England Vacation Ideas | Ciao Bambino!

England Vacation Ideas

  • When to Go

    Spring through fall

  • Trip Duration

    7-10 days

Given the lack of language barrier and relative ease of travel, England is an ideal starter trip for families ready to venture overseas. Upon arrival, the memory-making begins as soon as you spot your first red double-decker bus, majestic castle or rolling field lined with medieval stone fences and dotted with sheep. Between its royal residences, first-rate museums and modern cultural marvels, London has enough to keep families busy for a week or more, perhaps with a day trip in the mix. The entire country is rich in history, and well- preserved towns such as Oxford, York and Bath immerse kids in the past. We especially love pairing a few fast-paced days in the capital with a little time to unwind in the Cotswolds countryside or along the Cornish coast.

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London, England, UK

Cotswolds, England, UK

Bath, England, UK

Yorkshire, England, UK

Cornwall, England, UK

Kick Off Your Trip: London

As the saying goes, when one is tired of London, one is tired of life. There are so many bucket-list sights here, and so many diverse neighborhoods and events, that the biggest question is what to prioritize. Families can easily fill a week to 10 days in this international metropolis, especially by incorporating day trips to nearby towns like Windsor, Cambridge or Oxford. If you have only a few days to spend in the city, book a walking or biking tour to maximize sightseeing opportunities, and make use of London’s excellent tube system to cover ground efficiently. Take at least one afternoon to savor the British ritual of teatime, preferably at a venue with a family-friendly twist.

Sample Activities

Bike Tour

More of London’s streets are now pedestrianized, so zipping around the city on two wheels is a safe and enjoyable way to explore the various neighborhoods.

Walking Tour

Whether your family is into Harry Potter, WWII history, spies or royalty, there’s a kid-friendly walking tour tailored for you.

Baking Lesson

Whip up scones, cakes and other tasty treats, just the way the contestants might on the Great British Bake Off.

Children's Tea

Pinkies up for a tea experience that's tailored to little ones, replete with tempting sweets and savories.


When you picture a quintessential English village, it’s likely the Cotswolds region that comes to mind, with its honey-colored limestone cottages, quiet lanes and tree-flanked pastures. For such a rural area full of breathtaking charm, it is surprisingly close to London (just 2 hours by car), and Heathrow is easily accessible. If you’re pressed for time but want a taste of both city and country, London and the Cotswolds make a perfect pairing.

Sample Activities


Visit a private farm for individual instruction and interaction with these majestic birds.

Sheep Dog Experience

Sheep are ubiquitous in rural life throughout the British Isles. Here’s your chance to see the inner workings of herding on a private farm.

Film Highlights Tour

See the locations where Harry Potter and other favorites were filmed on this private expert-led tour.

Palace Tour

A guide escorts you on a stroll through the 18th-century Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill.


Step into the pages of history, quite literally, in this delightful city that inspired authors such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Admire the famous baths the Romans built here, partake of afternoon tea at the Pump Room and wander the streets lined with buildings cloaked in the area’s distinctive golden limestone. If you’d like to venture farther afield, Stonehenge — perhaps the most legendary rock structure in the world — lies a short drive away.

Sample Activities

Walking Tour

A guide will make the lore and legend of this city, which dates back to the Middle Ages, come alive for your family.


Let a driver take you to this famous ancient rock formation. Family members of all ages are fascinated by its mystique.

Photography Tour

Get guidance from an expert as you snap pictures throughout this glowing golden city.

Thermal Spa

Pamper yourself with a dip in the waters for which Bath is named, followed by a relaxing spa treatment.


For those looking for a true town-and-country experience in England, Yorkshire fits the bill. Easily accessible from London by train, the walled medieval city of York is a family favorite for its walkable center, fantastic museums and historical influences. Though it’s tempting to make a day trip from London, this gem is worth at least two days, so don’t rush it. Crumbling castles, great houses and ruined abbeys dot the surrounding Yorkshire landscape, which rivals the beautiful countryside found in Ireland and Scotland.

Sample Activities

Guided Hike

Opt for a trek along the ancient Hadrian’s Wall or a path that hugs the eastern coast.

Abbey Tour

With an expert guide, explore some of this region's most notable ruined abbeys, such as Whitby and Fountains.

Viking Walk

York's name comes from the Viking word Jorvik, and a guide leads you on a walking tour through Viking-era historical landmarks and more.

Cathedral Tour

York Minster is one of the finest and most storied cathedrals in the UK. See it through the eyes of a historian on this private guided visit.

Cornwall and Devon

If nibbling fish and chips as the salty ocean breeze washes over you sounds appealing, a seaside holiday in Cornwall or Devon is worth the journey to southwest England. There’s more than just scenic coastline here, as castles, tearooms and farm activities provide families with plenty of ways to spend their days. Devon’s beaches and coastal cliffs are studded with fossils, a treat for kids who are fascinated by the prehistoric era.

Sample Activities

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Try your hand at this classic British countryside sport with help from an expert.

Sheep Dog Experience

Children delight at seeing these farm animals in action as they herd their flock and more.

Fossil Hunting

Hunt for fossils of fish and reptiles on the beaches and in the towering cliffs of Devon.

Eden Project

Kids will be fascinated by these bubble-shaped greenhouses, home to biomes from all over the world.

To Know Before You Go

  • Travel to England is suitable for all ages. London’s Tube is a great way to get around, but many stations do not have elevator access and you’ll need to fold up a stroller.
  • Spring, summer and fall are typically relatively mild, though you’ll likely need a coat. Occasional heat waves do occur in summer. Be prepared for rain year-round with waterproof jackets and shoes.
  • If you plan to rent a car, be aware that drivers in England, as in the rest of the UK, drive on the left side of the road.

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