England’s a great place to visit, but can be a challenge if you have to keep children amused. Let’s see if we can help with some family friendly attractions in England…
Many of the places that adults enjoy visiting – historic buildings, beautiful cottages etc – can quickly bore younger family members. Too many young visitors view England trips as a succession of old buildings.
So what to do? Well, as well as adding some locations specifically targeting kids (like these for older kids in London) here are some places the whole family should enjoy:
Family Friendly Attractions In England
Ironbridge, which has the distinction of being the world’s oldest iron bridge, was built between 1777 and 1781 across the River Severn in Shropshire.
Considered a symbol of the Industrial Revolution it, the neighboring Ironbridge Gorge and the town of Ironbridge form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s a good place to take the kids as there’s lots of clambering about and exploring to be done, as well as a good museum dedicated to the industrial revolution (and so they may learn something too).
Built in Wiltshire and eight miles north of Salisbury, Stonehenge is arguably the most famous prehistoric structure in Europe.
It was built in stages over generations, and the oldest parts date back 5,000 years. There have been many theories over the years about its purpose; it is currently believed to have been a temple.
Although you can’t clamber on the stones, there’s lots of space to run about nearby. And kids do think it cool to be looking at something 5,000 years old.
3. British Museum
One of the oldest museums in the world, the British Museum was established in 1753 in London. Dedicated to art, history and culture, it is home to over eight million objects, only a fraction of which are on display at any given time. Popular exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, mummies, the Lewis Chessmen and the Sutton Hoo ship burial.
Now this is great, but might sound a bit dry to the kids. However the museum does an excellent job at making them interested.
Look out for the ‘Activity Trails’ and ‘Gallery Backpacks’ – details are on their website.
4. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of the Royal Parks of London, and it is also one of the largest parks in London. It began life as a hunting preserve belonging to Henry VIII and was opened to the general public in 1637.
Hyde Park is home to many attractions including the Serpentine Lake, Speaker’s Corner, the Rose Garden and the Diana Memorial Fountain.
As well as a great place for a run around, there are lots to see – and often kids events, especially in the summer. A good place to work out all that kid energy after a day sightseeing in London.
5. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach was established in 1896 and has been owned and managed by the Thompson family since the beginning.
One of the most popular amusement parks in the UK, it boasts 125 rides, including about a dozen roller coasters, half of which are wooden.
The Big One, which stands 235 feet tall, is the tallest, longest, steepest and fastest roller coaster in the UK.
6. Tower of London
Construction on the Tower of London began during the reign of William the Conqueror. The White Tower, which dates back to the 1080s, is the oldest part of the castle.
It was famously used as a prison up until the 1950s (Kray twins). It has also served as an armory, a menagerie, residence, and the home of the Royal Mint and is currently home to the Crown Jewels and a variety of exhibits.
And if that doesn’t interest the kids, show them the exact block where Anne Boleyn had her head cut off (kids tend to love that sort of macabre detail).
7. Chatham Historic Dockyard
The Chatham Historic Dockyard was originally a working dockyard that is first mentioned in a document dating from the reign of Henry VIII.
The Royal Navy used it extensively for hundreds of years until 1984, when it was closed.
It is now a museum dedicated to maritime history and includes such attractions as three warships, a smithery and a rope factory.
It’s a good place to learn about London’s rich seafaring background – when it ruled much of the world from dockyards such as Chatham.
8. London Zoo
Also sometimes called Regent’s Zoo, the London Zoo began life as a scientific collection in 1828 and became a public zoo in 1847 and added the world’s first public aquarium in 1853.
It is home to over 18,000 animals representing 700 species – the pandas are the most visited animals. The Snowdon Aviary, pictured above, was built in 1964.
A family favorite and right near the center of town.
All kids love a castle – and England has lots.
Rather than me choose one go to our ‘Best 20 Castles In England‘ post to choose your favorite.
10. Battle Sites
Or perhaps a battle site might keep them interested? You can choose from several throughout England – we did a review of the best battle sites in england here.