The summer holidays are upon us and, with the easing of restrictions seeing many places back in the swing of things once again, it’s time to get friends and family together and catch up on some well-deserved fun. In this double feature we take a look at family friendly restaurants close to attractions in the North and the South of England.
Where to Go: The World of Beatrix Potter, Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere, LA23 3BX and Hill Top House, Near Sawrey, Ambleside, LA22 0LF
Discover interactive exhibits which tell the story of Beatrix Potter's writing, as well as her contribution to Lakeland conservation; then visit her old home, a 17th century farmhouse now owned by the National Trust.
Where to Eat: Kysty, Ambleside
This intimate bistro has a cosy, homely feel and its shelves bursting with cookery books will soon draw the eye of any budding young chef. Dishes showcase the season’s latest harvest, all sourced from within the county, and children are equally well-looked-after with their own menu of top-notch produce.
Where to Go: Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 525 Ocean Boulevard, Blackpool, FY4 1EZ
A family owned and operated amusement park founded in 1896, chock-full of rides and attractions.
Where to Eat: Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston
You cannot fail to like this characterful pub which has something for everyone, with its deli, farm shop, art gallery and five greenhouses for year-round outside dining. Gutsy menus also offer plenty of choice, including some tempting vegan and plant-based options.
Where to Go: National Space Centre, Exploration Dr, Leicester, LE4 5NS
Explore the science of space through six interactive galleries; experience the UK's largest domed planetarium; and marvel at the 42m high Rocket Tower.
Where to Eat: Lighthouse, Kibworth Beauchamp
It might seem a strange name when it’s nowhere near the sea but it makes more sense when you try some of the great seafood dishes. The pizzas are also a hit with families, as are the nibbles, which are great for sharing. Many dishes come in two sizes and there’s also a children’s menu.
Where to Go: National Railway Museum, Leeman Rd, York, YO26 4XJ
Uncover the story of rail transport in Britain and learn about its impact on society in the past, present and future – and meet the fastest steam locomotive in the world.
Where to Eat: Dawnay Arms, Newton-on-Ouse
Find a spot in the garden of this handsome village pub and take in lovely views down the river. From the young to the old, everyone will be satisfied, courtesy of a well-composed children’s menu, a good range of pizzas and a selection of hearty British dishes.
Tyne & Wear
Where to Go: Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, S Shore Rd, Gateshead, NE8 3BA
Set within a converted riverside flour mill, BALTIC hosts frequently changing contemporary art exhibitions, events and free family activities. Take in some great river views from the viewing platform.
Where to Eat: Träkol, Gateshead
A good match for the contemporary art exhibitions, Träkol is unusually set within a collection of waterside shipping containers. It’s a fashionable place with its own microbrewery, and cooking takes place over an open fire. Its mix of small plates and feasting options make it a great way to share a family meal.
Tyne & Wear
Where to Go: Hadrian’s Wall Path, Wallsend to the Tyne Valley
Running 84 miles coast-to-coast, from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend, this long-distance footpath runs alongside the former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia; now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to Eat: Broad Chare, Newcastle upon Tyne
Just off the Hadrian’s Wall Path, beside the quay, is this friendly, welcoming pub housed within a converted warehouse. The cosy bar serves appetising bar snacks and over 50 beers, while the first floor dining room offers hearty, good value dishes which won’t break the bank.
Where to Go: Cadbury World, Linden Rd, Birmingham, B30 1JR
A self-guided exhibition tour which tells the history of chocolate and the Cadbury company. Explore the different zones, watch stage shows, have a go at chocolate making and visit the world’s biggest Cadbury shop.
Where to Eat: Boot Inn, Lapworth
This big, buzzy pub comes with a spacious garden and terrace perfect for sunny days – if there’s enough of you, book the tepee to make it even more fun. The wide-ranging menu suits all tastes and includes some tasty sharing boards and a dedicated kids’ selection.
Where to Go: Royal Armouries Museum, Armouries Dr, Leeds, LS10 1LT
One of the world’s oldest museums, the Royal Armouries national collection of arms and armour started life in the Tower of London in the 15th century.
Where to Eat: Tharavadu, Leeds
Its name alone is reason enough to visit here: Tharavadu was a system of joint-family practised by Keralans until the 1940s – and is now often a term used to refer to the family home. It’s a simple-looking restaurant but the superbly spiced dishes bring plenty of colour and excitement – and prices are pleasing on the wallet.