Coming to camp with the family in South east England? You’ll never be bored, we promise! There are so many things to see and do for families with kids that it’s tough to know where to start. You can swing through the trees like a little monkey, explore caves on the Kent coast, visit art galleries and museums and, above all, have a really great time.
To make it easier to make up your mind we’ve compiled our list of the top ten family attractions and things to do in South East England.
And don’t forget there are any number of fantastic places to stay, from glamping sites to great family friendly holiday parks. And the best thing? You can check them out on Campsited.
1. Go Ape in Thetford Forest
Let them go wild. You won’t regret it! Go Ape is something of a phenomenon in the UK, with tree top courses available where you can swing through the trees, make daring leaps or test your balance. But there’s nothing like going back to the source and trying out the original and best Go Ape tree tops course in Thetford. It’s still the biggest and has a zip wire that’s 140 metres long! It can be a real challenge for the over 16s but for little monkeys there is a junior course that’s not quite as high but just as much fun. And for those who don’t want to leave the safety of the level ground, there is the opportunity to ride a segway through the forest too. Best fun you can have in a forest, bar none.
2. Snozone, Milton Keynes
Whether you want to brush up on your technique to be ready for the winter holidays or just stay cool in the height of summer on a toboggan run in REAL snow, The Snozone will be perfect for you. Just remember to bring gloves and a coat as it’s minus 5 out there on the piste! Snowboarders and skiers can join advanced freestyle sessions, families can book lessons together and everyone can get involved in sledge and slide sessions! The perfect antidote to a hot summer’s day on the campsite…
3. Harry Potter Tour
Who wouldn't want to ride a broomstick, take a stroll down Diagon Alley or see a little of the magic that went into making the Harry Potter series of films? We would! After filming finished on the celebrated series, the producers were left with a whole lot of sets, props and artefacts they had used to bring Harry Potter and friends to life. So they decided to create the magical Harry Potter Tour that almost every child would forfeit their pocket money to go on! Exhibits include the great hall, the Hogwarts Express, the back lot (where you can see some of the vehicles used in filming) and some of the costumes worn by the cast. Magical!!!
Who ever thought that the humble building brick from Denmark would spawn such a vast and exciting world of adventure fun and frolics?!!! Well it has, and it’s one of South East England’s best theme parks. Legoland is entirely devoted to everyone from 2 to 12, but adults are welcome if they foot the bill!!! But seriously, this is a great place for kids. For a start everyone loves Lego so you’re on to a winner from the off. And just about everyone will find something here that will suit them down to the ground. Think rides, pirates, getting wet, miniature worlds (made of Lego, of course), lazy rivers, mazes and climbing walls, and you can imagine the day they will have. You’ll be the best parents ever when you tell them they are going….
5. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Park, Buckinghamshire
If you are looking for cute then you’d better get yourselves ready for animal overload at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Park. The park has been caring for sick and injured British wildlife since it opened in 1978 and is now the world’s leading wildlife hospital. Visitors can take a tour of the visitor centre and find out all about the great work they do, as well as meet some of the animals and permanent residents. There are talks and tours, opportunities to see red kites up close and, of course, the hedgehogs! For budding vets and animal lovers, an absolute must.
6. Explore smuggler’s caves in Thanet
Sometimes going to the beach isn’t enough, is it? Sometimes the kids need to get out from under the umbrella and start exploring. Well, there may well be nowhere better to fire the imagination than Kingsgate Bay in Kent. It’s home to some of England’s best sea caves, a whole lot of exciting tales of smuggling and daring do and some spectacular white cliffs. Oh, and a café too, for those little rewards you might need to entice them back to the car after a tough day exploring…
7. London’s South Bank
If you are going to take the kids into London you are going to have an awful lot of choice for attractions to take them to. But the easy way to let them have a fun day out is to take them to The South Bank. It’s traffic-free, offering all kinds of great attractions in one reasonably walkable stretch. At one end there’s Westminster and the best views of Big Ben while at the other you’ll find The Tate Modern at Millbank.
In between are the London Eye, The Royal Festival Hall, all kinds of great restaurants, cafes and eateries as well as the London Aquarium, The Design Museum and lots and lots more. On Sundays it’s like a carnival with street theatre and art and all kinds of other cultural goings on. Simply brilliant.
8. Under the Pier Show, Southwold
The tiny Under The Pier Show is one of South East England’s best kept secrets. It might be small but what it lacks in size it makes up for in bonkersness. Made by mad genius, inventor and arcade game lover Tim Hunkin, it’s a seriously silly collection of homemade arcade games – with a difference. You can walk the dog, take a granny for a walk in traffic and get your picture taken according to your mood. Kids adore it and the adults will enjoy the irony of enjoying an armchair holiday for just a pound. And when you’re done under the pier you can enjoy a classic British seaside experience on the rest of the pier. It’s one of England’s nicest, with café’s shops and lovely views of Suffolk’s favourite resort.
9. Step back in time at Dover Castle
Dover Castle has seen all kinds of action in its very long and turbulent history. As the nearest point to mainland Europe and the point from which the Dover Straits could be commanded, this area of England has long been fortified. It was an iron-age hill fort, a roman garrison and the seat of Henry II and his Angevin Empire. In fact, it was a garrison from 1066 right up until 1958. What that means today is that there is a lot of history to uncover. From the Roman lighthouse to a World War Two control room and secret tunnels, little explorers can jump from one period of England’s history to another. They can climb towers and descend into medieval tunnels, explore the secret cold war bunkers and generally have a wild time at one of England’s best castles.
10. Explore the weird and wonderful at Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
Kids love weird stuff, right? They will love the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. It describes itself as a museum displaying archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world. We say it’s full of amazing stuff, collected by a number of explorers in the last two centuries. There are objects collected on Cook’s voyage to the Pacific in 1773, objects from Africa, Japan, South America and just about everywhere else besides. It’s a wonderful, jam packed, culturally diverse mix of the historically important, the curious and the downright weird. And the kids will love it..
Let the kids decide! Then book one of our selection of campsites in South East England, including Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. Book your site, pitch up and have a great holiday in the South East of England.
And check out our blog on the top things to do in the South East of England.