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If you are looking for the best family destination for your next adventure, the UK should be one to consider! There are so many UK attractions for families that bring fun and excitement to your UK itinerary.
You will easily keep your younger family members entertained with UK family attractions for everyone! Wildlife lovers, junior historians, adventure junkies and more.
We have put together some of the best places to visit in UK with kids (or without… no judgement here).
- THE BEST UK ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
- Places to Visit in England With Kids
- NATIONAL SEA LIFE CENTRE | BIRMINGHAM
- ZSL WHIPSNADE ZOO & SAFARI PARK | UK ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
- HARRY POTTER STUDIOS | LONDON FAMILY ATTRACTIONS
- SCIENCE MUSEUM | LONDON
- THORPE PARK | AMUSEMENT PARK LONDON
- MADAME TUSSAUDS WAX MUSEUM | LONDON
- LEGOLAND WINDSOR | UK LEGOLAND
- KNOWSLEY SAFARI PARK | BEST WILDLIFE UK
- PEPPA PIG WORLD | PAULTONS PARK
- YORK MINSTER | HISTORIC YORK
- BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH | VINTAGE THEME PARK
- FLAMINGO LAND RESORT | NORTH YORKSHIRE
- WARWICK CASTLE | BEST UK CASTLES FOR FAMILIES
- LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK | DRIVE THROUGH SAFARI PARK
- DRAYTON MANOR | THEME PARK ENGLAND
- MARY ARDEN’S FARM | SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE
- AEROSPACE BRISTOL MUSEUM | AVIATION MUSEUM ENGLAND
- Places to Visit in Scotland With Kids
- The Best Places to Visit in Wales With Kids
- Things to do With Kids in Northern Ireland
- More Attractions In The UK For Families Worth A Visit
- UK Packing List
THE BEST UK ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
To help you plan your perfect trip and discover the top UK family holiday destinations, we have separated the attractions by country. If you’re only visiting some of the UK, you can easily find the best activities for your UK with kids vacation.
Places to Visit in England With Kids
There is so much more to England than just the capital, although there is no mistaking that there is so much to do in London with kids!
Find out the best places to visit in England as a family, with fun attractions and educational experiences to suit all ages – from toddler to teen and everything in between.
If you are planning to visit a lot of attractions in London, you may want to grab a London Pass or London Explorer Pass so you can save BIG on attraction entry fees.
We used a London Pass during our last visit and it was a great option and helped us plan our time too.
These UK attractions will get you beyond some of the big iconic places, like the Tower of London and the British Museum, with heaps more to discover together!
NATIONAL SEA LIFE CENTRE | BIRMINGHAM
For marine life lovers young and old, a trip to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham is a must-visit if you’re in the city. There’s plenty of parking available in Brindley Place but it’s easy to walk to from New Street Train Station.
The Centre has all the aquatic life you’d expect to see in an aquarium but our absolute favourites are the colony of Gentoo penguins you see when you first enter.
Other exhibits not to miss include the 4d cinema where you’ll get splashed, shaken and blown on whilst watching a short animated movie.
And one of the best things is the 360-degree ocean tunnel you walk through at the end of your visit, as sharks, turtles and rays swim above and around you.
Little kids will love the rock pool inspired touch tank where they can interact with starfish and Sea Anemones and learn about British sea creatures.
The centre is set over 3 floors, each one accessible by the central walkway leading up from the main entrance.
There are no stairs, making it perfect for pushchairs, wheelchairs and those with little legs who can’t toddle too far.
This attraction is suitable for all ages, however many of their holiday events are aimed at younger kids.
The Sea Life centre is constantly updating and refreshing its exhibits. This year they’ve added two fostered seals called Miley and Boo so I’m sure we’ll be heading back to visit soon.
Karen from Are We There Yet Kids
> Click here for more info & to skip the queue with SEA LIFE Birmingham tickets online
How To Get There: Located at The Water's Edge, Brindley Pl, Birmingham in West Midlands B1 2HL. Catch the train to Birmingham New Street or Birmingham Snow Hill stations. Or any bus that travels to International Convention Centre and follow the signs. Parking available nearby.
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There are also SEA LIFE locations in London, Blackpool, Weymouth, Manchester, Brighton, Scarborough, Lock Lomond, and Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton, & Bray.
ZSL WHIPSNADE ZOO & SAFARI PARK | UK ATTRACTIONS FOR FAMILIES
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is the UK’s biggest zoo. Located in Dunstable (Bedfordshire), the zoo/safari park is spread over 600 acres of beautiful parkland and houses over 2,500 animals.
Our top tip would be to get there early on in the day as there is so much to see.
You can either explore the zoo on foot or make use of the free bus service which runs between specific points in the zoo or you could bring your car in.
There are also two impressive steam engine rides within the zoo. The train rides are ticketed entries and are subject to weather conditions. When operating, they are super fun.
The animal enclosures at the ZSL London Zoo are massive and well maintained, and the animals are well looked after. There are daily animal talks, demonstrations and feeds which are sure to interest everyone irrespective of their age.
For the little ones visiting the zoo, there is a farm where they can meet a number of farm animals and an indoor adventure/play area that has been designed around different animal habitats and is a lot of fun.
The Land of the Lions exhibit transports you to India’s Sasan Gir, where you can get close to the mighty Asiatic lions
There are a number of shops and restaurants inside the zoo premises but you can bring your own packed lunch/picnic too.
Overall, you can easily spend the entire day at the zoo and not get bored. It makes for a fantastic day out for the entire family.
Deeptha From The Globe Trotter
> Click here for more info & to get your ZSL Whipsnade Zoo tickets online
Located at Dunstable, Bedfordshire. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo can be reached by car, train or bus. It opens daily from 10AM.
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HARRY POTTER STUDIOS | LONDON FAMILY ATTRACTIONS
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – Harry Potter Studios will have you checking to make sure you have no wizarding abilities the moment you walk in the door.
Even if you are not a fan of the movies (when we went Mark was very anti-Harry and had not watched a film) you will still be amazed at the detail, love and expertise that went into making some of the props for the 8 movies.
For someone like me who has reads the books and spent hours watching the Harry Potter films with my daughters it was such an awesome way to talk about all we had seen.
We raced from sets to costumes to props to Diagon Alley. It is all there for you to get up close to.
Tickets are around 148 pounds for a family of four and must be pre-purchased. If you or a family member is a fan you need to book early tickets so you can make the most of your time there.
We spent nearly 4 hours wandering around all that was there, with one anti-potter fan leading the way!
I don’t think there is a best time to visit as most of it is inside so you are ok with the weather.
Food was a little pricey inside but having a butterbeer in the cafe with some of the props and sets outside was a real treat.
As I said even if you aren’t die-hard Harry Potter fans there is something here that you can find amazing with the incredible making of Harry Potter experience and special effects. You might even find yourself picking up a book in the gift shop on your way out!
Bec from Wyld Family Travel
> Click here for more info & to get your Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets online
Located at Studio Tour Dr, Watford. Access by car, shuttle bus or train from London. Free parking available outside the studio.
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Harry Potter fan? Check out other Harry Potter themed tours and attractions in the UK
SCIENCE MUSEUM | LONDON
The Science Museum in London, located in the Kensington area is one of the most prominent museums in the country, with interactive exhibits that will make learning about science fun for the whole family.
This is the perfect place to spend rainy days in London, as a fun thing to do indoors and exhibits to suit kids of all ages.
Each zone of the museum explores different aspects of science from mathematics to space, modern technology and energy. It is especially popular during school holidays when they sometimes have special exhibits for keeping the kids entertained.
> Click here for more info & to get your London Science Museum tickets online
Located at Exhibition Road, South Kensington in London. There is public transport available otherwise for easy access.
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THORPE PARK | AMUSEMENT PARK LONDON
Located in the county of Surrey, just south of London, Thorpe Park is without a doubt my favourite family activity to do in the UK.
Why? Well, because I’ve been visiting ever since I was a child, and I still love it! Having grown up just an hour away, I think I must have been at least a dozen times in my life.
But what makes it so timeless and enjoyable is that Thorpe Park has rides and attractions to suit people of all ages. Plus, even now they still roll out new rides and roller coasters every year.
Since the last time I’ve visited, they’ve added Derren Brown’s Ghost Train and The Walking Dead to the mix; so I have plenty of reasons to return.
It’s best to go in the warmer months of the year, but I recommend avoiding peak summer dates. Especially weekends when parents are off work. At these times, wait times for rides easily exceed 2 or 3 hours!
Instead, try and be flexible by visiting in April/May or September/October. Hopefully, you can pick a date when the weather is great and you hardly have to queue for any ride!
Bradley from Dream Big, Travel Far
> Click here for more info & to get your Thorpe Park tickets online
Located at Staines Rd, Chertsey KT16 8PN, south of London. Parking is available for £7 per day or catch the bus or train to Thorpe Park instead.
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MADAME TUSSAUDS WAX MUSEUM | LONDON
For a fun day out, Madame Tussauds London is sure to entertain the whole family. The original celebrity wax museum is the perfect place to snap some selfies with your favourite stars. Well, their wax versions at least!
From pop stars to superheroes, the royal family or your movie star crush, Madame Tussauds has it all.
This is one of the United Kingdoms’ most popular attractions so save time by pre-purchasing your tickets earlier so you can skip the line. They have family tickets available to save money when visiting as a family group.
> Click here for more info & to get your Madame Tussauds tickets online
Located at Marylebone Road in London. Madame Tussauds is just a two minute walk away from Baker Street tube station.
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LEGOLAND WINDSOR | UK LEGOLAND
If you’re a Lego fan and a fan of theme parks, then Legoland is well worth a visit. A family-friendly theme park that has something for everyone from thrill-seeking rides for the young at heart, to toddler and family-friendly rides.
We have been to Legoland on numerous occasions and my top tips for getting the most out of your day include taking advantage of any ticket deals you can get and booking in advance to save on ticket prices at the gate.
Once in Legoland, I recommend starting at the back of the park by walking right instead of following the crowds left at the entrance.
A family day out can get expensive when you’re eating in the park as well. We have always packed a picnic to enjoy, and take advantage of the lockers available to hire which are dotted around the park.
The best time to visit Legoland is during school terms, or perhaps inset days as the crowds do get big on sunny days and at weekends.
If you want to avoid the long queues for the rides then I suggest waiting until the end of the day to ride the more popular attractions.
Angela from The Life of Spicers
Click here for more info & skip the queue Legoland Windsor Resort tickets
Located at Winkfield Rd, Windsor - 2 miles from Windsor Town Centre. If driving private transport, parking is available from £7. Alternatively, public transport is available via coach and train services.
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Visit LEGOLAND in other cities – find the different locations here.
KNOWSLEY SAFARI PARK | BEST WILDLIFE UK
Knowsley Safari Park is considered a popular UK attraction to visit with kids and here’s why.
Knowsley Safari Park is just outside Liverpool and is a great day out for families for lots of reasons. I would strongly advise getting to Knowsley Safari Park early and heading straight to the 550-acre safari.
If you can beat the rush of cars, you really do have a great chance of getting really close to the animals. It’s not until the cars start driving through that the lions move off the road for example.
As you drive through the park you will also get to see camels, rhinos, giraffes and their famous baboons.
There is an option of booking a seat on the Baboon bus and I would recommend you take is as they can be pretty destructive when it comes to cars.
The Baboon bus is covered in ropes and the primates love to jump on the moving vehicles and play as you drive through. This option can save you a windscreen wiper or two going missing on your own car.
As well as the drive-through safari, Knowsley Safari Park also has a foot safari where you can meet smaller animals, a sea lion display and an all-new tiger trail where you can see the Amur tigers.
There’s also a small theme park with a number of rides for kids so you really can make a full day of it here.
They also hold a number of events throughout the year, so make sure you visit the website to see what’s on when you visit.
We met Ben & Holly during our visit to Knowsley Safari Park and the kids were over the moon.
A day out to Knowsley Safari Park really can suit anyone of any age, but the optimum age to enjoy a visit here with kids would be between 3 and 12 years old.
Zena from Zena’s Suitcase
> Click here for more info & to get your Knowsley Safari tickets online
Located at Prescot L34 4AN. Catch the Safari Xpress bus daily from Liverpool city centre at 10AM. Return journey leaves Knowsley at 4PM.
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PEPPA PIG WORLD | PAULTONS PARK
Our kids love the TV show Peppa Pig. When they learned we were going to the UK, they demanded that we visit Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park at Southampton in the south of England.
Paultons Park is a theme park in which Peppa Pig World is just a part (although the largest one) and has much else to offer. We enjoyed the rest of the park but the highlight was definitely Peppa Pig World.
Given how much the show meant to our preschoolers, we paid for the early ride and play pass – a limited access pass that allowed us to enter an hour early as well as meet Peppa Pig and her brother George!
Or at least meet people in Peppa and George suits.
Our kids were still thrilled and impressed and the extra hour left time to have first go on the rides without queues.
If you’ve watched the TV show then you’ll instantly recognise the rides and decorations which have been taken directly from the show.
Our whole family had a great time. It is ideal for preschoolers, with everything made for little people. If your children are a bit older, but enjoy watching Peppa Pig they’ll love going to Peppa Pig World.
Driving is the easiest way there as Paultons Park is located a little outside of Southampton, although from Southampton there are buses that stop at the park on the route.
If you’re coming from London expect to be driving around 2.5 hours to and then down the M3. Parking was plentiful and free. Make sure you go on a clear day.
Suzi from Survey Suzi
> Click here for more info & to get your Paulton’s Park & Peppa Pig World tickets online
Located in Ower, near Romsey in Hampshire SO51 6AL. Peppa Pig World is part of Paultons Family Theme Park. There is public transport available and free car parking.
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YORK MINSTER | HISTORIC YORK
The gothic cathedral York Minster lies at the heart of the historic city of York. No other buildings inside the city walls are permitted to be taller than York Minster so it is an unmissable landmark within the city centre!
The Minster is fantastic to visit at any time of year. It is easily reached by public transport or on foot. There is no parking allowed in the pretty, pedestrianised area surrounding the cathedral but car parks are a short ten-minute walk away.
All are welcome to attend services at the Minster, but sightseeing is only allowed between service times.
Up to four children under 16 can enter with each paying adult which makes the Minster an affordable family trip! The ornate cathedral hosts daily tours as well as weekly tours specifically for children.
In addition, families can borrow Little Explorer Backpacks with age-appropriate trails and binoculars plus the thoughtful addition of a mirror to view the artwork on the ceilings!
You can explore the highly decorated Chapter House, the eerie crypt and the Undercroft Museum. Marvel at the gigantic stained glass of the Great East Window.
Furthermore, adults and children over 8 years old can get a fantastic view of the city by climbing the 275 steps of the central tower.
After your visit, run off excess energy in lovely Deans Park just behind the Minster which also provides picture-perfect views of this majestic cathedral.
Sinead from Map Made Memories
> Click here for more info & to get your York Pass online for access to the best attractions
Located at Deangate, York YO1 7HH. Visiting times are between 9AM and last entry at 4:30PM. You can visit York Minster by car, train or bus, or take a guided city walking tour that includes entry into the cathedral.
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BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH | VINTAGE THEME PARK
For a modern funfair with an old fashioned twist, take the kids to Blackpool Pleasure Beach says Kirstie from the Family Adventure Project. She believes there are many great reasons to visit Blackpool.
You will find an array of modern roller coasters including the most recent Icon The Ride, and the timeless Big One. There are sponsored areas the kids will love, including Nickelodeon Land.
This theme park, a focal point for the Lancashire seaside resort, opened back in 1876, and one of the joys is finding the classic rides. These remain pretty much untouched; look out for the plaques on the walls to identify them.
Do a little treasure hunt together choosing from the exciting selection of ‘woodies,’ – the wooden roller coasters are bone-shakers but you will survive their rattle.
Cling onto a horse on the Derby Racer carousel (track down one of the slower ones if you are prone to getting a bit travel sick).
Fly like a rocket in the Hiram Maxim Flying Machine, which still uses the original mechanism. You can inspect it afterwards by going inside.
And right at the end of the day, do Valhalla. It’s one water ride you and your clothes won’t forget. The all-day wristband will cover you for all the main rides.
Kirstie from Family Adventure Project
> Click here for more info & to get your Blackpool Pleasure Beach tickets online
Located on Ocean Boulevard in South Shore opposite the South Pier in Blackpool, FY4 1EZ. If taking public transport, they have their own tram stop right outside. There are several car parks if driving, however be aware most will incur parking charges around £15 per day.
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FLAMINGO LAND RESORT | NORTH YORKSHIRE
Flamingo Land resort is a large theme park near Malton in North Yorkshire. As well as having a great variety of rides for young and old there is also a large zoo and on-site accommodation. Because of this, there really is something there for everyone.
We like to visit in the winter as it’s less busy. Only half the park is open but even then there’s still more than a days out worth of things to do.
They have shows on throughout the day, limited ride opening but still with plenty to go on and the zoo is still open.
We love the Peter Rabbit themed playground and cafe. It’s a great spot to have a Peter Rabbit themed afternoon tea.
You can purchase accommodation deals in their luxury resort village. There’s a great range of choices.
They have family rides, rides just for young children and thrill rides with height restrictions. We love the Dino themed rides and the racing car track.
Even though the theme park is really big you don’t need to worry about little legs as they have cable cars, a train, people mover and a monorail to help you get around. If you do visit make sure you stay over or nearby as you will never fit everything into just one day.
Suzy from Our Bucketlist Lives
> Click here for more info & to get your Flamingo Land Resort tickets online
Located at Kirby Misperton, Malton in Yorkshire YO17 6UX, UK. If travelling by bus, National Express drops off to and from York. Or catch the Yorkshire Coastliner from York railway station, which drops off at Flamingo Land.
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WARWICK CASTLE | BEST UK CASTLES FOR FAMILIES
We have been visiting Warwick Castle for years as a family and we never tire of going as there is always so much to entertain us.
Aside from the fact that Warwick Castle is a stunning castle steeped in history, they manage to bring the history alive with their daily live shows.
New for this year is the Falconer’s Quest where they will be flying more than 70 Birds of Prey. We also love the Bowman Show for impressive Bowman skills and Knight School for a fun interactive treat for the children.
They have ample eateries, restrooms and refreshment stalls and if you are looking to stay for more than a day you can book into the Knight’s Village.
The best time to visit is between February and October when the Daily Live shows are in full swing but even if you are just visiting the Castle with its Kingmaker exhibition and the Royal Party you will not be disappointed. It truly is an all year round attraction for the whole family.
Sabina from Mummy Matters
> Click here for more info & to book a Warwick Castle day tour online
Located in Warwick, Warwickshire in Midlands CV34 6AH. You can arrive at Warwick Castle by car, coach or train from London or Birmingham or as part of a guided excursion to see some of the other local sites along the way.
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LONGLEAT SAFARI PARK | DRIVE THROUGH SAFARI PARK
Longleat is a family day out for children and families of all ages. There really is so much you can do and see. The park is set up into different areas, each one taking between 10 minutes and 3 hours to do. So you can spend between 1-2 days here.
Make a plan before you arrive so you know which direction you want to head in. Timings are approximate.
- Main Square which takes 2-3 hours
- The boat ride which is in Main Square – 20 mins
- The miniature railway
- The adventure castle and toddler park – Take as long as you want
- The farm area – 10 mins
- The famous safari which takes 1-2 hours
- The African Village which is by the safari – 30 mins
We loved the boat ride which goes up the lake, past the gorillas and then onto feeding the seals. You can buy fish on board and they go wild for it. It was the highlight of the girl’s day!
Another fun aspect of the park is the car safari where you can drive through the enclosures. You get a proper safari experience, especially when the monkeys start jumping all over your car, pulling off your windscreen wipers!
Not only can you spend time in the safari park, but there is also Longleat house and gardens which are open to visit at an additional cost.
Anna from Twins and travels
Located in Longleat, Warminster BA12 7NW, in Wiltshire. Open daily from 10AM until 5PM. Accessible by car or train.
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DRAYTON MANOR | THEME PARK ENGLAND
Drayton manor has been declared the best theme park ever by my children, due to the fact that it has something for every age.
Toddlers will marvel at Thomas Land, which consists of 20 rides. It is perfect for smaller children and is the most popular part of the park for small people.
The cost of a ticket for a 2 or 3-year-old is very reasonable, and most of the rides in Thomas Land are suitable for this age group.
My younger boys are huge dinosaur fans, so they loved the Dinosaur trail at the side of the zoo. The girls adore animals so they were kept amused in that area.
The older children adore thrill rides and I was unsure if Drayton Manor would be able to keep them amused, but I needn’t have worried because it had a number of upside-down, twisty turn rides that certainly kept them busy.
Plus they have a couple of water rides- the Splash Canyon being a particular favourite.
The entire park is very well spread out and there was so much to do, you really need two days!
Many theme parks are catered towards one particular age group, but Drayton manor really did cater for all of our children aged 5 to 21.
Mandi from Big Family Little Adventures
> Click here for more info & to book Drayton Manor Theme Park tickets online
Located at Drayton Manor Dr, Fazeley, Mile Oak, Tamworth B78 3TW. There are bus, train and taxi services available, or stay at Drayton Manor Caravan site.
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MARY ARDEN’S FARM | SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE
Stratford Upon Avon is a lovely market town in Warwickshire. It’s best known as the birthplace of Shakespeare, and if you visit you can tour around the homes linked to Shakespeare and his family. It doesn’t sound like the most child-friendly place, does it?
But you’ll be pleasantly surprised, as all of the attractions have made an effort to appeal to families. Mary Arden was Shakespeare’s mother and her Farm is by far and away the best of all of Shakespeare’s houses to visit with kids.
It’s a working Tudor farm, so kids can meet friendly farmyard animals as well as learn about Tudor life, arts and crafts, and even cooking. Costumed guides help to create the illusion that you’ve stepped back in time.
Elsewhere on the farm there are walks past the fields where you can get a good look at the animals and a playground for kids to burn off excess energy. Of course there is also Mary’s house to look around.
There are often events put on at Mary Arden’s Farm so check before you visit to see what’s on. Any events in school holidays will be aimed especially at kids. The kids were able to try their hand at archery when we visited which they loved – even the three year old!
Mary Arden’s Farm is in the village of Wilmcote just a couple of miles outside Stratford Upon Avon. It’s best to drive to it although you can also take a tourist bus.
Emily from Kids and Compass
> Click here for more info & to book Mary Arden’s Farm tickets online
Located at Station Rd, Wilmcote CV37 9UN, a couple of miles outside Stratford-Upon-Avon. Learn more about Shakespeare's history with a guided tour
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AEROSPACE BRISTOL MUSEUM | AVIATION MUSEUM ENGLAND
Many travellers flock to Bristol for food and its amazing craft beer scene. And, there are loads of museums inside the city to keep any family busy for a long weekend.
One of the most unique museums, though, is the Aerospace Bristol Museum, just outside of the city center.
One of its main claims to fame is that it hosts the last Concorde to fly. The Concorde was the fastest commercial airplane on earth until its last flight in 2003. The exhibit allows families to walk around, underneath, and even inside one of the most unique airplanes on earth.
The main exhibit of the Aerospace Bristol Museum includes interactive displays on the history of aviation and aerospace in Bristol.
The museum is filled with all sorts of airplanes and space gadgets and is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon in Bristol. There are airplanes, helicopters, rockets, satellites and all sorts of hands-on museum attractions to allow kids to explore.
The museum is a year-round destination, but it is a little ways out of town. It’s best to visit by car. Although there are buses that head in that direction from the city center, it is a half mile walk to the museum, which may be difficult for little legs.
Tickets are £16.50, £9 for children, and kids under four enter for free. They offer family ticket packs as well. There is a little shop and cafe as well.
Amber from With Husband In Tow
> Click here for more info & to book Aerospace Bristol Museum tickets online
Located on the historic Filton Airfield, at Aerospace Bristol, Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol BS34 5BZ. Free parking is available. Buses will take you to the area but with a half mile walk to the museum.
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If you need even more ideas for places to visit in England with kids, check out the Natural History Museum, Alton Towers theme park and Buckingham Palace.
Or take boat trips along the River Thames. See the crown jewels at Windsor Castle or wander through Trafalgar Square in central London.
Older kids and teens may enjoy the London Dungeon interactive tour and scare experience as well.
Places to Visit in Scotland With Kids
Scotland brings a mix of educational fun and learning and natural wonders, making Scotland with kids a fantastic family holiday destination, either on its own, or as part of a larger United Kingdom holiday! Find out the best family attractions in Scotland.
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND | EDUCATIONAL FUN
The fabulous National Museum of Scotland is one of the best places to take the kids in Edinburgh, and one of our favourite museums anywhere in the world. Kids of all ages will love this brilliant hands-on museum.
It may not be on your radar, but it is actually in the top 10 UK visitor attractions as well as the top 20 most visited museums and galleries in the world.
There is a lot to see at the museum, making it the perfect place to spend a rainy day (of which there are many in Scotland!) The exhibition takes you everywhere from the age of the dinosaurs to the technology of the future.
The 8,000+ objects displayed here cover everything from science and technology to world culture, transport and the natural world.
We love how hands-on and interactive this museum is, meaning the kids love going back time and again without getting bored. My kids favourite parts are the Animal World gallery with all its stuffed animals and also the Adventure Planet gallery, where they can dig for dinosaur bones and search for bugs amongst the roots of an oak tree.
The other big hit with most kids is the full-size Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton.
The other great thing we love about the National Museum of Scotland – is that it’s free!
Marianne from Mum on the Move
> Click here to book your Edinburgh Hop on Hop off bus tour
Located on Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF. Open 10AM to 5PM daily. Free admission to the museum. Get there via public transport or your private car transport, or get a hop on hop off bus pass and check out the rest of Edinburgh along the way. There is also guided audio tours of the city that you can do in your own time too.
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ARTHUR’S SEAT | HIKING IN EDINBURGH
Of all the great things to do in Edinburgh, one of the best ways to get exercise while exploring Scotland’s beautiful capital is to head for a hike up Arthur’s Seat!
Just a short walk down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to Holyrood Park, this dormant volcano towers over the landscape and provides amazing views of the city and seaside below.
We love hiking the Seat because there are many different routes to get to the top – of all different fitness/difficulty levels.
This aspect is what makes it great for families with kids 8 years and older who like being active. However, toddlers could easily be put in a carrier. You can choose to climb steep (but safe) rock steps or ascend the hill slowly via the grassy pathways.
With many small ponds (lochs) and the ruins of an old chapel to explore, Arthur’s Seat really is a “choose your own adventure” type of hike!
If you plan on visiting, be sure to bring a rain jacket and shoes with a good tread because the Scottish weather can change in minutes even in the summer season – making a sunny hike a bit wet in an instant!
Eric and Lisa from Penguin and Pia
> Click here to book your Edinburgh 7 Hills Hiking Tour
Located within Holyroad Park. It is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the centre of the city, adjacent to Holyrood Palace. Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the park. The park is located at Queens Drive, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH8 8HG.
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EDINBURGH ZOO | WILDLIFE SCOTLAND
Edinburgh zoo is a fantastic family day out for children of all ages. It’s easy to reach by car or public transport, as it’s in the heart of the city. It’s built on a steep hill so be prepared for lots of uphill walking. The paths are very smooth though so it is pushchair friendly.
There are over 1000 rare and endangered animals including the UK’s only giant panda, which we were lucky enough to see on our visit.
Other animals include lions, tigers, monkeys, Koala, flamingos and penguins. The penguin area was another favourite with my kids.
Penguins rock has Europe’s largest outdoor penguin pool and has many features that the penguins enjoy including water features and rocky areas.
There are also 3 fantastic play areas for children to enjoy and all the facilities you would expect like toilets, baby changing, cafes and ice cream kiosks.
I’d recommend you arrive early as it does get busy. Pick up a map too and keep hold of it as there aren’t a lot of maps around.
There are lots of signs though pointing to specific animal enclosures. We chose to walk up the left hand side of the zoo and then walked back down the right-hand side. This allowed us to see all the animals on our visit.
Claire from The Ladybirds Adventures
> Click here to book your Edinburgh Hop on Hop off bus tour
Located at Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, 134 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 6TS. The zoo opens at 10AM daily. There is limited car parking for £4. Or catch bus 12, 26 or 31 which pass by regularly throughout the day. The zoo is also located near the city cycling route and there is a bicycle hire program in the city. Find out more on their website.
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LANDMARK FOREST ADVENTURE PARK | OUTDOOR FUN
Landmark Forest Adventure Park is located in the small village of Carrbridge within the Cairngorms National Park.
It is just a short distance off the A9 between Perth and Inverness with the nearest nearby town of Aviemore 7 miles to the south. It is clearly signposted from the A9 and there is lots of parking whatever time of day you arrive.
This adventure is great for all ages. My two boys were quite small when we first visited but even now as teens they still ask to go.
We have visited throughout the year and have never been disappointed. There is enough to do inside so cold and wet days are not a problem.
In fact, it’s nice to visit when it is quieter. Some of the big outdoor attractions are not open in the winter months (the climbing walls, high ropes and roller coasters), but there is still more than enough to fill a full day.
We love it for a day out as there is variety. You can visit the butterfly house and then ride on the water chute followed by a short walk through the woods looking for red squirrels.
Everything is free once you have entered and you can ride everything as many times as you want.
Even in the middle of summer, the queues are short (we have been a lot and have never had to wait more than 10 minutes for anything) and if there is a long wait you can easily find lots of other things to do.
There are a couple of cafes and ice creams, but we usually take a picnic to keep food stops as brief as possible!
Suzanne from Meandering Wild
> Click here for more info & the latest ticket prices for Landmark
Located in Carrbridge near Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park - B9153, Carrbridge PH23 3AJ. There is free on site parking or train and bus services that will get you to Landmark.
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GLASGOW SCIENCE CENTRE | EDUCATIONAL FUN
If you’re visiting Glasgow with kids, the Glasgow Science Centre has to be on your list – with different areas for different ages, as well as live shows and a planetarium, there’s enough to keep families occupied for hours.
Even visiting when my daughter was a toddler, we managed to spend six hours here and she had such a great time. She barely wanted to stop to eat (let alone nap), while there’s plenty to entertain teens as well.
The interactive museum is set over three floors. Younger kids will love The Big Explorer, aimed at ages seven and under, which teaches about the world through play.
But there’s also BodyWorks, with more hands-on options, as well as the Creative Zone, the Lab, plus workshops and activities throughout the day.
It’s worth getting the list of all the extra shows, which include details of the age group they’re aimed at, and planning your day around some of those.
If you want to visit the Planetarium, they have a show for younger kids as well as versions for older visitors, which has a small extra fee.
It’s a perfect option for a rainy day too, or if you’re visiting in winter – if the weather’s good enough, walk along the river Clyde to reach the Science Centre, although there are also buses which run from the centre out to Pacific Quay.
Cathy from Mummy Travels
> Click here for more info & Glasgow Science Centre tickets
Located at 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA. Open from 10am until 5pm daily. Parking is available for £3 or public transport, including buses, train or public bike hire. Alternatively, as the Science Centre is located fairly central, get a Hop on Hop off bus pass and explore Glasgow.
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The Best Places to Visit in Wales With Kids
There are plenty of Wales tourist attractions that kids will love, from wildlife to medieval castles and some adrenaline-pumping excitement too! Check out some of the best family attractions in Wales.
FOLLY FARM ADVENTURE PARK AND ZOO | PEMBROKESHIRE
Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo is one of the best family attractions in the UK. Often referred to as simply Folly Farm, the shortened version of the name led me to believe it was just a farm, maybe a petting farm. But it is so much more than that.
Located in Pembrokeshire it makes a great location for a full day out with the kids.
While yes, you will find farm animals from pigs, sheep and donkeys to beautiful Shire horses in the barn building as you enter Folly Farm, there are more animals to see in the zoo section.
This was the surprise of the day as I hadn’t been expecting a full zoo complete with rhinos, giraffes, lions and monkeys, to name but a few. Our son’s favourite was the playful penguins.
And if you want to enjoy something other than animals, then take your pick from a vintage fairground with a carousel, arcade and amusement games, go-karting, a Ferris wheel, ride-along tractors and even diggers.
Some of these attractions incur additional costs. The ride-along tractors are free and if your children are anything like mine it’ll be a struggle to get them off them.
A visit to Folly Farm with kids is not-to-be-missed if you are visiting West Wales as it really is a brilliant place for a day out with kids in the UK.
Cath from Passports and Adventures
> Click here for more info & Folly Farm Adventure Park tickets
Located at Begelly, Kilgetty in Pembrokeshire SA68 0XA. If not travelling by car, there is a bus stop right out front.
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HEATHERTON WORLD OF ACTIVITIES | ADVENTURE PARK
If you’re looking for an action-packed day out for the family, then Heatherton World of Activities in Pembrokeshire is a great place for adventurous kids. It is one of our favourite UK attractions for families.
From shooting lasers and arrows, swinging from the trees and steering bumper boats, there is a whole host of fun to be had in this outdoor adventure park.
Admission is free but you have to purchase a book of credit in exchange for taking part.
Our eldest couldn’t decide what to do first, but the zorb balls soon caught his attention – and we spent some time laughing at his attempts to walk on water.
We all loved playing pirate-inspired crazy golf but the highlight for our boy was the go-karting zone. He was in his element dressed up in the full gear and zooming around the circuits for several laps. In fact, it looked so much fun, we couldn’t resist having a go, too!
> Click here for more info & Heatherton World of Activities tickets
Located at St Florence, just 5 minutes from Tenby on the outskirts of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park SA70 8RJ. Located on the B4318 between St Florence and Tenby and buses run from Tenby's Park Road bus stop at the entrance. Free entry into the park - just pay for your ride credits.
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ZIP WORLD FFOREST | WALES ATTRACTIONS FOR KIDS
Zip World Fforest in Betws-y-Coed, Wales is one of the best family attractions in the Uk let alone Wales.
Its set in the middle of the forest and uses the trees to map out their numerous activities from zip wire safaris through the tree, Tree net mazes, and giant swings over valleys to our personal favourite the Fforest coaster.
The Fforest Coaster is a 1km self-driven roller coaster through the trees.
Children from as young as 3 can take part (accompanied by an adult) you can go as fast or as slow as you like. You get 3 rides so plenty of time to work up the courage to use fewer breaks.
The best time to visit Zip World Fforest would be in the summer months when its hopefully drier. Even better if you can visit on a day during term time when it will be quieter. You book online and get a set time slot.
Our boys adore visiting Zip world every time we visit their grandparents and for the activities on offer its fantastic value for money and very well organised.
Afterwards, why not go into Betws-y-Coed village and spot all the waterfalls or go for a paddle in the river after a spot of lunch.
Lisa from The Family Ticket
> Click here for more info & book your Zip World Fforest tickets
Located at A470, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0HX in the North Wales Conwy Valley. It is close to the iconic Snowdonia village of Betws y Coed. There is free parking available.
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CONWY CASTLE | MEDIEVAL WALES
We love visiting castle ruins with kids. They can clamber around and explore the castle and let their imaginations run wild. No nice furniture or boring artwork to tiptoe around.
Conwy castle is a huge medieval fortification built by the English King Edward I in the late 13th century after conquering Wales because the Welsh were less than enthusiastic about being overrun.
The castle looms over the countryside with 8 towers and 2 barbicans. It only took 4 years to build but the cost was a hefty £45 million in today’s money.
Today the castle is a UNESCO world heritage site along with two other castles that Edward I built nearby for his defences. There are turrets to climb and a dungeon as well. The views over the nearby Estuary and countryside are beautiful.
The little town of Conwy has lots of attractions for kids, too. For example, the castle also has walls that surround the town which you can walk on.
The town is small and easy to explore because it is encircled by the town walls.
You can visit the smallest house in Great Britain. It’s so small the four of us in our family could barely fit inside. It was inhabited though until 1900 by a local fisherman! There’s definitely enough to do in Conwy Wales to keep the family entertained for a nice day out.
Shobha from Just Go Places
> Click here to purchase your Llandudno City Hop On Hop Off Sightseeing Tour
Located at Rose Hill St, Conwy LL32 8AY. The castle is open daily from 9:30AM until 5PM. Visit by car, train or bus or take the Hop on Hop off bus tour which includes a stop at Conwy Castle and other sights in Llandudno.
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Things to do With Kids in Northern Ireland
Find some fun Northern Ireland attractions to visit as a family during your UK vacation. This list is a little short however we will be adding to it in future. Stay tuned for more great things to do in Northern Ireland with kids. There are so many wonderful UK attractions for families to share.
GIANTS CAUSEWAY | OUTDOOR ATTRACTIONS
One of the most mystical and fabled corners of Northern Ireland tells tales and legends from thousands of years ago of how the land was formed.
Right on the North Coast of Northern Ireland sits the famous Giants Causeway, a beautiful natural phenomenon made up of 40,000 basalt columns.
This spot is a definite bucket list item for anyone on their own Ireland adventure.
These incredible columns were formed from ancient volcanic activity, as lava was forced up through fissures in the earth’s surface to form a lava plateau.
As the plateau cooled, differences in cooling rates of different areas caused some parts to shrink more than others. This formed the hexagonal columns you see today.
The Giants Causeway visitor centre is an exciting day out for the whole family, with a visitor centre telling you all about the myths and legends of the place at the entrance to the bay.
While it may not seem like your typical kid’s attractions in the UK, the causeway itself is the perfect place to let out your inner child, with a natural adventure playground waiting for you by the sea. It’s a perfect place for outdoor activities!
Climb the hexagonal steps of the Giants Causeway for magnificent views of the bay, or visit where the land meets the sea and search for wildlife, such as winkles and cockles. Entry to the visitor centre is £12 (cheaper when bought online).
There are a canteen and gift shop. If you don’t fancy the walk down to the steps, there is a shuttle bus that runs from the visitor centre at an extra cost.
The best time of day to visit the Causeway is just before sunrise. An early morning for most, however, it is well worth the rise when you see the first light begin to peak over the mountains around the coast.
The best part? You will be the only ones there and admission is free!
Campbell from Highlands 2 Hammocks
> Click here for more info & to purchase your Giants Causeway Day Trip Tour From Belfast
Located at 44 Causeway Rd, Bushmills BT57 8SU. During March and October, the Giant's Causeway park and ride service runs every 20 minutes from Bushmills village. Visitors travelling this way receive a 'green discount' at admission. Alternatively, you can cycle, drive or catch the bus. If travelling from Dublin, check out this tour.
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More Attractions In The UK For Families Worth A Visit
Want more ideas of places to visit with kids when travelling around the United Kingdom? Well in case this mammoth list of ideas isn’t enough, here are a few more places that are worth adding to your UK bucket list if you happen to be heading nearby:
- London Eye – See London from above within the famous wheel domes
- Cutty Sark – Historic sailing ship & maritime attraction in Greenwich, London
- The Eden Project – China clay pit turned natural theatre in Cornwell, England
- Go Ape – Outdoor adventure parks around the UK
- National Maritime Museum – Free entry with plenty of family exhibits in Greenwich
- Blackpool Tower – Fantastic views across northwest England & a 4D cinema experience
- Covent Garden – Plenty to do from great eats, shopping, museums and theatres
- Lake District – National park and popular vacation spot to enjoy the outdoors
- Chessington World of Adventures – Fun park and zoo with rides galore
- Tower of London – Explore some of London’s history on a tour of the tower
- Eureka Children’s Museum – Creative fun and different activity zones in Yorkshire
- Camera Obscura – One of Britain’s oldest family attractions with 6 fun zones & illusions to discover.
- Greenwood Forest Park – Sustainable fun park in North Wales
- Cadbury World – A chocolate lovers delight with fun themed zones & chocolate galore
- Dinosaur Roar Adventure – Dinosaur themed park with trails and indoor play fun in Norfolk
- Titanic Experience & SS Nomadic Visit – The largest Titanic exhibit in the world in Belfast
- Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour – Explore the magical sites around Edinburgh
- Stonehenge – This unusual ancient site is sure to invoke some intrigue
- Roman Baths – Visit the beautiful city of Bath and the ancient Roman bathhouse
- London Dungeons – This spooky experience is most definitely better suited to older kids and teens
UK Packing List
Don’t forget to pack the essentials for your UK family adventure! We have put together all our favourite travel gear. These are items we don’t leave without when we venture abroad!
The most important thing to consider is the weather. UK weather can be unpredictable no matter what season it is! The essentials you will want for your trip are comfortable walking shoes for each member of the family.
You will also want a compact rain jacket in case of those unexpected showers… or downpours!
Don’t forget your portable power bank for keeping devices charged on the go and a travel adaptor if visiting from outside of the UK.
And if you are visiting London, don’t forget your London Pass or London Explorer Pass to save big on attraction entry!
For more European travel inspiration:
- The best European road trip itineraries
- Magical Christmas markets in Europe
- Must-visit white Christmas destinations
- Poland travel guide
- White Christmas in Zakopane
- Switzerland with kids
- London with kids
- Best places to stay in Paris
- Must visit Paris attractions
- What to pack for Europe in winter
Do you have favourite UK attractions for families we haven’t mentioned? Tell us about your favourite places to visit in UK for families. And share this post to Pinterest via the image below! Be sure to follow us on Facebook or YouTube for more travel inspiration like this!