Looking to make the most of the school holidays with a UK staycation? With thrilling theme parks, fantastic kids clubs and national parks to explore, you don’t have to travel abroad for some family-friendly fun. So get ready to plan your next family holiday with our guide to the best staycations with a toddler.
Spend the weekend at Center Parcs
Jam-packed with adventure playgrounds, walking trails and even a beach, keeping your little one entertained at Center Parcs is a breeze. Located in the beautiful Elveden Forest, explore everything this beautiful rural location has to offer within walking distance from your accommodation.
Best thing to do for kids: The Fun Pots With Tots class with have your little one’s imagination running wild – they’ll even get to take their creation home as a souvenir too.
Let off some steam at Diggerland
This isn’t your usual theme park, Diggerland has over 20 unique rides on diggers, land rovers, dodgems and go-karts. This action-packed day out is truly enjoyable for all the family, with children able to enjoy the thrilling rides by themselves or parents can join in too! There’s indoor and outdoor play areas for the little ones so you can sit back, relax and watch the fun unfold.
Best thing to do for kids: Let them play grown-ups as they get behind the wheel of a mini Land Rover and navigate a winding race track.
Explore the gardens at Blickling Estate
Part of the National Trust, Blicking Estate is a grand Jacobean house with 55 acres of garden to explore. With tons of woodland, secret tunnels and walking trails to explore, kids will never be bored here – in fact, you might even want to consider planning a few days here just to see everything!
Best thing to do for kids: Blicking Estate runs kids’ activities in the summer such as pond dipping, which is the perfect opportunity for them to learn about the wildlife.
Discover life on the farm at Cotswold Farm Park
Visit the Cotswold Farm Park, owned by BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson. Children will get to see everything from chicks hatching to feeding greedy goats. They’ll learn everything about them from the farm’s expert team too. Plus the farm even has an indoor adventure barn with a sandpit, soft play area and toys to ride around on.
Best thing to do for kids: Feed the animals on the Rare Breed Trail, where you’ll meet and learn about a variety of animals including lambs, goats and horses.
Go on an adventure on the Jacobite Steam Train
Power full steam ahead on the Jacobite Steam Train. Hailed as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, this 84-mile round trip takes you from Fort William to Mallaig, passing by Ben Nevis, beautiful villages and stunning freshwaters. Your little ones will probably be too young to appreciate this, but the journey passes over the Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous by the magical Harry Potter films.
Best thing to do for kids: They’ll be in awe of the amazing Scottish scenery on this once in a lifetime railway adventure.
Get outdoors at Snowdonia National Park
Discover the beautiful mountains and coastline of Snowdonia National Park. Enjoying the panoramic scenery doesn’t have to be done from the mountain tops though, there’s plenty of family-friendly walks to do with rewarding views. With over 820 square miles to explore, this national park is basically an outdoor adventure playground just waiting to be explored – making it the ultimate holiday destination for a toddler.
Best thing to do for kids: Children as young as 3 can enjoy a fun-filled day at Zip World. Navigate mini adventure courses in the trees or ride the UK’s only alpine roller coaster!
Thrilling adventures at Splashdown Waterpark
Boasting 13 indoor and outdoor water rides, this action-filled waterpark is one of the best staycations with a toddler. Including flume rides, speedy water slides and three under 5s splash pools, the whole family can enjoy a day out at Splashdown Waterpark with adventurous rides (or some less so) that are suitable for all ages.
Best thing to do for kids: Ricky’s Reef is a toddler pool with a 3D effect surface, where little ones can go “snorkelling” to discover what lies on the sea bed.
Take a trip to the seaside at Perranporth Beach
You can’t go wrong with a family staycation to the seaside, and Perranporth Beach is one of the best. With miles of golden sand, rock pools and a traditional coastal village to explore, it’s easily one of the best UK holidays for babies and toddlers. Look for a staycation with a hot tub, like Kitty Cottage, so you can relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Best thing to do for kids: The seaside has everything you need to keep kids entertained, take them swimming in the tidal swimming pool or enjoy the art of sandcastle-making.
Discover the wildlife in the New Forest National Park
Best-known for its wild ponies, the New Forest National Park has lots to offer for a staycation with a toddler. Walk or cycle around its many trails and spot deer, bison and birds too. Visit the New Forest Wildlife Park or the New Forest Reptile Centre to get up close and personal with a whole host of other species.
Best thing to do for kids: See more exotic animals at Marwell Zoo, set in 140 acres of Hampshire countryside.
Go for a family bike ride around the Peak District
Pack a picnic and your bikes and cycle some of the Peak District’s old railway tracks, which are now traffic-free routes for exploring the magnificent limestone dales. Most of the trails are relatively flat so they’re perfect for all ages. Try the Monsal Trail to Millers Dale route, or the Ladybower Reservoir loop for stunning scenery.
Best thing to do for kids: Hop on a cable car on the Heights of Abraham to take in the spectacular views of the limestone valleys.