Top staycations to make your family feel like you're abroad
2021 may be the year of the Staycation but that doesn't mean it has to feel like you haven't left home. While most of us are a little guilty of neglecting home destinations for more exotic sites, 2021 can be a great opportunity to see some awesome sites that might be right on your doorstep.
From the Isles of Scilly to the Shetland Islands, the UK is filled with beautiful destinations that your family will love. Here at tripAbrood, we've gathered our top 10 staycation destinations that will have you feeling like you're abroad in no time.
1. St Michael's Mount
Feels like Normandy, France
Located in Cornwall, England
Beautiful medieval sites on a tidal island? You'd be forgiven for thinking of Normandy's Mont Saint-Michel but no, this is St Michael's Mount in Cornwall. With beautiful views and sub-tropical gardens, only the Cornish pasties available at the cafes will remind you that you haven't left the UK!
You won't be short of things to do on the Mount and the island is perfect for any aspiring explorers. Make your start at the medieval castle and work your way down to the rockpools on the shore - you'll find the local village en route where there are even more activities including I-Spy trails and giant colouring in spots available.
Just like its more famous doppelgänger, St Michael's Mount is only accessible by foot at low tide so make sure to plan your timings in advance.
2. Blackpool Sands
Feels like Costa del Sol, Spain
Located in Devon, England
Missing beautiful sunny Spain? Well, we can't guarantee the Spanish sunshine but you certainly won't be disappointed by a trip to Blackpool Sands in Devon.
Blackpool Sands has everything you'll need for a perfect family beach trip. You can rent kayaks and paddleboards when you arrive and don't forget to rent a wetsuit if needed (we are in the UK after all). If you've got little ones, consider a double or triple kayak so the whole family can join!
If you've left the picnic basket at home, check out the Venus Beach Shop and Cafe where you can pick up everything from a local bottle of wine to some fantastic fish and chips. Deck Chairs and all your beach essentials are available to buy and rent as well.
Feels like Norway
Located in Scotland
Still a good way away for most of us, the Shetland Islands are about as remote and as different a staycation as you'll find. Having more in common with many parts of Scandinavia than other parts of the UK, if you're feeling like a Nordic adventure, this could a great next family trip for you.
The Shetland islands are a great destination to visit all year round. Your little ones will love meeting the islands' Shetland ponies, spotting seals playing in the harbour and learning all about the Vikings who once lived here. In summer, you can take advantage of the beautifully long days to explore even more ancient ruins or, if you're planning a winter visit, keep an eye out for the Northern Lights and consider timing your trip so your family can enjoy the unforgettable Up Helly Aa fire festival.
Feels like the Maldives
Located in Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Maybe a slight exaggeration considering the drastic difference in weather between the Maldives and northern Scotland but the Hebrides are certainly home to beaches that wouldn't look out of place in the Caribbean or Indian Ocean.
Kayaking and surfing are the most popular water sports you'll find on these beaches and there are plenty of lessons and tours available for beginners of all ages. As well as beautiful beaches, you'll find plenty of birdlife and marine life that make for an excellent holiday-long game of I-spy - think puffins, dolphins, whales and seals.
Feels like Italian Riviera, Italy
Located in Gwynedd, Wales
Portmeirion is a magical place - an enchantingly designed Italian-style tourist village in North Wales. While wandering around the village, you'll feel as if you've been transported to the Italian Riveria or perhaps the Portuguese Sintra.
Between its authentic Italian style gelateria, subtropical garden, sandy beach, kids playground, glamourous spa and countless restaurants and cafes, it's got something for everyone and is the perfect spot for those missing the southern Med this summer.
6. Isle of Skye
Feels like Iceland
Located in Scotland
If you've been missing wild landscapes this past year, the Isle of Skye might just be the perfect getaway for your family. With rugged landscapes and waterfalls that wouldn't look out of place in Iceland, there's plenty of Skye to explore and there's no shortage of hikes that are great for kids with rocks to climb, tide pools to explore and wildlife to spot en route.
Got your own fairy garden at home? Why not check out the Fairy Glen before heading to Skye's famous Fairy Pools - both are easy hikes with kids and you'll find like you've been transported out of this world.
If hiking isn't your family's thing, enjoy Skye's gorgeous beaches or hop on a wildlife cruise. Be sure to keep an eye out for puffins, seals, whales, dolphins and more as you sail around the island.
7. Eden Project
Feels like Amazon Rainforest, Brazil
Located in Cornwall, England
Located in Cornwall, the Eden Project is an unforgettable experience for all ages. Made up of massive biomes, the Eden Project is home to the largest rainforest "in captivity" and when you enter, you feel like you're stepping into a different world. You'll scarcely believe you're in England when you see the kids running across the canopy walkway, hearing the waterfall in the distance and the birds chattering away. It's an environment that feels far more like Brazil than Britain.
There's tons for kids to do as they explore the landscapes from the Mediterranean to Australia but if the kids are a little older (ages 8+) and you're looking for something a little more adrenaline-filled, be sure to check out Hangloose Adventure too. They've got tons of activities on site from ziplines to aerial trekking.
8. Camber Sands
Feels like Gran Canaria, Spain
Located in East Sussex, England
Can anything really beat a family trip to the seaside? Look no further than Camber Sands - East Sussex's answer to Gran Canaria!
A popular site for kitesurfing and other water sports, Camber Sands is fairly unusual for an East Sussex beach as, as the name suggests, it has lovely golden sand compared to its stone and shingle neighbours. It also has some fabulous sand dunes - the only ones in East Sussex! Bonus, despite its proximity to London, the beach is fairly unspoilt and usually isn't too crowded - even in the peak of summer.
9. Castle Farm Kent
Feels like Provence, France
Located in Kent, England
Who says you have to travel to the south of France for views like this? Castle Farm Kent is the largest lavender farm in the UK and the views are unforgettable.
Tours usually begin when the Lavender fields become this gorgeous colour in late June and the whole family is invited - although buggies can only be used on the grass track surrounding the lavender field. Even if you don't fancy a tour, there are plenty of footpaths in the area and, at certain times of year, you're able to come along with a picnic (& maybe some bubbly to continue the French theme). On these days, a coffee cart is available for hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice cream (Lavendar flavour is available!) too.
P.S. Not staying in Kent? Check out Norfolk Lavender instead!
10. Isles of Scilly
Feels like Barbados
Located in Cornwall, England
Missing gorgeous blue waters but don't fancy the long travel time? Trust us - we understand! Look no further than the Isles of Scilly. They're only a quick flight or relaxing boat trip away from the mainland and are one of the best places to experience island life in the South of England.
The isles are a nature lovers paradise and you'll find plenty of quiet white sand beaches with crystal clear water around the islands. Your mini adventurers can let their imaginations run wild while you explore uninhabited islands and secret coves. Hired bikes are also a great way to explore the islands and you'll usually be able to find trailers and tagalongs - perfect for the little ones. On a more practical note, there's plenty of yummy restaurants and children's menus are extremely common.