It's the school holidays and you're in need of some inspiring ideas for days out. Don't worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are our top five picks to get you started and, even better, all of them are easily accessible by train, so you don’t even need to take the car and waste your day sitting in traffic.
1. Go Roman
St Albans is home to the only remains of a Roman Theatre of its kind in Britain. You can still get a real sense of what it would have been like from the ruins, and then head to Verulamium Museum (across the road, in Verulamium Park) to see archaeological finds and discover more about Roman life. Through the holiday there are costumed storytelling events, ‘crafty capers’ and a Saxon Fun and Games session where six- to 11-year-olds can learn a few Saxon pastimes to show their friends back at school.
2. Prepare to do medieval battle
In its 1,000-year history, Arundel Castle has seen plenty of drama, and few periods were as colourful as life between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries. Costumed performers regularly present family-friendly events where kids can get a close-up look at the weapons, clothing, combat skills and crafts of that time. The next event is set for April 2 and 3.
Find out more about Arundel Castle.
3. Solve a subterranean riddle
Beneath the Hertfordshire town of Royston lies a manmade cave complete with wall carvings of various saints. Thing is, no-one knows who created it or why they did it, but the whole place oozes strange history and mystery. Some people believe the drawings are linked to the Knights Templar. Take along a fired-up imagination but make sure you wear sensible shoes!
Find out more about Royston Cave.
4. Go wild in the country
The Lodge RSPB nature reserve is a vast space including woodland and heath, perfect for stretching legs and enjoying the fresh air after the wintry months stuck indoors. You can pick up an RSPB Wildlife Explorer backpack (free to use, including binoculars, a magnifying glass and wildlife spotting charts) and take on one of the trails or join the special Easter hunts and drop-in nature activities over the bank holiday weekend. And it’s all FREE!
Find out more about Lodge RSPB Nature Reserve.
5. Meet sea dinosaurs
Sea Life Brighton has unveiled its brand new gallery, ‘Jurassic Seas’ – a special exhibit where you can find out more about pre-historic sealife. On the seafront, next to Brighton Pier, the aquarium also features a glass-bottomed boat video show so your budding marine biologists can gaze on the wonders of the deep. Your first seaside trip of the year sorted.
Find out more about Sea Life Brighton.
For our full guide to the best family day trips, plus your chance to win a family break in London, click here.
Thameslink operates train services to and from the heart of London, between Bedford and Brighton via Luton and Gatwick Airport, and St Albans and Wimbledon. Great Northern connects King’s Lynn, Cambridge and Peterborough, via Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City with London King’s Cross. Metro services run to and from Moorgate weekdays, late evening and at weekends.
Kids travel for just £2 when accompanied by an adult on off-peak tickets, plus get two-for-one offers to heaps of attractions when you travel by train.