UK destinations that are perfect for kids and adults

I love to travel around the UK. We are lucky to have breathtaking coastlines, ancient woodland and dreamy lakes to explore. After travelling around the UK with my son, I found these UK destinations perfect for kids and adults.

I often get asked about my favourite places I have been to in the UK for adults and kids. The UK has many child-friendly places to visit with activities the entire family can enjoy. I have picked a selection of UK destinations perfect for kids and adults, so we don’t have to compromise on grown-up fun!

Ambleside, The Lake District

I fell in love with Ambleside; it’s a dream. It is a peaceful place to visit, with so much to offer children and adults. We love that you can park up here and explore on foot for the day or make it your base for an unforgettable family trip exploring the Lake District.

We often stay in the YHA Ambleside because it is reasonably priced and on the lake. It’s always clean and well-maintained, and there is a water sports centre next door where you can pre-book activities on the lake.

Sunset Ambleside.
Lake District, Ambleside, at sunset.

It’s ideal with kids as you can quickly take them back to the room to dry and clean after fun out on the lake. The lake is a quieter part of Windermere with less boat traffic, so practising water sports with children feels safer. There are plenty of spots to picnic, calm, shallow spots to paddle, and walks to complete. We love to take in the scenery here and enjoy time outdoors together.

Fun on the water in Ambleside.
Fun on the water at Ambleside.

You’re not far from Windermere and The World of Beatrix Potter™ if you are looking for that little bit of childhood magic. This is great for the entire family as the attraction features Beatrix Potter’s stories while recreating the magical Lake District countryside. In addition, a Beatrix Potter locations guide is available on Visit Cumbria for those who want even more adventure and to learn about her fascinating life.

York, Yorkshire

We visit York at least every Christmas! It’s a magical place that will never lose its charm and wonder. We had to include York as it is an effortless city to stay with children, even very young children. York Old Town is very walkable; all the main attractions are within the city walls, so it’s easy to navigate.

Wandering down York Shambles.
Wandering down York Shambles.

There are plenty of shops to admire. But, of course, you have to check out the shambles, one of York’s most famous landmarks and one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe. It is packed with fascinating history, architecture and culture, and the city’s narrow cobblestone streets and alleys are fun for little ones to explore. You’ll get Diagon Alley vibes here, and there are Harry Potter-themed shops galore. There are also plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop and recharge. Jorvik Viking Centre is great to visit with children as well as York Minster and York Chocolate Story.

Beautiful shop in York.
Beautiful shop in York.

There are many great places to stay in York, but we loved staying at The Grand. The staff were friendly, it’s located close to the centre and offers spacious, comfortable rooms. The quality of food in the Rise restaurant is excellent, too.

Ullswater, The Lake District

The famous poet William Wordsworth referred to Ullswater as the most beautiful of the Lake District lakes. It is the second largest lake in the Lake District at 7 miles long and 0.75 miles wide, with a maximum depth of over 60 metres. It’s impressive to see.

Peaceful Ullswater.
Peaceful Ullswater.

My little one loves camping more than anything, and one of our favourite places to stay in Ullswater is Waterside House Campsite. It is in the perfect location at the foot of Barton Fell. It has fantastic facilities and offers hardstanding or grass pitches, with many beside the lake.

The lake is much quieter than Windermere; with very little boat traffic, it’s easy to get in and out, so it’s great for introducing children to water sports. There’s a water sports centre on-site, and pods and tipis are available to hire if glamping is more your thing.

There are lovely walks in Ullswater.
There are lovely walks in Ullswater.

The quaint village of Pooley Bridge is only a 15-minute walk from the campsite; you can get there quickly by following the lakeshore footpath. You can find local shops, cafes, and inns that serve excellent food and drink. We love spending time together in Ullswater, resetting and enjoying time in nature.

Edinburgh, Scotland

From the first time I visited Edinburgh, I knew it would become a place I would like to see repeatedly. The Capital is bursting with life and features calm and tranquil green spaces. The skyline is beautiful wherever you look, and it’s so simple to understand why this city inspired many poets, artists and writers.

A mum and her son beneath Edinburgh Castle.
The view of Edinburgh Castle is one of our favourites.

Edinburgh is a fantastic city for adults and children to visit. Start with touring Edinburgh Castle. It is one of the oldest Castles in the UK and is believed to have been occupied since the Bronze Age. The Castle sits on top of an extinct volcano and is the biggest tourist attraction in Scotland. The panoramic views of the city from inside its walls are not to be missed! Then, take a Harry Potter tour, discover spooky dungeons or visit Camera Obscura for even more fun.

Learning at the Natural Museum of Scotland.
Learning at the Natural Museum of Scotland.

We loved staying in the Apex City Hotel. It’s in a fantastic location at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, just off the Royal Mile, so it’s easy to access after a day of exploring with children.

Whitby, North Yorkshire

Packed with history and showing off the most beautiful coastal views, Whitby is an idyllic town nestled in North Yorkshire, perfect for adults and children. Particularly famous for its award-winning fish and chips, which we can confirm need to be tasted! We love it so much we have visited over and over again.

Tate Hill Beach in Whitby.
Tate Hill Beach.

While you are there, make sure to visit Whitby Abbey. It is a magical place for adults to see, so imagine how exciting it is for kids! They often have children’s themed events, so look out for them. We visited for their Halloween half-term event, followed the trail to solve creepy clues and gathered around to listen to spooky stories. You can learn about the area’s local history at the Whitby Museum or visit the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.

A mum and son at dinner in Whitby.
Mum and Son in Whitby.

We love to visit a waterfall called Falling Foss, which is not far from Whitby. The children can let their imaginations run wild as they explore the outdoors. Then, everyone can warm up at the Falling Foss Tea Garden. Falling Foss Tea Garden is open seasonally from April until September. However, I recommend visiting in Autumn as the colours are striking, and the waterfall looks much more impressive after rainy spells.

There are many fantastic places to stay in Whitby with children. You can find an extensive list of places to stay in Whitby with children here.

Tenby, Wales

We found Tenby a great place to visit with children. There are local zoos and theme parks to entertain the family for the day, and the town has beautiful beaches. You can find a full review of our time at Tenby’s Dinosaur Park here.

Mum and son on the beach in Tenby.
Tenby Beach during Summer.

When travelling with children, we love to visit Tenby Museum. There are two hands-on displays for children and families in the galleries. All children up to sixteen have free admission to the museum when accompanied by an adult. This is an affordable, exciting day out and a way to learn.

Tenby Dinosaur Park.
Tenby Dinosaur Park.

We camped off-grid when we last visited Tenby at @ecoescapecampsite. It’s a small, family-run, dog-friendly, eco-friendly campsite nestled in the valley of a working farm in Milford Haven, a 25-minute drive from Tenby. It is a beautiful place to holiday, and we loved every minute of our week-long stay. However, I know that camping is not for everyone!

Hopefully, you found this UK Destinations Perfect for Kids and Adults article helpful! I would love to hear your favourite places to visit in the UK with children; comment below and let me know.

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