Going on holiday with children can be an enjoyable and exciting experience, but choose the right destination is so important.
To help you plan the most rewarding and stress-free trip possible for your family, we’ve handpicked a selection of child-friendly holidays in the UK and abroad that are designed with kids in mind.
Child-Friendly Holidays 2016
Cherry Tree Holiday Park, Norfolk
Holidaying at a resort like Parkdean’s Cherry Tree Holiday Park means there’s plenty to help keep the kids occupied. On site there is an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor heated pool with a fountain and smaller toddlers’ pool, kids’ clubs, a soft play area, an all-weather multi-sports court, an adventure playground, and a nature trail.
For an additional fee you can also make use of the amusements, pirate-themed crazy golf course, and the sports activity programme. But one of the major selling points is the evening entertainment team, who look after the children so well that parents almost feel like they’ve got the night off!
Cherry Tree’s location puts you in easy reach of the beautiful Gorlestone beach just 4 miles away, or 6 miles from the popular amusements at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. And if you fancy a different sort of day out, you’ll be ideally placed to visit Pleasurewood Hills, Africa Alive, BeWILDerwood, or Thrigby Hall Gardens.
The accommodation is generally very clean, modern, and spacious, with most options offering a TV with Freeview, a DVD/CD player, and WI-FI. Travel cots and highchairs can be rented for £10 each per break. Dining options are also available, starting at £19.95 for a child’s breakfast for the duration of your stay.
A 7 night break starts from £159 in March, with gas, electricity and entertainment passes included. For more information visit: parkdeanholidays.co.uk
Clanville Manor Tallet, Somerset
One thing that Clanville Manor Tallet, in Castle Cary, Somerset clearly prides itself on is including lots of family-friendly supplies.
This cosy stone cottage with comes with two bedrooms, a super-king and enough space for a cot, and a bunk room that has a removable connecting door in case you’re needed at night. Everything from a baby monitor and blackout curtains to a child’s toilet seat and safety gates are provided, saving you valuable car space. In the living room there is a real-flame oil stove that has a safety guard, Freeview TV and a DVD player for when you need some quiet time.
In the back garden there is an outdoor heated pool available during June, July and August that is fenced and padlocked. A large, safe play area in the walled garden-climbing frame, toys and Wendy House. Both the pool and the play area are shared with just one other property.
For most of the year you will also find the farm-yard chickens outside your door waiting for you to feed them and collect their eggs. The property is set on a working beef farm, which you can walk around by arrangement with the owners.
A stay in Clanville Manor Tallet costs from £350 to £725 per week. For more information visit: clanvillemanor.co.uk
Goldilocks Hideaway Cabin, South West France
Many holiday companies go the extra mile to make families feel welcome, and Pagel’s Goldilocks Hideaway Cabin in South West France is no exception. This rustic lodge, partially hidden within pretty woodland, takes on a fairytale twist with the help of a whole lot of bears! From the wooden cravings outside to the cuddly friends waiting indoors, this property certainly feels like something out of a story book.
What makes a Pagel holiday so appealing is the effort the team put into making sure that young children are always the priority. In fact, the company insists that they will only ever book to families with little ones.
As well as including baby essentials such as highchairs, changing facilities, and plastic tableware, you can also request additional items like liquidisers, pushchairs, a sling or backpack and even a Bumbo seat. Slightly older children will love the wide selection of toys, games, and books, plus the communal play equipment including a pirate ship, wigwam, trampolines, and a gated, heated, saltwater swimming pool.
If you want to spend less time in the kitchen, a range of specially prepare frozen kids’ meal are available, as are babysitters (all of whom are mums themselves) for those days when you fancy a bit of grown-up time.
Prices for a week-long stay in the Goldilocks Cabin start at £960 in April, rising to £1,550 from 18th June – 2nd Sept. For more information visit: pagel-france.com
Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, Thailand
If you’re looking to splash out on your next family holiday, the idyllic Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas in Thailand is a village-style retreat that doesn’t skimp on sophistication. Selected and approved by parents, the Anantara Villas are set beside a waterlily-topped lagoon and close to Phuket’s longest beach.
Each villa its own pool, although these aren’t fenced off so you will need to keep an eye on the children. As well as plenty of free activities (family yoga, anyone?) and a free kids’ club for children aged 4-12, every villa also features all those must-have items, including: highchairs, sterilisers, cots and cot linen, black-out blinds, baby bath and toiletries, and board books. Toddlers and older children will find a selection of craft materials, books, DVDs, board games, puzzles, bikes, laptops, iPads, and more.
Highchairs and children’s menus are available at two of the resort’s four restaurants, and the chefs are happy to adjust items on the main menu to suit younger tastes.
Prices for a stay in an Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villa start at £257.24 per night, including breakfast. Children under three stay for free if they sleep in a cot, while children aged 4-12 can stay for free on the sofa-bed. For more information visit: smithandfamily.co.uk
Bultins ‘Just for Tots’ Breaks
Enjoy a short break that’s just for tiny tots and toddlers. These four day getaways are designed especially for little ones, offering early meal times, ‘drop in’ style activities throughout the day, and shows tailored towards a younger audience.
Butlins offers a number of different rooms, apartments and chalets at different price grades so that every budget can be accommodated. If possible, however, we’d advise booking one of the newly refurbished hotel rooms or apartments, which are of significantly higher quality.
Having age-appropriate entertainment and dining is a huge help when you’re away with little ones, particularly if they’re not used to being away from home. However, as in most places of this nature, you will need to take extra spending money for food, drinks, and some of the additional entertainment, which can cost slightly over the usual odds. For a typical family stay is tends to work out cheaper if you buy a meal package when booking.
The first break starts of 14 March 2016 at the Skegness resort, with prices beginning at £45 per family per night for a room only. Plus children under 5 eat free on selected breaks, saving you even more money. For more information visit: butlins.com
Glamping at Cuckoo Down Farm, East Devon
Glamping – also known as posh camping – has becoming increasingly popular as more and more people seek to combine the fun of camping with the comforts of home. Cuckoo Down Farm, in West Hill, East Devon, is one of many venues that offer comfortable camping in the form of large safari-style tents and holiday yurts.
Set over 30 acres, the farm has plenty of open space for kids to explore, as well as a number of animals – children will love collecting eggs from the chicken or tending to Ebony, the resident Dartmoor pony. There is a three acres of oak woodland that is perfect for den building and tree climbing, and the wonderful Sidmouth Beach can also be found just 4 miles away.
The safari tents include one double and one twin bedroom, a large living space with a king-sized sofa bed, and a dining table. The yurts feature a double bed and two sofa beds. Each pitch has its own drinking water standpipe, well-equipped kitchen area, wood burning stove, campfire, and a private compost toilet and sink located in a small shed.
Travel cots and highchairs are available for hire in advance (for £3 and £2 per visit respectively) and the owners can provide free boxes of toys on request.
Each property sleeps 2-6 people and prices per week range from £445-885. For more information visit: awaywithkids.co.uk
Here are some more child-friendly holiday ideas you might like:
Travelling with young children – Your guide to making trips and holidays more enjoyable