Places to Go in the UK for a Family Holiday

The UK boasts a plethora of things to do for a jam-packed family holiday. With lots of outdoor space, sandy beaches and rugged peaks, there is something for kids and adults alike.

For those who enjoy exploring ancient ruins and bustling cities, you can also find these in abundance across the UK. One of the best things about holidaying here is that you can spend your morning wandering around quaint towns and the afternoon trekking through woodland or around lakes. You don’t have to travel far to experience varied landscapes and things to do. 

If you’re planning a trip around the UK for the whole family, you’re likely wondering where to go and what not to miss. Keep reading, as we have put together a list of all the best places to visit in the UK, alongside some key activities to do in these fantastic parts of the country. 

The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is an incredible part of the UK and an outstanding place to explore. Here the weather is either wild and windswept or utterly tranquil and peaceful. If you’re seeking somewhere full of sweeping valleys, vast moorland, authentic farms and rolling countryside, The Yorkshire Dales is where you need to go. 

With some quaint towns scattered throughout the Yorkshire Dales, there is always somewhere new to explore. Places like Aysgarth provide visitors with great opportunities to stroll around the waterfalls, as they cascade from one pool into another. Alternatively, a trip around Grassington might be more up your street, with several quaint tea rooms and cobblestone lanes. 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a trip to Brimham Rocks near Harrogate will satisfy even the most seasoned adventurer. As you climb your way through the huge rock formations, you will be rewarded with stunning vistas of rolling hills and the nearby town of Nidderdale. This National Trust site is a true nature’s playground, the perfect place to spend a day with the whole family.

St Ives, Cornwall

When seeking the best UK family holiday destinations, there is no doubt that St Ives is a favoured choice. Cornwall is brimming with outdoor activities, long sandy beaches, and plenty to do for the whole clan. Whether you’re travelling with teenagers or babies, you will find something for everyone in the sunny south of the UK.

With a fantastic beach, a lovely town with many shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, plus the chance to try out crabbing, surfing and bodyboarding, there’s never enough time to be bored here. 

St Ives is known for being the UK’s very own slice of the Mediterranean. With its warm summer climate, turquoise waters and golden sandy shores, you will find the perfect place to sit back and relax as the kids play by the lovely seaside. 

After you have spent some time on the beach or wandering through the shops, there is also a great art scene to be found in St Ives. Along the seafront, you will find the Tate St Ives gallery, which displays rotating modern art exhibitions, the perfect way to soak up some of the finest British artists. 

The Lake District

For families who love mighty mountains, vast lakes, fresh air and quintessential British towns, you will find all of this and more in the Lake District. With more than 20 million visitors each year, this is a particularly popular place to holiday in the UK, and with so much to see and do here, it is no surprise why.

Be sure you pack your hiking boots, waterproofs and outdoor gear, as there are many adventures to be had in the Lake District. Being the UK’s largest national park means that there is more than enough space to explore. 

When looking at family holiday places in the UK, many choose to visit the popular town of Windermere. With lakeside activities such as boating, paddle boarding and more, plus a town full of picturesque cobbled streets and mouth watering eateries, it makes for the perfect place for the whole gang. 

After you have spent some time wandering around Windermere, a trip to Ambleside should be on your list. Here you will find beautiful hiking trails full of lush greenery, expansive lakes and dense woodland. Plus, for any Beatrix Potter fans, you can explore her home in Ambleside, alongside the Beatrix Potter museum – a great place to go to keep the kids entertained. 

There are so many more places to experience around the Lake District it is hard to narrow it down. Other frequented towns consist of Keswick, Grasmere, Coniston, Hawkshead and more. With so much to see and do here, it is one of the best places to visit for families in the UK.


Pembrokeshire is situated in southern Wales and contains rugged coastlines, turquoise waters and golden sandy shores. As you wander through Pembrokeshire’s countryside, it is easy to feel as though you are in an entirely different country. The views are breathtaking and the adventures endless – what more could you ask for from a wholesome family holiday?

If you’re hoping to spend your time wandering through Pembrokeshire Coast National Park or perhaps try your hand at the many activities on offer, you can do it all in this beautiful part of southwest Wales. Whether you’re seeking panoramic coastal views, or would like to try surfing, sailing, fishing or climbing, you will find it all and more here. 

For anyone hoping to soak up some of the UK’s history and heritage, there are also many castles dotted around Pembrokeshire, which offer the perfect way to explore ancient ruins. If the weather isn’t on your side, a trip to Pembroke town is also a great option for a rainy day. Wander around the historical monuments or perhaps grab a bite to eat in one of the many quaint cafes.  

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to go for anyone seeking to explore its dinosaur heritage, pristine beaches, fantastic campsites, Roman ruins and historic castles. This island is brimming with things to do for the whole family, making a holiday here an absolute must. 

If you’re feeling adventurous when visiting the Isle of Wight, there are many opportunities to try out hiking, cycling, watersports and more within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For wildlife lovers, the island is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with stunning meadows, red squirrels and endless flora and fauna littered across the island. 

Some of the best beaches on the Isle of Wight can be found on the south coast of the island. There are also opportunities to catch a glimpse of seals as they lazily bathe on the rocky coastline. A trip to the Isle of Wight will allow for the perfect family holiday full of relaxation and outdoor wonders for all. 


If you’re looking to partake in several outdoor activities such as mountaineering, zip-lining, hiking, trampolining and much more, then you must visit Snowdonia. Situated in the northwest region of Wales, the stunning national park of Snowdonia is a true playground for adventurers and thrill seekers. 

Although Snowdonia centres around the great outdoors, with Mount Snowden attracting visitors each year to scale its impressive height of 1,085 metres, there is also plenty for those who don’t fancy hiking or climbing. With the railway that runs up the mountain, the whole family can take in the impressive vistas from the top of Mount Snowdon, without having to do any hiking at all! 

For those looking for more of Wales’ history and heritage, a trip to Harlech Castle is the place to go. The ancient structure appears as though it is out of a fairytale and provides the perfect place for the whole family to spend the day learning and exploring.

For beautiful countryside strolls, be sure to visit the Ogwen Valley. Here you will find some of the best of Snowdonia’s natural beauty. With towering mountains and shimmering lakes, there are so many places to explore here, you will find yourself needing more time! 

Scottish Highlands

When searching for the ultimate family holiday, the Scottish Highlands is unmatched. Not only do you get a true sense of remote Scotland, but the diverse wildlife, extensive countryside and stunning natural beauty are enough to take your breath away. 

From wild swimming in Lochs to hiking up mighty mountains, the Scottish Highlands allows for the perfect outdoor holiday. Alongside its outstanding nature and endless landscapes, there are also great opportunities to visit historical sites such as Inverness Castle. 

For those looking to spend their time in the Scottish Highlands outdoors and immersed in nature, then Aviemore is the place for you. This quaint town in the Cairngorms is excellent for its wildlife offering. With an abundance of Lochs, mountains, dense woodland and never-ending hiking and biking trails, you will never find yourself bored here. 

When visiting Aviemore, make sure you take a trip to Loch an Eilein. The small freshwater loch is situated in the Cairngorms National Park and is surrounded by woodland, with trails weaving in and out of the trees. You can spend hours here with the whole family as you explore the great outdoors and catch glimpses of local wildlife. 


For fossil hunting and seaside exploring, Dorset is the place to be. Also known as the Jurassic Coast, this part of southwest England is home to stunning coastal vistas, ancient craggy cliffs and beautiful sandy coves. There are also multiple large luxury rental homes here, meaning a trip to Dorset provides the perfect mix of outdoor adventure and a relaxing break. 

There are several museums scattered around Dorset, with chances to see Tutankhamun’s tomb, life-size dinosaurs, the Tank museum and more. This means that there is still plenty to do even if the weather isn’t on your side when you visit. 

With many great seaside towns and villages around Dorset, you will also find multiple great places to grab a bite to eat or wander around the shops. Whether you’re looking for the busier tourist town of Bournemouth or the picturesque village of Shaftesbury, there is a place for everyone when visiting Dorset.


Similar to Dorset and Cornwall, Devon is comprised of sandy shores, fossil cliffs, ancient towns, extensive moorland and national parks. It is a place full of natural beauty and stunning coastal scenery. Whether you’re looking to explore picturesque villages or wander through busier seaside resorts, Devon is a great place for those looking for a variety of activities and things to do. 

Devon has some of the best harbour towns in the UK such as Brixham, Paignton and Torquay, all of which display seaside vistas and tasty fish and chips. For those looking for more of the outdoors, the South West Coast Path will take you past towering cliffs and the interesting rock formations of the Jurassic Coast. 

For colourful houses and a bustling harbour, Salcombe is a great place to go in Devon for the whole family. It has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and continues to attract many visitors each year. With multiple watersports on offer such as canoeing, paddle boarding and windsurfing, it is perfect for a jam-packed family getaway. 


We hope that after reading our top recommendations for where to go in the UK for a family holiday, you can now visit with all the best places in mind. No matter where you choose to go, you will find beautiful towns, stunning countryside and history in abundance.

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