12 months of family travel inspiration – UK & abroad

The endless choice of destinations can make booking a family holiday a rather overwhelming task. Particularly when factoring in the different needs of everyone in your family.  This article, 12 months of family travel inspiration, aims to make booking a family holiday an enjoyable experience!  It shares honest family holiday reviews and destination recommendations by 24 family travel bloggers who have explored hidden gems in the UK and travelled the world with their kids and partners.

For each month of the year you will find a destination recommendation for both the UK and abroad.  Grab a brew… sit back, relax and enjoy selecting where you and your family can visit in 2017!

Family Travel Inspiration – January

UK – Mum of three Karen, has just kicked off 2017 with a short break to St Mawes, Cornwall.  She believes that the off-peak season is the perfect time to make the most of this normally very popular destination – January is a great time to visit as the beaches and attractions are quieter and accommodation can be booked at a fraction of the price to peak season.”  

5* luxury stay in St Mawes, Cornwall (with kids!) by Karen at Mini Travellers.

Family travel inspiration - January

View of St Mawes taken from the family friendly & luxurious Dreamcatchers, run by St Mawes Retreats.  Copyright – Mini Travellers. 

Abroad – Mum of two teenage boys Sarah, recommends visiting Dubai in January.  She visited last September with her husband and sons and found it very hot and humid.  “Dubai is an incredible place to visit with kids as there is so much to see and do.  Take my advice however and travel in the winter months November – March.  January in particular is great, as temperatures are on average 75℉ so not too hot for sightseeing.”

6 Great Things To Do With Kids In Dubai by Sarah at Extraordinary Chaos.

Family travel inspiration - January

Dubai Aquarium, one of the many family attractions in Dubai. Copyright – Extraordinary Chaos.

Family Travel Inspiration – February

UK – Penny and her family recommend visiting the county of Ceredigion, Wales in February for they believe it has so much to offer for families – “From the wild and other wordily landscape of hills, forest, remote farms and isolated chapels used for the filming of BBC detective thriller Hinterland, to brightly coloured seaside towns like Aberystwth and Aberaeron… Ceredigion is a county with plenty to keep outdoor loving children and their grown ups exceedingly happy.”

Things to do in Ceredigion, Wales with kids by Penny at Space in Your Case.

Family travel inspiration - Febuary

Penny and her children exploring the magical secret beaches.  Copyright – Space in Your Case.

Abroad – Mum and avid traveller Ting, travelled to the dramatic island of Iceland last February with her husband and young son.  During a road trip they spotted volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields.  She recommends February as one of the best months to visit Iceland as – “It offers a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights, one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena. Plus it’s a lot quieter, and accommodation is cheaper at that time of the year.  Attractions are also not so booked up.”  She found the Nordic islanders to be very friendly with her son who spent the entire holiday “giddy with excitement at the powdery, deep snow!”  

Family road trip to Iceland with Icelandic Farm Holidays and 17 things to do in Reykyavik, Iceland with kids by Ting at My Travel Monkey.

Family travel inspiration - Iceland

A view overlooking the country’s cultural, hip capital, Reykjavík. Copyright – My Travel Monkey.

Family Travel Inspiration – March

UK – Sarah and her family love to spend time together exploring the countryside.  Their recent family holiday enjoying the rolling hills, fresh air and gorgeous views in Loch Lomond, near Glasgow has made them want to return for a spring visit!  “March would be a beautiful place to visit Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park as spring is just arriving, signs of new life and the nature are evident everywhere. Yet there is still that chance of a little last minute snow.”

Family travel inspiration - March

Exploring the countryside in Loch Lomond, Scotland. Copyright – Extraordinary Chaos.

Abroad – Mum of two Helen, thoroughly recommends a family ski trip to Val Thorens, France in March – “It’s a high resort, so there’s a snow guarantee, and if Easter falls in March it’s the perfect time to go. Plus, the resort have really made an effort in recent years to cater well for families with young children, so it’s a great place for a first ski holiday with the kids.”

10 things that make Val Thorens the perfect ski resort for families by Helen at Space in Your Case.

Family travel inspiration - February

Family fun on the slopes in Val Thorens.  Copyright – Space in Your Case. 

Family Travel Inspiration – April

UK – Mum of two young boys Jo, visited Pembrokeshire last April and felt it was the perfect place to soak up the Spring sunshine whilst avoiding the summer crowds – “We fell in love with Pembrokeshire’s rugged beauty, the beaches, and were amazed at the number of places to go with young children.”

Mini guide to Pembrokeshire with babies and toddlers highlights the best attractions to visit and best family friendly places to stay by Jo at Kiddie Holidays.

Family travel inspiration - April

Llangrannog Beach one of the 243 beaches in Pembrokeshire! Copyright – Kiddie Holidays.

Abroad – Mum Nell, considers the school spring break a good time to visit the Netherlands. “The place is starting to warm up a little, so a visit to one of the unspoilt, sandy beaches can mean basking in beautiful spring sunshine. Plus the pretty tourist hotspots are nowhere near as crowded as they are in summer, or during Christmas market season. We used our beach cabin resort as a base to explore Gouda, the Hague, Delft and the windmills at Kinderdijk. Barely another tourist in sight!”

Family attractions in South Holland and A Dutch holiday park review – A week at Strandpark Vlugtenburg by Nell at The Pigeon Pair and Me.

Family travel inspiration - April

Sightseeing in Gouda, Netherlands. Copyright – The Pigeon Pair and Me

Family Travel Inspiration – May

UK – Jo mum of two young adventurers, enjoys trips to the Lake District out of peak season before the crowds of tourist arrive. “It’s the perfect place to go on holiday with a family and there is so much to do – whatever the weather.”  

Her comprehensive guide, 11 things to do in the Lake District with toddlers, includes recommendations for rainy day activities in case you experience May rain showers!   For a recommended family friendly campsite check out – Review; Low Wray Campsite, Lake Windermere.

Family travel inspiration - May

Jo recommends a cruise on the Ullswater Steamer to take in the incredible views from the water.  Copyright – Kiddie Holidays.

Abroad –Last May, my family and I travelled to Kos, Greece.  With nine hours of sunshine and temperatures averaging 70℉ it was perfect weather for our two young boys, 2 & 5.  Travelling in school term time meant we took full advantage of discounted fares. The resort was also very quiet, with no need to reserve sun loungers or make dinner reservations!

Check out our reviews of the resort and the fabulous childcare facilities here –  Family holiday at Mark Warner Lakitira Beach Resort, Greece and Childcare at Mark Warner’s Lakitira Beach Resort, Greece.

Enjoying the quiet beach at Mark Warner’s Lakitira Resort. Copyright – Travel Loving Family

Family Travel Inspiration – June

UK – Mum of two young children Erin, recommends June as a great time of year to go glamping in the UK – The weather is likely to be dry and warm but the summer crowds aren’t yet in full swing meaning you can take full advantage of the sites facilities.”  

A Yorkshire Glamping Adventure – Review of Jollydays glamping by Erin at Yorkshire Tots.

For more glamping and campsite reviews in the UK check out – Review – Glamping in Kittisford Barton, Somerset by Ting at My Travel Monkey and Review – Glamping at South Lakeland Leisure Village, Cumbria by Trish at Mums Gone To.

Family travel inspiration - June

Glamping family fun in Somerset. Copyright – My Travel Monkey

Abroad – Mum Marta is a huge fan of family friendly Stockholm and suggests visiting in June (or July) – “The most popular time to visit Stockholm is the summer and, more precisely, June and July.  At this time, the weather is at its best, you have a high chance of dry days and clear sky and the long hours of daylight make for additional opportunities for sightseeing.  (In the winter, it gets dark before 3pm, in the summer you still have daylight well past 10pm). In terms of temperature, the summer is pleasant and much milder than I expected, despite its northern latitude.  The temperature averages 18 degrees celsius which make for very pleasant days and mild nights.”

Marta shares her comprehensive guide to Stockholm here – The Venice of the North: All about visiting Stockholm with kids by Learning Escapes.

Family travel inspiration - June

Marta recommends exploring Stockholm’s museums. Copyright – Learning Escapes.

Family Travel Inspiration – July

UK – Cathy mum of one, loves spending summer days with her daughter in Whitstable on the Kent coast.  She suggests that July is a great month for checking out “Whitstable’s famous summer oyster festival, discovering the gardens of Whitstable Castle and hiring a bike to explore the six-mile Crab and Winkle Way along a disused railway line to Canterbury.”

Family day out: Whitstable with kids by Cathy at Mummy Travels

Family travel inspiration - July

A few of the many sights in Whitstable. Copyright – Mummy Travels.

Abroad – Mum and ex flight attendant Carrie, recommends visiting the Algarve in July – “We visited the Algarve just before the school holidays commenced.  We were practically guaranteed lovely weather.  It’s a short flight from the UK and the crowds hadn’t arrived yet.”

Family friendly tips for Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal by Carrie at Flying with a Baby.

Family travel inspiration - July

Quiet beaches in Portugal before the popular summer months. Copyright – Pixabay

Family Travel Inspiration – August

UK – It seems that attending family friendly festivals is a popular summer holiday past time for many UK-based family travel bloggers!  Mum of three Samantha, from North East Family Fun, gives not one but 33 reasons to love the Just So Festival which takes place in Cheshire.

Family travel inspiration - August

Family fun at Just So Festival. Copyright – North East Family Fun

Penny, from Parent Shaped, raves about her fourth visit to Camp Bestival here – Camp Bestival 2016 you were OUT of this world.

Camp Bestival basking in the August sunshine. Copyright – Parent Shaped.

My family also caught the festival bug last year and caught up on lost time by attending not one, but three festivals, in two months!  Here are our reviews of Wychwood Festival, Livestock Festival and Geronimo Festival.

Livestock Festival Review 2016

Flying flags at Livestock Festival. Copyright Travel Loving Family

Abroad – Mum Sarah visited Crete last August and can thoroughly recommend it for other families looking for a summer holiday destination. “Crete was amazing!  We thought it might be too hot, but actually, where we stayed, in Elounda, it was perfect, with a breeze coming in and a sea which was warm enough to swim in and very, very inviting. Plus, there are some great day trips to do such as to Knossos and Spinalonga.”

A very sunny family holiday in Domes of Elounda, Crete by Sarah at Family Travel Times.

Family Travel Inspiration - August

Sarah’s son making the most of the warm sea in Crete last August. Copyright – Family Travel Times.

Family Travel Inspiration – September

UK – I am possibly a little biased but for me there is no where quite like home in Gloucestershire during September (and October).  The countryside comes alive as leaves begin to turn bright shades of red, orange and yellow.   Attractions and quaint Cotswold villages are quiet as kids have returned to school.  Westonbirt Arboretum and the Forest of Dean are my family’s favourite places to visit at this time of year.

For recommended family accommodation in Gloucestershire check out – Reviewed: A family friendly cottage, Forest of Dean

Reviewed: Forest Holidays Lodge with hot tub! Forest of Dean by Emma at Emma and Three.  Staying at Cowley Manor, Cotswolds with teens by Jen at Jenography

Enjoying the changing of the season at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire. Copyright – Travel Loving Family.

Abroad – Mum of one Maria, lived in the Portugese capital of Lisbon for two years.  She has a comprehensive weather guide to visiting Lisbon throughout the year on her blog.  For September she advises that the weather is hot with an average temperature of 26°C (79°F)  “Lisbon holidays in September are incredible, the beaches simply idyllic and the evenings so balmy that you’ll be tempted to stay out all night long.”

Top 5 kid friendly activities in Lisbon and Where to stay in Lisbon with kids by Maria at One Tiny Leap.

Family travel inspiration - September

The incredible Guincho Beach, Cascais, Lisbon. Copyright – One Tiny Leap

Family Travel Inspiration – October

UK – Joanne and her family love visiting the historical city of York in October – “When it is sunny but cold my kids love nothing better than sailing along the River Ouse pointing out the many sights .  It’s always a competition to see who can spot the York Minister first!”  

Over on her blog she recommends lots of attractions to visit with kids in York including – Exploring York by water with kids by Jo at Kids Days Out Reviews.

Family travel inspiration - October

Taking a scenic cruise along the River Ouse, York.  Copyright – Kids Day Out Reviews

Abroad – Mum of two Penny, recommends a visit to the stunning island of Malta in October – “The heat in summer can make exploring Malta a challenge, but October is the perfect temperature for adventures. Take a ferry to swim off the island of Comino and explore the Azure Window on Gozo or wander the beautiful city of Valletta.”

10 moments I will never forget in Malta by Penny at Parent Shaped.

Family travel inspiration - October

Penny and children enjoying the October sunshine in Malta. Copyright – Parent Shaped.

Family Travel Inspiration – November

UK – Mum of a preschooler and toddler Claire, suggests November as a great time to visit the Gower Peninsular, Wales “The dramatic coastline is wonderful to explore at any time of year. However by November there’s less competition for space on the beaches and it’s still relatively mild – ideal for spending lots of time outdoors.” 

Weekend in Wales: a Swansea Bay family adventure and Awesome Gower beaches for families by Claire at Tin Box Traveller.

Family travel inspiration - November

Claire’s family fully kitted out to explore Gower beaches in November.  Copyright – Tin Box Traveller.

Abroad – Cathy recommends hopping on a flight over to the Caribbean to enjoy turquoise blue sea and white sandy beaches.  She has recently returned from Turks and Caicos – “November is a great time to visit, it’s the tail end of hurricane season, with temperatures averaging 80℉, without the crowds and prices of peak season.”

Nine reasons to visit Beaches Turks and Caicos with kids by Cathy at Mummy Travels.

For further Caribbean family travel inspiration check out my – Top five family friendly Caribbean Islands and destination guides featuring Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados and the British Virgin Islands. And finally, if you are looking for a resort with fabulous family facilities in Antigua check out A Modern Mother’s review – St James Club vs. The Verandah.

Family travel inspiration - November

Cathy’s daughter Minnie enjoying life in the Caribbean!  Copyright – Mummy Travels

Family Travel Inspiration – December

UK – Mum of teenage children Gretta, believes that London is a magical place to visit in December – “There are always lots of events happening in the capital in December, of course many of them relate to Christmas, but, if you want to, you can also avoid the festivities.” 

Gretta shares event round ups for London every month on her blog, Mum’s Do Travel.  To give you an idea of what took place in London during December 2016 check out – Things to do in London with kids.  Gretta also has a great guide – Family friendly places to stay in London.  For more December travel inspiration check out our – Family Christmas city break in London and review of Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park. 

Festive fun at Winter Wonderland. Copyright Travel Loving Family

Abroad – Penny and her family experienced the trip of a lifetime just before Christmas.  She has shared her family’s magical three-day trip to Lapland over on her blog in several inspiring posts and videos.  Her beautifully written descriptions of ringing sleigh bells, snow-covered landscapes and a search for Santa will leave no doubt in your mind that December is THE perfect time to visit Lapland for the “Christmas of childhood dreams.” 

Santa’s Lapland Day 1 – Journey to Lapland and Arrival At Santa’s Hotel Tunturi, Saariselka by Penny at Parent Shaped.

Family travel inspiration - December

Penny and her family enjoying a ride through the snowy landscape with their new husky dog friends. Copyright – Parent Shaped.

If you enjoyed reading this 12 months of family travel inspiration, please pin for later use and share with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.  We wish you a year of fun, safe and memorable travels in 2017!


67 thoughts on “12 months of family travel inspiration – UK & abroad

  1. Astrid

    Hi Lisa,

    Seems like I’m back here! LOL!

    These holidays are so inspiring! Far from the UK now, which is my second home, your post has inspired me to find more local getaways.

    We don’t have kiddies ourselves but our many couples in our group of friends do and we all love chilling out for short breaks. And I’m the one who always hangs with the kids, it’s more fun than hanging with the adults!

    Anyway, I wanted to mention a great getaway on the Isle of Wight we had a few years back, with our favourite friends and their twin girls.

    Grange Farm on the Isle of Wight has plenty to offer for kids. Tame farm animals, a play area with jungle gyms and slides, walks on the beach collecting shells, a fossil hunt and kite flying. There’s so much families can do together and it was really affordable.

  2. Andrea @Topsy Turvy Tribe

    What a great comprehensive guide. We would just love to see the Northern lights and have spent some great times in Whitstable and Lisbon, but really useful to know the best times to visit. Great post, will be pinning for later! #mondayescapes
    Andrea @Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…Pomegranate SkyMy Profile

  3. Elizabeth (Wander Mum)

    Really great compilation Lisa! I agree, January in Dubai is great….wish I was there now. I really liked the Algarve in October too – still warm and fairly quiet too. You can’t beat London in December. Off to pin for future inspiration! Thanks for hosting #mondayescapes
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted…City Tripping #60My Profile

  4. Ruth

    My bucket list has been multiplied by 5 after reading this post. I am not kidding when I say I want to visit every single place in here. Really inspiring post! There is no reason to go out and visit one of these nice places. #MondayEscapes

    1. Lisa Post author

      Oh I agree Jo. Much easier to entertain kids during the school holidays when the weather is nice. Glad this article will give you some ideas for Feb and Oct half term

  5. Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    Oh my! Inspiration overload!! There’s so many destinations I’d love to try: Iceland, Lisbon and Greece to name a few. Then there’s some of my favourites that I’d love to return to like the Lake District. Great round up and some of my fave posts from last year all in one place! Thanks for including our Swansea Bay suggestion #MondayEscapes
    Claire at Tin Box Traveller recently posted…Monday Escapes 16/01/17My Profile

  6. mark wyld

    Some great attractions in this list from some great bloggers. I am sure there is something for everyone here. Lisbon is amazing anytime of the year we have been both summer and winter and the weather is great

  7. Nanouk | Digital Nomad with Kids

    What a lot of travel inspiration! We’ve been to Val Thorens and the Algarve one time, those are absolutely great destinations. Very funny to see my home country The Netherlanders on your list. I don’t see The Netherlands as a fun holiday destination because it is so normal for me. But especially Gouda and Kinderdijk are great. I grew up nearby so I don’t regard it as special. It’s good to see others think it is though 🙂

  8. Erin Gustafson

    Fabulous list. I love the look in and look out aspect of traveling near home and abroad. Being as I don’t live in the UK for me they all look like a fab trip! Cheers from Copenhagen – which can be good for a visit any time of year! #MondayEscapes

  9. Julie Whitmarsh

    Great to see Westonbirt Arboretum on this list – we lived near there for many years & it’s such a stunning place to walk at any time of year, especially Spring with the bluebells in Silkwood & the Autumn for the colours & of course the Enchanted Woodland at Christmas. Thanks for sharing #MondayEscapes

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