Have you ever considered taking your kids to the UK for a vacation?
We think it’s a great idea, the UK has lots to offer, particularly for children. Let me do what I can to convince you.
The UK is so rich in history and culture that it’s hard to go anywhere without running into something of educational interest
London, in particular, is abundantly provided with fantastic museums and all of the major players are free. You could probably spend your whole vacation in London and not see everything in the museums that you want to. If you’d like to pay to see the big attractions like The Tower of London or take a bus tour with commentary, your kids will soak up still more history.
You don’t need to spend a fortune for your family to have a great time in London, see this post on London, for Kids, for Free.
In other parts of the country you’ll find castles, stately homes, prehistoric standing stones, medieval villages and still more museums.
Britain really excells at museums, Children’s audio guides are a huge hit with kids, making learning extra fun and most museums have hands on exhibits to further encourage active exploration. In London we’d highly recommend The Science Museum, Tate Madern, Natural History Museum and the V&A along with the smaller museums such as The Museum of Childhood.
Accommodation prices in the UK, London in particular, may look frightening, but when you think about how much free entertinment you will find here, it really isn’t so bad. You can find ideas on where to stay on this site. In London public transport is good and affordable and food costs aren’t so bad at all if you shop wisely.
Let’s face it, the British Isles aren’t famous for their consistent good weather. So, what could you do to entertain kids if you get a bad week?
My choice would be to wrap up warmly and carry on regardless, but if you really have to shelter from the elements there is plenty to do for small people. Indoor play facilities are popular with the residents and abundant, prices aren’t too high as these are aimed at locals not tourists.
If you’ve had enough of museums try the big paid attractions, we have Tussauds, Ripley’s Believe It or Not and The London Dungeon in the capital, and plenty more besides.
If you’re on the coast, a walk on a blustery day can be great fun, shelterring in the amusement arcade on the end of the pier or in a steamy windowed cafe tucking into fish and chips is all part of the experience.
The UK has some great beaches. From the flat sandy shores of the north-west, to the Jurassic Cliffs of the south coast there is something for everyone.
The British seaside is perfect for anyone with kids.They work in winter as well as in summer so long as you bring anoraks and wellingtons. My boys will spend hours on the coast, building sand castles, collecting shells, exploring rock pools, paddling in the sea, visiting the arcades and tucking into ice creams in summer, chips in winter.
If sand isn’t really your thing, then try the countryside. The UK has loads of national parks, which offer activities from family walks to mountain climbing. A pub lunch is a cosy inn with a roaring fire is a great reward at the end of a good walk, or in summer, a pint of good scrumpy in a great British beer garden.
Food in the UK has come a long way but there are still the old favourites that you have to try on your visit. Not everyone is going to go for jellied eels and pie and liquor but who doesn’t love fish and chips, eaten in newspaper on the seafront? A Sunday roast of beef and Yorkshire pudding followed by a hearty British desert is another must-do.
Real foodies should check out the farmer’s markets that you’ll find in every town, our favourite in London in historic Borough Market, it’s a destination in itself.
Most chain restaurants and pubs are child friendly, offering a children’s menu and children are often seen eating out with their parents in the early evening or at lunchtime.
This is just a taster, an overview of some of Britain’s charms, obviously there is so much more besides. We love being in the UK and staying here has been a highlight of our travels over the last two years. You’ll find plenty more posts on this blog about all things British. What’s your favourite thing about visiting this part of the world?