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Family Fun Guide

Family Fun Guide

From Legoland to Longleat, there’s lots kids will love.


If you’re bringing the whole gang, you’ll want some ideas for things to do that will keep everyone happy. Lucky for the little ones, there’s plenty of choice along the Great West Way for them too. Here’s some extra fun options to help you plan the best adventure...

3 amazing attractions

Of all the wow-worthy family attractions, there are a few big ones you should be aware of. Not far out of London is Legoland Windsor Resort. The colourful block-built land dreams are made of. The kids won’t want to leave all their newfound friends with plastic hair helmets, and they won’t have to - you can stay the night in one of their magical themed hotel rooms.

With ‘choo-choo’ being one of the first sounds a kid learns - often while being fed a spoonful of mashed up banana - it’s no wonder most can barely contain themselves at the sight of a train. Take them along to STEAM, Swindon. Grown-ups can get to grips with some Great Western Railway history while kids go goggle-eyed over the locomotives, and maybe even get behind the controls themselves aboard the steam train simulator.

At Longleat, a little south of the Great West Way, you can take your little lions on a wild drive through a safari park. From the madness of the monkey drive-through (not recommended if you have a new car) to the awe-inspiring sight of real-life rhinos in the Big Game Park - it’s sure to be a lasting memory all-round. 

Educational but enjoyable

Who doesn’t remember being dragged kicking and screaming round a so-called ‘educational’ attraction as a child? Well, no need for any of that along the Great West Way.

In Bath, kids will love meeting the soldiers at the Roman Baths. Or playing Postman Pat at the Bath Postal Museum, or cowboys at the American Museum. In Bristol, there’s Aerospace Bristol, M Shed, Bristol Aquarium and Brunel’s SS Great Britain - where they can take a selfie as a Victorian ship passenger or even climb the ship’s mast. And don’t forget We The Curious, where they can make their own discoveries through hands-on science experiments as well as REME Museum and the Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum.

A castle always goes down well, too. From the grandeur of Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle and Berkeley Castle to the evocative ruins of Old Wardour Castle, young imaginations are sure to be entertained. Stonehenge and Avebury are also natural choices - both allowing them to get a glimpse of history while roaming free like pint-sized prehistoric warriors.

Action and adventure

You can of course take the offspring on any walk, bike or boat ride you have planned - just as long as you don’t mind them showing you up with their stamina. Check out Active England’s Family Adventures for ideas and try a boat trip with Bristol Packet Boat Trips, Jubilee Boat Trips and Barbara McLellan Canal Boat. Alternatively, take them for a splash about at Cotswold Water Park, a short detour from the Great West Way - they do inflatable rides on the lake.

Some wild cards

Let them inch closer to wildlife at a nature reserve, zoo or park along the touring route. They can meet red panda Lady Hilary at Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit Janu the elephant at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, pet ponies and piggies at Roves Farm Visitor Centre and walk in the tree canopy at Westonbirt Arboretum.

At WWF wildlife reserves like Blakehill Farm, Lower Moor and Jones’s Mill they can don a pair of baby binos and spot their first birds. And they’ll also be captivated by the pretty spectacle at Studley Grange Butterfly World - also home to meerkats, otters and terrapins. Finally, if they just need to run around for a bit, Windsor Great Park has more space than they could ever need

Family-friendly stays

If you’re not camping or glamping at one of the idyllic countryside camps along the Great West Way, there are some excellent hotels well-suited to families. At both Cricklade House and Woolley Grange Hotel, on the edge of the Cotswolds, you’ll be delighted to find mum and dad delights, like spas and bars, alongside lots of child-friendly activities. And for every night you stay at Woolley Grange, you get two hours of complimentary childcare in the Ofsted Registered Woolley Bears Den crèche, allowing parents to have a fun and relaxing time too!

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Product Information

  1. Longleat

    Warminster

    Longleat Safari Park, nestled within 900 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped grounds, is home to the UK’s original Safari Park, one of the best examples of Elizabethan architecture, and an abundance of exciting attractions including Jungle Kingdom and Animal Adventure where you can get up-close…

  2. Aerospace Bristol

    Bristol

    With Concorde as its stunning star attraction, Aerospace Bristol takes you on a fantastic flight through history. From the earliest aeroplanes, through two World Wars, the Cold War and the space race - discover incredible feats of aviation and step aboard the last Concorde ever to fly.

  3. Bath

    Bath

    The golden city of Bath has been welcoming visitors for over 2,000 years. Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Bath is home to some of the most impressive architectural sights in the world such as the Royal Crescent, the Circus and Pulteney.

  4. Roman Baths

    Abbey Church Yard, Bath

    Epicentre (and raison d'etre!) of the Heritage City.

  5. Brunel's SS Great Britain

    Bristol

    Step aboard the ocean liner that defined an era of modern cruise ships and visit two award-winning museums to discover Victorian innovation and Brunel’s impact on the world.

  6. Hampton Court Palace

    East Molesey

    Please check the Hampton Court Palace website for the most up to date opening dates and times.

    Hampton Court Palace is one of Britain’s most famous buildings, and a surviving Tudor treasure that was at the centre of court and political life for over two hundred years. Built to house monarchs,…

  7. Stonehenge

    Nr Amesbury

    Stonehenge stands impressively as a prehistoric monument of unique importance, a World Heritage Site, surrounded by remains of ceremonial and domestic structures - some older than the monument itself.

  8. Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

    Cricklade

    Blakehill Farm is a former military airfield which Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is turning back into wildlife-rich hay meadow. Living in the margins, hedgerows, ponds and damp ground are many wildlife species, including bullfinch, lapwing, grass snake and 14 species of dragonfly.

  9. Lower Moor - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

    Nr Cricklade

    Owned by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, the Lower Moor Farm complex is a landscape of fascinating contrasts, a mosaic of wetlands linked together by boardwalks, woodland and meadows. The meadows here have some of the finest displays of flowers in the UK.

  10. Jones's Mill - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

    Pewsey

    Jones’s Mill, a nature reserve owned by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is a fen, made up of wet woodland, ponds and wet grassland. Its peaty soils are fed by natural springs and the Salisbury Avon flows through its centre. It is home to wildlife that thrives in wet conditions - water voles, dragonflies,…

  11. Cricklade House Hotel

    Swindon

    Standing in over 30 acres of peaceful, secluded grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds, Cricklade House Hotel offers a traditional, warm and friendly welcome for those in search of tranquility, comfort, good food and wine, with extensive recreational facilities.

  12. Woolley Grange Hotel

    Bradford on Avon

    17th century stone Manor House set in open countryside, within walking distance of Bradford on Avon and 8 miles from Bath. This family friendly hotel welcomes children and dogs and its Elemis spa, two heated pools and 14 acre gardens, offer a chance to truly relax in this English country house.…

  13. REME Museum

    Chippenham

    The REME Museum displays the proud history of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Wherever in the world the Army serves, there you will find REME.

  14. Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum

    Calne

    Motor museum with vintage, post-vintage and classic cars, including American models. The Museum also houses an impressive collection of Lorries, Motorcycles, Mopeds, Push bikes, a large selection of vehicle manuals and other archive material.

  15. Berkeley Castle

    Berkeley, Gloucestershire

    Berkeley Castle is considered by many as a hidden gem; it was built in 1153 by the Berkeley family, who still live there. Over the centuries it has changed from a foreboding fortress to a welcoming family home.

  16. Bristol Packet Boat Trips

    Bristol

    Enjoy harbour tours and river trips with Bristol Packet Boat Trips with public timetabled trips and private hire available.

  17. Jubilee Boat Trips

    Newbury

    Jubilee is a traditional narrowboat purpose built for carrying passengers. It has seating for up to 29 passengers and the sides can be opened up to the fresh air in fine weather, but with protection for colder days. Jubilee is crewed by volunteers of the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. A licensed bar,…

  18. Bristol Zoo Gardens

    Clifton, Bristol

    A visit to Bristol Zoo Gardens is an adventure into an exciting animal kingdom, all set within 12 acres of beautiful gardens. Get up close to more than 400 species of exotic, endangered and adorable animals from the four corners of the globe, whilst enjoying 12 acres of award-winning gardens.
    With…

  19. Roves Farm Visitor Centre

    Swindon

    Roves Farm is a family run, working farm open all year round. We welcome visitors of all ages to come and enjoy hands-on farm activities with our friendly animals, as well as experience the sights and sounds of a working farm.
    This summer join the ‘Nature Detectives’ and enjoy Woodland Crafts, Den…

  20. Westonbirt, The National Arboretum

    Tetbury

    Arboretum with over 16,000 rare and beautiful trees, all set in 600 glorious, easy-to-stroll Cotswold acres

  21. Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

    Bristol

    Take a day outside of Bristol and spend a day with the Big Zoo Animals at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm home to Rhinos, Tigers, Lions and Giraffes and now Elephants.

Itinerary Distances

FromToDistance * (metric)
Longleat (51.18657,-2.27744)Aerospace Bristol (51.52178,-2.58115)38.59
Aerospace Bristol (51.52178,-2.58115)Bath (51.3856,-2.36168)19.34
Bath (51.3856,-2.36168)Bristol (51.45152,-2.59816)16.19
Bristol (51.45152,-2.59816)Roman Baths (51.38111,-2.35949)16.5
Roman Baths (51.38111,-2.35949)Brunel's SS Great Britain (51.44917,-2.60841)16.99
Brunel's SS Great Britain (51.44917,-2.60841)Hampton Court Palace (51.40321,-0.33646)142.02
Hampton Court Palace (51.40321,-0.33646)Stonehenge (51.18406,-1.85768)97.81
Stonehenge (51.18406,-1.85768)Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.62899,-1.89163)44.63
Blakehill Farm Nature Reserve - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.62899,-1.89163)Lower Moor - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.64297,-1.99128)6.35
Lower Moor - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.64297,-1.99128)Jones's Mill - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.3492,-1.75013)33.06
Jones's Mill - Wiltshire Wildlife Trust (51.3492,-1.75013)Cricklade House Hotel (51.63846,-1.87719)30.05
Cricklade House Hotel (51.63846,-1.87719)Woolley Grange Hotel (51.35072,-2.22559)36.11
Woolley Grange Hotel (51.35072,-2.22559)REME Museum (51.50494,-1.96829)22.3
REME Museum (51.50494,-1.96829)Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum (51.42425,-1.99472)8.25
Atwell-Wilson Motor Museum (51.42425,-1.99472)Berkeley Castle (51.68887,-2.45707)39.15
Berkeley Castle (51.68887,-2.45707)Bristol Packet Boat Trips (51.44836,-2.60657)25.84
Bristol Packet Boat Trips (51.44836,-2.60657)Barbara McLellan Canal Boat (51.34067,-2.25054)24.74
Barbara McLellan Canal Boat (51.34067,-2.25054)Jubilee Boat Trips (51.40207,-1.32094)58.47
Jubilee Boat Trips (51.40207,-1.32094)Bristol Zoo Gardens (51.46373,-2.62202)81.51
Bristol Zoo Gardens (51.46373,-2.62202)Roves Farm Visitor Centre (51.59767,-1.70119)58.95
Roves Farm Visitor Centre (51.59767,-1.70119)Westonbirt, The National Arboretum (51.60479,-2.21077)31.72
Westonbirt, The National Arboretum (51.60479,-2.21077)Noah's Ark Zoo Farm (51.45084,-2.73851)36.34
Total Distance *884.71 miles
Estimated Journey Time28.48 hours

* Approximate distance by road

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