Best UK Destinations for a Last-Minute Family Holiday
We all understand the importance of a family holiday. It’s a break from reality, the chance to rest and recuperate, a way of discovering new things and places and, above all, it allows us to spend quality time together making new memories. But what about booking your family holiday last-minute?
It may sound like a recipe for stress, but there are lots of benefits to leaving the organising until later – namely cheaper prices and a predictable weather forecast (which means packing is a doddle). And thanks to the huge choice of comparison websites now available, it’s easier than ever to jet off at a moment’s notice. Here’s our round-up of the best UK spots for a last-minute break.
It might be best-known for spawning one of the world’s most iconic bands, but this incredible north-eastern city has lots more strings to its bow than the Fab Four (although The Beatles Story tour is a must for fans). It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, first of all, packed with spectacular architecture, fascinating museums and with a rich maritime history. Check out the olde-world pubs in Albert Dock, head up to Radio City Tower for bird’s-eye views of the city, or enjoy a ferry ride across the Mersey River. Liverpool also flaunts a fantastic restaurant and shopping scene, with hotels for every budget providing a base.
The New Forest
For peaceful surroundings and fresh air by the bucketload, consider the New Forest, which covers parts of Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. This picturesque rural district is dominated by its huge National Park – a patchwork of grassy moors, forest trails and thatched-roof cottages. Walking boots are highly recommended here. Head into the outdoors for an amble and you’ll spot deer, wild horses and donkeys, plus there’s a generous sprinkling of cosy pubs to take a breather in. Outside of the forest, there are charming towns and villages to explore, such as Burley. Famous for its history of witchcraft, it offers curious gift shops and tea rooms.
Hemmed by dreamy Lulworth Cove and characterised by the craggy Jurassic Coast, this seaside slice of Dorset is as pretty as a postcard and offers something for all ages. West Lulworth, in particular, has just a few gift shops and guesthouses to its name, so it’s the perfect place to head this time of year when the summer tourists have long gone and just the scenery and tranquillity remains.
Wrap up warm and head up to the Durdle Door viewpoint, which overlooks an epic limestone arch and a golden sweep of sand. Lulworth Castle is also worth exploring, as is nearby Poundbury, an immaculate, purpose-built town dreamed up by Prince Charles. Children will love Monkey World, a huge primate rescue centre home to chimpanzees, orangutans, marmosets and much, much more.
Scotland’s capital is as action-packed as it is stunningly beautiful. It’s a city of old and new, its magnificent hilltop fortress and Medieval buildings merging with chic nightclubs, designer shops and boutique hotels. It’s also a fabulous choice for families. Among the huge activity line-up, there’s Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World, Edinburgh Zoo, an ancient volcano to climb, and a renowned Harry Potter Tour. And if you’re on more of a budget, there’s plenty of green spaces to discover, such as Prince’s Street Gardens and Holyrood Park.
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