Great British getaways

It’s January, and time to start dreaming of the months ahead when we can enjoy getting out and about again. Check out our round-up of top British beaches and family days in the countryside.



Looking for the perfect beach destination? Ventnor Beach on the Isle of Wight is the most child-friendly beach in the UK according to a new study which rated beaches all round Britain’s coastline for safety, entertainment, value and friendliness. Ventnor was followed by Woolacombe Beach in Devon and Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire as top beaches for kids.

Island Cottage Holidays’ Safest Shores study gathered data on safety and happiness scores, TripAdvisor ratings, transport availability and frequency, as well as kids’ menu availability and prices to find the most accommodating UK coastlines for kids.

Ventnor Beach scored highly for safety, entertainment and friendliness. Woolacombe Beach in Devon and Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire were praised for their lifeguard services, great public transport availability and a variety of food provisions for kids.

The study also considered which activities are most likely to keep little ones entertained while they’re away, based on TripAdvisor reviews and ratings. One of the best experiences for young children was found to be railways – and the most popular is in Yorkshire, North Bay. Aquariums were also judged to be a big success, with the favourite being in St Andrews. Blackpool Pleasure Beach proved to be the standout amusement park.

Parents know the value of beachfront eateries offering an affordable and varied children’s menu, and the study assessed the availability and cost of kid-friendly eateries along each beachfront. Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex scored best for kids’ catering, followed by the Denes Beach in Suffolk and Woolacombe beach in Devon.



Planning a family day out? Check out these top child-friendly country parks in the UK*.

Stunning views at Lepe Country Park, Hampshire On the Solent.

This offers a range of exciting activities for the little ones and a stunning view across the Isle of Wight. A top attraction must be the sensory cottage garden which offers a bog garden, a pond, and a bug hotel. You can also enjoy a seashore scavenger hunt, and for the really energetic there’s a five-mile circular walk around the coast and the countryside, with a locally sourced meal at The Lookout to finish.

Water adventures at Ferry Meadows in Nene Park, Peterborough

Located less than three miles from Peterborough city centre at the heart of Nene Park, Ferry Meadows offers a variety of watersports, including family-friendly pedalos, kayaks, and paddleboards. There’s also the option of fishing or simply enjoy a lovely walk in the meadows, lakes, and woodland, ending up with tea in one of the cafés.

Ancient experiences at Rufford Abbey Country Park, Nottinghamshire

Located in the base of a twelfth-century Cistercian monastery, Rufford offers over 870 years of history alongside beautiful scenery and relaxing activities. There is a great adventure play area, an orangery plant centre, picturesque walks, and an ice cream parlour and a pizza van to stop by for a treat.

Spot the emperor dragonfly at South Norwood Country Park, London

Discover over 100 bird species in this nature reserve – a true getaway paradise just outside of London and spanning over 120 acres of meadows and swamps. The biggest attraction for little explorers is the emperor dragonfly, one of the largest in the UK, which can be spotted during the summer at the Dragonfly Pond. Frogs, toads, and newts can also be seen by the lake.

Enjoy the views at Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Cheshire

Located on the western edge of the Peak District National Park near Macclesfield, Tegg’s Nose is the perfect place for the family to unwind.

Everyone will be in awe at the mesmerising view over the Cheshire Plain. If the weather is on your side, you might even be able to see Liverpool’s cathedrals and Welsh hills. Activities include climbing, walking, and cycling.

Fun for all at Upton Country Park, Dorset

Spanning 160 acres of parkland, shoreline, and formal estate gardens, award-winning Upton Country Park offers the perfect mix of family activities.

There’s plenty of space for children to run free and wild, run off some energy at the Spurrier’s Play Park, or simply find a quiet spot to appreciate the botanical walled garden with its splash fountain to cool you down in the warmer weather.

A peaceful day at Coombe Abbey Park, Warwickshire

A stunning 500 acres of beautiful gardens, woodland, lakeside walks, and bird hides, as well as a range of fun activities, are a recipe for the perfect family day out. Take a picnic, try your hand at pottery or experiment with pond dipping (make sure to take wellies!).

Into the deep forest in Dinton Pastures Country Park, Berkshire

An array of exciting activities and stunning scenery make this a lovely day out.

From water sports such as paddle-boarding, canoeing, and kayaking, to disc golf and play parks, there’s something for everyone.

Riverside view at Denham Country Park, Buckinghamshire

The most picturesque feature of this ravishing park is the water scenery of the Colne and Misbourne rivers and the Grand Union Canal.

Looking for adventure? Then head towards pretty Denham village and explore the wider Colne Valley. And if you are in need of burning off some energy, go to the playground or hop on a paddleboard.

A long walk around Pugneys Country Park

Get set for a dreamy family day out. Enjoy the views across the 100-acre central lake and leafy woodland while taking a walk or cycling on one of the many trails. Watch the wildlife, have fun at the pirate adventure playground, or hop on the Pugneys Light Railway (available on selected weekends) that runs in a 750-yard balloon loop from Pugneys Lakeside to the nature reserve at Pugneys Central.

*Source: Muddy Puddles


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