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49 fabulous family-friendly stays

Looking for a last-minute Easter holiday or planning for the summer? From child-friendly hotels to cool self-catering and glamping stays, here are the best breaks to book across the Muddy counties.

BEDFORDSHIRE BERKSHIRE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE CAMBRIDGESHIRE CORNWALL DEVON DORSET ESSEX GLOUCESTERSHIRE HAMPSHIRE HERTFORDSHIREISLE OF WIGHT KENT LEICESTERSHIRE NORFOLK NORTHAMPTONSHIRE OXFORDSHIRE SUFFOLK SOMERSET SURREY SUSSEX WARWICKSHIRE WILTSHIRE WORCESTERSHIRE

CORNWALL

Polzeath Beach House, New Polzeath

Polzeath Beach House is the newly relaunched and reimagined Atlantic Hotel, which has graced the clifftop above the beautiful safe sandy family friendly beach of Polzeath since 1903. Offering both hotel rooms and self-catering apartments, with both indoor and outdoor sea-view dining, Polzeath Beach House is the perfect half-term escape for outdoor loving families, with surfing and walking right on the door step. Equipment hire, boat trips and beach fitness classes are all on offer with their partnership with Wavehunters, and for a little adult time too, get the kids booked into beach school, Wild Warriors, which runs a holiday club, wild activities and a beach creche for the little ones.

Pentillie Castle, Saltash

Hire your very own Cornish castle for the week! One for larger family groups or invite friends to join (sleeps up to 22!). Steeped in 300 years of history, this beautiful house is nestled within a 1,500 acre private estate and boasts extensive mature gardens bordering the River Tamar – and eagled-eyed viewers might recognise Sir James Tillie’s mysterious mausoleum and the picturesque Bathing Hut on the river quay from Rick Stein’s recent visit on his BBC2 show. Your exclusive hire gets you 11 bedrooms, some with four-poster beds, and 55-acres of woodland gardens means you can walk to your hearts content without leaving the estate. Dog-friendly, too.

Fowey Hall Hotel, Fowey

Child-friendly and swanky hotel don’t always sit in the same sentence, but they do at Fowey Hall Hotel. Housed in a stunning Victorian mansion overlooking Fowey Estuary, with sea views from the front and the grounds and even the hot tub, every detail in this fabulous hotel is designed to make you feel at home (if home is the set of a glam period drama). Comfortable rooms and suites accommodate families of various sizes and even the spa staff won’t baulk at the presence of your bolshy toddler. It is said that ‘Toad Hall’ from Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows was inspired by Fowey Hall, and Grahame was a frequent visitor, but whatever the truth of the tale, it is a little like holidaying in a storybook here. Dog friendly.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

The Langley, Iver

A five-star, renovated Palladian mansion that once belonged to the Duke of Malborough might not be your first thought for where to take the snot-nosed kids — but you’re in luck. The Langley combines old-world luxury and subtly family-friendly nods with a deft hand (no short order!). How’s this sound: you enjoy the second biggest underground spa in Europe and flashy tasting menu; the children tire themselves out in the grounds and pool, then scoff down posh chicken nuggets from the kiddy menu. Total bliss, right?

The Crown Inn, Amersham

Sharing a designer with Soho House New York (and having starred in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral), this reinvented traditional English Inn delivers posh pub comfort with proper pizazz. There are three different buildings to choose from: 16th century coaching inn, self-contained townhouse, and tucked-away bolthole, all decked out with style and comfort in mind. Book yourself and the kids into a suite, and be smug.

Horwood House Hotel, nr Milton Keynes

Set in expansive, picturesque grounds this Grade II listed manor house – currently undergoing a £6m refurb (hello gorgeous new spa) – blends classic architecture with a fresh, modern interior, for heritage charm with state-of-the-art luxury. But we also love that Horwood House caters for a range of budgets: from something simply cosy (the Deluxe King room has space for two adults and one child) to a special, expansive suite (two adults, two children) — each one featuring views of the grounds, as well as the essential creature comforts. Making a weekend of it? There’s plenty to keep the ankle biters entertained in the local area including Bletchley Park, MK Museum, Snowzone Milton Keynes, Willen Lake and Woburn Safari Park.

Book now for the Family Easter Treat package (11-25 Apr 2022) including Afternoon Tea, a giant Easter Sunday egg hunt, plus kids under 12 dining for FREE. From £325 per room.

OXFORDSHIRE

Artist Residence, South Leigh

Not had a chance to visit this cool, quirky gastropub with rooms near Witney yet? Well, now’s the time, as they’ve just opened a swish new family suite, The Hideaway. Tucked away from the main building with a view of the surrounding rolling hills, The Hideaway has two bedrooms (super king of dream for you, bunk beds for the littles), as well as a cosy lounge with log burner (perfect for this time of year) and a luxe family bathroom with copper bathtub and rainfall shower. If you can tear yourself away from the room and the excellent fare at The Mason Arms downstairs, the hotel is the perfect base for exploring nearby countryside — there’s even free bike hire.

Old Parsonage, Oxford

This 17th century coaching inn in Oxford promises a proper punch of charm and character, a pleasing balance of eccentric modern quirks and classic style. Oh, and it’s got five stars to its name, naturally. With a family, you’ll want to book one of the suites, which come chock-a-block with historical features and — if you’re lucky — a terrace overlooking the garden. Food at the accompanying Parsonage Grill is locally sourced British, with a fusspot-pleasing children’s menu of simple favourites.

KENT

Beautiful Broadstairs, Broadstairs

Visit this quintessential seaside town – with its bays, chalky cliffs and old-school Kent seaside charm – and stay in one of these stylishly presented, three-bedroom, self-catering beach homes. Situated in enviable locations, the two properties are just a stone’s throw from beautiful Viking Bay, the town’s headline beach, a pristine crescent of sand that shelters a tidal pool. You’re also within easy walking distance to everything the town has to offer – bars, walks along the promenade and a blossoming foodie scene.

Port Lympne Safari Park, Hotel & Reserve, Hythe

Home to the county’s only safari experience, as well as over 900 animals across 75 species – this wildlife park and breeding sanctuary offers something special. And for a family trip to remember, why not stay the night? We rather like the sound of Tiger Lodge, the luxury apartment with floor-to-ceiling windows through which guests can see (you guessed it) a tiger or how about the bijoux shepherd huts at Hog Deer Creek? From gorgeous glamping lodges to 4* boutique hotel rooms, or a night under the stars in a panoramic bubble pod (pictured) – there’s something for everyone. 

DORSET

Greenwood Grange, Higher Bockhampton, near Dorchester

Take your pick from 17 luxury self-catering holiday cottages sleeping from 2 to 12 in the Dorset countryside, close to Thomas Hardy’s birthplace. Some come with hot tubs, some are dog-friendly; all are unique and individually furnished/decorated to a high spec. The indoor pool, sauna, tennis courts, games room, croquet and badminton lawns, kids’ play area, play yurt, off-road bike trails in Thorncombe Woods and donkeys in the paddock should keep everyone busy.

Alexandra Hotel, Lyme Regis

Step outside this luxury family-friendly hotel perched on the cliffs overlooking Lyme Bay and it’s a couple of minutes down to the beach in one direction and into the centre of quirky Lyme Regis and all its indie shops and cafes in the other. With two self-catering apartments alongside their regular rooms, Alexandra and Ammonite restaurants, a pamper treatment room and an acre of gardens with separate kids’ play area, the hotel makes a great base for fossil hunting and exploring the Jurassic coast.

WORCESTERSHIRE

The Lygon Arms, Broadway

Imagine a luxe getaway without mercilessly hiked prices just because it’s outside term time. Sound like a dream? Then book a stay at the super-stylish and kid-friendly Lygon Arms, where kids under 16 stay free during school holidays. This beautiful hotel in the Cotswolds gets the getaway formula right for families. Curl up by a roaring fire in the bar or bliss out in the destination spa whilst they have an absolute ball with the many children’s activities, ranging from giant games on the lawn to board games, colouring books, jigsaw puzzles, early evening movies and a huge swimming pool.

Treehouses at The Fish Hotel, Farncombe 

Stay in a spectacular treehouse at one of these back-to-nature boltholes. Featuring all the home luxuries you need, including en-suite bathrooms, underfloor heating and remarkably well-stocked minibars. The Fish Hotel, set on a 400-acre private estate, is a super-chic place to while away some hours sitting by the fire, smash the kids at table football or try one of the free retro arcade games. Head to Hook, outside in the grounds, for the freshest, responsibly sourced classics, or go out en-famille on a Segway Safari, all-terrain vehicle, or try your hand at axe throwing and archery.

SUSSEX

Beachcroft Hotel & Beach Huts, Felpham, Bognor Regis

Imagine sipping a glass of wine on your own private beachfront terrace, while the kids run wild on the beach below! This idyllic scene awaits you at Beachcroft, the indie-owned seafront hotel and beach hut suites on Felpham Beach. It’s the perfect choice for a dog-friendly family break – they have buckets and spades and fishing nets for the kids, chess and table tennis for rainy days, plus a lovely indoor heated pool. The area is the perfect UK family destination with Paulton’s Park, Base Skate park and good old Butlins (the hotel can arrange a discount on day entry), plus the Weald & Downland Museum all close by to keep the kids occupied. 

Cowdray Estate, near Midhurst

Set in the private estate covering 16,500 acres of countryside and woodland in the heart of the South Downs National Park, Cowdray is the perfect luxe country retreat with a picture-perfect ruined castle, historic house, polo club, golf course, and farm shop to die for. Nearby you’ve got historic towns like Arundel, Midhurst and Petworth for great pubs and a nose round the shops, plus to keep the kids busy on a rainy day there is the South Downs Planetarium at Chichester. Read our full review of the Cowdray cottages here.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Cotswold Retreats, Cirencester

Go all-out Swallows and Amazons with a family-friendly stay at one of these lush lakeside lodges. Set on the edge of the Cotswolds at the Hoburne Holiday Park, this break will get you max parent points from the kids. Lounging on the decking in a bubbly hot tub, fizz in hand? Yes please! Meanwhile the kids can have fun on the lake, at the indoor and outdoor pool or in one of the activities on tap, from tennis courts to play areas. These lovely luxury lodges have state of the art tech, modern furnishings and all you need to really chill. 

Calcot Hotel & Spa, Tetbury

This beautifully designed haven has outstanding facilities for families, set in a heavenly 220-acres. There are plenty of activities they’ll love here, from nature trails, a Pirate ship, mini football field and cycling to Saturday morning baking sessions for children. Should you want some child-free time (obvs) there’s an Ofsted-registered crèche too, The Playbarn, and above it the Mez – a brilliant space for older children, equipped with games consoles. Perfect for snatching some time in the spa and pool yourself whilst they are entertained.

SOMERSET

Selworthy Farmhouse, Holnicote Estate, near Minehead

Can’t decide between coast or countryside? Book yourself and the fam into this 19th century, five bed farmhouse with woodburner on the National Trust’s 12,000 acre Holnicote Estate. Located in the Exmoor National Park (fantastic for walking, riding and wildlife), the house has views across to the moor’s highest point at Dunkery Beacon but it’s also close to the South West Coast Path and beaches at (pebbly) Bossington and (sandy) Minehead. 

No.15 by GuestHouse, Bath

What do you get when you combine a chic Georgian townhouse hotel (restaurant, cool bar, luxe spa) with fun stuff for the kids (mini tipis in the bedrooms, pantry treats, bedtime books, DIY ice cream sprinkling and kids’ menus, Instax camera), Norland Nannies if you need them, and all of the UNESCO World Heritage city’s attractions waiting to be discovered? We say: the perfect family city break. 

BERKSHIRE

Coworth Park, Ascot

Take the scenic route and discover a place that’s both five star and family-friendly. Coworth Park is the ultimate staycation, offering kids freedom to roam, romp and rollick across the 240-acre estate. There’s an awesome seven-room Kids’ Club with games and activities as well as pony rides (giving you the chance to play at the spa). The Barn is relaxed, buzzy restaurant perfect for families and you can even enjoy a sophisticated afternoon tea together with a kids version available if they’re partial to a posh sarnie too.

Plum Cottages, Bray

Home from home, but with all the boutique vibes of a stylish hotel. For families who like a little luxury when they’re travelling with their brood, book in at Plum Cottages in Bray. Yes it’s the foodie capital of the South East, but it’s also a stone’s throw from the river, Legoland Windsor, Windsor Castle, Liquid Leisure Aqua Park and Go Ape, to name a few attractions. It’s a two-bed cottage, with all the trimmings, close to one of the best Italian restaurants in the UK – Caldesi in Campagna. Plus there’s excellent pubs and it’s next door to The Fat Duck, but that level of fine dining would be wasted on my fish finger-loving kids.

DEVON

Ilsington Country House Hotel, Dartmouth

After a de-frazzler with unlimited spa time for you and an indoor pool for the kids? You’re in luck, as this relaxed country house hotel on Dartmouth offers suites with a separate sitting room for two adults and up to two kids under 16. When they’re not splashing around in the pool or playing on the games console, you’ll be off for life-affirming walks on the moors then back to the bar and restaurant for cocktails and hearty, home cooked nosh. Heaven.

Waterview House, Kingswear

One for bigger families, this four-bed contemporary house on the banks of the Dart in Kingswear is Muddy’s self-catering choice for families who love the water, offering riverside walks and boat rides, plus the indie shops, cafes and galleries of upmarket Dartmoor just a short hop across the Dart on the passenger ferry. Families brave enough to holiday together should get on well here, thanks to huge sinkable sofas, an upstairs roof terrace for snifters, and plenty of local eateries to keep the conversation flowing and your taste buds titillated.

BEDFORDSHIRE

The Meadows at Polehanger, Shefford

A brand spanking new glamping site in the beautiful Bedfordshire countryside, Polehanger Farm is home to Andrew and Charlotte Foster and their twins. Having grown up exploring here and now seeing his own children do the same, it made perfect sense for Andrew (and Charlotte) to share their amazing slice of country life with others. And it really is perfect for families, with four verrrry comfortable (and weatherproof, I might add!) cabins, which sleep up to six, complete with fire pits for toasting marshmallows, and unbridled countryside views. Two of them even have a hot tub – sign us up!

LEICESTERSHIRE

Stapleford Park, Melton Mowbray

This luxurious country mansion is surrounded by gorgeous, verdant greenery everywhere you look. There’s plenty of rooms, suites and cottages (perfect for families) to relax in. Kids can splash around in the pool while frazzled parents get pampered in the spa. If the weather’s good, they can explore the estate on bicycles, enjoy the local woodland walks, take part in archery classes and croquet on the lawn. Don’t leave without letting them tuck into afternoon tea where they’ll no doubt devour the Nutella and banana sandwiches, scones, macaroons and more. Book for Feb half term and kids can stay for free.

Mallory Meadows, Leicester

Fancy staying in your own boutique lodge? This spot is the perfect place to reconnect with the family. The snug timber-clad lodge sleeps four and comes with an outdoor decking area, gorgeous comfy beds, a private hot tub and is just a short distance to Leicester city where you can visit the local sights including the King Richard Centre.

RUTLAND

Rutland Retreats, Oakham

Jump right into the heart of nature and bed down in one of these sustainably-built lodges. Located within Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, these two and three-bed self-catering retreats are ideal for families. Plus, you get the perks – and service – of the luxury hotel. Each one comes with a master bedroom with French doors opening out onto the garden. The nearby Falconry Centre is well worth a visit and Oakham and Uppingham are only a short drive away. 

Bee Cottage, Cottesmore

This cutesy and utterly charming cottage in Cottesmore is a 16th century picture-perfect thatched cottage. With original features such as exposed beams, a wood burning stove and ample living space, the cottage provides accommodation for up to five people and dogs too so perfect for the whole family. The location couldn’t be better – only 5 minutes from Rutland Water where there’s plenty of walking and cycling routes or explore the nearby market towns.

ISLE OF WIGHT

Tapnell Farm Park, Yarmouth

Tapnell Farm Eco pod glamping Isle of Wight family friendly places to stay

Glamping in Feb? Brrr. Although not in a fully-insulated Eco Pod, a snug retreat for a family of up to four with two double beds, kitchenette, living area, shower room and loo, on site at Tapnell Farm Park. Or, if that’s too tight for your tearaways space-wise, Modulogs sleep up to six. There’s loads to do for kids here, from meeting animals to sledge slides and jumping pillows. If you do decide venture out, the famous Needles are under 20 minutes’ drive.

Albert Cottage, East Cowes

Albert Cottage Hotel East Cowes

A right Royal break here! Once part of Queen Victoria’s Osbourne Estate, this Grade II listed building used to play host to royal guests. Now, Albert Cottage is a ten-bedroom boutique hotel with its own restaurant, bar and family suites. Make the most of the proximity and head next door to English Heritage’s amazing Osbourne House, which has a small stretch of sandy beach and some brilliant outdoor play areas to explore, plus a special Explorer Quest to keep them busy.

ESSEX

Creeksea Place Barns, Burnham-on-Crouch

Self-catering but make it stylish. Sitting pretty on the edge of Essex’s charming river town, you’ll find Creeksea’s luxurious collection of contemporary barns – perfect for a fun, family staycation. Fancy a break from cooking? Head to the cool on-site eatery Parlour Café for a pulled pork burger and a ‘signature’ shake. Just watch out for the resident goats! Then work it off at the state-of-the-art Saltmarsh Gym or unwind in the spa while the rugrats hit the outdoor playground. There’s also a 9-hole short disc golf course on the grounds for beginners and an 18-hole pro course for those wanting more of a challenge. If that’s not enough entertainment for you and your brood, pop down the road to Crouch Sailing School and let the kiddos have a go at playing captain on the River Crouch. Don’t forget your life jackets…

Downhall, Hatfield Heath

If you fancy something, well, a little fancy this half term then why not treat the family to a stay at luxury country house hotel, Downhall. Think sprawling grounds (110 acres to be precise), heavenly bedrooms, bubbly roll-top baths and a beautiful heritage lounge to enjoy a delish afternoon tea. For the parents? Luxurious ESPA spa treatments and a fine-dining restaurant serving home-grown ingredients. For the sprogs? Archery, tennis, giant games, woodland walks and a playground complete with an obstacle course. Plus, if you fancy a little ‘me time’ Sharky & George are on hand at the kids’ club to keep the little ones occupied.

HERTFORDSHIRE

Birch, Cheshunt

Birch is a bonkers but brilliant concept – kind of a hotel-slash-retreat-slash-grown-up-playground in a grand country house within 55 acres. It’s aimed at adults who want to unleash their inner kid, but children are more than welcome too, with bunk rooms available for families. Sunday nights are thrown in for free when you book a weekend stay. While you’re there you can try your hand at some of the many workshops on offer from baking bread to pottery or yoga. There’s also a kitchen garden, BBQ pits, chickens and pigs, a swimming pool, screening room, art and music spaces. Plus, for half term there’s a Forest School-based Young Adventurer’s Club, an Enchanted Cinema screening and Aardman model making workshops. 

Garden House, Woodhall Estate, Hertford

This Georgian Manor House in the heart of Woodhall Park is a total stunner. Sleeping eight, it’s gorgeously finished and feels completely private, while giving families access to the one acre garden and myriad of woodland trails and footpaths to explore from their doorstep. If the weather doesn’t play ball, there’s always the log fire to snuggle up by or a games room to settle those family battles once and for all! 

SUFFOLK

Ickworth Park, nr Bury St Edmunds 

This palatial manor is one of best family-friendly hotels in the country, with loads of activities: splash around in the kids’ pool, make new pals in the games room, find the giraffe in the Walled Garden, spot deer on the estate, slide and swing in the fairy garden and explore woodland trails. There’s free child care and activities up to the age of eight, so you can try out the spa or enjoy a candle-lit meal for two *gasp* and Ickworth even has its own iCandy pushchairs to hire. Pet pooches welcome too. 

Holly Cottage, Huntingfield

Suffolk Hideaways is a Muddy fave, with lots of lovely self-catering properties to choose from, including pretty Holly Cottage which at the time of writing is still available for half-term! It sleeps five, is close to touristy hot spots like Southwold, Sutton Hoo and Framlingham and has beams, a wood-burning stove and excellent pub for grub close by. Sold! 

CAMBRIDGESHIRE

The Fellows House Hotel, Cambridge 

Inspire young minds with a visit to the University city this half-term. Enjoy a guided punt on the river, play footie on Parkers Piece where the rules of the game were invented and explore the beautiful colleges – I’ve yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love the giant gold Grasshopper clock or Heffer’s bookshop’s vast children’s section. Book an Attenborough Apartment at The Fellows House Hotel (an eight-minute walk from the centre) which sleeps four, has a small kitchen, posh bathroom and there’s a pool and restaurant too.

WARWICKSHIRE

Warwick Castle Knights Village, Warwick 

Stop in one of these medieval-style luxe lodges for the full historical experience, just a stone’s throw from the castle itself. They’re right on the banks of the Avon and there’s the chance to do activities with some Warwick Castle knights (axe throwing anyone?) There’s room for up to 7 people and if you fancy a medieval banquet then make sure you book dinner in the restaurant. 

Wootton Park Pods, Henley-in-Arden

We love Wootton Park’s gorgeous glamping pods and treehouses, but did you know you can book the ‘superpod’ for a family break? It has two bedrooms and a hot tub so you can while away the hours in the heart of gorge Henley-in-Arden. Need to keep the kids busy? Don’t worry, there’s wakeboarding and horse riding on site. Stratford-upon-Avon is just a short drive away too. 

WILTSHIRE

The Farm at Avebury, Avebury

Just a stone’s throw away from Avebury’s stone circle and the majestic Silbury Hill, The Farm at Avebury has been in the hands of the Hues family since 1922, but they’ve only recently converted their stables into six gorgeous places to stay, with accommodation for between two and six people. 

We’ve got our eye on Greyweathers, a former machinery shed that has been transformed into a calming bolthole for up to six people, complete with rustic exposed stone halls, pretty pink panels and ultra-chic furnishings. That said, we’d be equally happy in the gorgeous pink kitchen in Silbury Hill, the largest of the stables. Snap up a place to stay quickly, as this spot is about to be firmly on the map… 

Big Box Cabin, Minety

If you’re looking for ultra-stylish seclusion, this is it. Nestled at the bottom of a country lane is this light-bathed cabin, with floor-to-ceiling windows wrapped around much of the space. 

The interiors look more suited to a flashy New York loft apartment and that’s all part of the charm, with Indian-inspired murals adorning the walls. It sleeps two adults and two children and has a luxurious roll-top bath, which you’ll love sinking into after a day spend at the nearby Cotswold Water Park, where you can kayak, cycle and canoe. There are also tennis courts on the grounds and plenty of rural walks to get lost on. 

HAMPSHIRE

The Four Seasons Hampshire, Dogmersfield, Hook

Kids always get the VIP treatment at the Four Seasons Hampshire, especially when they’re staying at the child-friendly Park Suite (above). And there’s loads for them too, from the supervised kids club (weekends and holidays) to Sharkies Reef swimming pool, an onsite play park and even zip lining in the ‘hidden’ woodland adventure park. If you can tear yourself away, National Trust big hitter The Vyne is just 25 minutes’ drive. Or, head a similar distance the other way through Farnham to find Gruffalos in the beautiful Alice Holt Forest.

New Place Hotel, Shirrell Heath, Southampton

New Place Hotel

A grand country pile without a whiff of stuffiness, New Place Hotel is brilliantly located around 20 minutes’ drive from Marwell ZooGunwharf Quays and The Mary Rose Museum. And if you’ve a hankering to follow in the PM’s footsteps and join Grampy Rabbit’s Sailing Club, Peppa Pig World and the gorgeous New Forest (just rated Best National Park in Europe, no less) are just 30 minutes’ away. Highlights include family rooms, 32-acres of landscaped gardens, an indoor pool to splash around in and a purse-friendly kids’ menu. 

SURREY

Barnett Hill Hotel, nr Guildford 

Fancy a half-term stay in the Surrey Hills where you can also sneak a bit of spa action? Of course you do. And at Barnett Hill near Guildford in Surrey, your little cherubs are treated like the Little VIPs they are with their own fluffy robes, welcome rucksacks with crafty kits and – our favourite – the option of sleeping in a teepee bed. Aside from the 26 acres of garden and woodlands, there’s plenty for families to to locally including Painshill, Brooklands Museum and Polesden Lacey. And what about the spa, you cry? While the kids are colouring, head off to the Utopia Treatment Rooms for a dreamy massage, facial, mani or pedi.

Great Fosters, Egham

With Thorpe Park and Legoland both within an easy 20 minute drive of Great Fosters, it’s a great place to head during a half term with kids. With echoes of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, this red brick Elizabethan mansion is a sight to behold. Set on a 55-acre estate, there’s plenty here to entertain right here including topiary mazes, a Saxon moat, a heated outdoor swimming pool (open from April to Oct), trim trails and a tennis court. It’s quite magical. There are also cycle routes aplenty, and bikes to hire from the hotel. Thoughtfully, there are dedicated children’s menus and dining from 5pm, perfect for younger children. Oh, and did we mention there’s also a spa? Yup, there is! Bliss.

NORTHANTS

The Barn, Clipston

The Barn, Rectory Farm Clipston luxury self catering northamptonshire

This luxe open-plan barn conversion on a gorgeous family farm, surrounded by beautiful countryside, is all clean lines and contemporary vibes. Think cool custom made furniture, original artwork on crisp white walls, premium appliances and all the gadgets you can shake a smart remote at. It’s like staying in a boutique hotel but more chilled and with a proper fridge (Siemens, of course). Plus it’s super family friendly, with cots and highchairs if needed, toys and games, kids’ TV channels and an Xbox, as well as a ten metre folding glass wall, opening onto a big enclosed garden with an outdoor kitchen. Planning a larger gathering? The Loft and The Cottage, also both located at the farm, sleep 6 and 4 respectively, with the same impeccable level of style and comfort.

Ashbrook Cottage, Moreton Pinkney

Ashbrook Cottage Moreton Pinkney Luxury self catering Northamptonshire

This stylish and charming new build property occupies a picturesque rural setting in south Northamptonshire. The decor is simply fabulous and it ought to be, as the cottage and neighbouring house also serve as a film and shoot location, so attention to detail is impeccable. You get spectacular views, a lawned garden and terrace for al fresco dining as well as all mod cons inside the house. The Jurassic Way long distance walking path is right outside the door, and the Crown Inn gastropub at nearby Weston will keep you fed and watered if you just can’t face messing up that gorgeous kitchen. 

NORFOLK

Worstead Estate, Smallburgh

Image: James Rouse Photography

Looking to get away with the extended fam, or a group of mates? The gorgeous Worstead Estate in North Norfolk has three holiday cottages dotted around its idyllic 300-acre grounds to choose from. For groups, the 8-bed Holly House with its grand Georgian rooms and private hot tub is perfect, whereas families will love the 6-bed Estate Cottage (above) set within a private walled garden and the quaint Grade II-listed New Lane Cottage, which sleeps 2-4. Whichever you pick, you’re ideally located for exploring both the Broads National Park and the North Norfolk coastline – or just enjoying the Estate, spotting the wildlife and sampling the excellent Wagyu beef at the Farm Shop.

Best of all, they’re currently doing a Winter Staycation offer. You’ll get 20% off any holidays taken before 28 Feb (so perfect for sneaking in a Half Term stay) – just use the discount code WORSTEAD-20 when booking on their website.

The Pigs, nr Holt

This Muddy Award-winner is the ideal pick for knackered parents in desperate need of a spa day (that’ll be all of us, then!). While it might look like an adults-only getaway, The Pigs offers a family-friendly room (adorably named Bubble & Squeak) that can happily house two adults and two children. You’ll love the luxe spa facilities on offer and the excellent British menu the pub is renowned for; they’ll love the Piggleplay indoor and outdoor areas, which include a zip-wire, climbing wall, Lego stations, table football and retro arcade games. Win-win.

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