The Best UK Holidays For Families With Multiple Generations
May 9th, 2022
Family holidays with multiple generations, from great-grandparents to teenagers and from grandparents to toddlers, are a brilliant opportunity to spend quality time together and make precious memories.
Holidaying together means everyone can enjoy a break from the daily routine while dividing the cost, and it’s the perfect chance for little ones to spend time with older relatives and vice versa – time flies, so make the most of these opportunities while you can.
Speaking to Good Housekeeping, travel expert Jane Anderson explained: “Travelling with three or more generations makes for wonderful family bonding. Everyone benefits from mixing with different age groups. It broadens horizons, boosts emotional wellbeing, and creates lasting family memories.
“The best multigenerational holidays are the ones where everyone gets to do the things they love, and maybe different elements of the family break off and do their own thing, but everyone comes back together for memorable meals, days on the beach, or a local excursion.”
Read on for tips on planning multigenerational trips, and our pick of the destinations that make the best UK holidays for families.
Multigenerational Family Holiday Planning Tips
When it comes to planning holidays for the elderly that are also going to have little ones, teenagers, and adults in attendance, it’s important to find a destination that has something for everyone to make sure the holiday is enjoyable for all.
Opting for self-catering accommodation means you can cater to everyone, but if you don’t want to be spending too much time cooking or too much money on eating out, look into all-inclusive options that offer plenty of choice for all tastes.
Think about sleeping arrangements in advance, and bear in mind that it’s probably worth paying extra to allow everyone to have their own room and a little distance from each other.
Try not to go too remote with your location; it can be helpful to have easy access to a nearby town with supermarkets, familiar shops, and chemists, and where there are plenty of rainy day options.
Plan out your holiday itinerary in advance to make sure there’s a balance of activities to suit everyone, and look into whether babysitting services are offered at your accommodation if there’s an activity you’re interested in that’s just for adults. Alternatively, if there’s something that older relatives might not fancy, plan a different activity for them in advance so they’re not left at a loose end.
Holiday Activities Every Generation Will Enjoy
While older family members might prefer a relaxing afternoon tea over a day at the theme park and there may be some time you spend apart before coming together for a family meal in the evening, there are some activities all the family will enjoy, such as:
- A day at the beach – find a spot where you can set up deckchairs and a windbreak to create a relaxing space for older family members, and take along buckets, spades, puzzle books, and a picnic so there’s something to keep everyone entertained
- Fish and chips – whether you eat them in a seaside cafe washed down with a cup of tea or sat on the harbour wall looking out to sea, no UK seaside holiday is complete without fish and chips
- Walk along the pier – from the iconic Brighton Pier to Blackpool’s three piers and the longest pier in the world at Southend, the UK is home to some fantastic piers. Take in a Punch and Judy show, treat the little ones to their first candyfloss, and relive your youth on the ghost train
- Visit an aquarium – a trip to an aquarium makes the perfect rainy day activity for the whole family
- Go strawberry picking – lots of farms allow you to pick your own fruit, which makes a fun activity for younger ones, and there’s usually a lovely farm shop and cafe for anyone who doesn’t fancy picking their own
- Card games – evenings together or rainy days are a great opportunity to teach younger family members traditional card games like Go Fish and 21 to get them away from their screens for a little while
- Explore the National Trust – from beauty spots to stately homes and landscaped gardens, a visit to a National Trust site offers something for everyone; there are often trails and activities for children to take part in, beautiful views, fascinating history, and excellent tearooms. Discover sites near you here
- Visit a heritage railway – step back in time and take a ride on a steam train or visit a miniature railway to entertain big kids and little ones alike. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire travels through Haworth, home of the Brontes, as well as Oakworth, where The Railway Children was filmed, while the Dartmouth Steam Railway passes through some stunning Devonshire countryside
5 Of The Best UK Destinations For Multigenerational Family Holidays
From picturesque seaside towns to national parks and bustling cities, the UK is home to some fantastic locations that make ideal destinations for multigenerational family holidays. Here’s our pick of five of the best:
There’s so much to see and explore in the beautiful county of Cornwall. Depending on whereabouts you’re staying, take a trip to Land’s End for breathtaking views and family friendly attractions; take in a show at the unique open-air Minack Theatre, perched on a Cornish cliffside; or visit St Michael’s Mount – you do need to be able to climb steep steps to get to the top of the mount, but everyone can enjoy the stunning views across the sea from the island lawn.
But wherever you’re staying, a family cream tea is an absolute must – remember, it’s jam first, clotted cream second in Cornwall. Make sure you leave space for a traditional Cornish pasty during your trip too. If you’re a family of foodies, a visit to Padstow is a must for freshly caught seafood in one of Rick Stein’s cafes.
If you’re staying in the vicinity of St Austell, make sure you visit The Eden Project, home to more than 1,000 varieties of plants from across the globe. The more daring members of your party will love the opportunity to try out England’s longest zip wire (covering 660m and reaching speeds of 60mph) during your visit – everyone else can wait in the cafe!
2. The Lake District
The Lake District is a great option for a multigenerational family staycation; for more active family members, there are some simply stunning walks taking in breathtaking scenery, including a hike up the mighty Scafell Pike. For something requiring a little less stamina, you can’t go wrong with a boat ride on the beautiful Lake Windermere.
If you’ve enjoyed Beatrix Potter’s stories together as a family, then a visit to her former home Hill Top is only a short drive from Ambleside. Take a stroll around her beautiful cottage garden and see inside the rooms that inspired some of her best-loved children’s tales, including The Tale of Tom Kitten.
If you have time for a visit to Grasmere, make sure you stop off at Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, said to be home to the best gingerbread in the world; invented by Sarah Nelson in 1854, try it for yourself to see if you agree.
If you live outside of the capital, a holiday in London can be incredibly exciting, regardless of how old you are. There’s so much to do in London, but we recommend:
- Take an open-top bus tour to see all of the iconic landmarks, from St Paul’s Cathedral to Downing Street, Tower Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament
- Go to Buckingham Palace to see the Changing of the Guard
- See a matinee in the West End
- Head to Covent Garden to see the street performers
- Visit London Zoo, located in Regent’s Park
- Take a trip to South Kensington, where you’ll find the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum
The North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby is famous for its fish and chips, picturesque harbour, and the gothic Whitby Abbey, situated at the top of the famous 199 steps – although older family members may prefer to drive up instead. The town provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, and it’s easy to see why with its historic architecture and clifftop graveyard; visit The Dracula Experience for a spooky experience for all the family.
Whitby is also home to the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, situated in the building where Captain James Cook was apprenticed in the 18th century. For quieter days, there are plenty of traditional tea rooms, fish and chip cafes, and a gorgeous stretch of beach to explore.
The Scottish capital has something for all the family to enjoy, from the historic Edinburgh Castle that sits proudly above the city to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in the city. Walk down the Royal Mile and visit the Royal Botanic Gardens – and if you have the stamina, take a climb up to Arthur’s Seat for stunning views across the city and beyond.
Edinburgh also has several connections to the world of Harry Potter, including The Elephant House cafe where some of the early books were written – a lovely spot for a pot of tea and a slice of cake, and fascinating for fans of the franchise.
On a rainy day, The Edinburgh Dungeon is lots of fun for every generation as you take a trip back in time and explore the city’s history through an exciting immersive experience; on a sunny day, visit Portobello Beach, located just a few miles out of the city centre, for stunning views across the Forth.
No family holiday in Scotland is complete without sampling some traditional Scottish shortbread, and it’s the perfect chance to introduce younger family members to haggis, neeps, and tatties.
What To Do When It’s Not Practical To Holiday With An Elderly Relative
If you’re struggling to plan a holiday with an elderly relative due to accessibility or practicality issues and you don’t want to leave them alone while the rest of the family goes away, look into respite care services in your area.
Respite care is designed to provide a temporary break from caring responsibilities, benefiting both the older person and their carer. Respite care is offered at all New Care homes (subject to availability), and it allows you to enjoy your holiday with the peace of mind that your loved one is being cared for in the best hands.