Giant’s Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland
Image © Tourism Ireland photographed by Christopher Hill Photographic
The name alone will spark kids’ active imaginations, but when they see the causeway their sense of awe will be off the charts!
Take in the geology, flora and fauna of international importance at this UNESCO World Heritage site as you walk along the Causeway and discover the wishing chair, the harp and the organ – the three collections of curious columns. You can clamber over the rocks, picking out the weird and wonderful formations, and seeing if they match their old nicknames.
Park up at the visitor centre and get to the site via the special shuttle, which has reduced rates for kids. The Centre, which is open daily, provides an exhibition and short audio-visual presentation that allows visitors to learn about the origins of the Causeway, and is the ideal starting point for walks along the coastal and cliff top paths. There are guided walks and the Centre also has a gift shop and visitor facilities.
Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
Hadrian’s Wall marks the northern boundary of the whole Roman Empire, a titanic wall between the civilised world and northern tribes. Hadrian’s Wall is the largest single Roman artefact in the world, and its length was marked with mile-castles and forts every five miles.
One of these, Housestead’s Fort, encourages children to dip into the ancient past by clambering over these evocative ruins. From here you can walk down to Sycamore Gap, a spectacular valley made famous by movies and inspiration to scenes from Game of Thrones. Discover the rich history behind the archaeological remains, using the stone walls as a guide around the village south of the fort as you try to envisage the different chambers and rooms.
All around and about you is Crag Lough, which is home to an array of wildlife and birds. You’re also on three of the National Cycle Network cycle routes, but should pick carefully if you’ve got young or inexperienced riders as what goes down must also come up again!