Maps – courtesy of Google maps
We have a love for travel. Who doesn’t? The world is an amazing place to escape, explore and experience. Before our mini me’s arrived on the scene, Mr S and I spent a fair few years spending our pennies and travelling the globe. We visited some wonderful places and didn’t think twice about a long haul flight even for just a week. When ‘M’ arrived we realised that we hadn’t really explored the United Kingdom. There are so many beautiful places to see that are right on our doorstep. There is nothing better than hitting the road, wandering, and exploring. Cue our camper van purchase. It is about three years ago now we decided to purchase Otis, our beloved campervan. Ok well it wasn’t a campervan back then..more just a panel van! Fast forward three years and we have a wonderful and beloved converted campervan, that is the base for all our family adventures.
We are always on the look out for new places to visit and explore. There are some really wonderful places to visit in the UK. It offers beautiful scenery, culture, heritage and some wonderful cities and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Look hard enough and you will find those little gems; a place that may be off the beaten track and Britain’s best kept secrets. I wanted to put together an epic road trip – a post filled with wonderful places to to visit, explore, or just pass through. We have visited some wonderful places over the last three years in our campervan, but there are so many places still yet to visit, and places we have not even thought of. In addition to my recommendations, I have turned to my fellow UK family travel bloggers for advice, tips and a spot of inspiration….. so here is what we have come up with!
We visited Loch Ness, and Loch Lomond as we explored Scotland on our Scotland Road trip. It is a beautiful part of the world with spectacular scenery, breathtaking views, and activities aplenty.
Penny over at Parentshaped has enjoyed a Scottish Road Trip exploring Loch Ness. If you haven’t visited Loch Ness before, the landscape is just breathtaking. Penny took a boat trip hoping to catch a glimpse of Nessie … is she real? Is she imagined? Take a little detour to Loch Ness and find out more…
If a city break is more your thing, then Edinburgh is a must. Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital and offers culture, history, shops, parks and sweeping views. We enjoyed just 7 hours in Edinburgh yet we didn’t even scratch the surface.
England’s most northerly county, Northumberland, lies next to Scotland in the north east coast of the country. Famous for its unspoilt beauty, it offers beautiful beaches, historical sites, vast landscapes and wildlife. Penny at Parentshaped Travels has written a lovely post about their moments in Northumberland which involved glamping, and a visit to Hadrian’s wall.
Lincoln is a city in the East Midlands and it is known for the medieval Lincoln Cathedral. Sarah over at Family Travel Times has recently explored Lincoln and was really surprised by how picturesque and beautiful the City is. Lincoln offers so much for families, including a wonderful Cathedral, Lincoln castle, a museum and ample places to eat, drink and shop the day away.
Have you ever visited Yorkshire? From the natural beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, to the beautiful beaches of the Coast the charm of York’s ancient cobbled streets to the cosmopolitan vibe of Leeds there really is something for everyone. Sam at North East Family Fun recommends a break in Richmond after A weekend break in Richmond North Yorkshire with her family. Richmond has been described by some as a hidden gem, and Sam managed to squeeze a walk along the river, a visit to Richmond Castle and Richmond museum and a spot of shopping all in to one lovely weekend.
Erin over at Yorkshire Tots recently visited the North Yorkshire Moors Railway with her family and had an unforgettable day out. She has shared five things to know before you ride the North Yorkshire Moors railway with kids .
Photo Credit -Yorkshire Tots
Karen at Mini Travellers has had a family day our at Formby sand dunes. If you haven’t visited Formby it is a National Trust beach in Liverpool, with dramatic sand dunes, surrounded by coastal pinewoods. Karen describes it as basically just fun in the sand 🙂
The Lake District is a particular favourite holiday destination of ours, and over the years we have visited Lake Windermere, Keswick and in just three weeks we are off to explore Ullswater. The Lake District is a region and national park in Cumbria in northwest England that is known for its beautiful lakes, wonderful mountains and literacy associations. (Beatrix Potter anyone!?) Any UK toad trip just has to include this beautiful part of the UK. From walking, to climbing, sailing to zorbing there is something for everyone. There is so much to do and so many attractions to choose from in the Lake district including castles, museums, aquariums and wildlife parks, and cruises on the lake.
If you are visiting the lakes, Karen at Mini Travellers highly recommends a visit to Lowther castle. The castle sits within 130 acres of hidden gardens, enchanting woodland and with breath-taking views and a new playground, it is sure to encourage families to visit for a day out.
Photo Credit – A Bavarian Sojourn
The Peak district is an area of outstanding natural beauty with picturesque towns and villages. The Peak District is located in the central part of England, covering parts of the counties of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and South Yorkshire. Emma at A Bavarian Sojourn has spent a week in the Peaks visiting the beautiful market town of Bakewell, Buxton, Chatsworth House, Curbar Edge Matlock Baths and Lyme Hall.
Have about a visit to North Wales? Abersoch is a popular coastal resort on the east-facing south coast of the Llŷn Peninsula and is somewhere we have visited every year. It holds many childhood memories for me. It was also the place we took Baby S for his first trip to the seaside. Abersoch has a variety of shops, bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels and offers water sports aplenty with boat trips around St Tudwal’s Islands to see the seals and other wildlife. It is also popular for its close proximity to Snowdonia National Park.
Over the Menai bridge, Anglesey offers beautiful landscapes, unspoilt coastlines and idyllic towns and villages. There are many scenic walks, cycle paths and water based activities to try out. Kirsty at Family Adventure Project has shared her Tales of the Unexpected in Anglesey & Beaumaris. Be warned – you will want to try out the rib boat ride on the Menai Strait!
Moving further South is the wonderful Brecon Beacons. The Brecon Beacons is a wonderful place to visit with walking, biking, horse riding, forests, and colourful towns on offer. Laura at Have Kids Can Travel outlines a six day plan for an outdoors Family holiday in the Brecon Beacons.
Daisy at Dais Like These has enjoyed a family adventure on the Gower Peninsula. The Gower Peninsula in South Wales is a perfect choice for a family trip, offering award winning sandy beaches, beautiful unspoilt countryside, smugglers covers and shipwrecks.
Photo credit – Dais Like These
We have recently enjoyed a few days visiting Pembrokeshire and found five memorable places to visit with kids. We fell in love with the sorbet colours of Tenby, attempted the
few many steps to find the beautiful Church Doors Cove, and surfed the waves at Manorbier beach.
The Cotswolds and Surrounding Areas
The Cotswolds covers five counties – Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. The best thing about visiting the Cotswolds is being able to explore the different areas, stumbling upon quintessentially English villages, admiring traditional ‘chocolate box’ cottages, exploring castles, country houses, lively market towns; and visiting some of the country’s greatest palaces, castles and country houses, gardens and woodlands.
Stratford-upon-Avon is famous as the birthplace of the English language’s greatest playwright, William Shakespeare. It has old medieval charm. Check out 11 of the best things to do in Stratford upon Avon by Lisa at Travel Loving Family. We recently visited Stratford upon Avon and enjoyed a family walk along the river, and a family friendly visit to The butterfly farm.
The iconic Stonehenge in Wiltshire is somewhere I have wanted to visit for quite some time. It has been on my bucket list and we had the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful family day out in Stonehenge to try to unravel the mystery of those epic stones.
Warwick is in the heart of England and borders the northern extremities of the Cotswolds. Cathy at Mummy travels visited the capital town of Warwickshire and enjoyed a family day out at Warwick Castle.
The Forest of Dean is on the border of England and Wales, a geographical, historical and cultural region in the western part of the county of Gloucestershire, England. The Forest of Dean offers something for everyone with cycle tracks, kayaking, trains, walks castles and cathedrals. Gretta from Mums Do Travel recommends a day out at Puzzlewood in Forest of dean.
Penny over at Parenshaped spent a weekend in North Norfolk and fell in love with the place. They squeezed in a couple of coastal walks, stayed in a boutique hotel, enjoyed a lazy gastro pub lunch. The afternoon ramble navigating the salt marsh followed by a hot chocolate seems perfect to blow those cobwebs away. On the mid-east coast of England, Norfolk offers miles of unspoilt coastline, countryside, the Broads National Park and beautiful market towns.
You can’t do a UK road trip without stopping off at our one and only capital city, London.
Have you ever stopped off in Camden? I always think of colourful markets, street foods, and trendy boutique shops when I think of Camden. Camden offers food, culture, shops and wonderful canal boat rides. Donna at Like Love Do has shared her day in Camden in her recent post how to entertain kids in Camden
If you are short on ideas of what to do while you are in London, Nell over at Pigeon Pair and Me has put together the ultimate guide to London family fun to inspire you, and even better it covers all budgets.
Photo Credit- Pigeon Pair and Me
Photo Credit -Pigeon Pair and Me
If you are heading to the South Coast of England, Nell at Pigeon Pair and Me has enjoyed a memorable long weekend in Deal, a small seaside town in Kent. It has been decided that is is their favourite coastal town to visit to escape the hectic city life. It offers old school seaside charm, a beach, quaint shops and a castle. Whats more it is under two hours by car from London…..
Photo credit – Mummy Travels.
Home to rolling countryside and a beautiful coastline, East Sussex is a corner of England that attracts Londoners looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for a weekend. Cathy at Mummy Travels spent a long weekend in East Sussex and wondered why she hadn’t visited sooner. Cathy explored Rye Harbour, Hastings, Camber Sands , over four days, and took the opportunity to slow down, gaze out to the horizon and ponder just how the next sand fortress should look….
Dorset is a county in South West England that offers countryside, coastline, attractions and activities to suit everyone. Think of ‘chocolate box’ cottages and you will find them in Dorset. Dorset offers the spectacular Jurassic coast, a World Heritage Site of hidden bays, stunning beaches and cliffs. Bordered by Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire it makes an excellent base for visiting and exploring the Southwest.
We recently enjoyed a wonderful weekend break glamping in Dorset, visiting Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Photo Credit – Tinbox Traveller
Claire describes Exeter as a vibrant West Country city packed full of Roman and Medieval history. It offers shops ample restaurants, bars and cafes and makes for a great city break. Claire at Tin Box Traveller has spent lovely childfree 24 hours in Exeter enjoying a spot of shopping in the many high street shops and department stores, a stop off at Exeter Quay, Exeter Cathedral and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.
Photo credit – Tin Box Traveller
If you have not visited Cornwall before then you really need to include in in your road trip. Think clotted cream and thick meat pasties. Cornwall boasts a magnificent and unspoilt coastline. Admire rugged cliffs, beautiful beaches, and participate in a array of water ports. According to the locals the sun always shines in Cornwall, and Spring comes early. Tin Box Traveller enjoyed a wonderful Easter break in Cornwall.
So there you have the ultimate UK road trip.
Finally if you are looking for even more inspiration, Mum on the Brink is considering embarking on a grand adventure exploring the UK over 5 weeks, with 3 kids, 1 dog, car bursting at the seams and just £1000….
Are any of these places that are a favourite of yours? Do you have a place to add to this ultimate road trip list?
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