Homemade pancakes for breakfast, mammoth games of hide and seek and late nights toasting marshmallows under the stars; family holidays are what childhood memories are made of, and here Unique Homestays round up five escapes across the UK where the whole family will feel at ease.
A 16th century cider press turned free-spirited farmhouse sleeping up to 20 guests, Bohème was created with full family gatherings in mind. An indoor swimming pool, cinema, pool table and garden fire pit all come together to create a playground where every age can relax, unwind or riotously giggle their way through their getaway of togetherness. If guests do feel the urge to leave this paradisiacal Somerset escape, miles upon miles of rolling hills, trickling streams and leafy woodland are just waiting to be explored.
Castle on the Well, Devon
If there’s any holiday that will stick in the minds of children, it will be the one when they stayed in a miniature castle. That time where they spent the whole weekend tearing around as fire breathing dragons and hiding in secret corners to conspire the rescue of the captured princess. For this, it has to be Castle on the Well, located just a stone’s throw from the untamed Exmoor National Park and within half an hour of some of North Devon’s most popular beaches.
Little Red Lock, Oxfordshire
Located on the side of the Oxford Canal, children will love to wave at passing narrowboats over an al fresco breakfast of waffles smothered in maple syrup and bacon. Once the backpacks have been filled with picnic supplies, head on out to explore nearby Banbury, where you can fill your boots with pastries and cheese from the lively farmers market. Exuding all the olde worlde fairytale charm it can muster, Little Red Lock (with its own postbox red tractor!) will encourage little imaginations to soar.
Atelier Rose, Herefordshire
Sleeping up to 12 guests, take the whole gang along to Atelier Rose, where scrambling creepers, topiary pyramids and bursts of colourful blooms give a sense of landing right in the middle of Alice in Wonderland (if you listen close enough, maybe you’ll hear the pansies softly singing on a golden afternoon). Come autumn, pick apples from the orchard and gather in the kitchen to bake a crumble for supper before sinking into the giant tin hot tub in the orangery – children nicely tucked up in bed, of course.
The Stack, Cornwall
A space-themed children’s loft, cosy basement cinema snug and sloping lawn made for roly-polies make The Stack an unmissable escape for groups with children, and while they keep occupied with games of hide-and-seek between the cherry blossoms, parents can fire up the pizza oven in the al fresco kitchen or sink into the hot tub without a care in the world. For the early risers, quietly sit and watch wild rabbits hop through the morning mist at the end of the garden; by night, drift into slumber with the gentle lullaby of owl hooting in the trees.