Smith Travel BlogTravel tales and hotel news from the boutique hotel experts at Mr & Mrs Smith

Top 10 child-friendly UK hotels

Posted by Kate Pettifer on January 13th, 2010

Mr & Mrs Smith is all about romantic boutique hotels and dirty weekends away, right? Well, no actually. We’re just as proud of our family-friendly collection – proof that little ones needn’t stop (hotel) play. To inspire your travel en famille for 2010, here are 10 tot-friendly stays in the UK…

Toddling the grounds at IckworthFowey Hall, Cornwall
The stately building that inspired Toad Hall in Wind in the Willows is now a hotel with a list of child-friendly credentials longer than a sleepless night with a newborn. Children’s high tea, an Ofsted-approved crèche, a Beach Club for over-eights, and an outdoor play area are just some of its attractions.

Hotel Endsleigh, Devon
Imagine having friends who have both an incredibly smart country pile, and a laid-back approach to little ones. That’s pretty much the set-up at Hotel Endsleigh, a 16-room fishing lodge set in acres of woodland. Opt for a suite, with a separate sitting room, or the Gatekeeper’s Lodge, with a private garden. There’s table tennis and plenty of board games for rainy days.

Babington House, Somerset
Babington’s split-level Stable Block rooms are family winners – a good size, and well stocked with bunk rooms and children’s beds; parents with babies will appreciate the sterilisers, changing mats, baby baths and microwaves. Wear out mini-Smiths with tennis, swimming, woodland walks, and family films in Babington’s cinema.

woolleygrangeWoolley Grange, Wiltshire
This 26-room country house brims with facilities for little ones: a crèche, indoor and outdoor play areas, a pool, giant trampoline, and bikes to borrow should keep even the liveliest of children amused. Most rooms, save standard doubles, are spacious enough for extra beds, and children stay for free – you only pay for their meals.

The Elms, Worcestershire
A traditional manor in the Malverns, the Elms takes an 18th-century country seat and furnishes it with thoroughly modern children’s facilities, without compromising on style. There’s high tea every day, a crèche, an indoor pool, an outdoor play area, a trampoline and table games, keeping kids entertained noon and night.

Llety Bodfor, Cardigan Bay
This boutique B&B, aka an eight-room townhouse in Aberdovey, welcomes mini-Smiths. Book the self-catering apartment, or ask for rooms that join to form a family suite. Sandy Aberdyfi Beach offers entertainment on the doorstep – on rainy days, there are games, toys, kids’ DVDs and books to borrow.

The Chester Residence, Edinburgh
Three Georgian townhouses in New Town have been converted to create capacious apartment-style suites, with home-from-home kitchens, generously portioned seating areas, and plenty of space for extra beds. Enjoy the flexibility of being able to cook for yourself, or dial the concierge for takeaway, as the mood takes you.

calcotCalcot Manor, Cotswolds
The child-friendly innovations at this converted farmhouse near Tetbury have made it a long-standing Smith favourite. Family-designed bedrooms, an all-day crèche, an over-eights’ entertainment area, and a kids’ tea every day – the list goes on. Its indoor facilities are only matched by the cycle trails, and hot tub and pool in the grounds.

Strattons, Norfolk
An arty and eccentrically decorated Queen Anne Palladian villa seems an unlikely place to cart the kids along to, yet this Swaffham boutique hotel makes family stays a pleasure. A children’s menu, dedicated teatime sitting, baby listening, and wealth of accessories make it a particularly astute choice if you have younger children.

Ickworth, Suffolk
This boutique hotel’s place in our top 10 is hard to fathom at first glance. But don’t be fooled by its National-Trust-property exterior, or duke-worthy parkland. Inside Ickworth, there’s an excellent supervised playroom and crèche. Outdoors, adventure playgrounds, bikes and nature trails will delight energetic Smith juniors.

Explore the Smith child-friendly hotel collection.

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17 Responses to “Top 10 child-friendly UK hotels”

  1. One addition to this list is the Four Seasons in Hampshire. We stayed there when our daughter was a baby and they really pulled out all the stops. They did things like putting her name in letters in the bathroom when we arrived and brought up warm milk for her when we needed it.

    By 21st Century Mummy

  2. I’d also recommend the Feversham Arms in Helmsley (and not just for the spa for yummy mummies!). Great attitude, delicious food, and children stay free.

    By angelsandurchinsblog

  3. Thanks for the Feversham Arms recommendation – luckily they are in our collection, too. It was hard to pick just 10… Use the link above to see our full list of child-friendly hotels, or browse ‘by collection’ from the Hotels tab on the homepage.

    By Kate

  4. [...] our Smith & Kids collection of child-friendly boutique hotels. Following our round-up of the top 10 UK hotels for travellers with tots in tow – and, of course, Kayt Sukel’s run-down of top [...]

    By Child-friendly boutique hotels in Europe | Travel Blog - Mr & Mrs Smith Boutique & Luxury Hotels

  5. Hello. This summer me and my wife plan to visit London. Given our limited budget, can you tell us a good and cheap hotel in London?
    Thanks in advance.

    By Bilete de avion ieftine

  6. What a smart concept. We know there are many accommodation house that cater for children ,but these look quite special and very suitable for families.

    By Amina

  7. Hope and Anchor at Almouth in Northumbria. Superb value just minutes from a stunning beach that runs for miles.
    Families were made very welcome.

    By David Cook

  8. Wow, I wish my parents would take me to the Calcot Manor when I was a child. This place for kids playground looks great – if I will have my own kids one day I will definitely go there :)

    By Alice

  9. Really this is a great place for kids and now I will be try to visit this hotel with my cute son. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

    By Faen

  10. It’s great to see a selection of hotels for children! At least people will know what they are letting themselves in for so they can’t complain about the children!

    By Drew

  11. Thank you for the post and sharing. This weekends it was definitely worth taking time off and spending some quality time with the family. Something that everybody should have taken advantage of and even the staycationer will think about how to plan the upcoming weekend.

    By Stav

  12. BTW im a 10-year-old girl! I stayed at Woolley Grange with the rest of my family when i was younger and i had a very enjoyable time!The food was extremely tasty, the facilities were great (especially the pool!) and the children’s play area was extremely fun! I would reccommend it to all families with children between the ages of 1 and 8! It was GREAT!

    By bieber'sbabexx

  13. It is not a problem to travel with children in UK at all. There are many child friendly hotels and places to visit with kids are available. So, take children with you and you will not regret about this.

    By London4Travelers

  14. All great suggestions, I would also add South Sands in Salcombe, the Family Beach Suites are perfect for a short getaway, with fabulous views, wonderful food and literally a step onto the beach, it’s hard to beat.

    By Little Concierge

  15. Yes – we agree! This post is a couple of years old now, and we’ve since added lots more properties to our collection of Smith-approved child-friendly hotels, including South Sands :-) We’re also working on a dedicated collection of truly family-friendly hotels and resorts, all selected and approved by parents, which we’ll be sharing later in the year.

    By Lucy

  16. Dear Kate,

    A well researched and laid out list.

    It’s great to see such great attractions so locally. Touching further on the child friendly accommodation, as parents, our children’s safety is paramount, and cliched as it may sound, you cannot put a price on peace of mind. This is somewhat amplified when taking your children abroad too. If your mind is at rest that your children are safe, you can enjoy the holiday experience more, and this filters down to your children too.
    A very well compiled resource, great work.

    By Ben G

  17. Great article! Last year my husband and I visited Fowey Hall in Cornwall and had a fantastic time! The kids thoroughly enjoyed it and i would highly recommend it! however this year we decided to try somewhere different in Cornwall. A great friend of the family recommended Court Farm Holidays and i have to say we had an outstanding time! We are going back next year and the kids cannot wait. If you’re looking for an enjoyable, toddler friendly holiday then Court Farm is the place to go:

    http://www.courtfarm-holidays.co.uk/families.htm

    By Jade McCarthy

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