Expert picks: the UK’s best family destinations

Laura Bennett, a Personal Travel Agent at Co-operative Travel, been booking family breaks for 17 years. Here are Laura’s most loved UK family destinations and top tips.


The Lake District
Home to England’s highest peaks and deepest lakes, the Lake District is the UK’s outdoor adventure capital. The stunning scenery and breathtaking views make for a family getaway with wow-factor.

Where to stay
Fallbarrow Park This holiday park boasts an unrivalled setting on the shores of Lake Windermere, next to the beautiful town of Bowness. The accommodation on offer ranges from a choice of caravans up to a lodge with a hot tub.

The park has everything a family needs – a bar, cafe/takeaway, outdoor children’s play area, and even boat launch facilities and a marina for those keen to get out on the water.

Where to visit
The World of Beatrix Potter is an absolute must for all Peter Rabbit fans. Tickets cannot be pre-booked, so I recommend getting there early or be prepared to queue.

The wonderful Brockhole on Windermere is a brilliant place for a fun-filled day, with an enviable setting on Lake Windermere. Kayaking, treetop trekking and zip wires are just a few activities on offer there. Remember to take wetsuits and towels for a splash about in the lake!

New Forest
The New Forest is bursting with wildlife, walking trails and cycle tracks. It’s a true haven for families who love the outdoors.

Where to stay
Sandy Balls Holiday Village is often compared to Center Parcs. It’s surrounded by the outstanding natural beauty of the New Forest National Park, with accommodation to suit all budgets, from traditional caravans to luxurious lodges with hot tubs.

Children will love the bush-craft school, Nerf challenge and watching wild ponies roam across the heathland. In the evenings, the whole family can enjoy the outdoor cinema – don’t forget blankets and popcorn!

Where to visit
Only a 20-minute drive from Sandy Balls Holiday Village is Paultons Park, which has over 70 wonderful rides, attractions and ‘Peppa Pig World’, a must for all Peppa Pig fans!

The New Forest Water Park offers a guaranteed fun day out for all the family. There are huge courses and obstacles to take on together, with trampolines, slides, hurdles, springboards, monkey bars, an overhang climbing wall and a giant iceberg.

Northumberland
Glorious scenery, magnificent rural beaches and magical castles combine to make this beautiful county one of the nation’s crown jewels.

Where to stay
Haggerston Castle Holiday Park – which really does have a castle onsite! This park is the perfect retreat for families, with a huge choice of activities ranging from pottery painting to Junior Segways – little ones will never get bored.

The accommodation comprises of traditional caravans nestled around several lovely lakes in award-winning landscaped gardens.

Where to visit
Alnwick Castle – of Harry Potter fame! Let the expert wizarding professors guide all the family through broomstick training!

Edinburgh is only 45 minutes away by train. To carry on the Harry Potter activities, I recommend lunch at the Elephant Cafe, where JK Rowling wrote her early novels. Edinburgh Castle is a must do, and has special events for families every day.

North Cornwall
Sweeping sandy beaches, rock pools, surf schools and stunning vistas characterise this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This glorious part of the country offers a perfect blend of coast, countryside and child-friendly facilities.

Where to stay
The stunning resort of Sandymouth Bay is just moments from the North Devon border and only a 15-minute drive from Bude.

There is a huge array of accommodation, from modern caravans and luxury lodges to quirky beach shacks. All members of the family will find something to suit them, from splashing around in the indoor heated pool to hitting the sports pitch, and the kids will adore the fabulous ‘Black Pearl’ full-size pirate ship!

Where to visit
Children’s imagination can run wild with myths and legends at Tintagel Castle. Best known for its links to King Arthur, this incredible castle remains offer memorable and enchanting views of the cliffs and Atlantic Ocean.

The Eden Project is one of Cornwall’s favourite attractions for families. It is home to huge Biomes, which house the largest rainforest in captivity! There are incredible outdoor gardens, art installations and sculptures to explore.

Finally, no visit to North Cornwall would be complete without spending time exploring the many world-famous beaches, including Bude, Harlyn, Polzeath and Newquay.


Laura Bennett is a Personal Travel Agent at Co-operative Travel and comes with a wealth of knowledge from her own travels, as well as booking her customers holidays. Laura uses her 17 years of experience and expertise as a travel agent to create the perfect holidays for her customers and works to take away all the stress when it comes to booking a holiday. The service provided is personal, tailored and free of charge. See more here.


What is Clouded Hills?

Launched in summer 2020, Clouded Hills is a new platform dedicated to holidays in the UK, featuring news, expert advice, area guides and insider picks.

Clouded Hills is for anyone looking to take a break in the UK – whether that’s stargazing in Exmoor, wandering the beaches of Ceredigion Bay, exploring the historic docks of Belfast or browsing the record shops of Glasgow. Sign up to our newsletter here.