Take the kids to … Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire Dales

Woodland trails, a river straddled by stepping stones and the ruins of a 12th-century priory make this beautiful swathe of countryside a brilliant adventure playground

This 12,000-hectare (30,000-acre) estate near Skipton, in the Yorkshire Dales, is laced with 80 miles of footpaths that weave their way around the ruins of an ancient Augustinian priory – better known as Bolton Priory – although the real draw is just outside, on the banks of the River Wharfe. There’s a large beach area along this quarter-mile stretch that’s ripe for sandcastle building and the water is shallow enough for toddlers to paddle safely. Older children can swim or tackle the 60 stepping stones that cross the water – once the route of lay workers making their way over to the priory. (If you’d rather not brave it or are with a buggy, there’s a bridge over to dry land).

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