Whether it’s for Mother’s Day, or any other time of the year, a weekend away with Mum is the perfect way for any daughter to say thanks to the most special person in her life (sorry kids, husbands and dads – your time will come too).
So here’s our list of 10 mother and daughter weekend trips in the UK where you’ll both make memories befitting a lifetime of love.
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For right royal mums | A weekend in Windsor
Windsor is the official home of the UK’s most famous mum – HRH Queen Elizabeth – and few places rival Windsor for a mother and daughter trip appeal.
From the stately presence of its magnificent castle, to the watery wiles of the River Thames, Windsor beguiles visitors with effortless elegance and timeless charm (much like Mum, of course).
Royal it may be, but reserved Windsor ain’t, when it comes to things to do. And if you and Mum would like something a little less regal than the castle or its residents, look no further than Windsor Duck Tours.
Step aboard the 26-seat amphibious vehicle for a Road, River, Splash Tour of the crown estate, and strap yourselves in for a ride that ends in the Thames itself, complete with otherwise-hidden views of the castle and Eton College.
Make your mother/daughter base the four-star Castle Hotel. Just five minutes’ walk from the castle, it boasts a historical back story few can match, and today promises a smart blend of individuality and sophistication. It’s boutique with real soul.
A one-night weekend stay in a twin room, with breakfast included, costs around £200.
No trip to Windsor is remotely complete without visiting the castle. From the majesty (literally) of The State Apartments to the miniature-scale magic of Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, you’ll discover unmistakable grandeur in every feature, and a regal sense of pleasure at sharing the same carpets and corridors as the castle’s world-famous owners.
Cups of tea and mums. The best combination since, well, pretty much anything. And in Windsor, celebrating both has never been more satisfying.
Staying in the intimate surrounds of The Castle Hotel, book yourselves in for the hotel’s Sensory Storytelling Afternoon Tea (£19.95 per person, and available as part of the weekend stay package).
From the smokiest of salmon sides, to scones fit for a Queen (and Mum), the tea is accompanied by all the savoury and sweet treats you could ever want. Or manage, for that matter.
Windsor tours for a mother and daughter weekend:
For sweet-tooth mums | Tea for Two in Bath
Enjoyed amidst the Georgian glory of one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, an afternoon’s tea in Bath is a sure-fire way to Mum’s heart on a mother and daughter weekend trip.
And the city’s charms don’t end with a high-class cuppa or two. From boutiques and bars to its world-famous spa, Bath has more than enough to serve on the side.
Before the teapot starts doing its thing, the best way to enjoy the small-but-oh-so-perfectly-formed city is on foot. So my advice (if you and Mum don’t mind the odd hill or two) is to get out and walk.
A stroll around Bath is a series of richly rewarding steps into the past. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it positively oozes historical beauty. The medieval Abbey, Roman Baths, Georgian Pump Rooms – they’re all waiting to join you on your journey of discovery.
Tip: if you’re looking for an expert guide to the city’s sights and delights, book yourself onto one of its many walking tours. Find more details here.
If there’s one thing Bath does better than pretty much anywhere on the planet, it’s townhouses. So they’re a must for every visitor.
Heading out of the shopping centre, up to the Circus and Royal Crescent, you’ll soon discover why the city has such a stellar reputation when it comes to domestic style.
Let’s make no bones about it. You and Mum are here for the tea, right? Well, Bath does tea. And then some.
For the true tea connoisseur, there’s nowhere more heavenly than the Francis Hotel, and its too-good-to-be-true Emily’s Tea Room. Book yourselves in for an afternoon session, and you’ll be treated to a tea experience unlike any other.
With flavours and fragrances designed to stimulate and soothe the senses (depending on Mum’s mood), and rather posh sweet and savoury nosh alongside, you won’t be left wanting.
Best of all, treating Mum to this sumptuous treat won’t break the bank. £25.50pp will unlock the door to tea heaven.
Bath tours for a mother and daughter weekend:
For gin-loving mums | A taste of the Cotswolds (and gin)
If gin’s the thing for you and Mum, here is just the place to indulge your guilty (or not?) pleasure: the beautiful Cotswolds.
It may not be the first place your mind turns when thinking of the true gin gems of the world. But believe me, one you’ve opened the door to this particular cupboard, they’re going to have a hard time getting you out…
So where will you find this den of (g)iniquity? Look no further than the rather amazing Plough Inn Kelmscott, in Gloucestershire’s rolling countryside.
What was once a well-cared-for but modest gin shelf within the hotel has now grown into a Mecca for gin lovers – The Gin Pantry, widely regarded as the best gin cupboard in the UK.
Pay the pantry a visit, and you’ll be welcome to lose yourselves in shelf after shelf of gin delights, getting hands (and nose) on with bottles shipped in from around the world. And once you and Mum have chosen your weapons? Take them to the bar and give them a bloody good go.
The Gin Pantry is as creative in inventing ways to enjoy gin as it is sourcing its many varieties.
So alongside providing a wonderfully cool and casual way to enjoy your gin, it also offers a range of unique experiences to help bring gin closer than ever to your heart (is that even possible???).
From tasting sessions to blending and bottling your own brand, they make the ideal gift for Mum, and a bullet-proof excuse for you.
Eat (or drink in this case)
Gin, of course. Savoured in whichever way you like, but I’d suggest the G&Tea – Hendricks Afternoon Tea is a rather splendid place to start.
Cotswolds tours for a mother and daughter weekend:
For outdoorsy mums | Vintage Forest Glamping
A weekend outdoors? You and Mum, in a forest, with nature all around and not a high street in sight?
Yep, you read right. If you want to give Mum a real taste of vintage luxury on a mother and daughter weekend trip in the UK, and a well-earned break from it all, the forest’s the place to head.
The UK glamping scene is positively booming right now, with luxury coming to the great outdoors like never before, and eco-friendly exclusivity right on our doorsteps.
One of our particular glamping favourites, and a Mum-pleaser if ever there was one, is the off-grid glampsite of Mad Dogs and Vintage Vans, nestled in the lush woodland near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
Book yourself a ‘stay and sleep’ visit, and you and Mum will be getting up close and personal with one of a range of retro vintage vans from the 1930s. Elsie, Gerty, Sybil or Monty – each has its own unique charm, complete with beds you’ll never want to leave and wood burners to set the cosiest of scenes.
In low season, for a 2-berth van, prices start from around £270.
But no matter how tough, leave your bed you must, so make sure it’s worth it: indulge in a morning or afternoon’s floatation therapy at Float in the Forest. Once in your flotation pod, you float on the surface of warm water saturated with Epsom salt. it’s an out-of-this-world experience that’s a perfect mother and daughter weekend treat.
Alternatively, you could always treat Mum to one of the indulgent holistic treatments provided on-site, including massage and a home-cooked evening meal.
If you and mum are feeling very adventurous, you could always head down to the River Wye and hop on a SUP board.
The brilliant Inspire2Adventure guys based in Monmouthshire have a range of thrilling outdoor activities to enjoy, including stand up paddle boarding (they have a mega SUP for 6 people), gorge scrambling, rock climbing, guided canoe and kayak river trips.
You get professional, comprehensive instruction and a heap of laughs as you wibble and wobble your way down, or up, river!
For book worm mums | Discover Daphne Du Maurier in Fowey
In her obituary of Daphne Du Maurier, writer Kate Kellaway said: “She wanted her riddles to persist. She wanted the novels to continue to haunt us beyond their endings.”
And if you treat Mum to a mother and daughter trip into the Cornwall of the famed novelist, you’ll soon learn that an air of mystery certainly lives on.
Nowhere in Cornwall – or anywhere for that matter – says Daphne Du Maurier more evocatively than Jamaica Inn.
Discovered by Du Maurier after she and a friend became lost in fog while riding on the moors, its tales of ghost and smugglers were the inspiration for her most famous novel. You and Mum can enter this world of legend and romance for around £95 per night.
Make a beeline for Fowey – another source of great inspiration for Du Maurier and home to a stunning estuary, cliff-top paths and mum-friendly woodland strolls.
If you can, take a boat up the River Fowey on your mum and daughter getaway to see the house where Du Maurier lived and wrote, Ferryside. Daphne loved Cornwall and spent time at Ferryside in Fowey whenever she could, it was there that she wrote her first novel The Loving Spirit.
Also be sure to see – and possibly stop at – Readymoney Cove, where du Maurier once lived, and experience the coastal views that inspired her.
To the west of Fowey you come to Menabilly, made famous as the Manderley of Daphne Du Maurier’s novel Rebecca. Although you can’t visit the house itself, you can walk the same countryside, footpaths and coves where Daphne du Maurier walked and drew inspiration for much of her writing.
While you’re in Fowey, follow in Daphne’s footsteps by enjoying Afternoon Tea at The Fowey Hotel.
It was at this beautiful hotel that Daphne du Maurier met regularly with her mentor, the academic and writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch. Fill up on sandwiches, indulgent scones and mini cakes – and make sure you have a Tarquin’s Gin as a special mother and daughter treat.
More mother and daughter things to do in Cornwall
For glamorous mums | Capital Cocktails in London
Pre-show cocktails in the sumptuous surrounds of London’s West End. Is there anything more likely to make you Mum’s favourite? (If that was ever in doubt, of course…)
Not if you follow this showstopping (or starting) weekend suggestion for mother and daughter trip bliss.
Set just off Oxford Street, The Mandeville Hotel is no more than two stops from the West End. But it doesn’t rely on others for its seductive charms. Four of the hotel’s room are designed by Christian Lacroix, and the whole place is boutique bijoux. Served, I’m pleased to say, with a winning smile.
With prices starting at around £205, this is a mother-daughter stay on a budget, but it certainly hits the mark for a special occasion.
If you’re going to a show in the West End, then pre-show: do cocktails. And nowhere does them better than One Aldwych. From its statement home on the corner of The Strand, the restaurant’s Lobby Bar serves cocktails that are more about imagination than inebriation.
For the ultimate pre-show cocktail experience, try the Showtime Cocktails menu, in which a every delicious drink is paired with a theatre show, and accompanying bar bites. Cocktails from this grandstanding selection start at £16.
If you’re going to treat Mum, treat her to food and drink fit for a Queen (Mum). And that’s precisely what The Goring Hotel offers.
Renowned as the Queen Mother’s preferred spot to take tea, book yourselves in for a Traditional Afternoon Tea and look forward to the finest amuse bouche, sandwiches, cakes and scones, as well as the very best hot beverages you’ll find anywhere.
Admittedly, at £42.50 per person, it’s on the pricey side, but Mum will be thanking you forever more.
Is mum a War of the World’s fan? Then this immersive version of Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds in the capital is an experience she won’t forget!
Using ground-breaking tech, live theatre and sensory stimulation the experience retells the story of War of the Worlds in an incredible multi-layered way. You walk, crawl and travel through the story and become part of the action in defending humanity.
Mother and daughter experiences in London:
For busy mums | Spa Luxury in Mawgan Porth
Chances to escape everyday life don’t come along too often. So when they do – and particularly when they mean some quality mother-daughter time – it’s well worth going big on the escape side of things.
And that’s exactly why a luxury spa break in Cornwall is just the ticket.
Total immersion in a landscape of sea, skies and cliffside? A place to unwind in the lap of luxury? Yep, The Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth really does promise it all.
This eco-friendly, adults-only oasis of calm is just the place for you and Mum to unwind, detox and de-stress. You can lose yourself in meadow gardens, lie back and think of nothing in cliff-top hot tubs, and share magical time at the fireside or in one of the relaxation lounges.
The Scarlet offers a number of unique spa packages, each designed to give you maximum comfort and minimal distraction. The most popular is a two-night break, filled with candlelit dinners in the hotel restaurant, the classic cliff-top hot tub experience, and spa massages. All set to the soothing music of the ever-present sea.
The two-night break doesn’t come cheap, at £835, but if it does suit your budget, it delivers rich rewards.
Because you’re with mum, special has to be on the menu – and if you fancy escaping the confines of the hotel then this place won’t break the bank: Rick Stein Café on Middle Street in the heart of Padstow.
It has all the superstar seafood bounty you want, without you having to pay top dollar. Find it on Middle Street in the heart of Padstow, but make sure you book a table – it is a popular spot for foodies whatever the time of year.
For chocaholic mums | Chocolate heaven in the Wye Valley
Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love chocolate? So what better way to spend some sweet mother-daughter bonding time than over your very own chocolate-making class?
And all this chocolate-fuelled indulgence can be played out in the little-known but never-forgotten Wye Valley.
The Wye Valley is one of the UK’s hidden gems. Straddling the border between England and Wales, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty provides some of the most dramatic wooded landscapes in the United Kingdom.
At the centre of the valley, on one of the Wye’s most majestic meanders, sits Symonds Yat, and the delightful Old Court Hotel. Book a room for two on your mother and daughter weekend and you’ll sample the air and ambience of a traditional English inn, with just the right amount of modern luxury.
Boasting two well-stocked bars, a jaw-dropping Tudor dining room, cosy lounge and all-weather conservatory, it’s the perfect base from which to explore the Wye Valley.
A standard double room at The Old Court Hotel starts at around £90 per night.
More places to stay in the Forest of Dean
OK, so let’s get down to business. Chocolate business. Not too far from Symonds Yat, in neighbouring Gloucestershire, is Harts Barn Cookery School. And it’s here that the real fun happens.
Book mum and you in for one of their ‘Chocolate Dreams’ classes, and you’ll receive a brief introduction to the history of chocolate, before letting your imagination (and taste buds) run wild in the creation of your own sweet, sweet inventions.
Classes last around 2-3 hours and start at approximately £55 per person.
It’s not hard to see why Puzzlewood is said to have inspired JR Tolkein. With its twisted ancient trees, tumble of paths and steps, and velvety moss-covered crags, this incredible wood is a dead ringer for Middle Earth.
And that’s not it’s only famous accolade: Star Wars VII, Merlin and Dr Who were all filmed here. Find it half way between Wales and England, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean.
You may not have room after all the chocolate (and that’s fine, we don’t judge), but if you do head along to Tudor Farmhouse in Clearwell.
This former farm is not a intimate and cosy boutique hotel serving up first-class grub. According to Tatler Magazine Tudor Farmhouse is a ‘culinary oasis’.
As well as dinner and lunch menus (tasting and grazing options are available), Tudor Farmhouse serves up Afternoon Teas between 2pm – 5pm.
For ‘ancient’ mums | Make history in Durham
“If you have never been to Durham before, go there at once. Take my car, it’s wonderful.”
As a visitor to Durham on more than one occasion, I couldn’t agree more with the wise and witty words of Bill Bryson. And if you’re searching for somewhere to take Mum that does special in a truly timeless way, look no further than this beautiful northern treasure.
In a city famed the world over for its history, there are one or two shining examples of how the present can embrace the past to stunning effect. Step forward Hotel Indigo.
Just a stone’s throw from the city’s historic centre, the uber-chic Hotel Indigo has risen rather stylishly from what was the Old Shire Hall building.
That puts you just moments from Durham’s ‘holy trinity’ – the university, castle and cathedral – reached by way of the cobbled streets and labyrinthine alleyways that criss-cross the city. And it’s all played out to the laconic tune of the River Wear, arching its way around proceedings.
A standard room starts at £150 B&B.
Durham may not be the largest city, but there’s no shortage of perfect mother and daughter things to do on a weekend trip to the city. For any first-time visitors though, a riverside walk is an absolute must.
Accessible for almost every part of the city, you and Mum will soon find yourself following a path that takes in bridges, woodland and weirs – with little more than nature and the odd rower here or there to break the spell.
When it comes to ‘seeing’ in Durham, there is only one winner – the cathedral, one of Europe’s truly great buildings.
Arrive by train, and you’ll be treated to its glory before your feet have even kissed the platform. Standing proud and protective alongside the castle and above the city, this glory to gothic architecture is both part of a World Heritage Site and a wonderful place to make memories with Mum.
If the two of it are up for the challenge (and want the stunning reward) you could tackle the winding staircase to the top of the cathedral tower. Otherwise, if terra firma’s more your thing, you can simply lose hours exploring the stunning building from the ground up.
You can find full details on opening hours here.
To round off your historical weekend in meaty fashion, try Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, in Hotel Indigo.
Situated in the old Durham Council Senate Chamber, it sources local produce to give you the very best Durham has to offer – along with a smart selection of cocktails to put a spring in Mum’s step.
Tours near Durham for a mother and daughter weekend: