England With Kids: 10 Ideas for the Best England Itinerary for Families
Visiting the country of England with kids is a must for any family’s bucket list. With its rich history, culture, and outstanding natural beauty, an England itinerary for families is sure to be packed with all sorts of unique and interesting activities.
Our family absolutely fell in love with the country of England. We spent over a month and a half in England and thoroughly enjoyed the food, the culture, and the people we met during our stay in England.
If you’re planning a trip to England for your family, then you’ll definitely want to read up on our ideas for things to do in England with kids. Take some time to see our wonderful suggestions for an itinerary in England for families. And then get ready for your own wonderful adventure in England!
This post was originally published on November 9, 2021.
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England with kids highlights
Don't have time to read the whole post? Browse through these highlights for England itinerary ideas for what to do in each featured city during your trip to England with kids:
10 ideas for the best England itinerary for families
We normally like to do slow tourism, but from time to time, we do like to do shorter trips as well. Our time in England was a mix of slow travel and quick trips. We essentially did a big road trip around the country!
As we traveled throughout England with kids, I couldn’t help but take note of our favorite parts of this country so that I could share it with you all. Eventually, I ended up with this list of ideas and travel tips for an itinerary in England for families.
This is by no means an extensive list. There are undoubtedly many places that we missed. But it’s certainly a good introduction to England. My hope is that you use this England itinerary to give your family ideas of where to explore on your own family vacation to England.
Take a look at our ten suggestions for places to visit in England with kids. I’ve highlighted things to do in each location. And I’ve also added a suggested number of days, to give you an idea of how long to stay.
You don’t need to do everything on the list. For example, if you’re trying to plan for a 10 day England itinerary, you can pick three spots to really deep dive into. Or if you’re planning to spend two or three months in England, you can expand your time in each location, and explore other destinations too.
London has many family friendly points of interest, so you’ll want to use your time wisely while you’re visiting this city in England with kids. I suggest at least a week in the city if your England itinerary allows it. But if you have 10 days in England, or fewer, then plan for at least two full days to visit London with kids.
Many museums are free, such as the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum. This is great news if you're trying to visit England with kids on a budget. Famous landmarks, such as the Tower of London, Globe Theatre, and Westminster Abbey, however, will have an admission fee.
There are plenty of unique markets to visit such as Borough Market and Camden Market. You can also visit parks like Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. We enjoyed walking along the River Thames, via the Jubilee Walk, or taking a boat ride along the Regent’s Canal.
For a good overview of London book one of these tours:
Suggested number of days in London for your England itinerary: 2-5
2. Greater London, England itinerary options
There are so many wonderful places to see outside of London as well. You should be sure to include spending time in this area while you're in England with kids. If you’re not limited to a 10 day England itinerary, you’ll want to plan for at least a day doing one or two of these things. Many of the places are accessible by train, or you can book one of the tours highlighted below, which includes transport.
The town of Windsor, to the west of London, is home to Windsor Castle. Visitors can stroll through the grounds and tour the home where the Queen of England spends most of her private weekends.
Book your Windsor Castle tour here:
If you’re more into a low key excursion during your time in England with kids, and you happen to be a Ted Lasso fan, take a visit to Richmond. Also situated west of London, Richmond is home to two beautiful parks: the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Richmond Park.
Book this tour of London, which includes a visit to Kew Gardens:
Harry Potter fans will want to book a walking tour of Harry Potter filming locations in London. And don’t miss visiting the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden, where you can learn how the movies were made.
Book this tour to visit the Warner Brothers Studio, which includes transport:
If you have more time in the United Kingdom (and you absolutely love Harry Potter), then be sure to visit Edinburgh where you'll find even more Harry Potter tours.
Suggested number of days in Greater London for your England itinerary: 1-2
Get a 5-day itinerary to the city of London from our friends at Wanderlust Crew!
Just south of London is the beach city of Brighton. This city is a must-visit for your England itinerary. However, if your time in England with kids is limited, you can also just spend a morning or afternoon here.
A popular beach holiday spot for Londoners, Brighton has the boardwalk atmosphere of Atlantic City, and the eccentricity of Venice Beach, with a touch of British charm thrown in the mix.
If you have time in your England travel itinerary, plan to spend at least one full day in Brighton. You’ll want to walk along Brighton Pier and also enjoy the beachfront path. Shelter Hall is a great food hall to enjoy a meal, with a diverse selection of cuisines that you can purchase through an app. Even though the weather wasn't too great when we were there, Brighton was definitely a highlight during our time in England with kids.
You also don’t want to miss walking through The Lanes, a collection of pedestrian lanes and small streets full of eclectic shops, cafes, and restaurants. There is bus service in Brighton, but we didn’t need to use it as the city is very walkable.
For a great overview of Brighton, book this walking tour:
Suggested number of days in Brighton for your England itinerary: 1-2
I like to think of Salisbury as the gateway to Stonehenge. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is only 9 miles away from Salisbury. But the city of Salisbury is interesting in its own right. And families who come to England with kids will enjoy visiting this ancient town.
Stonehenge and Salisbury are great places to spend an afternoon if you have a limited 10 day England itinerary. But if you have more time, it’s worth adding a day or two to your England travel itinerary to explore Salisbury on its own.
The city of Salisbury is located west of Brighton and southwest of London. The Salisbury Cathedral is home to one of the best surviving original copies of Magna Carta. A historic legal document drafted in 1215, Magna Carta led to the establishment of Parliament and laid the groundwork for documents like the US Constitution.
Central Salisbury is fun to explore when you're in England with kids, with shops and restaurants along the River Avon. On Tuesdays and Saturdays, be sure to visit the Salisbury Market. The city is walkable. And if you have a car, you can park in one of the public car parks located in the center of the city.
Book this private tour to experience Salisbury and Stonehenge with your kids:
Suggested number of days in Salisbury for your England itinerary: 2-3
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If you’re a fan of Roman history (or a fan of the show, Bridgerton), then you’ll definitely want to include Bath in your England itinerary. The city of Bath dates back thousands of years. But it’s most well-known for the Roman baths that were created in 60 AD.
Today, Bath remains a popular tourist destination for families who come to England with kids. The city is not just known for the Roman baths, which you can still visit and tour, but also for its beautiful architecture and parks. If you’re limited to a 10 day England itinerary or shorter, plan to spend a morning visiting the Roman baths.
But if you have more time to spend in Bath, be sure to visit the Royal Crescent, a set of homes built in the 1700s laid out in a crescent overlooking a well-manicured park. The homes feature prominently in many scenes in Bridgerton. You can take a tour of one of the homes at No. 1 Royal Crescent.
Also while in Bath, spend an afternoon having tea at one of Bath’s many tea rooms and cafes. This is a must and gives you a glimpse into Britain’s tea culture while you're in England with kids. And don’t forget to visit Bath Abbey, located near the Roman baths and built over a thousand years ago.
Book one of these tours of Bath to fully experience all the city has to offer:
Suggested number of days in Bath for your England itinerary: 1-2
6. The Cotswolds
One of the most picturesque parts of England is the Cotswolds. This part of the country was once famous for its wool, from sheep that were introduced to this part of the world by the Romans.
Today, though, the Cotswolds are known for its well-preserved small villages that look like they’re straight out of a storybook. Wool is still an industry in the Cotswolds, but so is tourism. And no trip to England with kids is complete without a visit to the Cotswolds.
If you are on a limited 10 day England itinerary, plan to spend an afternoon at the Cotswolds. But if you have more time, it’s worth spending a day or two exploring the many small villages that make up the Cotswolds.
We enjoyed Bourton-on-the-Water, with its shop-lined river running through the village. There’s also the Model Village, a 1:9 scale replica of Bourton-on-the-Water that’s well-worth visiting.
To explore the Cotswolds, book one of these tours:
Suggested number of days in the Cotswolds for your England itinerary: 1-2
While Birmingham might not be an obvious choice to include in an itinerary for England with kids (unless you’re a fan of the show, Peaky Blinders), it’s definitely a city not to be missed. Even if you’re limited to a 10 day England itinerary, I highly suggest including one full day in this city.
The second largest city in England, and located in the West Midlands region of the country, Birmingham played a large role in the Industrial Revolution. This is primarily due to its close proximity to the Black Country, named because of its many coal mines. Because of the coal mines of the Black Country, Birmingham became the epicenter of industry and metal crafts.
For worldschooling families visiting England with kids, Birmingham is a great destination for learning about science, technology, and history. You can learn about the area’s industrial history by visiting the Black Country Living Museum, just outside of the city. And within the city, you can visit museums like the Pen Museum or the more popular Think Tank Birmingham Science Museum.
Birmingham is also near to two places of interest: Warwick Castle and Cadbury World. Warwick Castle is a Medieval castle constructed by William the Conqueror in 1068. And Cadbury World is a family-friendly exhibition tour run by the Cadbury Company showcasing the chocolate-making process.
Book one of these Birmingham tours to really get a feel for this unique city:
Suggested number of days in Birmingham for your England itinerary: 2-4
For literary buffs, a visit to Stratford-Upon-Avon is a must in your itinerary for England with kids. The town of Stratford-Upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of England’s most famous writers. Plan to spend a morning in Stratford-Upon-Avon if you’re on a 10 day England itinerary, and at least a day if you have more time and flexibility.
The town is small enough to walk around. There are shops around the town center, and you can tour Shakespeare’s actual house. Additionally, you can also visit the home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife.
For a different activity, take a visit to the Stratford Butterfly Farm. Kids will especially enjoy seeing the wide variety of butterflies included at the butterfly farm.
To experience Stratford-Upon-Avon during your visit to England with kids, book this tour:
Suggested number of days in Stratford-Upon-Avon for your England itinerary: 1-2
For worldschooling families who love to incorporate learning into our travels, a visit to the town of Oxford during their time in England with kids is not to be missed. Oxford is home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford. And it’s also host to the Bodleian Library, the second largest library in the United Kingdom.
The town of Oxford is referenced in countless pieces of literature and film. Most recently, Oxford has been the setting for several Harry Potter film scenes. If you’re on a limited 10 day England itinerary, spend an afternoon here. But if you have more days to spare on your England itinerary, then plan at least one full day.
We were unfortunately not able to explore Oxford during our England itinerary, although we did drive through the city. But we intend to come back and visit the next time we come to England with kids.
Book one of these tours of Oxford to experience the town and all its beautiful attractions:
Suggested number of days in Oxford for your England itinerary: 1-2
10. Lake District
If your England itinerary allows, take a visit to the northern part of England to the Lake District. This area of England is filled with beautiful lakes, mountains, national parks, and small villages. It’s a wonderful option for experiencing the natural beauty of the country while visiting England with kids.
If you’re limited to a 10 day England itinerary, I wouldn’t suggest visiting the Lake District due to its distance from London. This was what happened during our first England itinerary. We simply didn't have time!
But the second time we were in England with kids, we did have a chance to visit the Lake District, and it didn't disappoint. This part of England is beautiful. The best time to go is in the summer, where you can fully experience the outdoors, and maybe even do some camping while you’re there.
Book this tour of the Lake District to fully experience the beauty of the area:
Suggested number of days in the Lake District for your England itinerary: 1-2
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Basic information for your England itinerary
As you're preparing for your trip to England with kids, take some time to get acquainted with some basic travel information. England is part of the larger country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are four countries within the United Kingdom: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Out of these four countries, England is the largest.
The language spoken in England is English, but each region of England has their own distinct accent. During our time in England with kids, we loved chatting with locals and hearing their accents!
In terms of lodging, you'll be able to find plenty of Airbnbs and vacation rentals throughout England. You can also use Booking to find hotels across all budget ranges for your trip to England with kids. Alternatively, consider doing house sitting with kids to SAVE BIG on accommodations.
Before your trip, you and your kids can learn about England and the United Kingdom with this book:
I also suggest buying a guidebook for your England with kids trip. We like this one from Rick Steves:
Best time to visit England with kids
If you’re planning to visit England with kids, the best time for your England itinerary is between the months of April to October. This is when the weather is the warmest.
However, be aware of when British children go on school holidays as that will impact the crowds during your trip. August is the summer vacation month for British school kids. But during the year, there are also one to two week-long breaks between school terms in April and December. Additionally, there are also week-long breaks in the middle of the term (called half term) during the months of February, June, and October.
As you’re planning your best England itinerary, be mindful of these school holidays so that you know what crowds to expect.
What to pack for your England itinerary
Depending on the time of year, you’ll want to make sure you’re packed for the weather for your England with kids trip. Having a lightweight sweater or cardigan may come in handy.
Because England’s climate can be rainy, even in the summer, you’ll want to pack a waterproof jacket to prepare for the weather. We like bringing these jackets along for our trip to England with kids:
Additionally, you also want to make sure you have things like cloth tote bags for when you visit farmer’s markets or go souvenir shopping. Many stores in England, especially grocery stores, now charge for the use of plastic bags, so having your own tote bag is helpful. You can also consider bringing other eco-friendly travel products to make your trip more sustainable.
If there's a holiday or a birthday coming up, take it as an opportunity to give travel gifts for your kids that can prepare them for your England trip.
Take a look at our favorite backpacks for travel with kids to bring along for your trip.
Getting around England with kids
It’s surprisingly easy to get around England with kids. The country has an extensive rail system. And you can get to most cities and towns by train. Additionally, there are over 30 airports in England.
However, in our opinion, the best way to get around England with kids in tow is by car. International rental companies that service England include Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Thrifty. Use Expedia to find great England car rentals.
When driving around England, remember that drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. This is different from other European countries that we’ve been driven through, such as Spain, Italy, or France.
British roads and speed limit signs use miles, just like in the United States. Additionally, British roads will often use roundabouts instead of stop lights, so you’ll need to be familiar with how to get in and out of a roundabout.
Get prepared for any emergency with the insurance made for digital nomads!
Making memories with your England itinerary
We had such an amazing time visiting England with kids. We feel like even a month and a half is not enough time to really experience this country and do all the England kids activities we wanted to do. Next time, we want to plan for a longer England itinerary, to really get a feel for what England has to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to England with kids, feel free to use this England itinerary as a starting off point for making your own memories of England. Whether it’s for a short 10 day England itinerary, or a longer three month stay, England is well worth a visit. This country is full of so much history, culture, and beauty, we know that you’ll love it as much as we did.
Have you visited England with kids? What was your experience like? Share your family and kids England itinerary with me in the comments below.
Planning to use England as a starting off point for a family gap year? Use my ebook, Hey Kids, Let's Go Travel! for family travel advice on planning and prepping for a family gap year.