Thursday, July 28, 2016

Planning a trip to the UK with the kids and here’s where you should go!

My 10th wedding anniversary is next year and I’ve been bugging my husband about going to the UK to celebrate it. Our honeymoon was in London and it was amazing!

That’s why I want to go back. My plan is for just the two of us to go, you know, a second honeymoon! But Vince can’t imagine going anywhere without the kids. So, since he’s hellbent on bringing the kids, I’ve been doing some research, and I’ve come to the happy conclusion that the UK can make a fantastic holiday destination especially for families with young children, like my own.

When it comes to picking a travel destination within the UK, London, the capital, is the obvious choice. Packed full of sights, attractions, and hotels of all shapes and sizes, London is known for being family-friendly

However, it is also very expensive and with five of us now instead of just two in 2008, I've been thinking of maybe exploring other parts of the British Isles. From beach breaks to camping trips, I found that the UK has so many vacation options that are ideal for families. In case you’re thinking of going there, I thought that I would share a few ideas and suggestions of ideal locations, as well as things to do in the area.

Take a seaside break in Blackpool

I know, I know. Why would any Filipino who lives in paradise want to go to another beach? Well, try Blackpool anyway! Situated on the Irish Sea coast of England, Blackpool is home to a bustling seaside town, beautiful beach, and an amusement park. Dating back to the 1890s, the park offers lots of rides—vintage rides as well as more modern ones, with rides and activities for visitors of all ages. For the daredevils, there are plenty of thrill rides, like Avalanche and The Big One roller coasters. While for younger visitors, there’s Nickelodeon Land and lots of little rides and activities for them to get stuck into. 

The town itself is home to various hotels and guesthouses, meaning that you’ll have plenty of choice of accommodation. There’s also lots of restaurants and bars, a theater, and lots of shops to explore. So if you're looking for a big beach with a carnival, Blackpool could be the perfect place!

Opt for a city break in Bristol

I'm a city girl through and through. If you're like me, London is the dream destination. But like I said, it's just too expensive there so how about planning a trip to Bristol instead? Bristol, the largest city in the South of the UK, is a fantastic place to visit. It’s packed full of shops, sights and attractions, and so, has plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained. There’s museums, art galleries, a zoo, and tons of other things to keep your family busy. 

Getting around shouldn’t be a problem as there are plenty of trains, buses, and taxis. If you want to get your kids walking, sign up for a Bristol walking tour. This will take you all around the city’s most famous sights and attractions, such as Clifton Suspension Bridge and Queen Square. For a city break that’s not as hectic as London but still as enjoyable and child-friendly, Bristol is the ideal location.

Visit the sunny South Hams

Nestled in the heart of South Devon is the South Hams, an area made up of beautiful countryside, nature reserves, and rugged coastline. If what you want is a less commercialized and more authentic experience, then a trip to the South Hams is perfect for your family.

Here you’ll find miles and miles of untouched countryside and beaches. As well as lots of seaside towns and villages to explore. The best places to consider staying are Salcombe or Dartmouth. This is because both of these locations have beaches, shops, restaurants, and lots to keep the kids occupied. There’s also one of the UK’s best zoos nearby (Paignton Zoo), as well as a fantastic open air water park (Splashdown at Quaywest). A short drive away, there’s Dartmoor National Park, a fantastic location for exploring with the little ones. There are theme parks like Crealy and Woodlands to keep the thrill seekers occupied. Although a smaller and less commercialized location, the South Hams has a lot to offer families. There are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, too. From five-star hotels to self-catered holiday cottages, there’s sure to be something that’s perfect for your family whatever your budget!

Explore Truro

I want to see Cornwall because this is the duchy of Prince Charles. I believe this is what makes him a very wealthy prince. Anyway! Cornwall’s only city, Truro, is a bustling hub of activity. Its beautiful cobbled streets are lined with shops, art galleries, museums, and restaurants. It’s also home to a beautiful cathedral that dates back to the late 1880’s. While Truro itself is a city packed full of plenty to see and do, some of Cornwall’s best beaches are nearby. One of which is Perranporth beach. This beach and seaside town are incredibly popular with surfers and families due to its golden sands and calm, clear waters. Just under an hour’s drive away is the Eden Project, a tropical garden paradise located inside two biodomes. There are also lots of cute, quirky towns, like Tintagel and Padstow, just a short drive away. All of which are ideal for exploring with your little ones.

Head to the Lake District

A national park located in North England, the Lake District is the ideal location for a family break. Especially if you and your little ones love the great outdoors. And I may be a city girl but just look at that view. It's like straight out of a fairy tale! Known for its stunning lakes and vast areas of countryside, the Lake District is a favorite with camping enthusiasts. There’s not just exploring and bird spotting to keep your little ones entertained. Oh no, there are also plenty of sights and attractions like The World of Beatrix Potter to the Bowness on Windermere Treasure Trail. Hmm, my kids do love Peter Rabbit so maybe this is worth checking out. I just need to buy binoculars for kids first and we're all set to explore that amazing terrain! Whether you love to camp or prefer to stay in a hotel, there’s plenty of accommodation options to choose from, too.

So did you like my little travel advice? If you’re considering a break in the UK (it's summer there now!), the not-London, not-typical tourist ideas I suggested above are my top picks. Whether you prefer to explore the city or camp in the wilderness, the UK has plenty to offer. I hope we really can go to the UK next year for our anniversary! Wish us luck!

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