With more and more of us discovering the joys of holidays in the UK, there is intense demand for family-friendly hotels where children are positively welcomed, and parents can relax. Here is The Good Hotel Guide’s pick of the places where a good time can be had by all.
Bedruthan Hotel and Spa - Cornwall
Welcome to the house of fun – a hotel on the cliffs above the sandy beach, with floor-to-ceiling windows and Scandinavian-style décor. There are indoor and outdoor play areas and pools, child and baby-care, kids’ lunches, clubs, family spa days, a games room, teenage room, Jungle Tumble room…and the Wild Café serves burgers and wood-fired pizza. At night book a babysitter and dine in the Herring, overlooking the sea.
B&B doubles from £139
Fowey Hall - Cornwall
"There’s Toad Hall…" said the Rat. "Toad is rather rich, you know, and this is really one of the nicest houses in these parts." Whether or not Kenneth Grahame – a frequent visitor – took this Victorian baroque mansion as his model for Toad Hall, it really is one of the nicest hotels for families. There is the estuary for messing about in boats, a breakfast club, baby and toddler facilities, kids’ meals, Bramble the dog to be walked and eggs to be collected. Part of the Luxury Family Hotel chain, it is all things to all ages.
Family rooms B&B £169-£295, interconnecting rooms from £335
Tresanton - Cornwall
Olga Polizzi has created a magical hotel from a cluster of houses clinging to a steep hillside, with sea views from all bedrooms. Choose a family suite or one of several interconnecting rooms. There’s a playroom, a children’s garden with a Wendy house, cinema, baby-listening, babysitting by arrangement, and children’s tea (but children aged six plus can eat with you in the restaurant). In school holidays there are art and craft activities, but just below is the beach, for exploring rock pools, paddling and swimming.
Family suites from £520 room only
Since 1898 children have been gripped by Moonfleet, J Meade Falkner’s tale of smuggling, which centres on this Georgian manor overlooking the sea. Another Luxury Family Hotel, it continues to fire young imaginations, with pools, play facilities, a crèche and breakfast club for little ones. Older children will enjoy fossil-hunting on Chesil Beach. You can eat an early supper together, or there’s high tea for little people; more sophisticated dinner and spa treatments for adults.
Family rooms, B&B from £225
Calcot Manor - Gloucestershire
In the heart of the Cotswolds, this 14th-century manor house is a haven for all ages. There are large family rooms and suites, a crèche, babysitters, play zones, bikes to borrow, high teas, pools, a nature trail, woodland gym, tennis, assault course, pirate play ship – and an in-house spa. Enjoy modern cooking in the Conservatory restaurant, superior pub fare in the Gumstool Inn.
Family rooms and suites £219-£249 plus £30 per child supplement, room only
Woolley Grange - Wiltshire
From hand-written notes at breakfast to a 5pm high tea or an early family dinner, young guests are made to feel cherished at this Jacobean stone manor house, the first in the Luxury Family Hotels group. The grounds are a veritable adventure playground, with ducks and hens, a Good Life garden, a grass maze. There are swimming pools, a crèche, junior spa treatments, and baby-listening and babysitting so you can eat in peace in the fine-dining restaurant.
B&B family rooms £155–£375
Congham Hall - Norfolk
Pretty gardens surround this Georgian country-house hotel, where children up to 12 sharing your room are charged only for breakfast. There’s high tea and a kids' dinner menu, while kids aged seven plus can dine with you. Babysitting and child minding by arrangement. Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary and the bright and breeze North Norfolk coast are near at hand.
B&B doubles £219–£349
The Blakeney Hotel - Norfolk
This traditional family hotel stands right on the quay, overlooking the estuary, in a picture-postcard coastal village. Kids sharing your room are charged only for breakfast. Children’s lunch and tea menus, and half-portions at dinner, are available. Diversions include a games room and an indoor pool, but the best fun is outdoors, with seal trips, mud sliding, cycling, nearby sandy and pebbly beaches.
B&B per person £85–£165
Augill Castle - Cumbria
The atmosphere is free and easy at this Victorian fantasy castle in the Eden Valley between Lakeland fells and Yorkshire Dales. There are of grounds to explore, a tree house, tennis court and playground, a library stocked with books and toys, a cinema. Characterful family rooms with chair beds for children, interconnecting rooms and suites, make for flexibility. A fixed-price dinner is served communally on Fridays, Saturdays and certain other nights; sharing platters on other nights.
B&B £160–£240; extra beds for children £35
Porthtocyn Hotel - Gwynned
Run by the same family since 1948, this friendly, traditional hotel overlooking Cardigan Bay has long experience in catering for young guests. There’s a dedicated children’s area with snug, TV, videos, games room with table tennis, while high chairs and listening devices are available. High tea is at 5.30; menus are adapted for kids aged six plus who stay up for dinner, with the alternative of a light supper. There is no charge for children sharing parents’ rooms, even for breakfast.
B&B doubles £110–£190
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