Kent is the best place for a family holiday in 2015, according to Lonely Planet

Roshina Jowaheer
Classic view of Broadstairs in Kent
Classic view of Broadstairs in Kent

Kent has been named the best place for a family holiday in 2015 by Lonely Planet, beating Ibiza, Normandy and Skomer.

The English county was singled out thanks to the "host of opportunities it offers curious young minds", including the chance to indulge in retro-fun on sandy Broadstairs Beach, mind-blowing views of the English Channel as you walk along the White Cliffs of Dover, plus nostalgic thrills with this month's reopening of Margate's Dreamland amusement park, which boasts a revamped wooden rollercoaster (the UK's oldest) and a 1920s helter-skelter.

Lonely Planet Editor James Kay told AOL Travel: "Our team of European experts were particularly impressed by Kent. It boasts a range of opportunities to pique children's interest in history, including the chance to soak up the Victorian atmosphere at Charles Dickens' one-time stomping ground, Broadstairs Beach, to catch a glimpse of the Middle Ages in the higgledy-piggledy heart of Sandwich or to hop aboard one of the revamped rides at Dreamland for a nostalgic thrill.

"But Kent's awe-inspiring views of the English Channel, idyllic countryside and burgeoning range of attractions and eateries means it has something wonderful to offer travellers of all ages this summer."

Chief executive of Visit Kent, Sandra-Matthews Marsh MBE told AOL Travel: "We are absolutely thrilled by this news, and welcome this accolade from a highly respected authority on travel.

dover castle
dover castle

"The Kent coast is experiencing a thrilling renaissance, and we have more Blue Flag beaches than anywhere else in the UK. You don't need to go to Europe for sun, sea and sand!"

She added: "Where else can you see Grayson Perry ceramics, pristine blue flag beaches, the Magna Carta, the White Cliffs Dover, Wayne Hemingway's Dreamland, giraffes crossing a savannah, and taste award-winning English wine?"

Kent was not the only destination is the UK named the best for families. Skomer and Marloes Sands, a wildlife haven in Pembrokeshire, Wales, took ninth spot in the list. The island of Skomer is home to half the world's population of Manx shearwaters and the Atlantic puffin colony is the largest in southern Britain.

Elsewhere, Normandy in France, Spain's Balearic island Ibiza and the Black Forest in Germany were named best places for a child-friendly holiday, along with the lesser-known and more unusual family destinations, the Aland Archipelago in Finland and Vorarlberg in Austria.

Europe's 10 best places for family holidays, according to Lonely Planet:

1. Kent, England, UK

2. County Kerry, Ireland

3. Black Forest, Germany

4. Budapest, Hungary

5. Vorarlberg, Austria

6. Åland Archipelago, Finland

7. Ibiza, Spain

8. Normandy, France

9. Skomer and Marloes Sands, Wales, UK

10. Bohinj, Slovenia

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