In the famous words of the UK’s greatest Prime Minister – Hugh Grant in Love Actually; “Britain may be a small country, but it’s a great one too.” And he’s right. It’s a great country, with plenty to do. Especially for small people.
By Jemma Newlyn
If you’re heading across the Indian Ocean to the land of tea and David Beckham, you might be after some itinerary help. Here are our top things to do in the UK with kids.
Eat ice cream on Brighton Pier
Brighton, East Sussex
Take a walk down Brighton Pier through the amusement arcade or head back inland to the famous pebbled beach. You can take a photo at the Royal Pavilion and rummage through the antiques at Snoopers Paradise, or see if you can spot the remains of West Pier left by the fire in 2003. This magic little seaside town is the perfect place for a Summer adventure.
Sail the lego seas at Legoland
You can build your own path around this interactive lego world. With 55 rides, shows and attractions, the Windsor resort provides unlimited fun. Snack on hot doughnuts and popcorn, get your heart racing on the Dragon Roller Coaster, or take a dip at the Duplo Valley splash and play area.
Get the ultimate Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros Studio
Walk down Diagon Alley and fly on a broomstick; the Harry Potter Studio Tour is a permanent exhibition with the original sets and props from the Harry Potter films. This magical attraction is enjoyable for even the more modest fans, and is worth putting aside a full day to explore.
Scare yourself silly at the London Dungeons
Immerse yourself in the depths of this historical underground prison as actors recreate the Dungeon’s perilous past – in a super gory way. Recommended for kids 12+
Pick your favourite sand sculpture on Weston beach
Weston Sand Sculpture Festival, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
Open mid April to late September, this sandy spectacular is definitely worth a visit. Each year, 30 talented individuals build sculptures by the Somerset seaside – completely out of sand. And it’s up to the general public to choose the winner.
Wander around Edinburgh city
This beautiful city isn’t just tartan and castles. There’s plenty of interactive fun at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and go-karting and animal grooming at the East Links Family Park. The Museum Of Childhood is bursting with treasure filled collections, and Ryze is loaded with trampolining fun.
Get lost in Exeter’s Underground Passages
While the tunnels were used to transport water under the city centre, it’s still not the kind of place you want to be left on your own. These magical dark age passageways are a creepy maze of Exeter’s history. It’s time to put your hard hats on and squeeze through the past.
Take a trip to the World Museum
This six floor museum has a cryptic collection of history and science – and it’s free. There’s real dinosaur bones and Egyptian mummies. The World Museum collection even boasts a planetarium.
Race the parents up Mount Snowdon
Mount Snowdon, Snowdonia National Park, Gwynedd
The highest mountain in Wales isn’t for first time adventurers, but it’s not as daunting as it sounds. It can be climbed in a day by those with a jump in their step. Sitting at 1085 metres, the peak has panoramic views of Snowdonia. If climbing doesn’t take your fancy, a train runs to the final footpath.
Watch a Premier League football game
Whether you’re a diehard Manchester United supporter, or you’re just here for the hype; a Premier League match is something to get excited about. Find your closest stadium and get tickets online to the next match.
Explore Cambridge in a classic Bentley
Gonville Hotel, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
What better way to explore the beautiful architecture of Cambridge city than in a classic car? Staying at The Gonville Hotel means a complimentary city tour in a vintage Bentley.
Visit Shakespeare’s House and see the theatre
This enchanting medieval market town just north of the Cotswolds is known as the home of William Shakespeare. You can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, house and grave, or grab tickets to an RSC play at one of the three theatres. After the show, head to the Dirty Duck for dinner and spy on the actors that are regulars at the pub.
Discover chocolate heaven at Cadbury World
Birmingham, West Midlands
If the kids are reading this over your shoulder, you don’t have a choice. This confectionary wonderland has chocolate rain and melted dairy milk. Discover how your favourite treats are made and take a ride on the magic Cadabra.
Ride the London Eye
Europe’s tallest Ferris Wheel sits upon the River Thames and has a panoramic view of London. It takes 30 minutes to do a full loop, and if you watch carefully you’ll notice that the wheel never actually stops. The capsules are made of glass, so even the little ones will have a good view. See if you can spot which of the 32 carriages is missing.
Race around Landmark Forest Adventure Park
Carrbridge, Badenoch and Strathspey
Landmark Forest is a nature-based theme park in the Scottish Highlands. The park is made up of super slides, roller coasters and tree top adventure circuits – full of fun for the whole family.
Have a picnic at Boxhill
North Downs, Surrey
This charming hill has scenic trails and breathtaking views. The look out is at the summit of the North Downs in Surrey, and is perfect for a sunset picnic with the kids.
Explore the coast of Torquay
Nicknamed the English Riviera, Torquay makes for a beautiful seaside getaway for the whole family. Kids can play on the beach, ride a tractor or visit the Harbour Amusement Park. The whole family can try Torquay’s escape room, or visit the Coastal Zoo & Aquarium.
Play vintage video games at the Media Museum
Bradford, West Yorkshire
The National Science and Media Museum is seven floors of free interactive fun. You’ll have a ball on the real life TV set, and a topsy turvy time at the magic factory. An old school arcade means the whole family can battle it out at pac man and pinball.
Get lost in the fairy forest of Puzzlewood
Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire
Puzzlewood is an enchanting ancient woodland with winding paths of twisted trees and rock formations. This part of the Forest of Dean is a popular location for movie sets, but if you keep your eyes open you might find real fairies and elves lurking somewhere in its depths…
Join thrillseekers at Alton Towers
This ultimate adventure park guarantees a jam packed day of fun. The fantasy world has not only a theme park, but a spa, water park and mini golf course. No one in the family will be short of sleep after a day at Alton Towers.
Experience real magic at the Science Museum
South Kensington, London
From interactive water galleries to flight simulators; the London Science Museum is a great day trip for the whole family. Or night trip – if you want to try one of the science show sleepovers.
Solve a mystery on the Treasure Hunt Trail
A two hour, three kilometre walking tour of Leeds city sounds tough with the kids. But with a Treasure Hunt Trail map, the time will fly. Iraid Tooms, the local treasure hunter and scallywag will lead you the way to buried doubloons. It’s easy to download the pdf, and if you get a bit stuck they offer mobile phone clues. There are even prizes to be won!