England is a great place for a family vacation and has plenty of interesting attractions for kids of all ages. From old castles in the countryside to the energy and fun of central London, finding things to do and see on your vacation won’t be a problem. Instead, you will likely find that even with a relatively long two week vacation, it will still be hard to narrow down what you really want to see. For two weeks in England with kids, we recommend sticking to just a few main places and not trying to overdo it. Below are our top suggestions.
You simply can’t come to England and not give London at least a few days on your itinerary. A great way to get an overview of the city is to sign up for one of the city wide tours which take you around on traditional double-decker buses. It is fun for the whole family with educational commentary and will let you and your family see lots of the city’s famous sites.
Once off the bus, it is time to get up close and personal with London. First head to Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard. Kids love the serious faces of the guards and most will have a blast pulling faces to try and get them to laugh. The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey are great stops for older kids while the spooky Tower of London is usually a hit with everyone. The British Museum is also not to be missed. It is easily one of the world greatest museums and far from the boring place your kids might be imagining. The Egyptian section, with its creepy mummies, is usually the most popular with kids.
Finally, no family trip to London is complete without taking a ride on the London Eye, one of the world’s tallest ferris wheels. Head to the Eye later in the day for a last look at London from above and a chance to see a great sunset over the city.
If you have come during the short but pleasant English summer, your next stop should be the southern coast and the city of Brighton. This is the more popular summer beach getaway for Londoners and while it can sometimes be crowded, it is worth the trip.
Kids will enjoy a chance to head down to the beach, made up of smooth pebbles rather than sand, and even if it is a bit chilly to get in the water, the Brighton Pier is a fun place to stroll and people watch. Shopping here is also fun with everything from small little souvenir stores to designer brands. Between the shops you will find lots of casual restaurants serving the classic English dish – fish and chips – which you of course have to try. One last stop that should appeal to kids of all ages would be Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, a little piece of India on the English coast.
If anyone in your family is a Jane Austen fan, you have to make time for a few days in Bath. This picturesque city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was once home to the famous author and still today is filled with great historic buildings. Don’t worry though, the city has plenty to appeal to more active, less history loving, kids too.
The Roman Baths, an ancient Roman temple and bath complex, is usually popular with kids and a free children’s audio tour is included in the price of admission. Royal Victoria Park is a great place to have an afternoon picnic, relax, and let the kids play on the playground. If you want a real vacation highlight though, rent a car or book a tour and head just out of the city to the famous and mysterious Stonehenge.