Sometimes, just sometimes it’s nice to think a little out of the ‘traditional family holiday ‘box when it comes to breaks, whether that’s in the UK or abroad
And there are plenty of alternatives out there.
At a glance
- There are plenty of alternatives out there to the traditional family holiday to Spain
- Farms are a great place to stay and lots will let your kids get involved in looking after the animals
- Stay in a castle and your little ones will feel like princes and princesses
Swap the sand for sows and invest in a mini break away at a farm, or take to the seas – or canals – on a water holiday. If that doesn't float your boat consider a castle, where your little one will love creating stories of princes and fairytale princesses.
Below we go into detail about our five fave unusual places to stay with your family.
Stay on a farm
Your little ones will love the idea of staying on a real life ‘Old MacDonald’s Farm’, while you and the mister can enjoy the freshest farm food and those beautiful countryside views associated with this type of living. Many farms, which offer this type of accommodation also let you and the kids take a hands on approach to the farm animals, offering you the chance to watch milking in the morning or seasonal sheep shearing. It’s a holiday your little farmers will never forget.
Prices begin at £40 per family a night and there’s a huge range to choose from in both the UK and Europe. Visit Farm Stay for more information.
Sleep in a lighthouse UK and abroad
Lighthouses are an important part of history and played a huge part in sea safety before newer, shinier technology took over. However this has now given them another part of heritage and that could be yours and your family’s.
Britain's coastline is awash with lighthouses, and sea keepers cottages have been converted into places to stay for families looking for a coastal break with a guarantee of great sea views and beaches practically a stone’s throw away. Many are also very child friendly, with courtyards and fenced areas ensuring your little sailors can play safely, while in some areas you may also be party to some unusual bird spotting – think puffins and kittiwakes.
If you’re looking for something a little further afield then the US and Norway have some great places on offer- just remember you’ll have to factor in airfares and flight times for these too!
Stay in a castle
Any girl who tells you she didn't at one point in her life wish she was a princess in a fairytale castle, is lying. And now you can get that childhood dream, while entertaining your little ones too.
There are a range of castles that cater for young families in lots of different areas of the UK meaning you can look out to the sea or across vast countryside.
Whatever one you choose we can guarantee your children will love running around pretending they are knights defending their town or that princess waiting for her prince.
Visit Britain has some great options to suit any budget.
Old railway carriages
Encourage your little one’s inner trainspotter and add a sense of adventure and history to that family holiday by hiring out your very own old railway carriage for the weekend or longer.
These disused carriages, which are scattered across the UK, and in Europe have been specially adapted for families looking for something a little bit different with refurbished rooms, built in bathrooms and of course kitchens for self-catering. Some are also positioned on disused railway tracks with station houses also refurbished as places to stay.
With around 150 of these available in the UK, all you have to do is pick where you want to stay.
Take to the seas, or British waterways
Water holidays are a great way to see different areas in a unique ways. Young children will also love playing pirates.
If budget isn’t an option, then consider taking your little one on a cruise. Many tour operators have seen the gap in this market, modernising their offerings and making these types of holidays more family friendly.
If you’re looking for a ‘themed’ holiday then check out ‘Norwegian Cruise Line’s SpongeBob SquarePants cruise, which lets kids have fun while you and the mister relax.
Back in blighty there’s some more reasonable options. Your little captain will love the adventure travelling on a canal boat brings with a range of holidays across the UK letting you travel the waterways. All you’ll need is a captain’s hat, some sea legs and some caution when it comes to little ones and the water.