We’re ALL going on our summer holidays…
For inspiration on where to venture with the clan in tow, look to our roundup of the best family stays in the UK. From cosy country getaways to lakeside retreats, there’s something for everyone.
Glebe House, Devon
Turning their family home and, formerly family run, B&B into a food- and experience-based guest house, Glebe House owners, Hugo and Olive have created the most wholesome of hideaways in Devon. Composed of five bedrooms, joyfully designed by Studio Alexandra, there’s room enough to accommodate you and your extended family. In fact, why not book out the quintet of rooms and make Glebe House all yours for the duration of your stay? With impressive amenities – there’s a tennis court and swimming pool, and even an on-site bakery – you and your clan won’t want for choice whilst here. For any family members who still need convincing, Glebe House’s restaurant plates up dishes focused on local produce with an Italian kick – think egg-yolk raviolo with leeks and roasted bone butter sauce. Sold? We are.
Bibury Farm Barns, Cotswolds
For a chic, self-catering option in the Cotswolds, look to Bibury Farm Barns. Comprised of five boutique barns, each has a unique individual look and feel, with all the comforts of home (plus a few luxe extras). For families looking to escape the city and lap up some country air, while still being able to maintain their sense of space and privacy, Bibury is a good option. The barns range from three beds to five beds, and a couple of the barns can be combined via a courtyard to become a seven bed accomodation. Nearby market towns of Cirencester and Burford offer a nice change of scene, and Soho Farmhouse and Daylesford are also within driving distance. It’s the perfect combo of isolation and connection.
Wilderness Reserve, Suffolk
As luxury self-catering holiday cottages go, Wilderness Reserve ranks highly. Even the thought of a car full of kids for anything more than a short journey (such as that from London to Suffolk) would see most parents hand their credit cards over almost instantly. It just so happens that this staycation destination is an all-round easy sell: bucolic bliss at your fingertips (and an easy commute from the city). Comprised of a collection of manors, farmhouses, and country cottages, gather the family for days of adventure (where your main forms of transport are row boats and Pashley bikes) and nights of al-fresco dining on the terrace en famille. Our top choice vis-à-vis accommodations – the design-led Cider House (it has its own private swimming pool) and The Cartshed, which is the perfect choice for larger family celebrations (thanks to its open plan kitchen-living area and hanging fireplace, ideal for post-supper tipples).
The Harper, Norfolk
Coastal charmer Norfolk is a strong choice for a family seaside escape. For those looking for somewhere to decamp while in East Anglia, may we turn your attention to The Harper. A welcoming setup just a mile from the North Norfolk coast, the hotel consists of 32 bedrooms, a private spa, swish bar, and relaxed dining space – it’s ideal for weekend breaks, midweek escapes, or longer stays. If you’re travelling with teens in tow, we suggest you spend an hour or two wandering the surrounding boundless beaches – like Brancaster Beach or Holkham Beach (where the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love were filmed) – before heading back to base for some R&R at the plush spa pre-dinner (dress code: whatever you fancy); it’s the perfect equation for a family holiday with downtime factored in.
The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent
Just 56 minutes by train from central London, making a last-minute family getaway to The Pig at Bridge Place is within most city-dwelling clan’s grasp (provided you can get a booking, that is). The Pig knows how to do rural relaxation right so, whether planning a night away with family, or a longer stay, you can guarantee fresh-as-it-gets food and cosy-as-can-be bedrooms. The main house is an intriguing old building with a rock-n-roll vibe (playing host in the ‘70s to Led Zeppelin and the like); the space is replete with nooks and crannies to curl up with a book or glass of Malbec (or even sneak away from your family members for a bit). Beyond the estate, look to neighbouring Howlett’s Wild Animal Park – the 100-acre home to rhinos, tigers, leopards, gorillas, and more – it’s certain to impress younger travellers. Alternatively, seaside spots, Whitstable, Margate, and Deal are each under 45 minutes away by car.
Another Place, The Lake District
No matter how extensive or varied your brood may be, the family friendly Another Place can accommodate. The Best Family Suite, sleeps two adults and four children (with the added novelty of bunk beds for kids), while The Best Family Cottage offers an open-plan living area, kitchen, and wood-burning stove and sleeps – it’s also dog friendly (public service announcement: dogs are family members too). Look at mix-and-match options to find the best set up for your family. If your next question is ‘what’s there do to once you get there?’, the answer is ‘a lot’. Complete with Swim Club spa (and its water-facing pool), horse-riding facilities, kayaking and even wild swimming, there’s something for everyone. Mealtimes are also made easy with crowd-pleaser menus in the Living Space or the option of an early supper in the Rampsbeck restaurant if you’re travelling with young children or elderly parents.