Family days out

5 slow travel days out with kids in Britain’s most special places

Last updated 3rd December 2022

Going slow is a different kind of fun family day out. It means getting under the skin of a place. It’s about taking time to experience nature and local culture with all your senses. It can mean meeting locals, from farmers to artists, who’re passionate about their region. But it’s also to do with opening up space for creativity and micro-adventures. Jane Anderson, co-author of Slow Travel Family Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain’s Special Places, selects her top five slow family experiences.


Seaweed foraging, Guernsey

Seaweed foraging: a fun family day out with kids in Guernsey

Ben Trustin, aka Vraic Man, is a bit of a superhero. Or should I say seaweed hero. As the only seaweed farmer in Guernsey he’s a passionate campaigner for this wonder plant. His fun and educational seaweed foraging experiences take place on Soif Beach, at low tide when the rock pools are at their best.

He gets the most reluctant of kids to squidge the poppers of bladderwrack, and even take a nibble. So everyone’s taught that seaweed is in fact nutritious, as well as being a massive carbon store and fabulous fertilizer. Best for kids aged 2 and over

Book a hotel in Guernsey


Woodworking at Greenwood Days, the National Forest

Capture the spirit of slow travel, woodworking in the National Forest

If there’s one part of the UK that captures the spirit of slow family travel, it’s the National Forest. This manmade, purposefully planted forest straddles Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire. Here, landscapes which were once black coal mines and clay pits have been transformed over the past 30 years into a green playground.

A highlight for craft-loving kids is Greenwood Days near Calke Abbey. This canopied woodland workshop offers over 60 courses in green woodworking including willow weaving, basketry and spoon carving. Families can collaborate and create a three-legged stool from a chunk of greenwood. Best for kids aged 7-16 

Book a hotel near Calke Abbey

Find a holiday home near Calke Abbey


Fell pony adventures, Grizedale, the Lake District

A fun family day out in the Lake District with fell ponies and secret sculptures

Tom Lloyd inherited his fathers Hades Hill herd of 35 fell ponies and now offers walks around Grizedale Forest where families get to lead the ponies with a traditional rope halter.

This fun family day out in the Lake District includes a homemade picnic lunch by Grizedale Water carried by the ponies in large panniers. And the sculptures hidden deep in the forest include Andy Goldworthy’s, ‘Taking a Wall for a Walk’, a winding drystone wall that’s part forest snake, part moss-covered boundary. Best for kids aged 10 and over 

Book a hotel in the Lake District

Find a holiday home in the Lake District


Fossil rich Whitby Beach, North Yorkshire

Take kids on an ammonite adventure in North Yorkshire

Join Hidden Horizons founder and geologist, Will Watts, on Whitby Beach for an extraordinary peek into 50 million years of history.

Although many people associate the Jurassic Coast with Dorset, this North Yorkshire beach is awash with fossils too, if you know what to look for. Will encourages kids to find grey sedimentary rocks with a tell-tale fault line marking the edge of a fossil. He’s also a dab hand at cracking them open with his hammer to reveal an awesome ammonite. However, it’s his exultant cry of ‘You are the first living creature to see that for 185 million years!” which really jolts young imaginations. Best for kids aged 5-12 

Book a hotel in Whitby

Find a holiday home in Whitby 


Kitchen, Coos and Ewes, Heilan’ Coo Safari, Dumfries & Galloway

Go wild on a Heilan’ Coo Safari in Dumfries & Galloway

If you’ve always hankered after taking your children on safari, but the expense and carbon miles of getting to Africa are just too much to stomach, Kitchen Coos & Ewes is your slow travel alternative. However, on this Highland cow safari near Stranraer families get really close to the beasts. Local farmers, Neale and Janet McQuistin take you round the farm in natty tractor pulled trailers and are full of passionate knowledge about their herd, and also keen to share their expertise on rewilding and conservation. Best for kids aged 2-16

Book a hotel in Stranraer

Find a holiday home in Stranraer

Order Slow Travel Family Breaks: Perfect Escapes in Britain’s Special Places by Jane Anderson and Holly Tuppen from Bradt Guides before 31 December 2022 and receive a 25% discount with the code FAMTRAV25.