UK & Ireland

Best value for money: 7 great hotels for family Summer holidays in the UK

If you're in the market for a superb family break when the weather warms up, Britain offers options to suit every budget and generation

Britain has got the lot. Whether you like beaches, beautiful countryside, wildlife, high-octane thrills, great food or something else entirely, you can find it here. From the sandy beaches of Sussex to the lochs and glens of the Highlands, there are enticing family summer holidays for every taste and every budget.

We’ve rounded up a variety of options that run the gamut from campsite to country house, from sun-dappled valleys to safari parks. All of them represent great value: You get a lot of bang for your buck, whatever you can afford to spend. If you’re dreaming of a perfect British family summer holiday this year, then look no further.

Take in the view a stone's throw from the sea in Devon

There’s a lot to enjoy at Watermouth Lodges in Devon. You’re less than
half a mile from the sea; there’s a heated outdoor swimming pool, barbeque
and a games room for when the weather refuses to play ball; and the
restaurants and shops of Ilfracombe and Combe Martin are just a few
minutes away by car.

Every member of the family will find something to appeal here. The
nearby beach at Combe Martin is perfect for swimming, thanks to a sheltered position that takes the sting out of the waves. There are loads
of rock pools for tiny botanists to enjoy, too, and kayaks can be hired to
explore the rocky coastline, with its many coves and inlets.

The lodges themselves are the perfect place to relax after a long day at
the beach. There’s a kitchen as well as a barbeque, plus comfortable indoor
and outdoor seating areas from which to enjoy panoramic views over
the green contours of the local countryside.

Watermouth Lodges

Ilfracombe
7.8 Good (110 reviews)

Wildlife and wonder in England's most dramatic landscape

If you want to experience the landscape that inspired William
Wordsworth, then head for Ravenstone Lodge, which is less than two
miles from Skiddaw, whose magnificence he celebrated in verse. It’s not
the only natural wonder in this part of the world: Bassenthwaite Lake is
equally close, with its limpid serenity and abundance of natural life.

It’s also great for watersports. There are no motorboats, so it’s the ideal
spot to try sailing, canoeing or fishing, although you will need a permit
(which is available from the nearby Castle Inn). Further afield, there are
Keswick and its Lake District Wildlife Park, where you’ll find over 100
species, including lemurs, zebras, capybaras and numerous other
beasts.

Ravenstone Lodge is the perfect place to relax when you’re not enjoying
this most delightful part of England. This country house hotel has a
bistro and a more formal restaurant, and many of the rooms offer
stunning views.

Ravenstone Lodge

Top rated
Bassenthwaite
8.9 Excellent (174 reviews)

Take to the trees deep in the New Forest

For a family with a taste for luxury and country living, you won’t get
better than Chewton Glen. This country house hotel offers family-friendly
rooms and suites plus a variety of treehouses suspended 35 feet
above the woods surrounding the main house, with wood burners, hot
tubs, large terraces and underfloor heating.

Chewton Glen offers a variety of activities for energetic families, both
on- and off-site. There’s a kids’ club, taking in everything from art to
sport, a nine-hole golf course, falconry displays, mountain-biking, teddybear
sheep to pet, and duck-herding, with horse riding and fishing
available nearby. Then there are the nearby joys of the New Forest, with
its many walks taking in majestic ancient woodland, moors and valleys.

Hotel Chewton Glen

Top rated
New Milton
9.3 Excellent (79 reviews)

Go on safari in England's Wild West

There are plenty of zoos and safari parks in the UK, but not many like Longleat Safari Park. The attraction boasts mighty Amur Tigers, a herd of White Rhino, an elephant called Anne that was rescued from the circus, and more besides. It’s just a short drive from the peaceful and scenic Fairwood Lakes Holiday Park, which is a great base to explore many of the West Country’s other attractions, including the city of Bath and ancient Stonehenge.

There’s lots to do on-site, with soft play, a mud kitchen, a nature trail and a playground for smaller children plus a host of seasonal activities, including mini-golf and a summer Splash Tunnel. Older kids might appreciate the fishing lakes, which are kept stocked with carp and pike. Perhaps Fairwood’s greatest attraction, though, is the sense of calm that pervades the site–great news for parents as well as kids.

Fairwood Lakes Holiday Park

Westbury
8.1 Very good (20 reviews)

Discover England's history in your own Canterbury Tale

Canterbury is fascinating city arranged on a human scale, with The Coach House right at its heart. Nestled amid the fruit fields and hop gardens of East Kent, it has played a pivotal role in the history of England, having been the centre of organised religion since the sixth century AD. All of this fascinating history is right on The Coach House’s doorstep.

There’s the magnificent Gothic Cathedral, the Roman Museum (constructed around the remains of a Roman townhouse) and the city’s streets, which include timber-framed structures, the Dane John Mound (once a Roman burial site) and the Westgate, a medieval gatehouse. All of this is within easy walking distance of The Coach House.

Outside the city, meanwhile, is Howlett’s, one of the UK’s best zoos, while just further afield are the towns of Whitstable–with its pebbled beach and highly-rated restaurants–and Margate, where kids will find much to enjoy and thrill at the recently renovated Dreamland, one of the UK’s most historic theme parks.

The Coach House

Top rated
Canterbury
8.5 Excellent (109 reviews)

Feel the sand between your toes in sunny Sussex

There are very few beaches like Camber Sands in the UK. Stretching for five miles up to the border with Kent, it’s a thick golden strip of possibility. Locals and visitors alike come here to fly kites, windsurf, ride donkeys and simply soak up the sun. Crucially it’s not over-busy, despite being just two hours from London.

There’s plenty more to see and do nearby, too, with Winchelsea Lodge your perfect base for discovering this delightful part of England. Rye, a gorgeous medieval town, is a 10-minute drive up the road, while further on you’ll soon find yourself on Romney Marsh, where kids will love the small-gauge Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. Head the other way into Sussex, meanwhile, and you’ll hit Hastings, with its fun fair, pier and superb fish and chips.

Small people love castles, and this is castle country. Nearby there’s Camber Castle, built by Henry VIII himself, with the magnificent Norman Bodiam Castle a little further afield. Then there’s Battle, a village on the outskirts of Hastings, where William The Conqueror famously defeated Harold in 1066 and changed the course of English history.

Winchelsea Lodge

Winchelsea
8.3 Very good (175 reviews)

Go glamping on the shores of Loch Ness

If you’re off to search for the Loch Ness Monster, the perfect place to start is Loch Ness Glamping. Located just a few miles from the Loch itself, it’s the ideal family-friendly, low-stress option for exploring this most beautiful and romantic part of the British Isles. For kids, there are Highland Cows to brush and lambs to cuddle, plus an assortment of other child-friendly activities.

There’s plenty more on the doorstep, too. There’s Loch Ness, where a host of different companies offer cruises and watersports including kayaking and rib-boat thrill rides. There’s the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, which is free for under-sixes, and the romance of Urquhart Castle’s iconic ruins, which overlook the Loch.

Loch Ness Glamping

Inverness
9.2 Excellent (50 reviews)