UK & Ireland

Mum Knows Best | the best budget family holidays in the UK

It can be hard to entertain the kids on holiday. Not to worry, we've got some great budget family holidays that are sure to keep the kids content and parents relaxed.

Planning the perfect family getaway can be a headache — an expensive headache. And choosing the right hotel or resort to be your home away from home is perhaps the most important element of a successful family trip.

To help alleviate that stress, we’ve teamed up with mummy bloggers across the country to share some of the best budget family holidays in the UK you can try this year. So all you need to do is put your feet up, and decide when to book in the next one!

trivago tip: Prices were at, or under, £120 per night at the time of publication. Fluctuations will occur for a variety of reasons, so we suggest checking multiple dates in order to find the best price.

A family-friendly holiday in the Cheshire countryside

1/4

Located just 20 minutes by car from the historic city of Chester but set in 1,000 acres of Cheshire countryside, Carden Park offers families the best of both worlds.

With a playground, crazy golf course, giant chess board, aerial ropes and zip lines (age 6+), archery (age 8+), and a swimming pool, children are thoroughly catered for and feel incredibly welcomed. The biggest problem they’ll have is fitting everything in.

A particular favourite of my two boys, aged five and seven, are the seasonal treasure hunts. They’re a lot of fun and take you on a tour of the grounds, often past the Carden vineyard, so a treat for the grownups, too!

For a change of scene head in to Chester to join a Roman soldier on a tour of ancient ruins or perhaps book to see an open air performance at the beautiful Grosvenor Park. If your children are feeling creative, nearby Cheshire Workshops offers both candle-making and craft sessions for families. There’s a rainy day or two sorted for you! Carden Park really is the holy grail of hotels for families who want a luxurious but relaxing place to stay that won’t break the bank. It’s one of our favourites!

Rachel Southern – The Ordinary Lovely

Carden Park

Top rated
Chester, 14.2 km to Chester Cathedral
8.5 Excellent (1730 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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A family-friendly manor hotel for a countryside break to Yorkshire

1/3

We stayed at Whitley Hall in Sheffield when our friends got married there and it’s such a beautiful little hotel: I’d highly recommend it for a family stay in South Yorkshire. It’s a 4-star rated hotel and the 16th-century manor house is just lovely and set in 20 acres of grounds, ideal for children to play on, and are complete with large green lawns and free-roaming peacocks!

The rooms are luxurious and comfortable, and there was more than enough space for a family of four. The food was great too; we enjoyed a full continental style breakfast, with plenty of kid-friendly options. The hotel has its own private lake which is lovely, and it’s located in the gorgeous countryside offering lots of nature exploring options and days out for families. It’s only a short drive away from Sheffield city centre too if you want to visit there as well.

Petra – A Mum Reviews

Hotel Whitley Hall

Top rated
Sheffield, 7.7 km to Cathedral Church of St Marie
8.8 Excellent (515 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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A family-friendly beach holiday in Bournemouth

1/4

Bournemouth has long been a favourite family seaside destination- fighting off seagulls whilst you eat fish and chips on the beach is basically a summer tradition. Close to the 7-mile stretch of award-winning Bournemouth Beach is the quieter up and coming Boscombe. The Chine Hotel offers the perfect base for families seeking the ultimate British beach break. Get your bucket and spades at the ready, take a walk through the private garden and you’ll be on the beach in minutes.

The family-friendly features of the hotel are at their best during the school holidays. The little ones will love the daily kids club, art activities, indoor soft-play area and teen zone for those aged 12 and over. Whilst the kids are busy, make sure to relax in the spa, get a beauty treatment and take a swim in the garden pool. The hotel dining facilities cater to even the fussiest of kids, with a set three-course menu and buffet both available. And for a day trip, take the train to Bournemouth where arcades, an outdoor mini-golf course and the oceanarium are all great for a packed day of fun.

Rebecca Rayner – Rayner en Route

The Chine Hotel

Bournemouth, 6.4 km to Bournemouth Airport
8.1 Very good (1295 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.6 / 10
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A budget family beach holiday in Cornwall with indoor and outdoor pools

1/4

There sometimes seems to be so much to plan when you travel with kids, especially younger ones, that it’s a huge relief to find a hotel that sorts it all for you. We visited The Sands Resort when my daughter was almost three, and they seem to have thought of everything. They offer baby listening at night and early dinner times in the restaurant for younger kids (or they can eat with you in your room). My kids loved the indoor and outdoor pools and kids’ club with extra activities in school holidays.  Plus, you’re in walking distance of the beach!

And because it’s your holiday too, there’s a spa as well and incredibly comfy beds, many with a view straight out onto the sea. But perhaps the most relaxing thing of all is the fact that it’s hugely child-friendly, so you never have to worry about kids disturbing other guests.

Cathy Winston – Mummy Travels

Looking for great places to take the kids this winter?

UK & Ireland

Unmissable UK winter family destinations

Sands Resort

Top rated
Newquay, 3.9 km to Newquay Cornwall Airport
8.6 Excellent (343 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A family-friendly budget holiday to York with children's pool

1/4

We’ve stayed at the Marriott Hotel a couple of times now as a family and loved it both times.  Located next to York Racecourse, and an easy walk or short bus ride into the city centre (the bus stops literally outside the hotel and it’s one road all the way to the centre so very easy to find). There’s a pool and a separate children’s pool which my boys love.

The rooms are lovely and spacious, we booked a balcony room on one of the times that we stayed over and had views of the racecourse which was a real treat!  My boys loved the National Railway Museum and hubby and I enjoyed the city centre shops and quirky bars (loads of really olde worlde pubs with great ales if you are into that sort of thing). Also if you are into tennis and golf it’s ideal too as there are tennis courts on-site and golf courses nearby.

Lisa Jane – Travel Lovin Family

York Marriott Hotel

York, 23.9 km to Castle Howard
8.0 Very good (3584 reviews)
Very good Service 8.4 / 10
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A family-friendly beach holiday in Sunderland

1/3

This summer, we had the pleasure of getting to know the North Coast of England. The Roker Hotel, near Newcastle and the gorgeous seashore cliffs of Seaham, is a perfect, budget-friendly family destination. The salt air and hospitality are refreshing. Rooms are fresh and hip, many with a sea view.

You can walk directly across the street and down the stairs to the seashore. Don’t miss the fabulous Italian Farmhouse restaurant on site where kids make their own pizza. Try the carbonara. You’re welcome. Parents will love Poetic License gastropub and distillery, and the “Let There Be Crumbs” bakery and tea rooms. Just a few steps to the beach, enjoy the children’s pirate-themed play-area, amusement arcade, and several seaside quick bites for fish and chips.

Be sure to visit the National Glass Museum and witness a glass blowing demonstration and St. Peter’s Church, built in 673 AD. Your trip will shine with a visit to the brilliant boardwalk, home to the famous Roker Lighthouse. I’m counting the days until we return.

Jen Reyneri – Word Traveling

Roker Hotel

7.7 Good (1245 reviews)
Excellent Location 8.8 / 10
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A family-friendly trip to Legoland Windsor

1/2

We were looking for a trip close to London and decided to spend one night in Windsor, just 30 minutes away by car/ train and on the M3. We toured Windsor Castle, explored the town with its cobbled streets and were 10 minutes from Legoland. We wanted somewhere affordable yet clean to stay, and we found that in the Travelodge Windsor Central.

The staff were welcoming to kids, the room was clean, with plenty of fresh air and even a fan for when needed. The room had two full-sized beds, which was perfect for fitting the whole family. The hotel was less than a quarter of a mile from Windsor Castle, just a few yards from the train station and Windsor High Street. We easily walked everywhere we wanted to go. You couldn’t ask for a better location!

Rachel Rappaport – Coconut and Lime

Travelodge Windsor Central

Windsor, 3.4 km to Legoland
7.7 Good (227 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
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A family-friendly apartment for a Manchester city break

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Manchester as a family then I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Roomzzz Corn Exchange. This new aparthotel offers much more space and luxury than a standard hotel and we found our room to be comfortable, stylish and practical, with the extra space being a total godsend, enabling our two young children to play and roam around.

Set in one of Manchester’s most impressive and historic buildings, there’s also plenty of eating places and bars on-site too which is brilliant for families as you don’t have to venture far for fantastic food or drink. Or you can make your stay more purse-friendly and use the kitchenette facilities. The location is excellent! Kids of all ages will love The Museum of Science and Industry Museum and it’s only a short walk of about 15 minutes away. My piece of advice is that you might want to avoid Friday and Saturday nights if you’re looking for more peace and quiet.

Katie Portman – Pouting in Heels

Roomzzz Manchester Corn Exchange

Manchester, 8.1 km to Airkix
9.0 Excellent (1151 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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