The UK is packed with incredible places to travel with your little ones, whether seeking fun days at the beach or adventure-filled escapes at the country’s most stunning national parks. From the picturesque seaside town of St Ives to the historic small town of Ambleside, here are the best places to visit in the UK with young children.
- St Ives, Cornwall
For fun days at the beach, Cornwall certainly tops the list. It’s packed with family-friendly beach locations, and St Ives is the loveliest. The seaside town is a paradise for child-friendly escapes, including for families with toddlers. While you’ll likely spend most of your time at the beach, playing on its powdery white sands and turquoise waters, you’ll find many other things to enjoy in this lovely town with your little one.
Like most of Cornwall, St Ives offers many gorgeous beaches. But if you’re looking for a beach safe for your little kids, head to Porthgwidden Beach, a lovely beach with brightly coloured beach huts. It also has enough space for your kids to play and build sandcastles. Another alternative is the famous Porthmeor Beach, close to Tate St Ives. It’s perfect if you have older kids who want to try surfing. While the bigger kids go surfing, take the little ones to the cafe above the sands, which has activity books to keep your kids entertained.
For scenic walks by the coast, take the Southwest coast path. It has some trails aimed at families, including those with buggies. The circular route also has easy trails, such as the three-mile route towards Zennor, an ideal option to get the kids outdoors.
- The Cairngorms, Scotland
As the largest national park in the UK, the Cairngorm National Park is a haven for families who love nature. It occupies 3800 km of unspoilt land, including ten nature reserves and some of Britain’s highest mountains. It’s the perfect place for families with kids to explore the great outdoors and experience fun adventures.
The Cairngorms has many family-friendly trails. These are not strenuous and are buggy-friendly. Head to Glenmore Forest Park, where you’ll find a family-friendly trail leading to the famous Green Loch. Another trail is the circular path around Loch Morlich, offering scenic views of the lake.
Another fun activity to try with your kids in Cairngorms is riding a pony. There are companies within the park that offer incredible horseback riding activities aimed at beginners and families with kids. What’s great is that they allow families with children as young as three years old.
If you prefer to relax and bond with your kids at the beach, take them to Loch Morlich Beach. The white sandy beach is one of the UK”s most beautiful beaches, fringed by pine trees and majestic mountains. During summer, your older kids can enjoy fun water sports like kayaking, windsurfing, sailing, and canoeing.
- Oxford, Oxfordshire
Home to the world-famous University with over a thousand years of history, Oxford offers incredible things for families who love to explore. It has many excellent museums, art galleries, and superb architecture. While your kids may not yet understand history, taking them to Oxford is a great way to expose them to new places and experiences.
When heading to Oxford with the family, consider spending a few days. You will find fantastic self-catering and family-friendly accommodation options, perfect for those who wish to stay longer and discover more of what Oxford can offer.
The Oxford University Museum of Natural History should be on top of your list of places to visit in Oxford. It was established in the 19th century for scientific studies and now showcases a vast collection of natural specimens. Sometimes, the museum hosts child-friendly activities, so check these out.
Next, head to the stunning Oxford Castle. Climb to the tower if you can, from where you can admire the city’s breathtaking panoramic views. Check out the ancient crypt that’s about 900 years old to discover more of the castle’s fascinating history.
- Pembrokeshire, Wales
Pembrokeshire is another fun destination for beach holidays in the UK. Its stunning coast is home to fantastic family-friendly beaches, where your kids can run wild on its beautiful sandy shores while you work on your tan.
Pembrokeshire has offshore islands that you can visit on a boat trip. These gorgeous islands are home to some incredible wildlife, which makes for a fun place to explore with your curious little kids. Head to Skomer, home to the UK’s largest breeding colony of puffins. Admire the sights of outstanding natural beauty and be on the lookout for the fantastic array of wildlife.
Your visit to Pembrokeshire won’t be complete without visiting one of the most magnificent castles in Wales. These castles are fun to explore with your little ones, where they can pretend to slay dragons and save princesses in distress as they run around and play amongst the ruins of these ancient old fortresses.
- Ambleside, The Lake District
Ambleside is a bustling market town offering numerous things to do and places to go for families with little kids. From cinemas to shops, cafes, and restaurants, you and your kids will have something to enjoy on your visit. Ambleside is a great place to explore on foot or in a car, offering an ideal setting for a fun and memorable holiday with your little ones.
Begin your day at the scenic Waterhead Pier, a popular spot at the northern head of Lake Windermere, offering stunning views of the lake and the majestic mountains. You and your kids will enjoy walking around the lovely pier, which is also a popular spot for fishing.
The Stock Ghyll Force, a 70-ft waterfall in a lush wooded area in Ambleside, is a fun spot to take your kids. It’s a short walk from the town centre, although the trail can be steep, so that’s something to consider when taking little kids. The picturesque waterfall is fed by the waters from the river Rothay, dropping over sixty feet into a plunge pool before continuing downstream.