I'm really keen to hear other peoples ideas for cheap family holidays in the UK. We love going to Norfolk, Dorset and the kids love Butlins but I'm keen to get other ideas because as the kids get bigger I think they will start to want to explore different areas. Writer Jane Blackmore has some great ideas:
When you become a parent your ideals of what makes a good holiday often change from your thoughts pre-children. Certainly before my three small ones came along I delighted in journeying to exotic lands where I could lose myself in culture, see sights that would tantalise my eyes and ingest new and unusual foods on a day to day basis. One day I hope to share similar adventures with my three, and I expect I will delight in learning new lands with them; however, right now, whilst they are still small, a holiday is all about a break for me and a fantastic time for them.
When we look at booking any cheap family holidays, the following factors come into consideration, is there a pool where the kids can idle away the hours? Are there vast green spaces where they can exhaust themselves so they will require twelve hours sleep? Is there a bar that serves at least one variety of gin for the parents, and do they offer babysitting services so the grownups can spend at least one night eating alone together?
Most recently we took a ten day holiday to Cornwall - a fantastic, purse friendly trip that suited all ages. My twin seven year olds spent a full day wading in and out of the sea hunting for crabs with cane fishing rods while my toddler spent hours building sand castles with her daddy - and then smashing them back into their original grain format.
Cornwall offers everything a family needs for a holiday - beautiful beaches with excursions out to watch Dolphins and seals play in the ocean, fantastic play areas with a mix of old rides and tumbling spaces. Aquariums full of fascinating history and fish and a ridiculous amount of child friendly pubs, restaurants and hotels that didn’t seem to mind the noise of my little brood.
Other successful holidays in the UK have included a stay just outside of Brighton in a stunning hotel (which came equipped with an indoor pool); we got to spend time on the beach, but we also drove further out to see the harbours that surround this eclectic city. My children delighted in spending all my pennies in the brightly coloured arcades, while my husband and I winced at the sound of the hen party killing a song in the Piers karaoke bar. We packed a picnic and headed up to Devil’s Dyke to explore the green hills, a family game of rounders was played and fresh, happy memories were created as we experienced time together that we are sadly often too busy to manage at home.
Our holidays are not just restricted to the coast; before my youngest was born I braved taking the children to our nation’s capital, all on my own. We managed to secure a cheap hotel room, filled up on breakfast and had a tour that cost no more than our tube ticket. I managed to educate and enthral my children with the history of Big Ben, gave more weight to the story of Guy Fawkes with the Houses of Parliament and I even managed to read a few pages of my book when the twins spent the afternoon playing merrily in Diana’s playground.
It is easy to holiday in Britain with kids.
Author: Jane Blackmore is a freelance writer, editor and blogger who enjoys relaxing whilst the kids are having fun, ideally with a G&T in hand and a copy of the latest novel to hit the best seller list.