Staying in the UK for a family holiday has never been better. Whether you’re hunting for peace and quiet in an idyllic surrounding or wanting to keep active on an action-packed adventure, there’s plenty on offer for you to enjoy.
Northamptonshire, in the heart of England, combines countryside relaxation with exciting activities and interesting sights. Known affectionately as the county of “squires and spires”, the rolling countryside region is steeped in history and beauty. With plenty to capture the imagination and hearts of your children, Northamptonshire has become a popular destination for many family holidays.
How to see the most of this beautiful county
Northamptonshire spans across many towns and cities such as Corby, Kettering, Northampton and Daventry. While driving is a great way to get between the various towns and take in the countryside views, there are many other ways to travel too.
Embrace times gone by with a trip on a vintage steam train from Northampton & Lamport Railway station, which will allow you to see the Brampton Valley, Northampton and Market Harborough.
With a peaceful waterway system sprawling across the county, seeing Northamptonshire by canal is also an unusual but great alternative to travelling by car. Perfect for families, it gives little explorers the opportunity to become captain of a ship, as they help you to navigate along the canal system and River Nene.
Finally, sometimes a bicycle is all you need to explore the countryside at your own leisure. Perfect for active families, there are plenty of cycle paths which allow you to experience fresh air and enjoy scenic views.
Things to do
Whilst Northamptonshire is ideal for rest and relaxation, it also has a whole host of exciting family activities.
So, you can gather up your brood and head out to see the great sights of Northamptonshire, such as:
A visit to the iconic racetrack is a great day out. With plenty to see and do, it’s great for any petrol heads in the family. There are also kid’s zones, where your children can enjoy the buzz of the motor atmosphere and the thrill of watching the speeding cars.
Little ones love the great outdoors, and Wicksteed Park is perfect for letting them roam free. With green spaces perfect for picnics and games as well as plenty of themed days and events, it is a firm favourite with families.
Budget friendly and with lots to do, it is a great choice for those on a budget.
Line up your little soldiers for a great day out at Rockingham Castle, where they can play and learn all about this historical beauty.
Dating all the way back to the Vikings and William the Conqueror, this castle has played an important part of the county’s past. With over 450 years of battles, warring families and dramatic stories, Rockingham Castle promises tales that will truly capture your family’s imagination.
This attraction is also dog friendly, so even the four legged members of your family can enjoy some time outdoors.
If you want to do something unusual, then give llama trekking a go. This activity is sure to be a favourite with little animal lovers and offers you a chance to see the rolling terrain of the county in a memorable way.
You can choose from a sunlit dusk trek or a half-day experience where you meet these curious and furry friends, learn about their habitat and see the Northamptonshire countryside in a whole new way.
Where to rest your head
When it comes to accommodation, there is plenty in Northamptonshire to suit all budgets and requirements. No family is the same and there are lots of options available in the county.
If you’re looking for hotels, there are various styles and choices, from the cheap and cheerful to plush luxury surroundings.
One of the better options for families is to stay in a holiday park, where you can enjoy peace and quiet while having local amenities and entertainment just a stone’s throw away from your front door.
Billing Aquadrome, in the Nene Valley, is the perfect place to unwind and relax amongst 235 acres of glorious countryside. You can steal some time for yourself and let the children enjoy the outdoors, as there’s plenty of rides and play areas to keep them happy as well as exciting activities such as water zorbing. There’s also a lively restaurant and bar with regular entertainment, making Billing Aquadrome perfect for rest and rejuvenation as well as family fun.
With lodges and caravans to choose from, this holiday park provides families with a home-from-home with all the creature comforts required for a perfect break. There’s even room for you to bring your beloved family dog, so they can join in the fun too!
Choose Northamptonshire for your next family break
So when you’re planning your next family trip, make sure Northamptonshire is top of your list. With beautiful countryside to explore including valleys, rivers and lakes, as well as plenty of interesting days out, this stunning county has something for every family to enjoy.
Niamh Spence is a content writer for Billing Aquadrome in the Nene Valley – part of the Pure Leisure Group. Billing Aquadrome offers great activities for family holidays that are sure to please everyone, from big to small.
Your annual family holiday is your opportunity to spend some quality time with your loved ones.
When school finishes for the summer, you’ve got time and top weather on your side. So, here are some tips to help your family relax and enjoy your break away, free from any pesky everyday stresses.
Plan your budget in advance
Think about what you’ll need to pay for during your getaway and make sure your budget exceeds this amount. Take into consideration:
It’s much better to be over prepared than worried about spending more than you can afford. In order to really relax you’ll want to buy what you need, be able to say yes to the kids when they ask to do something and splash out occasionally - without feeling guilty!
Get the kids involved with your holiday calendar
Wherever you’re heading this summer, whether it’s the Lake District or the rolling Yorkshire countryside, ask your children what they’d most like to do while you’re there.
This isn’t to say that mum and dad aren’t in charge – the kids should know that you have the final say but that they’ve had an input into the planning of your fun-filled family holiday.
Don’t forget to take their routine on holiday too
It’s easy to get swept up in all the excitement of a new place, surrounded by so many fun things to see and do.
But tired tots can quickly become teary ones. So, make sure the kids stick to their regular meal and bed times as much as possible to avoid tantrums.
Parents with younger children can often find it easier to leave behind rigid agendas in favour of some good old fashioned flexibility.
So that you don’t put yourself under any unnecessary pressure, it’s a good idea to have a loose plan in place but generally go with the flow.
Give yourself a back-up plan when it comes to keeping the children entertained throughout your family holiday, and prepare for the occurrence of a good old rainy day in the UK.
Find nearby indoor activities and attractions and book your family in for some guaranteed dry-time. To get the best of both worlds, book to do such activities in the mornings so that should the sun decide to shine, your brood won’t be missing out.
Booking activities in advance whenever possible has various key advantages, including:
Keeping your family holiday stress-free
Making sure that the whole family is able to enjoy a little R&R is all down to planning what you can, and taking everything else as it comes.
By focussing on getting controllable factors organised such as planned activities and budgeting, you can keep stress at arm’s length and ensure that your annual family holiday is as fun as possible!
Danielle Middleton is a digital content writer for Pure Leisure Group, the UK holiday home company with sites throughout the country including; the Lake District, Northamptonshire and Yorkshire.
Blackpool has been a go-to destination for holiday-makers since the 1800s and it’s
now a much loved UK resort bringing in millions of tourists each year to its attractions and sights. With fun for everyone, from little ones to teenagers and adults, it’s not hard to see why the northern seaside town has become such an iconic and treasured British retreat.
The resort has long been a popular destination for those seeking traditional holiday pleasures such as walks along the promenade, fish and chip suppers and eating ice cream on the beach. Now mingled with the age-old pastimes of its 19th century hey-day are 21st century wonders including The Blackpool Tower 4D Cinema, the sensory thrills of The Blackpool Dungeons and its ultra modern promenade.
Fromthe Blackpool Pleasure Beach and The Blackpool Tower to the famous figures in Madame Tussauds and making new fishy friends at SEA LIFE, the variety of attractions in Blackpool draw crowds in from all over – and with good reason.
SEA LIFE offers the whole family a chance to discover the wonderful creatures of the deep, and lets them get up close and personal with starfish in the Interactive Rockpool Experience. Heading further down the busy promenade, everyone will love the chance
to spot legendary faces and stand next to their favourite celebrities in Madame Tussauds.
What trip to Blackpool would be complete without a visit to The Blackpool Tower? Don’t miss out on the breathtaking views of the spectacular northern coastline from The Blackpool Tower Eye; take the family to the top on a clear day to see miles of beaches stretching as far as the eye can see. You’ll just love testing your limits on The
Skywalk’s glass floor and feel as though you’re floating on air.
Another excellent attraction not to be missed is The Blackpool Tower’s 4D Cinema. The experience engages all of the senses and offers the chance to see Blackpool from a unique and exciting perspective.
The Blackpool Tower Circus is a must-see for families visiting this holiday hotspot, and nobody can resist the fun frolics of Mooky and Mr Boo as their slapstick humour makes your sides ache with laughter. Showcasing their acrobatic skills and aerial gymnastics, you can’t visit this beach resort without a trip to the circus.
Little ones will love exploring Jungle Jim’s Indoor Adventure Playground and the lost world within it while parents can take the opportunity to relax with a coffee, waiting for their little adventurers to discover hidden treasures.
Exploring wildlife and meeting furry friends is another attraction the whole family will enjoy with a trip to Blackpool Zoo. Book ahead to make savings on admission before If rain threatens to spoil your fun then there’s no need to let boredom kick in, the
whole family can have hours of entertainment at Sandcastle Waterpark. Get your swimming costumes out and race to try one of the 18 slides and attractions at the UK’s biggest indoor waterpark, there’s plenty of fun for little kids and big kids too!
your trip to see the host of animals cared for at this zoo including tigers, giraffes, lions and even tarantulas!
Quiet, green spaces
Blackpool is full of iconic British sights and is a hive of activity, yet it is possible to seek quiet solace in this seaside town. Stanley Park offers escape from the crowds and plenty of family fun away from the promenade. A trip to Stanley Park is often a welcome break for families who might need a little bit of time away from the bustling tourist activities while making sure there is plenty to entertain kids of all ages.
A play area for two to eight year olds keeps young ones entertained for hours as they
get to grips with the interactive surfboard, rota web and the 3D spring ride-ons. Older children can explore the timber adventure playground or even bring their bikes to the BMX race track.
Keeping with the green and peaceful theme, Stanley Park Golf Course is within easy reach of the centre of Blackpool and is perfect for experienced golfers or juniors learning to tee off.
Even teenagers love Blackpool
Teenagers are notoriously difficult to keep entertained on a family holiday,
yet Blackpool still manages to engage many and keep boredom at bay. Let them explore away from the promenade and visit the shops at the Houndshill Shopping Centre where they can find all the glamorous brands they love.
A trip to The Blackpool Tower Dungeons is perfect for teens, as Lancashire’s exquisitely dark history is enough to thrill and excite all the family. Learning about the bloody history of the War of the Roses with the warring Lancastrians and Yorkists and the deadly plague that swept through the country killing many, has never been so spine-tingling!
Theme parks are all part of the fun when visiting Blackpool; so brace yourself for the thrills and spills aboard The Big One and try out the new ride for 2015, The Red Arrows themed Sky Force. Visiting Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach is a must for the Things To Do list, and even smaller ones can have fun on the rides in Nickelodeon Land including The Rugrats log flume and SpongeBob’s Splash Bash.
With so many things to see and do, the whole family is spoilt for choice in Blackpool
and it’s easy to see why millions visit the beach resort every year. Steeped in history
and British traditions, Blackpool now offers everything from fun-filled tales of the past
to sensory experiences amidst the breathtaking coastal views.
By Niamh Spence
Niamh Spence is a content writer for VisitBlackpool, offering advice and guidance on everything at the UK’s top beach resort.