BEST FAMILY STAYCATIONS OPTIONS June 20, 2017 18:50

Sometimes packing for a flight with car seats, travel cot, buggies and piles of suitcases just seems a little bit too much.  Or the thought of having a screaming unhappy baby and child on the plane is enough to make you rethink about going away.  The UK has some amazing places to visit whether it be for a long weekend away of for a week over the school holidays. We've compiled a list of great staycation options in the UK, all of which have been visited by ourselves or by close friends with children of all ages.

Bedruthen Steps Hotel and Spa (Newquay, Cornwall)

(From £170 for a double room per night)  

 

Situated on the North Cornwall coast, this family friendly hotel has a beautiful coastal location. Don't be put off by the not-so-attractive 70s looking block when you arrive, it's what's on the inside that counts! As well as being a few minutes walk from a beautiful beach, the hotel offers lots of activities for kids of all ages, from indoor softplay, pool and entertainment each night in the main hotel area. Perfect for entertaining your little ones while you sip on a cocktail at the bar which is close enough for you to see them but just far enough away to drown out some of the noise of a kid's party. 

There is 2 hours of free childcare each day, a baby listening service and local babysitters can also be arranged for you. 

The food is locally sourced and good quality, with a kid's special sitting each evening at the family restaurant. The rooms are quite small and basic but you get the feeling the nightly rate reflects all other aspects of the hotel, mainly the range of activities for little people!

 

Center Parcs (Woburn Forest, Bedford)

This branch is located a convenient 1-1.5 hour drive out of London, but there are various locations all over the UK. There is so much to do here and various grades of accommodation so you can go basic or more lux, and do as much as you want (or very little). 
 
It gets busy during school holidays so we would recommend booking a few activities and restaurants in advance. There is also a helpful Centerparcs app to track your itinerary.  Apart from the huge indoor play pool centre which includes 4 waterslides for various ages (including adults!), there is a huge variety of activities to choose from.  Pony rides, indoor climbing adventure, chocolate making class and bowling are just a few.   For adults, they have an excellent spa with a good range of treatments. 

Accommodation is neutral and comfortable. The food offer was slightly disappointing but considering everything else it is all in all a great option for a few days away. 

   

New Park Manor (New Forest, Hampshire)

(From £115 for a double room per night)  

Part of the Luxury Family Hotels group with hotels all over the country, all of which offer great facilities for families with babies or young children.

New Park Manor is a beautiful 17th century hunting lodge located in the heart of the New Forest between Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst.  The family spa hotel can arrange all the baby equipment you would need for the stay from cots, changing mats, sterilisers etc, taking the stress out of packing for you.  For babies there is a baby monitoring service, free milk and pureed food.  For babies from 3 months up to children of 8 years old, there is a supervised crèche filled with toys and crafts, plus play areas.  Each child is eligible for a free two-hour session a day.  Babysitting can also be arranged.  The swimming pool, bikes (including toddler wagon options) and cinema room will keep children of all ages busy.

Being in the middle of the New Forest, ponies, picnic areas and cycling trails are on the doorstep.  If you do decide to go a little further Beaulieu National Motor Museum, Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World are a short drive away.

As well as a full range of treatments, the spa features hydrotherapy pools, thermal rooms, a foot spa, 'experience' shower and outdoor hot tub, plus relaxation areas.

 

Celtic Manor (Newport, South Wales)

(From £99 for a double room per night)  

Celtic manor is set in 1400 acres of parkland with two properties onsite, the period Manor House and the contemporary Resort hotel, plus a self-catering option in the Hunter Lodges. 

For children under 5  there is a creche which includes activities such as bubble-blowing, sensory time and music makers, a soft play area for children up to 8 and a games room. For kids 11 and over,  there is the daily Hideaway Club with a fully qualified child care team. There is also an outdoor playground, two adventure golf courses, archery, laser combat, tennis, mountain bikes, clay pigeon shooting, fishing and an exciting forest jump tree top ropes adventure.  An endless choice of activities for all ages!

There are a number of the restaurants number of restaurants on the resort many of which have children menus so you can all dine together.  There are also more formal dining options if you fancy a night off.  Babysitting can be arranged by the hotel. The two spas and health clubs offer a huge range of spa treatments and exercise classes.  

 

Chalcot Manor (Tetbury, Gloucstershire)

(From £199 for a double room per night)  

Chalcot Manor is a beautiful stone manor house with farm buildings set over 220 acres of beautiful Cotswolds meadowland.  There is a good choice of family rooms and two delicious dining options, one formal and one pub-like that caters for children.  They offer baby listening devices tuned into the reception desk or can arrange babysitters.

The playzone is open daily for ages 0-16.  There is an Ofsted registered creche which is packed full of toys.  For older kids there is The Mez with it's own 12 seater cinema, playstations and Xboxes.  There are also tennis courts, an indoor and outdoor pool, a dedicated kids playground, woodland gymnasium, mini football pitch, a disc golf course, free bikes to hire and horse riding.

The spa with its long list of treatments available is great for a couple hours of time out.  The outdoor hot tub is fab!