Welcome to Little Vikings Great Yorkshire Family Escapes, a whole year of inspiration for anyone looking for a family break in Yorkshire. Over the next few months, we’ll introduce you to the best family hotels in Yorkshire, with places to stay on the Yorkshire Coast, in the North York Moors, Yorkshire Dales and the towns and cities in between. As well as Yorkshire family hotels, we’ve got lovely self-catering options, glamping and camping too. You’ll discover why it’s a great place to stay with kids, and some ideas for things to do while you’re there. Put away your passports and plan a memory-making, great Yorkshire family escape like no other.
Best places to stay in York with kids
The Grand, York
Location – With its central location – a five-minute walk from York Railway Station and a short walk into the city centre – The Grand York is the perfect setting for families. As the former railway headquarters for the Northeastern Railway, The Grand retains its original splendour and makes for a magical experience for both parents and children alike – both from the outside, and more importantly, on the inside, where memories are created!
Rooms and extras – The Grand York offers a special ‘Family Package’ which ensures that children receive a VIP experience, with a special ‘spot the difference’ check-in activity, children’s goody bags including ‘Grandollars’ to spend at their leisure, robes and slippers for all the family and a Viktor the Viking soft toy. Interconnecting rooms are available for larger families, or families with teenage children who may prefer their own rooms and keep a little bit of independence!
Food and drink – Children can dine from their own children’s menu in The Rise Restaurant as well as being able to dine like the Kings and Queens they are, with a special Afternoon Tea menu. Mocktails are available in the 1906 bar. Enjoy parent-child bonding time by taking one of the specially created parent and child cookery courses at The Cookery School at The Grand York.
Swimming and other activities – Family-friendly spa time slots are available for children, whilst the option of a ‘Little Manicure’ treatment for children of 16 and under gives the children another little taste of luxury! During school holidays, children can often join in fun and themed trail activities trails around the hotel, as well as movie nights
The Grand York, Station Rise, York YO1 6GD
Middletons Hotel York
Located in the heart of the historic city, Middletons Hotel is a luxury York city centre hotel that offers the perfect opportunity for a city break, a weekend getaway or a family outing (this hotel is VERY family-friendly!). Well-renowned as one of the best places to stay in York, Middletons is a bastion of the city’s past, present and future, with sites such as the famous Sir Joseph Terry cottages (perfect for families), Chaplin House and Lady Cromwell House tracing back to famous York figures like Sir Joseph Terry and Dame Anne Middleton.
Providing a countryside feel right in the city centre, the Sir Joseph Terry Cottages are the perfect home-away-from-home experience for your adventure in York. Steeped in history, the Grade II listed buildings are standalone from the main hotel, providing you with your own slice of comfort. The building was first designed in 1899 by famed architect Walter G. Pentry, and is named after Sir Joseph Terry of Terry’s Chocolate Orange fame and a former Mayor of York. As one of York’s most unique places to stay, you’ll enter a world of luxury and homeliness during your time with us. Both the chocolate and orange cottages are spacious & comfy, ideal for families up to six. Each cottage includes a king-size bed, a sofa bed and two full-size bunk beds, plus a relaxing living area to unwind in after a day of fun and activity in the city.
You’ll also find several welcoming, unique touches including fluffy bed robes, a flat-screen tv, a Lavazza coffee machine and a selection of coffees, teas and hot chocolates. You’ll also discover a selection of extras exclusive to the cottages tracing back the building’s heritage in the city, including chocolate oranges from the cottages’ namesake and small bottles of the popular York Gin. Read the Little Vikings review of Middletons Hotel York here.
As a renowned York city centre hotel, the Middletons aim is to provide you with the perfect stay, with comfy rooms and homely touches creating the perfect base for your city break adventures. Their restaurant serves local ingredients made by an expert team of chefs, providing one of the best places to eat in York right on your doorstep. They have an onsite gym to help you stay active, city centre parking to make your adventures convenient, and a central location that makes seeing the sights simple and easy.
Middletons Hotel York, Cromwell Rd, York YO1 6DS
Next to Northwood Trail in the woods outside York is Jollydays Glamping. This retreat from the world
has been in the woods since 2009. You can now enjoy the seasons all year round by staying in one of the new bothies, each hand-painted and taking inspiration from the Fairy Sanctuary next door. Jollydays glamping breaks are suitable for groups, families and couples wanting to escape from it all.
Location – Jollydays Glamping is just outside York, in the woodlands near Stamford Bridge. Two hundred acres of magical woodland surround the glamping site, which can only be accessed by one small private road, so you’re well and truly away from the busy city life when you stay at Jollydays. With each accommodation spread out in the woodland, it’s ideal for anyone seeking privacy and space to hang out in the woods. Back in the outside world, you’re a short drive from all of York’s attractions, from the National Railway Museum to York Minster, the JORVIK Viking Centre, York Castle Museum and many more. It’s also easy to access the Yorkshire Coast and North York Moors, with Dalby Forest, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the towns of Scarborough, Bridlington and Filey an easy drive away.
Accommodation – The bothies have two double bedrooms and a sofa bed, a wood-burning stove and instant hot water for those chillier nights. The large raised veranda outside has a seating area for eating alfresco and an extra space to BBQ undercover. Not forgetting the dining and living space inside to have a candlelit dinner and relaxing space on the sofa, all surrounding that big wood-burning stove – bliss…
For those seeking something more rustic and even closer to nature, the woodcutter huts may be the thing for you, although be warned, a deer on the deck at dawn may wake you up! Guests staying two nights or more get free entry to the Northwood Trail, England’s Fairy and Hobgoblin Sanctuary. Why not have a lie in, listening to the sound of the woods, then stroll down to the Northwood Kitchen café/ bar amongst the trees for organic coffee and a treat? With nature right up to your doorstep, sit and dream, or use it as a base to explore the surrounding area. Escape Relax and Enjoy the Magic.
Jollydays Glamping, Buttercrambe Rd, York YO41 1AN
Delta Hotels by Marriott York
Keep the kids entertained with a staycation at Delta Hotels by Marriott York, one of the few York hotels with a swimming pool. Located close to the city centre, overlooking York Racecourse, this is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing and fun-filled family escape. There is so much to explore in the hotel’s beautifully landscaped grounds. While the little ones will love the giant garden games and ample space for outdoor activities, parents can unwind with a cold drink from the comfort of the terrace. There’s also a private tennis court that families can hire to practice their skills, or introduce the kids to the game.
Indoors, there’s a modern swimming pool that will provide hours of fun, and a jacuzzi and sauna for mum and dad. The Cast Iron Grill restaurant serves up a hearty full English breakfast (including the popular pancakes!) each morning, and delicious dishes packed with fresh seasonal ingredients and big flavours, prepared by expert chefs. There are also interactive Kids and Young Diner menus, offering something for everyone. Guests love the Cast Iron Bar with its racecourse views, bright conservatory, outdoor terrace and tempting drinks list. Plus, local York residents can save 20% on food and drinks in the hotel!* (terms apply). With spacious family rooms and complimentary on-site parking, there is so much family fun to be had at Delta Hotels by York Marriott.
Delta Hotels by Marriott, Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1QQ
Best places to stay on the Yorkshire Coast
Caramel Cottage at The Bay, Filey
Where you’ll stay – Situated in a peaceful location within the delightful holiday village of The Bay, just outside Filey, Caramel Cottage is a newly renovated holiday home. It’s a south-facing end-of-terrace with a garden that‘s perfect for a relaxing break with family or friends on the Yorkshire Coast. Sleeping six across three bedrooms, there’s a large dining area and separate living room (very rare on The Bay!), well equipped kitchen (with full-sized fridge and dishwasher), large master bedroom with en-suite, and double and twin rooms. There’s a travel cot and children’s cutlery. Outside, you’ll enjoy a secluded garden with a private outdoor seating area, free wi-fi and plenty of free parking.
Location – The Bay Filey is a delightful holiday village, ideally located for a holiday on the Yorkshire coast. By booking direct with the owner, you know exactly which property you will be staying in (and you’ll be paying the best price too!). Caramel Cottage is only available to rent directly – you won’t find it on the resort website. Families, couples and friends return to The Bay time and again because there’s so much on the doorstep, from the village pub, shop, gym and swimming pool (access is free of charge to guests) to five miles of sandy beach just a short stroll away.
Things to do nearby – The attractions of Yorkshire Coast are really easy to access, with Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington a short drive. Top spots for kids include Sewerby Hall in Bridlington, Scarborough’s Alpamare water park, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, Flamborough Head Lighthouse and Sea Life Scarborough. Active families will love North Yorkshire Water Park. Surfers and bodyboarders will be spoilt for choice, with Cayton Bay just around the corner. Further afield, the North York Moors, Whitby and York make a fun day trip.
20 Woodspring Way, Moor Road, Filey, North Yorkshire YO14 9GB; email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Bike & Boot Inn, Scarborough
What it’s like – The Bike & Boot is a relaxed, modern hotel that’s perfect for active families looking for a comfortable, fun base for exploring the Yorkshire coast. The colourful, eccentric interior of the reception area sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, where flat caps and vintage bike helmets adorn the walls, alongside quirky dog-related art (it’s not just a dog-friendly hotel, it’s dog-mad!). There’s plenty of space to spread out in the ground floor lounges and plan your adventures, as well as a restaurant and bar for refuelling for breakfast, lunch or tea.
What’s in it for kids? As a family of five, we often struggle to find hotel rooms that can accommodate us all, and booking two rooms is pricey. The Bike & Boot has rooms that are large enough to fit us all in, with a small extra charge for additional beds. They can also provide cots if you request them in advance. High chairs are available at Bareca, and there’s a film club if you fancy watching a film downstairs three times a day (the earlier the showing, the more family-friendly it is). A stone’s throw from the sea, it’s perfectly placed for early morning walks along the beach with your little sleep-refuser or for bodyboarding or surfing with your active older child.
Food & drink – Open to non-residents The Bike & Boot’s Bareca restaurant and bar is a relaxed place to eat with a tempting menu of burgers, pizza, salads and much more, as well as a selection of good beers, wines and gins (and juice for the kids, of course). Breakfast is a self-service, continental affair.
What’s on the doorstep? Scarborough’s top attractions, from the shiny arcades of the South Bay to the rugged charms of the North Bay, as well as Scarborough Castle, Sea Life Scarborough, Alpamare, Peasholm Park and the North Bay Railway are within very easy reach. The coastal towns of Filey and Bridlington are a short drive away, as is the popular surfing beach of Cayton Bay.
The Bike & Boot, Cliff Bridge Terrace, Scarborough YO11 2HA
Best places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland
Camp Katur, Bedale
About Camp Katur – Camp Kátur is based on the 300-acre Camp Hill Estate, just outside Bedale in the Yorkshire Dales. One of the most popular glamping sites in Yorkshire, it offers a variety of accommodation options: geodomes, lodges and canvas tents. This is a place to go off-grid, recharge and reconnect with nature, but with the added bonus of a large woodland play area, swing park, outdoor gym and even a pub!
The accommodation – We were lucky to be one of the first guests to stay in Lyra, Camp Katur’s new luxury lodge and the first of its kind in the UK. With a beautiful, sustainable Scandinavian design, underfloor heating, shower rooms, an integrated kitchen, and two gorgeous bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s one of the loveliest places we’ve stayed. Light but cosy, luxurious but welcoming, we immediately felt at home (while rather wishing it was our home). The outdoor experience was equally impressive, with a large private deck with a dining area, comfortable lounge area, fire pit and – oh yes – a wood-fired eco hot tub! Read our Camp Katur review for all the details.
What’s in it for kids? A stay at Camp Katur is an enjoyable and totally unique way for children to experience the outdoors, learn about nature and make lasting memories but kids don’t always see things as adults do. We were all really impressed by the brilliantly creative outdoor gym – working out has never been so fun, or so natural. The kids adored the outdoor play area with its huge castle, plentiful playhouses and cracking zip wire, and there’s even a zone that’s entirely dedicated to swings!
Food & drink – Each of Camp Katur’s hideaways comes with a BBQ, and there are communal pizza ovens on the site. As a luxury option, Lyra has a well equipped fitted kitchen with a proper oven, fridge-freezer and dishwasher (hoorah!) so it’s easy to whip up a meal after a day of adventuring. The on-site pub, The Hebridean, is open on certain days and serves delicious local ales, gins and more. If you don’t fancy leaving your woodland home, you can’t beat sitting around the campfire with a glass of wine and some marshmallows to toast…
What’s on the doorstep? What isn’t?! The Yorkshire Dales is chock-full of fun things to do with children. With rolling hills, dramatic waterfalls and a patchwork of Postman Pat-style fields and dry stone walls, the Yorkshire Dales is a natural paradise with endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Splash in streams, head off on a family walk and see how much wildlife you can spot (our guess: a lot). The Yorkshire Dales is also home to an abundance of family-friendly attractions, including some of our top picks in North Yorkshire, including Fountains Abbey, Newby Hall, Thorp Perrow Arboretum, World of James Herriot, Forbidden Corner and Byrmor Ice Cream Parlour.
Camp Katur, The Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale DL8 2LS
Catgill Farm Campsite & Glamping
Escape the everyday and explore the beautiful Yorkshire Dales landscape in style with Catgill Farm. This family-friendly campsite has all you need for an unforgettable experience, from spacious camping pitches, with or without electricity, to cosy glamping pods and bell tents, complete with hot tubs. Don’t forget to grab a freshly baked pastry each morning and delicious pizza for dinner from Cat’s Kitchen while you’re there! Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or a longer stay, Catgill Farm has everything you need to make your staycation truly memorable.
The campsite – Catgill Farm is the perfect spot for you and your family to relax and enjoy an outdoor adventure. Enjoy breathtaking views, babbling streams and well-earned peace and quiet. With friendly staff and spotless amenities, you’ll see why Catgill Farm is the perfect place for an escape into nature!
Catgill’s camping pods – Catgill’s glamping pods and bell tents are the perfect way to enjoy the great outdoors. With plenty of room for families of up to 6 in the pods, kids love the built-in bunk beds, exploring the woodland or saying hello to the neighbouring sheep. Catgill’s bell tents sleep up to 4 people and provide a luxurious under-canvas experience. All the glamping accommodations have private outdoor hot tubs and fire pits meaning you can enjoy nature like never before – Catgill Farm glamping awaits!
Camping at Catgill – If you prefer a more traditional camping experience, there are plenty of pitches available with electric or not, so you can choose which one works best for you. Plus, with a family-friendly atmosphere, you can be sure to have a safe and fun experience in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales!
The famous Catgill breakfast (and pizza!) – Wake up to a delicious cup of coffee and end the day with a perfect slice of pizza! Cat’s Kitchen is the ultimate evening and morning destination for campers and glampers. Enjoy the freshest ingredients and amazing flavours.
Catgill Farm Camping and Glamping, Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6HA – Visit the Catgill Farm website
High Force Hotel, County Durham
Fancy a peaceful night away from the children? High Force Hotel is the perfect rural retreat located in the stunning countryside of Upper Teesdale, County Durham. This scenic location is complemented by one of the UK’s most magnificent waterfalls just a few minutes’ walk away from the hotel. The hotel has recently been transformed with new individually designed en-suite bedrooms, combining country charm with fresh, modern facilities. Each guest bedroom has unique, luxurious features, like soft quality beds, with a carefully thought-out stylish interior.
The hotel also has a popular restaurant that serves the most delicious, locally sourced dishes from breakfast through to evening meals. High Force is an incredibly popular destination for a country walk, hearty Sunday lunch and a superb stay in the most beautiful surroundings of Upper Teesdale. Raby Castle is a short drive away, and one of our favourite family days out, with its deer park, castle and amazing adventure playground, The Plotters’ Forest.
High Force Hotel, Alston Rd, Middleton-in-Teesdale, Forest-in-Teesdale, Barnard Castle DL12 0XH