Trefeddian Hotel, Aberdovey
Passed down through four generations, the Trefeddian has a warm, relaxed feel and a great location between mountains and sea. There’s plenty to keep kids occupied, too, from tennis and golf to board games and an outdoor play area – with pony trekking, watersports, crabbing and candyfloss on offer nearby. Early children’s suppers offer the chance of a quiet adults-only meal, but there are also child-friendly options on the restaurant menu, ideal for whole-family dinners.
Family rooms from £110pp a night half-board (kids under 9 free), trefwales.com
The Ickworth, Suffolk
Arguably the ultimate luxury family hotel, the Ickworth specialises in grown-up treats and family-friendly activities. Beyond the elegant country house, the vast grounds offer woodland trails, a fairy garden and adventure playground, with bikes and trailers available to hire. Included each day is 90 minutes of free childcare – the Four Bears’ Den is designed with toddlers in mind – and the early high-tea option leaves parents free to enjoy an adults-only dinner at Frederick’s restaurant.
Two-night Toddler and You break from £420 half-board, including 90 minutes of childcare a day and a 30-minute spa treatment, ickworthhotel.co.uk
Auchrannie Resort, Isle of Arran
Escape on an island adventure to this multi-faceted resort, combining self-catering lodges, a chic hotel and spa, with bikes and maps available to explore the surroundings. On rainy days, the indoor soft-play barn is a life-saver, while older kids can try basketball, badminton or volleyball in the games hall, or splash about in the kids’ pool. There are three restaurants – the Cruze Brasserie has an excellent children’s menu, while the Seafood Grill is best for a kids-free dinner (babysitters can be arranged).
Two-bedroom Retreat lodge from £299 a night, auchrannie.co.uk
Bedruthan Hotel and Spa, Cornwall
Bedruthan combines a beachfront location with eclectic decor and an informal vibe. Younger kids will love the outdoor play areas, including an assault course and trampoline, and there’s a cinema room stacked with DVDs and board games for when little legs get tired. The arts and crafts room offers the chance for families to make something together; in the evening, babysitters are on hand to enable parents to enjoy the adults-only Red Herring restaurant (the Wild Café is child-friendly).
Two-night Baby and Toddler break from £574 for a family of three half-board, including spa sessions, bedruthan.com
The Blakeney Hotel, Norfolk
On the waterfront, with views across the estuary, the Blakeney makes a tranquil base for a fun family break. The Norfolk coast is a place to run free, with wide beaches, vast skies, seal trips and crabbing by Blakeney Pier. Back at the hotel, the games room and indoor pool come into their own on rainy days. Kids have their own menu at lunchtime, with early high tea available in the evenings. There is a variety of family rooms, some with bunk beds, or interconnecting doors. Dogs are welcome, too.
Family rooms from £150 B&B, blakeney-hotel.co.uk
Woolley Grange, Wiltshire
A Jacobean manor house, Woolley Grange offers the chance to spend time with – and apart from – the kids. A pre-stay phone call ensures your room is stocked with baby/toddler-friendly necessities, and 90 minutes of childcare is included each day. There are pigs and chickens to meet (and eggs to collect), inside and outside pools, and daily indoor activities, from designing postcards to painting pebbles. Two restaurants span fine and family dining, with children’s breakfasts organised to give parents a lie-in.
Two-night Time for You break from £510 half-board, including six hours of childcare and spa treatment and a 20-minute photoshoot, woolleygrangehotel.co.uk
The Swan Hotel and Spa, Cumbria
Active families will love the Swan, a riverside hotel with an outdoor pool and playground for younger children, with welcome packs (including milk and cookies) waiting for them on arrival. Packed lunches, clothes-drying facilities and bike storage are on offer for outdoor types, while a range of experiences is available, from ghyll scrambling to bushcraft and canoeing. The small ESPA spa offers a window of escape for a bit of pampering. Dinners are pizzas and pub classics, bound to appeal to even the youngest palate.
Family rooms, sleeping four, from £230 B&B, swanhotel.com
Peebles Hydro, Scottish Borders
There’s little chance of hearing “Mum, I’m bored” at Peebles. There’s a daily kids’ club and a programme of activities and evening entertainment throughout the summer months. Kids hour in the pool comes with plenty of pool toys and floats; perfect for tiring them out before a hearty early tea, leaving the evening free for adult time. The surrounding Tweed valley is crisscrossed with walking and cycling trails – a great way of working up an appetite for one of Peebles’s legendary afternoon high teas.
Family room, sleeping four, from £145 a night B&B, peebleshydro.co.uk
Thurlestone Hotel, Devon
A classic seaside hotel, owned by the same family for 120 years, Thurlestone is a great place to introduce young ones to surfing and paddleboarding or just splashing around in the sea. The hotel’s Big T’s Surf Club offers hands-on activities, movies and magicians, and kids have their own early dinner time (although they’re welcome to eat with parents). Golf, tennis and croquet are all available, while flexible room choices offer triples and bunk beds, and some rooms welcome dogs.
Family rooms from £285 a night B&B, thurlestone.co.uk
Lime Wood, New Forest