ENGLAND is the perfect vacation destination for families. The country offers a wide range of activities for visitors young and old, from big city fun to quaint small town charm. To help plan your next visit, we’ve put together a list of the 10 must-do family adventures in England.
1. DreamWorks Tours: Shrek’s Adventure
These tours are in London, where kids can take a virtual trip to the Kingdom of Far Far Away with Donkey. Visitors will meet characters such as the Muffin Man, the Ugly Stepsister, and Sleeping Beauty while trying to escape from Rumpelstiltskin and witches. No visit would be complete without posing for pictures with Shrek. This is great for younger visitors.
2. Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens
Located in Burford, it’s the perfect spot to spend an afternoon with the kids. A mix between a zoo and a safari park, the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens houses over 260 different species of animals. The enclosures blend well with the natural environment and provide plenty of space for the animals to roam. You’ll find white rhinoceros, Chapman’s zebras, Lemurs, Parma wallabies, Humboldt penguins and more. You could easily spend a leisurely half day here at the park visiting the animal areas, watching the animals being fed, exploring the gardens and giving the kids time to run and play at the large playground.
3. Roman Baths
This ancient bathing and socializing complex is in the city of Bath. The venue does a great job of catering to children. with a free audio guide tour designed specifically for young visitors. Make sure to pick up one of the family activity trail, such as “Meet the Romans” from reception when you purchase tickets. The trail guides children through the museum and teaches them intriguing facts along the way. Kids can also complete a craft at the kids’ activity center and chat with costumed characters about life in Roman times.
4. Sudeley Castle
Located in Winchcombe, the castle was built in the 15th century and is the burial place of Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of King Henry VIII. The castle itself is lovely and well maintained, but the highlight for kids is the massive play area on the castle grounds. Young travelers can climb through the fort, complete an obstacle course, and ride a zip line while parents take a break at one of the many picnic tables.
Located in Windsor, LEGOLAND will be a hit for younger kids. What child wouldn’t want to spend the day enjoying 55 LEGO rides, shows, and attractions? Kids will be excited to visit the Land of the Vikings, Kingdom of the Pharaohs, LEGO City and Adventure Land. The new LEGO Ninjago World will open in May 2017.
6. Leacock Abbey
Located in Wiltshire, visitors can see Harry Potter filming locations for scenes such as the Mirror of Erased and Professors Snape’s & Quirrell’s classrooms. A hands-on feature for kids is the junior detective program where they can solve the case of Bizarre Beasts. It’s an engaging way to keeps kids interested and begging to explore the Abbey and grounds. The trail will lead kids from the Inspector’s office, through the weeping willows, the creepy cloister, serpents’ thicket and more. Children get a sticker for solving the case.
Located in Newquay, kids will enjoy the 40 themed habitats. The aquarium is home to a giant octopus, Black Tip Reef Sharks, other species found on Cornish coasts — as well as a cool underwater tunnel.
8. Tower of London
The ancient tower is located in London. Your children can see the Crown Jewels, explore the fortress, and see what life was like in Medieval times. Pick up a free family trail guide to complete activities and quizzes while learning fun facts. A cool new feature for families is the digital missions app where kids can meet historical characters, complete challenges and win badges.
Located in London, even children will be impressed with the beauty of the building. If you’re short of time, be sure you start your visit at the Dinosaur gallery with its towering T-Rex and the skull of a Triceratops, as well as at the Earth Hall with its escalator ride through a giant metallic globe.
10. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter
Harry Potter fans won’t want to miss this magical experience. Learn the behind the scenes secrets of the Harry Potter films. You’ll see Hagrid’s motorcycle, Hogwarts Great Hall, Platform 9 3/4 with the Hogwarts Express and get a chance to try Butterbeer.
The best way to explore England is by car. Yes, the public transportation system in England is excellent, but you’ll miss out on some of what makes the country so great — the off-the-eaten-path villages. These ten must-do family adventures in England will take you on an exciting tour, visiting cities both big and small while providing entertainment for the entire family.