From theme parks and rambling gardens to Roman ruins and stately homes, there’s no denying England packs a punch when it comes to days out. But who came out as the most visited attraction in Visit Britain‘s annual survey? Check out our picks below — we’ve combed through the results to pick some of our favourite paid attractions for some fantastic family days out.
1 // Tower of London
This big-hitter — the most-visited paid attraction in England — doesn’t come cheap (you’ll pay about £50 for a family of four, a bit less online), but where else can you marvel at the crown jewels, listen to gory tales of treachery and torture by Yeoman Warders and meet ravens said to hold the future of the kingdom? Don’t miss the White Tower — which dates all the way back to William the Conqueror’s reign — where little ones can even shoot arrows, assemble firearms and brandish a sword.
2 // Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
This Baroque masterpiece, birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and still home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough, is the ultimate in majestic country piles. It has splendid interiors and artworks to discover, but for families it’s of most interest for its 2,000-acre parkland, including woods where you can sign up for Family Forestry School. Don’t miss the seasonal events, which include Halloween fireworks and Christmas trails.
3 // Eden Project, Cornwall
This one-off visitor attraction near St Austell sprawls across a huge, former quarry and is centred around biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, with exhibitions themed around our connection with the living world. After contemplating the future of humankind with thought-provoking exhibits, kids can fly high on England’s longest, fastest zipwire, freefall jump and do the loop in a 360º swing.
4 // Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Less than 30 minutes from the centre of London, the capital’s biggest UNESCO World Heritage site is a wonderful place to appreciate the great outdoors, and chock-full of things to keep the whole family entertained. There’s mammoth glasshouses full of exotic plantlife, an 18m-high treetop walkway, a pagoda to climb, The Hive multi-sensory experience highlighting the life of bees, a year-round calendar of family events and a plant-themed indoor play area.
2 // Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Historic sites don’t get much more iconic than Stonehenge. If you’re planning to visit the world’s most famous prehistoric monument, head straight for the contemporary visitor centre to learn more of the mystery of how its sarsen stones and bluestones were transported here from many miles away before wheels were invented.
If you’re looking to save money, we’ve got plenty of ideas for free days out too.
Want to see the full results from Visit Britain? Click here to find out more.