We take a family holiday to a holiday park on the beach in Filey, Yorkshire
The Bay Filey Holiday Resort
Where is it?
On the North Yorkshire coast near to Filey, south of Scarborough.
What is it?
A dog-friendly holiday park where you can stay in a house or a lodge, with access to a sandy beach.
Facilities include a swimming pool, gym, restaurants, pharmacy, playground, shop and arcade.
Our lodge at Bay Filey Holiday Park in Yorkshire
Is it family friendly?
Yes, there’s lots for children to do – there’s an indoor heated swimming pool (and separate baby pool), arcade and small adventure playground. They can play tennis, basketball or football and you can book activities (for an extra charge) such as pottery painting, archery and teddy-bear making.
Plus, of course, the beach – Hunmanby Gap Beach – is a short walk away for long, sunny days or even rainy day walks.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes, it really is and a lot of the people staying here had a dog with them. There was a box of goodies waiting in the lodge for our dog Charlie, containing a ball, travel bowl, blanket, poo bags and bag holder.
Charlie’s box of dog goodies
They are even allowed in the pub and pizza restaurant – which is good as holidaymakers are encouraged not to leave their pooches alone in the accommodation.
Although they need to be kept on a lead around the site, the beach is a perfect place for well-behaved dogs to stretch their legs and enjoy the ball from their goody bag.
Charlie on the beach
When you first drive into this park, it feels like you are entering a modern housing estate. There are lots of pretty houses to stay at, but further into the park, you find sections with roomy lodges.
Houses at The Bay Filey
We stayed in a four-person lodge near to the lake – larger six-berths are also available.
It had an open plan lounge/kitchen-diner with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
Inside our lodge
One bedroom had a double bed, the other had two singles and both rooms had tvs, plus there’s one in the lounge.
A bedroom at our lodge
A sliding glass door at the front opened out on to a small outside terrace with a table and chairs and a partial view of the lake.
The outdoor terrace
The kitchen was well-equipped with an oven, hob, microwave, dishwasher and even a washing machine.
Wi-fi was available in our lodge. But it is not available in every holiday home here, so check before you arrive.
Food and drink
The kitchen in our lodge was big enough to make self-catering a breeze.
There are also two restaurants on site – a pizza restaurant and takeaway called The Four Cats and a pub called John Paul Jones – both with great menus.
The Four Cats pizza restaurant/takeaway
The woman making delicious pizzas at The Four Cats was lovely and worked so hard, with takeaway orders coming in as well as for those dining in. Two pizzas was plenty for the four of us. There is even a dessert pizza, topped with chocolate and marshmallows.
*Access to the beach – being able to walk to a lovely beach has to be a big tick on anyone’s holiday wishlist – see our top tips for more details of how to access it.
*Arrivals – unlike many parks, here you can arrive any day at any time of the year, even during peak times. The only requirement is that stays are a minimum of two nights.
*Dog walking – outside our lodge was a lovely meadow with paths to walk dogs and explore, plus the footpath to the beach via the cliffs and other walk along footpaths in the area.
Activities need to be booked in advance – download the Away Resorts App to book. The tennis court also needs to be booked this way. You can start booking 21 days before your stay so make sure you download the App in advance especially during busy periods to reserve the activities you want.
Making a glitter globe activity
How to get to the beach
There are two paths to the beach from the site – the main route off Silversands Way is steep in places, not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
The main path to the beach.
The second way, from a gate on Sunrise Way, is a longer and narrow walk with clifftop views towards the end (and steep drops). It takes you through the beach car park and past a lovely beach café at the end.
Alternative way to the beach
If you don’t want to walk too far or have a lot of beach paraphernalia to transport, you can drive a mile to the beach car park, which costs £5 for the day. There’s a steepish slope down to the beach but it’s not too far this way.
You can pay to use Portaloo-type toilets here at 20p a go.
There is a beach cafe in a glorious spot overlooking the beach and sea. It serves food like toasted sandwiches, all-day breakfast, cakes and quiche and is great value. We had a lovely lunch, enjoying the view.
The beach cafe
If you are driving, turn left out of The Bay Filey and go left at the first roundabout and the car park is about 1 mile down the road.
But you will walk directly past it if you travel to the beach from the beach car park or if you take the clifftop walk from the site.
You don’t need to book the pool but this can mean it is full when you arrive and you will have to return at another time, so check with staff when the best time would be. It’s a nice big pool but can get very busy and the changing rooms are a bit tight and could do with a revamp.
The swimming pool
Hunmanby Gap Beach
The nearest attraction is obviously the beach. Hunmanby Gap Beach is a big sandy beach with a lovely café overlooking it. Great for swimming in the sea and perfect for dogs.
The beach when the tide is in
When the tide if out, you can walk from here to Filey Beach.
The traditional seaside town and former fishing village of Filey is a couple of miles away. There is a promenade and an award-winning beach. Filey Beach is dog friendly but they are only allowed on certain parts of it from the start of May to the end of September.
Parking can be tricky, we parked at Filey Country Park and walked down steep steps and a steep slope to get to the beach. Attractions on the seafront include crazy golf, a bouncy castle and arcade.
Crazy golf at Filey Beach
Scarborough is around 25 minutes away and has beaches, a busy town centre, harbour and attractions like Sealife, Escape Rooms, Burton Riggs Nature Reserve and Alpamare Waterpark.
The waterpark has an indoor wave pool and an indoor splash area with two toddler slides. There are four big water slides, one that you slide down on a mat and two on inflatables. There are also two gorgeously warm outdoor pools – which we surprisingly loved and spent a lot of time in on a cold, rainy day, while feeling sorry for the lifeguards on duty under umbrellas.
Away Resorts exclusive discount code
Away Resorts is a UK holiday park operator with 20 parks across the country in locations including Scotland, Lincolnshire, Isle of Wight, North Wales, Hampshire and Dorset, Cornwall, Hayling Island and Essex.
The company says its sites are all different but make the most of their individual surroundings.
We have an exclusive discount code for you when booking a holiday with Away Resorts until September 3 for 2023 holidays.
Use the code FAMHOLGUIDE10 for your excusive discount.
This offer excludes Away Resorts Boston West, Clumber, Gara Rock, Kenwick, Piperdam and Woodland Lakes.
The football pitch
Address: The Bay Filey, 1 Moor Rd, Primrose Valley, Filey YO14 9GA
Our 10-night Florida itinerary – Universal, Disney World, Legoland, a basketball match, five hotels, three waterparks and four days by the coast
A trip to Florida can be a once-in-a-lifetime holiday so if you are lucky enough to be going, you need to plan wisely.
There is SO MUCH to see and do that when you first sit down to organise this adventure for your family, it can seem overwhelming.
We’ve just taken our children to Florida – it was their first time in America and very special.
Our trip included Universal, Disney World, Legoland, a basketball match, five hotels (including one dream hotel – more of that later), three waterparks and four days by the coast staying on two of America’s best beaches.
I feel tired just writing all that! But it was manageable thanks to enthusiasm and some down time.
So here is our 10-day itinerary, we hope it inspires you.
Travel and settle in at our first hotel
Hotel 1 – Springfield Suites at Marriott Village Orlando.
This was a great location – a 20-minute taxi drive to Universal and a free shuttle to Disney World.
The amazing attraction that is Universal Resort Orlando is made up of the theme parks Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure plus the Volcano Bay water park.
This had the edge over Disney World for us especially as three of us are Harry Potter fans. It’s where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is – Diagon Alley is at Universal Studios and Hogsmeade is at Islands of Adventure. You can even catch the Hogwarts Express between the two.
Highlight: Our son being chosen by ‘Olivander’ to select a wand for him in the mini-show at Olivander’s Wand Shop.
Disney World is one of the reasons that Florida is so popular. There are four parks – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios plus water parks.
We did a long day here to maximise the value of the expensive tickets. We started at 8am and left Epcot at 8pm. Yes, it was tiring but we saw a lot in one day.
We bought a Park Hopper ticket and started at the iconic Magic Kingdom, leaving after the parade in the afternoon and heading for Epcot. This was a great decision as the Frozen Ever After boat ride there is amazing.
Legoland Florida Resort
Now with a hire car, we drove 45 minutes to Legoland.
Fantastic for younger ones and without the queues of Universal and Disney World (at least not when we went), this was a slower-paced couple of days in the park and at its water park.
We stayed on site at its Pirate Island Hotel and our favourite part was the Ninjago ride, which we went on four times.
Our room opened out on to the beach and we enjoyed water slides and zip wires and an evening’s magic show.
We headed into St Petersburg to enjoy its pier, markets, museums and laid-back harbour vibe and our final lunch overlooking the water before a last beautiful Florida sunset. For more ideas on what to do in Clearwater and St Pete, read our guide to the best attractions for families.
After pancakes for breakfast, we left for our flight home.
What do you like to do in Florida? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
We visit the hotel named after film star Winter the dolphin and linked to the very aquarium which rescued her
Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club.
Where is it?
Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club hotel is on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. It’s located on South Gulfview Boulevard a ten-minute walk to the main beach and Pier 60.
What is it?
A low-rise five-storey hotel in a beautiful position with its own private beach on to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The hotel’s private beach
It is named after Winter the Dolphin who was rescued by nearby Clearwater Aquarium – Winter’s story was turned into the film A Dolphin’s Tale.
The hotel is Dolphin-themed and linked with the aquarium – you can get a ticket discount at reception and aquarium staff visit to give talks to guests.
It specialises in being environmentally friendly with recycling bins on every floor and recyclable water bottles on arrival.
Is it family friendly?
Yes, children will love the dolphin themes and the pictures everywhere, even in the elevator. There was also a dinosaur model in reception when we visited – the other dinosaurs from the same group are at Clearwater Aquarium.
The small, warm pool has a shallow end for child’s swimming, but doesn’t have a lifeguard.
Younger ones can also play on the pristine white sand on the hotel’s beach and paddle in the shallow sea.
At Winter’s Eco-Ranger Clubhouse at the hotel there are child-friendly games, Dolphin Tale memorabilia, marine-themed books and an interactive tablet station with aquarium information on.
The good-sized rooms have been recently renovated and updated.
Ours felt fresh and clean with two comfortable queen beds, a fridge, microwave, safe, large flat screen TV and bottled water on arrival.
The bathroom was modern, if a little cramped, with a separate sink and mirror area.
The air conditioning unit was welcome but was a little noisy at night.
It is worth getting a beach front room if you can as having a balcony with a view over the Gulf of Mexico is amazing, especially at sunset.
The view from our balcony
Food and drink
No breakfast is included in the stay. There is a restaurant and bar attached to the hotel called Cabanas Bar and Grill.
It is run separately from the hotel and serves breakfast, lunch and dinners.
We ate outside at the back of the hotel next to beach on our first night here and had a great meal in a fabulous setting.
The portions are huge with a fish-led menu and children’s options. The food was served in paper boxes, so you can take it elsewhere or staff will bring food and drinks to you by the pool and on the beach as well.
There is a small supermarket opposite the hotel and another convenience store a short walk away.
We had an excellent pizza from Gondolier restaurant almost opposite the entrance and some tasty breakfast pancakes from nearby Speggtacular.
There are lots of places to eat and drink within walking distance as Clearwater is a busy tourist resort.
The main Clearwater beach with its stretch of white sand is a 10-minute walk away. You can explore Pier 60, which is great at sunset with a small market, buskers and fairground style rides.
A market at sunset
It is a two-mile drive to Clearwater Aquarium to see their rescued dolphins, sea turtles, stingrays and more.
There are lots of boat cruises you can take. We did a child-friendly cruise called Captain Memo’s Pirate Cruise, where the children can do treasure hunts and have water gun fights while the adults get free beer and wine.
Captain Memo Pirate Cruise
We have written a full guide on what families can do in Clearwater and St Pete if you are looking for more ideas.
*Location – the view is amazing and the small, quiet beach is a lovely safe spot to play and relax. You can walk to Clearwater’s busier attractions easily too.
*Staff – they were all lovely, from the friendly lady on reception to the maintenance people who combed and prepared the beach every morning. As a small hotel it feels like you get a personal service.
*Pool – the warm pool is small but a nice temperature and has a shallow entry. It does get deeper quickly so keep an eye on younger swimmers. There were noodles and rings to use by the pool.
*Parking is next door at the Hampton Inn, an attendant arranges parking on entry and gives you a pass which you pay for at reception at the end of your stay.
*If you want to use the sun beds on the beach then you have to pay. It was $20 per day when we visited.
*You can catch the Jolley Trolley bus service from almost outside the hotel to get to Clearwater beach. It stops by every half an hour and is a fun way to travel. Children eight and under ride for free.
Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club information
Address: Winter the Dolphin’s Beach Club, 655 S Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767.
Harlech Beach is about a 20-minute drive from Porthmadog.
It has lovely soft sand and fun, high sand dunes to explore.
The wide bay is inviting for paddlers and swimmers.
It is a fairly long walk from the pay and display car park (about 10 minutes), which also houses the nearest toilets, along a footpath which cuts through the golf course (watch out for flying golf balls).
Harlech Castle is set on a steep hill in this small village and proves very popular with visitors.
The fortress, built by Edward I nearly 800 years ago, is in superb condition.
You can scale the castle walls and see stunning views across North Wales.
There are good explainer boards around the castle showing what each area was used for in the 13th century.
Entrance costs £27.50 for a family of four unless you are members of Cadw (a Welsh version of English Heritage). There is also a small shop, bustling cafe and a short video you can watch before walking across the bridge to the castle.
There aren’t many parking spaces at the castle and it’s a steep walk to other options, so it’s best to drop off children and passengers who may struggle before finding somewhere to park.
While you are at the castle, it’s worth walking a few metres up the road to see what claims to be a Guinness World Record-breaking road.
Ffordd Pen Lech is apparently the World’s Steepest Street with a 40 per cent gradient.
Well worth a quick walk to say you’ve scaled a spot in the record books.
There are also cafes, ice cream parlours and shops on the high street in Harlech.
Walking is a great way to explore this pretty town.
(Our video of the hotel above, includes many of the attractions in this article).
You don’t have to go far from the hotel for a stunning stroll, you can head around the back of the building to a footpath which takes you around a lake. A 20-minute walk brings you back to the hotel.
If you want to head further you can walk along the harbourside and down Lombard Street to the small cove of Borth-y-Gest which has a nice, small beach.
Walks towards Snowdon
We did two brilliant walks in the hills above Porthmadog heading towards Snowdon.
We walked along the Aberglasyn Gorge from the National Trust car park at Aberglasyn to the village of Beddgelert.
The walk is challenging, particularly the first mile from the car park along the side of the river. There are some steep drops and no barriers in places.
Our children aged 12 and 8 loved the adventure but younger ones will need to be watched throughout. After the first mile,the path changes to a more straightforward flat, paved walk all the way to Beddgelert.
There are places to stop and have a paddle in the river along the way so bring a towel and some swimming gear if it is a warm day.
The walk ends at Beddgelert – the pretty village made famous by the story of the faithful dog Gelert slain by Prince Llewellyn after he mistakenly thought the dog had attacked his baby son.
You can visit Gelert’s grave under a tree and read about the tale. Beddgelert has several cafes, a busy ice cream parlour and a village shop if you need supplies for the walk back.
Gelert’s grave at Beddgelert
Further towards Snowdon into the mountains is another great walk we tried. This one starts from the National Trust site at Craflwyn. You can park there and cross the busy A498 onto a riverside footpath, which runs for just over a mile to Llyn Dinas.
The footpath goes past the Sygun Copper Mine, where you can take a self-guided tour down the mine.
If you carry on along the footpath towards Nantmor, you emerge at the stunning lake Llyn Dinas.
This is a wonderful spot for a swim on a hot day, there were lots of people out on the water on paddleboards and canoes. You can also walk around the lake on a solid, flat path. There are a few picnic tables near the small boathouse next to the main road but apart from that, no other facilities.
Llyn Dinas lake
For anyone who doesn’t fancy the walk from Craflwyn, there is roadside parking alongside the lake but it gets busy quickly on a sunny day.
The stony beach isn’t the most comfortable for children to play on but there is fun to be had skimming stones and walking along it – to the nearby village in one direction or – in the other – to the spectacular Cape Aspro hiking trail.
If you want to travel a little further, the popular Aphrodite’s Rock, reputed as the place where the Goddess emerged from the sea, is just a few miles away.
Or you could enjoy more Cypriot history at Kourion Amphitheatre and Kolossi Castle – both less than 30 minutes’ drive.
A similar journey gets you to the tourist hotspot of Paphos with the Tombs of the Kings archaeological site and the bustling harbour worth a visit.
More active families can enjoy the water park, Luna Park funfair or the zoo.
How to pick the best cottage near the beach in Cornwall
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Classic Cottages – all words and opinions are my own!
If you are dreaming of a family holiday near a world-renowned beach making happy memories with your children, look no further than Cornwall.
Its striking coastline and golden sands are among the reasons why it is one of the leading holiday destinations in the UK.
And if you want to wake up just a stone’s throw from one of its glorious beaches, there are a lots of holiday cottages you can stay in.
They make the ideal base for a family, allowing you more space and freedom plus the ability to prepare your own meals, picnic on the beach or dine out when you choose. Cornwall has fabulous restaurants and delicious produce, not forgetting of course Cornish pasties and cream teas.
Some cottages have spectacular sea views and many also welcome dogs, so you don’t have to leave your pooch behind. Classic Cottages offers beach-side retreats of all sizes from cosy through to big properties for large groups.
They are all handpicked, inspected, regularly maintained and equipped with everything from bed linen through to coffee pots.
So, all you need to decide is which part of this beautiful county do you want to visit.
Where to stay in Cornwall
The Far West
If you are drawn to the turquoise waters of the unspoilt Far West, there is lots to do, including a trip to the island of St Michael’s Mount.
You can see this jewel in Cornwall’s crown from the village of Perranuthnoe, where you can stay at Classic Cottages’ The Hideaway.
This intriguing ‘Hobbit-style’ glamping retreat is on the edge of the village with a beach, pub and cafe on the doorstep.
The waves of the North offer famously good surfing conditions.
The area is great for all types of extreme sports including scuba diving and rock climbing. If you fancy staying here in a beach hut by the sea, you’ll love the accommodation known as Krowji.
It’s in the popular seaside resort of Polzeath and has wonderful sea views and even a conservatory.
The South Coast
A holiday home on the south coast of Cornwall is perfect for a family-friendly getaway, with fabulous beaches at Mevagissey, Falmouth, Looe and St Mawes. And if it’s sea views you are after, 4 The Beach has got them in abundance through floor to ceiling bi-fold doors.
4 The Beach
The apartment, north of Cadgwith, has board games to keep everyone entertained, plus a lawn and patio.
It’s a short stroll down the hill to Kennack Sands, which has a lifeguard in the main season and a beach cafe selling drinks, snacks and ice cream.
Further east on the south coast you’ll find Mimosa Cottage in the heart of St Mawes with views over the Percuil River.
It’s just a two-minute walk to the waterfront with restaurants, cafes and shops to explore and boats offering fishing trips, sunset cruises and regular ferry services to Falmouth.
Here are our pick of the best beaches in and around Dawlish.
This is a flat, sandy beach with shallow waters. It is very family-friendly with lifeguards keeping watch over the summer months.
It is a Blue Flag beach – awarded for high standards of cleanliness and safety.
The large car park is set behind a grassy area which you walk through to reach the beach.
The sand is separated into sections by rows of wooden groynes. There is a high, sloped wall above the sand so only walk down via the regular steps provided and hold on to younger children’s hands as you approach.
There can be big waves on a windy day which makes the beach good for bodyboards and surfing.
But when the weather is calm it is a safe bathing spot too.
Heading from the town to the beach you drive past a large funfair and there is an ice cream shop and cafe opposite.
If you fancy a good walk, the beach travels up to the mouth of the River Exe. It also backs on to a wildlife reserve.
Dogs are not allowed on Dawlish Warren beach.
Address: Dawlish Warren Beach, Beach Rd, Dawlish, EX7 0NF.
The town of Dawlish has a beach which is a short walk from the centre.
It’s quite pebbly and travels all the way to Red Rock at Dawlish Warren.
We went on a windy day and the sight of the big waves bashing the sea wall was spectacular. Although paddling/swimming in the sea was definitely off the agenda.
There’s a railway station next to the beach. The railway line runs alongside the beach and there’s a wide footpath between the line and the sand.
Dawlish is a small but pleasant place for a stroll and there is a car park and on-street parking.
The river runs through a park with ducks and swans. There is mini-golf in the park and plenty of cafes or ice cream shops.
We visited Gaye’s Creamery for their famous ice cream cone with clotted cream on top!
Dogs are allowed on part of the beach.
Address: Dawlish Town Beach, SW Coast Path, Dawlish, EX8 5BT.
We walked right alongside Dawlish beach and found:
This beach is about a 10-minute walk from the centre of Dawlish, if you start at the railway tunnel, you can follow the sea path round to the right (with the sea on your left).
Our childen had a great time here, it’s a sandy/stony beach with a sheltered spot/open cave, good for keeping warm unless there’s an easterly wind.
The curved bay is good for swimming and the dramatic red sandstone cliffs with the railway at the bottom forms a spectacular backdrop.
There are rock pools, a few colourful beach huts (some available for hire), a cafe with ice cream shop and occasional dolphin sightings.
The beach used to be known as Gentleman’s Beach, because in Victorian times only men were allowed to bathe there!
The nearest parking is on the street opposite the railway line. You can cross a footbridge from there to get to the beach or enjoy the view from the coastal path above. There is also a car park and on street parking in Dawlish town centre.
Dogs are not allowed on Coryton Cove beach from May 1 to September 30.
This is one for the adventurous families.
You park in Holcombe village and then walk down the steep Smuggler’s Lane to access the beach.
From there head under the railway line and up onto a sea wall path.
Keep a close eye on little ones as there are steep drops until you reach some steps down onto the beach. And the steps are narrow and open to the beach.
It is a sandy beach with good waves for bodyboarding.
You also get dramatic red sandstone cliffs at each end which you can imagine as ideal cover for smugglers who made use of this remote beach in years gone by.
There is a kiosk at the bottom of Smuggler’s Lane selling drinks and snacks.
This is also an excellent spot for train spotters as you can get really close to the trains heading in both directions along the line.
This narrow, isolated beach is used mainly by locals and there are no lifeguards.
Dogs are allowed on Holcombe beach.
Address: Holcombe Beach, Holcombe, Teignmouth, Devon, EX7 0JL.
The best places to take your children have been unveiled at the World Travel Awards
The top resorts and locations for family travel have been recognised at the World Travel Awards with success for Greece, Portugal and the UK.
The Algarve in Portugal has won Europe’s Leading Beach Destination for the sixth time.
And the top family resort in Europe has been named as Sani Resort in Greece.
Mriya Resort and Spa in Crimea has won the luxury family resort title.
The top theme park in Europe was Legoland Windsor. Walt Disney World in Florida was named best theme park in North America.
João Fernandes, president of Algarve Tourism Bureau, said it was an historic win for the area in the best beach category.
He said: “We are delighted to win the award for the sixth time, and to make history in this way.
“The Algarve is blessed with a wide variety of beaches from small secluded bays to sweeping expanses of white sand.
“The calmer beaches are perfect for younger children who love to pick clams in the wet sand, or play in the small waves, whilst older children adore all the watersports on offer such as surfing and bodyboards.
“And parents appreciate the great restaurants on the beaches, medical help points and serviced sunbeds.”
Here is a list of the top family travel winners:
Europe’s Leading Family Resort – Sani Resort, Greece
Europe’s Leading Family and Wellness Resort – Pullman Timi Ama, Sardinia
Europe’s Luxury Family Resort – Mriya Resort and Spa, Crimea
Europe’s Leading Theme Park Resort – Legoland Windsor
Europe’s Leading All-Inclusive Resort – Pestana Porto Santo
Europe’s Leading Beach Resort – Quinta Do Lago, Portugal
Europe’s Leading Beach Destination – The Algarve
North America’s Leading Theme Park Resort – Walt Disney World, Florida
North America’s Leading Family Resort – Four Seasons Resort, Whistler, Canada
Middle East Leading Family Resort – JA Beach Hotel, Dubai
Caribbean’s Leading All-Inclusive Family Resort – Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa.
Africa’s Leading Family Resort – Leopard Beach Resort and Spa, Kenya
The World Travel Awards were launched in 1993 to recognise the the best destinations, hotels and resorts across the globe.
Bournemouth beach is declared the UK’s best for the second year running
Bournemouth has been hailed the best in the UK, the sixth greatest in Europe as well as 20th in the world.
It scooped the accolades in TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice awards.
Bournemouth has a seven-mile stretch of golden sand beneath a coastline of cliffs, dotted with the area’s unique chines – narrow ravines that are found in Dorset and the Isle of Wight.
Chris Saunders of Tourism Services praised hard work from the town’s Seafront Team to help Bournemouth realise its ambition to be a world-class seafront.
“The beaches are raked and cleaned daily to the highest standard and rangers work in and out of season to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors,” he said.
Bournemouth, which has eight Blue Flag beaches and 10 Seaside Awards, launched a successful campaign in 2018 called Leave Only Footprints to encourage people to be more environmentally conscious.
“We want nothing more than for people to come and enjoy our stunning beaches and we just ask that visitors help us to maintain these award-winning standards by clearing up after themselves, putting rubbish and recycling in the bins provided,” added Mr Saunders.
Bournemouth is an archetypal British seaside town but many flock to the area for adrenaline-fuelled adventures, including walking, cycling, watersports and the world’s only pier-to-shore zip line.
Bournemouth councillor Pat Oakley said the award was very exciting.
“Tourism makes a £1 billion contribution to the local economy here in Bournemouth,” he said.
“The popularity of Bournemouth’s beaches translates into visitor spend that’s invested back into the town. We’re extremely proud of this achievement.”
The town also works hard to ensure Bournemouth is a year-round family-friendly destination.
Do you agree, is this your favourite beach? Comment below!
We take our children to review the all-inclusive Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach in Corralejo, Fuerteventura
“Everybody is naked,” said my brother in a mock whisper.
The glorious beach at our hotel in Fuerteventura is full of surprises.
Not only is Corralejo bigger and sandier than any beach I can remember. With gently crashing turquoise waves, perfect for the children to try out their new bodyboards. And camel rides along sands which stretch for miles from the front of our hotel, the Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort.
Bodyboarding in the sea on Corralejo beach
But one day as we turn right out of the hotel and venture further along in search of rock pools, we unwittingly gatecrash a naturist section.
This eye-opening experience was not part of the plan for a family trip away to celebrate my mum’s 70th.
My embarrassed mum picked up her pace, I tried not to snigger like a child while the actual children with us didn’t bat an eyelid, except my eight-year-old nephew who asked if it was legal.
While I had carefully dressed my son and daughter in their UV swimsuits, the youngsters in this area were in their birthday suits, while relaxed adults strolled in and out of the sea.
And the giggle we had about it later (apologies to naturist readers) confirmed this as a holiday to remember.
The Riu Oliva Beach is a huge, all-inclusive resort set back from the sands.
We are Riu regulars and love the good food, child-friendly pools and fun feel of their hotels.
We knew this one was soon to be refurbished but the location more than made up for the slightly tired surroundings.
One of the pools at the Riu Oliva Beach hotel, next to the beach
The hotel is divided into a main tower and a lower rise annexe area better suited to families, where we stayed.
Our family room had a lovely large balcony, double bedroom and two single sofa beds for our children.
There are two swimming pools – the fish-shaped one was where we spent most of our time. It is well designed for children with varying depths and an island to swim around.
The fish-shaped swimming pool at Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort
On one side is a handy shop, filled with temping inflatables for the children and buckets and spades.
On the other side of the pool is the smaller of the two main buffet restaurants.
There is also a restaurant specialising in Asian cuisine and another boasting Canarian favourites.
Our party of 11 – aged from three to 70 – all found something to their taste.
There is children’s entertainment daily with a party at 5pm, plus an adults’ show every night at 9.30pm.
A children’s disco would also have been welcome in the early evening which we have had at other Riu hotels.
All-inclusive here means just that, all we paid for all week was a camel ride along the beach. And our inflatable dolphin for the pool!
Having all your food and drink included certainly makes it easier when you are in a big group as we were.
The nearby town of Corralejo has a pretty square, markets, a water park plus a ferry to nearby Lanzarote.
But we found plenty to entertain us at the hotel.
A camel ride along Corralejo beach
Mornings in the pool, afternoons at the beach and evenings enjoying the food, drink and entertainment.
One magic show for children was especially good.
You might find plusher venues in the Canaries but I doubt you will find one in a better spot to enjoy the landscape.
Just remember to watch where you walk if you want to explore the sands.
Or pack extra sun cream.
*For a more detailed review of the hotel, see here.
Accommodation: We stayed as guests at Clubhotel Riu Oliva Beach Resort, an all-inclusive hotel in Corralejo, Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, Spain, for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own.
We review Chateau Rhianfa in Anglesey and explore the surrounding area, beaches and attractions with our young children
It is not every day you wake up in a castle.
And the spectacular sight from our ridiculously comfortable bed through a large picture window means getting up is not appealing.
We are in Anglesey and our view takes in the waters of the Menai Strait, framed by majestic Snowdonia.
Other families we know holiday in Anglesey yet we had never been so we had decided to visit the beautiful island off north Wales for a half-term break.
Chateau Rhianfa is more decadent than your average venue with its grand decor and tiered gardens sweeping down to the water (click here for our full review of Chateau Rhianfa).
Fans of ITV’s Cold Feet will recognise it as it recently featured in an episode for the wedding of Spanish nanny Ramona.
It was built in the mid-1800s in the style of a French Renaissance chateau as an aristocratic country retreat.
This fairy tale venue is impressive from the outside and fascinating on the inside.
Inside Chateau Rhianfa
Our children loved exploring the grand drawing and music rooms and were excited to discover cosy cubby holes in turrets.
And we were all happy to find an atmospheric wine cave among the rabbit warren of spaces.
The hotel rooms and suites are lavishly finished.
A hotel room
The Gate Lodge
Or you can stay in equally beautiful self-catering accommodation in the grounds.
We were in the Gate Lodge, a two-storey cottage with arched entrance and miniature turrets, where attendants of visitors to the chateau would once have stayed.
It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen/diner and lounge area.
The Gate Lodge self-catering accommodation
With the space and the large grounds to enjoy, I could have stayed there all day. But there was an island to explore and two children eager to get going.
We were spoilt for choice for beaches and our favourite was Newborough, a wide sweeping bay backed by sand dunes and woodland walks.
We also liked Lligwys Beach near Moelfre – quiet and good for rockpooling – and the more rugged and windy Rhosneigr which was home to kitesurfers and kayakers.
Our daughter never tired of throwing stones into the water and our son loved hunting for crabs among the rock pools and paddling in the sea.
And we discovered exactly how crashing waves worked through clever replications at Anglesey Sea Zoo.
Everything in this aquarium is found around the British coast, and we found out plenty thanks to the friendly staff as they fed the fish and lobsters.
You can enjoy a feed too at the well-priced cafe and outside there’s a playground, bouncy slide, crazy golf and more.
Back at our castle, trying the food is a must as it has previously won Hotel Restaurant of the Year (Welsh Food Awards).
We had a delicious breakfast on our last morning and also risked our young children in the quiet and refined dining room for an evening meal.
Thankfully they behaved. Or at least, nobody was looking when they didn’t.
It was a small, thoughtfully put together menu. There were no separate options for children. But the chefs were happy to adapt one of the dishes to suit them. And my steak was the best I have ever tasted.
The food lived up to expectations, as did the venue, as did Anglesey itself.
We are one more family won over by its charms.
Chateau Rhianfa on the Menai Strait
Have you been to Anglesey? Where do you recommend for children?