As any parent knows, finding a genuinely family-friendly holiday destination is a little like winning the lottery. It's not as easy as it may sound to find a place that not only caters to the children's interests and needs (particularly younger ones), but also has enough to make the parents feel like they've had a holiday too – after all, a family holiday should be exactly that. |
One place that, in my experience, definitely ticks the boxes for everyone is beautiful Bermuda: accommodation that's perfect for families, plenty of safe beaches, lots of child-friendly attractions and activities, and enough history and culture to slot in some grown-up time as well.
Bermuda's Beautiful Beaches
While not all the beaches here are suitable for children, there are certainly enough from which to choose. The key is to stay away from those that are renowned for their strong undercurrents and reefs, and stick to the ones that offer safe, shallow swimming and facilities like toilets, cafes and playgrounds. Through talking to parents with small children I've found that some of the most child-friendly beaches include the following (but there are plenty more):
• Shelley Bay Beach (near Hamilton) • Clearwater Beach (on Cooper's Island) • Black Bay Beach (Sandys Parish) • Tobacco Bay (St. George)
Excellent Bermuda Accommodation for Families
Where you choose to stay really can make or break your family holiday, so it's good to know that in Bermuda, accommodation for families is not only easy to find, but their facilities are second to none. Look out for the resorts offering dedicated kids' programmes, onsite babysitting (so you can get some of that adult 'me time' in, knowing the little ones are well looked after), sports activities and child-friendly restaurants that really know how to cater to young tastes.
Some of the best Bermuda accommodation I've come across for families can be found at:
• Elbow Beach • Grotto Bay • Fairmont Southampton • The Reefs
Family Friendly Super Food
There's nothing that puts a damper on a holiday quicker than not being able to cater to a picky young palate – and let's face it, what's in food fashion today with your youngsters might be tomorrow's Brussels sprout! You also don’t want to incur the wrath of other diners wearing a crease in their foreheads every time your kids make a noise or get a little restless – it's holiday time!
Along with a raft of excellent fine-dining establishments (if you manage to get some romantic downtime sans the kids), Bermuda has plenty of friendly, casual restaurants that don't just tolerate children, but I can see have put some thought into actually catering especially for them. Here's just an entrée-sized list of some of the island's best family restaurants I've come across:
• La Trattoria (Hamilton City) • Wickets (Fairmont Southampton) • Swizzle Inn (Bailey's Bay) • Specialty Inn (Smiths parish) • Frog & Onion (Royal Navy Dockyard)
Fabulous Family Activities
While the beaches themselves are probably enough to keep your family occupied for a week or more, Bermuda is no one-trick pony when it comes to child-friendly attractions and activities – although, admittedly, many of them do revolve around the water. But it's not a thing about which I've ever heard any complaints!
As well as swimming and snorkelling in the shallows, helmet diving is a popular activity offered to children over the age of five. This offers young ones the incredible (and fully-supervised) experience of actually being able to walk beneath the ocean to explore the underwater life – while keeping their heads dry! I can also recommend the glass bottom boat tours offshore, which are suitable for all ages.
On dry land, Destination Dockyard is a family favourite I've come across that happens every Monday night in summer. There are food stalls, craft activities, and plenty of entertainment to keep everyone happy. Then, on Wednesdays, Harbour Nights takes place on Front Street, Hamilton. Kids can catch a ride around town on the mini-train, take in the twinkling illuminations, and get down and dance to the rhythms of local bands. Families also love the Island Beach Parties, held at Snorkel Park Beach. They're loud and lively, with everyone encouraged to join in the conga lines, limbo dancing and singing and dancing contests.
If you've never considered Bermuda as the ideal family-friendly holiday destination, here's the proof it could be time to take a second look…
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stay up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in arts, history and culture.
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