you’re reading

What’s On: 4 of the Best Christmas Staycations

Culture /

What’s On: 4 of the Best Christmas Staycations

Take the kids away but not at the expense of your own RnR


Planning your Christmas holidays family trip? These UK escapes are the perfect family holidays; plenty of fun for the kids but not at the expense of your all-important rest and relaxation. 

Great UK Staycations for Families


Longlands, Devon

Pack your kids and your dog and hit the motorway to Devon to suck up bounteous amounts of beauty, fresh air and back to nature Famous Five adventuring in one of Longlands’ five gorgeous ‘safari lodge’ style stays. Loll on your private deck and gawp at the green rolling hills in front of you (or starry skies above you – you look onto the first International Dark Sky Reserve in Europe), take a boat out Swallows and Amazons-style, frolic among the 17 acres of ancient woodland and play one of have a family game of football, netball, table tennis or basketball. Camps come fully stocked with everything you’ll need and you can pre order from the menu or cook your own, plus there’s an honest shop on site so if you run out of wine, there’s no need to worry.

Book it: from £495 for two nights. Sleeps six.

Cotton Cottage, Combermere Abbey, Shropshire

Cotton Cottage Shropshire It’s worth the drive for a stay in one of these nine courtyard cottages in an erstwhile 19th century stable yard. It’s in the A-star grounds of 900-year-old Combermere Abbey. (Think former Cistercian monastery turned ooh-ah Gothic country house.) Cotton Cottage – originally the coachman’s pad –boasts a Jacobean-ish turret and comfy (Indian empire vibe) décor. Enjoy your welcome hamper of the estate’s apple maze juice and homemade windfall marmalade. Then wander into your 1,100-acre playground – with parkland walks, ancient trees, and lake for doggie paddling. Barbecue sizzling local sausages and play tennis on the estate. Then chill in the Victorian walled garden amid fragrant antique roses.

Book it: From £400 for three nights. Sleeps 4.

Spyglass, Gorran Haven, Cornwall



It would be hard to get closer to the sea without being on a boat. Spyglass is a bijou erstwhile fisherman’s cottage that was earlier part of a fort – all whitewashed outside and shabby chic maritime vibe inside. It’s reached along the tiniest pedestrian-only lane, by iPhone torch if you’re late (which the kids love). Definitely don’t miss a visit to the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan – a magical sub-tropical estate hidden for decades under brambles after many of its gardeners were killed in World War I. Back home, nab the catch of the day from the fishermen. Or just fall asleep to the sound of waves.

Book it: From £845. Sleeps 4.

The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote, Gloucestershire

The Fuzzy Duck, Gloucestershire

Adding another string to their already heavy bow, owners of British beauty brand Baylis & Harding, Tania and Adrian Slater, have created The Fuzzy Duck, a gorgeous family (and dog-friendly) retreat, nestled in the Cotswold valleys. With a ‘paddock to plate’ food philosophy (kids and dogs are well-catered for with their own special menus of homemade goodies), tucking in guilt-free is all part of the charm. Sit amid the splendid gardens with a glass of wine in hand and watch your offspring gambol freely.

Book it: Rooms from £110.

How to Keep the Kids Happy this Half Term


Sign up to our Newsletter