Defining the term ‘luxury’ never felt so difficult. Where once it was a case of throwing some gold at it, sprinkling over some sparkle and harnessing the power of the prohibitively expensive, now it’s a whole new notion. Indeed, the idea now has myriad forms and functions, many of which don’t concern cost at all. Time, memories, experiences…they all hold value in the modern world.
Finding the perfect, luxurious family holiday certainly extends way past where you lay your head at night. It’s the opportunity to soak up the culture around you and to learn something new. It’s the chance to pull out the children’s party dresses and smart shirts for an evening out dining as a family. It’s the freedom to see, do and try new things — so everyone returns home with a head full of achievements and memories. Today we’re focusing on trips taken closer to home, with these; our 5 IDEAL UK destinations for a luxury family holiday.
CHELTENHAM, THE COTSWOLDS
The Cotswolds region is renowned for its honey-stoned houses, rolling landscapes and wealth of history — the ultimate quintessentially English destination. But with so many towns and villages to explore, which one has the best family activities? Well, we suggest adding Cheltenham in Gloucestershire to your family fun filled itinerary as it has an abundance of stylish places to eat, drink and stay. Here you can stroll along the tree-lined promenade, visit the Cotswold Farm Park and ride a steam train on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway. It’s all there; check out our in depth guide to the area and its activities here.
ST. IVES, CORNWALL
Cornwall is your typical UK holiday destination for good reason; famous for its sandy beaches, picturesque harbour villages and delicious pastries, ice cream and fudge, it manages to straddle the quaint with the cool in a way only quintessential Britishness could. While pretty much everywhere in the ceremonial county embodies the term family-friendly, if you want to add a touch of luxury to your trip, your eyes should be drawn to St. Ives.
A step away from the traditional seaside vibes of the area, but also boasting a maze of narrow cobbled streets, independent shops and boutiques and award-winning restaurants, cafés and bars, this is an elegant place to holiday without losing the charm of the British seaside. Additionally, Land’s End, which hosts regular family fun days and fireworks throughout the summer, is only a 40-minute drive away. There really is no reason not to.
Situated on the banks of the River Tay in east Scotland, the relatively untapped potential of the city of Perth is apparent from the moment it comes into view. Nicknamed the ‘Fair City’, it’s a place laced with gorgeous medieval architecture; George Street, in particular, is a charming place to eat, shop and explore. The city brims with that smalltown, creative indie vibe, and families passionate about their artisanal, hand crafted products serve the town almost exclusively. You’ll also find plenty of family activities to enjoy, including historic buildings, castles, and museums, such as The Black Watch — a 5-star multi- award-winning visitor attraction.
This university town and popular holiday resort sits in the middle of the rugged Ceredigion coastline, and is a destination blessed with a diversity of activity you won’t find in many places in the union. What’s more, Aberystwyth is a foodie heaven; check out the nearby Salt Marsh Kitchen for fresh, local fish cooked with respect, or if you’re after a blowout, Michelin starred Ynyshir is one of Britain’s finest restaurants and a temple to meat and fat. Just glorious.
Back in town, walk off your meet coma along the mile-long Victorian promenade and the seafront pier (the oldest in Wales). If you’ve got time (make some!) take a trip to see Aberystwyth Castle; a resplendent 13th structure which towers over the town and offers mystical intrigue in droves. One for the kids, certainly.
BELFAST, NORTHERN ISLAND
Over in Northern Ireland’s capital of Belfast, there’s so much more to do than the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience (though for the kids, that one’s not to be missed). This exciting city has a vibrant mix of art, history, great food and beautiful landscapes to explore, including Game of Thrones filming locations and for the parents, the Bushmills Whiskey.
For the kids, there’s plenty going on, including Aunt Sandra’s Candy Factory (words which would be heaven to five year old us), Streamvale Open Farm and HMS Caroline — a First World War-era ship now restored as a must-see floating museum.
For somewhere a bit more exotic, take a look at our article on 5 Ideal Places For A Family Holiday In Europe.