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Planning a family trip to the UK can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many places to see and things to do, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are 10 tips and must-see destinations to help make your family’s travels through England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland memorable and stress-free.
Book Accommodations with Families in Mind
There are some great deals on flights to London, which makes the UK an excellent vacation destination in the next 12 months. Once you have your flight booked, start looking for accommodation.
Look for hotels, B&Bs, or vacation rentals that offer perks like adjoining rooms, kid’s clubs, pools, and play areas. The YHA hostel association has many family-friendly properties throughout the UK. Airbnb is also a good place to look if you want a property all to yourself. You may also want to look at housesitting or house swap opportunities, especially if you live somewhere scenic and people will be more than willing to swap with you.
Plan Your Itinerary Together
Have a family meeting to decide your must-see attractions and leave room for spontaneous fun too. Mix kid-centric activities with things the grownups want to do.
Explore castles and historic sites. The UK offers hundreds of castles like Warwick and Edinburgh that fascinate kids and adults. Watch jousting, explore dungeons and secret passages, learn about kings and queens.
Get close to nature. From hiking in the Lake District to beachcombing in Cornwall, enjoy the UK’s scenic beauty as a family. Go horse riding, have a picnic, wander through public gardens, visit farms, and more.
Check for family tickets and special offers. Many attractions offer discounted entry for kids or families. Also, look into bus and train family travel passes like BritRail’s kids-go-free tickets.
Eat fish and chips. This classic British staple is a family favourite! Have it as a seaside picnic or restaurant meal.
See where famous characters came from. Visit Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top farm in the Lake District, or
the real-life sites of Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Paddington Bear.
Explore London. Ride a double-decker bus over Tower Bridge, see the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London, watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, cruise the Thames River, and visit kid favourites like the London Zoo and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
Discover Scottish castles and legends. Tour Edinburgh Castle, see the Kelpies statues, and take a Jacobite steam train for views of the Scottish Highlands. At Loch Ness, learn about the Loch Ness Monster!
Make time for rest. Balance busy days out sightseeing with time to relax as a family, whether it’s a lazy afternoon in a park or an evening playing board games in your room. Kids need downtime!
- London – Ride the London Eye, see Big Ben, explore the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, catch a show in the West End.
- Edinburgh – See Edinburgh Castle, walk the Royal Mile, explore Old Town’s wynds and closes.
- Scottish Highlands – Ride the Hogwarts Express over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, visit Loch Ness, tour a whiskey distillery.
- Snowdonia National Park – Ride the train up Mount Snowdon, hike, go horseback riding.
- Lake District – Cruise Lake Windermere, Wordsworth sites, Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top.
- York – See York Minster, walk the medieval city walls, experience the Shambles shopping street.
- Stonehenge – Marvel at the mysterious standing stones. Pair with a visit to Bath’s Roman ruins.
- Jurassic Coast – Search for fossils and play in the tidal pools.
- Giant’s Causeway – See the hexagonal columns along the Northern Irish coast.
There is amazing family fun to be had all over the United Kingdom. Use these family travel tips to
help plan an unforgettable trip! Where will your family adventures take you?