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While holidays with toddlers probably won't include long lie-ins and lazy evenings reclining with a cocktail as the sun sets across the beach, they can still be a lot of fun. We consulted the well-travelled experts on the Mumsnet Travel Forum to compile this list of top UK holidays that you'll enjoy as much as your toddler.
- "Crieff Hydro in Perthshire was our favourite holiday destination when the children were little. It was just great for me as a single parent; there was lots to amuse young kids on their own - meaning time out for me - as well as plenty to do as a family. We're planning a big family break there this year, with grandparents, in-laws, toddlers, primary schoolers and our 20-something-year-old children."
- "What about something like the Crieff Hydro or Hilton Coylumbridge in Aviemore if you fancy Scotland? They really cater to families but have the advantage of being hotels so the adults can do adulty stuff too - especially at the Crieff Hydro, although it's more expensive."
- "Auchrannie on the Isle of Arran is great. You take a little ferry trip there and then there's a beach, a castle, a soft play and pools (and a spa!). This is our fourth year in a row and we still think it's great!"
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The Lake District
- "Bluestone in Tenby is brilliant. We have been five times in three years. Definitely worth hiring a golf buggy and going on a trip to Folly Farm!"
- "We used Bluestone as a bit of a base and went to lots of Pembrokeshire beaches and Folly Farm. Might be harder going in bad weather though, with more time on site."
- "Gwynfryn Farm on the Llŷn Peninsula is fantastic for small children. There's loads to do: helping out on the farm, using the indoor swimming pool, visiting the amazing local beaches and even a steam railway!"
- "We loved north Norfolk. Long shallow beaches, lots of large pools and no hard sharp rocks. The kids love it. It's totally wild, but with pubs and cafes all along the coastline. I'd recommend anywhere between Hunstanton and Blakeney."
- "We always stay in Cromer. The beach is lovely. There are nice little shops to browse around, a good play park for toddlers to play in, and family friendly cafes and restaurants. There are steam trains to go on, and some great National Trust properties where you can have a good tramp through the woods and gardens for nothing more than the cost of parking."
The New Forest
- "If you stay in the New Forest, or around Christchurch, Wimborne, Bournemouth or Poole, you can have the best of both worlds: beautiful beaches, countryside, loads for the children, and a day at Peppa Pig World."
- "My in-laws took us to Sandy Balls (no sniggering at the back there...) a couple of weekends ago. The lodges were lovely and very cosy in the cold. There's a decent-sized indoor pool with splash pools for toddlers, jacuzzis and a sauna (plus treatment rooms), lots of inside and outside activities for all ages (costing extra), bikes and toddler trailers for hire, restaurants on site - and YOU CAN TAKE AN ALPACA FOR A WALK! Still can't get over that last one."
The Isle of Wight
- "The Isle of Wight was our favourite destination with toddlers. We had to catch a ferry, so the children were convinced that we were going abroad, somewhere exotic!"
- "Another vote for the Isle of Wight here - very toddler-friendly! It's all very 'easy'; everything is just a short drive away, the ferry trip makes it feel a bit more special, and all of the resorts have lots of toddler-friendly facilities."
- "You could easily combine a trip to Peppa Pig World with a visit to the Isle of Wight."
Devon and Cornwall
- "Best holiday ever: Polean Farm Cottages, near Polperro in Cornwall. The cottages are on a working farm, and our son got to go round with the farmer every morning to feed the animals and collect eggs. There were also gorgeous beaches close by. Just lovely!"
- "I'd recommend Fowey Hall in Cornwall. It's a brilliant, family-focused hotel. Really reasonable rates midweek, hideously expensive during school holidays."
- "We loved glamping at Crealy Meadows, Devon. The theme park is perfect for toddlers, and the staff and site were fantastic. My daughter asks to go back a lot. It's also close to lots of things to visit, as well as the beach."
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- "We've just been to Center Parcs in Longleat. It was fab with a baby and a toddler. That's our way forward for a while - so much less stressful than going abroad!"
- "There's a lot of stuff for toddlers at Center Parcs: play parks, soft play, riding about in the bike trailer, feeding the ducks, going on a teddy bears' picnic, sessions in the creche (which they loved) and going on the pedalos."
- "We also enjoyed Center Parcs, but I strongly recommend going midweek with little ones rather than at the weekend, when it fills up with older children/teens/hen dos etc."
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- "I like the fact that everything at Butlins is included and all on-site. It makes the holiday a lot easier with small children. The entertainment on the Just For Tots breaks was perfect for our toddler; she particularly enjoyed the play doh workshop and the show with Katy from CBeebies."
- "The benefits are: there's lots on, plenty of shows, a swimming pool, playgrounds, soft play, fairgrounds etc and it's all included."
- "I went with my son - he absolutely loved it, and what I liked most was that for the whole break, I didn't have any time when there wasn't some kind of brilliant entertainment or activity available."