Last Updated on March 9, 2022 by Louise
Are you a family with teenagers who is stuck for holiday ideas in the UK?
Look no further! We have 10 amazing ideas from city breaks to seaside adventures to theme parks and watersports – there is a UK holiday destination to suit every teen.
Woolacombe is a fab destination for teenagers. Bodyboarding on the beach is a favourite pastime of my own teenage son who will spend hours in the sea doing just that. Woolacombe was voted one of the 25 best beaches in the world in 2020 according to Trip Advisor. It is perfect to enjoy an ice cream, play cricket on the vast sands and challenge family to a game of adventure golf in Woolacombe itself.
Teens will also love staying at the Golden Coast Holiday park. There are so many action packed activities on site that they will never be short of something to do. The facilities include 4 heated pools including one outdoors with thrilling slides, a surfing similulator, climbing wall, ropes course, adventure golf, amusements, an outdoor gym and lots more.
Another holiday park to consider is Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park. It’s right next to the beach and has a pools, a cinema, a segeway safari experience, climbing walls, disc golf, foot golf and crazy golf (some activities have additional charges).
For a luxury family experience, try Woolacombe Bay Hotel with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a cinema and tennis courts.
What Else is There To Do in the Area
For a beach with a difference go to Tunnels beaches. You arrive there through tunnels carved out through the cliffs. It’s about 4 miles drive from Woolacombe.
Take a sea safari from Ifracombe. Experience a fun ride aboard a Humber Rib which although travels at 20 knot is surprisingly stable. Search for seals, dolphins and porpoises on your trip.
If you fancy a boat ride which is less action packed, why not hop aboard a Princess cruise from Ifracombe. Their cruises involve a seal cruise and a bird cruise where they take you to the best places to see the wildlife.
Go Quad Biking at Keypitts Off Road Adventure
Or try stand up paddleboarding at Lee Bay
Find more ideas of things to do in Woolacombe
The Peak District
Image: Winnats Pass – Matthew Savage /Flickr
The Peak district may not be the first place you think of when holidaying with teenagers but this area has so much for teenagers to do.
It’s very close to Alton Towers theme park so you can bargain with your teens and do what you want on one day in exchange for a visit to Alton Towers.
Other attractions include a cable car ride on the Heights of Abraham, the amusement arcades at Matlock bath, hire a bike and ride through the tunnels on the Monsal trail, explore the Blue John Cavern at Castleton, swim at Hathersage outdoor pool. hike up Mam Tor, Go Ape in Buxton and eat a Bakewell Tart in Bakewell.
Where to Stay : There are many amazing places to stay in the Peak district. Look for one with a hot tub, not many teenagers will complain at that! One of the best holiday parks in the area is Landal’s Darwin Forest. It is nestled within a stunning woodland just a short drive from Matlock and Bakewell, ideally located on the edge of Derbyshire’s breath taking Peak District and close to nearby attractions as well as the cities of Chesterfield and Sheffield. The park itself has numerous fun filled activities from tennis and mini-golf to Bodyzorbing, archery, Waterwalkerz and snorkelling.
The Activity Den hosts pool tables, air hockey and an arcade games room ideal for older kids. There’s also a swimming pool, bike rides and walks in the nearby forest and lots more.
Image: Kayaking on Llyn Padarn Lake / Shutterstock
A holiday in Snowdonia is ideal for active teenagers. Teen adventurers will love trekking up Snowden. It takes a few hours but is well worth the feeling of achievement once you reach the top. Of course there is also the option of reaching the summit on Snowdonia’s mountain railway instead.
For more adrenaline filled activities, enjoy the world’s fastest and Europe’s longest zip line, Velocity 2, at Zip World, Penrhyn Quarry. At Penrhyn Quarry teens can also experience Quarry Karts, the UK’s first mountain cart track.
Snowdonia is also great for water sports such as kayaking or white water rafting. Why not try kayaking or canoeing on Lly Padarn Lake (like in the photo). Or there’s the world’s only indoor surf lagoon at Surf Snowdonia located within the bigger Adventure Park Snowdonia. Engage in other adventures there such as indoor climbing and mountain biking too.
If they like history they will enjoy visiting one of Wales magnificent castles such as Caernarfon castle or Cowny Castle.
Where to Stay – Stay in a glamping pod at Adventure Park Snowdonia (sleeps up to 4). Or for a more luxurious break, check into the Hilton Garden Snowdonia with a choice of suites including a twin or king family room.
York is a fantastic city trip for families with teens. It’s a city that’s steeped in history but it’s also compact. Once in York, you can walk between most of the attractions and sight seeing venues.
Climb the tower at York Minister, go back in time on a train ride through Viking times at the Jorvik Centre, freak out at the York Dungeons, walk the city walls and enjoy a chocolate adventure at York’s Chocolate story.
Harry Potter fans will love walking down the Shambles which is believed to have been the inspiration behind Diagon Alley from the movie adaptation of the Harry Potter series.
There’s also some great shops for shopaholics and lots of restaurants and cafes to fill up on food.
Read more about things to do for teenagers in York.
Where to Stay – The Stay City Apartments are located just on the edge of the city centre (just outside the city walls). They’re perfect for a weekend in the city with enough room for families with teens.
Image : Tamara Areshian / Flickr Creative Commons
There are many resorts throughout Cornwall which would make an amazing holiday for teenagers. Newquay is our top pick because there is so much to do.
Home to beautiful beaches, it’s a great place to learn how to surf and is the surfing capital of Cornwall (and perhaps the UK). It also features Newquay Cornwall’s largest zoo and Cornwall’s largest aquarium. There are plenty more attractions in and around the town including go karts, bike riding and sea safaris.
Outside of Newquay is Flambards a small theme park with some thrilling rides.
Where to Stay: Why not stay at the luxury Watergate Bay Hotel where teens can swim in the 25 metre pool with floor-to-ceiling glass on two sides? Rooms include family suites, beach lofts and villa apartments.
In Scotland, you can combine a city trip to Edinburgh with the beach. Portobello beach is just a couple of miles from the city. It’s lovely to sit on the beach on a sunny day and you can explore the independent eateries and shops in Portobello as well
There’s so much to do in Edinburgh. Visit the iconic and historic Edinburgh Castle, hike up Arthur’s seat for amazing views, visit fun attractions such as Camera Obscura or one of the free museums like the National Museum of Scotland.
Teenagers will love tales of gory history at Edinburgh dungeon. Take a Harry Potter walking tour to see where JK Rowling wrote the series. Head a few miles out of the city and go underground to explore Gilmerton Cove.
Discover more things for teenagers to do In Edinburgh.
Keswick, Lake District
Image : Keswick Leonardo Rissi / Flickr Creative Commons
The Lake District has so much to offer in outdoor activities for teens. Hiking, water sports and rock climbing to name but a few activities.
Keswick is a fantastic town to set up base with teens. It’s a small town but has shops, restaurants, cafe’s, a cinema, theatre and fish & chip shops. There are great walks along Derwent Water.
From Keswick town, it’s only 10 mins walk to Keswick boating landing where you can take boat rides or hire a rowing boat. Or try out some water sports at Derwent Water Marina.
Other activities include bike riding. Cyclewise Whinlatter Bike Hire and shop is based in Whinlatter Forest near Keswick. Go Ape is based in Whinlatter Forest too.
For a slower pace of life visit Keswick museum and Wordsworth’s House and Museum.
Image : British Airways i360 / Shutterstock
Brighton is another city by the beach that will appeal to teenagers with varying tastes and interests.
If they love shopping, they will love the independent and vintage shops on The Lanes as well as all the high street favourites.
Zipwire along the beach. The Brighton Zip Wire is a 300 metre dual zipwire ride that runs along the beach.
Take a ‘flight’ on the the British Airways i360 and get sky high views from this beachside tower. The glass viewing pod carries its passengers slowly upwards to a height of 450 feet (which is even taller than the London Eye)
You can also experience the fun of fair at the end of Palace Pier. Or hire bikes from and follow the cycle path around the Marina and along the undercliff towards the village of Rottingdean.
Still more time? Visit the sea aquarium, book a tour of the old police cells museum, play adventure golf or see the Royal Pavillion
Where to Stay : For a touch of glamour, teens will love to stay at Malmaison.
Crieff Hydro, Perthshire
Image : Tom Parnell / Flickr
Crieff Hydro is set in a 900-acre estate with a Victorian spa, 9-hole par 3 golf course and over 60 indoor and outdoor activities. There is so much to do but you can also spend a lot of time relaxing.
Stay in the hotel or one of the self catering lodges dotted around the estate.
Teens can play and chill out in Glen’s Den. Get competitive over a game of ice hockey or sit back and play the Xbox. Munch on some freshly popped popcorn whilst lounging on the sofa. Or dive into the virtual world with a VR machine.
Outdoors there’s quad biking, archery, air-rifle shooting, bike riding (you can hire mountain bikes) and a tree-tops course. The watersports centre on nearby Loch Earn offers a huge range of watersports and spectators can watch at the bar and cafe.
Book at Crieff Hydro
You can’t go wrong with a short break in London for teenagers. The trouble is there is so much to do – it’s hard to know which activities to pick. It’s worth planning an itinerary with your teen so they can pick the activities and days out they will enjoy the most. A top tip is try not to plan to do too much – you can always add activities if you find you have time.
Some of the top choices for teenagers include selfies with the stars at Madame Tussauds, walking the glass floor over Tower Bridge, shopping in Camden market, rollerskating in Hyde Park, getting a birds eye view of the city from the London Eye or the Shard.
There’s so much to do in London you won’t need to go anywhere else for entertainment but if you have a Harry Potter fan and you are staying for a while, a trip out to Harry Potter World (about 30 miles out of London) is something to consider
Check out this article on things to do with London for teenagers for some more ideas.
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