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Child-friendly culture visits

Friday 06 Jan, 2017


Britain is well-known for its cultural offerings, with hundreds of museums and stately homes and castles to visit, as well as shows to enjoy. What's less-known is how family-friendly many of these attractions are. Travelling with children? Have an adventure fit for all ages at one of the below.


Liverpool World Museum, north-west England

Liverpool's World Museum has been inspiring children of all ages since opening in 1853. Its popular ancient world gallery is currently being revamped and is set to open in February 2017. Alongside 4,000 objects (many of which have never been on public display before) there are plans for a brand-new mummy room and interactive displays. In the meantime, kids can follow the dinosaur trail, explore the insect-filled bug house and journey through space and time at the planetarium.

Getting there: Liverpool has its own international airport - train journeys from London take around two hours and 30 minutes.


Horniman Museum, London, south-east England 

A fun and educational anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman provides extensive facilities for families, including a nature trail activity walk, weekend workshops and a hands-on-base where children can touch and explore museum objects from around the world. There's a hugely popular aquarium, and the nature base explores the natural world with exhibits including the Horniman Museum beehive.

Getting there: The museum is a short walk from Forest Hill station, which is served by London Overground and mainline trains. The journey in to central London takes approximately 15 minutes.


Little Angel Theatre, London, south-east England

Children's puppet theatre, Little Angel, takes little ones on a theatrical adventure with the help of hand-made puppets (recommended for age two to six). The Islington theatre hosts regular family fun arts and crafts sessions and puppet clubs for kids to get involved with. They also hold ‘relaxed performances' for kids uncomfortable with sudden lighting changes or loud noises, including those with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory or communication needs, or a learning disability.

Getting there: The nearest London underground station is Angel.


Crathes Castle and Gardens, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

A day out to atmospheric 16th-century Crathes Castle will enchant children and parents alike. Home to a walled garden, fountain, rose gardens, yew hedges and colourful borders, kids will appreciate the chance to spot a rich variety of wildlife while parents take in the period furniture and original features of the castle interior. For intrepid youngsters, there's an adventure playground and Go Ape tree-top course, as well as family trails, children's quizzes and picnic areas.

Getting there: Crathes Castle is located 15 miles west of Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland. Trains from Edinburgh take approximately two hours 30 minutes.


National Football Museum, Manchester, north-west England

Football mad kids will love exploring the National Football Museum's vast collection of colourful memorabilia, player profiles, football kits and photographs chronicling the history of the beautiful game. The discovery zone is a place where children can dress up as footballers and in the storytelling corner they can listen to stories of teams' triumphs. The museum even runs ‘baby moves' sessions using music and movement to get tiny ones in to training early.

Getting there: Manchester is a city in the north west of England, around two hours by train from London.


Big Pit National Coal Museum, Torfaen, Wales

Exploring the cultural heritage of Wales, this former coal mine features displays that detail the hard work and sacrifice involved in getting coal from the earth. Entertaining as well as educational, an underground tour in which visitors don helmets and cap lamps before being lowered 90m below the ground for a walk around the mine's tunnels is a big hit with kids, while exhibitions tell the story of mining in Wales.

Getting there: Big Pit is in Torfaen, south Wales. Trains from Cardiff, the Welsh capital, take around one hour 30 minutes.  


Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland

From Peter the polar bear in the nature zone to Takabuti the Egyptian mummy in the history zone, there's plenty to keep kids imagination's buzzing at Ulster Museum. Three new discover centres give eager youngsters the chance to handle real bones, fossils and shells, have a go at making artwork, solve puzzles, become an archaeologist by rebuilding pots and skulls and dressing like a Victorian.

Getting there: Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland, and is served by an international airport.

For more information contact:

  • VisitBritain Media Team

Related Images
Horniman Aquarium - Girl looking at Moon Jelly Fish at the Horniman Aquarium
Liverpool World Museum - Family visiting the Liverpool World Museum, William Brown Street,...
National Football Museum  - Interior of the National Football Museum, Manchester.
Big Pit National Coal Museum - Exterior of the Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, Wales.