As the summer holidays roll around, the same thought crosses every parent’s mind – “Just how will I keep the kids entertained for six whole weeks?!”. A day trip to a nearby town or city can often be the answer, proving to be a new and exciting adventure for parents and children alike. The question is, however, just which city is the best place to visit with your little ones?
We wanted to find out, so we set about analysing the UK’s 20 top city destinations for tourists against a range of criteria. We then combined these factors to give us an overall “child-friendly” score for each destination. Due to its sheer size, we didn’t include London in the final rank, but have included our findings below.
Things to Do – Whether your kids are the outdoorsy jump in every puddle type, or just love learning new things at the local museum or library, we’ve looked into a wide range of child-friendly activities in each city to keep everyone entertained.
Where to Eat – We looked at the number of child-friendly restaurants listed in each city to make sure that even the fussiest of eaters are accommodated for.
Accessibility – We appreciate that taking the full family for a day out can often feel like a logistically planned operation, so we also scored cities by factors like public toilets, available parking spaces and the cost of a day travel pass.
According to our score, the following three cities came out on top:
It’s good news for families in the North and Scotland, who won’t have to travel far for a top city getaway; eight out of our top ten cities are located north of Birmingham, with Leeds, Glasgow and Liverpool all placing highly. Leeds was actually found to be the cheapest to travel around, with a family day pass costing just £5.50. If you’re going to be driving in, however, Manchester is still your best bet, with over 20,000 car parking spaces. Interestingly, Glasgow was found to be the third best city for fussy eaters, with over 800 child-friendly restaurants to choose from. As you’d expect, cities in the South scored very highly in the weather categories, with Brighton, Reading and Oxford taking the top three spots for average dry days across the summer holidays.
So where did London stock up as per our score? As you’d expect, the capital was absolutely jam-packed with different things to do, with over 500 activities for children to choose from. It also offered the widest range of places to eat (over 6,000) and nearly three times as many parking spaces as Manchester. Unsurprisingly, the cost of a day pass to get around the city was the highest on our list – almost 5 times as much as Leeds.
We appreciate it might not always be feasible to hop on the train to Edinburgh for the day, so we’ve included the statistics for all the cities we analysed below. Take a look at our interactive table to find your next adventure in a city near you:
|Name||Things to Do||Outdoors||Educational||Fun & Games||Child-Friendly Resturants||Rain-Free Days June - August||Average Temp June - August||Accessible Toilet / Changing Facilities||Public Parking Spaces||Family Day Travel Pass Costs||Total Score (out of 100)|