If you’re looking for a special summer day out that will create smiles all round plus long-lasting memories, check out these four favourite UK venues.
Knowsley Safari Park Knowsley Safari Park near Liverpool promises an awesome animal adventure from the comfort of your own car. The 5-mile route around the park winds its way through ten different zones – each designed to recreate the natural habitat of the creatures that live there. So you can snap close-up shots of bison in the ‘Eurasia zone’, and get face to face with Africa’s apex predator in the lion reserve. The baboon enclosure offers another exciting experience because these cheeky chaps take as much interest in us, as we do in them. And they love nothing better than climbing onto cars and wrenching off windscreen wipers and radio aerials. So if you don’t want the baboons monkeying around with your motor, take the car-friendly route.
Eden Project When the Eden Project fist opened its doors back in 2001, the press called it the “eighth wonder of the world”, and it’s been wowing visitors ever since – all 20 million of them. And while the attractions have expanded to include concerts, exhibitions, plus England’s longest zip wire, it’s still the extraordinary biomes that draw people here. These immense inflated structures house many of the world’s rarest and most incredible plants, sourced from diverse habitats around the globe. The largest biome is home to a self-contained rainforest, while another protects a mini Mediterranean environment from the Cornish climate. Yet these man-made marvels are more than just mega greenhouses, because the founding principle of the Eden Project was to teach people about the remarkable relationship between humankind and the natural world – a message that’s perhaps even more important today.
Surf Snowdonia Snowdonia Adventure Park in North Wales offers a thrilling variety of nature-inspired activities, from gorge walking to coasteering. But it’s the awesome inland surf lagoon that makes this place truly unique. Set against a majestic mountain backdrop, the Snowdonia lagoon is not just the world’s first inland surfing pool - at 985 feet, it’s the longest. The surf is powered by a mechanical generator that sends down a wave every 90 seconds, and when they turn up the power, it can unleash a six-footer that can be ridden for 150 meters. With a closely controlled environment and expert instruction on hand, this is the perfect place to learn to surf. And with a guaranteed 40 waves a minute, it’s great for experts too – because the surf’s always up!
Alton Towers The hugely popular resort of Alton Towers in Staffordshire encompasses a water park, spa, mini golf, hotel complex, plus the world-famous theme park - home of the corkscrewing Nemesis. The park has something for the entire family, from the Tree Fu Tom Training Camp in the park’s CBeebies Land, to the fiery Wicker Man - the world’s most immersive rollercoaster experience. If the sun is shining, head for the water park where you can get wet and wild on the ‘Rush ‘n’ Rampage’ water slides, the ‘Flash Floods’ outdoor flume, or the ‘Master Blaster’ aqua-chute. Or if you’re looking for something rather more relaxing, take a stroll around Alton Towers’ beautiful ornamental gardens.