Parental Choice have had a think about UK trips for you and the kids this summer, day trips or longer, our guide will help!
Many parents worry about not being able to take their kids on a holiday abroad for any number of possible reasons, but a staycation shouldn’t be seen as a poor alternative. The UK is a beautiful country and while there is always the vagaries of the weather to contend with, there is masses to see and do on day trips, a weekend, a few days, or even a week or two. Knowing what is possible can make school holidays fly by in a flurry of fun and activity. Obviously how you pass the holidays depends on a number of considerations – time available, budget, accessibility and transport, and age of children – but here are some ideas.
The UK has a large number of holiday parks that offer weekend and short breaks as well as week and fortnight holidays. There are big names like Butlins, Pontins, and Haven and also lesser known groups. Parks offer a range of accommodations, most have swimming pools, and all have organised entertainments. For outdoor fun, Centre Parcs has five forest-based locations around the country and more than 200 activities. Most holiday parks offer special deals year round with deals being advertised in the national press and on television,
London Away Days
As many of you will be working London, you’ll know it is so busy and offers so many things to do, but when it comes to family time you may not wish to head back into the city in your free time. But, there’s so much that can be packed into one day or you can make a trip of just one activity. If you’ve never taken your kids into London before, a whistle stop tour of all the major sites of UK significance is achievable, especially if you take one of the open-top bus tours where you can hop on and off as you like.
There are kid-friendly attractions all over central London including London Zoo and Madame Tussauds or there are some of the world’s best museums close together in Kensington. The Natural History Museum, the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum offer endless fascination for all ages. On a similar theme, there’s a unique opportunity in 2019 to see the Treasures of Tutankhamun for the last time before they are permanently homed in Cairo, Egypt.
One of the beauties of the UK is that being a relatively small island (well two islands) is that distances between attractions are short. A touring trip can encompass many sights, attractions, and activities. You might consider driving a coastal route or base yourself in one location and visit as much as you can around it. The county of Cornwall, for example, is small and you’re never very far from the coast wherever you choose to stay, likewise Northern Ireland. A short ferry journey brings you to a stunning area of the UK. A touring break can be as short as long as you like depending on time and budget. Many areas of the UK are ideal for a touring break including the Cotswolds, the Scottish Highlands, and the Lake District.
Did your eyes roll at the idea of camping? You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that camping means roughing it. That’s far from the truth. Modern camping is made easy with excellent tents and equipment that try to deliver as many of the comforts of home as possible. Campsites can be basic or luxurious, and there’s always the option of glamping to consider. The idea of camping is always more fun for children so it’s definitely an option if you want to keep them happy. The benefits of camping go far beyond just having a holiday and there are so many locations throughout the UK to enjoy those benefits.
Festivals abound in the UK all year round and cover every cultural interest from ale to zorbing. They can last anything from a couple of hours on one day to several weeks and might take place in a village hall or a farmer’s field. The attraction of a particular festival will depend on various factors but most importantly, the interest an event will have for your kids. Small events might have a narrow scope whereas the big festivals in the UK are set up to cater for all ages with special attractions, interests, and activities for children. Festivals publish details on their websites of all the events they have lined up, so you can check out the Edinburgh Arts Festival, the Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye, and Camp Bestival along with other lesser known festivals.
It just takes a little thought and planning to have family trips that are fun for all and live long in the memory when the kids are back at school. Give them something to talk about when teacher asks them to write “what I did this summer”.
Ella Hendrix is a versatile freelance writer, currently covering articles on family psychology, elderly care children’s behaviour. In her spare time, you will find her head in a book or sipping on a peppermint tea.