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Holiday in Britain: Best for families

family in_boat_12_06_12What’s not to love about good old Blighty with its stunning coastline, awe-inspring views and quirky British eccentricities?

Sandy Balls Holiday Centre, New Forest, Hampshire

Set in the heart of the New Forest, Sandy Balls Holiday Centre has been welcoming guests for over 90 years and offers everything for a perfect family holiday, from outdoor activities and a programme of child-friendly activities to a choice of restaurants on site.

You can stay in a luxury woodland lodge, a static home, a ready tent or pitch your touring caravan or tent, and explore the beautiful surroundings with the ideal backdrop for walking, cycling, horse riding, kayaking and fishing.

You can also relax knowing the centre is doing its bit for the environment too – it has been a winner of the Gold David Bellamy Conservation award for 15 years running.

Don’t miss: The farmers’ market which comes to the centre once a month bringing the best local produce from farmers and small holders of the New Forest. The yummy offerings include honey, bread, cakes, eggs, beef, local game and bacon and cheeses.

The Elms Hotel & Spa, Abberley, Worcestershire

Who says you have to pass on luxury when you become a parent? One of the Luxury Family Hotels collection, The Elms is housed in a Queen Anne mansion within 10 acres of stunning gardens overlooking the Teme Valley.

Facilities on offer for the kids include an Ofsted-inspected crèche which offers lots of fun activities from cooking to puppet making, painting and crafts and for older kids there’s children’s croquet, football nets, air hockey and plenty of space to run around in the extensive grounds. As a result, frazzled parents get the chance to really switch off and relax.

Don’t miss: The fine-dining restaurant which has been awarded two AA Rosettes for its culinary skills.

Witham Friary, Frome, Somerset

If privacy is important, but you still want lots of facilities to keep the little ones occupied, then holidaying in a cottage complex is a good solution. This converted Friary in Somerset is ideal as it provides nine different cottages on site, with the largest accommodating up to 10 and the smallest for four people.

Its stunning location, near to Longleat and the Mendip Hills, means there are plenty of day trips to choose from. On-site, your kids can burn up some energy in the indoor pool, games room and playground. There is an abundance of wildlife, amazing views and nesting birds, and just a short walk away is a welcoming village pub.

Don’t miss: Just a short stroll away is the ancient, idyllic village of Witham Friary, which was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The village found fame in 2004 as the setting for the TV series Building the Dream, where couples competed to win a new home.

This article was first published in at home with Lorraine Kelly in April 2012. [Read the digital edition here]

Photograph: Getty Images

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