The next time your kids tell you that they’re bored, pack up a few snacks and head for a fun family day out. Forget the usual trip to the cinema or local park, and instead take yourselves to attractions that tourists travel millions of miles to visit each year. Spend the day as a tourist in your own backyard, or become a visitor in someone else’s, but make sure you get out and try something new!
Utilise the National Trust
The National Trust is a charity that protects and runs over 300 historic houses and gardens, and 49 industrial monuments and mills, for visitors from around the world. In addition to these duties, the National Trust oversees forests and beaches, woods and downs, farmlands and moorlands, and castles and villages. Contact the National Trust today to order your free map of historic places and gardens, or plan a trip to one of their premier locations:
- Cotehele, near Saltash in Cornwall.
- Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire.
- Blickling Hall, Garden and Park in Norwich, Norfolk.
- Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Northern Ireland.
- Sizergh Castle and Garden in Cumbria.
- Sissinghurst Castle and Garden in Kent.
- Ham House (the spookiest house in the country!) in London.
- Powis Castle and Gardens at Welshpool in Powys, Wales.
- Chedworth Roman Villa near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
- Hanbury Hall in Worcestershire.
- Cragside Gardens and Estate in Rothbury, Morpeth, Northumberland.
Venture to an Adventure Theme Park
Theme parks are scattered across the UK, and they never fail to delight children of all ages. Consider visiting:
- Alton Towers in Staffordshire.
- Thorpe Park in Surrey.
- Chessington in Surrey.
- Drayton Manor in Staffordshire.
- Legoland in Windsor.
- Crealy Great Adventure Park in Cornwall or Devon.
Visit the (Other) Animals
Many zoos and animal parks exist in the UK that will provide the perfect destination for a family day out. Just a few of these locations include:
- Bristol Zoo Gardens – Bristol, Avon.
- Whipsnade Wild Animal Park – Whipsnade, Bedforshire.
- Flamingo Gardens and Zoological Park – Olney, Bucks.
- Newquay Zoo – Newquay, Cornwall.
- National Marine Aquarium – Plymouth, Devon.
- Mole Hall Wildlife Park – Widdington, Essex.
- The Butterfly Centre – Dover, Kent.
- Stratford Upon Avon Butterfly Farm & Jungle Safari – Warkwickshire.
- Belfast Zoological Gardens – Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- Edinburgh Zoo – Edinburgh, Scotland
- Animalarium – Borth, near Aberystwyth, Wales.
Take In a Museum
Letting your little ones run riot near priceless works of art may seem more like work than play, but many museums are now open that cater to children. If you are lucky enough to live nearby, don’t miss:
- Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
- Eureka! The Museum for Children – Halifax, West Yorkshire
- Museum of Childhood – Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire.
- Livesey Museum for Children – London.
- Natural History Museum: Kids Only – London.
- The Science Museum – London.
- Stratosphere Discovery Centre – Aberdeen, Scotland.
- Big Pit: National Coal Museum – Torfaen, Wales.
Kids love variety, and what better way to keep them interested and educated than to plan a few adventurous family day trips? Pack up a lunch, put some sing-a-longs in the car and hit the open road. Just make sure you’ve got the directions with you!