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Mother's Day breaks: heritage holidays for families

Whisk the family away for a heritage holiday, and celebrate Mother’s Day in historic style

Mother's Day family breaks
Published: March 8th, 2022 at 11:30 am
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Castle stay

Mother's Day family breaks

Together with Dartmouth Castle, which sits on the opposite shore, Kingswear Castle formed part of a defensive plan for the harbour and was an advanced military design of its day. The Landmark Trust took over in 1987, and now it’s a light-filled holiday let, with the ground floor restored to look as it did in 1502, and the living quarters above. Kids will love the twin room, accessed through a passageway on the ground floor, but it’s best suited to older children due to its proximity to the water’s edge and steep drops. Wake up to the sounds of the sea, admire views of Dartmouth and the rocky coast from the roof platform, then potter to a local pub for a Mother’s Day meal and more stunning views of Dartmouth harbour. Kingswear is well situated for train adventures on the Paignton and Dartmouth Steam Railway. Coleton Fishacre, the Arts & Crafts style home of the D'Oyly Carte family, and Greenway, Agatha Christie’s holiday home, are also nearby.

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Cycling escape

Mother's Day family breaks

What better way to enjoy the UK’s historic coastline and countryside this Mother’s Day than on a family-friendly cycling tour? With a package from Cycling for Softies, this involves lots of flat cycle paths, hotel pools, flexible eating arrangements and local attractions, guaranteed to keep everyone happy. With options for children as young as nine months, even little ones are perfectly catered for – you can pop your toddler in the seat on the back of your bike, or use a trailgator to help pull older kids along, while teenagers might prefer one of the E-bike itineraries (suitable for 14 years and up). Why not invite the grandparents along too? We recommend exploring the lovely Sussex seaside on the Ockendon Manor tour – just 30 minutes from London by train.

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Elizabethan break

Mother's Day family breaks

Light up the log burner in the inglenook fireplace and relax with a good book as you soak up the history of this Grade-I listed house in Lavenham, Suffolk. A wonderful retreat for Mother’s Day, the timber-framed home is packed with original Elizabethan features, various nooks to explore, and even a Tudor knot garden outside the back door. Modern amenities make it a perfect bolthole for families of up to six, and a great base from which to explore Suffolk’s historic attractions, from Southwold’s Victorian pier to Anglo-Saxon excavation site Sutton Hoo and the medieval streets of Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds. If you’re a walker, the Railway Walks nature reserve is also just 15 minutes away.

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Royal retreat

Mother's Day family breaks

Located in the grounds of Queen Victoria’s palatial holiday home on the Isle of Wight, this cricket-pavilion-turned-holiday house is a gorgeous spot for a Mother’s Day getaway. ‘It is impossible to imagine a prettier spot’ said the Queen herself of Osborne House. To learn more about the royal couple’s lives, explore The Durbar Room, Osborne’s impressive banqueting hall, and stroll along the Italianate Terrace with its formal flower beds and fountain. Through the extensive parkland you can head to Queen Victoria's private beach to paddle or swim, while children will enjoy the two playgrounds and the play area at Swiss Cottage – an Alpine-style chalet in the woods, devised by Prince Albert to teach his children important skills. Built in the early 1900s, Pavilion Cottage sleeps four and every stay includes a welcome hamper.

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Island experience

Mother's Day family breaks

If you’re prepared to delay your Mother’s Day break until April, then Raasay House is well worth a look. This 250-year-old house, now a family hotel is set in its own grounds overlooking the sea, with views across the Sound of Raasay to the Cuillin Mountains of Skye.

It boasts a range of accommodation, outdoor activities, local food and drink, and its all-inclusive activity holidays are popular – learn the traditional hunting skill of archery, experience the beautiful scenery by bike, climb the cliffs just below the ruins of the 15th-century Brochel Castle (home of the Clan MacLeods of Raasay), or head out to sea on a sailing boat for a spot of long-drop fishing. Located close to the ferry, you can easily hop over to Skye for a day of sightseeing, too.

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Steam nostalgia

Mother's Day family breaks

Departing the week after Mother’s Day on Thursday 7th April, this five-day steam train getaway is a perfect way to relive the happy days of childhood holidays, travelling along the route of the old ‘Cornish Riviera Express’. Once you’ve arrived in Cornwall, you’ll visit some of the county’s most beautiful gardens including the Victorian Lanhydrock, The Eden Project, Pinetum Gardens, the restored 19th-century Lost Gardens of Heligan and the National Magnolia Collection at Caerhays Castle Gardens. The holiday also includes five nights at the lovely Lanhydrock Hotel.

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Estate Lodge

Mother's Day family breaks

Sandwiched between the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, West Lodge on the Edenhall Estate is an ideal base, with so much to enjoy on its doorstep. This old gatehouse dates from the 1930s, but the interior is a cosy mix of styles, with a TV room, books to borrow, board games to play and even a hot tub in the secret garden. Walk along the river Eden to the Shepherds Inn for a bite to eat, or venture a little further to explore historic Lowther Castle & Gardens, Wordsworth House & Garden in Cockermouth, and Brockhole on Windermere – an brilliant activity centre with adventure playground, water sports and boat hire. Mother’s Day treats including hampers, flowers and champagne can be arranged on request.

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Butler’s apartment

Mother's Day family breaks

Book a relaxing Mother’s Day stay in the grounds of Florence Court, a Georgian mansion in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. This fascinating National Trust property remains something of a mystery, for no building records survive and its history is therefore rather a patchwork affair. Overlooking the laundry courtyard and woodland garden, The Butler’s Apartment served as living quarters for the male servants at Florence Court; its interior is charmingly simple, with wooden floors, period fireplaces and large sash windows. Nearby Enniskillen Castle and its two museums are worth a visit, for their picturesque setting and collections of archaeology, local history, arts and folklife.

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Glamping fun

Mother's Day family breaks

Close to historic Windsor Castle and the National Trust’s Cliveden House is Shillingridge Glamping – a luxury campsite that’s the perfect place to get back to nature this Mother’s Day. Choose from two safari tents, each sleeping six people and with fabulous views across woodland and fields. With a proper kitchen and the chance to order in afternoon teas and cheese boards, mum is in for a real treat, and don’t forget to hop out onto the deck for toasted marshmallows over the campfire at sunset. The nearest towns are shopper’s heaven Marlow on Thames, Henley with its River and Rowing Museum, and Cookham – home to the Stanley Spencer Gallery. The nearby Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is also a great choice for kids and the young at heart.

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London town

Mother's Day family breaks
The V&A London

If city breaks are up your alley, then head to the capital for a Mother’s Day weekend packed with fun. Start your trip by discovering decorative art and design at the V&A in London, then hop across the road to The Natural History Museum for even more fascinating finds that will delight kids and adults alike. On Sunday, why not head to Regent Street and treat mum to some at London’s historic Liberty department store, before visiting Hamley’s, the world’s oldest toy shop? The perfect way to round out a family weekend has to be a tasty Sunday roast – there are plenty of traditional homely pubs near Regent Street, including The Burlington Arms and The Mason’s Arms, which is housed in a 300-year-old building.

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