Last year me and the whole fam packed up our things for a week and rented a gorgeous house on England’s south coast. It was bliss.. The perfect break, and there was so much on offer to do! I definitely recommend it for family trips, especially for the little ones! It was the loveliest sight seeing my baby niece touching and playing with sand for the first time (and yes, she tried to eat it at first!)!
There is so much to do other than simply going to the beach, though! England’s south coast is home to a number of historic sightseeing options. This part of United Kingdom boasts stately homes, amazing castles and some of the country’s most fascinating museums. If you’re thinking of arranging a trip, here’s some inspiration for what you can do – all child friendly and free!
Kids of any age (and adults!) are going to enjoy a little exploring sesh in ancient castles and forts! And you’ll find two of the best on the south coast. Deal Castle in Deal, Kent, is regarded as one of the country’s finest examples of a 16th century Tudor artillery castle. Built by King Henry VIII, the entire castle can be explored including the captain’s residence and the spooky dark passages (fans of horror, take note!) that wind throughout the bastions. Southsea Castle in Portsmouth was built in 1544 and has been used as a military prison and lighthouse, as well as helping to protect Britain from invasion; the castle is open every day except Monday and admission is free.
Image Credit: treehouse1977 used under the Creative Commons license.
The entire family can spend hours exploring the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and probably still not see all of the history that’s on offer here. Explore the new Mary Rose museum and view the ship that was sunk 1545 and raised from the seabed in 1982. The museum is located right next door to the actual 104 gun, HMS Victory warship, which was Lord Nelson’s ship during the battle of Trafalgar and can now be explored by the public. Other ships on display include the 1860 HMS Warrior and the fully restored World War II HMS Alliance.
There is a wealth of historic buildings dotted along England’s south coast and many are open to the public. The Royal Pavilion in Brighton is one of the most unique buildings in the UK and is home to Royal works of art and furniture as well as boasting an amazing Regency garden area. Preston Manor, also location in Brighton, is a delightful Edwardian country house featuring servants’ quarters, period furniture and artwork, a walled garden and even a family pet cemetery.
These are just a few of the historic highlights on offer during a trip to the south coast. It was only an hours drive for us and we were soon exploring all of England’s rich history through its beautifully restored buildings and fascinating museums, and, of course, lovely seaside beaches!