The ten best family days out


Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Adults £10, children free

Thrill the children with Europe's largest collection of military and civilian aircraft. If you can't make it this bank holiday, next weekend it's the Duxford Air Show, when planes, vintage and modern, will take to the air, and the skills of the Red Arrows will be on display.

(01223 835000; www.iwm.org.uk)

Stratford-upon-Avon

Family ticket £29

This stroll around Shakespeare's turf has a bit of a back-to-school feel to it. After seeing the playwright's birthplace, head to his mother's home - Mary Arden's House - where there's a small farm, and daily falconry displays. Round off the day with a trip to see one of the plays.

(01789 293127; www.shakespeare.org.uk, and 01789 403404; www.rsc.org.uk)

Balamory

Free

You might think you're catching a ferry to Tobermory, on the island of Mull, but your children will know it as Balamory, home of the hit BBC TV kids show of the same name. Spend the morning posing for photos in front of their favourite character's house, then head away from the crowds for an afternoon on Miss Hoolie's beach at Calgary Bay.

(01688 812377; www.tobermory.co.uk)

Blenheim Palace

Family ticket £33

The splendour of Blenheim Palace and its surrounding gardens, birthplace of Winston Churchill, never fails to impress. After visiting the palace, ride the narrow-gauge train to the pleasure gardens, where you can get lost in the Marlborough Maze, and play giant chess and mini golf.

(0870 0602080; www.blenheimpalace.com)

Ashdown Forest

Free

Pack a copy of Winnie the Pooh and head for Ashdown Forest, in East Sussex, where AA Milne set his tales. Picnic at the Enchanted Place and play Poohsticks on the original bridge near the pretty village of Hartfield.

(Ashdown Forest Centre 01342 823583, and www.poohcountry.co.uk)

Whipsnade Wild Animal Park

Family ticket £42.50

While away the afternoon watching the rhinos and elephants wander freely in the fields and - best of all - get splashed by the sea-lions. If you can, it's a good idea to pay extra to take your car into the park (£10), so you can picnic at leisure on the hill in the middle of the animal enclosure.

(01582 872171; www.whipsnade.co.uk)

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway

Family return £19

Travel along the five-mile track to Haworth, where you can climb the steep hill to visit the home of the country's most famous literary family, the Brontës. On 18 and 19 September, Thomas will be chuffing down the line.

(01535 647777; www.kwvr.co.uk)

Lindisfarne

Free

Drift back in time as you walk along the sand dunes of Holy Island, and imagine Viking longboats appearing on the horizon. The castle on its volcanic mound is great inspiration for sandcastle-building, and, if you plan the timing of your trip, you can drive home on the causeway to the mainland with the sea lapping at the wheels of your car.

( www.lindisfarne.org.uk)

National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

Family ticket £17

Sail across the harbour to the new museum, where you can make your own miniature raft and sail it on the museum pond. Then stroll along the cliffs to Pendennis Castle (family ticket £11.30), and have a picnic lunch on the beach below.

( 01326 313 388; www.nmmc.co.uk)

Ironbridge Gorge museums

Family ticket £42

Experience hands-on engineering at Enginuity - just one of the attractions on the six-acre site around the world's first iron bridge in the heart of rural Shropshire. One of the other highlights is the reconstructed Victorian village where children can try baking, brick-making and candle-dipping.

(01952 884391; www.ironbridge.org.uk)

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little