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Best Places for Kids in the Summer

Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park © Karl Watts via Flickr

With staycations becoming more popular every year as families tighten their belt, we suggest a plethora of places where families can have fun without blowing the budget.

Real Castles

The coastline of England is littered with castles where young knights and fair maidens can have a wonderful time.

Let their imagination take flight as they scramble up spiral staircases to the top of the tower, run along battlements in the footsteps of long-forgotten soldiers and peep through arrow-slit windows at the enemy below.

Knights On Horseback at Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle © Dark Dwarf via Flickr

Most castles are managed by English Heritage, Historic Scotland and the National Trust who put on historic reenactments and events such as jousting. Youngsters can even dress up in traditional costumes and join in the fun.

Some of the best are Cardiff Castle, Warwick Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle, Alnwick CastleLeeds Castle and Hever Castle.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle © Glen Bowman via Flickr

Caernarfon Castle offers free admission for under 16s who reside in Wales, and other castles have discounted family tickets.

Safari Parks

Disney’s Animal Kingdom and African safaris may be out of reach price-wise, but the UK has several safari parks offering the same opportunity to see wild exotic animals roaming free. Some have safari buses to drive you around while others allow you the freedom to spot wildlife at your own pace from your own vehicle.

Knowsley Safari Park
Knowsley Safari Park © Dave Haygarth via Flickr

Knowsley Safari Park on Merseyside has around 30 different species of animal, birds and reptiles including lions, tigers, camels and zebras. There's also a Sea Lion Show and Monkey Jungle.

Longleat Safari Park
Longleat Safari Park © Karl Watts via Flickr

Longleat Safari and Adventure Park in Wiltshire offers a Safari Drive, Gorilla Colony, Cheetah Village, Bat Cave, Ranger Shows and the opportunity to hand feed giraffes!

Similar fun can be found at Woburn Safari Park and the very affordable West Midlands Safari Park.

Award-Winning Day Out

Forbidden Corner in Middleham, North Yorkshire was voted the winner of a survey by Little Chef to find the best day out for families.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle © Dawarickphotography via Flickr

It is a veritable maze of tunnels and chambers in the scenic Yorkshire Dales. Built as a private folly, it is definitely a family day out with a difference.

The four-acre site is packed with features that curious kids will want to explore - a huge pyramid of translucent glass, the Temple of the Underworld, the Eye of the Needle - the list goes on.

BeWILDerwood, Norfolk

Another great adventure park with a difference, BeWILDerwood is a forest filled with tree houses accessed through slides, ziplines and tree top bridges.

Marsh walks, mazes and an adventure boat ride ensure kids will have the time of their lives!

Eden Project, St Austell

Trek through the rainforest, watch a cascading jungle waterfall and attend a storytelling session in the Citrus Grove at the futuristic Eden Project.

The Eden Project
The Eden Project © Cayetano via Flickr

Different climatic zones are recreated inside these giant biomes within a former china clay quarry.

Discover where our food comes from, see pineapples, cocoa and coffee growing and meet some of the weirdest plants on the planet.

With special Freaky Nature children's activities in the school holidays, this is an educational all-weather attraction that all the family will enjoy.

We've barely scratched the surface of fun days out for families, but we hope we've inspired you to get out there and discover Britain with your kids!

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