Instead of searching endlessly in Google to find the best family holiday destinations in the UK, stop right here. We—or rather, the millions of travellers who make up our community—have already done the hard work for you!
Our very clever and tech-savvy analysts at Holiday Lettings created an algorithm analysing ratings and reviews for every single UK property on our site. The aim? To identify which destinations around the UK have the best-reviewed family-friendly rentals—according to our travellers who have stayed in them.
The result is the following list of 15 top UK destinations for families. Enjoy… and happy holiday planning!
“Stayed here as a group of 4 adults and 4 children. The house is beautiful, very clean, high standard, fully equipped with everything we could have possibly needed, well worth the money and would recommend this over a hotel/B&B any day.” — Holiday Lettings Reviewer
For decades, Blackpool’s been the capital of good old-fashioned entertainment. As its iconic tower approaches its 125th birthday, this town shows no signs of slowing down! What makes it one of the best family-friendly holiday destinations? Mainly, it’s the wealth of attractions and activities on offer to please all ages.
Penny Farm is perfect for toddlers and younger children to meet beautiful horses up close, while the excitement of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and thrill of The Big One rollercoaster will get even the surliest of teenagers to crack a smile. From magic shows to Strictly’s glittering Tower Ballroom, you’re guaranteed a fun-filled family stay in Blackpool.
A university town might not be the most obvious place to go on holiday with the family, but there’s something special about St Andrews. Kids can let their imaginations run wild as they explore the ruins of St Andrews Castle. They’ll also love exploring (not to mention tiring themselves out!) the wide, sandy beaches of West Sands or Kingsbarns. Animal lovers will want to visit the St Andrews Aquarium and Scottish Deer Centre, and if there are any keen golfers in the family, this town will suit them down to a tee.
This Norfolk coastal town is a firm favourite with families looking for traditional fun beside the sea. The surrounding area is packed with attractions to delight adventurers young and old, from riding the North Norfolk steam railway to having tree-top fun at the Pensthorpe Natural Park. But the real heart of this destinations lies, of course, at the seaside. Don’t forget to sample some of the famous Cromer Crab and walk along the atmospheric Victorian pier while you’re there!
With sand dunes stretching for miles along the picturesque East Sussex coast, Camber is one of the best family holiday destinations for relaxation. Kite-surfing is a must for sporty young things, while simply strolling along the beach is perfect for those who prefer a steadier pace.
This is “1066 country”, with plenty to fascinate history buffs (or any little ones just learning all about the Battle of Hastings!) including three castles. But, its attractions aren’t just historic: you can plan a submarine safari at the Blue Reef Aquarium or ride the UK’s steepest funicular railway!
“We stayed on midterm break with our 4 kids. Suited us perfectly, very comfortable and relaxing in the evening after busy days at Titanic museum and W5. We couldn’t fault the place at all. Great location and very safe. Kids are planning their next visit!” — Holiday Lettings Reviewer
Welcome to Belfast–birthplace of the ill-fated Titanic and Northern Ireland’s capital. Belfast’s weather is predictably unpredictable, but it’s so packed with indoor and outdoor attractions that everyone will be happy in this vibrant city, come rain or shine, no matter the season. If you enjoy being outdoors, take a trip to Glenariff Forest Park. Here, you’ll get lost (metaphorically, of course) in a mosaic of lush green landscapes, cascading waterfalls, and steep-sided gorges.
This coastal town, with its rich fishing heritage and traditional seaside flavour, is not often absent from lists of recommended destinations to stay. You’ll find the locals friendly, the fish and chips unrivalled (which is a bold claim!) and the general pace of life just that little bit gentler.
There’s plenty here for families to enjoy together. If the weather is fine, you’ll probably find yourself on Filey beach or meeting the residents at the Filey Bird Garden and Animal Park. If the forecast is ropey, nearby Scarborough has a host of indoor activities from its Sea Life Sanctuary to the Terror Tower (best for tricky-to-impress teens).
Cheltenham (or Cheltenham Spa, to give it its full title) is a refined Regency-era town crammed with elegant boutiques and tea shops. But it’s not all grown-up glamour: this “cultural centre for the Cotswolds” also makes for a great UK family break. Kids will love the Funky Warehouse; a ginormous indoor activity centre with trampolining, parkour, and more. Nestled in the Gloucestershire countryside, Cheltenham is not too far from the Cotswold Farm Park. Pay a visit and you’ll no doubt have one of your best family holidays yet!
It’s perhaps no surprise to see a beautiful market town in Devon on our list of the UK’s best family-friendly holiday destinations. Holsworthy is tucked away between Exmoor and Dartmoor, surrounded by stunning West Country landscapes just begging to be explored! Cycling, walking, pony-trekking… all these activities (and more!) are available for the outdoorsy family.
As well as a warm and welcoming community atmosphere, the town itself has a rich agricultural heritage celebrated with a weekly Farmers Market. It’s the perfect place to pick up some fresh local produce and cook up a storm back in your holiday home’s kitchen.
Seven miles of sandy beach bless Bournemouth’s shores, which is one of the (many!) reasons why it’s such a popular choice for UK family holidays. Watersports are a prominent feature along the seafront, with everything from surfing novices to professional kite-surfers whizzing (or wobbling…) through the water.
Bournemouth is also home to a fascinating oceanarium, where kids can get hands-on with the marine life through interactive activities. And don’t forget the thrill of Bournemouth Pier’s zip-line. But if that all sounds too exciting, retreat to the comfort of your rental for rest and relaxation.
On the Isle of Wight’s pretty Sandown Bay, you’ll find Shanklin; a popular resort for family breaks with its own theatre and fun-packed esplanade. While you’re there, don’t miss Shanklin Chine—a 10,000-year-old, 32-metre-deep gorge cut into the soft cliffside by water—and one of the first tourist attractions on the island. Explore its winding woodland paths, pass by waterfalls and picture smugglers hiding their contraband here centuries ago.
“We stayed here as an extended family of 15… We had a great week. The house is amazing and the garden just perfect for the children.” — Holiday Lettings Reviewer
Stalwart of the traditional British seaside holiday, “Skeggy” is packed to the rafters with fun family attractions, hence its status in our top five best family holiday destinations in the UK. Favourites include Fantasy Island (with its live shows and rollercoasters) and the resort’s Blue Flag beach (with its golden sands and ice cream vans.)
Not only is this corner of the Dorset coast home to Europe’s largest natural harbour, it boasts five beautiful sheltered beaches, including the famous Sandbanks. Patrolled all year round, it’s one of the safest places to go swimming with the kids. If you’re looking for a fun day out and love nature, Brownsea Island is a must! Pack up a picnic and explore the island’s trails, spotting red squirrels as you go.
For indoor fun, grab your swimming gear and head to Splashdown Waterpark, where you’ll find flumes and waterslides to delight kids for hours on end.
This pretty spa town sits in the spectacular surroundings of the Peak District, the UK’s very first National Park. Finding kid-friendly activities isn’t difficult: start at Poole’s Cavern, an exciting subterranean adventure exploring caves. Then, for any high flyers in your family group, try out the nearby Go Ape. The adventure park offers tree-top walks, ziplines, and more high-octane activities to keep everyone happy (and tire them out…)
Located on the River Derwent, the former spa town of Matlock is one of the best places to go on holiday as a family in the UK. The delightful Dovedale Valley is nearby and makes a perfect picnic spot. For a slightly more cultured expedition, why not try the elegant Chatsworth House? The gardens include a tricky (but very entertaining) hedge maze, where you can start at opposite ends and see who reaches the middle first!
AND THE BEST FAMILY HOLIDAY DESTINATION IN THE UK IS…
“This was a true find! It felt very luxurious and yet homely. I think part of that was because there seemed to have been so much attention to detail by the owners. With a 3 year old, it was fantastic to have the washer.” — Holiday Lettings Reviewer
As Cornwall’s only city, Truro is a bustling hub of urban activity surrounded by spectacular rural landscapes. Its soaring cathedral spires dominate the skyline for miles around. Explore the quaint streets and you’ll discover all manner of shops and weekly food markets. Book a holiday home in Truro, and you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy so many of Cornwall’s family-friendly attractions, from watersports at Loe Beach to riding Newquay’s Lappa Valley Steam Railway.