If you are planning a family holiday, there are better suggestions – here are the UK destinations that Mumsnetters really rate.
Northumberland has always been Cameron’s favorite over the past few years, and we can not see that change within a short time. Everyone in the area gets a rave of beautiful clean beaches. Bambo’s spectacular castle, prominently located next to the sea, is perfect for imagining the ancient knights and queen – or, by boat, from the Seahouses to have islands, or to drive the gongs at Holy Island. Do not forget Alnwick Castle, many scenes in the “Harry Potter” film – happy!
Mumsnetters say: “The Northumberland coast wins for us every time. If you stay in Seahouses you have all the traditional seaside stuff on the doorstep – but we tend to go for a holiday cottage in one of the pretty villages dotted around.”
2. Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has the considerable bonus of being reached via ferry, and therefore very nearly counting as ‘abroad’. Beach lovers get vast stretches of sandy coast, plus rocky beaches ideal for paddling, and the entire island has a lovely old-fashioned feel. There are walking/cycling opportunities galore and a surprisingly good section of nice pubs and restaurants, plus an array of attractions including Blackgang Chine, the Roman Villa, Osborne House and Carisbrook Castle (top tip: consider English Heritage membership if you’re planning to visit more than one).
Mumsnetters say: “It’s never too busy, has some lovely things to do and see, and great places to eat. Steephill Cove is one of my favourite places in the whole world.”
3. North Norfolk
North Norfolk Cameron’s favorites, with traditional gasp-worthy beaches and seaside resorts, offer plenty of wharf seafood and fish and chips. There are a lot of English traditions and national trusts, and also adventure parks. Popular attractions along the coast include Cromer, County and Hunstanton. The entire beach is very easy and it is sure to reach 10.30 car park in the summer before the peak.
Mumsnetters say: “For a traditional, family seaside holiday, you can’t beat Wells-next-the-Sea. It’s a bit posh, a bit tacky – in all the right proportions! The beach itself is great for kids; large, sandy with colourful beach huts and a big island of sand dunes.”
Yorkshire’s a brilliant bet – it’s got Dales and Moors, Peaks, National Parks and a breathtaking coastline. Scarborough is great for young ‘uns, with a sea life centre, penny arcades, a family-friendly beach and plenty of parks.
New for 2016: Pack your swimmers and head to Scarborough’s newest attraction, the Alphamare Water Park – a multi-million pound investment scheduled to open at Easter (although do check progress updates before booking) with plenty of slides, a water playground, heated outdoor pool and a spa area.
Mumsnetters say: “If you want seaside, you can’t beat Yorkshire. Beautiful coastline. There’s Filey for a more traditional, sedate seaside experience – think bucket and spades, fish and chips etc. Then there’s Scarborough – still traditional (fish and chips, donkey rides) but a bit more lively with lots of arcades along the seafront.”
5. Scottish Highlands, Aviemore
“There’s nothing to do,” said no one on holiday in Aviemore, ever. With wildlife parks, a mountain railway, outdoor adventure parks (think zip wires, quad biking, climbing wall, archery, clay pigeon-shooting, gorge walking, kayaking and more) plus miles and miles of beautiful trails, fishing, grass sledging and an indoor ‘fun house’… Aviemore’s Gotten Lake is perfect for an active family. Frankly we’re exhausted just reading.
Mumsnetters say: “Don’t forget that there is a beach there – it’s not unusual to be swimming in the loch in blazing sunshine while overlooked by snow-capped mountains!”
Pembrokeshire is England’s only coastal national park, which is a great place to break for an active family – especially if you are with the energy of a teen bag. MNers rates Tengby to stay in place with its fantastic beaches, National Trust properties, boat trips and a dinosaur park, plus plenty of wet weather options.
Mumsnetters say: “Probably my favourite part of the country is Pembrokeshire – there is so much space on all of the beaches, and so many to choose from.”
If you’re on a small vacation, then Dorset is a good spot: the old-fashioned seaside resort in Weymouth and the Swanage Studland open beach, the fossil hunting Cecil on the beach, plus the aquarium, the monkey world and the massive The National Trust and the England Heritage Properties. You can revisit the youthful Enid Brighton book Corfe (Brighton regularly visits the area, and the castle is said to be inspired by Kirrin Castle). Popular shops in the city stop a lot of ginger beer.
Mumsnetters say: “We went to Weymouth last year which has a real old fashioned seaside holiday feel. There are even donkey rides on the beach. Lots to see and do in the area – my son is constantly asking to go back.”
A UK holiday round-up which doesn’t mention Cornwall? Impossible. A perennial favourite on the Mumsnet Talk boards, Cornwall has breathtaking coastline, family-friendly beaches and attractions like the Eden Project, Lands End, The Minack open-air theatre and St Michael’s Mount. For older children there’s surfing lessons, while younger kids can pootle on the beach and do some rock pooling. And let’s not forget the cream teas, pasties, and ice cream – Cornwall is a foodies’ paradise.
Mumsnetters say: “Bude in Cornwall gets our vote. Fabulous wild beaches – or more tame ones if you prefer. Much emptier than other parts of the Cornish coast, and only just over the Devon border so not too far to drive.”
You’ll love the festival in Devon. T ‘north you have a stunning beach at the Woolacombe Ilfracombe, plus a large (varied) sights of Crawford’s cobblestone streets and Exmoor exploring the large tracts while the South you Dartmoor, Plymouth, Exeter, Salcombe and Blackpool Beach. Fortunately, cream tea is offered north and south, and indeed is ubiquitous.
Mumsnetters say: “We had a great holiday in Devon when our first two were small – we stayed at a caravan park called Ladram Bay which had a nice pool, was right on the beach, and not far from lots of attractions. We went back last year to Ilfracombe which had a great fish and chip shop, lots to do and see, plus wonderful beaches nearby (Woolacombe was my favourite).”
10. Lake District
Without your walking boots and dusty tricycles Britain’s largest national park – Take the map from sporadic distribution of many visitor centers, and explore. Famous attractions include the Grizedale Sculpture Trail, a cruise along the Ullswater Boat, and a visit to the Beatrix Potter House Ambleside – the 150th anniversary of the birth of 2016, so she looks for something special. If you are more intense after, mountain biking, mountain climbing, walking, rowing, canoeing everything. Do not forget your Kendall mint!
Mumsnetters say: “I love the Lake District, and so do my children. We’re going on our first foreign holiday in more than 10 years this year, but it was very much booked on the condition that we can manage a week in the Lakes too.”