Ideal locations for family holidays in the UK

If 2020 was the year of the Staycation, 2021 was the year of the Abroad Attempt, then 2022 is the year of the UK Holiday. The ideal family holidays in the UK look like this: warm weather, swimming pool access, a beach, local adventure parks, and possibly a splash of nature. There are hundreds of fantastic locations across the UK which are perfect for families looking for a break from the monotony of home.

As much as I love the north, it just doesn’t get the weather, so sorry, all of the locations in this list are in the south of the UK.


Close to Dartmoor National Park, and the start of the Jurassic Coast, Exmouth is golden beaches, and holiday parks. Although reaching the area via the A303 is quite a slog, once you are there, the journey is worthwhile. Locally, there are lots of nature walks, and World of Country Life – a farm park I used to visit often as a child. From the charming seaside town, you could take a day trip to the city of Exeter or on to Torquay to visit quirky attractions like the Babbacombe Model Village and Kents Cavern, or simply to stroll along the English Riviera.

Babbacombe Model Village

Families can also head over to Dartmoor National Park to hike waterfall trails, have lunch in a country pub, or to climb some of the hills and mountains in the area. Personally, I really liked Canonteign Falls, but admittedly I haven’t spent a lot of time in the national park. However, perhaps best of all, you will find ponies, cattle, and sheep wandering freely around the park.


Somewhere I have spent a lot of time is Dorset. There are camping sites and holiday parks dotted all over, so it can be tricky to take your pick but I love the southernmost part of the county. Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door are a must visit for families. Not far away are attractions like The Tank Museum, Corfe Castle, and Monkey World, ideal for history buffs or budding zoologists.

Dorset is also an ideal location if you happen to be bringing a dog along with you. There are vast country parks with interesting installations for children to find, and also Weymouth, another seaside town which connects to the Isle of Portland, and unusual but worthwhile place to visit.

Related: The best dog-friendly spots for a day out in Dorset

Durdle Door rock arch in the sea
Durdle Door

New Forest

Another National Park that is brilliant for families is the New Forest. Kids love running in and out of the woods, climbing trees, building forts, and the best thing about it is a lot of the adventures are free. Just like Dartmoor, ponies and other animals wander freely, and they are very accustomed to people.

Related: How we spent a day in the New Forest on a budget

If you are bored of wandering through trees, there is also the National Motor Museum, and Buckler’s Hard, a historic village where Nelson’s Fleet was built in the 18th century. The New Forest is also where you’ll find Paulton’s Park (home of Peppa Pig World) for the adrenaline junkies in your family.

East Norfolk

On the east coast of England, Norfolk is a firm favourite for family holidays in the UK. Great Yarmouth and its amusement centres keep families returning year on year, but there are also more unusual attractions in the area to enjoy: Fritton Owl Sanctuary, BeWilderwood, and the North Norfolk Railway are loved by families and favourites to visit.

Related: Baby and dog friendly attractions for Norfolk weekend breaks

Another draw to Norfolk are the beaches. The water is cold and choppy, but the beaches are long, deep, and sandy. If all the kids want to do is play on the beach, this is the perfect location.

View of tide breakers at Sheringham Beach
Sheringham Beach


The final National Park which is ideal for families is Pembrokeshire. Family holidays in south Wales wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Tenby, or a run along Saundersfoot beach. Pembrokeshire is full of castles that children can explore, and there are a handful of fun parks designed for kids, or you can book a boat trip to Caldey Island.

Related: Pembrokeshire

Saundersfoot Beach

Pembrokeshire is another location which is particularly dog friendly – many of the beaches allow sections for your four legged friends to roam, and many pubs and cafes allow dogs inside. It’s an ideal location for families who don’t want to leave their dogs at home.

Whatever you choose to do this year, family holidays in the UK are probably going to be popular. Why not get the bookings in now?


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