Though most of us tend to plan family holidays for the summer, there’s no reason why the winter months should get neglected when there’s so much on offer. This winter, a road trip through the UK, starting in Scotland and finishing in London, could be just the ticket.
Because the UK is small, it’s easy to cover large areas of it in one extended road trip, and if you’re planning on being behind the wheel for the majority of your trip then it’s a good idea to plan some activities for your kids in advance. Here are a few simple suggestions for keeping the kids busy in the back seat as you make your way to London.
Being on the road for hours at a time provides the perfect opportunity to catch your kids up on some classic British literature. Drive through Edinburgh, the birthplace of Harry Potter, and listen to The Sorcerer’s Stone, letting your kids marvel at the beautiful architecture that inspired the towers of Hogwarts.
On your way through the north of England, stop in Halifax, West Yorkshire for the National Children’s Museum, otherwise known as Eureka! It’s a bright, bustling haven for kids of all ages, offering activities and interactive exhibits that will tire them out and have them snoozing on the back seat for the rest of the day.
What’s different about the UK?
Little kids are always full of observations and questions, so keep them interested by getting them to make a list of differences they’ve noticed between home and the UK. Plan a route that takes them past castles, cobbled streets, railway lines and farmland, and open the game up into a fun discussion about the history of the British Isles.
Staying sane as a parent when you’ve got young kids in the back of the car isn’t always easy! So when you’re packing for your road trip, don’t forget to throw in a few portable games and toys to amuse the kids in quiet moments. If you’re at a loose end, old favorites like the license plate game will do the trick.
Don’t forget the travel cot!
Remember to take a travel cot with you, just in case your accommodation can’t provide one. They’re handy to have. Not only will you be sure of a comfortable place for the baby to sleep, but you can place them in there while you’re getting yourself ready for the day or the evening. After all, you wouldn’t wish to stand on them if they’re crawling around all over the hotel room!
Legoland & Windsor Castle
Just outside London, give the kids a real treat by stopping at Legoland, a theme park bursting with colorful rides, roller coasters and games. Best of all, you can follow it up with a trip to neighboring Windsor Castle — tell your kids they’re about to visit the Queen’s house and they’ll go crazy!
Traveling through London
The best thing you can do once you get into London is ditch the car. Seriously! You might be on a road trip, but the UK capital is best traversed by the excellent network of buses, riverboats, trains and – of course – the world-famous Underground. For a really special winter’s day out, wrap up warm and book yourselves onto a sightseeing bus — your kids will have so much to look at, there won’t be any need for extra amusements.
Touring the UK from top to bottom is revealing and exciting. If ever you get the chance, you should definitely go for it and explore its niceties in all their quaintness!
Images by Benedict Francis and pavlinajane, used under Creative Commons license. Feature photo shared by Amanda at MarocMama.com.