My husband and I are travelling to England next year with our son who will be 4 years old when we travel. We'll probably go in September 2008. We will be going for two weeks total, spending one week visiting my relatives in England. I'm looking for suggestions for where to spend the other week that would be child-friendly. Any ideas???
My daughters first trip to the UK was when they were 5 and 7. We spent 3 days in London, they loved riding the tube, going to St. James Park and feeding the birds, squirrels and ducks. They held out their arm and hand and the birds would land on their hands and eat out of them. They loved seeing the horse quards and Whitehall. When we left London we rented a car and drove around England. We went to Cornwall and one village they loved was Clovelly. They loved the steep walk way down, seeing the villages bring the supplies up on a donkey. Bourton on the Water in the Cotswolds would be a great village to visit, they call it the Little Venice, the Windrush River goes thru the village, but it's only knee deep. Children play in it with their little boats, etc. If you visit any gardens they usually have ponds, your son would enjoy watching the fish. Buy him a disposable camera and let him take pictures, my daughters had little 110 cameras and loved taking pictures.
Since we traveled from the north of England to the south it's hard to tell you one place to go. At the time we went there was a popular show All Creatures Great and Small on the PBS. So when we were in Yorkshire we went to places that they had seen on the show, which thrilled them. We also ate in a couple of pubs that they had seen. I had read them all of the Beatrix Potter books, so we went to her home in the Lake Distict which was great. It even had the watering can that Peter Rabbet hid in, sitting in the garden. We found that every place we went was as you called it kid friendly. Everyone would stop and talk to the girls. We went into cathedrals and abbeys and they liked seeing how hugh and beautiful they were. But of course you can't spend hours in places like that. If you are in London take him to see The Lion King, he would enjoy that. Windsor would be a great place to spend a day or two in. Great Windsor Park would be a great place to let him run and play.
You could walk down to the Thames to let him feed the ducks and swans. He could see the guards walk down the main road, going to the changing of the guards. I'm sure he would enjoy seeing the guards in their bearskin hats, etc. Just remember that he needs time to run and play. Try to see a couple things a day then have fun time for him. I hope this helps a little, like I said since we traveled all over England its hard to tell you to go to one place. There is so much that he would enjoy all over England. My daughters never once complained in the entire two weeks we were there. If you drive around you could look for farm B&B's to stay in, they are lots of fun. The girls really enjoyed seeing the cows and sheep walking in the road going to different fields, and that we had to stop and wait for them. Oh, what fun you will have watching your son seeing and discovery new things.
We spent 5 days in Southwest England - Sommerset, Dorset, Cornwall. There are many beach areas that are very popular with families. If you decide to travel as a local that might be one way to go. We stayed in self catering (rental house) while in Dorset and that was great. You can bike, go to the beach, visit small towns. The only downside is it is a very long drive to get all the way out to Cornwall.