Spread your wings and set out to see another side to the incredible United Kingdom (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’re planning family-friendly activities to do on your next holiday, spread your wings and let your imagination soar with Marriott Bonvoy and Illumination’s Migration. Set out to see another side to the incredible United Kingdom and explore all it has to offer. Whether it’s cruising through a remote river valley or swimming from a 7-mile golden beach, picking strawberries or going on a ghoulish ghost hunt, there’s plenty of adventure for all the family.

Get to know one of England’s most eco-friendly cities

Bristol England

Bristol is renowned for its eco-friendly initiatives, boasting sustainable transportation, green spaces, and a commitment to renewable energy sources (Photo: Getty Images)

The first British city to be named European Green Capital, Bristol is a brilliant family-friendly eco-destination, with city farms, nature reserves and green spaces to explore. The southwest city makes for a fantastic weekend break, and with its smart, spacious family rooms, the centrally located Delta Hotels by Marriott Bristol City Centre is an ideal base for exploration.

Be sure to see Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s masterpiece, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and visit the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. For aviation fans, Aerospace Bristol is a must – it's home to the final Concorde to fly.

Admire the charms of the ‘Garden of England’

Kent, England

Kent is celebrated for its lush greenery, encompassing picturesque landscapes, gardens, and nature reserves (Photo: Getty Images) 

Southeast England’s county of Kent fully deserves its title of ‘Garden of England’.  You can admire real-life gardens in picture-postcard villages like Lenham, Marden, Headcorn and Yalding; visit orchards to pick-your-own strawberries, plums and apples; and admire Kent’s distinctive hop-drying buildings called oasts – centuries-old varieties of hops are still grown in this historic county.

With its beautiful grounds, Delta Hotels by Marriott Tudor Park Country Club, which lies on the edge of the Kent Downs National Landscape and close to Leeds Castle, makes the most of Kent's lush green countryside. It's also great for families, offering everything from a championship golf course and an impressive spa and pool to a rich range of dining options, including an outdoor terrace with pretty views across the rolling landscape.

Cruise along the picturesque Wye Valley and discover iconic Monastic ruins

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Tintern Abbey was among the many monastic institutions affected by King Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536–1541 (Photo: Getty Images) 

The Wye Valley crisscrosses the England-Wales border, through the rural counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. This stunning Area of Natural Beauty (AONB) is best seen from the waters of the River Wye, either on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), canoe or boat tour.

One of the River Wye's loveliest stretches is in the Forest of Dean, where it snakes through scenic Symonds Yat. In the lower Wye Valley close to the historic Welsh town of Chepstow, Delta Hotels St. Pierre Country Club is the perfect location to hone those golf skills while the rest of the family enjoys the spa and indoor swimming pool. The hotel is also close to the atmospheric ruins of Tintern Abbey, as well as the family-friendly woodlands at Puzzlewood.

Experience the ultimate British seaside resort

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Dorset's south coast is a haven of natural beauty, featuring the iconic Jurassic Coast, stunning cliffs, picturesque beaches, and charming villages (Photo: Getty Images)

With its two piers, seven miles of golden sands and generous quota of sunshine hours, the buzzing town of Bournemouth, on Dorset’s south coast, has long been considered England’s most popular seaside resort. Once you’ve taken in the sights, not least the Oceanarium and the Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, set out to explore some of the 95-mile-long stretch of Jurassic Coast, named for its wealth of rocks and fossils. Along the way you'll encounter visit pretty beaches and secluded bays, including Lulworth Cove and neighbouring Durdle Door. 

For some 150 years the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel has been an iconic clifftop landmark for the town, offering spectacular uninterrupted sea views. The hotel also has a choice of family and sea-view rooms and suites, and a superb outdoor swimming pool.

Find untamed natural beauty in the very heart of England

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The Peak District, England's first national park, mesmerises with diverse landscapes, rolling hills, limestone dales, and historic villages (Photo: Getty Images) 

With its rugged peaks, wild moorland and serene lakes, Derbyshire’s Peak District is an outdoor playground for hiking, wild swimming and cycling. Complementing the region's beauty spots are its host of impressive stately homes and historic sites, like Calke Abbey, the ruins of Peveril Castle and the house, gardens and parkland of Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire.

There's a lovely hotel to stay at just south of the Peak District National Park. The handsome Delta Hotels Breadsall Priory Country Club, housed in a former Augustinian priory, is steeped in history and packed with period charm. You’re close to the thriving village of Breadsall here, too, and a short drive from the friendly city of Derby.

Discover the northwest's wild side

England’s northwest is celebrated for its industrial and maritime heritage, but the region also has abundant natural wonders. Hidden just behind the main road to Preston, the Grimsargh Wetlands is well worth exploring – in spring, you can spot newts, frogs and damselflies, as well as Curlews and Great Crested Grebes. Easily accessed from the M6 motorway, Brockholes Nature Reserve is another bucolic spot with 250 acres of rewilded habitat dedicated to preserving local species.

Just west of Manchester, meanwhile, the RHS Garden Bridgewater offers stunning gardens, plus woodland, meadows and lakes, and a brilliant wild adventure play space for children. Delta Hotels Worsley Park Country Club is a stone’s throw from the RHS gardens, and also gives convenient access to the picturesque village of Worsley and Worsley Woods.

To visit the great outdoors around Preston, base yourself at red-brick Victorian manor Delta Hotels by Marriott Preston, which features family rooms and suites with extra living space – family-friendly St Annes Beach is just a thirty-minute drive away.

Explore a city with Roman and Viking heritage

York Minster and City Wall, England

York, with its rich history, is famed for ghostly tales. The Shambles and Clifford's Tower are among the most haunted spots, captivating visitors (Photo: Getty Images) 

With an eventful history spanning Roman, Saxon and Viking occupations, the past is palpable in York, and the city is famous for all things ghostly and ghoulish. Spectral sightings have been reported in pubs, theatres and at windows in narrow cobbled lanes – and there’s no shortage of ghost walks and tours if your family would like to delve into this spooky side to the city. Happily, there have been no hauntings reported at Delta Hotels by Marriott York – just comfortable rooms with great views of York Racecourse, and an indoor swimming pool.

Gaze upon the ‘Athens of the North’

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Scotland's capital Edinburgh boasts historic architecture, cultural vibrancy, and a renowned festival scene (Photo: Getty Images) 

Up until the 18th century, Edinburgh consisted of what we now call the Old Town, a jumble of narrow lanes or ‘closes’ between the fortress on Castle Rock and the Palace of Holyrood. With the advent of the Scottish Enlightenment, the New Town was developed north of here, with grand buildings and landscaped gardens. The arrival of Neoclassical structures like the National Monument, and others like Calton Hill Observatory, conceived with learning and lofty ideals in mind, inspired the city's 'Athens of the North' nickname. Such are the architectural riches of the Old and New Towns, they are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Just steps from the Old Town's Edinburgh Castle, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh offers an indoor infinity pool and a rooftop hydropool – perfect for unwinding after a day of sightseeing or walking on Arthur's Seat.

Published: March 15, 2024

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