August Bank Holiday: The Ultimate Family Guide

Messy hands

It’s the best Bank Holiday of the year -- especially after the May Bank Holidays were a bit of a cultural write-off. So what have you got planned? If the answer is “not much”, then take a look through our suggestions below.

Deals And Discounts

A great place to start is to see if you can pick up a discount ticket to an attraction. Kidadl has plenty of deals in place, with up to 55% off the standard price. Take a look through our list here, which includes such attractions as the London Eye, Warwick Castle, Legoland Windsor and the Tower of London.

Theme Parks

For those in the south-east, both Chessington World of Adventures and Thorpe Park recently reopened. The attractions, only a few miles apart, do have different offerings. Chessington is better suited for families with smaller children, while Thorpe Park is for those after a thrill. See our compare-and-contrast article.

Not far away, Legoland Windsor has also reopened. We’ve sketched out some thoughts on how to get the most from the park during a period of social distancing and extra precaution. 

Meanwhile, the perennial family favourite of Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig herself, is also open down near Southampton.

Museums and Galleries

Many of the major museums and galleries are now open. A day out in Greenwich is always a winner with the kids, where the Cutty Sark, Royal Observatory and Queen’s House are all back in action, and the National Maritime Museum returns in September.

A trip down to Portsmouth is always an excellent option, especially now the historic ships HMS Victory, HMS Warrior and the Mary Rose are all once again open. While you’re there, be sure to book tickets for the vertiginous Spinnaker Tower.

Browse our guide to all the other major museums that reopened in August. (September coming soon.)

Animal Magic

A trip to the zoo always goes down well with children, especially younger ones. London Zoo is, of course, now open once again, but it’s not the only animal home in the region. We’ve got a roundup here of nine excellent places to see larger animals, all within a short journey of the capital. We’ve also compared and contrasted Whipsnade Zoo and Woburn Safari Park, two of the larger animal sanctuaries but just a few miles apart from one another -- and easily reached from the M1.

For animals of a more rustic persuasion, your family might like to try supporting one of the many farms across the region geared up for family visits.  

Great Outdoors

If the long months of lockdown got you itching for the great outdoors, then Bank Holiday is the perfect excuse. Try our guide to the best woods (and even forests), or canal routes in the London area, for a local end-of-summer walk. Alternatively, get tickets to Kew Gardens and wander around the many acres of exotic trees and plants (great playground, too). Meanwhile, this family-focussed route around Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens will reveal wonders you never knew existed. And parakeets

Cycling’s another option. You could try one of these cycling resources to plot out a family friendly route in your part of the world.

If you’re looking for  inspiration for family walks in the Home Counties, try our guides to Berkshire; Essex, Herts, Beds and Bucks; Kent; Suffolk and Norfolk or Surrey. Or visit one of these five amazing open spaces near the M25.

If we get a late hot spell, you might consider taking the family for a wild swim in a lake or river. Alternatively, a dip and a slide in one of these recently reopened waterparks might be more your thing.

Stately Homes And Historic Places

Not all historic buildings and stately homes have reopened, but many have. The big, famous venues like the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace always offer an unforgettable day out, though may be busy over Bank Holiday. 

Try a little further out and we can particularly recommend Hever Castle in Kent and Audley End in Essex. Knebworth House in Hertfordshire boasts both an excellent dinosaur trail and adventure playground. Plus, quite a few National Trust properties have also reopened their oversized doors to visitors.

Last-Minute Short Breaks

If you can still find accommodation, it’s not too late to drive off for a mini-break in one of England’s many gorgeous regions. We’ve got guides to Blackpool, Cornwall, the Cotswolds, Devon, Dorset, Kent, Norfolk, North-west England, Scotland and Suffolk. We’ve also got a guide on how to do a countryside staycation.

Even if you’ve left it too late to book accommodation, you can still make a grand day out of the Bank Holiday by travelling a little further. How about a day trip to the New Forest, for example, where trees, trees, pigs, wild ponies, more trees and a heap of visitor attractions await?

Free Fun

You don't have to spend a fortune to have family fun over Bank Holiday. The best things in life are free. And to prove it, we've rounded up 10 free activities you can do with the kids over the long weekend.

Staying Home

Many families, still cautious of exposure to coronavirus, will opt to stay at home -- or at least their local neighbourhood. If that’s you, then check out our guides to staying safe at playgrounds, bowling alleys and skating rinks, restaurants and softplay. And revisit if you’re following all the rules in setting up a socially distanced playdate.

If you’re shielding, or are otherwise planning on spending Bank Holiday at home, then you’ll love our long list of games, activities and inspirational fun to be had without leaving the house.



At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.

Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.

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