Some folks like days out where you leave your brain at the entrance for some raw, mindless fun. Nothing wrong with that – we all need to switch off sometimes. But some of the best UK attractions mix thrills with a bit of brain food (on everything from gruesome history to amazing animals).
And whether you’re swotting for school exams or cramming facts for your TV debut on The Chase (love a bit of Bradley Walsh), these memorable experiences will help keep the important stuff front of mind.
So, we’ve been on a fact hunt to find the 5 best educational attractions across the country – fill your boots!
Whichever genius dreamed up a theme park meets zoo and aquarium deserves a knighthood – there's no better combo for fun and learning, if you ask us. Start the day by getting pulses racing on rides like the Croc Drop and Dragon’s Fury. Chill out on the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure before heading to zoo and SEA LIFE.
You’ll soak up tonnes of knowledge on wildlife including Asiatic Lions, Western Lowland Gorillas, Amur Tigers – and that’s not to mention the underwater creatures.
If it’s skills you want to learn, The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham is the spot for you. Follow in the footsteps of TV’s favourite explorer and try your hand at archery and axe-throwing, tackle the high ropes course (65ft in the air) or walk away with your PADI beginner certificate for scuba diving. We’ll warn you though, there are sharks in the tank. No, seriously.
Whichever experience you choose, you’ll definitely learn one thing – how to hold your nerve.
Billed as the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester has a high energy mix of fun, creative zones that really gets kids’ brainboxes buzzing.
For starters, the LEGO® Ninjago City Adventure mixes high-kicking Ninja skills with fun obstacles over a three-storey play area. Miniland has tiny recreations of North West landmarks (hello, Coronation Street) – made from 1.5 million bricks. And LEGO® Racers: Build and Test lets your kids build a high-speed race car and test it on a tough track. If that’s not got their imagination going, we don’t know what will.
Got a budding historian in the family? Edinburgh Dungeon puts you right in the midst of the city’s murky past. You’ll have your tea with cannibal Sawney Bean and his clan, meet body snatchers Burke and Hare, attend a human dissection in the Anatomy Theatre and relive what it was like to hang from the Grassmarket gallows on the Drop Dead ride. As history lessons go, it’s pretty memorable.
It’s not one for the young ones though - it’s recommended for kids over twelve. Unless they’re dead hard.
Why do otters hold hands? How fierce is a Zebra Horn Shark? Do octopuses really have gardens? If your kids have something of the David Attenborough about them, they’ll go mad for SEA LIFE. Scarborough’s got a great one – with zones like Rainforest Adventure, Penguin Island and an in-house Seal Hospital.
The staff know their stuff too, and they’ll happily fill kids' heads with all sorts of info about wildlife, habitats, underwater shenanigans and all that jazz.
At Days Out, you can book the UK’s best attractions (y’know the proper FOMO inducing ones?) -- we know where’s perfect for you. Find your next adventure.