Travelling with kids won’t mean you have to compromise on style, comfort or luxury. And with so many wonderful escapes offered through the UK, you don’t have to go far to get away from it all. Here’s a rundown of the most delightful places to stay as a family.
Swinton Park Hotel, Yorkshire
This hotel and country club provides 20,000 acres of rural Yorkshire estate to roam. Take the kids on a luxe glamping adventure for quality tech-free time together in a candlelit tree lodge or yurt. There’s no power or wi-fi, but there are gas cooking facilities, hot showers, loos, wood burners and comfy beds. Or book a room in the traditional surrounds of the main AA 4 Red Star hotel building. A stay here includes access to pools, a heritage deer park, a feature spa, fitness centre and The Terrace Restaurant and Bar.
Another Place – Lake District
This 40 bedroom Georgian hotel sits on the shores of Ullswater in 18 acres of national parkland. It’s the perfect spot for some wild swimming, paddle boarding, spa time and reading in the library – while the kids enjoy time at the Ofsted registered creche. If you have teenagers, you might like to try kayaking, cycling or even sailing from the private lakeside. Family room options include fantastic views, balconies, roll-top baths, cots, smaller beds and four-posters for the parents, while family suites have separate bunk rooms and sleep up to six.
Augill Castle, Cumbria
Another great choice for family groups travelling together, this gorgeous fairytale castle will please everyone from tots to octogenarians. Named as the Good Hotel Guide Editors’ Choice Family Hotel 2015 – 2019, the vibe here is super relaxed. It offers good wholesome fun, with toys, books, games, a dressing up box and mother nature’s delights on the doorstep. All the paraphernalia you’ll need for little ones – like baby monitors and high chairs – is provided and there’s a range of suites, family-sized and interconnecting rooms (making 17 rooms in total). The restaurant is very welcoming of your little ones and serves top cuisine from chef Justin Woods.
The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
Gleneagles’ motto is “Whatever an adult can do, a child can do too”. Set in 850 acres, the famous Scottish property has a huge range of traditional and modern countryside activities (falconry, tennis, golf, archery and mountain biking to name but a few). And with coaches on hand, a break here can double as an opportunity for the kids to learn or develop a new skill. Little Glen is the on-site creche, while The Den caters for children and teens. Family suites are plush, in sleek modern Highland decor and there’s a host of eateries offering everything from relaxed snacks to top-end fine dining.
Lime Wood Hotel, New Forest
Little ones will love the magical vibe of Hampshire’s New Forest, where ponies and deer roam free. The self-contained rustic-meets-trendy lodges, cabins and cottages at Lime Wood perfectly complement these surrounds and the log fires add to the cosiness. They’re ideal for those wishing to be a little more self-sufficient in terms of catering and some can be connected to accommodate large groups. There’s also a spa, cookery school and wonderfully earthy gourmet dining options sure to tantalise the foodies among you.
Watergate Bay, Cornwall
If you fancy a beach break, Watergate Bay’s stunning Cornish seaside location is hard to beat. The Ofsted-registered kids’ clubs provide a wide range of activities, entertainment, theme parties and the chance to learn new skills. There’s a nightly babysitting/monitoring service, so you can feast on a fancy meal at The Living Space, followed by cocktails overlooking the lapping ocean. Or if you want to dine all together, there are two family-friendly eateries and a dedicated kitchen for parents to prepare baby and toddler food. The family-owned business also has surf and swim clubs and is expanding with further hotels including the first on our list – Another Place.
Calcot Hotel and Spa, Cotswolds
There’s a real country house feel about this sophisticated property. The picturesque setting is ideal for some much-needed parental me-time at Calcot’s world-class spa hotel. Let the staff at The Playbarn and The Mez take care of the kids, or book them into an activity while you indulge in some treatments – they’ll be delighted to discover a dedicated 12 seater cinema, X-boxes, computers and an outdoor pirate play ship to explore while you’re away. Family ‘pads’ are spacious, and elegant, with handy amenities like bottle sterilisers and warmers, nappy bins and listening monitors.
Woolley Grange, Cotswolds
A quintessential English Jacobean manor house, this property is part of the Luxury Family Hotels brand and is found in Bradford-on-Avon. Wander the pretty grounds and you’ll find a walled garden, herbs, pear and apple trees, ‘Roald Dahl’s chicken house’, pigs, ducks, an orchard, a pond, grass maze and an outdoor pool. Your stay includes two hours a day of free childcare and a listening service, so you can chill out at the spa, or have a romantic Saturday date night dinner (created using delicious on-site artisan produce). And with the children collected on Sunday mornings for a breakfast club, your alone time together can continue on into the next day.
Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa, Hampshire
One of the best-known spa hotels in the country, Chewton Glen is also a paradise for children. Book a treehouse suite and sleep suspended in the air, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the countryside. Mood lighting, galleried bunks, a private terrace and log fires add to the unique magic, as does a daily delivered hamper for charming picnic-style breakfasts. During school holidays and at weekends the children can socialise at The Den, tuck into a special buffet supper, or enjoy a splash in indoor and outdoor pools.
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Ampersand, Kensington London
If it’s a city break you’re seeking, this chic South Kensington family-run boutique hotel is a superb base for exploring the capital. Deluxe Rooms, Deluxe Studios and Suites can accommodate smaller beds and cots and provide appropriately sized bathrobes and slippers. The hotel’s fashionable cellar restaurant Apero offers a menu designed for younger palates, as well as those for adult tastes. Upmarket children’s parties can be catered on request and the Sci-Fi afternoon tea is an unforgettable indulgent treat that’s sure to be as popular with the grown-ups as with the young guests.