Top ten destinations for a no fly family summer holiday
Schools out for summer and it’s time to let your children escape from the classroom and feel the wind in their hair and the sun on their face.
This summer why not try an easy no fly family summer holiday or day trip and escape on a ferry, taking everything you want with you in your own car and avoid wasting time and money in an expensive airport. You can even take your dog along too on many routes!
Our top ten tips for no fly family summer holiday destinations are:
Families can get back to nature on the incredibly beautiful Islands of Scotland and enjoy walking cycling, wildlife spotting, kayaking and sailing. Younger travellers will definitely want to visit the island of Mull whose brightly painted homes in Tobermory are seen on the popular children’s TV show Balamory.
The Isle of Man is a perfect spot for a no fly family summer holiday. In addition to splashing in the sea children can meet the animals at Curraghs Wildlife park, swing in the trees at Ape Mann Adventure Park or ride on the historic steam railway trains. Parents can enjoy the food the island is renowned for and whoever is driving can imagine they are in the TT by driving on the actual TT motorcycle race course.
Families can always be sure of a huge welcome wherever they travel in Ireland with family-run hotels and restaurants in every town. Drive part of the Wild Atlantic Way of just take a cottage and let the children run free. The children can scramble around castles, or try their hand at surfing and visit one of many regional museums and attractions. Take the ferry to Belfast and take a journey back in time by visiting the Titanic Belfast exhibition, the brilliant zoo, or the W5 award-winning interactive science centre before heading out on a road trip around the rugged beauty of the Giants Causeway.
You can easily travel to Ireland or Northern Ireland by sea from either Wales, Liverpool or Scotland. Find your closet port and ferry company on our useful Discover Ferries map
The Isle of Wight is just a short hop from the mainland but the relaxed atmosphere is a million miles from the mainland. Everything is within in easy drive for families – including theme parks, sandy beaches, surfing spots, fishing trips, zoos, animal centres, historic houses and castles. There’s a wide range of family-friendly accommodation options from caravan parks to boutique hotels.
Look out for dolphins as the mainland slips away and you head to one of the five islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. These tiny islands pack a large and friendly welcome and children will enjoy the beautiful beaches, wildlife walks and glorious fresh local food.
Take the ferry to the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and you’ll be closer to France than Britain. So you’re likely to get better weather and French influenced food without worrying about euro exchange rates. Families can build sandcastles on the island’s incredible beaches, visit castles or lighthouses. Or parents can foster their childrens’ inner naturalists by taking them to the Durrell Wildlife Park in Jersey established by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. It’s the perfect place for a no fly family summer holiday.
Take the ferry to Northern Spain and enjoy beautiful fresh Spanish food, soft sandy beaches and superb waves for surfing teenagers. Local drives will take you to medieval villages, and cliff top walks, or take the children to the cool of the caves near Santander or to marvel at the art of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
Improve your children’s French and enjoy incredible scenery, food and the French way of life on a family road trip in France this summer and visit parks ranging from Disneyland Paris to Futurescope. Ferry companies operate from the UK to eight different French ports from Roscoff and St Malo in the West to Calais and Dunkirk in the East. Perfect for a no fly family summer holiday!
The softly undulating landscapes of the Netherlands is also the perfect place to get the whole family on bikes. Or head for the family-friendly cities. Take children on the canals of Amsterdam or to one of the many museums such as the Anne Frank House. Rotterdam also welcomes families with a zoo, museums, boat trips, parks and playgrounds.
If your children like chocolate, the tales of Tintin or the Smurfs they will definitely love Belgium. A country packed with museums, festivals, castles, theme parks and fun. You can take a Comic Strip Walk through Brussels and visit a Comic Strip museum. Or simply enjoy festivals, parks and attractions, the canals of Bruges or the Zoo at Antwerp.