Family holidays in August

Family holidays in August

By Amanda Statham, Editor

Are you looking for family holidays in August 2021? We expect this to be a very busy month for both staycations and overseas holidays, so it is important to book early. Click the links below to find out about prices and rebooking options, as many tour operators are offering flexible terms.

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UK family holidays in August

Self-catering is the most popular option this summer, and fortunately the UK has thousands of family-friendly cottages to rent, but the best ones are going fast, so book soon.

You could opt for a cottage in Cornwall – see this selection of 350 family-friendly properties and these baby-friendly cottages. The specialist company, Helpful Holidays, has a great selection of self-catering accommodation across Devon, including the gorgeous South Hams.

You could stay in Brecon Beacons National Park – with hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing and caving on your doorstep – staying in one of these family cottages. If you want to breath some sea air, try these cottages on the Northumberland Coast and these on the Norfolk coast.

i-escape has some delightfully quirky self-catering options such as Foxham Boutique Barn in Wiltshire which is set in 200 acres of woodland and meadows with its own private lake for wild swimming plus a jetty and rowing boat. You could opt for an eco-lodge on Islay or a bell tent on the Elmley Nature Reserve.

In Dorset, you can rent a holiday cottage on the Jurassic Coast, where ITV’s Broadchurch was filmed. Or discover the chocolate-box beauty of the Cotswolds.

How about one of these working farm holidays or you could sign up for a family activity holiday with PGL. We’ve found more than 200 dog-friendly cottages around the UK, along with tsome great cottages on the Isle of Wight.

On the north coast of Cornwall Sands Resort Hotel is superb for families with lots of activities for kids and family-friendly rooms. Check out the latest special offers. If you’re on a budget, head to Perran Springs Holiday Park set in gorgeous countryside near Newquay.

In the Channel Islands, the Merton Hotel in Jersey has everything that parents and children could wish for. The large suites and serviced apartments are perfect families with facilities that include an Aquadome (pools, slides, fountains, sauna and steam room) along with a superb outdoor pool complex, including a Flowrider where kids can learn to surf.

Activities Abroad has a six-night activity holiday in the Lake District for children age 10 and over with hiking, rock climbing, scrambling, abseiling, canoeing and sailing.

And if the summer holidays seem to be going on for ever, you could send them off to Kingswood Camps for exciting adventures from mountain karting to quad-biking. Great for building confidence and burning off energy!

See our full guide to the best family holidays in England.

Villa holidays in August

The Mediterranean is ideal for family holidays in August. Renting a private villa is a great option. I recommend the Greek islands of Corfu, Paxos and Lefkada, and gorgeous Kefalonia in the Ionians.

In Spain I’ve found some great villas in Mallorca and on the mainland in Catalunya (see the special offers).

Croatia is a good choice if you want to stay on the coast. For example, Villa Mlini is within a short walk of sandy coves, bars and restaurants and you can take a ferry to nearby Dubrovnik, so a hire car isn’t necessary.

Alternatively, take to the water and explore some of Croatia’s 1,000 islands on a crewed gulet or yacht with Sail Dalmatia. Check out the latest deals.

If you’re looking for an alternative to the Spanish Costas, head to Galicia in the North for uncrowded white-sand beaches and a great collection of family villas.

In France, the Dordogne is one of the most popular regions for British families. It’s a great area to explore with river kayaking, gentle cycling and pretty villages and châteaus to explore. See this selection of family villas in the Dordogne. There are some great options for larger groups, too.

If you have a generous budget, consider Sir Richard Branson’s Son Bunyola estate in Mallorca where three stunning villas are set in 680 acres of beautiful countryside. You’ll get your own private chef, along with a concierge service.

Budget sun in August

If you’re on a budget, take a look at Siblu, which has a selection of villages in France that have comfortable mobile homes plus large swimming pools, free children’s clubs and sports. See the latest offers.

Or head to Bulgaria which is an absolute bargain. A family of four can go for a week with flights for under £2,000 in resorts like Sunny Beach.

i-escape.com has handpicked some outstanding family hotels and apartments. It recommends renting a designer apartment in a European city – it’s often cheaper than staying in a hotel, but offers more freedom, space and privacy. You could stay at a loft in Paris, a canal boat in Amsterdam, a stylish apartment in Lisbon or a designer home in Barcelona.

Luxury hotels in the Med

If you’re looking for a luxury hotel in the Mediterranean, check out the stylish child-friendly Almyra in Cyprus. In Puglia, in the south of Italy, I recommend the award-winning Borgo Egnazia.

Maybe you have happy memories of parties in Ibiza before children arrived? If so, head to the stylish new Nobu Ibiza Bay Hotel just two miles outside Ibiza Town. It has a lovely sandy beach, spa, yoga pavilion, fitness centre and beach club – plus a free club for kids aged 4 to 14. If you want to get away from it all, try the 7Pines Resort Ibiza which boasts a world-class spa.

In Greece, the MarBella Corfu is a luxury hotel that is totally designed for families. The outstanding child care options include a creche for babies from four months, along with snorkelling expeditions for older kids and classes ranging from pottery to robotics.

Turkey is great value if you want a luxury holiday in a quiet resort such as Kalkan. I recommend this collection of boutique hotels and luxury villas.

Sardinia has amazing beaches, along with superb hotels including Forte Village and Chia Laguna Resort. The latter is popular with Italian families and runs a packed programme of activities and experiences including a Dance Academy and Football Academy in August, for ages 5 to 14.

The French island of Corsica has a wonderful selection of hotels, villas, apartments and residences.

If you’re a single parent, check out this range of beach holidays. Most popular destination in August is Lanzarote along with the five-star Alexander Beach Hotel in Crete.

We’ve also found some great single parent activity holidays including glamping breaks in tipis and wigwams and ‘bucket and spade’ resorts in Majorca. Their August holiday in Pembroke, on the Welsh coast, is an annual favourite.

Family activity holidays in August

If your kids enjoy riding bikes, why not consider a self-guided family cycling holiday in an unspoilt region of Europe. Your luggage is transported each day for you, and there’s a friendly family hotel (usually with a pool) at the end of each day. Our top recommended destinations are Mallorca  and Catalonia.

Or you could putter along the canals and rivers of rural France on a family boating holiday exploring Brittany, the Loire Valley or Canal du Midi. The fleet of boats sleep between 3 and 12 people and no experience is necessary.

Join a flotilla sailing holiday in the Mediterranean – sailing in a group from port to port – and your whole family can learn to sail. If you want to learn the ropes first, you can book a two-week Stay and Sail Holiday with a week’s tuition followed by a second at sea.

Another option is a Mediterranean beach club such as Mark Warner’s new Phokaia Beach Resort in Turkey. It has a range of water sports and Kids Clubs from ages 2 – 17 (see the special offers).

For a more exclusive adventure, take the children on a guided gulet cruising holiday along the coast of Italy, Greece or Turkey. You’ll be on a traditional Turkish gulet which is perfect for visiting deserted coves and swimming in clear seas. A guide will show the family around local cultural sites.

If you want a big all-singing, all-dancing ship packed with activities for children, check out these family cruises.

Family holidays in the countryside

You could take an independent family walking holiday with Inntravel, where you walk from hotel to hotel with no fixed itinerary as your luggage is transported for you. Popular destinations include Spain’s Catalan Coast and the Italian Dolomites.

This collection of family hideaways in rural France is superb. For example, these houses to rent on a domaine in the Languedoc share tennis courts, a huge infinity pool, spa and restaurant.

If you’re travelling with a large family or group of friends, you could rent a chateau in the French countryside – for example, Chateau Joncaises in the Lot Valley sleeps up to 16. See the latest special offers.

If you have older children, try these activity holidays in Spain.

The luxury tour operator, Best Served, has put together some amazing trips to SwedenNorway and Lapland where you can experience natural wonders, outdoors adventures, Scandi cool and midnight sun. In Norway, you can explore mountains, fjords and cities on boats, trains, kayaks and cycles on this Active Fjord Adventure.

Jamaica hurricane season

Long haul beaches

This can be a great time of year to spread your wings and go long haul. Unlike in Europe, you won’t pay a premium for travelling in the school summer holidays, and lots of places enjoy good weather in our summer.

It’s the best time of year to visit Mauritius and the journey is easy: direct overnight flights and just a three-hour time difference. The hotels provide a wonderful welcome for children, plus you have superb beaches and natural wonders. Stay at the contemporary all-suite Lux* Belle Mare. See the latest family offers.

The Caribbean is popular in August. Take a look at these family holidays in Antigua.

Long haul adventures for families

Japan is a non-stop whirl of excitement. Children of all ages love the high-tech, neon-lit cities where they can discover the home of manga comics, anime and Hello Kitty. Ride the bullet train, visit a Samurai castle and explore the wooden buildings of ancient Kyoto. See more family holidays in Japan.

Sri Lanka is great for kids and August is the low season – you might get some rain showers, but they are usually short and sharp. There is so much to see and do – and great beaches. This Classic Sri Lanka packs in all the key sights plus an elephant safari.

In India, Cox & Kings has a two-week Kerala Family Adventure that works well in August. It includes a visit to an indigenous tribe, tracking elephants, leopards and tigers in Nagarhole National Park, a houseboat stay and dolphin-spotting.

Perhaps you want to teach your kids a more profound lesson about how privileged they are? Try one of these amazing family volunteering holidays where you can work with local people or spend a few days on a wildlife conservation project in exciting destinations such as Costa Rica, Zambia and Thailand.

Kenya is one of the best African destinations for families in August. Try this 13-day Kenya and Mauritius safari and beach combination: stay at the Kichwa Tembo tented camp in the Maasai Mara followed by some real luxury in a two-bedroom villa with private pool at the Constance Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.

If you don’t want take malaria tablets, go to South Africa where you can view the Big Five in malaria free safari reserves such as Madikwe and Pilanesberg, both known for their excellent children’s programmes.

Madagascar is great to visit in August: children can track lemurs on foot at night, take a whale-watching trip, enjoy stunning beaches and explore a pirate cemetery. This lemur tracking safari is a great introduction.

In the American West, you could taste the life of a cowboy on a resort ranch. In South America, it’s the dry season in Ecuador so a good time to strike the Galapagos Islands off your bucket list. Check out this sensational Discover Galapagos tour for families.

It’s the dry season in Borneo – the best time of year to visit. This is a great destination for adventurous kids, combining orang-utans, rainforest, tribal culture, hiking and beaches. See this family adventure holiday in Borneo.

It’s also a good time to visit Thailand where I recommend these family adventure holidays. Head to the steamy south for a Beach and Jungle Adventure, or go to Northern Thailand for lower temperatures and hill tribe encounters, river rafting and a hot air balloon ride.

Few destinations in Asia are more thrilling than Vietnam – a vibrant, welcoming country with bustling cities, colourful temples, white-sand beaches and exciting street food. It’s low season in July, so not too crowded.

Or push the boat out and enjoy the Maldives where you’ll find a surprising number of family-friendly resorts.

Find more family holiday ideas, and holidays for teenagers.

When is the August Bank Holiday?

In 2021, the August Bank Holiday falls on Monday 30 August.

Last updated: 8 February 2021

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Before you book

Travel guidelines and advice are changing constantly amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Check the latest travel restrictions for UK residents.