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10 Hotels with Beautiful Grounds Kids can Explore

9 December 2022

If you are looking for a getaway that offers a full itinerary of outdoor activities to keep your whole family occupied, then look no further. All the below are top quality, family friendly hotels that not only have extensive grounds, but also make available an amazing array of outdoor entertainment, from adventure playgrounds and craft huts for the little ones, to horse riding and forest schools for your pre-teens and up.

Rockliffe Hall Hotel in County Durham has a secret. Hidden away in the 365-acre estate grounds is an amazing Alice in Wonderland themed play area containing a giant adventure playground, splash park (open in the summer), and a collection of wooden cabins, each with a different activity inside: a craft pod, cinema, pool table, soft play and bird hide. This hotel caters to children without sacrificing grown up luxury.

Set atop 3 miles of golden sands, Saunton Sands Hotel on the coast of Devon offers 2 free hours of free supervised childcare, an inclusive entertainments programme (surfing, go karting, laser clay shooting, baking and circus workshops) and direct beach access for beach play. In the grounds you will find a tennis court, swimming pool, pitch and putt and cycle hire, certainly no excuses for bored children here.

Lucknam Park Hotel, Wiltshire is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Just beyond the 17th century walled rose garden and arboretum is an outdoor children’s adventure play area, all weather floodlit tennis courts, bikes with trailers, running trails, all weather 5 a side football pitch, duck herding, archery and falconry! For rainy days there is an indoor pool, and mini spa treatments are available for children aged 8 and up.

At the world famous Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland they really do have something for everyone. The hotel, which is set in 850 acres of fabulous Scottish countryside, offers delights such as gundog lessons, family falconry, junior golf, horse riding, bug hunting and journey mapping. They even have mini Land Rover replicas for the mini car enthusiasts!

The Grove occupies a 300-acre estate in Hertfordshire. Take the children to make the most of the fabulous forest school, winding nature trails, archery and exhilarating segway rides. They have on-site falconry, football coaching, a walled garden, and dedicated children's activities, alongside the swimming pool and Ofsted registered creche.

Another Place, a relaxed hotel on the shores of Ullswater in the Lake District, has an Ofsted registered kids’ space which includes a wood cabin, a safari tent, an outside play area and woodland. From there, they run supervised kids’ sessions, including activities, crafts and forest skills. Kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wild swimming are all available from the hotel’s jetty, and micralite strollers are available to borrow to make short work of the more challenging terrain.

Rufflets, St Andrews, Scotland has 10 acres of outdoor space to wear out your little (and not so little) ones. With on-site bike hire, an inventive troll trail, shady woodland, and games of pooh sticks, there is no shortage of activities to keep you and your tribe busy. 

Bovey Castle Hotel and Spa, in Dartmoor National Park is an outdoor adventure playground for those aged 7 and up. There are supervised activities for 7-14 year olds including forest skills, canoeing and golf lessons, and family fun such as falconry, tennis, bike riding and archery. The site has chickens and ferrets to visit, and offers fawn feeding and deer park tours. 

Fowey Hall Hotel in Cornwall provides an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, and the opportunity to borrow wellies, fishing nets and buckets & spades. The swimming pool comes equipped with armbands, noodles and water toys, and a Wind in the Willows children's play area includes a 30 metre zip wire and an outdoor stage. Inside, there is 2 hours of free childcare for under 8’s in a dedicated children's creche. A special afternoon tea is tailored specifically for children and for rainy days they can enjoy table football, a mini cinema, an extensive children’s library and vintage style arcade games.

Woolley Grange of Hertfordshire is a 17th Century Jacobean Manor House set in 14 acres of grounds where they also host chickens and ducks. There is a dedicated Ofsted registered kids’ club with 2 hours' complimentary childcare each day, and children’s high tea at 5pm. They also offer pond dipping, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a Sunday breakfast club, baby sensory room, walled garden, good life garden, orchard, manicured lawn, ponds, and a football net - phew!

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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