Having lived in the UK for almost 40 years, and been parents for 8, we have visited many places in the UK. Some of my most popular blog posts are reviews and ideas of things to do with kids.
I know how hard it is to find fun things to keep children entertained, especially those that don’t cost too much money. We lived in Dorset so most of our recommendations are of things to do with kids in the south of England.
So if you are looking for family-friendly places to go and suggestions of fun things to do with kids, here is a round-up of our favourite attractions…
Things to do with kids in Dorset
Dorset is most famous for its fantastic beaches and living in Poole we had a great selection to choose from. If you want to head to the seaside, here is a guide to Bournemouth & Poole’s best beaches.
A bit further along the Dorset coastline (known as the Jurassic Coast) you will find Durdle Door which is perfect for a family day out and completely free apart from parking and maybe an ice cream! Here’s a bit more information about what you’ll find at Durdle Door.
Very close to Durdle Door, and possible to do in the same day, is the abandoned village of Tyneham. The villagers fled during World War II and never returned, but some parts of the village are still standing. Find out more about the ghost village of Tyneham here.
Further along the Dorset coast, you will reach Weymouth and if you have a rainy day a good place to visit is the Sealife Adventure Park. We’ve visited a few times and have always had fun. They do various events and there is lots to see including some hands-on exhibits, a huge play area, and if the weather is nice a splash park. Find out more about exploring Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park.
If you are near Poole and Bournemouth or heading there on holiday, there’s plenty of things to do with kids close to town. The beautiful gardens of Compton Acres near Sandbanks in Poole are a great place to let the kids run wild. See some photos and information about our visit to Compton Acres.
Crazy golf is a great fun activity to do with children and Mighty Claws Adventure Golf in Bournemouth is fantastic fun for the whole family. With interactive dinosaurs, volcanoes and waterfalls this is a must-visit if you are on holiday in Bournemouth. Take a look at the fun you can have at Mighty Claws.
And if you are still looking for activities in Dorset for the whole family I put together a list of 10 fun things to do in Poole and Bournemouth here.
Things to do with kids in Somerset
You can never count on the weather in the UK and our trip to Cheddar in Somerset did not quite have the weather we had planned for. Nevertheless, we had a great day out exploring the caves at Cheddar Gorge, see our review here.
Things to do with kids in Wiltshire
Somewhere we have been a few times is Longleat Safari Park. Not only can you drive your car through enclosures, you can also go on rides, boat trips and get up close to the animals. Our favourite visit was seeing the spectacular Festival of Light at Christmas.
Things to do with kids in Hampshire
National Trust properties are always brilliant places to take kids, there’s lots of history to learn about and plenty of space for them to run wild. Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire have a lot of National Trust places to choose from – here are our favourites.
When you want an educational day out for the kids, head to the historic dockyard in Portsmouth for a bit of historical fun. There are lots of things to do there, including The Mary Rose which we had lots of fun exploring.
One of the best places to visit in Hampshire is the New Forest, and at 219 sq miles there is certainly a lot of it to explore. Having lived so close to the New Forest we have explored a lot of it and put together a list of our favourite places in the New Forest – which is also one of my all-time most popular blog posts!
If your kids love animals, a really fun free afternoon out in the New Forest involves alpacas. If you haven’t heard of it before, check out this blog post to find out more about Petlake Alpacas of the New Forest.
For those with little ones who like fairies, thee is a wonderful place in the New Forest where you can go on a fairy hunt and do lots of exploring. Check out my blog post for more information on fairy hunting at Furzey Gardens.
Things to do with kids in London
Not exactly in Central London but it’s pretty close if you are on holiday in the capital. Windsor Castle is one of those touristy things that you just have to do at some point in your life and it’s a great educational trip for kids that they will love. Our one recommendation is do not go in the summer! Find out more about day out at Windsor Castle.
A favourite place to visit of mine when I was young was the Natural History Museum and it’s so much fun to visit again with your own children. There’s always something new to discover and there is so much there for a fun-filled family day out. Take a look at what we discovered on our family day out at the Natural History Museum.
If you want more suggestions of things to do in London with kids, especially things that don’t cost the earth, I put together this list of free things to do in London. It was aimed at summer activities but if you wrap up warm and take an umbrella you can do them at any time of the year.
Things to do with kids in Hertfordshire
A day out that you cannot miss if you’re a Harry Potter fan! We have visited the Warner Bros studios twice, once on our own and once with our daughter, and I have to say that going with her was the most fun. If you have ever wanted to go to Hogwarts (who hasn’t!) take a look at this post about the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
Things to do with kids in the South of England
And if you are looking for things to do with kids a bit further afield than the south coast, my fellow bloggers helped me put together this huge list of 35 great days out with kids in the south of England. You are sure to find a few ideas on this list.
I hope this has given you some inspiration for things to do with kids in England. Happy visiting!