38 Family-Friendly UK Day Trips To Book Now

If a foreign family holiday isn’t on the cards this summer, why not look at what the UK has to offer? From theme parks to castles, beaches to national landmarks, here are some of our favourite sites – just don’t forget to book a place in advance where necessary…

Jimmy’s Farm & Wildlife Park, Suffolk

Best for: Ages 2-16
 
This is a great day out. From the giant pillow trampoline to the adventure playground, other highlights include the butterfly house and outback safari. There’s also the promise of a delicious family lunch.
 
JimmysFarm.com

Sutton Hoo, Suffolk

Best for: Ages 3-16

This Anglo-Saxon burial ground is set in 91 hectares, with stunning views of the Deben estuary. For children, there’s an adventure playground and woodland walks complete with tracker packs.

NationalTrust.org.uk

Pleasure Beach, Norfolk

Best for: All ages

Go back in time at this sandy beach resort, with wholesome fun for the whole family, including a traditional wooden roller coaster and fairground carousel, dodgems and a swinging pirate ship. 

Pleasure-Beach.co.uk

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, Norfolk

Best for: Ages 3-16

Alongside an adventure play area and farmyard, kids will be enthralled to find life-size dinosaurs along the woodland trail, complete with realistic, prehistoric grunts and roars from the likes of T-Rex and Brontosaurus.  

RoarrDinosaurAdventure.co.uk

Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire

Best for: Ages 3-16

This wildlife park boasts attractions like Cheetah Rock, the Chimpnasium and Lemur Island. Overall, it’s home to an impressive 2,500 animals, and is one of Europe’s largest safari parks. 

ZSL.org

Snettisham Park, Norfolk

Best for: Ages 2-16

Ready for a good old-fashioned day on the farm? This 320-acre farm-turned-family-attraction includes an adventure playground and deer safari so children can feed lambs and ride on a tractor.  

SnettishamPark.co.uk

Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London

Best for: Ages 6 - 14

This tour, which takes about three hours, is a dream day out for Harry Potter fans. See the Gryffindor common room, the Hogwarts Express steam engine and Hagrid’s Hut – and even taste a real life butterbeer.  

WBStudioTour.co.uk

Legoland, Berkshire

Best for: Ages 2-10

Set in 150-acres, Legoland is a must-visit for every child. Older children will be blown away by everything from Big Ben to The London Eye recreated from Lego, while little ones will love the Duplo village. 

Legoland.co.uk

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Hampshire

Best for: Ages 6-14

Home to the Mary Rose, Henry VIII’s resplendent 1536 warship, as well as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior, this dockyard is a feast for young eyes. You’ll find historic figures aplenty, and kids can even try their hand at sword-fighting. 

HistoricDockyard.co.uk

Osborne House, Isle of Wight

Best for: Ages 5-14

Cast your mind back to the days of Queen Victoria, and imagine her at her seaside palace, visiting her private beach and her 1840s bathing machine. Osborne House is a stunning spot boasting a newly-reopened Swiss Cottage, and a small, two-storey wooden play chalet complete with hands on displays depicting the life of Victorian children.

English-Heritage.org.uk

Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, West Sussex

Best for: Ages 5-14

This open-air museum houses around fifty historic buildings dating from 950AD through to the 19th century. Immerse yourself in the history alongside costume-dressed actors showing how people worked and lived in this part of England, with demonstrations of traditional crafts, a working water mill and even a Tudor kitchen. 

WealdDown.co.uk

Hampton Court Palace, Surrey

Best for: Ages 5-14

You can’t help but be captivated by the magic of Hampton Court, in all its Henry VIII glory. Kids will enjoy the Georgian chocolate kitchens, the magnificent Great Hall and gardens with a fun maze. 

HRP.org.uk

Peppa Pig World, Southampton

Best for: Ages 1-8

Little ones will love hanging out with all their favourite characters from Peppa Pig, with highlights including Grandpa Pig’s Little Train ride and George’s Dinosaur Adventure. A sweet day out, full of gentle rides for the whole family. 

PeppaPigWorld.co.uk  

Slimbridge Wetland Centre, Gloucestershire

Best for: Ages 2-16

Have your waterproofs at the ready! At the wetland centre, children are encouraged to build dams, jump in puddles and get seriously soggy in Welly Boot Land. The adults might prefer the 4x4 and canoe safaris.

WWT.org.uk

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Best for: Ages 5-16

Glimpsing Stonehenge from the car is always exciting, but stopping off at the ancient monument means you’ll be able to take part in audio-visual displays and see the reconstructed huts, which demonstrate what life was like as a Neolithic child.

English-Heritage.org.uk

Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire

Best for: Ages 3-16

Take a tour of the game reserve in your car to see giraffes, rhinos, camels, lions and even wolves. Little ones will love the miniature railway and adventure castle playground, as well as Stingray Bay and Penguin Island.

Longleat.co.uk

Eden Project, Cornwall

Best for: Ages 2-16

The whole family will enjoy the rainforest canopy walkway with its nest platform, and the extraordinary biomes – one of which is home to Mediterranean trees and plants, while the other mimics a rainforest ecosystem. There’s also a zip wire for adrenaline junkies. 

EdenProject.com

Port Lympne Reserve, Kent

Best for: Ages 2-16
 
Set in an impressive 600 acres of Kent countryside, the animals here, many of which are endangered, have plenty of space to roam. Smaller kids will be blown away by the dinosaur forest, while older kids will love the lion feeding experience in the Carnivore Territory. The giraffe safari is also a must-visit.

AspinalFoundation.org

Wookey Hole Caves, Somerset

Best for: Ages 3-16

There’s so much more going on here than the caves themselves, which are breath-taking to see. Young children will enjoy the Monster Mill, Fairy Garden and Dinosaur Valley, while the traditional circus includes everything from tight-rope walking to unicycling. 

Wookey.co.uk

George’s Surf School, Cornwall

Best for: Ages 4+

George’s Surf School in Polzeath, north Cornwall, can teach anyone – from little kids to grannies – to surf. Join a group class or have a private lesson, either way you’ll be riding the waves in no time.

GeorgesSurfSchool.com

Blair Drummond Safari Park, Stirling

Best for: Ages 3-16

Boasting over 350 rare and exotic animals, Blair Drummond has plenty to keep the kids entertained. There’s everything from a monkey drive-thru, to sea lion and bird of prey shows and the brilliant Chimp Island which can be viewed by boat. There’s even the chance to explore a dinosaur exhibit, as well as an adventure play area.

BlairDrummond.com

Crathes Castle and Gardens, Aberdeenshire

Best for: Ages 4-16

The grown-ups will love the scenic grounds and rose garden surrounding this 16th-century castle. As for the kids? An adventure playground, Go Ape tree top course, family trails and quizzes will keep them occupied.

NTS.org.uk

Inverewe Gardens, Wester Ross

Best for: Ages 2-16

These stunning gardens overlook the quintessentially Scottish Loch Ewe, with its surrounding woodlands boasting exotic plants like Chinese Himalayan blue poppies and Tasmanian eucalyptus. Take a walk with a free guided tour and see if you can spot the native red squirrels, seals, otters, red deer and pine martens. 

NTS.org.uk

Honister Slate Mine, Cumbria
Best for: Ages 8-16

Honister is one of the Lake District’s last working slate mines. Offering everything from a 1,200ft high infinity bridge, a gorge you can traverse across, as well as abseiling and other mountain activities, it’s not one for the faint-hearted. 

Honister.com

Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland

Best for: Ages 2-16

Home to the most extraordinary night skies and the biggest man-made lake in Northern Europe, Kielder has over 250 sq. miles of working forest, offering a range of activities from cycling and horse-riding, to water skiing and sailing – you might just have to come back for another visit. 

Visit Kielder.com

Beamish Museum, County Durham

Best for: Ages 5-16

Hop on a 1913 tram and take a tour around this 300-acre site, which includes reconstructed houses, shops and heritage buildings showing how life in the North East changed between 1825 and the post-industrial age, nearly 100 years later. The kids will love the colliery village, complete with pit cottages. 

Beamish.org.uk

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Best for: Ages 6-16

Film buffs will recognise this 14th century castle as one of the locations used in the Harry Potter movies. You’ll find everything from broomstick training to tours of the state rooms and grounds. 

AlnwickCastle.com

Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

Best for: Ages 4-16

A must-visit for mini historians, this 150-mile wall between Brampton and Hexham has some of the best Roman attractions in the UK, including the Segedunum Roman fort, baths and museum and the Roman Army museum. The old city wall is a breath-taking sight in itself. 

HadriansWallCountry.co.uk

Chester Zoo, Cheshire

Best for: Ages 2-16

Set in 110 acres of gardens, you’ll find more than 35,000 animals here and a full re-creation of the natural habitats of six south-east Asian islands. Chester Zoo is big on conservation and education too, so every visit counts. 

ChesterZoo.org

Alton Towers, Staffordshire

Best for: Ages 3-16

With stomach-churning highlights already including Nemesis, Air and Oblivion (a vertical drop of more than 180ft), one of the newer rides at Alton Towers is Wicker Man. But there’s plenty of fun for smaller guests too over in CBeebies Land.

AltonTowers.com

Bekonscot Model Village & Railway, Buckinghamshire

Best for: Ages 3-10

The world’s oldest, original model village now covers more than an acre, with tiny handmade houses, farms, fields and lakes, all of which are connected by a model railway. 

Bekonscot.co.uk

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Best for: Ages 3-16

This privately-owned stately home has a 1000-acre park, with plenty of activities suitable for children, from a maze and ancient woodlands to the working farmyard and adventure playground. The grown-ups will love browsing the impressive art collection, too. 

Chatsworth.org

Cadbury World, Birmingham

Best for: Ages 3-16

Learn all about the history of chocolate before taking a trip down memory lane by watching all the different Cadbury’s adverts through the years. The highlight has to be seeing how Cadbury’s Crème Eggs and Chocolate Buttons are actually made. 

CadburyWorld.co.uk

Ironbridge, Shropshire

Best for: Ages 5-16

The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Ironbridge is now home to a staggering ten museums. Favourites include Blists Hill, a reconstructed Victorian town with traditional shops, and Enginuity, a technology and science centre full of interactive exhibits.

IronBridge.org.uk

Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Best for: Ages 2-16

Set among the magnificent landscaped gardens of Blenheim you’ll find a miniature train, butterfly house, maze and playground, as well as the excellent Winston Churchill exhibition, which includes the chance to walk in his footsteps with a special trail around the garden. 

BlenheimPalace.com

Zip World, Snowdonia National Park

Best for: Ages 3+

One of North Wales’s biggest outdoor tourist attractions, Zip World is set across three locations. Younger children will love the rollercoaster cart through the forest, while older kids can experience an underground net adventure in a disused mine. For teenagers, the fastest zip line in the world awaits. 

Zipworld.co.uk

Anglesey Sea Zoo, Isle of Anglesey

Best for: Ages 2-16

Little ones won’t want to get off the Octojump bouncy castle, except to visit the adventure playground and try the radio-controlled boats. The Shark Pool and Big Fish Forest offer more fun, while the shipwreck makes a clever display for local marine life.  

AngleseySeaZoo.co.uk

Oakwood Theme Park, Pembrokeshire

Best for: Ages 3-16

Under-eights will enjoy Circus Land, the carousel, train, pedal go-karts and the Clown Coaster. Bigger kids can get stuck in with some of the other rides – like the Megafobia, Speed and Bounce ride, which turns you into a human bullet reaching 70kph. 

OakwoodThemePark.co.uk

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