From coastal walks in seaside fishing villages to getaways in the unspoilt wilds of national parks, the UK offers plenty of fun and adventure for family getaways outside the city centres. Whether you’re looking to explore the outdoors, take up a new nature activity or relax by the sea with the kids, you’ll find endless opportunities to make lasting family memories in the UK’s rural holiday destinations. Skip the hustle and bustle of the city with rural getaways in the UK that are sure to please the whole family.
Get back to basics with a rural holiday in?Bakewell
The small market town and parish of?Bakewell?rests on the edge of the beautiful Derbyshire Dales district. It’s known for its namesake confection, Bakewell pudding, but there’s plenty more to love in this quaint town. You’ll find no shortage of historic attractions, such as Haddon Hall, a medieval manor house, and the Old House, a historic dwelling with heritage exhibits. There’s also the Chatsworth House, a stunning 1600s mansion and garden that’s perfect for an outing with the kids. If you prefer more natural experiences, the Monsal Trail offers long hikes on a former rail line to see local wildlife and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Travel to?Cheltenham?for an upscale rural escape
Renowned for the prominent Cheltenham Festival horse jump race competition,?Cheltenham?offers a rural escape in a posh setting. It boasts many regency buildings, including the Pittsville Pump Room, ornate Victorian auditoriums and fine art museums for adult sightseeing. You can enjoy creative activities with the kids at places like the Wilson, an arts and crafts and history archive, or get out in the sun at the Sandford Parks Lido outdoor pools. If you want to get into nature, Pittsville Park has boating, wildlife viewing and numerous play areas for kids of all ages.
Head to?Keswick?for lakeside rural getaways in the UK
Nestled in the northwest Lake District National Park,?Keswick?is surrounded by dramatic mountains and tranquil scenery. The town offers unique attractions like the Cumberland Pencil Museum and the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery, where you can learn about local culture and history with artefact exhibits. There’s a lot to see and do outside as well, such as hiking to the Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle or boating and swimming at Derwent Water lake. During your trip, be sure to take the kids to Puzzling Place, a fascinating attraction with artwork, optical illusions and children’s puzzles and activities.
Visit?Matlock?for thrilling historic attractions in the UK
Home to the former spa resort town of Matlock Bath,?Matlock?is a charming town found in the Peak District National Park. It’s the perfect holiday spot for adults and children alike, thanks to attractions like the Peak District Mining Museum, the Peak Rail and Gulliver’s Kingdom, a spectacular family theme park with adventure and kiddie rides. Kids will also like the Heights of Abraham, which boasts cable car rides, cavern tours of the Great Masson Cavern and Great Rutland Cavern and an intriguing fossil museum for a glimpse into the prehistoric past of the Lake District. There are 2 adventure play areas for the kids to burn off some energy.
Relax in the unspoilt wilderness in?New Forest
One of the largest remaining tracts of pasture land, heathland and forest in Southern England, New Forest lets you escape into nature to get back to basics with the kids. Bursting with charm and natural beauty, the national park has everything from nature walks to horseback riding to paddleboarding, as well as pubs and restaurants for a touch of modern experiences. Outdoor adventurers will love exploring the pristine countryside and dense forest areas to glimpse local wildlife, including the windswept native ponies that roam the landscape. You’ll find hidden historic gems dotted throughout the land as well, including a dramatic medieval abbey.
Have a relaxing seaside holiday in?Tenby
The walled seaside resort town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire is located along the serene Carmarthen Bay. It’s home to glorious beaches, ornate Victorian homes and unique attractions, perfect for a family rural holiday. You could spend your time relaxing on picturesque beaches, enjoying watersports or exploring bioarchaeological sites on St Catherine’s Island, a remote isle off the coast. You could also take the kids on a hike of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path or Caldey Island, a tranquil island with a historic Catholic monastery. The town has plenty to do as well, such as the historic Tudor Merchant’s House and the Five Arches barbican gatehouse.