With so many cheap flights and holiday deals, going abroad has almost become the norm.
But what about the UK? There are some amazing places to explore in the UK and the staycation is still a popular choice of holiday, especially for those with young children.
There’s so much history and natural beauty to see that it’s no wonder that tourists flock to see the birthplace of Shakespeare, Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District. But there are also hundreds of lesser-known places that are easily accessible by car or train.
We’ve listed our top 10 not-so-famous places in the UK that are worth visiting:
1. The Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden (45 mins train ride from London Marylebone)
Everyone loves his stories and the Roald Dahl museum is devoted to him and his characters. As well as three galleries and lots of activities to inspire creativity in children (plus a café selling splendiferous delights like frobscottle), you can take the village trail and see Matilda’s library, Sophie’s norphanage and Roald Dahl’s grave.
2. Eyam Village, Derbyshire
Studied by many primary school children, the village of Eyam famously isolated itself during the Great Plague of 1665 and around 75% of villagers died in just over a year. Visitors to Eyam village can see victims’ graves, the boundary stone and Mompesson’s Well.
3. Seven Stories, Newcastle (nearest Metro station is Manors)
The National Centre for Children’s Books used to be an old mill and is now a focus for reading and children’s books. Take part in craft activities, see how books become films or join in with story time. All floors at Seven Stories are interactive and there are additional activities during the holidays.
4. Bekonscot Model Village, Beaconsfield (5 mins walk from Beaconsfield station)
Celebrating its 85th anniversary in August 2014, Bekonscot model village and railway is the world’s oldest (and original) model village. Covering more than 1.5 acres, Bekonscot has beautiful gardens and model buildings showing how England would have been in the 1930s.
5. Snaefell Mountain Railway, Isle of Man
Kids and adults love steam trains, but if you take a ride on the Snaefell Mountain Railway, you come to the only place where you can see England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from a single point: a spectacular view.
6. Portmeirion, North Wales (nearest station Porthmadog)
Begun in 1925, Portmeirion village was created by architect Clough William-Ellis to show that it was possible to develop an area of natural beauty without spoiling it. Built in an Italian style, the village is quirky and colourful, surrounded by woods and the River Dwyryd.
7. Port Sunlight, the Wirral (20mins train journey from Chester and Liverpool)
Created in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever for his Sunlight soap factory workers, Port Sunlight village is now a conservation area. Set in 130 acres of parkland, most of the buildings are Grade II listed and there is also Port Sunlight museum and gift shop where you can buy the famous soaps.
8. Lavenham Village, Suffolk (nearest station Sudbury)
Used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Lavenham, “one of the finest… beautiful medieval villages in England”, does have a certain magic about it. With art galleries, quirky boutiques and traditional pubs, the village of Lavenham is an ideal base for those wishing to explore Suffolk.
9. Highgate Cemetery, London (Northern Line to Archway)
Situated in North London, Highgate Cemetery contains the remains of several famous people from history, including Karl Marx and Douglas Adams. Take a guided tour of the West Cemetery or just wander around the East Cemetery with its unusual memorials. If you’re feeling brave then take a night tour… only look out for the resident vampire!
10. Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland (7 miles from Edinburgh)
Founded by William Sinclair in the mid-15th century, pretty Rosslyn Chapel is well worth a detour for anyone visiting Edinburgh. As it has several symbols associated with the Knights Templar, the chapel features in many Holy Grail theories, most recently in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.
Have you been somewhere that nobody seems to know about? Let us know!
Taking the train somewhere? Read our tips for keeping children entertained on long train journeys.