The 10 Best Baby- and Toddler-Friendly Places to Visit in the UK: Staycation with Kids 2021.

With travel abroad looking highly unlikely this summer following the spread of COVID-19, many of us have resorted to planning a staycation in the UK with our families. Thankfully, the UK is packed full of stunning places to stay where even the littlest of guests are welcomed with open arms. When it comes to baby-friendly UK destinations to visit you will be spoilt for choice. Regardless of a certain pandemic, a UK break is a great option for a family-friendly getaway. There are no airports, no long flights and no baggage allowance. A staycation with the kids also provides the perfect blend of reassuring familiarity and well-needed relaxation, so you can enjoy a stress-free trip away with the whole family.

Having a baby shouldn’t mean that you can’t travel anymore, you just have to pick the right places. While newborns tend to be super easy to travel with – usually sleeping most of the trip – as your kids start to reach the 10 month mark, they can start to become a little more difficult. When they eventually hit the toddler years, you will soon realise that any trip away becomes much more about them than it does you. That is why it is so important to find the right kind of places to visit with a baby or toddler, to make it as enjoyable for everyone as possible – not only the kids but you too!

To help you decide where to travel with your baby or toddler, we have concocted a list of the best baby and toddler-friendly places to visit and stay in the UK in 2021. This list comprises the 10 best destinations for a staycation with kids. It includes something for everyone – whether you want an outdoorsy adventure, a relaxing weekend or a fun-filled city break. Will it be the sandy beaches of Cornwall, the stunning countryside of the Lake District, the rolling hills of Yorkshire, or the quaint villages of the Cotswolds. As well as the best places to visit with kids, we have included the best family-friendly places to stay and the best child-friendly things to do while you’re there.

The 10 Best Places to Stay in the UK with a Baby or Toddler:

The Lake District

The Lake District is by far one of the best places to visit with a baby or toddler. Brimming with amazing adventures for all ages, this is a great UK destination for a trip away with little bubbas, tiny tots or terrible toddlers. You will be utterly blown away by the otherworldly beauty of the Lake District, with so much to see and discover. Although 10-mile hikes might not be on the agenda for this family-friendly getaway, there are still endless ways to enjoy and make the most of this special part of the UK with kids. The Lake District is the place to ignite your child’s enthusiasm for adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Grab those welly boots, pack some snacks and turn your little ones into true explorers with this baby- and child-friendly place to visit.

What to do:

  1. The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
  2. Grizedale Forest
  3. The Lake District Wildlife Park
  4. Alpacaly Ever After
  5. Lakes Aquarium
  6. Rheged Centre
  7. Wray Castle
  8. The World of Beatrix Potter

Where to stay:

  1. The Swan Hotel & Spa
  2. Ullswater Heights Holiday Park
  3. Fallbarrow Holiday Park
  4. Hall Farm Holiday Cottages
  5. Red Rescue Retreat
  6. Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
  7. Another Place

Cornwall

For those with young families, Cornwall is definitely one of the best destinations in the UK to visit. Whether you’re after golden beaches, ideal for sandcastle-building, quaint harbour towns to explore or fun-filled family days out, Cornwall has something for even the tiniest of travellers. One thing that makes Cornwall such a great place to visit with a baby or toddler is that there are so many tourist hotspots. While this does usually mean crowds, it also means plenty of playgrounds, baby-friendly cafes and restaurants, a whole range of baby-changing facilities, and loads of family attractions to keep you and your little ones busy.

What to Do:

  1. Porthcurno Beach
  2. Eden Project
  3. Pirate’s Quest Adventure Golf
  4. Newquay Trampoline and Play Park
  5. Flambards
  6. Screech Owl Sanctuary
  7. Springfield’s Fun Park and Pony Centre
  8. Dairyland Farmworld

Where to Stay:

  1. Nursery Rhyme Barns
  2. Trevorrick Farm Cottages
  3. The Sands Resort
  4. Bosinver Farm Cottages
  5. Tredethick Farm Cottages
  6. Sandymouth Holiday Park
  7. Wheel Dream
  8. The Boathouse Roundhouse
  9. Fowey Hall Hotel
  10. Watergate Bay

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is another great UK destination for those travelling with a baby or toddler because you can do whatever suits you. The Cotswolds is a beautiful and peaceful place to just sit back and relax if you have a newborn who is happy sleeping, but if you have a toddler that won’t stand still then there are plenty of activities to keep them busy. From waterparks and petting farms to cream teas and cakes in elegant cafes – you can get the best of both worlds with a family-friendly trip to the Cotswolds with your little ones.

Well-known for its quintessentially English market towns and villages crafted from smooth stone, the Cotswolds covers almost 800 square miles and stretches through five different counties, including Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. Each area is as distinct as the next and each has something different and unique to offer. Discover some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles and country houses; marvel at some of the UK’s most astonishing landscapes and meander through some of the quaintest little towns and villages you have ever seen – with or without a pram. The Cotswolds thrives on tourism which means that there are endless options to make your family holiday great. For this reason, the Cotswolds is by far one of the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit in the UK.

What to do:

  1. Cotswold Farm Park
  2. Cotswold Motoring Museum
  3. Birdland Park and Gardens
  4. Westonbirt Arboretum
  5. Blenheim Palace
  6. Woodchester Park National Trust
  7. Corinium Museum
  8. Cattle Country Adventure Park
  9. Fairytale Farm

Where to stay:

  1. Soho Farmhouse
  2. Calcot & Spa
  3. Cowley Manor
  4. The Fish Hotel
  5. The Slaughters Country Inn
  6. De Vere Cotswold Water Park
  7. Kings Head Hotel
  8. Bruern Cottages
  9. Woolley Grange

Devon

Devon is the ideal holiday choice for any parents travelling with a water baby. Home to some of the best beaches in the UK, most of which are conveniently both toddler- and baby-friendly which means you can spend endless care-free hours in the sun and sea. But don’t worry, you don’t have to rely on the sun coming out for you to have a fun-filled family holiday with your kids. Even if the weather doesn’t show up during your stay, you won’t be stuck for ways to entertain the little ones. Devon has plenty of indoor attractions that all ages will enjoy on those rainy days.

Devon makes for a fantastic place to visit with a baby or toddler because it is such a diverse country. With two beautiful coastlines and two incredible National Parks to explore, this family-friendly UK destination is famous for its coastal resorts, award-winning beaches and dramatic cliff-side landscapes.

What to do:

  1. Devon Railway Centre 
  2. The Donkey Sanctuary
  3. Seaton Jurassic
  4. Paignton Zoo
  5. World of Country Life 
  6. National Marine Aquarium 
  7. The Milky Way
  8. Diggerland
  9. Halden Forest Park

Where to stay:

  1. Knowle Farm
  2. Flear Farm Cottages
  3. Finlake Holiday Resort
  4. Ruda Bay Holiday Park
  5. North Hayne Farm
  6. Brunel Boutique Holiday Park
  7. Ladram Bay Holiday Park

Dorset

Another one for beach-loving families! Dorset is a super popular choice for all families throughout the year, with over 95 miles worth of coastline to enjoy. Well-known for its fossil hunters, Dorset is the ideal place to keep your kids interested. Even if your little ones are still too young for dinosaurs and fossils, you’ll still be able to find plenty to see and do. Dig holes and build sandcastles on the beach or get up close and personal with the range of animals at the local farms. It is the ideal UK destination for babies and toddlers alike to discover something new.

It’s not difficult to keep the kids entertained when you’re staying in a place like Dorset, with its fair share of brilliant family attractions tucked away amongst the stunning country scenery. Why not visit over 230 rescued and endangered apes and monkeys at Monkey World or stroll through 1000 acres of parkland and forest, with trails, tree-top walkways and high wire adventures at Moors Valley Country Park? Whatever suits you and your kids, there is something for everyone in Dorset, one of the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit in the UK.

What to do:

  1. Farmer Palmers
  2. Dinosaur Museum
  3. Splashdown Waterpark
  4. RSPB Arne
  5. Swanage Railway
  6. Monkey World
  7. Wimborne Model Town and Gardens
  8. Abbotsbury Swannery

Where to stay:

  1. Oakdene Forest
  2. Sandhills Holiday Park
  3. Alexandra Hotel & Restaurant
  4. Moonfleet Manor
  5. The Ollerod
  6. Summer Lodge Country House Hotel & Spa
  7. The Acorn Inn
  8. The Bull Hotel

Isle of Wight

The journey to the Isle of Wight is all part of the fun, and your kids will love it. At just 40 minutes long, the ferry journey across the Solent isn’t too long for babies or toddlers and will keep them mesmerised for the duration. And let’s be honest – a boat is so much cooler than a car! Once you arrive, you will be greeted by a stunning island with golden beaches and plenty of family attractions to enjoy.

Despite being small, covering less than 150 square miles in total – about a quarter of the size of London – the Isle of Wight manages to host a surprising amount of family-friendly things to do. Between discovering the beaches, finding dinosaurs, visiting historic castles and palaces, petting animals at the zoos and animal centres, getting adrenaline thrills are the amusement parks and taking in the magnificent scenery, there is something about the Isle of Wight that encourages you to take a deep breath and slow right down. Life just seems to operate at a much slower and more relaxed pace as soon as you step off the ferry. This means that, not only will the kids have plenty of fun adventuring, but the parents can actually get some well-deserved relaxing in. So, don’t miss out on this fantastic place to visit with a baby or toddler.

What to do:

  1. Black Gang Chine
  2. Amazon World Zoo Park
  3. Carisbrooke Castle
  4. The Needles Park
  5. Dinosaur Isle Museum
  6. Isle of Wight Zoo

Where to stay:

  1. Netttlecombe Farm
  2. Whitecliff Bay
  3. The Bay Colwell
  4. The Lakes Rookley
  5. Lower Hyde Holiday Park
  6. Languard Holiday Park
  7. The Orchards Holiday Park
  8. Thorness Bay Holiday Park

Yorkshire

Yorkshire is the place that has it all – endless miles of stunning beaches, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, family-friendly cities like York and Leeds. You can get back to nature in the moorland, explore its deep history in the many museums, jump on theme park rides and get lost in mazes. Yorkshire is impressively beautiful in its own rugged kind of way. The country comprises of a number of National Parks as well as two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Nidderdale and the Howardian Hills), and three Heritage Coast areas, including Spurn Point, Flamborough Head and the coastal North York Moors.

Yorkshire is one of the UK’s largest counties, as well as being the greenest and one of the most historically rich. Once home to the Brigantes, the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans, Yorkshire really is the best place to visit for a family of history buffs. It’s gigantic size means that there is something here for everyone – not just those interested in he historical events of the country. Whatever kind of family holiday or weekend break you fancy having, you can have it in Yorkshire.

What to do:

  1. York’s Chocolate Story
  2. Eureka! Museum
  3. National Railway Museum
  4. Web Adventure Park
  5. DIG
  6. Scarborough Sealife Sanctuary
  7. York Maze
  8. Mother Shipton’s Cave

Where to stay:

  1. Humble Bee Farm
  2. Brompton Lakes
  3. Aysgarth Falls Holiday Park
  4. Flamingo Land Resort
  5. Swinton Park
  6. The Pheasant Hotel

The Peak District

The Peak District is almost slap bang in the middle of England and is the UK’s oldest National Park. With rolling peaks, picturesque towns and endless cycling routes, the Peak District is perfect for a long weekend away with the whole family. Despite being rather hilly and displaying some slightly dramatic cliff faces, the Peak District is a surprisingly family-friendly place to visit with loads of fun to be had.

Get your hiking boots on and pack a picnic in your rucksack for a family walk in the Peaks. Yet, while the Peak District National Park is renowned for great hikes and cycle routes, there are so many other things to do for babies and toddlers – explore underground caverns, go wild swimming in the lakes, canoe down streams, ride old trams, meet farm animals and hold tight on rides at some thrilling theme parks. The list really is endless! What makes the Peak District one of the best places to visit and stay in with a baby or toddler is that it is so easy to get around and most the kid-friendly activities are located within a short distance of each other. Most family attractions are situated in he area of Matlock so make sure to stay near here for the the best options for children and adults alike.

What to do:

  1. Peak Wildlife Park
  2. Matlock Farm Park
  3. Crich Tramway Village
  4. Gulliver’s Kingdom
  5. The Heights of Abraham
  6. The Castleton Caves
  7. Buxton Pavilion Gardens
  8. Chatsworth House

Where to stay:

  1. Landal Sandybrook Country Park
  2. Wheeldon Trees Farm
  3. Haddon Grove
  4. Derwent View
  5. Hoe Grange Holidays
  6. Bole Hill Farm
  7. Haywood Hall

Wales

Wales is easily one of the best places to visit and stay with a baby or toddler. With incredible mountain scenery and masses of ancient culture and heritage, Wales is a must-visit for an outdoor-loving family. Although a trip to Wales is not for everyone – if you’re family desires the buzz of a city, fancy resorts or Michelin-star restaurants around every corner, then Wales isn’t likely to be the destination for you. However, if you and your kids crave the great outdoors, simple hospitality and time away from the crowds of tourists, then Wales is definitely one of the best UK destinations for you and your family.

Three main regions in Wales stand out for the best baby- and toddler-friendly places to visit. These include Pembrokeshire, Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons. Although you will find sensational scenery and charming little villages dotted throughout the entire nation, these areas are particularly suited to young children, with plenty of family-friendly activities to get stuck into.

What to do:

  1. Barafundle Bay
  2. Tresaith
  3. Beaumaris Castle
  4. Talyllyn Railway
  5. Living Room Treehouses
  6. Gwydyr Stables
  7. Techniquest
  8. King Arthur’s Labyrinth

Where to stay:

  1. Bluestone Holiday Resort
  2. Carmel Hideaway
  3. Granary Barn
  4. Gliffaes Country House Hotel
  5. Vale Resort
  6. Slebech Park Estate

The Scottish Highlands

Ideal for kids of all ages, the Scottish Highlands is a natural playground that is just waiting to be explored. Home to majestic mountains, mysterious lochs and a rich history and culture, this is the perfect place to get lost as a family. If you’re an outdoorsy family, then this is definitely one of the best places for you to visit with a baby or toddler. Make memories you’ll never forget as you watch the dolphins frolicking off the Moray Coast, marvel as the awe-inspiring seascape of the North Highlands or discover the beautiful islands and stretches of coastline.

Packed to the brim with family-friendly attractions and activities to suit every age, there are plenty of things to do no matter what the weather. The Scottish Highlands is a huge area which can make it a bit tricky to cover the whole place in the time that you’re there. However, each place on its own has something special to offer and has plenty of things to keep you and your little ones busy for an entire week or more.

What to do:

  1. Urquhart Castle
  2. Highland Wildlife Park
  3. Plodda Falls
  4. Glen Affric
  5. Boat Ride on Loch Ness
  6. Camusdarach Beach
  7. Landmark Forest Adventure Park

Where to stay:

  1. Crieff Hydro Resort
  2. Loch Lomond Holiday Park
  3. The Gleneagles Hotel
  4. Glenapp Castle
  5. Inverlochy Castle Hotel
  6. Isle of Eriska Hotel

Top Tips for Travelling with a Baby or Toddler:

Whichever of the above UK family trips you choose, holidaying with a baby or toddler is a truly special experience. Despite there being a whole lot more to think about, there is a whole lot more fun to be had too. Here are our top tips to make sure you’re baby- or toddler-friendly getaway is as stress-free and relaxed as possible.

  1. Consider the journey to your destination. It is important to make the car journey as easy as possible because most kids don’t enjoy being stuck in the car for long periods of time. If travelling with a baby, it is a good idea to work your journey around their nap times. Alternatively, if you’re travelling with a toddler, it might be best to travel at night so that they can sleep for the majority of the journey.
  2. Look for accommodation that is geared towards families as they often provide some necessities that make your trip so much easier. For example, many family-friendly hotels and resorts usually supply larger items like cots, high chairs and stair-gates which save you bringing your own, leaving more room in the care for your own essentials.
  3. Make sure you bring some home comforts along for the ride. For instance, you could pack your baby or toddler’s favourite cuddly toys, blankets or games. It’s also a good idea to pack a few of the nighttime comforts like a nightlights or pillow. Little things like this can make a huge difference to helping your little ones settle into their new environment.
  4. Ensure you make some time for yourself and your partner. Whether it’s a hot tub at the hotel after the baby goes to bed or a local chef cooking you dinner. You need to treat yourself to make sure you feel like you’ve have a proper break.
  5. When looking for accommodation, I would advise looking for a room that is fairly spacious. When you travel with children, especially babies, you can often end up spending a lot of time in the room.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: