In Family

It can be difficult to plan a day out that will keep all the family interested all day as well as giving parents a break and children a chance to let off steam. Our heritage attractions have the answer with ways for all the family to have fun, relax, get involved and learn all in one place. A combination of indoor and outdoor space means that there is always a full day of activity on offer regardless of the weather. Here are a few of our favourites.

Hampton Court Palace

Once the home of Tudor King Henry VIII, inside the house you can be transported back to the days of some of his great feasts, and discover the secrets of the cooks and servants of the day. The house contains a superb art collection with exhibits from the royal collection regularly rotated. The Palace is rumoured to be home to more than one ghostly spectre, including two of Henry VIII’s wives! Outside, the brightly coloured Magic Garden features playground, grotto and maze to explore. Take a relaxing walk through the stunning grounds.

Raby Castle

Set in 200 acres of parkland in County Durham Raby Castle gives a glimpse into more than 600 years of history. The architecture of the castle itself spans the Medieval, Victorian, Georgian and Regency periods. Outside you can walk in the walled garden, see the wildlife in the deer park or explore the horse drawn carriage collection. Take a picnic beside the banks of one of the two ponds. There is a woodland play area and activity sheets for children to follow that bring the history of the castle to life along the way.

Stonor Park

Find out what life was like for Catholic families such as the Stonors when Henry VIII formed the Church of England in the 1530s and see the hiding place of Sir Edmund Campion, when he printed the “Ten Reasons” pamphlet in the 1580s. In the grounds you can see deer, pheasant, badgers, red kites, and buzzards. Walk the footpath opposite the house to see the house from a magnificent viewpoint highlighting its location nestled in the valley; the view is stunning.  Children will love the Wonder Woods (above), where they can splash, slide, run, swing and climb.

Castle Howard

Located 15 miles from York Castle Howard is a stunning combination Baroque and Palladian architecture. The house itself is filled with works of art and lavish interior design. Children can discover the house and gardens with the explorer activity sheet including the house trail, brass rubbing, colouring and puzzles. Take a boat ride across the lake and see how many species of bird you can spot. There is also a train ride that transports visitors to the adventure playground and lakeside area.


Explore the Elizabethan House and view fifteen staterooms, containing fine art, tapestries, furniture and libraries containing over 40,000 books. The house is set in Capability Brown landscaped gardens and parkland. All the family will enjoy the drive-through safari where you can get up close to lions, tigers and Macaque monkeys. In the main square you will find a vast array of activity including the bat cave, family farmyard and adventure castle. Have a look at the monkey temple or hand feed a parakeet. Take the Longleat railway to explore further or get yourself lost in the maze.

Leeds Castle

Known as “The loveliest Castle in the world”, Leeds Castle in Kent is one of only a handful of moated buildings in the U.K. See seasonal falconry displays featuring a range of birds including Hawks, Falcons, Owls and Vultures. There really is something for all interests here; The Battle of the skies exhibition tells the story of The Battle of Britain in a fully immersive experience whilst the Gatehouse Exhibition charts the history of the castle from its Norman origins in 1119. The Dog Collar Museum houses a range of dog collars spanning 5 centuries. If you prefer to spend time outside there is a boat ride, train ride and punting on the moat as well as a choice of two playgrounds and the maze, which features an underground grotto once you reach its centre.

Why not treat yourself to a stay in one of our Signpost Hotels after your day out? Check out our Places to Stay section for more information.





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