Top 10: The Best Family-Friendly Hotels in England

Chewton Glen Hotel

by Fiona Duncan, The Daily Telegraph, January 16, 2017

Stand-out child-centric hotels, ones where the kids' needs are given consideration to that of adults, are in short supply in England. Nevertheless excellent examples can be found from Cornwall to Yorkshire.

These fun-packed, easy-going addresses have plenty of facilities, whether courses and special events, swimming pools, sailing, beachcombing, horse-riding, playgrounds, crèches or activity-packed clubs, to keep even the most restless children occupied and give the most harassed parents time to themselves in the evening thanks to special suppers and babysitters. Any hotel that manages to satisfy both the grown ups and the kids in equal measure, is a hotel worthy of its ‘family-friendly’ cachet.

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Bedruthan Hotel & Spa Newquay, Cornwall, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Bedruthan have been looking after families for more than 60 years (their sister hotel, the Scarlet, down the hill at Mawgan Porth, is for adults only) and strikes an excellent balance between child-friendliness and adult entertainment. Children are superbly catered for: from baby exploring play areas, baby backpacks and babysitting to an outdoor wooden ship and Wild Café for children’s meals, plus two hours’ free childcare per day and the Z-Club for over eights, as well as an activities programme at busy times. Read expert review From £89per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

The Elms Worcester, Worcestershire, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

Part of the collection of Luxury Family Hotels (Fowey Hall, Woolley Grange and Moonfleet Manor also stand out), The Elms introduces a lesser known, but no less beautiful part of the country to family holidaymakers, within easy reach of the Midlands, Cotswolds, Welsh Borders and West Midlands Safari Park. The grown-ups will appreciate the beautiful Queen Anne mansion and spoiling spa while there’s a complimentary Ofsted-registered crèche for little ones and plenty of activities for older children, who can dine en famille or earlier in the Garden Café. Read expert review From £106per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire Winchfield

8 Telegraph expert rating

It’s hard to believe you are only an hour from London at this, Four Seasons’ only UK country hotel. Set amid 500 acres of luscious green fields, guests can watch the hotel’s horses frolick in paddocks from the sophisticated bedrooms of the 18th-century renovated manor with spoiling spa, while children can be happily entertained in the pool, at the Kids’ Club, cycling, playing croquet or tennis or even "owning a pony" for a day or boating on the Basingstoke Canal. Read expert review From £275per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Augill Castle Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is a Victorian gentleman’s folly in the lovely Eden Valley between the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. With the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle – tower, turrets, castellations and mullions – but in miniature, it appeals equally to children as to adults, and you’d be hard pressed to find a family-friendlier castle, with a tree house, playground and tennis court in its 15-acre grounds, and inside, a 12-seater cinema, not to mention the popular children’s cookery school. Read expert review From £170per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Chewton Glen Hotel New Forest, Hampshire, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

The original eight-bedroom house has expanded to 58, plus a lavish spa, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis centre and nine-hole golf course. Recent improvements include the remodelled and enlarged restaurant, Vetiver, which stretches across five rooms, along with a wine room and conservatory. It offers flexible menus, from light dishes, oysters and caviars to splendid silver trolleys bearing meats and cheese. Bedrooms and suites, in many different styles, still display their customary attention to detail, down to the stamped postcards on each desk, but are less fussy than they were. Read expert review From £285per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Babington House Somerset, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

A fine Georgian country house, with a chapel, a spa, a kids' club, bedrooms in the house and in outbuildings and a lovely Orangery for dining. Still Britain’s only truly hip country house hotel, this Somerset chill-out zone for Soho House members, local day members and one-off hotel guests emerged from major redecoration and expansion looking great. The gorgeous, rustic chic spa, Cowshed Active, is a space in which to exercise and regenerate, with indoor and outdoor pools, steam, sauna and aroma rooms and gym. Read expert review From £220per night

Stoke Park Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

If the children are too young to care that the famous golfing dual in Goldfinger, starring Sean Connery, was filmed here, they can find plenty of other advantages, from a well-equipped kids’ games room, outdoor play area, mini football pitch, dedicated times in the pool, tennis lessons and special fitness classes to children’s menus in all three restaurants. In the bedrooms expect to find activity packs, themed bed linen and personalised cookies at bedtime. Babysitting is also available. Read expert review From £180per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Watergate Bay Newquay, Cornwall, England

9 Telegraph expert rating

Since recent remodeling and redecoration, Watergate Bay has taken its place as the pre-eminent Cornish hotel for a contemporary family seaside holiday. Set on a spectacular surfing beach, it has a great, easy-going atmosphere, cool, breezy decoration and fun places to eat, including Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen. It also offers the chance to spoil yourself in the Swim Club spa and entertain the children with organized games, crafts and activities as well as evening entertainment, not to mention the hotel’s Extreme Academy for surfing and other watersports. Read expert review From £145per night

Swinton Park Ripon, Yorkshire, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

First built in the late 17th century, Swinton Park has been much altered over the years, especially when wealthy mill owner Samuel Cunliffe-Lister bought the estate in 1888, much enlarging it and creating its present Victorian feel. There is also, however, a beautiful Georgian drawing room. The 31 rooms are traditional in style and range from huge suites to cosy doubles. Cheapest are the four ‘Knights’ rooms, of which Ripon is the best as it has a wonderful view. There's a charming trail and quiz through the grounds for kids, plus a games room, and Bird of Prey Centre. Read expert review From £140per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

Brown's Hotel Mayfair, London, England

8 Telegraph expert rating

One of the hotel’s great attributes is that it feels right for many different types of people, including the well known, the unknown, the old and the young; and families are particularly welcome and well looked after. The rooms and suites, many connecting, have class and style, and there are plenty of imaginative and luxurious extra touches. Every child that stays will find new toys and books in their room, plus personalised presents, fun duvet covers, mini bathrobes and slippers, and gingerbread men with their names iced on. Read expert review From £460per night Check availability Rates provided byBooking.com

 

 

This article was written by Fiona Duncan from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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