Our British Bucket List

This is our ultimate Great British Bucket List!

We’ll spend at least 5 months of the year in the United Kingdom, which means we have time to explore.  A list of 50 places we must try to visit at least once in the next five years.  Goal set.  Check.  Is it a realistic goal?  Don’t know yet but please stay patiently tuned in to find out  Five months (April to August) gives us about 22 weeks each year.   I think we can leisurely explore these 50 destinations over five years.   It should be easily done if we try to do two every month.

1. Legoland, Windsor

Berkshire. Paired with a stay at one of the Legoland hotels this will be an amazing experience for us as a family.  Brendan and I love Legoland.  We’ve already gone twice.  Once on our own before we got married, because we love amusement parks and arcades.  We loved it so much we couldn’t wait to return with a child of our own one day.  Even if only for a rematch in the parent-child races and games we enjoyed a little too much judging by the evil eyes we got when we won… without a child.  We’re just big kids after all.  Finally, Nick was born and he’d barely given his first steps before we had him at Legoland!  We won again of course and could celebrate without being judged this time.  Fair game I say.  We have to go again.  This time it’s for the children.  For real.

2. Windsor Castle

View from the Long Walk.  We will be staying in the area this April.  I want to take time to visit a section a day of the castle and gardens over a few days so that the children can take more of it in.  Visiting a big place like Windsor can be too much for me, nevermind the children.  I often end up skipping bits. Especially towards the end of a tour when everyone is tired of being elbowed and queuing for photos. You’re hungry and you want to go home.  I don’t want to miss any parts of Windsor Castle.  Let’s do this slowly.

 

https://paultonspark.co.uk

3. Paulton’s Park & Peppa Pig World 

Romsey, Hampshire (near Southampton). Kate is in her Peppa Pig phase at the moment big time.  I wanted to take Leah when she was two, but we never got round to it.  Being a family that loves to play, we will all enjoy this outing tremendously, but it will be a treat to see what Kate makes of it.  It could be the best day of her two-year-old life or the worst!

https://www.zsl.org

4. London / Whipsnade Zoo

Junior Zookeeper for a day program will be the ultimate experience for Nick & Leah.  We really hope to do this for them sooner rather than later!

5. Leadenhall Market, London

Leadenhall Market in the City of London was used as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, whilst the entrance to wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is in real life an optician in Bull’s Head Passage.

6. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

(often abbreviated as the V&A) in London is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Leah will love this.  It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Also has a branch called The V&A Museum of Childhood with toys and history from every childhood.

 

Tate Kids

7. Tate Modern Art Museum, London

Family interactive art displays and programs. Climb to the top for a spectacular view of London.

8. Madame Tussaud’s, London

We’ve been there a few times, but the children haven’t been.  They update the statues every now and then and the children will absolutely love it.  Except for the scary haunted house!  Best to avoid that part with the kiddies.

9. Run through the wall to Platform 9¾ 

Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station is in the arched wall between platforms 4 and 5. The real-life entrance is at platforms 9, 10 and 11 on the west side of the station where you’ll find a trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall with the sign: Platform 9¾

10. Buckingham Palace, London

Tour & Changing of the Guard.  I’ve been outside many times, but never seen the Changing of the Guard or been on a tour.  The monarchy has become fascinating to me since binge watching The Crown on Netflix when we arrived in England.  The show brings the Queen’s story to life beautifully and I can’t wait for season three and four to air in 2019.

11. Warner Bros Studios Tour, London

We decided that the children could watch the first few Harry Potter movies since it is so big in the UK and so that know what it is all about.  We didn’t allow it before because it is scary! The movies were filmed at destinations across the country, many of which are on our British bucket list. Having a butterbeer at the studio and seeing behind the scenes secrets will be amazing.

12. Musical Theatre, London.

Take the children to watch The Lion King.

13. Sandcastle Water Park, Lancashire.

Arcade & Amusement Park in Blackpool

14. Gloucestershire Cathedral

Harry Potter film location:  Gryffindor Common Room.

15. Birdland, Gloucestershire

Midway between Cirencester and Stratford-upon Avon at Bourton-on-the-water. GL54 2BN

16. Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire 

Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean. Gloucestershire.  Film location of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1Shakespeare’s final home: Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire

17. Bewilderwood, Norwich

Family adventure park in Hoveton, Norwich

18. Norwich

England’s only UNESCO City of Literature and Black Beauty

19. The World Museum, Liverpool, Merseyside

20. Eureka, West Yorkshire

The National Children’s Museum is an interactive educational museum for children in Halifax, West Yorkshire

21. Bronte Parsonage Museum, Yorkshire

Bourton-on-the-Waterworth near Bradford in Yorkshire. The museum is close to the Brontë Waterfalls and the Brontë Bridge, considered to be the sisters’ favourite places in the village of Haworth where they grew up.

22. Whitby, Yorkshire

A seaside town and port with a strong literary history including Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  It’s home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, where Cædmon, the earliest recognised English poet, lived.

23. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Yorkshire 

The YSP is an open-air gallery in West Bretton near Wakefield in West Yorkshire, England, showing work by British and international artists, including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. The park’s collection of works by Moore is one of the largest open-air displays of his bronzes in Europe. This is a special one for Leah.

24. The Deep Aquarium. Hull, Yorkshire

Europe’s deepest viewing tunnel.

25. Goathland Station 

Climb aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where you can enjoy a ride through picturesque countryside before pulling into Goathland Station, which doubled as Hogsmeade station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

26. Ride the Hogwarts Express 

Ride the Hogwarts Express from Fort William, Scotland on a train called the Jacobite.

Nottingham

27. DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum, Nottinghamshire

28. Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, Nottingham

29. Birmingham 

Discover Tolkien’s childhood playground. Sarehole Mill believed to be the inspiration behind Hobbiton and the Shire. Walk the Tolkien trail.  Visit Moseley Bog woodland, which is recalled in Tolkien’s description of the “Old Forest”.Content provided by Marketing Birmingham

30. Think Tank Science Museum, Birmingham

 

Credit:www.pooh-country.co.uk

31. Ashdown Forest,Sussex.

Winnie the Pooh.  Play pooh sticks.

32. Tandem Bike Brighton, East Sussex

Hire a tandem bicycle to explore Brighton and Hove, East Sussex

33. Famous Five Adventure, Corfe Castle, Dorset

Nick’s Granddad, Brian, bought him the Famous Five series and he loved reading them. Going on a Famous Five adventure will be a highlight for him and this Definitely deserves a spot on our Great British Bucket List.

34. Portland Lighthouse, Dorset

35. Durdle Door, Dorset

A natural limestone arch on the JurassicCoast near Lulworth in Dorset with a secluded beach.  A must-see landmark.

36. Story Museum, Oxford

Alice’s Day is on the 1st of July every year. Alice’s world comes to life in the city as the Story Museum puts on a fairytale festival. A visit to the Story Museum makes our list, but it will be extra special if we can be there for the festival.

37. Christ Church College, Oxford University

Harry Potter Film location

38. Canterbury Tales, Canterbury

Experience a family-friendly medieval reconstruction of 14th century England in Canterbury.

39. Wookey Hole, Somerset

Underground World in Wells, Somerset

40. Isles of Scilly

For an amazing Birding and Wildlife experience.

41. Lake District Tour, Cumbria

I’ve always wanted to visit The Lake District.

42. Swallows & Amazons, Cumbria

Swallows and Amazons landscape cruise in Derwentwater, Cumbria.

43. Houseboat River Cruise 

Anywhere in the country.  As long as I can keep Kate inside and safe from the sides my nerves will last long enough so we can get this one under the belt.

 

44. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle is another Harry Potter filming site – Madame Hooch’s broom flying lessons.  Play Quidditch.

Lacock

45. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Recognise Hogwarts’ interiors, including Professor Snape’s classroom. See if we can spot Horace Slughorn’s home from The Half-Blood Prince as we explore the village.

46 Falmouth Art Gallery, Cornwall

This gallery won awards for getting kids into museums! Must be worth a visit and a spot on our Great British Bucket List.

lizard peninsula
www.greentraveller.co.uk

47. Lizard Peninsula

The Lizard is the most south-westerly point of the British mainland and has its own unique landscape and stunning views.

Source: VisitCornwall.com

48. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

Near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The gardens are typical of the 19th-century Gardenesque style with areas of different character and in different design styles.

49. Yorkshire Parishes

Ancestry research in Bingley and Bradford. This makes the list because it’s personal and I’ve been burning to get there for more than ten years.  I hit a research wall in 2007 and need to visit those parishes to get information pre-dating +-1760.

50. Thorpe Park, Surrey

Awesome Amusement Park in Chertsey.

 

28 LITERARY HOT SPOTS TO VISIT IN ENGLAND

Some of these literary hotspots are on our bucket list, but not all.  It’s a resourceful little map though, isn’t it?

Photo Credit: This awesome interactive map of the literary hotspots in England and some of the content in this post is from Visit England.

Photo Credits:  If not otherwise stated the photo sources are Wikipedia and Visit England.

BUCKET LIST ITEMS DONE AND TICKED OFF

  • Stonehenge
  • Avebury Circle
  • Bath
  • Musical at the London Palladium:  How to solve a problem like Maria’s winner perform The sound of music by Sir Andre Lloyd Webber.
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Cornwall
  • The Science Museum
  • Natural History Musem
  • Tower of London
  • London Hop-on-Hop-off bus
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Loch Ness & Aberdeen
  • Blenheim Palace.

 

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