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Why not take the kids on a last minute UK city break this weekend? If it looks like you’ll have a spare couple of days over the coming weekend, pack a bag and take the kids to the city. City breaks are not just for adults! Indeed, some of little man’s favourite places to visit have been the big cities, as there’s just so much for little eyes and ears to see and take in.
We’ve added a quick breakdown of some of the best UK city breaks with kids below (more to come too!), with ideas for things to do.
Manchester is a city located in the North West of England and is easily accessible by rail and road. It has a rich industrial heritage, which can be spotted all over the city, and compactly, in the Museum of Science and Industry (kids will love it). Easily explored on foot, there’s a wealth of shops and attractions within the city centre, which will keep little ones wanting to come back for more. There’s even a canal system which can be explore by foot or bike. There’s nearly always something going on, with a jam-packed table of events happening year-round. For more info on events, head over to the Visit Manchester website’s event calendar.
Ideas for kids in Manchester
- Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI), Liverpool Rd, Manchester M3 4FP.
- LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, intu Trafford Centre, Barton Square, The Trafford Centre, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AS.
- Sea Life Centre Manchester, intu Trafford Centre, Barton Square Bridge, Stretford, Manchester M17 8AS.
- CBBC or BBC Tours at MediaCityUK, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2EQ.
- Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL.
- Manchester United or Manchester City football stadium tours.
- National Football Museum, Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Todd St, City Centre, Manchester M4 3BG.
- The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester, The University Of Manchester, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PL.
Where to stay in Manchester
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful city. Edinburgh Castle stands proud over the city, which is teeming with history around every corner. It’s a fairly compact city, but does have plenty of hills, so if you want to view entirely on foot, you’ll get a good workout. In 1995, the Old Town was listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site, so it’s well worth a visit.
Ideas for Kids in Edinburgh
- Edinburgh Castle, Castle Hill, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 2NG.
- Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, Castlehill, 549 Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 2ND.
- Edinburgh Zoo, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, 134 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH12 6TS.
- Museum on the Mound, The Mound, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 1YZ.
- National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 1JF.
- Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH8 8AS.
- Museum of Childhood Edinburgh, 42 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 1TG.
- Edinburgh Dungeons, 31 Market Street, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH1 1DF.
- The Yard Edinburgh, 22 Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh, Edinburgh and Lothian, EH3 5EH.
Where to stay in Edinburgh
The capital city, London, which stands on the River Thames, is home to nearly nine million people – eek! – and is in the south-east of England. It’s a cultural melting pot and there’s centuries of history around every corner. London has countless opportunities for the kids’ learning, or throw in the modern attractions and just have some plain old fun in the capital.
Ideas for Kids in London
- ZSL London Zoo, Outer Circle, Regents Park, Greater London, NW1 4RY.
- Tower of London, Tower Hill, Greater London, EC3N 4AB.
- Buckingham Palace, St James Park, London, Greater London, SW1A 1AA.
- London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Greater London, WC2E 7BB.
- The Household Cavalry Museum, Horse Guards, London, Greater London, SW1A 2AX.
- Westminster Abbey, Broad Sanctuary, Deans Yard, Westminster, Greater London, SW1P 3PA.
- London Dungeon, Riverside Building at County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, Westminster, Greater London, SE1 2SZ.
- The London Eye, Riverside Building County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, Greater London, SE1 7PB.
- KidZania, Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherds Bush, Greater London, W12 7GA.
- Sea Life London Aquarium, County Hall in Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, Greater London, SE1 7PB.
Where to stay in London
Essentially in the middle of the country, and housing one of the country’s biggest exhibition centres, Birmingham is another great choice for a big city break. A massive player in the industrial revolution, there’s some serious recent history to be found in Birmingham’s museums. A little known fact is that there are more parks in Birmingham than in any other European city, so you can still catch up on some nature time in this big midlands city.
Ideas for Kids in Birmingham
- Cadbury World, Linden Road, Bournville, Birmingham, West Midlands, B30 2LU. Tel: 0844-8807667.
- Birmingham Museum and Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3 3DH.
- National Sea Life Centre, The Waters Edge, Brindley Place, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 2HL.
- The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, 75 to 79 Vyse Street, Hockley, Birmingham, West Midlands, B18 6HA.
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 3TR.
- Aston Hall, Trinity Road, Aston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B6 6JD.
- BBC Birmingham Visitor Centre, The Mailbox, Birmingham, West Midlands, B1 1RF.
- Creation Indoor Climbing Centre, 582 Moseley Rd, Birmingham B12 9AA.
- Thinktank, Millennium Point, Curzon St, Birmingham B4 7XG.
- Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park, Pershore Road, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7RL.
Where to stay in Birmingham
I’ll always have a soft spot for Newcastle, as I attended university there. Like me, you may associate it with nights out, but how about Newcastle for kids? It’s great! Up in the north-east of England, but also not far from the Scottish borders, it’s one of my favourite places. In addition to the usual activities for kids – bowling, parks, climbing walls, playbarns – there is a wealth of theatres, museums and history all within the city, it even has some throwbacks to medieval times, particularly around riverside.
Ideas for Kids in Newcastle
- Centre for Life, Life Science Centre, Times Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 4EP.
- BBC Newcastle Tour, Broadcasting House, Barrack Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE99 2NE.
- Discovery Museum, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 4JA.
- Laing Art Gallery, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1 8AG.
- Beamish Wild Adventure Park, Beamish Hall, Stanley, County Durham, DH9 0YB.
- The Great North Museum, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE2 4PT.
- Newcastle Climbing Centre, St Marks Church, 285 Shields Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE6 2UQ.
- Saltwell Park, East Park Road, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE9 5AX.
- Bowes Railway, Springwell Village, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, NE9 7QJ.
- Northumberlandia, 1 Plessey North Moor, Cramlington, Northumberland, NE23 8AU.
Where to stay in Newcastle
Tips for city sightseeing with kids
- Take full advantage of the public transport systems for each city, the kids will love all the different modes of transport.
- Stay a bit further out of the city to save money, and just get the public transport in.
- If there’s a night bus tour available, let them stay up and see the city at night. One of little man’s favourite things to do. Also gives them a different perspective from the top of a double decker. We’ve used CitySightseeing several times, and find them superb.
- Most cities in the UK are walkable for adults, but take a pram or carrier for little ones when they get tired. Nothing worse than having a tired child and having to go home. With a pram or carrier, you can keep exploring while they have a snooze.
- If you want a cheaper deal, have a quick look at big events happening in the city and avoid those days, as hotel prices tend to increase on those nights.
- Visit the city tourism website prior to your visit, some may have downloadable sheets and city trails to keep older kids interested.
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Adventures in Family Land work with affiliate advertising programs to provide a means for our site to earn an income. This article may contain affiliate links to products or websites. We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.