In the third chapter of our five-part series for family groups, we take a look at discovering history.For family groups looking for a day filled with fun, laughter and smiles, Brenda Watkinson brings you a selection ranging from adrenalin fuelled rides and historical adventures to days out getting close to nature.
History is a fascinating subject for children and teenagers and there are many destinations around the UK which make an excellent family day out.
In Warwickshire, your children will love to explore Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden (English Heritage) with its vast grounds and action-packed events ranging from fighting knights to Halloween frights, and events throughout the school holidays.
Children can play hide and seek around the ruins, discover the aviary in the garden and listen to the children’s audio tour, (included in the admission price), as they roam the castle and Elizabethan garden. There is also a ‘Step Inside Activity Pack’ with puzzles and activities for children to complete as they explore plus a 15-minute circular walk through the meadows.Located at the heart of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe and is famous as the Shrine of St Cuthbert and the resting place of the Venerable Bede.
Your family group can hear all about its fascinating history on a guided tour, which can focus on specialist subjects if required.
Open Treasure is a worldclass exhibition experience at the Cathedral, which includes the 14th Century Monks’ Dormitory with its oak-beamed ceiling, a state-of-the-art Collections Gallery and the magnificent Great Kitchen, one of only two surviving monastic kitchens in the UK. The Open Treasure Exhibition programme for 2018 will include a exhibition looking at the extraordinary royal dynasty of The Tudors.
Meanwhile in Lancashire, Clitheroe Castle and Museum takes visitors on a journey through 350 million years of history to discover how the landscape seen today was formed.
As well as finding out why this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Special Protection Area is a special place for wildlife, you will discover the industries that have played a part in Clitheroe’s fortunes.
The museum has many family friendly activity points and you can try hands on activities, listen at sound points, explore the touchscreens and watch an animation about Clitheroe Castle.
From the Keep, there are panoramic views of Ribble Valley’s historic landscape to enjoy, so well worth the climb. Young people (aged 13–18 years) and accompanied children (0–12 years) are offered free admission. The licensed Atrium Cafe serves refreshments.The National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, Staffordshire, welcomes families and there are many opportunities for all ages to explore and discover the Arboretum and its many memorials.
The Landscapes of Life exhibition is a fully immersive audio visual display with hands-on interaction including an exhibit to allow children to design their own memorial landscape. Entrance includes an audio guide for use in the Arboretum grounds. There’s a rolling temporary exhibition and events programme too and guided walking and land train tours can be booked.
In the Arboretum grounds, a Children’s Sensory Play Garden features tunnels and a time circle and is close to the Rembrance Centre and a second play area is in the Children’s Wood.
In Devon, the National Trust property of Overbeck’s House is also popular with families.
Generations of children have enjoyed hunting for Fred, the friendly ghost taking them through a little secret door in the panelling of the stairs, into a room that’s stuffed full of children’s toys from the past – including lead soldiers and dolls’ houses. When the kids find the secret door, and the ghost within, the room guide will reward them with a sticker and certificate.