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UK attractions for families

Littered with ancient castles, regal palaces, unique wildlife and captivating countryside, the UK has an endless amount of superb attractions for families!

Despite being a relatively small country, the UK has a lot to offer! From the mighty mountains of Wales to the hidden gems of Cornwall, our UK bucket list is designed to ensure that you make the most of your time with loved ones.

Keep reading to discover 24 UK bucket list ideas and find our printable template for you to tick off…


UK Attractions for Families

1. Spot dolphins at Cardigan Bay

dolphin jumping out of sea

Our first UK bucket list idea is a trip to the beautiful Cardigan Bay, home to the UK’s largest permanent dolphin population. Bottlenose dolphins can be seen all year, but depending on where and when you travel, your chances of seeing them increase dramatically.

The greatest time to visit is during the summer, with New Quay being the most popular location.


2. Hunt fossils in Charmouth, Dorset

charmouth bay

Dorset is the perfect location for beachcombers, history buffs and those with children! Dorset’s beaches and cliffs, such as Charmouth and Lyme Regis are world-renowned for their fossil hunting opportunities, making an exciting UK attraction for families!

The Charmouth and Lyme Regis fossils can be discovered loose on the shore in the gravel and shingle, washed out of the cliffs. The greatest location to look for fossils on the beach is among the loose material, not the cliffs.


3. Go puffin spotting on Rathlin Island

puffins on cliff

You can take a peek at these marvellous animals on a trip to Rathlin Island on the coast of County Antrim. Visit the east coast of the island via a boat trip across Rathlin Sound, from Rue Lighthouse to East Lighthouse, where puffins can be seen.

The return trip to Ballycastle includes a visit to Ushet Port and Bruce’s Cave with incredible views of Fairhead.

Discover a range of wonderful animals you can find in Scotland.


4. Delve beneath the Great Orme Copper Mine in Conwy

great orme mines

Discover the Great Orme Copper Mine in Conwy, a fabulous thing to do in North Wales for families. Walk into 3,500-year-old mine tunnels to get a sense of the difficult circumstances our ancestors experienced in their quest for copper.

Return to the surface by following the surface excavation paths. View the opencast mine, the smelting shelter, and the 145-metre deep Victorian mine shaft. You will also see the opencast mine, which dates back over 4,000 years.

You can find more information by heading to the Great Orme Mines website!


5. Visit the ancient site of Stonehenge

stonehenge

Our next UK bucket list idea is a chance for you and your loved ones to walk in the footsteps of Neolithic ancestors and enjoy one of the wonders of the world!

Stonehenge in Wiltshire is an exceptional UK attraction for families. Here, you can uncover the mystery of the prehistoric monument as you learn the many theories explaining its origins and purpose.

Secure your tickets by visiting the English Heritage website and look forward to visiting the best known prehistoric monument in Europe.


6. Explore Exeter’s Underground Passages

Exeter's Underground Passages

Next on our UK bucket list ideas is an ancient ruin! Find a system of underground passages that brought clean drinking water to medieval Exeter via the Underground Passages.

Experience the excitement and fascination of Exeter’s Underground Passages on an eerie guided tour. Get your bearings by visiting the heritage centre, which offers interactive exhibits and interpretation.


7. Watch a show at The Minack Theatre in Porthcurno

Minack Theatre

Cornwall‘s famous Minack Theatre lies underneath a granite cliff and is surrounded by a lush garden with spectacular views over Porthcurno Bay.

Discover the theatre’s remarkable history, and experience the wonder of live performance in this iconic space. The Minack Theatre hosts live performances, art exhibits and beautiful sub-tropical gardens full of exotic plants.

This stunning piece of architecture is one of the most magical places to go with kids and is perfect for your bucket list!


8. Stroll along the South West Coastal Path

South West Coast Path

There are 630 miles of the South West Coast Path in all, covering vast stretches of English coastline that are constantly changing. The idea of walking the entire route at once is the stuff of dreams. However, this is a near-impossible task for most.

The route starts at Minehead in Somerset and runs along the coast of Exmoor along to North Devon into Cornwall. Following the coastline of Cornwall, the road passes through the Tamar mouth and continues into Devon. Following the south coast of Devon, the path moves along the Dorset coastline before ending at Poole Harbour.


9. Catch Surfing Waves in Cornwall

surfing cornwall

Cornwall is world-famous for its surfing in the UK and Europe. This peninsula county is on the southern tip of the Atlantic and offers breaks on both its north and south coasts.

Due to its location, Cornwall is a magnet for swell, as it extends straight out into the Atlantic Ocean. When you pair this with its milder climate and a variety of great beaches, you have the surf capital of the UK.

No matter where you’re heading, there are so many surfing beaches in Cornwall to choose from!


10. Take the Tolkien Trail in Birmingham

gold ring inside book

Are you a fan of the Lord of the Rings universe?

Tolkien enthusiasts will find plenty to see and do in Birmingham, including a number of places that may have directly influenced characters and locations in his works.

The tour itself takes you through Tolkein’s childhood home, a mystical forest, and a local pub! You can even see the folly building which inspired the home of Sauron.


11. Visit Chatsworth House

chatsworth house

Chatsworth House is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has been handed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family.

Discover the house’s art, history, and family through over 25 rooms including the Painted Hall, State Rooms, and Sculpture Gallery. You will also learn how successive generations have shaped one of Derbyshire’s finest country homes.

After enjoying the magnificent interior, you and your loved ones can look forward to exploring the grounds! Discover the 105-acre garden, famous for its rich history and Victorian rock garden. Or, discover the working farmyard and playground, boasting a rope park, trampoline and slides!

There is truly something for everyone at this UK attraction for families!


12. Walk along the Chester Wall

chester walls

Walk in the footsteps of Roman soldiers, medieval archers, and Georgian promenaders as you explore the most comprehensive circuit of Chester’s city walls. Enjoy panoramic views on both sides of the walls along your stroll.

Among the many sights in Chester are the former Water Tower, the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre, the tower from which Charles I watched the Battle of Rowton Moor, the Eastgate Clock, the original Norman castle, and you can even try your luck on The Wishing Steps.

The tours depart from the Visitor Information Centre at Town Hall and last for about 90 minutes.


13. Hike to the top of Scafell Pike

scafell pike

With an elevation of 978 metres, Scafell Pike is the highest peak in England and is under the care of the National Trust, found in the Lake District National Park.

Scafell Pike is enjoyed by thousands of people each year as Fix the Fells cares for the fragile montane habitats and manages footpaths. Ascending to the summit is not for the faint of heart, so be sure to use a compass and map before setting off and check the mountain weather conditions.

This breath-taking trek is one of the best walks in the Lake District.


14. Try Broomstick Training at Alnwick Castle

alnwick castle

Learn the art of flying with resident wizarding professors at Alnwick Castle, where Harry had his first flying lesson in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

This Harry Potter filming location is a must-do for your bucket list ideas in the UK! With the guidance of a quirky professor, you will learn the basics of mastering a broomstick. Prepare to ride and dismount at great speeds across the grounds of Alnwick Castle, also known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Lessons last around 25 minutes and take place throughout the day depending on weather conditions.


15. Feel like you’re in Italy at Portmeirion

portmeirion village

Next on our guide to UK attractions for families is the beautiful Italianate-style village of Portmeirion! This enchanting spot is a bucket list idea that you wouldn’t believe is in the UK!

In the early 20th century, Portmeirion‘s Riviera-style houses, ornamental gardens and campanile were designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Get a sense of the village’s atmosphere by exploring the Central Piazza, The Quayside, Battery Square, The Gwyllt, and Castell Deudraeth.

This is a place of beauty like no other, Bellissimo!


16. Climb up Mount Snowdon

mount snowdon

Another thing to tick off your UK bucket list is to climb the highest mountain in Wales! Towering at 1085 meters, this UK attraction offers views across Snowdonia, reaching all the way to Ireland on a clear day. Every year thousands of people climb the peak, so expect it to be crowded, especially during any school or bank holidays.

The good news is that Mount Snowdon has many ways to climb it, so avoiding the crowds is possible! Llanberis Path is the most popular route, however other routes include the Pyg and Miners’ Tracks, while the south or west routes offer a more secluded option!


17. Drive the North Coast 500

north coast 500
Nothing compares to the freedom that comes with travelling the open road! The North Coast 500 is filled with endless back roads, meandering country tracks, and beautiful bends that traverse Scotland’s most beautiful coastal scenery.

Begin at the cultural capital of Inverness and end in the northerly settlement of John O’Groats. This remarkable route welcomes you with old castles, stunning desolate beaches and Scotland’s finest mountain scenery!

Inspired to explore the UK’s contrasting landscapes further? There are plenty of other scenic drives that are waiting to be explored!


18. Be wowed by the Titanic Quarter in Belfast

titanic quarter in belfast

The Titanic Quarter in Belfast is one of Europe’s biggest waterfront redevelopment projects.

The area is home to renowned TV and film productions, the world’s largest Titanic visitor attraction, and one of Belfast’s most desirable residential waterfronts. Whilst here, visit Titanic Belfast, featuring nine interactive galleries, a 750-seater Titanic Suite and an extensive exhibition/education space.


19. Meet wildlife friends at Knowsley Safari Park

tiger

If you’ve always dreamed of going on a safari but might not be able to make the journey or travel fees, visit Knowsley Safari Park in the UK!

This five-mile journey is the longest safari drive in the UK. Travel through the rainforest where you will see cheeky baboons and marvel at the magnificent lion pride! Discover sea lions, tigers, wolves, giraffes and zebras on the foot safari, not forgetting to stroll down the wild trail.

Enjoy the amusement rides with the kids, or let the family row on the lake for a bit of well-earned peace, quiet, and tranquillity away from the lights and noise!

Whether you’re on two feet or four wheels, this safari is an incredible UK attraction for families.


20. Reach the peak of Ben Nevis

ben nevis

A UK bucket list would not be complete without the highest mountain in the UK, Ben Nevis! This iconic mountain is set in the northwest Highlands of Scotland near Fort William attracts 125k trekkers a year and it is little wonder why!

It was originally a huge active volcano that burst and fell inwards on itself millions of years ago. Once you’ve reached the peak, you can admire the evidence of the explosion in the form of light-coloured granite.

So, whether you’re a keen walker or just like stunning scenery, climbing ‘the Ben’ is sure to be on your UK bucket list.


21. Explore Harry Potter Sites around the UK

jacobite steam train

It’s no secret that the UK is famed for the world of Harry Potter. Many of the magical films were filmed in the United Kingdom and Ireland and are available for fans to explore!

Harry Potter UK attractions for families include; Locock Abbey in Chippenham, Gloucester Cathedral and a ride on the Hogwarts Express, aka The Jacobite!


22. Enjoy a unique experience at Zip World’s Bounce Below

Bounce Below Cavern

Next on our list of UK attractions for families is ideal for a unique day out. Bounce Below at Zip World Slate Caverns is a one-of-a-kind adventure where you can escape into a world of hidden adventure. Whether you’re a big kid or are seeking places to go with kids, Bounce Below is perfect!

There are lots to see and do in this underground paradise, which has six trampoline-style nets erected into space twice the size of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Other Slate Caverns attractions include the immense Titan 2 zip line and an underground tour to explore the caverns.


23. Take in the views of the White Cliffs of Dover

White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are without a doubt one of our country’s most magnificent natural features. For generations, they have served as a symbol of optimism and independence in the United Kingdom.

Take one of the stunning cliff-top climbs with unrivalled views of the bustling English Channel and the French coast to appreciate their beauty and distinct appeal throughout the seasons.

While you’re here, be sure to discover the White Cliffs’ historic military and prison past. Afterwards, enjoy the unusual flora and animals found only in this chalk grassland.


24. Sip on a pint at one of the top 10 beach bars in the world

Ty Coch Inn

Our final bucket list idea in the UK is sure to quench your thirst! Ty Coch Inn is perhaps the greatest pub in Wales and is officially in the top 10 beach bars in the world.

It is located in the settlement of Porthdinllaen, Gwynedd, on the north shore of the Llyn Peninsula, near Morfa Nefyn.

What better way to idle away the hours than with views across the Irish Sea and a sandy beach right on your doorstep?


UK Bucket List Ideas

bucket list ideas uk: uk attractions for families

Download your own copy and discover these UK attractions for families! Alternatively, create your own by downloading this printable checklist.


Tick these incredible UK attractions for families off your bucket list and book a Sykes cottage today! However, if you want to do your own research, use our extensive Travel Guide for a wide range of even more UK attractions and holiday inspiration.


Alan Simpkins(CC BY-SA 2.0), Rprof – (CC BY-SA 3.0), DS Pugh(CC BY-SA 2.0), Hefin Owen(CC BY-SA 2.0)

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