 35 family holiday parks, you can stay in a caravan holiday homes, a traditional yurt or a spacious chalet.
Another guaranteed child-pleaser is a farm stay. Check out these wonderful farm holidays for children or the gorgeous luxury tents at Feather Down Farms.
Children adore Gwel an Mor in Cornwall which has Scandinavian-style wooden lodges and its own wildlife centre. Or you could rent a stylish self-catering cottage in Wales with Sheepskin.
You can also send the kids away for camp. PGL has adventure holidays and summer camps for kids aged 7 to 17, while Camp Beaumont has seven camps in the UK, from Dukeshouse Wood in Northumberland, to The Island on the Isle of Wight. PGL also runs activity holidays for families in the UK.
If you’re looking for something different this summer – on a budget – we recommend renting a cruiser and exploring the Norfolk Broads. The boats are easy to navigate, with no experience required.
Love the water? You can learn to sail in Devon, or head to Cotswold Water Park Hotel where you can sail, waterski, wake-board, canoe, go fishing and learn to dive on a beautiful network of lakes.
There is excellent hiking and biking in the Brecon Beacons and a fabulous place to stay – Fronlas is a home-from-home boutique B&B with just four rooms in the charming little town of Llandeilo.
Off the west coast of Scotland you can see Minke Whales, otters, seals and porpoises on a four-night Mull Wildlife Experience. Other great ideas north of the border include a whisky tour on Islay and a steam train journey on the historic West Highland Line. Find more great short breaks in Scotland.
Fancy brushing up on your creative skills? Enjoy a painting holiday in the Cotswolds or Isles of Scilly with expert tuition on hand. Or explore one of the UK’s most beautiful and charming cities on a city break in Edinburgh.
The UK has some of the finest hotels in Europe, many set in classic unspoilt countryside – perfect whether you are looking for a weekend break or a longer holiday.
We particularly like Pentre Mawr Country House in glorious North Wales, one of our favourite holiday places in the UK, and Maison Talbooth, a family-run hotel in Constable country on the border of Essex and Sussex with exceptional food. In Gloucestershire you can discover British wine while staying at the beautiful Three Choirs Vineyards.
Our favourite country house hotels include Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa near Bath, Gilpin Lodge in the Lake District, and Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa on the Sussex coast. For rolling countryside and creature comforts, rent a cottage in the Cotswolds.
If you want to go away with a group of friends or two or three families, we recommend you rent a big house in the countryside. You’ll find a great selection at The Big Domain catering for groups of between 12 and 56 – perfect for a summer holiday or a weekend break.
You can also rent out a historic house in England, Scotland or Wales that would be perfect for a long weekend celebrating a big birthday or anniversary – see the special offers.
>> Find more holiday ideas for couples. By yourself? select a singles holiday in the UK.
You’re guaranteed a great sea view if you stay in a lighthouse. Or how about joining the glamping craze with a stay at one of the many quirky and fun places offered by Sawday’s Canopy & Stars. There is everything from a luxury Iron Age roundhouse to a stylish On the Water houseboat in London’s Regent’s Park.
Want tropical-style beaches without flying long haul? You can find white sand and clear turquoise waters in the Scilly Isles. Stay at the The Flying Boat Club.