Off the beaten track: up-and-coming UK attractions


Looking for somewhere new to go with the family during the summer holidays? The UK is home to some great attractions just waiting to be explored that your kids will love. What’s great about these destinations is that, because they’re up-and-coming ‘hidden gems’, they’re also likely to be slightly quieter than some of your usual haunts.

Here are five of our favourites that your kids are guaranteed to love this summer.

The MAD Museum – Warwickshire

£19 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children)

The MAD (Mechanical Art and Design) Museum is in the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon and showcases some of the world’s finest pieces of kinetic art and automata. Spanning over 3,000sq ft, the MAD Museum is home to over 60 separate installations, with pieces that engage audiences of all experience levels and ages.

With buttons, handles, lights, colours and sounds, the museum provides a wide range of sensory experiences. Located in a town famed for its Shakespearean attributes, this is an entirely different proposition, but one that is well worth visiting with the family. Learn more by visiting the MAD Museum website:

The Chestnut Centre – Derbyshire

£26 for a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children)

If you love wildlife then the Chestnut Centre in Derbyshire is perfect for you. It has a wide variety of otters, owls and so much more available for you to experience and learn about.

With lots to see and do, including keeper talks, a keeper experience and a number of educational guides, you’ll never be lost for things to do and animals to see. There’s also a coffee shop on-site so you’ll be able to keep your energy levels up while exploring.

If your children love animals and wildlife, then the Chestnut Centre is the perfect choice. You can learn more on the Chestnut Centre website:

Cyclopark – Kent

Access all areas family pass – £26

Cyclopark is the perfect day out for cycling enthusiasts of all ages who love the great outdoors.

Cyclopark offers a unique experience for both children and adults, including a skate park specifically for the under 8s, spin classes and BMXing. There’s also an after-school club that’s perfect for those who live locally.

With specific coaching courses, there’s something for all ability levels. Take a look at the Cyclopark website today to start planning your visit:

Cannon Raceway – West Midlands

Junior track drive experience – £20 pre-booked

Cannon Raceway is the ideal place to visit if you’re an adult or a child with a need for speed. With no minimum or maximum booking sizes, you can take your entire family for an adrenaline-fuelled day at the track.

There are sessions for junior drivers (height restrictions apply) that include a comprehensive safety briefing and two karting sessions.

With a post-karting session print-out available to take home, there will also be no arguments in the car on the way home about who was quicker on the day. Visit the  Cannon Raceway website for full details:

The Wild Place Project – South Gloucestershire

Adult – £6.98, Child – £5.63 (save 10% online, group prices also available)

The Wild Place Project brings conservation to life. A fun and family-oriented adventure area, the Wild Place Project facilitates both fun and learning in equal measure.

With seasonal and themed trails, you can explore and learn about animals from around the world, and there’s even a guest village where you can get hot food and drinks, so you’re refuelled to enjoy even more.

With a specific emphasis on protecting threatened habitats, your children will really learn about how we can help to protect an endangered species. Take a look at everything you can do on the Wild Place Project website:

So there you have it: five of the UK’s hidden gems that are well worth visiting with your family this summer. If you know of any others that you’d like to pass on, then please let us know in the comments below.


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