That’s right… There are actually SIXTY. I’ve finally finished compiling our list of the best family-friendly attractions and outings within two hours of us. And it turns out there are at least 60 things in our surrounding area I think make for excellent day trips or outings during the week. This list is NOT exhaustive and it’s certainly not definitive. In fact, I’m pretty sure over the next few months I’ll make a number of additions and deletions from the list as we continue to explore new places in the local area. But this is a good starting place, especially if you’re new to East Anglia.
A couple of points to note about the list. It does NOT include ANYTHING in London. In my book, Windsor Castle and Legoland aren’t in London and I’m sticking to it. There are a couple items on my list that are a little over two hours away, but I felt they were worth including anyhow as they could still be visited in a day or turned into a long weekend with other nearby attractions.
I’ve used Google maps to estimate all times from a specific central East Anglia location, but make sure you check the distances for yourself before hitting the road as accidents along the M25 or Dartford Crossing can make those normal estimates WAY off.
You’ll also note that there are very few indoor attractions on this list. There are plenty of indoor playgrounds, swimming pools, and museums in the area, but my personal preference is to get outside whenever possible and that is heavily reflected in our list. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list that has activities for all the rainy days, head over to daysoutwithkids.co.uk.
I used the term “family-friendly” intentionally. While I take my kids just about everywhere, not all of the places on our list classify as “kid-friendly”. To me, kid-friendly implies I can push my stroller everywhere and there’s an abundance of clean bathrooms with changing tables. I still take our stroller to lots of these locations, but I regularly park it at the base of a castle tower so I can hike up 80 steps with the kids and explore. And I change diapers in the grass all the time. There’s always a picnic blanket ready to go in our van and nine times out of ten now we pack a lunch over attempting to seat our loud, large crew at a tiny local tearoom. Kids can go and enjoy all these places, they are all very welcoming of families—just know they don’t all bend over backwards to accommodate children.
The list is the start of a new section of our website dedicated to more local travel. By local, again, I’m referring to trips that can be completed in under a day. If you click the “Local” menu tab on our website, you’ll find not only this list, but a few of the posts I’ve written so far on exploring locally. There’s a lot more to come. I’ve learned I like to travel more than write. So while we’ve traveled extensively, I’m currently way behind at writing it all out because, well, we’re probably too busy off exploring somewhere new. But it is coming, I promise. With a new baby on the way, I’ll have lots of down time and late nights in the coming months which should provide plenty of time to play catch-up with all the writing!
Over the coming weeks I’ll also be completing the additional information pages for most of the 60 attractions on the list. By clicking the ‘more info’ link with each attraction’s drop-down section, you’ll be directed to more detailed recommendations and other nearby attractions you could pair together for a day trip or weekend get-away. While we’ve visited over 2/3 of the attractions on this list, I have not made it to all of them and there are some (like Cadbury World and Thorpe Park) I have no intention of visiting. So, please feel free to comment on these attractions with any insights you have from past visits. The more information, the better!
And finally, you’ll notice that a map is also in the works. That should be completed in the next week and will provide a nice visual aid to help choose the best nearby attractions to visit within your current time or location constraints.
So, without further ado, hop on over and check out the list of “Top Family-Friendly Attractions In & Around East Anglia“. Whew, that’s a mouthful! If you’d like to print out the list or save it to your desktop for future reference, you’ll find a free downloadable PDF on the right side of the list’s page.