From some very cute and playful otters to pacing wolves, and from sweet baby meerkats to full-grown hungry bears, Dartmoor Zoological Park has something for everyone and is great value for money. The home of book and Hollywood film ‘We Bought a Zoo’ (starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansen), owner Benjamin Mee lives on site and makes fairly regular appearances to sign copies of his book and answer burning questions from adults and children alike.
Harewood House near Leeds is an 18th Century stately home and gardens, which are open to the public. It is one of Yorkshire’s leading attractions, and is a lovely day out for families.
Harewood House is associated with many notables, including Capability Brown, and the artist JMW Turner. It will be the starting point, Grand Depart, for Le Tour (The Tour de France) in Summer 2014.
The Maritime Museum (known locally as the Town Dock Museum) is one of Hull’s free city-centre museums. It is a collection of all things nautical, particularly local history, and things connected to trawling and whaling. It is in one of Hull’s most famous buildings – the 19th century Docks offices buildings which were used, amongst other things, to administer migration from Eastern Europe to the Americas. If you love boats, local history, and sea-faring adventure, this museum is pretty good.
Brimham Rocks is a unique place in North Yorkshire. It is located on a high area of moorland north of Harrogate. It is owned by the National Trust and is a free attraction (you pay £5 per car for all day parking).
York’s Chocolate Story is an indoor attraction in York City Centre. It is located on Kings Square which is at one end of The Shambles, towards the imposing York Minster.
Beamish Museum is a huge open air museum just north of Durham in County Durham. It’s about fifteen years since I last went and it’s over a two-hour drive from our house, but we made a massive effort to get up and visit it because I remember it being such a good day out and I was sure our two older girls would love it. We left the younger children with grandparents and spent the day at Beamish.
Amazonia is a small visitor attraction on the promenade in Great Yarmouth. It is home to a variety of reptiles and similar critters.
It cost us £18 to get in (family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children – under 3s are free).
It is all one level and fairly easy to navigate.
We were invited to go and try out the new look Pleasurewood Hills and we were very impressed. Pleasurewood Hills has been a popular family attraction in Suffolk for 30 years and has recently had a refurbishment programme to make the park as good as in its hey-day.
The Beaulieu Estate, set in the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest, was first opened to the public in 1952. Originally it was the Palace House that welcomed visitors, until a small display of veteran cars outgrew the family home and led to the creation of a separate motor museum. Today at Beaulieu Museum there is lots to see – the Palace House and Gardens, the historic site of Beaulieu Abbey along with a museum, and of course the National Motor Museum which houses several motoring themed exhibitions.