Traveling with little ones is never easy—even if you’re a royal. But as any parent knows, the key to taking a successful (and stress-free) family vacation is crafting an itinerary with activities the whole family can enjoy. And it appears that Prince William and Duchess Kate agree—which is why they’ve allotted time for boat rides, wilderness walks, and mountain biking during their upcoming family trip to Canada.
Looking for a little inspiration for your next vacation to the UK? We took a cue from the royals and put together a list of things to do, see, eat and explore that are sure to be a smash-hit for everyone in your family.
Photo by Paul Stuart (c) RSC
Royal Shakespeare Company
You won’t get the evil eye for bringing the kids along to this theatre. In fact, you’re encouraged to. Stop by for a show (family discounts are available during weekdays and matinees), then spend some time at the playhouse dressing-up in frilly costumes, decorating masks with sparkles and sequins, and participating in a Shakespeare-themed treasure hunt. Feeling peckish? The rooftop restaurant (also child-friendly) offers traditional cocktails and traditional British fare, as well as a special menu for the under 12 set (with mocktails to boot!).
Photo courtesy of Anglesey Sea Zoo
Anglesey Sea Zoo
Isle of Anglesey
Ever wondered what’s lurking in the water around the coast of Wales and Britain? Prepare to be mystified! From seahorses to catsharks, visitors can get an up-close and personal view of all the creatures that inhabit Britain’s waters—and more importantly, learn about the research and conservation efforts that go into protecting them for years to come. Looking for an extra-special souvenir? Try harvesting your very own pearl! Simply select an oyster and watch as your pearl is extracted, cleaned… and maybe even made into jewelry.
Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple
If baby animals give you the warm and fuzzies, then be sure swing by Exmoor Zoo for a chance to feed young lemurs, wallabies, and penguins straight from the palm of your hand. Rather get a taste of the animal kingdom from afar? Spend a day roaming the park grounds with one of the zoo’s on-staff professional photographers, snapping pictures of creatures big and small in their natural habitats.
The New Forest Visitor’s Centre
Lyndhurst, Hampshire, SO43 7NY
Let’s face it, tired kids are happy kids, and there’s no better way to tucker out your little ones than with a long bike ride through the scenic New Forest. For a two-mile trek that offers plenty of Instagram-worthy views (and hundreds of wild ponies!), we recommend cycling from beautiful Beaulieu to the historic Buckler’s Hard. Take a break mid-way through and stretch your legs at the National Motor Museum, or enjoy a picnic lunch amongst the shade of the trees. Just be mindful not to feed the wildlife, no matter how cute they seem!
Pont Pill Creek
No trip to the UK would be complete without exploring the coast, creeks, and rivers of Cornwall. While you could opt for a sightseeing cruise, for a truly one-in-a-lifetime experience, consider taking a guided sea kayak tour where you’ll paddle deep into caves, maneuver through gaps, spot seals, and explore the rugged coastline.