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A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

San Francisco, CA
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A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

Hello,

We have 10 days to travel in UK and would like your recommendations on where to go, what to do etc.

We will be starting from London. We've already done London so don't to spend more time there.

We will be traveling with 2 small boys - a 4.5 yr old and a 2 yr old. As such, we can't cover too much in a day - want a somewhat leisurely pace.

We are traveling the 1st week of September.

One idea I am currently considering is :

Travel via train from London to:

Day 1 - Birmingham - Visit Sealife ?

Day 2 - Warwick Castle - Is this an all day trip?

Day 3 - Thomasland in Drayton Manor

Day 4 - Travel to Manchester on Train

Day 5 - Legoland Discovery Centre and MOSI (Science Museum)

Day 6 - Travel to Bath via train

Day 7 - Bath ??

Day 8 - Stonehenge / Avebury

Day 9 - Legoland Windsor

Day 10 - Windsor Castle

Day 11 - Relax at hotel pool or go to Park - Have LONG flight next day

Day 12 - Fly out of LHR to SFO

Above is a very kids oriented trip - would like to include some more things for us to do but the kids could enjoy too.

I am open to going to places other than what I mentioned and would love to hear your suggestions.

Thanks!

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Birmingham
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Manchester
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1. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

This seems like a very "busy" trip and I'm not sure that some of the things are "kids oriented" especially for children as young as yours (e.g. Bath, Stonehenge).

Why travel all the way up to Manchester for such a short time, only to travel all the way down to Bath?

If you haven't already done so, I suggest you have a look at www.enjoyengland.com/

Have you considered a trip to a seaside resort as a change from museums etc.? I'm sure the boys would appreciate some time just to run around and "be".

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Manchester
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2. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

So, am I correct in thinking you plan to STAY in London, but train-out each day to somewhere different??

Woo, you asked for a relaxed trip, but this sounds exhausting....

What about hiring a car and doing a "circuit" of a few kid-friendly places, staying 2-3 nights in each one, and allowing some "runaround" time for them and chillaxing time for you??

Lancashire, United...
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3. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

As much as I like the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, I wouldn't recommend it for a 4.5 and 2 year old.

And the Lego Discovery Centre, which is actually in the Trafford Centre shopping "mall" gets terrible reviews.

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g187069-…

Also, with such young children, do you really want to be travelling about using public transport over long distances nearly every day of your trip.

I predict lots of temper tantrums! ;-)

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Manchester
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4. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

Have a week at the seaside and relax, Weymouth would be ideal.

Tenterden, United...
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5. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

Agree that it all seems a bit rushed. Taking on 2-4 hour journeys to get to some of the places you want to visit and then the same return time does not really seem very child friendly and from past experience moving children to sleep in different beds too often is really unsettling. I would not want to change beds more than 3 times in a 10 day visit. They probably are too young to understand the significance of places like Bath, Stonehenge, Avebury and Windsor, it is may be better to leave those until they are older. The link below will give you some ideas of days out in the different regions of the UK that are aimed more at children.

www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk

Edited: 12 August 2013, 09:25
Southampton
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6. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

The vast majority of British families would do as suggested by Fushiagirl above. Unless it was winter. There are a gazillion of seaside resorts to choose from. Or perhaps hire a cottage in the Cotswolds from where you could do day trips to Bath and/or Warwick if you want to (having a car would make this easier).

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Cotswolds
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7. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

What 4 and 6 said. Either book a cottage in the countryside - New Forest, Poole, Swanage, Cornwall (st.Ives, Falmouth, St.Mawes etc) or stay somewhere like this

http://www.moonfleetmanorhotel.co.uk/hotel/

Taking a 4 hour train trip from London most days will be expensive and exhausting. Hire a car, it will make life easier for touring the countryside and fitting in with the kids' schedule.

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Cornwall
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8. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

I agree that your current itinerary is not really going to work with 2 young children.

Why not spend a few days in the Cotswolds (Toddington steam train, Cotswolds Wildlife Park, things in the countryside, possible trips to Warwick Castle and Oxford if you feel like it).

Then a week in Cornwall. Perhaps the best area would be Padstow/Newquay:

- lots of nice beaches

- Lobster Hatchery

- Holywell Bay Leisure Park with lots of small rides

- Eden Project

You won't need too many tourist attractions as the beaches and pretty towns/villages will be enough.

You'll need to hire a car for the Cotswolds (perhaps catch the bus and spend your first night in Oxford to avoid jet lag driving, and then hire a car from Oxford). You'll also need it for Cornwall, the roads are quite narrow in places but you should be fine. You might want to return your car in Cornwall and take the train back to London, spend your last night in a Heathrow airport hotel.

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Cotswolds
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Cornwall
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San Francisco, CA
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9. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

Sorry I didn't make this clear. Not thinking of doing these as Daytrips from London - would be quite exhausting even for us adults.

It would be a circuit trip on trains - so stay the night in Birmingham for first 2-3 nights, then Manchester for night or two then onto Bath.

I am not too excited about Bath or Stonehenge either. But Bath was recommended by two other families. and my Husband would like to do Stonehenge so figured we can combine Stonehenge and Bath. Also, my husband wants to go someplaces that's not too kids-y.

Taking the car would be easier so we don't have to worry about carrying luggage everywhere. But it seems quite significantly more expensive than train. On the train I'd have to buy tickets only for my husband and I. As the kids are under 5 - they are free. With Car, there is the car hire cost and plus car seat hire costs (roughly 200 gbp right there for car seats alone) plus petrol, parking. Plus my kids love trains.

I'll check out the seaside suggestions...but my initial reaction is 10 days on the beach is a bit too relaxing. :-) I want to be able to see more of England.

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Birmingham
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10. Re: A week in UK with young kids - any suggestions?

Quite a few of the places you mention cannot be reached by train, so you need to add in bus or taxi cost. For car seats - bring your own - most airlines don't count these as a "suitcase" so they won't eat into your luggage allowance. You won't use that much fuel in 10 days - maybe 2 tankfuls; parking in smaller towns cities will not be much.

I would drop Birmingham and Manchester and go somewhere more interesting - if you don't like the previous suggestions (which have a lot more to them than a beach) try York

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York
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