Remember when you still believe that you can be anything when you grow up? Little children dream of becoming a noble knight, the brightest scientist in the world, or even an archeologist who discover new dinosaurs. In these family-friendly spots, you can revisit your dreams or introduces your children to many wonders.
Alnwick Castle is one of the most stunning castles in Europe. It’s the second largest inhabited castle in England and has been home of the Percy’s, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since 1309. You might recognize some parts of the exterior and interior, as the castle’s used as a stand in for the exterior and interior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. It also appeared in Becket, The Black Adder, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and many others. Its appearance in the films has helped shape the public imagination regarding what castles should look like. Unlike the vast majority of castles in the country, Alnwick Castle is far from ruinous and unfit for habitation. A visit will mean a family day out with a difference. Knights’ Quest allows children to experience what it was like to be a real Knight or Lady. They can dress up in clothes of medieval times, learn the art of swordsmanship and even have a go at jousting.
Dairyland Farm World
Families who love animals will have a blast at the Dairyland Farm World near Newquay, Cornwall. This all-weather attraction is a great way to teach children about animals and country life. In the farm park, your children have the chance to hold some of the farm animals and take pony rides, while in the Clarabelle’s Milking Parlour, they can see how cows are milked and even have a go themselves. Other attractions include nature trail, tractor rides and farm museums where you can explore Cornish farm life throughout the ages. Even when the weather turns for the worse, children won’t get bored as many of the attractions can still be enjoyable, including the Bull Pen, a massive indoor play center.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Founded in 1759 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has made innumerable contributions to increasing the understanding of plants and fungus with many benefits for mankind. The place boasts 6 magnificent glasshouses set in stunning vistas beside the Thames River. It isn’t just for gardeners, but also for nature lovers. There are over 100 attractions to enjoy, from the treetop walkways to the Kew Palace. In 2003, Kew created a human-sized badger set to demonstrate how badgers live. A giant forked oak branch leads visitors into the badgers’ subterranean world, where food stores, sleeping chambers and nests are connected by tunnels. There’s also a sleepover experience, where groups of young children can experience a natural adventure around the grounds before gathering round the campfire for marshmallows and stories.
As one of the most exciting science centres, At Bristol has something for all the family. It brings science to life with fascinating visuals and over 170 interactive experiences. At-Bristol uses the very latest hands-on and multimedia techniques to engage people of all ages in a journey of discovery through science. Find out how your brain works, investigate the world around you and find out how space research affects your everyday life in the fascinating galleries. In addition to the exhibition space, At-Bristol also hosts an exhibit maintenance and development workshop and has a dedicated education suite including laboratories, classrooms and ICT facilities. The Live Science Zone allows you to create, investigate and participate in live science. Housed in a spectacular chrome sphere, At-Bristol has its own 90-seater Planetarium.
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is regarded as one of the richest areas for Dinosaur discovery in Europe, which has already earned it the title “Dinosaur Island”. There is a great range of dinosaur attractions and activities available on the Isle of Wight, with some fantastic opportunities for dinosaur and fossil enthusiasts. These include museums such as fossil hunts with experts such as Dinosaur Fossil Hunts and Footprint Tours, and also beaches such as Brook where you can discover your own fossils! Try the all new Dinosaur Experience at Blackgang Chine, the first of its kind in the UK, with your chance to get “up close and personal” with two baby Tyrannosaurus Rex flanked by their trained handlers. The award winning Dinosaur Isle museum on the island allows you to encounter the lost world of dinosaurs that once roamed freely across the Isle of Wight. Amongst the many hands on interactive attractions in the museum, there is even a robotic dinosaur that you can control.
Set in the Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace is considered to be one of the finest baroque houses in the country. Sir Winston Churchill was born here in 1874 and a permanent exhibition about him is located next to his birth room. There are a wide range of activities to suit families with children of all ages. The Palace has a fun family quiz and a fascinating visitor experience ‘Blenheim Palace: The Untold Story’. Ride the Winston Churchill miniature train from the Palace to The Pleasure Gardens, where you can find a giant ‘Marlborough’ hedge maze; majestic butterflies in the tropical butterfly house, an Adventure Playground, and an arts, crafts and pottery studio. Meanwhile the landscaped park features the ‘Harry Potter Tree’ where Severus Snape was interrupted by the Marauders, award-winning Formal Gardens behind the Palace and many more. Try visiting during special events such as jousting tournaments, Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween spooky tours.
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