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If you’re thinking ahead to 2021 and wondering where might be the best UK family holiday destinations, then look no further.

We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 UK family holiday destinations for 2021; from bright city lights to dramatic coastlines, there is no better place to enjoy a family holiday. Choose from the breath-taking scenery of the Welsh mountains, try your hand at surfing in Cornwall or find mythical creatures in the Scottish Highland’s lochs. The possibilities are endless and let’s face it, nothing compares to a UK family holiday.

Read on to discover our top 10 UK family holiday destinations for 2021…


1. Cornwall

Polperro harbour

For years, this independent peninsula has been a family favourite UK holiday destination. With wild coastlines, picture-postcard harbours, sandy beaches and a sub-tropical climate, it is no surprise that families flock from all over to holiday in Cornwall.

A popular choice amongst families is the coastal town of Newquay, which rests on the Atlantic coast. Here, you will find five sandy beaches with Towan, Great Western, Lusty Glaze and Tulane all reasonably safe for swimming, whilst Fistral Beach is famous for Boardmasters surfing championships.

Other family-friendly Cornwall attractions include Newquay Zoo, Blue Reef Aquarium and the Lappa Valley Steam Railway offers a ride through some of Cornwall’s most spectacular scenery.

Alternatively, you could head further along the coast to discover the most enchanting fishing villages and harbours of Perranporth, Portreath, St Ives and Penzance for a memorable stay by the sea.

Scattered across Cornwall are a number of gardens which are sure to be a hit with a family of all ages and tastes, including The Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Alternatively, head inland and immerse yourself in the moorland countryside by visiting Bodmin Moor, which is grazed by moorland ponies and houses numerous archaeological remains that are awaiting your discovery.


2. Cotswolds AONB

Cotswolds AONB houses

Next up on our guide to the best UK holiday destinations for families is the Cotswolds. This truly quintessential English region promises to be a charming destination that can be enjoyed all year around.

Filled with honey-coloured stone cottages, interesting literary connections, fine gardens and outdoor activities, each with magnificent backdrops to admire as you explore the 800 square miles across five counties.

For those seeking a relaxing break choose explore the Cotswold’s royal connections by paying a visit to Blenheim Palace or enjoy a ride on the Cotswolds Heritage Steam Railway to soak up the sights of this stunning part of the countryside.

If you are feeling slightly more active, head to 417 Project, which offers 100 acres of mountain biking, as well as the country’s first mountain bike drag lift. And for those visiting during the Spring bank holiday, be sure to catch a glimpse of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake and enjoy the unconventional spirit of the Cotswolds.


3. Yorkshire

Whitby Abbey

For city lovers, countryside explorers, coastal seekers and those alike, the county of Yorkshire makes a great destination for a UK family holiday.

Find a breath of fresh air in the North York Moors National Park and walk the vibrant landscape of moorland, wooded valleys and a dramatic coastline before heading to the seaside town of Whitby.

Steeped in history and home to delicious Whitby fish and chips, Whitby is famous for many things, and makes for an outstanding destination for you and your loved ones. Here, you will find the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, the Dracula Experience and the 199 steps take you up to the ruins of the Abbey to keep you entertained, as well as a sandy beach with a number of watersport opportunities.

Alternatively, explore the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales or enjoy the cosmopolitan cities of Leeds and York, or visit the literary mecca of Haworth, once home to the Brontë sisters.


4. Lake District National Park

Haystacks, Lake District

Pack the raincoats and dust of your wellies, and set off for an adventure to a countryside which inspired some of Beatrix Potter’s most famous tales.

The Lake District is a much-loved UK family destination, whether you are bringing small children along or teenagers, this part of the countryside promises countless adventures.

Now a World Heritage Site, this National Park is home to England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike or take in the sights from a traditional steamboat which cruises through a number of tranquil lakes.

For those feeling active, spend an afternoon in Ullswater, which is England’s second largest lake and offers a magnitude of watersport opportunities, including sailing, kayaking, swimming and fishing. Alternatively, soar through the national park on your mountain bike before refuelling with a slice of the famous Kendal Mint Cake.

Younger guests of the family will be delighted by The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, where you will be able to bring to life the magical stories of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck that had been inspired by the beauty of this National Park.

Browse through our Lake District travel guide for even more things to do in the Lake District.


5. North Wales

Snowdonia National Park

Carved by rich history and culture, North Wales is without a doubt one of the best family-friendly destinations in the UK.

The region plays host to some of the best castles in Wales, including Gwrych Castle, famed for being the 2020 location for I’m a Celebrity and the Wrexham gem of Chirk Castle.

The Snowdonia National Park is referred to as the ‘Adventure Capital’, where you can climb Wales’ highest mountain, experience the world’s fastest zip wire at Zip World or head underground to unleash your inner-thrill seeker at Bounce Below.

Alternatively, you could stick to the coastline to explore the abundance of coastal walks, home to a number of lighthouses, idyllic seaside towns and miles of unspoilt beaches.

There is plenty of things to do in North Wales for families, so be sure to take a look at our free North Wales travel guide for more inspiration.


6. Devon

Lynmouth

With both coast and countryside to enjoy, the contrasting landscape of Devon is the perfect backdrop for a relaxing UK holiday with the family.

For those looking to explore, Devon plays host to three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, miles of coastline with some of the best beaches in the UK, as well as the rolling countryside of the Dartmoor National Park.

Your days in Devon will be jam-packed with excitement with a vast array of opportunities to explore. Enjoy miles of footpaths and cycle paths, find watersports opportunities along the coast and theme parks and farm attractions across the county to keep you and your loved ones busy.

Alternatively, hike along the South West Coast Path, head to Lundy Island for a spot of bird-watching or spend time in Dartmouth to indulge in some Devonshire delicacies within one of their quaint cafés and fine dining restaurants.

For more things to do with the family in Devon, take a look at the best of Devon’s hidden gems.


7. Scottish Highlands

 Scottish Highlands scenery

This family holiday UK destination is surrounded by majestic mountains and mythical lakes, so keep your camera close as you discover the ultimate escape to tranquillity.

Every corner you take you will be met with a turbulent history, some of the most beautiful landmarks in the world, superb eateries and a number of rewarding outdoor activities.

Walk in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain peak of Ben Nevis, visit the resident dolphins at Moray Firth or explore the wonders of Britain’s largest national park, Cairngorms, making a top destination for walking in the UK.

Other attractions to suit a group of all ages and tastes include the famous Loch Ness where you may catch a glimpse of the monster, Nessie, the most photographed monument in Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle or embark on a journey on the train made famous by the Harry Potter films.


8. Northern Ireland

National Trust Carrick-a-Rede

This corner of Ireland is carved by its legendary attractions, lively music scene, world-class restaurants and the majestic Giant’s Causeway Coast.

Begin your UK family holiday in the exciting city of Belfast which was once the powerhouse of the British Empire shipbuilding. Today, the city houses the striking landmark of The Titanic Belfast, where you can enjoy a guided tour around the slipway where the ill-fated Titanic was built.

After soaking up Irish city life, head along the coastline to the Giant’s Causeway and discover the world-famous basalt columns before creeping along the vertigo-inducing Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, if you dare!

After travelling the coast, you’re bound to have worked up an appetite, so be sure to check out traditional Irish foods that you must try. These include, The Belfast bap, Tayto Cheese and Onion, Tobacco onions, and Derry Milk (a chocolate stout made with cow’s milk).

A family holiday is incomplete for Game of Throne fans without exploring the filming locations while you are here. The rugged coastline and historical castles found throughout this corner of Ireland were the ideal backdrop for this fantasy TV series and the perfect excuse for exploring Ireland further.

Be sure to stop off at Castle Ward which doubled up as Winterfell or explore the Tollymore Forest Park where the Nightwalkers were spotted.


9. Lancashire

Blackpool Tower and Beach

With something for everyone, is it no wonder that Lancashire is considered one of the best family holiday destinations in the UK.

In this picturesque county you will find the world-famous resort of Blackpool with its iconic Tower Ballroom, Pleasure Beach with over 125 rides, Madame Tussauds and the SEA LIFE centre. As well as the superb attractions, Blackpool plays host to annual events including the greatest free light show on Earth, the Blackpool Illuminations.

If you seek something slightly more relaxing, head to West Lancashire where you will find the Forest of Bowland AONB. Whilst exploring this unique part of the countryside, look forward to discovering rare birdlife and many quaint villages steeped in history.

Alternatively, head along the coastline to Lytham St Annes, where you will be delighted to find a traditional coastal resort with the opportunity to hire an award-winning beach hut for the day.


10. Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight coastline

Whatever the weather, this pocket-sized island is easy to get to and promises a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Along the glorious coastline you will be greeted by a number of child-friendly beaches, including the popular resort of Shanklin. As well as the sandy beach, you and your loved ones will be delighted to find three crazy golf courses, a traditional amusement arcade and the Shanklin Chine, which is an endearing wooded ravine with waterfalls and wildlife.

As soon as you think of the Isle of Wight, the Needles Landmark Attraction soon springs to mind. Hop onto the chairlift and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the turquoise waters and sand cliffs of Alum Bay. You can also enjoy many of the Isle of Wight’s hidden gems, the lesser-known attractions that aren’t as crowded with other tourists.

The Isle of Wight is truly a walker’s haven, with miles of coastal routes and a network of paths to explore across the countryside. Choose to walk along the coastal path, where you will pass picturesque harbour towns and award-winning beaches, or explore the Combley Great Wood.


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Do you fancy paying a visit to one of our top UK family holiday destinations? If so, be sure to book with us to secure your family holiday. If you are looking for further family holiday inspiration, take a look at our free travel guide.  

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