The best events and activities for expat families in the UK
Finding your new accommodation, researching the best schools, and ensuring you have adequate international health insurance in place are all vital aspects of relocating your family to a new country. But once you’ve got the essentials in order, it’s also important to start building your new life. Thankfully, for expats relocating to the UK there’s a wealth of culture, character and charm just waiting to be explored.
This article reveals events and activities across the UK that can help expat families adjust to their new surroundings, as well as improve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The UK might not be renowned for having the fairest weather in the world, but when the sun does shine its residents know how to make the most of it. Festivals not only offer the adventure, discovery and inspiration for families, but they also present a great opportunity to get back to basics with the kids – camping and alfresco dining are an essential part of the festival scene.
Top family-friendly festivals include:
Latitude: A chilled celebration of live music, comedy, theatre, spoken word and more! Located in the county of Suffolk (roughly a 2-3 hour drive north-east of London), Latitude also offers its own ‘kids area’ with plenty of nature themed workshops and crafty activities to keep the little ones entertained.
Camp Bestival: Perfect for families with young children, Camp Bestival is located in Dorset, on the south coast of England. The festival itself takes place in the grounds of Lulworth Castle and offers music, spoken word and live theatre enjoyed by adults and young children alike.
The Edinburgh Festival: If camping and getting back to nature aren’t your style then Edinburgh, in Scotland, hosts ‘the largest arts festival on earth’. Lasting the entire month of August, over 300 venues across the city put on an array of events spanning comedy, theatre, circus, musicals and more.
History and science
Wherever you relocate to within the four nations that make up the United Kingdom, you’ll be sure to find yourself surrounded by the country’s rich past. Visiting a castle or aristocratic manor house can be an exciting way to get kids involved in learning more about its history too.
The UK is strewed with castles in various sizes, styles and states of repair, most of which have excellent guided tours and activities to keep the kids engaged. The most famous include The Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle and Warwick Castle.
If you and your family prefer an interactive experience, then guided history walks are a great way to get to know your new town or city. They are commonplace in touristic locations – ask at your nearest tourist information office.
The City of York has its very own Jorvik Viking Centre that depicts the Norse and Viking roots of the city. The centre also puts on a ‘nine-day festival of all things Viking’ throughout York, in February.
Bristol, in the west of England, is home to the UK’s only 3D Planetarium. The mind-blowing experience forms part of the At-Bristol Science Centre, which offers interactive exhibits, special events and seasonal shows - a great way for your kids to discover all our universe has to offer.
Staying healthy and outdoor activities
When relocating to the UK, the grounds of your home may be smaller than you’re accustomed to. So, it’s important to embrace the wealth of communal areas and green spaces that are the jewel of most UK cities, towns and villages.
Spending the weekend with you family at your local park is a fun way to take a break from working life and keep you and your kids healthy. In residential areas it’s common to find play areas for children (with slides, swings, sand pits, etc) and fields for sporting activities and dog-walking. You may also find that these are great places to scope out local team sports and clubs for you and your children.
Some cities and towns also have larger parks and showgrounds, which play host to festivals, events and organised activities throughout the year.
If you’re looking to completely escape city life, then the UK also has a breath-taking array of national parks. Although a relatively small island, the landscape of the UK changes dramatically from one end to the other. There is a little bit of everything for outdoor lovers to explore:
- Mountains in the Peak District, Snowdonia in Wales and the Scottish Highlands.
- Vast woodlands like Sherwood Forest in the Midlands (known as the home of Robin Hood), the Forest of Dean on the England-Wales border and the New Forest in Hampshire.
- The lochs of Scotland (including Loch Ness, home to the infamous ‘Lochness Monster’) and the lakes of northern England.
- The sweeping moorlands of North Yorkshire and the south east of England.
- Miles and miles of coastlines, from the stunning White Cliffs of Dover and surfer’s paradise of Newquay on the south coast to the wind-swept sands of northern and western beaches.
These are just some of the exciting events and activities that the UK has to offer for you and your family. From the history and culture to glorious great outdoors, you’re sure to find activities to inspire family members of all ages.