A getaway with friends and family is a lovely way to holiday. Arranging to meet your nearest and dearest here in England eliminates the hurdles of airport queues, passports and injections – mild headache-inducers for most of us. Those diversions are way less daunting if you are travelling alone or with your partner, but co-ordinating large groups can make leaving the country seem much less appealing.
So why not consider a staycation in England this year? There are heaps of great places to visit en masse and sometimes you can qualify for large group or family discounts on entrance fees – it’s especially handy if you are all based at the same holiday cottage.
Staycations are also a lot more sustainable – while jetting off on a plane is great fun, and something that all of us (myself included) are partial to, travelling less will help you curb your carbon footprint.
Group accommodation is easier to source than you may think, and companies like The Big Domain have properties for extended families’ and friends’ reunions across the country. Some accommodate groups of around 20 people too, so when the costs are shared out it can work out quite well. We’ve put together a guide to some great visitor attractions and natural beauty spots that welcome groups – check it out below!
Where to Stay in the UK for large groups
Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
Bodmin Moor is one of three large (by the national standards) wild nature spots in the UK. Found at the centre of Cornwall, Bodmin Moor is a true walker’s paradise and there’s nowhere better for a catch-up than a long-distance walk.
Much of Bodmin Moor is inaccessible by car and there are just a handful of footpaths; you can immerse yourselves in the one of the country’s best-loved untamed spots. Climb to the peaks of Rough Tor and Brown Willy or exceptional views of the surrounding moors.
Bodmin Moor is a great place to watch the night sky if you are staying nearby, as the light pollution is virtually non-existent here: it’s a designated International Dark Sky Landscape, so bring your telescope.
Nearby, there are also lots of things to do in Bodmin town, including visiting the creepy Bodmin Gaol and learning about smuggling at Jamaica Inn.
Stay in: Samphire House in Crackington Haven (sleeping 10 guests)
Windsor Castle near London
Windsor Castle is the largest inhabited fortress in the UK. Dominating the surrounding landscape since the 11 th century, it has been a royal residence for centuries. Its Round Tower is world-famous and houses the royal family’s library. The North Terrace – allowing for views across Eton Fields, The Brocas and the River Thames – offers access to Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and the State Apartments. St George’s Chapel is the home of several recent royal weddings. Also, take a picnic and enjoy a leisurely stroll along the Long Walk to the Copper Horse monument. Windsor is a great destination for a group holiday as it’s also home to the Great Park, plenty of historic buildings and Legoland. Plus, it’s not far from London at all – meaning you can spend some time in the capital as well!
Stay in: Chelsea House in West London (sleeping 16 guests)
Eden Project, Cornwall
Perhaps one of the very best eco-friendly visitor attractions in the UK, there’s fun and education for all the family in equal measure; whether you’re on a road trip around Cornwall or are staying here for a week-long holiday, visiting the Eden Project is a must-do!
Whether you like plant and flower-spotting or taking an adrenaline-fuelled zipwire ride over the roofs of the biodomes, there’s something for guests of all ages here.
Travelling exhibitions jostle for attention alongside permanent artefacts like the 70-tonne granite seed, the giant bee, orchid displays, the temperate zones, and the gigantic automation made from discarded tech hardware. The Eden Project offers good deals for groups of visitors, too. With on-site places to eat and drink, this is a great all-weather option.
Stay in: Chy Lowen – Tresavean, near Redruth (sleeping 10 guests)
Symonds Yat, England/Wales border
For an adventure weekend with friends and family, visitors of all ages and abilities will love Symonds Yat and the surrounding area. Straddling the England/Wales border, you can enjoy learning how to canoe and kayak along the shallow River Wye.
Winding through wooded gorges, this is a superb choice for outdoor types with young children. Families come from all around to make the most of the woodland walks and the splendid natural beauty all around. You can hire boats at the base of Symonds Yat or take a course in summit mountaineering, paddleboard river tours, or take a day trip into Ross-on-Wye. For nature lovers, this is one of the best-loved destinations all year round for a group adventure holiday.
Stay in: Noble Escape in Monmouth (sleeping 16 guests)
Norfolk Broads, Norfolk
Take a day trip sailing through the Norfolk Broads on a launch large enough to accommodate your whole group. There’s nothing like being on the move with all you need to hand, surrounded by friends and family – you can prepare a meal or sunbathe on the roof as you float through the network of waterways that criss-cross the eastern part of Norfolk. You can now hire a day boat from Wroxham and discover the beauty of the area for yourself. Dipping your toe into the water this way with a day boat may inspire you to take a longer trip at a later stage. You can also hire canal boats for weekends and longer at Wroxham, too.
Stay in: The Mews House, near Wroxham (sleeping 8 guests)
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the sheer wealth of places in the UK that are great for groups on holiday. We also recommend trips to the Peak District, the Lake District and the Cairngorms for adventurers; London, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow for city lovers; and Bournemouth, Brighton, Alnwick, Camber Sands, North Devon, and Harlech for fantastic beaches, too.
Whatever you plan to do on your staycation, be sure to visit a group accommodation provider when choosing a place to stay. There are large luxury homes all over the country, from stately homes to farmhouses and seafront mansions. We hope we’ve given you some inspiration for your next getaway with friends and family.