Treehouses, fossil hunts, fun on the farm and miles of sandy beaches – we pick the top child friendly staycations by the UK coast to guarantee an action-packed stay for families with kids of all ages

WORDS Jessie Johnson 

1. Croft Farm & Celtic Cottages, Pembrokeshire
Kids get the chance to be ‘mini crofters’ on a stay at this six-acre farm, helping the owners to collect eggs and visit resident sheep, ponies and pigs. Featuring a play barn chock full of teen-friendly games, a swimming pool and an adventure playground, the beach is just four miles away for a daily sand blast. Prices for a week’s stay in a two-bedroomed cottage start from £655, based on four sharing (01239 615179, croft-holiday-cottages.co.uk).

2. The Beach House, North Cornwall
Little swimmers will love splashing about in their own heated swimming pool (available April to September) at this funky beachside house overlooking the golden sands of Mawgan Porth beach. From surf school and art classes on the beach to boat-fresh take-outs, this corner of Cornwall oozes coastal cool. Prices for a week’s stay start from £2,190, based on 12 sharing (01637 861005, beachretreats.co.uk).

3. Treehouse Hotel, Kent
Spy lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) plus gorillas and free-roaming giraffes as part of a unique wildlife safari holiday at Port Lympne Reserve, which offers sweeping views across the Kentish savannah and out to sea. The uber-luxe Treehouse Hotel joins lodges, cabins and glass domes, perfect for a wild adventure. Prices for a night’s stay in Treehouse Hotel start from £429, based on four sharing (aspinallfoundation.org).

4. Osea Leisure Park, Essex
Snuggling down in a bedroom in the sky is about as exciting as sleepovers get, whatever your age! Joining pods, safari tents and shepherd’s huts, Osea’s cool treehouse (re-opening 4 April) features two bunks for the kids and a fold-out bed for the grown-ups along with a barrel BBQ below deck for supper under the stars. Prices for a four-night stay start from £180 (01621 854695, osealeisure.com).

5. No 2 West Point, Dorset
Pristine Blue Flag sands heaven-sent for swims, picnics and watersports lie just a five-minute walk from this four-bedroomed townhouse situated in the heart of Sandbanks. Grey skies? Crack open some popcorn and tuck the kids up in the private cinema room. Prices for a week’s stay start from £1,248, based on eight sharing (01548 202020, toadhallcottages.co.uk).

Read next 10 Best Child-friendly Beaches

6. Moonfleet Manor, Dorset
This Georgian Hotel, perched on the Jurassic coast, is the stuff kids’ dreams are made of. Little ones can run wild in the Verandah which offers ride-on toys, a skittle alley and a mini football pitch while older kids can keep busy rockpooling in nearby coves, playing tennis, taking guided fossil walks or splashing about in the indoor pools. Prices for a week’s stay, based on four sharing, start from £189 (0208 0765555, luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk).

7. Coble Cottage, Northumberland
This 200-year-old fisherman’s cottage in Craster is perfectly kitted out for the tiniest mariners in town. Along with a range of children’s books and toys, the cottage’s host provides a stair gate, travel cot, booster seat, toddler bath, high-chair, baby monitor and even a bottle steriliser, with a sea-facing playground just moments from the front door. Price for a week’s stay start from £775, based on eight sharing (01665 830783, northumbria-cottages.co.uk).

8. Tralee Bay, Oban
Little explorers will love this sprawling self-catering holiday park which sits 10 miles from the lovely town of Oban overlooking Ardmucknish Bay. Along with a mile-long beach, you’ll find zip wires, swings, a golf course and even an award-wining chippie which opens from March to October. Choose from a stay in the cottage, luxury lodges or state-of-the-art glamping pods. Prices for a week’s stay in a four-berth lodge start from £275 (01631 720255, traleebay.co.uk).

9. Ritson Farm, South Devon
In striking distance of sand, steam trains, the coastal path and Woodlands Family Theme Park, this roomy farmhouse is perfect for a gaggle of kids, with chickens in the back garden and donkeys in the neighbouring fields. Prices for a week’s stay start from £795, sleeps 10 (01803 771127, dartvalleycottages.co.uk).

10. Cofton Holiday Park, Devon
A bowling alley, pool tables, amusement arcade and an indoor pool with splash jets are just a few of the indoor entertainments at this 80-acre holiday which is surrounded by endless walks, cycle rides and even a well-stocked lake for aspiring anglers. Prices for a week’s stay in a lodge start from £756, based on four sharing (01626 890111, coftonholidays.co.uk).

For more staycations ideas, head to our Coastal Places section, or pick up a copy of Coast

Where are the best family holidays in the UK?

1. Croft Farm, Pembrokeshire

2. The Beach House, North Cornwall

3. Treehouse Hotel, Kent

4. Osea Leisure Park, Essex

5. No 2 West Point, Dorset

6. Moonfleet Manor, Dorset

7. Coble Cottage, Northumberland

8. Tralee Bay, Oban

9. Ritson Farm, South Devon

10. Cofton Holiday Park, Devon

For more staycations ideas, head to our Coastal Places section, or pick up a copy of Coast