Dartmouth Food Festival“As well as being an authentic, free, community event, this festival, 25-27 October, is great fun,” says Alex.
“Sample tasty morsels from local food and drink producers, or learn how to fillet fish, pick crabs and make your own cider, while leaving time for cooking demonstrations from chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix.”The Salutation Inn“Daily papers and peace in a pretty sitting room, and the light and airy Glasshouse Café for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea,” says Alastair.
“Chef Tom cooks sublime stuff and has worked with Michael Caines, Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing.” Doubles from £125, B&B.
Hire a Vintage VW Campervan, North Devon“Kids love the sense of adventure and child-size proportions of campervan living,” says Alex.
“Take your holiday home with you and explore the sandy surfing beaches at Croyde and Woolacombe.” From £350 for a long weekend.
The Elms“We love The Elms in Worcestershire for a weekend family escape,” says James.
“It’s a gorgeous manor with grand gardens, an adventure playground and a free crèche to boot.” Doubles from £150, B&B.
Brighton“Having spent my childhood in Brighton, I have a passion for the refurbished Victorian attractions of this seaside town,” says Alex.
“The pier, the Volk’s Railway, the Aquarium and the Pavilion can all be visited in a day.
Add the Brighton Wheel and the new Sand Sculpture Festival and you have a great weekend that appeals to all ages.”The Grove“A quick getaway from the capital, The Grove is a pampering retreat housed in an elegant converted mansion, which is just as welcoming to children as adults,” says James. Bouncers Farm Gypsy Camp, Essex The two bow-top wagons at Bouncers Farm are the genuine article, lovingly restored and pitched by the side of an apple and cherry orchard (Kune Kune pigs snuffle among the trees).
Each sleeps a family of four and there is a day tent with a woodburner and cooking equipment. Calcot Manor“A charming, converted farmhouse in the leafy Cotswolds where children are treated to a fantastic playroom, top-flight childcare and all the swimming, cycling and scampering they demand,” says James.
“Parents can slink off to the spa, and the Gumstool Inn within the grounds does a special tea for children.” Family rooms from £335 per night.
Nettlecombe Farm, Isle of Wight Take the family to their own Narnia, the working Nettlecombe Farm, which has nine dog-friendly, self-catering properties.
Introduce your children to farm animals or fishing, or strike out to explore the island.