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Five things to think about

PLANNING A FAMILY STAYCATION?Five things to think about…

We’ll be honest: we don’t love the term ‘staycation’, it feels like we’re ‘making do’ when we holiday in the UK. We know this is far from true, so we’d like to propose a new term: ‘homegrown holidays’. Here at our luxury family hotel in North Devon, homegrown holidays have been our passion for over 40 years. We love creating the special ‘away-from-it-all’ experiences that families and kids cherish. And, after such a tumultuous year, never have these been more deserved!

If you are planning a homegrown holiday (family staycation – bleurgh!) look no further…

Whether it’s your first trip as a family, or you are looking to raise the bar on previous holidays, we can help. Here are some top tips to help you plan the ultimate homegrown holiday!


Be honest with yourself: are you secretly struggling with the idea of a homegrown holiday? Perhaps you’d like to be leaving on a jet plane, off to relax on a beach somewhere tropical? Maybe you had visions of ticking a once-in-a-lifetime trip off your bucket list? A homegrown holiday may not be either of those things. However, a little mindset reset is all it takes to get on-board with homegrown holidays…

Maybe you could plan many ‘mini explorations’ this year rather than a single, all-encompassing holiday? Taking a trip within these shores can be more flexible and easier, so why only do it once? And, admit it: you don’t love setting a 3am alarm for the airport dash. Take a deep breath and relish the thought of a relaxed start, instead. How about thinking wider and booking a homegrown holiday with extended family or friends in tow? Make the most of flight-free travel to reconnect and have fun with loved ones.

Get ready to take a road  trip and discover new places or return to the places you love!


When you pick a destination for a homegrown family holiday, look for a place that has some ‘off the beaten track’ things to do if the weather takes a turn; nobody likes crowds on a rainy day. Better still, come to the coast – catch a wave with a surf or body board – you’ll get wet anyway! Find a cosy cafe to watch nature’s theatre as the waves crash or embrace the breeze – let’s go fly a kite up, to the highest height! Once things have calmed, pull on your wellies and explore the rockpools;  have fun discovering the treasures the waves leave behind.

The beauty of staying in the UK is also the opportunity to pack your own fun adventure kit. Kites to kayaks, SUPs to surfboards… look for accommodation with places to store it and easy parking. This might mean weighing up the pros and cons of self-catering accommodation vs a luxury family hotel in North Devon (more on this later)!

We often joke that we can experience all four seasons in one day here in North Devon, and we’re sure we aren’t alone. This is why we have created such a world of experiences here at the hotel. From our luxury cinema to the pitch and putt, tennis courts to the Bay Lido, and indoor pool to the sandy shores, you can kick back and click into holiday mode, whatever the weather gods send.


Think about where you will eat while on your homegrown holiday. You don’t need to plan it exactly, but options are important. Maybe on the night you arrive you’ll want the simple option of an early dinner and an early nightfor the kids? In which case, nothing beats a hotel – no dishes to worry about and the only obstacle between dinner and downtime is the stairs! Perhaps on the second night of your trip you’ll be in the mood for a coastal picnic as the sun sets? We recommend a family take away from Gobblebox or a pizza from the Bay Brasserie. Do you love the comfort of home cooking? Accommodation with a kitchenette or full self-catering facilities could be your ‘plat du jour’ (check out the Beach Retreats).


Where you stay sets the tone for your homegrown holiday. Will it be one of the gorgeous luxury family hotels in Devon? Or would you prefer self-catering accommodation in Woolacombe – for some home-from-home vibes? Over the years we’ve listened intently to the likes and dislikes of little ones – and their adults.

Here’s a fun & helpful checklist of things to look for:

Accommodation Checklist

♥   Adjoining family hotel bedrooms or suites with multiple rooms

♥   Cots available to borrow

♥   Balcony bedrooms (so you can have your own outdoor space)

♥   Bath or a large shower (for sandy days)

♥   Early dinner available with colouring books and high chairs for kids

♥   Lawns for sand-free family picnics

♥   In-room breakfast available

♥   24-hour room service (especially good if traveling with a baby!)

♥   Walking distance from the beach (avoid sandy car syndrome!)

♥   Free parking

♥   Kids adventure play area

♥   Outdoor splash pool or kiddie pool

♥   Spa treatments (a little ‘me time’ goes a long way!)

♥   Family fitness facilities such as tennis courts

♥   Indoor swimming pool (with child-free swim times too)

♥   A games room with pool or foosball

♥   Separate family-friendly and adults-only lounges

♥   Fun buggy-friendly walks nearby

Nestled between wild Exmoor and sherbet-soft sandy shores, the Woolacombe Bay Hotel is one of the only luxury family hotels in North Devon with these facilities. If you would prefer a home-from home experience and are looking for self-catering accommodation in Woolacombe, the Beach Retreat apartments nearby are a great option if you’re staying with kids. The Beach Retreats are dog-friendly, too.



We didn’t really used to have to say this, but we’ve all had to cancel trips in the last 12 months, so it’s best to be prepared! When you book a homegrown holiday, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your booking. For example, here at Woolacombe Bay Hotel we ask guests to pay a deposit to reserve their stay (£25 per person per night), but then nothing else needs to be paid until departure. This means you can book something now to look forward to!

Should you need to cancel, your deposit can be carried forward to a future stay. We adhere to all government guidelines to ensure your safety and happiness, as well as that of our WBH family. With this in mind, if you live in an area where travel is not permitted, we will contact you to reschedule your stay. We have some very helpful guidelines, make sure your choice of accommodation does too. When you make a booking, it’s best to check what happens if it can’t go ahead. We also recommend having travel insurance in place.

Also, it’s best to speak to your accommodation provider to find the best match for your stay and to understand  the costs fully so you can plan your budget. Here at WBH the price per night for children (ages 2-15 years) is from £40 per child per night when additional beds are added to a bedroom. For suites and family rooms with multiple beds as standard, children are already included in the nightly rate if your stay is in school holidays. Our Woolacombe family are here to help; call us on 01271 870388 to get our recommendations for your stay..


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+ All photography for this post has been kindly provided by Sonderwest. To book a family photoshoot, please visit: https://www.sonderwest.com

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