We all want to give our children more outdoor time. After this intense period of time spent at home, collecting shells, rock-pooling, and simply getting muddy are all top of the to do list for summer. We’re planning a summer of freedom, and with optimism that we’ll be able to get away keeping us going as lockdown starts to wind down, we thought we’d list our top seven places for a family escape.
Active families need no more than Aviemore. Visit for a fresh alpine summer holiday. Wee ones will adore Strathspey steam railway and the Cairngorm Reindeer Sanctuary. Head to Loch an Eilein in the Cairngorms for a paddle in the freshwater loch, while you admire the 13th century island castle. If you have older children to entertain alongside littlies, just think quad biking, gorge walking, kayaking and nighttime zip wire adventures.
Don’t forget to pack: A Stingray Toddler Backpack, made from recycled bottles and with a clever safety harness which gives you peace of mind and lets your toddler feel independent. One percent of all profits go to sea life conservation charities.
The land of knights, princesses and stunning clean beaches beckons! Visit Bamburgh’s mighty castle, towering on a cliff over the sea. A windy walk along the golden sands of Bamburgh’s beach affords excellent shell-collecting opportunities. Alnick’s family friendly 11th century castle is where many Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets scenes were filmed. Harry Potter learned to fly his broomstick here and you can too. Head to Northumberland National Park for beautiful bike trails. At night, Northumberland’s famed 580 square-mile protected dark skies reveal the endless wonder of the stars above.
Don’t forget to pack: A lightweight Arc 2 Travel Cot to make baby’s first trip away from home under those glorious stars a restful one.
Golden sands, a bustling harbour, cafes and wait for it… parking! Tenby is hard to beat for happy days spent making sandcastles and watching the world go by on the beach of your choice. Head to Tenby’s Dinosaur Park for a monster day out. Spot whales, dolphins and harbour porpoises on a 20-minute boat ride to the calm bird-spotting oasis of Caldey Island. Head off on a 4.5 mile walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path to absorb the incredible views of Saundersfoot Bay. Older children might enjoy the thrill of the Tenby ghost walk!
Don’t forget to pack: Spike, our much loved Dinosaur Toddler Backpack - he’s now evolved with stronger, brighter prints! Raaar!
Lake Windermere, Lake District
The glass-like waters of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, just beg you to plunge in for an icy dip. Peter Rabbit fans will adore a trip to Beatrix Potter’s home in picturesque Ambleside in the heart of the Lakes. Walk along the stunning Grizedale sculpture trail, all aboard the steamer for a cruise along Ullswater and indulge in a slice of every outdoorsy family’s favourite, Kendal Mint Cake. Older children will be raring to go mountain biking, canoeing and sailing or to tackle a trail.
Don’t forget to pack: A furry Bunny Toddler Backpack, complete with tail and ears.
If you’re looking for an old-fashioned seaside holiday, Weymouth, Swanage, the Isle of Purbeck and Studland in Dorset are go-to destinations. Enid Blyton is said to have been inspired by Corfe Castle in Five On A Treasure Island, and she was a frequent visitor to this ancient county. Go fossil hunting on Lyme Regis and Charmouth beaches and retrace the steps of Mary Anning (children in KS1 will be able to tell you all about this!). Animal lovers will enjoy a trip to the primate rescue centre, Monkey World.
Don’t forget to pack: A LittleLife Beach Shelter to protect your children with UV 50+ protection from the sun and winds.
Much-loved Devon is expecting a mammoth influx of tourists this year, so finding that idyllic secret spot might be a challenge. But head to the wide open sands of Woolacombe for a guaranteed patch of golden sand, or to the secluded Soar Mill Cove (accessible only by kayak or a walk along the South West Coast Path). Wherever you are, you’ll be able to enjoy a cream tea. Remember, it’s cream first, then jam on top in Devon! The Donkey Sanctuary and the Devon Bird of Prey Centre are both worth a day trip, or sail from Bideford or Ilfracombe to spot puffins and seals on Lundy Island.
Don’t forget to pack: A LittleLife Mini First Aid Kit, packed with everything you might need to treat basic injuries. We’ve included ‘Little Stars’ stickers to help your brave little poppet smile again.
Gwithian Towans, Cornwall
Travelling to Cornwall is like visiting another country. The climate, the place names, the culture - it’s all distinctly Cornish and magical. It’s an eco-friendly paradise, with the family-friendly Eden Project luring visitors back time and again. Feel like you’re on the edge of the world at Lands End or cross a sunken causeway to visit beautiful St Michael’s Mount. To find a spot on a beach this year, we recommend Gwithian Towans, a three-mile sweep of gold buffeted by crashing waves. For a more sedate, baby friendly beach, the tiny harbour beach at Mousehole is hard to beat.
Don’t forget to pack: A Freedom S4 Child Carrier, for all day comfort, an airflow backsystem to keep you cool and a pull out sunshade for baby.