Best Loved’s Top 5 Days Out For Water Babies
It’s not often that we get to enjoy much sunshine in the UK, so for the few months of the year that we might get some warmth, we want to help you make the most of it with some watery attractions around the country. From something for white-water thrill seekers, to a more gentle way of admiring the water, we have something for everyone in our latest Top Five list.
As always, these attractions are located near some of our member hotels, meaning that you can extend your day out into the evening, with some fine food and comfortable accommodation in a Best Loved property.
Studley Royal is a designated world heritage site and is set in 800 acres of landscaped estate. In the 18thcentury, John Aislabie wanted to impress visitors to Yorkshire and turned the surrounding woods and valleys into a stunning water garden, which features classical statues and views of Fountains Abbey which is also on the estate. Visitors can enjoy mirror like ponds, statues, and follies. There is also a deer park, and vast lawns to enjoy a picnic as part of your day out (although there are tea rooms on site if you’d prefer not to bring your own).
Where to Stay: Combine your visit to Studley Royal Water Garden with a stay at one of these two Best Loved hotels: The Old Coach House is an 18thcentury gem just a few miles outside of Ripon. A little further away is The Blue Lion in East Witton, which is within half an hours drive from Studley Royal and a host of other attractions.
For aquatic animal lovers, Seal Life London is one of the best aquariums in the UK, with a huge array of underwater animals to meet during your visit. There is a shark walk, an Atlantic coast section, a ray lagoon, and a rock pool where you can stroke a starfish and tickle a sea anemone! There is also an ocean tunnel, a coral reef, seahorse kingdom, and penguin point! This day out is not only great fun, but is perfect for children, and also fully pushchair and wheelchair accessible.
Where to Stay: Best Loved have plenty of London hotels to choose between, but these two are within walking distance from Sea Life (roughly 20 minutes walk): Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences is a Suite-only, 5 star heritage hotel stretching across three palatial and elegant late Victorian townhouses. The Rubens at the Palace is the perfect spot from which to watch the comings and goings of royal carriages and guards on the Royal Mews.
For a relaxing day on the water, Windermere Lake Cruises offer the choice between rowing boats or luxury motorboats, which can be hired from either Bowness or Ambleside. No experience is necessary as training is given before departure, as well as life jackets. Once you’re set-up you can explore the Lake at your leisure.
Where to Stay: The Lake District is bursting with Best Loved hotels, choose between: The Windermere Suites boutique guesthouses in Windermere village, Holbeck Ghyll Hotel & Spa nestled above the shores of Windermere, Rothay Manor near Ambleside, or Stonecross Manor in the market town of Kendall.
Rib Ride is a blue flag award, sustainable boat tour operator on Menai Bridge in North Wales. More suitable for thrill seekers than the above option, this day out combines some incredible sightseeing with a little speed as well! Choose from one of many options, from the classic family favourite “Rocks and Whirlpool” tour, to the “Bridges and Swellies” option. There is also a tour called “Puffins and Seals” to see some of the famous wildlife in the area, as well as “Castles and Islands” for a bit of history and culture. New for June 2018, Rib Ride welcomes “Velocity”, the fastest passenger rib in the world!
Where to Stay: Best Loved hotels nearby include The Imperial Hotel with spectacular panoramic views across Llandudno Bay, and Llangoed Hall, a historic country house hotel, former home of Welsh fashion designer Laura Ashley.
Whilst the Rib Ride option above mightget you a little wet, this day insists on it! If you’ve ever watched “Total Wipeout” you might have an idea what you’re in for! There are up to 6 inflatables for you to bounce, slide, jump and swim, plus a giant 50 meter waterslide, and an air pillow for when it’s “time to fly”.
Where to Stay: After a very energetic day, you’ll need a place to rest your head: Balcary Bay Hotel is a vision of pure white and cream and has numerous sea-view windows. Craigadam is theplace to go for an authentic Scottish culinary experience.