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Cabu by the Sea
Photograph: Cabu

6 amazing UK places to stay (that happen to be family-friendly)

The brief? Bougie but baby-friendly. Wow instead of wipe-clean

Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Okay, here’s the deal. You’ve had a baby, but that doesn’t mean you want your weekend breaks to feature wipe-clean tablecloths or evening entertainment. You want exactly what you wanted before you were responsible for a tiny human being, it would just be great if there was a highchair and a travel cot. (A baby monitor and a babysitter would be great too, if you’re asking.) 

But, really, what’s important is that you still feel like you. You with the good taste, booking bougie weekends away so you can eat great food, drink local booze and take interiors snaps for your stories. And that, pals, is really not too much to ask. Here is a stellar list of fancy AF parent-friendly places where your tiny human is as welcome as you are.

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💦 The UK’s best waterparks

Parent-friendly places to stay in the UK

Dreamy interiors, all the kit kids need and bonus baby animals. The Farm at Avebury comprises of a handful of converted stables, all set around a pretty communal courtyard. It’s a little and incredibly lovely part of a real, muddy, working farm that you’re encouraged to explore during your stay. And it’s in the middle of Avebury’s magical, mystical landscape (only a five-minute walk from Silbury Hill and a short drive from Avebury’s sacred standing stones) if you want to lean into some chilled-out, hippie vibes while you’re there. Late bedtimes and grubby, happy faces all round. 

Good for grown-ups: The converted stables are beautiful to look at, kitted out with aesthetically pleasing interiors that can somehow also withstand a toddler hurricane. The shared courtyard just outside (and easily within baby monitor range) is perfect for a peaceful drink once the kids are asleep. 

Good for kids: There were piglets and lambs, plus grown-up horses and cows, right on our doorstep when we visited, and toys from the owners’ children left in the courtyard to play with. The welcome pack also includes suggested walks for short, easily-tired legs. Older, adventurous kids would love Greyweathers, a stable where one bed is accessed by climbing wall. 

Need to know: We stayed in Silbury Hill, where one of the three bedrooms is on a mezzanine level with seriously steep steps to access it – and the bath is upstairs in the ensuite. Ask the owners if you need a stairgate to prevent any over-confident climbers. Travel cots and highchairs are provided free of charge. 

Not all the fancy Wild Escapes treehouses that overlook the vines of Black Chalk vineyard are kid-friendly, but Poppy has space for two children (and dogs too if that’s of interest), despite still feeling like the kind of secret hideaway usually reserved for couples. Hidden in the trees – leaves are your view out of every enormous window – Poppy has real going-on-an-adventure, rustic log cabin vibes. But with Bramley toiletries and a bougie outside bathroom. 

Good for grown-ups: Did we mention the vineyard? Crack open the cold bottle of sparkling waiting for you in the fridge and then drink it all in your alfresco copper bath. You can also arrange a wine tasting in your treehouse if one bottle doesn’t cut it. 

Good for kids: It’s basically like staying over at forest school. Who needs toys or a telly when there are squirrels to watch on the balcony, birds to spot and all that unspoilt woodland to explore? Older kids can make use of the fire pit too. 

Need to know: Kids sleep in a cute little bunk room, but there’s no equipment provided for really small ones, so you’ll need to bring your own travel cot and highchair if you need one. Thankfully, trolleys are provided to drag *all* the stuff you need to your treehouse. The balconies are all enclosed for crawlers. There’s no wifi but the mobile signal is strong enough to stream CBeebies in emergencies. 

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Cabü cabins are design-led creations on the shingle near Dungeness and Romney Marsh in Kent. The timber huts are perched right on the coast and come with added extras like bikes and BBQs. The place has slight holiday camp vibes, but in a retro, incredibly photogenic and hands-off kinda way. You can make friends over the communal griddle tables at the Sitooterie if you like, but privacy is yours if you want it too. The cabins come in a range of sizes, from little light-filled studios that sleep two to bigger family affairs, sleeping six. Dog are welcome in some, and your offspring are welcome in all. 

Good for grown-ups: The list is long. The hot tubs. The sauna. The pleasing striped sun loungers. The shop, which sells holiday ‘essentials’ like kites, retro sweets, chic wool blankets, copper champagne buckets, monmouth coffee and bottles of aperol. The fact you can order a G&T to your terrace. 

Good for kids: Baby cots (that match the cabins’ coastal aesthetic) are provided, and so are other bits you may need like baby baths and high chairs – just ask and you will receive. All the cabins are an incredibly short walk from a quiet stretch of beach and all set around a lush heated pool, where you’re likely to find kids of a similar age to splash with. 

Need to know: You and your small ones might be waking with the dawn chorus. Opting for style over parental sleep requirements, Cabü have gauzy, floaty, photogenic curtains on some windows and nothing on others – there’s not a black out blind in sight. It’s worth it, just pack accordingly. 

The Pigs are well known for their beautiful, bougie buildings, eclectic rural charm and local menus. They are consistently comfortable and delicious, but don’t assume they are out of bounds, just because you have a baby now. The Pig at Harlyn Bay is warm and laid-back yet slick – staff will sort anything and everything, so all you need to do is chill. They’d probably rather you didn’t squirt a pouch of puree on the plush sofas but if you do, they’ll be really nice about it. 

Good for grown-ups: This place feels good for the soul. Half an hour sat in one of the hotel’s snugs is disproportionately restorative. Once you’re settled in and have scoped out potential hazards like low-laying bottles of booze and huge sets of staircases, the hotel’s menu is there for you to leisurely work your way through. Oh, and Cornish sea air equals deep sleep (fingers crossed, anyway).

Good for kids: The lush kitchen garden, which is both a fun place to explore and a potential educational experience. Never to young to learn the phrase ‘farm to plate’. There’s plenty of room to roam around the hotel, and it’s all within walking distance of of Harlyn Bay Beach, which has the winning combo of both sand and rock pools. 

Need to know: All the rooms at The Pig at Harlyn Bay are child- and baby-friendly except the Gardon Wagons and the Extremely Small rooms. The hotel provide cots and highchairs free of charge. There’s a simple kids menu with crowd-pleasers like cheesy pasta as well as a mini fish of the day. 

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A grand manor house in the Wiltshire countryside, with a spa and a balmy outside pool. So far so standard. What makes this place different is the fact that children are activity welcomed to scream in the pool and stamp cake into the restaurant carpets. Woolley Grange’s USP is how incredibly kid-friendly it is, while also being a pleasurable experience for the grown-ups. They’ve thought of nearly everything – all baby equipment you need during your stay is provided. Including clean bibs waiting for you at breakfast, which let’s not be embarrased to admit is the actual dream. 

Good for grown-ups: The big one. You get 90 minutes of free childcare per day. There’s a creche on site for dropping your kids off at while you have a treatment or simply drink a coffee in peace. If you’re staying in the main building, you’re set up with baby monitors so you can have a kid-free dinner while they sleep. Or you can book a babysitter instead. The hotel is a little tired and worn at the edges (an endless stream of kids will do that to you) but there are lovely spots from which to enjoy the surprisingly good cocktail menu. 

Good for kids: Ready? There are two pools, a mud kitchen, a play house and play shop, a fairy garden, a trampoline, a cinema room, sports equipment, a crafting corner, rabbits, chickens and ducks. Woolley’s summer pop-up glamping suites are a fun option if you like the idea of camping with kids, but can’t face losing any more sleep than you already have. Set around a little meadow and the Hideout cafe’s pizza oven teepee for early teas, the suites have proper beds and hot showers. 

Need to know: If you’re staying in the glamping suites, you’ll be pleased to know there are power points for your white noise machine. But you’ll need a lot of blackout blinds (three of those travel ones everyone seems to have) to cover the windows. Warm milk and bottle sterilising is available on demand, free of charge.

This foodie guesthouse in rural Devon was inspired by Italy’s agroturismos – and, balmy Tuscan weather aside, they are definitely pulling it off. The family-run dining destination serves seasonal dishes using food grown in their polytunnel or from local farms, and offers beautifully-decorated rooms to call home for a night or two. It’s a glorious home away from home (if you imagine your home doesn’t resemble the sale corner in a toy shop). 

Good for grown-ups: Everything about this place is a sensory delight, from the bold wallpaper and soft, patterned quilts to the smells of the countryside and the simple fixed menu. Come evening the drinks flow and the atmosphere is homely. Staying here is like one long slow exhale. 

Good for kids: When the owners swapped London for Devon and turned Glebe House into the retreat it is today, they did so with a three-month-old in tow, so you can expect heaps of empathy from staff when it comes to wrangling little ones. There are great places to visit nearby, like the villages of Beer and Branscombe, acres of lush woodland and wild stretches of the Jurassic Coast for fossil hunting. 

Need to know: The Rose Room and The Old Kitchen are the roomiest rooms, so the best suited to extra little guests. Travel cots and highchairs are available free of charge, and they can also provide camp beds for bigger kids, at a cost of £15 a night. The owners will happily sterilise bottles for you and whip up purees and mashes from the freshest local ingredients. 

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