The best budget summer family breaks

The best budget summer family breaks

Surfing in Morocco, island-hopping in Sweden, a week in a Tuscan villa … holiday for as little as £185 a person

Under £500pp

Get active in Devon
Highbullen Hotel sits between the moors in north Devon and its new owners have spent £1.4 million on a revamp. So there’s plenty of summer availability and excellent rates, too, for somewhere with eight tennis courts (including one indoor), two pools (one inside, one outside). There’s also an 18-hole golf course (plus a virtual simulator inside), indoor bowls and clay pigeon shooting. Fly-fishing and shooting lessons are available.
Details: In July and August, seven nights’ B&B in a large family room costs £1,355 including all leisure facilities, except golf (which is £10pp per round). Any lessons are also extra.

Cut-price villa in Tuscany
Bag a classic Tuscan villa at a discount — and blow the savings on some luscious Brunello. Recently restored Casa Lavanda is in a small hamlet near Cortona and is well-placed for easy day trips to Arezzo, Siena and Florence. Umbrian gems such as Perugia and Assisi are also accessible. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious pool, plus the option of using the basement for extra sleeping space (perfect for teenagers), it’s ideal for families of up to six.
Details: For the weeks starting July 20, August 3 and August 10 it’s £1,530 (normally £1,800) per week for six (01223 460100, Ryanair has Stansted to Pisa returns for about £130pp on August 3.

Hit the beach in Morocco
July and August are a fine time to visit the windsurfing hub of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast — the breeze keeps the heat down — and Fleewinter is offering seven nights for the price of five at the Rebali Riads complex in the village of Sidi Kaouki. The larger riads are bookable by the room or the whole property and you can self-cater or order meals from the on-site chefs. There are swimming pools, a tennis court and modern hammam and activities include wind, kite and board surfing (with optional lessons), camel safaris and cookery lessons.
Details: A week’s stay until August 4 starts at £495pp B&B, based on a family of four sharing a two-bedroomed villa (020-7112 0019, The price, saving a total of £320, includes flights and private transfers from Marrakesh.

Caravans in Brittany
A week in a French holiday village (they’re not called campsites any more, keep up) is a surefire child-pleaser and Domaine de Kerlann in southern Brittany, on the outskirts of the pretty town of Pont Aven, is one of the best. It’s a four-star holiday village with three free kids’ clubs, lifeguarded indoor and outdoor heated pools, basketball and football pitches, five outdoor playgrounds, evening entertainment, restaurant and bar. Beautiful white sand beaches are a few miles away and Quimper and Concarneau are within easy driving distance.
Details: Up to eight can stay for seven nights in a three-bedroom mobile home from August 3 for £454, saving £184 (0871 9117777, Transport costs extra: Roscoff and St Malo are the nearest ports.

Stay on Camber Sands
George Clooney allegedly stayed at Pontins when he was filming in Camber Sands earlier this month — but you can do so much better by renting a bijou apartment directly on the seven miles of beach. Above a cheery café (handy for ice cream and closed in the evening), it sleeps six in three smart bedrooms. It’s airy and open plan, with sliding glass doors onto a balcony overlooking the sea. The excellent Gallivant restaurant is a short walk away, and Rye with its cobbled streets and vintage shops is a few miles away.
Details: £795 per week for six for each of the last two weeks in July and £650 for the week beginning August 30 (01580 720770,

Welsh cottages with babysitting
For a gentle staycation, with babysitting on tap, try the Grove Hotel (01834 860915, in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. It has four family-friendly self-catering cottages and kids can head out into the huge kitchen garden and pick their own veg to bring back and cook. The Family of Four package includes a gardening lesson with the Grove’s head gardener and tickets to nearby Folly Farm, while Pembrokeshire National Park and beaches are a short drive away.
Details: A week’s stay for a family of four costs £1,290, or £322.50pp.

Glamp it up on the Isle of Wight
Go glamping in a yurt with the Really Green Holiday Company on the Isle of Wight. It moved this year to a bigger site on Freshwater Bay in west Wight, within easy reach of a farm shop and the excellent Red Lion pub. Each yurt has a small wood-burning stove, raised wooden floors, rugs, natural bedding, all the equipment you’d usually find in a holiday cottage and, crucially, real beds.
Details: Departing August 2, a one-week break costs £185pp (based on four sharing), including return car ferry travel from Portsmouth or Lymington through Wightlink (0871 3760013,

Castle stay in the Rhine
Don’t fancy a youth hostel? You’ll change your mind when you check into Stahleck Castle in Bacharach, standing proud on a crag overlooking the Rhine. It’s perfect for families, (there are smaller rooms as well as dorms) and there’s plenty to do including canoeing — past the legendary Lorelei rock — climbing, swimming, mountain biking and, of course, cruising down the river. Bacharach is one of the prettiest towns in the Rhine gorge, full of traditional half-timbered houses and cosy wineries.
Details: B&B starts at £18pp per night ( Membership of the YHA is required — buy a guest membership when booking. Ryanair flies to Frankfurt-Hahn, the nearest airport. Download the free Great Holidays on a Small Budget brochure from the German National Tourist Office website (

Under £1,000pp

All-inclusive in Puglia
If the thought of endless bland hotel buffets puts you off an all-inclusive holiday, try the small and friendly Hotel Al Duemila in Puglia in southern Italy — all meals are regional specialities and served to the table. There’s a poolside barbecue at least once a week and free transport to the beach.
Details: A garden room for a family of four for a week in August starts at £643pp, all inclusive, including all flights and transfers (01694 722193,

Activities in the Alps
An alpine chalet in the heart of France’s Grand Bornand ski resort is a comfortable base for an action-packed week. Mountain biking, guided walking, kayaking, white water rafting, a trip to the adventure park and horse-riding are all on the itinerary. In the afternoon, you can head back for pastries and tea before a three-course dinner with wine.
Details: A week starts at £700 per adult, £600 per child under 16 and £400 per child under 4. Book before July 1 and for every place booked you’ll get one half price with Adventures in the Alps (020-7193 7660, Flights to Geneva at the end of July are about £170pp return with Easyjet (

Island hopping in Sweden
If messing about in boats is your thing, head for Sweden’s west coast and explore its archipelago. Stay on Tjörn Island (a 50-minute drive north of Gothenburg) in a cosy cottage overlooking the water and go sea kayaking, diving and island-hopping. Don’t miss lunch on the pier at nearby Salt & Sill, which serves more than 40 types of herring.
Details: A week starts at £900pp (based on four sharing) including flights and car hire. The price is valid for stays until August 18 (0845 8900300,

Surfing in Portugal’s Alentejo
Portugal’s beautiful, lesser-visited Alentejo coastline is a prime surfing spot. Sign up the brood for day-long surf or bodyboard classes at Furnas beach, by the River Mira, where bikes and canoes can be hired and stay near the small fishing village of Vila Nova Milfontes, home to some great restaurants, cafés and bars.
Details: Seven nights’ B&B in an apartment at the Monte do Zambujeiro starts at £3,568 (based on four sharing) including flights and car hire. Activities cost extra (020-8758 4722,

Hike and bike in Derbyshire
For a walking and cycling holiday with a difference, try HF Holidays’ week in the Derbyshire Dales — on three of the days you’ll cycle on disused railway tracks through the limestone countryside of the White Peaks: the Tissington Trail, the Manifold Valley Trail and the Monsal Trail. Full board is included, along with evening entertainment at the Peveril of the Peak country house.
Details: Departing August 17, it costs £699 per adult, children 11 to 17 years pay £359 each, under 11s £49 (0845 4708558,

Atlantis Beach Towers
Stay at the Atlantis Beach Towers on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and Aquaventure, one of the Caribbean’s best waterparks, with its myriad pools, slides, beaches and lazy rivers is on tap. The resort also has a great aquarium, tennis courts and a kids’ club — but good luck with getting junior to do anything but hurtle down the Leap of Faith.
Details: DialAFlight (0844 5566060, is offering seven nights from £825pp (saving £525 per family), based on four sharing for bookings until August 23, for selected departures from August 18 to October 16. The price includes British Airways’ non-stop flights, transfers and a terrace view double room.

Laze in a Greek villa
It’s still possible to bring in a Greek island villa holiday under £1,000pp over the summer, even with easyJet flights now hitting £400pp. Ionian Villas has good availability in August: a week at Villa Louisa on Paxos, sleeping six, costs £1,980 and factoring in flights, car hire and transfers would bring the total to £804pp. Alternatively, Villa Pachino, in an idyllic location above a beach on Ithaca, sleeps up to seven and costs £1,320 and adding flights and transfers (no car is needed) would bring the total to £770pp.
Details: Book with Ionian Villas (01935 477196,

Hit Biarritz in late August
Wait until the second half of August when the rest of Europe goes back to school and there are some good deals to be had. Rates plummet at the apartments at glitzy five-star hotel La Réserve (00 33 5 59 51 32 00, near Biarritz, on France’s Atlantic coast. Explore Saint-Jean-de-Luz’s beaches or nip into Biarritz for spectacular seafood and a chocolate museum.
Details: From August 25 an apartment sleeping four costs £1,400. Flights with Ryanair that week are currently about £172pp from Stansted.

Tennis camp in the Canaries
Take budding Andy Murrays to the Canaries for a tennis camp. Seaside Los Jameos Playa Hotel claims the best tennis facilities in Lanzarote and offer lessons and courses for all ages and levels run by the Burwash International Tennis School. The hotel is by the Playa del Carmen beach and has three swimming pools, one for children only, plus a kids’ club, mini golf course and wellness centre.
Details: Seven nights’ all-inclusive costs £854pp, departing Gatwick on July 28 with First Choice (0871 2007799, A three day-tennis camp for two to four players costs £112pp (or £64 for juniors); a five-day camp costs £160.

Originally posted 2015-10-30 09:55:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter