Summer holidays in far-flung locations might remain off-limits this year, but if you know where to go, a staycation in the UK can offer all the beauty, luxury and fun of a trip overseas.
Being stuck at home during the current lockdown has given us time to browse the internet and make plans for a summer staycation, ready for when UK travel is safe.
There are many advantages to choosing a UK holiday – no airports, no passports and no luggage limits mean travelling to your holiday location is a lot less stressful!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll share with you our favourite UK holiday destinations designed for couples, families, those on a budget and anyone wanting a little bit of luxury. This week, we’re uncovering the best beach staycations for families…
Ainsdale Beach, Merseyside
This expansive beach offers miles of sand for families to enjoy. Ainsdale Beach has been awarded an International Blue Flag for its high standards of beach management. The Ainsdale Discovery Centre is located next to the golden sands, where you can view the impressive shell collection. If you’re feeling energetic, you can hire a free bicycle and explore the nearby Ainsdale & Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve.
Ainsdale Beach is also regarded as one of the UK’s premier beaches for extreme kite activities, with zones set aside for kite buggies. Kite-surfers also take to the sea, which is great fun to watch as you soak up the sun.
Most of the beach is dog-friendly, so your four-legged friend can come with you – and we recommend the Shelbourne Holiday Apartments, a small complex of pooch-friendly holiday lets in nearby Southport. There are 9 apartments, which can accommodate families in a safe and modern environment.
Filey Beach, North Yorkshire
Filey Beach was named ‘Beach of the Year’ by The Sunday Times in 2018 – and it’s easy to see why. Five miles of sand ensures there is plenty of room for families to explore the amazing rock pools found nestled on the beach, and RNLI qualified lifeguards patrol the beach in the summer months.
Access to the beach can be obtained by the Cable Landing Slipway, making it easy for those with buggies to navigate. There are also several kiosks near the slipway, selling souvenirs, ice-creams and cold drinks.
Families can stay in a caravan at the Crows Nest Caravan Park, which has all the facilities you need to make your holiday a success. The activities include a children’s play area, live entertainment, a family bar and a heated indoor swimming pool with waterslides. A seven-day break in August starts from £710 for a 2-bedroom caravan that sleeps up to six people.
Great Yarmouth Beach, Norfolk
For families who want all the action-packed fun of a traditional seaside town, Great Yarmouth ticks all the boxes. The Pleasure Beach is one of Britain’s top tourist attractions, with fast and furious rides – and some more sedate ones for the youngsters. The promenade is also home to a Sea Life Centre where you can walk through an underwater glass tunnel and get up close and personal with a host of sharks.
A visit to the Merrivale Model Village is a pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon – see the world in miniature, complete with a working model railway running through landscaped gardens.
The lively Haven Seashore family holiday park is a great place to stay if entertainment is top of your list – it boasts an indoor pool, an outdoor splash park, amusements and a huge programme of entertainment in the Marina Bar. Prices for a standard caravan that sleeps four, start from £821 for a seven-night stay in August.
Kids will love the road train that ferries families from the caravan park to the busy Great Yarmouth Pier – complete with a funfair, pub and fish and chip shop.
Abersoch Beach, Wales
If you are looking for something a little quieter that offers rock-pooling and paddling fun, you’ll love the family-friendly beach at Abersoch, Llŷn Peninsula. The seaside town offers raft racing, crab fishing and sandcastle building competitions – there is even a prize for the best-dressed beach hut!
In August, the beach hosts a community-run Regatta, with sailing races and a golfing competition to bring out your competitive side!
There are plenty of holiday cottages in Abersoch which are ideal with families, however, we advise booking early to secure your staycation dates as places fill up fast – especially during the Regatta.
Sennen Cove, Cornwall
Sennen Cove is one of the cleanest beaches in Europe and certainly one of the prettiest. It provides the perfect place for paddling, swimming or learning to surf – and lifeguards patrol the beaches from May to September.
There are a selection of cafes and restaurants next to the beach – plus a Cornish ice cream shop, serving tasty treats for all the family.
You’ll be spoilt for choice for accommodation, with many family-friendly holiday cottages available including Tremoor, a charming historic barn that was featured in Good Housekeeping as a great base to explore ‘Poldark’ country! It’s close to Sennen Cove and sleeps a family of four. August bookings are available from £1,212 for seven nights.
Check before you book
Most holiday lets and caravan parks are offering additional protection should your holiday coincide with another lockdown or travel restrictions. Many are also offering refunds if you don’t feel safe to travel or they can’t offer you the full holiday experience or range of facilities.
We are all hoping for a little sea, sun and sand this summer, and the roll-out of the vaccine has given everyone a ray of hope that we can soon enjoy non-essential travel again. Always check with your holiday provider that your money is refundable should the country enforce tier restrictions, or you are unable to travel for COVID related reasons. Some companies will ask you to change your dates rather than issue a refund, so make sure you know what is offered.