Ten Toddler Friendly Holidays For 2015
Published: Monday 24th Nov 2014
Written by: The Original Cottages Team
When looking for toddler friendly holidays, there are certain criteria that must be met because toddlers love to play and seek out new experiences and stimuli. And as parents you want them to discover different things in a nice, safe environment. It’s a new world for them (and you) and there are so many places for you and your toddler to enjoy together. Here are a few examples:
If you want to enjoy outdoor space then Coombe Farm near Lancing in Sussex, not far from Brighton, has 1,000 ewes which lamb between March and April, and offers tractor rides into the bargain. In the heat of the summer, Brighton is a great place to entertain toddlers with a fantastic free mini-water park, paddling pools and sand pits on the seafront near the old West Pier.
How about a classic family day out at the seaside at Lytham St Annes Beach in Lancashire? There are donkey rides on the sand, a Victorian pier, children’s playgrounds and ice-cream parlours. What more could the little ones desire? Farmer Parrs Animal World near Fleetwood is also highly recommended, especially for children who love to pet animals or sit on tractors. Blackpool Sea Life Centre has the wow factor and is a good option if the heavens open.
Thetford Forest to the west of the county is great for children of all ages. Toddlers in particular will enjoy the music trail through the trees, where they encounter giant-sized xylophones and windpipes. Arger Fen woods near Sudbury in Suffolk, is a riot of colour in spring when the bluebells come out and are great for charging around. Walberswick beach has the best sand dunes in the area.
Take a trip in Kent on the Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, the world’s smallest public railway, where families can travel from picturesque Hythe to the fishermen's cottages and lighthouses of Dungeness. Nearby Port Lympne Wild Animal Park is one of the largest wild animal parks in the UK with plenty of wide open spaces for the animals to roam. Part of the Aspinall Foundation, the park has the world’s biggest gorilla enclosure.
For a day of fun, head to Dinosaur Adventure, Norfolk; a park with great outdoor and indoor play facilities, a petting zoo and a fantastic trail through the woods, where life-sized dinosaurs are lurking in the foliage at every turn! Kids love to try and catch crabs off the harbour walls at Blakeney or Wells-next-the-Sea, while Brancaster beach has a lovely expanse of sands and is just right for a toddler friendly holiday.
Toddlers will love the magical Forbidden Corner near Leyburn with its mazes, tunnels, secret doorways and wood sculptures, set in four acres of park. There’s also the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway that chugs you through the picturesque Yorkshire Dales scenery and stops at Bolton Abbey, where little ones will enjoy exploring the ruins of the 12th Century priory or picnicking on the riverbank nearby.
There are so many great beaches to choose from in Cornwall. Your toddler will want to stay on the sand all holiday. But if you fancy a day out, then the Eden Project has much to keep the little ones amused. The willow tunnels, canopy walks, wooden play equipment and a spice boat full of sensational smells will keep them immersed in fun for hours. For something on the wild side, Profell Wildlife Sanctuary near Looe has meerkats, lemurs and marmosets to name but a few of residents.
For beaches it is hard to beat the Gower Peninsula in South Wales which has stunning views and sweeping sandy bays, perfect for keeping toddlers amused all day. Try one of Wales’ many castles for an atmospheric day out; a game of hide-and-seek at Laugharne or Raglan Castle may not be what the builders intended but the kids will have a riot. The steam trains on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway will take you and your little ones through the magnificent scenery of Snowdonia.
Close to Berwick-on-Tweed, Northumberland, is Drusilla’s Park, widely regarded as the best small zoo in the country. Little tots will love seeing all the animals up close, as well as the play areas where they can let off steam. Just watch their face when they get to ride in carriages pulled by Thomas the Tank Engine!
In a pretty corner of Dorset, Swanage Bay is a lovely Blue Flag beach and a great place to enjoy splashing about in the sea. Studland Beach and Nature Reserve is a four-mile stretch of sand that was the inspiration for Noddy’s Toytown, and a short drive out of town is the Corfe Castle model village where your toddler can enjoy a world that’s more on their scale.