beach huts in England - holidays with kids - holidays UK

Ideas for day trips and UK holidays with kids.

As we wait for lockdown to end and for life to get back to normal, we cannot help but look ahead to our summer holidays. Single parents, in particular, will need to think about how to keep the kids entertained for a period of 6 weeks or more this summer. Thankfully, we now have a clearer idea about when lockdown restrictions will be eased, so day trips, overnight stays and even single parent holidays in the UK are most definitely on the cards for May half term and summer 2021. Luckily, we live in a beautiful country filled with diverse landscapes and exciting cities, so let’s take advantage of what’s on our doorstep until our next single parent holiday abroad! We have listed some of the best places to visit in England. Whether you’re looking for an escape to the country, a nature-inspired holiday or a visit to a cosmopolitan city, we’ve got you covered.

London

Tower of London and Tower Bridge - England, UK

Picture: Tower of London and Tower Bridge

London is full of gems, and whether you’re a visitor or local, there’s always something new to discover in this beautiful city.

Museums preserve the rich history of our world, and if you’re interested in fashion, art, the natural world or different civilisations, London will have something to spark your interest. Also, a lot of these cultural attractions are free of charge as they are part of the collection of national museums in the UK.

Visitors from all around the world come to London to visit its renowned main attractions. These include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Tower of London, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Westminster Abbey, and many other sights, that have been part of this city for centuries. Having already been, or living in London, may alter your perception of these tourist attractions. ‘That’s what tourists do’, you might say. But we sometimes forget how lucky we are to be living in a place full of history and beauty. At the end of the day, these attractions are famous for a reason, and not only do they offer a lot of interesting insights into the city for tourists as much as Londoners, they also provide hugely entertaining days out for the kids.

London is full of great restaurants offering different types of cuisines. Anywhere you go, there are artisan bakeries, street markets and international eateries, so you are bound to find something to your liking. One place much talked about is Borough Market. Occupied by small local businesses, you can find a great variety of artisan food and organic produce. So, if you’re in search of a bite to eat, Borough Market is a great place to grab some authentic street food from all over the world. So, whatever you’re in the mood for, Borough Market will have it.

The West End is a district within central London resplendent with theatres, just under 40 to be exact. Here you can find all the classic shows: Wicked, Hamilton, Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King and many more. Theatres and the entertainment sector, in general, have been hit hard by the pandemic, so if you’re in London, go and show your support as soon as we’re allowed to do so!

Bath

Roman baths in Bath, England, UK

Picture: Roman baths in Bath

From London, you can take a 90-minute train ride to Bath, located in the southwest of England. The city is home to the UK’s only natural hot springs. Bath takes its name from the Roman baths that were built around the thermal springs, and for which the city is still famous today. This historic relic gives you a real insight into the reality of the Roman world, which kids find fascinating, too, and the importance the Romans gave to bathing, socialising and hygiene.

If you like the idea of bathing in hot springs, you can experience it for yourself at Bath’s Thermae Bath Spa, the only place in Britain with naturally warm and mineral-rich water. They include different treatments and spa packages, even an outside bath area, which best resembles the Roman experience.

Bath is incredibly walkable. If you ever want to experience a scenic walk around Bath, opt for the walk with a view. This 90-minute walk will guide you around its rich Georgian history, historic waterways, and beautiful gardens. And from one of the points of the trail, you’ll also see the entire city of Bath, getting a 360-degree view.

The journey to this beautiful city wouldn’t be complete without trying a Bath bun or a Sally Lunn bun. There is quite a rivalry between the two, both stating they are the best sweet treat in Bath. So, try for yourself to decide which one is best. Make sure to have the former at the Bath Bun teahouse and the latter at Sally Lunn’s historic eating house.

Brighton

Brighton Palace in England, UK

Picture: Brighton Palace

For those who don’t know, Brighton is a seaside town in the south of England. For centuries, Brits from across the country have come to Brighton to enjoy their summer holidays with their families. Brighton is not a large city, but it still offers different attractions that reflect the city’s unique style.

The Royal Pavilion is a magnificent Indian style palace on the outside with a Chinese interior design on the inside. The building gives you an insight into the lavish life of George IV; in fact, he considered it to be his pleasure palace. If you have the chance, rent an audio guide so you don’t miss any information on the palace’s rich history.

Brighton wouldn’t be a proper seaside town without its pier. The arcade and rides make the pier a great attraction for both families with kids and the young, especially during the summer. There used to be two piers in Brighton, but one of them, the West Pier, burnt down in 2003 – you can still see the remains from the beach. If you would like to have a complete view of Brighton, then jump on the i360 Viewing Tower on the seafront for a 360-degree view of the city.

Brighton is also famous for The Lanes. The twisting alleyways are filled with quaint shops (mostly independent jewellers and antique stores), tea rooms, pubs and restaurants offering delicious treats.

Talking about food, you can’t come to Brighton and not have brunch. Some of the best brunch spots are Moksha, Baked and Six. However, as there are so many cafes, and every Brightonian has his/her own favourite place, it’s impossible to agree on just a few. You might as well try a few out and let us know what you think.

Finally, if you want to get out of the city for a day, head to Seven Sisters. The chalk cliffs are part of the South Downs national park and make for a great hike. You can go there by car or bus. If the weather is not too cloudy, we’d recommend getting there at sunrise or staying until sunset – you’ll understand why when you see the spectacular views.

The Lake District

Orrest Head near Windermere - Lake district UK holidays

Picture: View of Lake Windermere, Lake District

The Lake District is renowned for its picturesque views and breathtaking nature. If you and the kids are looking for a nature-inspired holiday, the Lake District is the perfect destination for you. The national park is filled with lakes, waterfalls and greenery and it’s perfect for hiking, cycling, climbing and walking.

One site you must visit is the Castlerigg stone circle. It was constructed around 3000 BC and is one of the earliest stone circles in England. Part of the English heritage, the Neolithic stone circle, is surrounded by the Helvellyn and High Seat mountains. It’s truly an atmospheric site, and whilst there, you can’t help wonder how on earth the people of that time managed to move the giant rocks and place them in a circle! It’s a real head-scratcher.

In the Lake District, you can even visit Beatrix Potter’s cottage; the place where she got the inspiration for many of her popular children’s books. Hill Top house is open to the public, each room containing a reference to one of her beloved characters. You can also visit the garden and, of course, the gift shop if you want to purchase a keepsake, so the kids will remember their visit.

Lake Windermere is the largest lake in England, surrounded by villages and mountains. You can hire a boat and row across the lake or jump on one of the lake cruises if you and the kids need a break and just want to sit back, relax, and enjoy the views.

Finally, the one thing everyone does in the Lake District is hiking. There are numerous trails you can follow, each with its own picturesque surroundings. If you are ready for a challenge, there’s always the Scafell Pike trail, which is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres above sea level. Good luck!

The Cotswolds

Arlington Row - Bibury UK holiday

Picture: Arlington Row, Bibury

The Cotswolds is a vast region containing the beautiful Cotswold Hills. Here you can find hundreds of cute English villages. If you’re looking for the perfect country escape, the Cotswolds is the place to visit: When there, you will feel like you have stepped into the English utopian society. Many of the houses in this area are beautifully built, with the traditional honey-coloured Cotswold stone. Also, they usually have a well-kept garden and a creative house name. You can’t get more English than this!

Bourton-on-the-Water is a scenic village surrounded by beautiful landscape and quaint cottages. The River Windrush flows through the small town, making it look like a little Venice. Here you can check out the model village (a replica of Bourton-on-the-water), the Dragonfly Maze, the motor museum and much more – all great attractions to visit with kids in tow.

Bibury is another quaint and picturesque English village on the River Coln. Make sure you visit the Church of St Mary and Arlington Mill, which includes a museum of all things Victorian. Bibury is mostly famous for Arlington Row, the most photographed street in the whole of the Cotswolds. Fun fact: you may recognise this street as it’s the image featured on the first page of the British passport.

Not far from Bibury, referred to as the capital of the Cotswolds, is Cirencester. Within this town, there are several attractions and places to visit. Some of these include the Parish Church of St John Baptist, Corinium Museum (depicting the Roman life in Britain) and the beautiful Cirencester Park, known for its geometric landscaping. Cirencester is also known for its lovely weekly markets, including the Antiques and Collectable Market every Friday.

Lower and Upper Slaughter, also known as The Slaughters, are twin villages known for their idyllic beauty. There aren’t many attractions to visit here however, they but the villages are the perfect spot for scenic walks, hikes and cycling. There is the Slaughters walking route following the River Eye, a favourite for visitors. If you would prefer a different trail, you can have a free walk around the area and lose yourself in the beauty of the Cotswolds.

The Cotswolds can be the perfect getaway holiday for families, especially if you live in a city. Due to its remote location, we’d recommend you drive, so you get to see the best of the Cotswolds, but if you do get the train, you can always rent a car or taxi to move around. Be sure to also book a charming bed and breakfast to get that Cotswold feel.

About the author:

Gaia Vezzoso is the copywriter and creative content producer at Psydro. Born and raised in Milan, she moved to Brighton to study sociology. These international and social influences have helped her bring a unique perspective to the world of marketing; an industry in which she hopes to help as many small and large businesses as possible.

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