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Educational adventures near you

Discover this ultimate list of educational adventures throughout the UK.

Attractions that are listed below are open, but it is really important to visit them online or telephone to get all the latest details before visiting.

Almost all the attractions must be booked in advance. Numbers are limited to keep everyone safe.

North West

Cheshire

Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre – the centre offers a great learning experience from the enormous iconic Lovell Telescope to exploring our solar system and the scale of the Milky Way using interactive games. Tickets in advance only at https://www.jodrellbank.net

Lion Salt Works – Discover the importance of salt at the restored award-winning museum and open-pan salt making site. Uncover the impact of salt on the Cheshire people, economy and landscape. Pre-book tickets at http://lionsaltworks.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

Greater Manchester

Science & Industry Museum – kids with a thirst for knowledge will love a visit to the free admission Manchester museum of world-leading science and innovation from the past 250 years. Four galleries in the New Warehouse will be open along with some of the outdoor space with plenty to see and do. Select a date and time for your free tickets online at https://www.scienceandindustrymuseum.org.uk

Imperial War Museum North – immerse yourself in the stories behind more than a century of war at the iconic museum in Manchester’s Salford Quays. Timed tickets are available from https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-north#teaser_listing_4642

Manchester Museum – the museum will be ready to welcome back visitors from 16th September. Plan a few hours to explore the collections that will get the kids back on track with their learning. Dinosaurs, Egyptian mummies, poisonous frogs and more will entertain and educate all ages. Find information at https://www.museum.manchester.ac.uk

Manchester Art Gallery – make a list of famous artists to track down before you visit to keep the kids engaged with a trip to the gallery in the city centre. Entrance is free of charge but tickets must be booked online before your visit at https://manchesterartgallery.org

Merseyside

Liverpool city centre has an enviable cluster of amazing museums that all ages will love. There is one to suit every interest, be it science, art, history or the natural world with a wealth of information to inspire the family and keep the kids engaged. The choice includes The Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Slavery Museum and Tate Liverpool. All the museums have free entrance but advance tickets are required from the website at https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/visit

Lancashire

Sea Life Blackpool – the aquarium in Blackpool is home to an ocean of fascinating, exotic  creatures from the colourful to the camouflaged. Find out about life on a tropical reef or a deep in a rainforest as well as those that live in our own ocean waters. Advance tickets available online at https://www.visitsealife.com/blackpool/

Harris Museum – Include a day at this super family friendly museum in Preston. The ’Kids in Museums’ award winning museum has a wealth of interesting collections to explore to get your kids back into learning. The art collection has fine art from the 12th century to the present day, delve into history through archaeology, local history, everyday artefacts, photography and costume and textiles. https://www.theharris.org.uk/

Cumbria & The Lake District

Tullie House – whatever the weather, spend some time with the kids to discover the treasures of China in this exhibition at Tullie House. Treasures of China brings together rarely seen porcelain, embroidery, calligraphy, silk, jade and other precious items from 3,000 years of Chinese imperial culture. Take a close look at exquisite pieces from Durham University’s Oriental Museum, as well as objects from Tullie’s own collection of porcelain and textiles. Normal admission applies, https://www.tulliehouse.co.uk/events/treasures-china for tickets.

Yorkshire

National Coal Mining Museum – Take a self-led tour of the museum, visit the Light in the Darkness Gallery, ‘Drawn from the Pits’ art exhibition, the Victorian Gallery, the Stables, the Pithead Baths, and the play area. Underground tours are not open just yet but keep checking for updates. Timeslot tickets available at https://www.ncm.org.uk

Eureka! – there’s so much to discover at the National Children’s Museum in West Yorkshire. Most of the galleries and interactives are open for kids to learn and make their own discoveries. Explore the six zones designed for kids 0-11 years inspiring them to get hooked on science. See website for opening times and booking advance tickets at https://www.eureka.org.uk

Magna Science Centre – get to grips with science and technology at the science centre where you can explore four themed pavilions, Air, Earth, Fire and Water. Online and walk-in tickets are available, see the website at https://www.visitmagna.co.uk

The Deep – enjoy an exciting day out at one of the UK’s most important aquariums. The new one-way system in place will allow you to take a close and personal look at all the amazing sea life that reside at The Deep in Hull, East Yorkshire . Find further information and book advance tickets at https://www.thedeep.co.uk/

National Railway Museum – immerse yourself in science and engineering from a bygone era when you explore the Great Hall and the Station Hall at this fantastic free to enter museum. A super day out for kids enjoy finding out how things work. Famous engines such as the Mallard and a Japanese bullet train are all to be discovered. Opening times and advance tickets can be found at https://www.railwaymuseum.org.uk

Jorvik – delve into Viking history at the attraction in York. Step aboard the new ride experience and immerse yourself in the sites, smells and sounds of Viking life. Advance tickets available from https://www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk

Kelham Island Museum – Spend an interesting day finding out about Sheffield’s industrial heritage. Situated on a man-made island, the museum has interactive galleries that tell the story of the Industrial Revolution in this part of South Yorkshire. Investigate the story of steel through the Victorian Era and two world wars and understand how steel making put the city on the global map. http://www.simt.co.uk/kelham-island-museum

North East

Tyne and Wear

Seven Stories – get your kids back into regular reading, they will be truly inspired by a visit the National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle upon Tyne. Check out the website and find out about the upcoming exhibitions, who are the latest authors and new publications plus join online events via Zoom. All information and new opening days and times are on the website at https://www.sevenstories.org.uk

Durham

Beamish – at this living history museum in County Durham you can book a timeslot ticket to explore the village that takes you back in time to the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. See full information and booking at http://www.beamish.org.uk

Northumberland

Woodhorn Museum – This old mining site is packed full of social history and a fantastic exhibition of ex-miner’s paintings. Four museums located in what was once the largest pit village in the world, hold collections that tell the stories of Northumberland’s past, present and future. Check the website for all the information you need at https://museumsnorthumberland.org.uk/covid-safe-visitor-guidelines-at-woodhorn/

East Midlands

Derbyshire

Crich Tramway Village – Walk along the cobbled streets, take a ride in a heritage tram, embrace the life of a bygone era when you spend the day at the heritage village. Face coverings are required for tram rides and the museum shops. Find full information and advance tickets at https://www.tramway.co.uk

Heights of Abraham – ride the cable car in your family group and take the one-way cave tour of the Masson and Rutland Caverns. Discover the purpose of the deep caves, the history and learn about the geology of the site. Information and advance booking at http://www.heightsofabraham.com

Leicestershire

National Space Centre – find out about Space Ports, satellites, how rockets blast off and the universe beyond. This centre is a must for all families with six galleries, the UK’s largest Planetarium and the Rocket Tower, rocket boost your family’s knowledge of outer space. Advance tickets are essential from the website at https://spacecentre.co.uk

Nottinghamshire

The Workhouse at Southwell – book your timed tickets for the Workhouse and find out what life was like as a Victorian pauper. See the website at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/the-workhouse-southwell

Wollaton Hall – the natural history museum at Wollaton Hall will keep your children engaged for hours, spot rare specimens from across the world, fossils, extinct animals and fascinating facts about the world around us. Roam around the formal gardens and deer park. Entry is free of charge and advance tickets are not necessary but there is a distanced queuing system in place. https://wollatonhall.org.uk

Lincolnshire

The Collection: Art & Archaeology in Lincolnshire – there’s plenty to delve into to keep the kids interested and entertained as you investigate the artefacts dating from the Stone Age to the present day. Entrance to the museum is free but you will need to pre-book timed tickets at https://www.thecollectionmuseum.com

West Midlands

Herefordshire

Goodrich Castle – Bring history to life with a family day out at Goodrich near Ross-on-Wye this autumn. Imagine what life must have been like in this medieval fortress overlooking the River Wye and discover its story. An audioguide is available to download to your own device before you visit. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/goodrich

Shropshire

Ironbridge Gorge Museums – Some of the museums at the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge have reopened. Step back to the past as you meet the residents of Blists Hill Victorian Town, a wonderful open-air museum, learn more about iron at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron or admire the designs in Jackfield Tile Museum. https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/

Staffordshire

Museum of Cannock Chase – Find out more about local history and life in the past as you visit The Toy Gallery, Domestic Galleries, Mining Gallery and more at this free family-friendly museum. Activity packs with self-guided activities for the museum’s outdoor space are available to buy for £4.99. http://www.museumofcannockchase.org/

Warwickshire

British Motor Museum – The whole family will find plenty to do and see at this wonderful museum. See the largest collection of historic British cars, learn about the motor industry, how motoring has changed and even what goes on under the bonnet! Plenty of interactives to keep young visitors interested. https://www.britishmotormuseum.co.uk/

Stratford-upon-Avon Butterfly Farm – Admire many of the world’s most beautiful butterflies flying freely in a tropical paradise and learn about the life cycle of a butterfly in the Discovery Zone. See caterpillars, pupae and maybe even a butterfly emerging from its pupa. Pop into Minibeast Metropolis to see snakes and other reptiles, spiders and more. https://www.butterflyfarm.co.uk/attraction/

The MAD Museum – All ages will be fascinated by the pieces of kinetic art and automata at The Mechanical Art and Design Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon. Very young visitors will be fascinated by the lights and colours while older kids and their adults work out how the machines work. Plan a day out and encourage an interest in design, physics and maths. https://themadmuseum.co.uk/

West Midlands

Birmingham Botanical Gardens – Buy a family trail guide from the Main Reception desk when you arrive and set off to explore the glasshouses and gardens together. There is a choice of fun and educational trails to keep young visitors interested as well as two different orienteering trails involving using a map of the Gardens to find numbered posts. https://www.birminghambotanicalgardens.org.uk/

Black Country Living Museum – Award-winning 26-acre open-air museum in Dudley telling the Black Country’s story with reconstructed houses, shops, displays of vehicles, workshops and industrial areas. Watch demonstrations and look out for historic characters telling visitors about their lives and work. https://www.bclm.co.uk/

Coventry Transport Museum – There is still time to enjoy the museum’s exciting temporary exhibition Taking Flight before it closes on 1st November. Find out about the history and mechanics of aviation, try creating your own invention and then watch it fly through a digital landscape. Perfect for would-be pilots, inventors or astronauts, both young and old! https://www.transport-museum.com/

Worcestershire

Avoncroft Museum – Take the children to discover a variety of rescued historic buildings and structures, from a toll house and medieval town house to a windmill and a prefab, at this 19-acre open-air museum near Bromsgrove. It is now possible either to see inside or go into most of the buildings, one household at a time. https://avoncroft.org.uk/

East of England

Cambridgeshire

Burwell Museum and Windmill – now open on Sundays in September and October. Have a great day out and admire this fantastic mill from outside, as well as the interesting farm buildings. See the Roman pottery, vintage vehicles and much more. Take a picnic and make a day of it. https://burwellmuseum.org.uk/

IWM Duxford – learn about the role this site played during the 1st and 2nd World Wars and hear the stories of those who took part in key battles such as Dunkirk, D-Day and the Battle of Britain. Get close to some amazing aircraft – you can even take a selfie with a Spitfire! https://www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford

Essex

Mountfitchet Castle and Norman Village of 1066 – discover this fascinating

Norman Motte and Bailey Castle! See the Norman village hidden behind the castle walls, wander in and out of the houses and listen out for the ancient Church bell tolling across the grounds. https://mountfitchetcastle.com

Norfolk

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse – imagine life in this horrible workhouse by following the Yukky Fact Workhouse Trail! Fascinating collections help tell the real stories of the workhouse staff and inmates. Trails can be downloaded before visiting. https://www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall-farm-and-workhouse

SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth – step beneath the waves and see over 1,500 sea creatures! Discover the largest inhabitants as they roam around the Lost City of Atlantis themed display. Touch noses with a shark and other amazing sea life in this fabulous underwater adventure. https://www.visitsealife.com/great-yarmouth

Suffolk

Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park – discover lots of interesting things at this working farm. Look out for some rare animal breeds, find out about the life of insects in the Butterfly House or build a den in Wonderwood. Can Jimmy save the bees? https://jimmysfarm.com/

Landguard Fort – have you ever seen what a real-life fort looks like? Spend an interesting day out observing the rich military and maritime heritage of this 18th century fort, one of England’s best preserved coastal defences. The tunnels are open for visitors. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/landguard-fort/

South West

Bristol

Bristol Aquarium – Take the family to learn more about the underwater world and conservation. The Aquarium is home to an amazing Coral Seas display and species from around the world, from creatures living on the UK coastline to piranhas from the Amazon, rays, sharks and more. Talks and feeds take place daily. https://www.bristolaquarium.co.uk/

Gloucestershire

Dean Heritage Centre – Fascinating museum galleries and various outside displays such as the Forester’s Cottage bring the history of the Forest of Dean to life. Imagine what school was like in Victorian times and find out about freemining. The delightful Gruffalo Trail through the grounds is sure to be a hit with younger visitors. http://www.deanheritagecentre.com/

Somerset

Roman Baths – A day out exploring the remains of one of the finest spas of the ancient world and temple ruins is a great way to learn about life in Roman Britain. Make the most of your visit by picking up audioguides and family activity trails at reception before setting off to discover this wonderfully family-friendly historic site in Bath. https://www.romanbaths.co.uk/

Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum – Great choice for young would-be pilots and their families! The museum tells the story of naval aviation and houses a range of helicopters and aircraft exhibits. See Concorde, go on a flight deck, check out the themed outdoor play area and more. Activity trails are available to download in advance. https://www.fleetairarm.com/

Wiltshire

Stonehenge – Inspire the kids with a family day out at the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge. Marvel at the amazing prehistoric stone circle, find out more at the exhibition and see the replica Neolithic houses to understand how the builders of Stonehenge lived. Download a free audioguide to your smartphones before you travel. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/

Cornwall

Bodmin Moor – spend a day in this wild, historical and unspoilt area. A landscape which engendered fear and awe in the past, generating folklore and legend. Look out for pre-historic settlements, ancient stones such as the Cheesewring and the Hurlers, as well as rare and protected wildlife. http://www.bodminmoor.co.uk/

National Maritime Museum Cornwall – go on a voyage of discovery through 15 galleries over 5 floors. The current awe-inspiring exhibition, Monsters of the Deep will have children captivated. There are hands-on opportunities, including a boating pool and boat-building workshop. https://nmmc.co.uk/

Devon

Bicton Park Botanical Gardens – established in 1739, there is so much to see in over 64 acres. Pop into the Countryside Museum and see rural life machinery from days gone by, go on the fun trail, ride the Woodland Railway and see the Palm House made from over 18,000 panes of glass. https://www.bictongardens.co.uk/

Golden Hind Museum Ship – step back in time onto this amazing pirate ship! It’s a fun and exciting opportunity to learn about Drake’s momentous Tudor circumnavigation of the world. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life aboard a Tudor ship as it rises and falls with the tide. https://goldenhind.co.uk

Dorset

Nothe Fort – built between 1860 and 1872 to protect the Naval Harbour at Portland. It is an authentic and fascinating piece of history, brought alive by the interesting museum collection, interactive displays and exhibits. Discover what life was like at this fort, set in a stunning location on the Jurassic Coast. https://nothefort.org.uk/

South East

Berkshire

Shaw House – This fine Elizabethan building in Newbury is opening its doors on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th September as part of Heritage Open Days, England’s annual heritage festival. Take the family to explore the house, see the ‘Dressed for Battle’ Civil War display and discover areas which are not usually open to the public. https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/shaw-house5

Oxfordshire

Oxford Castle and Prison – Join a costumed character guide for an hour-long guided tour this autumn. One thousand years of Oxford’s history will come to life as you learn about the site’s colourful past. Climb St George’s Tower, descend to the atmospheric crypt and visit the Debtors’ Tower and prison D-Wing. https://www.oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk/

Science Oxford – A family open day on Saturday 19th September offers a fun science-themed experience suitable for ages six years and over. Design your very own experiments and make your own discoveries. Use microscopes to study plants and bugs. Then head outside to spot wildlife in the surrounding woodland. https://scienceoxford.com/events/family-open-day-saturday-19th-september/

Hampshire

Portsmouth Historic Dockyard – spend a fun family day out at this exciting venue where there is just so much to see and do! Buy an all new ‘Ultimate Explorer’ ticket which includes Henry VIII’s favourite ship, the Mary Rose. https://www.nmrn.org.uk/news-events/nmrn-blog/reopening-dates-portsmouth-historic-dockyard

Kent

Howletts – see in real life all those amazing wild animals you learn about at school! Book your tickets well in advance to see 390 animals across 52 species, in 100 acres. Look out for the herd of African elephants, spot lowland gorillas, leopards and much more. https://www.aspinallfoundation.org/howletts/

Leeds Castle – discover what is known as the ‘Loveliest Castle in the World’. Explore the palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. The fabulous children’s playground is open, as well as the Bird of Prey Centre, Adventure Golf and the Dog Collar Museum. https://www.leeds-castle.com

Sussex

1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield – see the famous Battlefield, Abbey grounds and Abbey ruins. Download your trail map before you visit, then crack all the clues to claim your Adventurer’s Certificate. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/1066-battle-of-hastings-abbey-and-battlefield/

The Observatory Science Centre – visit this world famous astronomical observatory and take part in lots of amazing science fun! Remember to book your tickets well in advance. There are stringent safety measures in place for a brilliant and rewarding day out. https://www.the-observatory.org/

Tangmere Military Aviation Museum – find this fascinating museum on the old Tangmere Airfield, where it is home to an impressive display of historic aircraft. See aviation memorabilia stretching from WW1 through to the Cold War, with lots of interactive displays to have a go on. https://www.tangmere-museum.org.uk/

Surrey

Brooklands Museum – discover the innovation, determination and record-breaking days on the site of the world’s first racetrack! With so much to see and do, it’s an essential pit-stop for learning, with lots of activities designed to engage and inspire visitors of all ages. https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/

Wales

North Wales

Denbigh Castle – A great castle to visit with children. Listen out for sound effects as you enter this mighty fortress via the triple-towered gatehouse! Then set off to learn about daily life in a medieval castle with the help of the Denbigh Castle Mission, a digital walking trail available via the Cadw app. https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/denbigh-castle

Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour – Descend 500 feet underground in Blaenau Ffestiniog for a guided walking tour lasting about an hour and a half. Learn about the slate industry and find out what life was like for the men and boys who worked in the slate mines over 150 years ago. Light projection, special effects and technology bring the past to life. https://llechwedd.co.uk/the-tours/the-deep-mine-tour

SeaQuarium Rhyl – Take the children to visit the largest aquarium in North Wales and discover a host of underwater creatures, from anemones, starfish and seahorses of the UK coast to sharks, puffer fish and other tropical species. For an extra treat, upgrade your tickets to include a demonstration in outdoor attraction Seal Cove. http://www.seaquariumrhyl.co.uk/

Mid Wales

Dam Open Day at Elan Valley – Don’t miss the chance to go inside the Pen y Garreg Dam in the beautiful Elan Valley near Rhayader on 10th, 11th or 12th September this autumn. Make your way up to the central tower, enjoy the views and find out about the engineering behind the construction of the reservoir. Interesting for older children. https://www.elanvalley.org.uk/events/2020-09

RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve – Perfect for nature rambles in autumn, this beautiful reserve near Machynlleth includes a variety of habitats, which are home to various species during the year. Download a trail guide via the website to help you find your way around and remember your wellies and binoculars. What will you spot? https://www.rspb.org.uk/ynys-hir/

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales – Families will find plenty to do and learn at this award-winning attraction in the Brecon Beacons National Park. As well as underground caverns with amazing cave formations, there is the Iron Age Farm, Dinosaur Park, Shire Horse Centre and Mr Morgan’s Victorian Farm. https://www.showcaves.co.uk/

South Wales

Raglan Castle – The ruins of this magnificent fortress-palace in Monmouthshire are sure to impress the kids. Digital trails explain Raglan’s history and what it might have been like inside the castle during the Civil War siege. Just download the trails to your mobile devices via the Cadw app before you travel. https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/raglan-castle

Rhondda Heritage Park – Learn about Welsh mining on a family day out at Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehafod this autumn. Look around the exhibitions and join an ex-miner for the Black Gold Experience Tour through recreated coal seams and discover what working conditions in the Lewis Merthyr Colliery were like. https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Tourism/RhonddaHeritagePark/Home.aspx

The Royal Mint Experience – Did you know that the Royal Mint designed and created the medals for the London 2012 Olympic Games? Find out how coins and medals are produced, their meaning, the thousand-year history of the Royal Mint and more during a family day out at The Royal Mint Experience in Llantrisant. https://www.royalmint.com/the-royal-mint-experience

WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre – Plan a day out in the fresh air at Llanelli Wetland Centre and introduce the children to a range of plants, birds and animals. Remember binoculars and explore over 400 acres of lakes, streams and lagoons beside the salt marshes and shore of the Burry Inlet. Each season brings something new to discover. https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/llanelli


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Furthermore, find many great family things to do and ideas to keep the kids entertained this summerhere

In support of families, we have broadened our gaze from just looking for local ideas and inspiration for things to do and places to go with your family to also include the latest information on venues re opening and provide families with ideas and inspirations for things to do at home, in the garden and safely in the wider outdoors. Sign up to our e-newsletter here for all this information delivered safely to your inbox.
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Coronavirus Notice

Stay safe. Coronavirus advice is being updated regularly. Some attractions are starting to reopen with social distancing measures in place. Enjoy browsing the site for trips and please check directly with the venue before visiting.  Let’s Go with the Children is here to help and support families with ideas and information on what attractions are re-opening.