The British capital offers hundreds of family-friendly attractions and a busy program of events, from world-class museums to the latest West End shows.
East of England
Within easy reach of the capital, eastern England (part of which is still sometimes known as East Anglia) includes Norfolk and Suffolk with their wonderful beaches, superb forests and unspoilt landscapes.
South East England
Also easily accessed from London, this region includes the lovely ‘garden of England’, Kent, with more quirky seaside towns and some great castles. Brighton and Eastbourne are family-friendly seaside towns; Sussex, of which they are a part, has lovely rolling countryside punctuated by castles, battlesites, castles, palaces, Roman villas and gardens. Next up is Hampshire, with the buzzing maritime cities Portsmouth and Southampton but also most of the glorious New Forest and then the charming Isle of Wight.
South West England
Still on the subject of seaside fun, this region offers up Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Often overlooked, Somerset also has lovely beaches, stunning inland countryside, plus historic Bath, Glastonbury and Wells, while Wiltshire is home to world-famous Stonehenge, Avebury and Old Sarum, as well as stately homes and glorious gardens.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this region (covering parts of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire) is touristy yet low key, offering lots of farms and other outdoor venues, historic gardens, books and arts and crafts shops, and welcoming pubs and inns.
The focal point of this part of the country is the city of Birmingham with its incredible industrial heritage and awesome modern shopping, but it's also good for theme-park aficionados, and there's some fabulous countryside too, especially the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
The highlights of this area for families are Derbyshire, home to most of the Peak District National Park, Rutland, focused on Rutland Water with its water sports, and Lincolnshire with its traditional seaside resorts, timeless Wolds, atmospheric Fens and historic city Lincoln.
Yorkshire and the Humber
Lincolnshire extends into Yorkshire and the Humber, where you’ll also find the historic county of Yorkshire with its three national parks, two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and three Heritage Coast areas, plus superb cities York and Leeds.
North East England
The highlight here is Northumberland – a great alternative for family holidays by the sea for those who find the likes of Cornwall and Norfolk over-subscribed, plus a landscape dotted by Roman ruins and impressive castles.
North West England
This region similarly offers idyllic landscapes, especially in Cumbria with its gorgeous Lake District. But there are also some great family-friendly cities here, with wonderful museums (many free) and other excellent attractions – especially Manchester and Liverpool.