Whether you prefer to holiday like a royal, discover the wonders of the underwater world or have a penchant for all things arty, there’s plenty to keep families, couples, singles and our four legged friends occupied over the spring break.
1. EDF Energy London Eye
London (Edwin’s Easter Discovery Tour £24 per person, up to 30% discount off family tickets)
The view of the big wheel – London Eye – on South Bank is pretty awesome. But the bird’s-eye view from it is even better. The ride lasts 30 minutes and at its height you will be 135m high so that’s quite an eyeful. When the sun shines you may even see as far as Windsor Castle, some 25 miles away.
Over the Easter holidays families will be encouraged to help Edwin find his lost bunnies. You will be given an activity pack and a guide will help you play detective and to decipher the clues and the facts about the London landmarks that can be seen from the Eye’s capsules. You may even spot one of Edwin’s bunnies. The package allows for priority boarding, a 30-minute rotation, a guided tour host, and an activity pack with magnifying glass and badge.
2. Underwater world
Chepstow, Gloucester (From £16 per person entry fee)
Forest of Dean’s Dive Centre offers an underwater experience for all ages and abilities. Attractions include training platforms at six and seven metres made of shipping containers, an old boat cruiser at 10 metres and a British Aerospace Jetstream at 11 metres which was originally designed as a light passenger and business aircraft. There is an equipment shop and café for re-fuelling and wooden Wigwam’s, aka camping pods, for those that want to continue their family adventure.
3. A royal retreat
Datchet and Windsor Castle (From £175 per room per night)
Situated just upstream from Windsor – the Queen’s favourite weekend retreat – The Manor Hotel and Brasserie in Datchet is an intimate boutique hotel overlooking the village green. The hotel is offering the Windsor Castle family package [PDF link] which includes a three course dinner for two adults and two children, complimentary milk and cookies and breakfast and four tickets to Windsor Castle.
4. Doggy getaway
Babbacombe Beach, Devon (From £520 per double room)
Want to treat your pet pooch too? The Cary Arms [scroll down the page to view Doggy Getaway deal] is situated on dog-friendly Babbacombe Beach. The Inn has created it’s own walk book so guests can explore the stunning coastal scenery and inland country paths. Dogs can also swim in the sea all year-round.
The package includes doggy heaven welcome pack with dog bed and bowls, treats and suggested local walks, dinner with your dog including a dog’s dinner and a three course dinner for two people, two nights luxury double sea view accommodation, breakfast and a classic lunch picnic hamper.
5. Meet the meerkats
Seaview, Isle of Wight (From £50 per person)
You’ve seen them many times on TV and now is your chance to enjoy a face to face encounter with a meerkat. A member of the Seaview Wildlife Encounter team will give guests an overview of these zany characters before enjoying some face to face time in their enclosure. With the aid of a bowl of tasty meerkat treats to help win the affections of your new furry friends, zoo staff will take photos of them feeding from the palm of your hand. These will be downloaded onto a disk and given as a memento of your special day.
6. Art escape
St Germans, Cornwall (£8 entry per adult, £4 per child)
Those with a penchant for all things arty will love Port Eliot House and Gardens nestled in South East Cornwall. With 11 staircases, 15 back doors, 82 chimneys and a roof covering half an acre, this Grade I listed building is bursting with style, flair and creativity. The house is adorned with murals, masterpieces and installations by the likes of Sir John Soane and Robert Lenckiewicz, while the garden (also Grade I listed) inspires with its rolling views and gorgeous ornamental features. This year will also see a welcome return to the Port Eliot Festival which attracts an eclectic mix of celebrities, bookworms, art lovers and foodies, for what is pretty much a giant garden party.
7. Peppa Pig
Paultons Park (£23.50 entry fee)
Deep in the heart of the New Forest, Paultons family theme park is home to the world’s first and UK exclusive Peppa Pig World with Peppa Pig themed rides, an outdoor playground and an indoor play centre. Fly in the clouds on the Windy Castle ride, hitch a ride on Grandpa Pig’s little train and take to the skies in Miss Rabbit’s helicopter ride. Peppa and her brother George will be there to meet and greet.