Monday, December 7

English countryside trips for the whole family


Lake District, Cumbria
Image credit: wikipedia.org

Lake District, Cumbria

Located in the north-west of England, The Lake District is the perfect place to experience the great outdoors and enjoy the British countryside at its finest with your family. Abundant with picturesque stretches of water, forests and mountains, the region is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.
There awaits a multitude of activities to keep the kids entertained as well as satisfy the inner-child of adventurous parents. Canoeing, rafting, archery and learning survival skills are just some of the experiences offered. The many walks and rambles take you up, down, over and through the idyllic landscape that surrounds.


Devon
Image credit: wikipedia.org

Devon

If you’re after a relaxing and truly unforgettable holiday for the whole family, Devon ticks all of the boxes. Tucked away in the south-west pocket of England, its close proximity to miles of coastline and some of the best beaches in Europe make visiting Devon a real treat.

Both the Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks and the Jurassic coastline of beaches are a must see. For a day out the whole family will enjoy, head to the ancient bridge of the Tarr steps for a picnic and a paddle.

With woodland walks and cycle trails, pretty towns and villages (Salcombe and Sidmouth to name but two) and enough attractions to keep the kids busy for the whole trip, it’s no wonder that people return to Devon time and again.


The Cotswolds
Image credit: wikipedia.org

The Cotswolds

For a holiday at a slightly slower turn of pace, look no further than the regal cities and quaint English villages of the Cotswolds. A civilised and pretty countryside escape for all of the family, here you get to sample a traditional way of life in the form of cricket greens, limestone cottages and picturesque hillsides.

Get close to nature with the many bird and wildlife parks in the region, while the kids will especially enjoy burning all their energy at Cattle Country Adventure Park. The Spa towns of Bath and Cheltenham offer mum and dad the opportunity to indulge in some retail therapy and cultural enlightenment with the fine architecture and theatres.


Norfolk
Image credit: wikipedia.org

Norfolk

Situated East, in the protruding rump of England, Norfolk offers a wide variety of activities to make it a great destination for families. Those keen to get close to nature will be in their element on a wildlife safari along the Norfolk Broads, home to 11, 000 species of rare wildlife. Otters, Kingfishers, Dragonflies and the Swallowtail (Britain’s biggest and brightest butterfly) all call it home.

For wildlife of the larger (and scarier!) variety, head to Great Yarmouth and the Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens for your chance to get up and close with Tigers, Amur Leopards, Reptiles and Primates.
Berney Arms makes you feel a thousand miles from anywhere as you walk amongst the vast marshes. Visit the iconic windmill and the remotest train station in Britain, where you can actually request the train to stop and take you home!



Corfe Castle in Dorset
Image credit: wikipedia.org

Dorset

On the south coast of England, Dorset is another picturesque slice of Britain’s marauding countryside. Camping, live music, wildlife and a chance to improve your skiing skills are all on offer in this part of the world.

Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle is held every August and is the prefect family festival. Chart-topping acts, children’s TV presenters and more activities than your kids will know what to do with. The Great Dorset Steam Fair is one of Europe’s largest outdoor events, featuring an old-fashioned steam fun fair, steam engines and traditional rural craft.

Snowtrax Alpine Activity Centre will get the adrenaline going as you practice your skiing and snowboarding tricks. The kids will love riding downhill on ski-bobs or ringos.
Monkey World and Ape Rescue Centre give you a chance to learn about our primate cousins and enjoy their crazy antics, whilst on a more tranquil level there’s Abbotsbury’s Swannery where you can get close enough to feed the swans on a daily basis.

Warwick

In the heart of the country lies Warwick, home to hundreds of years of history and heritage in the form of Warwick Castle. If you’re keen for the kids to travel back in time to see how life used to be, then this is the trip for you.

If they’ve never seen a flaming fireball launched from a catapult (good chance they haven’t!), climbed 500 steps to take in unrivalled panoramic views and explored 64 acres of beautiful grounds and gardens, then these can all be crossed off the list.

A great day out, you can also extend the trip by staying in the historic town of Warwick at one of the many family-friendly B&B’s. Stratford-upon-Avon, the famous home of Shakespeare is a short drive away and well worth a visit.

North Yorkshire

The North Yorkshire Moors National Park, much like the Lake District, offers up the great outdoors in breath-taking settings with an abundance of activities to suit all tastes.

Enter Dalby Forest, known as the great Yorkshire forest, with its 55 miles of cycling trails to accommodate all levels. Whether you’re after a relaxing cycle to take in the surroundings or want the adrenaline rush of downhill slaloms, this place has the lot. Segway tours are also available for a unique way to explore the forest. If the beauty of a clear night sky is your thing, Dalby is a Dark Sky Discovery Site making it a prime spot for gazing at the Milky Way. 

The Yorkshire Arboretum offers more family fun with its collection of over 6,000 trees and shrubs in the heart of Howardian Hills. The youngsters will be kept amused with treasure hunts, leaf bingo and activity packs.

Other spots to check out are Garbutt, Guisborough Forest, Mulgrave Woods and the National Nature Reserves of Duncombe Park and Forge Valley Woods. In fact, you might need to book a longer stay to enjoy it all!


About the author: Andrew Segal loves travelling both overseas and in the UK. He works for icarhireinsurance.com, a leading provider of car hire excess insurance.