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5 Best destinations for UK family trips this summer

We're well into the school holidays and maybe you're looking for a city break to keep the kids entertained? Here are five of the top locations for family trips in the UK
Although the weather hasn’t been the best this year, whether you’re looking to while away a few hours in the fresh air, or would rather spend time indoors, there are plenty of activities and events going on across the UK. But which UK city is the best place to head to with the kids this summer?
To help answer this very question, the life insurance team at Compare the Market has put together a list of the best locations for a family weekend. The study takes into account factors such as the number of kid-friendly events, the number of parks and museums, and the average summer temperatures of each city.

1. Cambridge

Punting on the River Cam is fun for all the family. Credit: Barry Davis
Cambridge has topped the list as one of the best places to head to with kids this summer. Despite being home to the lowest number of under 16-year-olds (21,713), the city has a huge 51 different parks, which is perfect for those families looking to soak up some late summer sun. Cambridge is of course famous for punting on the river Cam, but even if you don’t fancy hitting the water yourself, Jesus Green is a great place to watch the boats drift by. The park is home to a playground, lido, and the city’s only public grass tennis courts too.
"Jesus Green is a great place to watch boats drift by and is home to a playground, lido, and the city’s only public grass tennis courts"
With 15 museums to choose from, there’s also plenty to satisfy curious young minds in Cambridge. Whether they’re keeping cool in The Polar Museum, or getting up close and personal with the dinosaurs in the Museum of Zoology, there’s lots to discover in the city – plus entry is free at many of the museums too!

2. Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of the beautiful and child-friendly cities in the UK. Credit: evenfh
With a huge 172 child-friendly events going on throughout the year, in second place is Edinburgh. If you hurry, you might catch the last of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which runs throughout the whole of August and is perfect for adults and kids alike! Not to worry if you’ve missed it though, pop it in your diary for next year and start planning what is bound to be the funniest family trip you’ll ever take.
Other fun activities for kids in the city include touring Edinburgh Castle, climbing Arthur’s seat, or visiting the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. Harry Potter fans can’t miss The Potter Trail either, which takes you on a tour of all the locations that inspired many of the scenes and characters in the books.

3. Crawley

Tilgate Park in Crawley attracts families and people of all ages. Credit: geograph.org.uk, Barry Shimmon
Crawley ranks as the third-best destination for family trips. The city boasts 62 parks, so families who want to get outside have plenty of green space to choose from. Cherry Lane Adventure Playground is particularly good for kids of all ages, offering a Wild West-themed play area, plus table tennis, sports, and a schedule of activities throughout the year. If your kids are a little older, Crawley’s Tilgate Park has a Go Ape course—perfect for those looking for a little adventure this summer.
"Cherry Lane Adventure Playground is good for kids of all ages, offering a Wild West-themed play area and table tennis"
For the animal lovers among us, Crawley is about a 20 minute drive from the British Wildlife Centre, which is home to over 40 different native British species, such as otters, owls, red deer and Scottish wildcats.

4. Reading


The miniature train in Beale Wildlife Park. Credit: Brian Robert Marshall / Miniature train, Beale Park, Lower Basildon / CC BY-SA 2.0
In fourth place is Reading. While we’ve had a rather cold, wet summer this year, those looking for a bit of warm weather might do well to head to the southern city, as average summer temperatures tend to be around 24°C—the highest of all cities on the list.
With 33 parks, the city also has lots of outdoor areas to explore, including Beale Wildlife Park which boasts a zoo, farmyard, reptile house, and a variety of play areas. The park also offers ‘animal experiences’ that let kids go behind-the-scenes to learn more about some of their favourite animals—and they might even be lucky enough to feed them too!

5. Norwich

Norwich Castle dates back to around 1067. Credit: Andrew Hurley
Rounding off the top five destinations for family trips is Norwich. The city is home to 34 parks, as well as 13 museums, including the City of Norwich Aviation Museum and the Norwich Castle.
"The city is home to 34 parks, as well as 13 museums, including the City of Norwich Aviation Museum and the Norwich Castle"
For something a little different, why not head down the road to Wroxham Miniature Worlds? The largest indoor modelling attraction in the UK, the museum has plenty for the whole family to enjoy, including model railways, Lego cities, and a vintage penny arcade!
Banner credit: Edinburgh Castle by godrick
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