Top 10 UK holiday destinations
There's a lot to like about holidays at home - from St Andrews to Brighton via Bamburgh and Conwy, coastal breaks are the big draw for Mumsnetters, but there's plenty of family-friendly fun to be had for those drawn inland, too.
Here are 10 of the top UK destinations recommended on the Mumsnet Talk boards.
Woolacombe: North Devon
Woolacombe Village Beach is a three-mile stretch of golden sand on the sunny North Devon coast. Patrolling lifeguards and Blue Flag status make it the ideal spot for sailing, canoeing, windsurfing and serious bucket and spade digging. Don't think you have to spend all your time in the water either. Woolacombe has umpteen restaurants and activities on offer. North Devon's natural attractions - rare maritime heathland, hidden coves and two national parks - are the icing on the cake.
- "Love Woolacombe and Mortehoe - proper sandy beach, waves for surfing, great pubs." RidingInTheMidnightBlue
Brighton: East Sussex
Brighton's Regency period architecture and coastal location make for a captivating break. There's plenty to do, from games on the shingle beach to history and culture in George IV's Royal Pavilion. The Pavilion grounds house the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, which offers regular family events and children's workshops. Jump on the world's oldest operating electric railway from Palace Pier down to the Brighton Marina and visit Brighton Sea Life. Then back to the beach, which is bordered by numerous restaurants and bars.
- "Brighton is lovely. You've got the South Downs, Beachy Head, plus all the history and character of Brighton. I lived there for years and loved it." noyouhavehadaweeintheeggnog
Bamburgh sits between shimmering green countryside and silvery sea. Its massive beach has been shortlisted for Britain's best beach award by Coast magazine and cosy pubs, restaurants and holiday cottages attract legions of visitors. Since no English holiday spot is complete without imposing castle, Bamburgh offers a 12th century monolith on a 180ft basalt crag. The village's Grace Darling Museum is fascinating and you can get a boat from Seahouses to the Farne Islands or drive over the causeway to Holy Island.
- "Bamburgh is one of the best beaches in the world and you can rent cottages on Holy Island." IndianOcean
Glenridding: Lake District
Less touristy than Windermere and Ambleside, Glenridding is popular with walkers. There are trails for all ages and levels, and if you're looking for a challenge the village is the ideal spot for access to England's third highest mountain, Helvellyn (don't forget the Kendal Mint Cake). There's zero chance of exhausting the myriad walks, but if you want to give little legs (or your own) a chance to recover, take a cruise along Ullswater on a steamer or do a day trip to nearby Aira Force for the 60ft waterfall.
- "We did an Ullswater walk using the Steamer. We took the boat out to Howtown and walked back to Glenridding. It was long and tiring day, but the boys still talk about it." Create<
Southwold has an otherworldly feel because there's only one road in and out - it's encircled by the North Sea, River Blyth, Southwold harbour and Buss Creek, so you feel as if you've left the world behind. It isn't entirely cut off though and once you've toured the working lighthouse, played on the sand and shingle beach, walked the pier and visited the busy harbour, you can take the foot ferry across the River Blyth to Walberswick village and do some crabbing before visiting the tea rooms and art gallery.
- "We loved Southwold and Walberswick. Beaches are a mix of sand and pebbles but we always found a comfy spot. Really good pubs too, good food, fine ale and cider and found some great beer gardens. The Suffolk countryside is very beautiful." 40notTrendy
This seaside town at the mouth of the River Wey gets extremely busy during the summer, and it's easy to see why. The award-winning beaches, World Heritage Jurassic coast, lakes, museums, aquarium and two shopping centres all offer great family-friendly activities. Walking distance from the town centre is a Victorian fortress, Nothe Fort, with an impressive collection of WWII memorabilia, and indoor play venue Sharkys, which is beloved by children. Plus, Weymouth is one of the sunniest places in the UK.
- "Weymouth is fab... we have been there twice this summer (to a Haven camp), and the children loved it." HarryAndRon
Conwy: North Wales
Take a trip back in time with a stay at Conwy. You can recreate the Elizabethan era with a trip to Plas Mawr, a grand period house, or he Victorian era with a tour of Llechwedd Slate Caverns, a still-working mine, or go all the way back to the 13th century with a visit to Conwy Castle, a dark fortress rumoured to be haunted by a late resident. For some contemporary sights, there's the Welsh Mountain Zoo, situated above Colwyn Bay with panoramic views, plus a cable-hauled tramway.
- "Caernarfon Castle is wonderful. Conwy is lovely. Smallest house in the UK or something, city walls to walk around, another splendid castle. Llandudno has the Great Orme, lovely tram upand copper mine to visit at the top. Downside of Wales is the weather. It will rain!" Doyouthinktheysaurus
St Andrews: Scotland
St Andrews is a lively university town famous for its golf courses and educating a certain prince. If you're a biking enthusiast you'll love the network of safe cycling routes that span the town. If you prefer the sea, head down to West Sands beach and try your hand at land yachting, or make use of its length (and powerful North Sea winds) for some power kiting. There's trout fishing in the Cameron Reservoir, St Andrews Botanic Garden and the local aquarium. Plus, St Andrews is one of the sunniest, driest parts of Scotland.
- "Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous huge beach, which is usually deserted. Lots of tiny little streets with fabulous little shops and tearooms, accessible ruins that are great for kids running about in, picnics and interesting historical facts." nailpolish
Hunstanton: Norfolk coast
Known as 'Sunny Hunny,' Hunstanton is an east coast town with a lot going on. Whether you want to lounge on a beach or discover new species at the Sea Life Sanctuary, criss-cross the chalk land on a bike, potter through galleries or visit a nature reserve, there's a huge choice of activities. The large open beaches make it the ideal destination for kitesurfing while the flat water is great for sailing, windsurfing and jet skiing. Bird watchers will be delighted by the famous red and white stripped cliffs and its rich variety of birdlife.
- "The Sea Life centre at Hunstanton is nice though busy on a rainy day. Some great kid-friendly pubs." newgirl
Broadstairs is one of the 'bustling seaside towns' leading travel guide Frommer was referring to when it ranked Kent among the world's top 12 destinations. It offers everything from Victorian architecture to boutique hotels, exhilarating cliff top walks to gentle browsing around independent shops, and long sandy beaches to outstanding restaurants. You can even visit Bleak House, the summer home where Charles Dickens planned the novel and wrote David Copperfield.
- "We went to Broadstairs and it was lovely. The children really enjoyed themselves and it was just what I was looking for: sand, boats and beach huts. It was even sunny!" princessmel
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