Taking the family away for a break can be more stressful than relaxing unless the hotel is geared to children. Here are some easy-going hotels where your children will be made to feel an asset and not an intrusion. Some hotels may run courses and activities specially geared to children; others may simply welcome them with open arms and cater to their needs.
Mawgan Porth, Cornwall
Excellent family-friendly beach hotel - modern but with great beach views, two pools, a kids club and a spa.
St Mawes, Cornwall
A smart, classic coastal hotel overlooking the bay of St Mawes and beyond. Ideal for weekend or longer retreats with good walks and sailing nearby but otherwise few facilities within the hotel. Good restaurant.
Breezy, family-friendly hotel with golf, and beach on the doorstep, in buzzy Rock. Sailing club and classes, rib rides and waterskiing.
Quirky and delightfully informal hotel run on house party lines, near the River Dart - 'quintessentially English' - full of art, a fine lawn, with an indoor pool, gym and grass tennis.
Superb all-round hotel in its own estate: the perfect retreat for families or couples with top notch rooms, spa, indoor pool, and great dining.
nr Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Eccentric, fabulous family castle hotel stuffed with antiques and four posters in pretty rural setting midway between the Lake District and the Dales. Good base for expeditions if you have a car. Excellent for children and families.
Charming traditional pub with a stylish twist - well adapted for families, with log fires and within easy reach of the beach.
Characterful windmill B&B overlooking marshes of Cley, a pretty village near shingle coast where locals swim. Good birdwatching nearby.
Lively pub overlooking Brancaster estuary. Popular with families and sailors.
Isles of Scilly
Delightful family-run hotel set in a star-shaped castle on St Marys.
Seaview, The Isle of Wight
Eccentric family run hotel in a fabulous setting - the 1930s with a ‘60s twist. Forget en suite bathrooms, but for families wanting a very relaxed seaside atmosphere at reasonable rates, with lots of friends to make, it's an experience. The antithesis of boutique.
Superbly run and classic country house hotel near Bath with spa and equestrian centre - extensive grounds, a grand house, and Michelin star dining - a pampering treat. Family friendly.
Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire
Traditional Jacobean manor house with superb children's facilities and spa for the grown ups. Geared for families, there are a range of activities, and time off for adults.
Glorious views outside, vibrant colours inside this funky and informal estate hotel, a contrasting twin to the more formal Devonshire Arms. Good family suites and laid back brasserie. Access to pool and spa facilities of its sister hotel.
Renovated country town hotel, with great food, for romantic weekending. Stylish mix of contemporary and traditional, in an excellent town for antiquing surrounded by great countryside.
Dolgellau, Gwynedd, North Wales
A boutique B&B where families are actually welcome; the perfect location for discovering southern Snowdonia.
Northumberland, Northumberland & Newcastle
Golf and spa resort hotel with a human touch