There’s no better cure for the grey winter days than planning a fabulous getaway for your family. Just think – in a few short months, the flowers will be blooming, the days will be getting longer and (we hope!) we'll be basking in a spot of sunshine again. Here are our top Away with the Kids-approved spots for the perfect spring break. From luxury hotels to cosying up under canvas, we’ve got something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a fun-packed coastal retreat for your clan you can expect the very best from Sands, the very first family-friendly hotel to be built in Cornwall. Explore six acres of gorgeous grounds or kick back and relax while your little (and bigger) ones have a blast in the children’s clubs, which start at an affordable £2 an hour. On your doorstep you’ll find beach adventure clubs, ideal for surf-addicts and eager novices alike . Once you’ve had your fill of crashing waves, fill hungry tummies at eateries including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen and Rick Stein’s restaurant at Padstow.
This stunning National Trust property set in Grade I listed formal gardens is fresh out of a BBC period drama - perhaps unsurprisingly it has been featured in a number of films and TV programmes including Sherlock Holmes and Mr Selfridge. Cliveden boasts opulent interiors, an award-winning restaurant, stunning grounds and a brand new heavenly spa. The best part? It welcomes children with open arms. Just 40 minutes from London, this luxury hotel is an ideal retreat for families looking to add a spot of country splendour to their city break.
If you fancy a family holiday in the glorious Suffolk countryside, look no further than the stylish Ickworth Hotel. Enjoy spring blooming across 1800 acres of National Trust parkland, sample delicious food from its two fantastic restaurants, or simply relax in the spa while your baby or young child enjoys a world of free play, toys and activities in the OFSTED-registered Four Bears Den. Older kids can hang out at Club Blu, where table tennis, table football and computer games will give them a much-needed break from annoying grown-ups!
This award-winning child-friendly hotel is a must-visit for golf lovers and their families. Its central location means it’s easy to get to – and for those travelling from further afield it’s just ten minutes from Birmingham airport. Budding golfers can tee off at Ryder Legends mini golf course, while more seasoned players can test their skills on the Belfry’s legendary 18 holes. There are leisure facilities to enjoy including a swimming pool, spa and gym. The hotel has an impressive three restaurants to choose from, with relaxed dining option Rocca’s offering complimentary meals for children. Nearby family attractions include Drayton Manor Park and Cadbury’s World.
If you’re looking for an intimate, relaxed family holiday in a beautiful setting, this 14th century Cotswolds farmhouse hotel has everything you could ask for. Given the excellent childcare provision, it would be rude not to sample what has to be one of AwtK's favourite spas, with seven treatment rooms, and – wait for it - a lavender lined hot tub. Now that really is next level! It’s these little touches that make Calcot stand out from the crowd, with all family rooms provided with a complimentary baby box full of essentials like changing mats, nappy bags and bottle brushes. No wonder Calcot has been voted one of the UK’s favourite family friendly destinations.
If you fancy exploring beautiful, historic Edinburgh in Spring 2019 then look no further than the spacious and comfortable apartments at the Knights Residence. You’ll be able to step outside and gaze up at Edinburgh Castle before packing up to explore the city’s many exciting family attractions. Deep Sea World will keep kids of all ages mesmerised, while Edinburgh Dungeon will appeal to those of a stronger constitution, with live actors, hair-raising rides and heaps of gory Scottish history. Or why not hop on a bus tour and see the sights the old-fashioned way? The apartments are well-equipped and smartly designed, with cots, high-chairs, strollers and even a baby-sitting service available on request. All this with affordable city centre parking? It’s the family city break of dreams!
If you’re looking for cute animals, lungfuls of fresh spring air and an excuse to get your welly boots out, a farm holiday at North Bradbury will be just the ticket, appealing to everyone from toddlers to teens. Little ones will love feeding the animals twice a day, collecting eggs and splatting about in the mud kitchen. There’s also an adventure playground, den building, ponies to ride and a heated outdoor pool to enjoy whether the sun decides to put in an appearance or not. Go on – be brave! There are two cottages available to hire, each converted from original 17th century stables, meaning North Bradbury is ideal for families in search of a more peaceful getaway with a bit of rustic charm.
Crieff Hydro (self-catering)
Situated just an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and Glasgow, the 900-acre Crieff Hydro estate is a prestigious holiday destination which offers luxurious accommodation and a mind-blowing range of activities for young and old. Just beyond the hotel, surrounded by woodland, you’ll find a range of self-catering options from chalets to five-star lodges. Perfect for families looking for a fun holiday with plenty of space and lots to do! Kids aged 2-12 have two sessions of childcare per day included in the cost of a stay (creche childcare also available for younger ones).
For a blast of fresh sea air and blindingly beautiful beaches, you just can’t beat the Northumbrian coast, and Alnwick is one of our favourite spots. Nook End is the perfect place to stay for families – a stunning stone cottage complete with swings, a games room, books and toys. It’s just a mile from Beadnell beach, and a short drive to Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick itself. Pink up those cheeks with a stroll on the beach and a spot of rock pooling, or explore the famous Alnwick Castle and Gardens - a key location in the Harry Potter films. Don’t miss Barter Books, heaven for bookworms of all ages. Look up and you'll see trains racing around the model railway at the top of the shop.
Anyone fancy staying on a luxurious converted 19th century farmstead on a private estate in the dramatic Highlands of Scotland? This one definitely has my vote! Roam across heather-lined hills and take in the breath-taking scenery, or let the little people enjoy the cottage’s outdoor play area and cobbled courtyard while you sip a glass of wine and realise that, yes, you really are living the dream. Each cottage is equipped with stairgate, cot, basket of toys, children’s plates and cutlery. The property even has its own café, where you can eat in or take a delicious picnic hamper for your day trips. Let us know if you spot Nessie!
Get back to nature in style with a glamping retreat set in acres of glorious countryside on the Welsh/English border. At Cosy Under Canvas you get to snuggle up in eco-friendly geo-dome with accommodation for families of up to six, so no need to worry about squashing all your camping gear into the car! Explore the countryside in the bright spring sunshine, then, once the night draws in, you can snuggle up under cosy blankets around the wood-burning stove or light a campfire outside and toast marshmallows under the stars. Truly a holiday to remember.
If you like your yurt with a view, Wild in Style is going to blow your thermal socks off! Situated in the magical woods of the Lake District National Park, step a few paces down the hill and you’re on the edge of glorious Lake Windemere. Each yurt is reliably weather-proof, ensuring you stay toasty warm and dry if spring showers put in an appearance. The site has recently added two beautifully appointed gypsy caravans which are also available for hire. A deliciously whimsical getaway for families looking to embrace the great outdoors in style.
The clue’s in the name – this is quirky glamping that’s truly out of this world. Whether you choose to stay in a luxury lodge, gypsy caravan or the wonderfully-named Hobbit Box (Tolkein fans take note!), everywhere at Secret Meadows is full of eccentric touches and beautiful styling. Hire bikes and kiddy carts on the site and you can whizz along country lanes exploring the area. There’s lots to see, with Framlingham Castle, Jimmy’s Farm and the stunning Suffolk coastline nearby. You’ll find plenty of adventures on-site too - take advantage of Bushcraft and Wild Ways workshops, then fill your boots with hearty grub from the 24-hour farm pantry.
If you’ve got little ones (and bigger ones!) who love to explore, then Fisherground in Eskdale has everything you might need for a fantastic family camping trip this spring. Unzip the tent and let them race off to explore the adventure playground, complete with zip wire and Tarzan rope swing, or get your wellies out and punt out on the site’s legendary rafting pond. April showers taking hold? No problem, simply hop on the Ravenglass & Eskadale miniature railway – the the campsite has its very own station! Train fans will love chugging up and down the line, and your ticket buys you a full day’s travel. All this and the Lake District on your doorstep? Perfection.
This child-friendly campsite prides itself on being a truly free-range experience. Get stuck into communal fire-building, join in with the rounders, or roll up those trousers and paddle in the rhynes (ditches). Owner Jules has cultivated a laid-back atmosphere where even the most frazzled and plugged-in of parents are guaranteed to switch off and chill out. Cook your dinner on the fire, then relax with a mug of warm cocoa or – for the grown-ups – a cheeky glass of the local cider. Cheddar Gorge is walking distance, Bath, Glastonbury and the gloriously named Wookey Hole Caves are all a short drive away. Kids are sure to leave with full hearts, big smiles and memories to last a lifetime.
What a round-up! If you haven’t found the family break you are looking for, rest assured there are plenty more child-friendly holiday destinations to discover on Away with the Kids, from UK-based destinations to further afield. Then, once you’ve booked, all you need to do is close your eyes and dream of springtime... we can almost feel the sunshine!