As another half-term holiday approaches, parents up and down the land will be seeking-out activities to do with their children. Hopefully, the weather will be good, which, when mine were younger, meant picnics in the park, walks in woodlands or county cycle rides. As they get a bit older, these are not always as exciting as they once were and it is often the case that parents have to provide at least one ‘centrepiece’ activity, something that is a bit more special. You could do worse than provide a literary slant to such an outing, so here are a few suggestions:
Hill Top, Cumbria
Former home of Beatrix Potter, now in the care of the National Trust. A must for lovers of Peter Rabbit, which may now have added resonance after the release of the film earlier this year.
Haydays Festival, Hay-on-Wye
The annual Herefordshire literary festival runs from 24 May to 3 June and there is as always a packed programme for children and adults alike, with forest schools and crafts, as well as the to-be-expected author talks. Tickets can be booked here.
Edinburgh International Children’s Festival
At the other end of the UK, there will be lots of fun and performance in Edinburgh between 26 May-3 June. See the full programme here.
Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books, Newcastle upon Tyne
I was living in Newcastle when this place opened and I’m thrilled to see its thriving. They have a fantastic programme of events. Take a look here.
Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, Bucks.
I haven’t met a child who doesn’t love Roald Dahl and so a visit here would be a huge treat. It’s the former home of the author, where he lived for 36 years and they have a running programme of events. Full details here.
Harry Potter experience, Warner Bros Studios, near Watford
At the pricier end of the spectrum and tickets need to be booked in advance, so it’s likely to be busy at half term, but a treat for die-hard fans of the young wizard. Details here.
Alternatively, you could visit Alnwick Castle, where much of the action was filmed, or Kings Cross station, and stand at platform nine and three quarters!
Stratford upon Avon
For year 9s and upwards, attention will be turning to GCSEs. A Shakespeare text is compulsory on the English literature syllabus, so a visit to Stratford, the Bard’s birthplace and home, will give some context. You could even take in a play. Details of all the relevant places are here.
I hope that whets your appetites.
I would love to hear your suggestions, particularly any events that may be a bit cheaper!
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