New family day trips for 2021 – from a woodland theme park to a Zog the Dragon trail

FAMILIES across the UK are looking forward to a year of fun, adventures and activities as we aim to return to normal in 2021.

And though we can't travel right now, there are plenty of exciting new things to do once we can, so you can start planning now.

Trisha Harbord has selected 21 of the most brilliant new days out for 2021.

Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed to have an amazing time, from braving a new monster attraction, hopping on to a new theme park ride, celebrating two zoos’ 90th birthdays or following a foodie trail.

And if you're not local to the area, we've selected the best hotels or holiday homes nearby to turn your day out into a short break.


Prepare for an exhilarating downhill challenge from Easter in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons.

The new five-kilometre Kermit trail is suitable not just for competent mountain-bikers, but also for beginners, as its unique design allows for complete speed control.

This exciting family adventure, with bermed – or banked – corners, rock slabs, rollercoaster sections and exhilarating tree-lined flow sections, is one of more than 40 trails run by BikePark Wales in the beautiful Gethin Woodland Centre near Merthyr Tydfil. All equipment, including bikes and helmets, can be hired. See 

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £275

Hotel stays from £39 per night with


There's a monster attraction opening in Bath in the spring, telling the story of Mary Shelley and her creepy creation, Frankenstein.

As visitors tour the House of Frankenstein over four floors, including a dank, foreboding basement, they will discover the story behind the author’s complex and often tragic life and how she created her monster.

Mary wrote most of this timeless classic while living in lodgings in the city’s Abbey Churchyard in 1816. Unusual artefacts, vintage items, body parts and interactive experiences help to make the visit even more memorable.

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £275  

Hotel stays from £72 per night with


He's the best-loved dragon in the world. And Zog, created by award-winning author Julia Donaldson, is about to land at Warwick Castle.

He’s the star of a new interactive trail and a host of activities planned to help children of all ages to learn new skills, just like he did at Dragon School. Highlights along the way include soaring over the top of the castle without actually leaving the ground, testing out the roar-o-meter to find out whether you’re loud enough for a dragon and learning how to capture a princess.

Children will collect a stamp for every task they complete, and the trail will be available every day from February half-term until September.

Hotel stays from £65 per night with


An epic new multi-million-pound land is opening at LEGOLAND Windsor, the biggest expansion since the park opened 25 years ago. Mythica: World Of Mythical Creatures will feature exhilarating new rides, including one never seen before in the UK.

Major details of the new land, launched in the spring, are being kept under wraps but there have been hints at what to expect – huge footprints shaking the resort, a winged shadow flying overhead and an ice storm engulfing the park’s entrance.

Tickets are from £29 – see


Award-winning BeWILDerwood is opening its second forest of family fun.

The new park near Whitchurch, Cheshire, will feature all the favourites at the original Norfolk park – treehouses, wobbly wires, broken bridges, slippery slopes and characters including crocklebogs, twiggles and parasquawks.

BeWILDerwood, planning to open in the spring, is based on the magical series of children’s books written by local author Tom Blofeld.
For further details, see 

Hotel stays from £50 per night with


Foodies will love a new self-guided trail to taste home-made fare in south Devon.

Starting in the waterfront town of Salcombe, you will be taken on a culinary discovery around the estuary and South Hams.

Following a map, the Salcombe food and drink trail will include a gin school where you can learn how to make your own tipple, a chilli farm to sample delicious preserves and chocolate, an ice-cream maker, a lobster and fish bistro and seafood served from a vintage van kitchen.

There are some top restaurants taking part too, plus events and festivals.

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £275

Hotel stays from £60 per night with


Celebrate the life and work of one of England’s greatest writers at the Jane Austen Regency Week.

The festival, held from June 19-27, takes place in the Hampshire area of the South Downs National Park, kicking off with carriage rides, market stalls and dancing.

Events, including talks, workshops, themed walks, music and dining will be held around the market town of Alton and Chawton, where Jane lived and worked.

Jane Austen’s House is now a museum and garden where she wrote six novels. Tickets go on sale in February and can be booked at 

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £275  

Hotel stays from £60 per night with


Two of England’s greatest zoos are celebrating their 90th birthdays with new attractions.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, near Dunstable, is opening a children’s play area and interactive trail explaining how the keepers care for the animals.

Chester Zoo’s special events include the opening of the Latin American Wetland Aviary in March.

You can spot the region’s precious birds from Caribbean flamingos to scarlet ibis at the immersive walk-through experience.

Meanwhile, ZSL London Zoo has teamed up with creators of the children’s classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar to open a new outdoor trail at Easter.
See and

Whipsnade Hotel stays from £55 per night with

Chester Hotel stays from £69 per night with


Let's hope we are all sent to Coventry – it’s the UK City of Culture 2021 and there’s an array of events lined up.

Highlights include the opening performance in May by Coventry Moves, which will transform the city through breathtaking installations, performance and digital works.

In June, an artwork entitled The Walk will arrive in the city, commemorating the 5,000-mile journey of fictional refugee Little Amal and also to celebrate the history of refugees in Coventry, the UK’s only City of Peace and Reconciliation.

From September to December, the city will host the world-renowned Turner Prize.

Events also include the UK Asian Film Festival, a production shedding light on climate change, and a range of music, dance, comedy and theatre productions. See

Coventry Hotel stays from £69 per night with


There's a tornado about to hit Paultons Park in the New Forest.
A new world called Tornado Springs, based on a Midwest desert town in 1950s America, opens on March 19 at the resort also known for its Peppa Pig World.

The four-acre attraction, geared for children aged three to 14, features eight thrilling rides including the Storm Chaser rollercoaster, a spinning carriage ride that reaches 20 metres above the ground, trekking tractors and a driving school.

There’s also Jesse’s Route 83 Diner and Al’s shop selling sweets and gifts.  Hampshire’s Paultons Park has more than 70 rides and attractions.

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £289

Hotel stays from £55 per night with


Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen. Nottingham’s famous outlaw is legendary but there’s so much more to learn about his links to Nottingham Castle.

The castle, dating back to 1068, along with the Ducal Palace and sprawling cave system is re-opening in the spring after several years to carry out a £30million redevelopment.

Besides Robin, it also has links to Richard the Lionheart and the English Civil War.

The history of the city is also showcased in the museum with examples of alabaster, stoneware, artworks and Nottingham’s world-famous lace.
And there’s a Robin Hood Gallery Experience where you can test your archery skills against the man himself. See

Hotel stays from £49 per night with


Gardeners are in for a treat in 2021. RHS Bridgewater Manchester, the largest gardening project in Europe, joins the prestigious RHS portfolio on May 11 and expects to have one million visitors a year.

The 156-acre garden, in the grounds of historic Worsley New Hall near Manchester city centre, is the first to be added in 17 years.

It features a kitchen garden, heritage orchard, therapeutic garden and an 11-acre walled garden, one of the largest in the UK. See

Events are also planned to celebrate Oxford Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary ( and the 20th anniversary of Lincolnshire’s “lost gardens” in Easton (

Hotel stays from £33 per night with


An exciting year for tourism in Durham. The 1950s town at the fantastic Beamish Museum, near Stanley, is expanding again with a fried fish shop, café, the home and studio of mining artist Norman Cornish and a hairdresser set to open. See

See more of the North West landscapes on The Northern Saints Trails, a new series of six walking trails. They reflect the saints’ journeys and their connections with the North East, with Durham Cathedral at their heart.

You could stroll along the coast on The Way Of The Sea, from Warkworth to North Shields, or visit Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel Of The North, while walking The Angel’s Way from Seaton Sluice to Durham. See

Hotel stays from £39 per night with


Classic car lovers will be zooming off to the new Morgan Experience Centre.

The facility at the company’s home in the Malvern Hills is a great day out with factory tours, drives, an interactive museum, shop and restaurant.
You can see how the sports car is made with a guided tour of the production line. Adult ticket from £26, child £13.

But if you want to splash out £150, you can get behind the wheel of the motoring icon and take a passenger  with you for an hour-long drive.

You can also hire Morgan’s most popular model, Plus Four, which was first made in 1950, for £235 a day or £635 for a weekend. See

Hotel stays from £50 per night with


Scotland's history, heritage and culture will be showcased at a new 2021 visitor centre in the Scottish borders.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland tells the story through one of the world’s largest tapestries, created by 1,000 stitchers from across the country.
It is made up of 160 panels and 300 miles of wool which would stretch from the border with England to the tip of Shetland.

The visitor centre in Galashiels, focusing on all things Scotland from Mary Queen of Scots to Sir Walter Scott, rugby, football, movies and music, has an interactive display, exhibitions, audio guides, gift shop and café. See

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £289 

Hotel stays from £69 per night with


There's nothing better than a day out at the seaside.

Cleethorpe’s seafront is being transformed with a 72ft-tall white palm – taller than the Angel Of The North. The structure, towering over the  resort’s North Prom, will be lit at night and have a “shadow” of black paving, partly made from recycled material from the Lincolnshire town’s beaches.

The regeneration scheme also includes illuminations, “funky fitness” street furniture and artwork.

To help promote the coastline, a former golf course at Sandilands, between Sutton on Sea and Chapel St Leonards will become a National Trust reserve to protect wildlife, with a café and viewing platform. See

Hotel stays from £45 per night with


A flock of sheep is about to run through the streets of Derby.

A spectacular trail of 30 5ft-high decorated rams will be placed around the town from May 27 to August 22.

The sculptures are modelled on Derby’s mythical ram which, according to legend, was ten yards high with enormous horns and a huge flowing fleece.

And if you’d like to take one of the rams home, an auction is taking place at Derby Museum and Art Gallery on September 9, in aid of the city’s museums. See 

Hotel stays from £42 per night with


Home has never been more important than over the past year, so let’s celebrate it.

Museum Of The Home, in Hoxton, East London, is re-opening in the spring after a major redevelopment with lots of exciting new attractions.
The new Home Galleries will explore themes such as love and loss, housework, entertainment and style, displaying a 300-year-old collection of objects.

You can learn about historic and contemporary ways of living, including a Victorian period room and a 1970s West Indian front room.
The gardens have also been restored with a Living Green Rooftop. See 

Hotel stays from £89 per night with


Find your wow in East Yorkshire, which is welcoming tourists in 2021 with a new message: We all need a bit of Wow right now.

They’ve come up with ten things to add to your bucket list from walking the Wolds Way with 79 miles of tranquil countryside trails to climbing the 113 steps of Beverley Minster on a rooftop tour to discover things normally hidden from the public.

Or how about spotting a puffin or two? Around half a million seabirds gather on the RSPB Bempton Cliffs reserve between March and October.

For a bit of ‘wow’ in the kitchen, learn to cook like a chef by booking yourself on to one of the courses at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School. Head to for more details.     

  • 3-night breaks staying in a holiday home, lodge or cottage – from £289   

Hotel stays from £49 per night with


A royal visitor will help celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the Royal Harbour Ramsgate.

The identity of the royal is still to be announced, but he or she will unveil a bronze statue of King George IV, who set off from the port with the Royal Squadron in 1821, en route to Hanover.  

He was so impressed by the hospitality he was shown that he decreed it be declared a “Royal Harbour” – a status unique in mainland Britain.
September events also include a parade from the town centre to the harbour, a variety show, heritage displays, visits of historic and modern ships and demonstrations from Ramsgate’s youth and theatre groups. See

Hotel stays from £57 per night with


The once rich and powerful Abbey of St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, will celebrate 1,000 years of history from April 26.

Several events have been held over from 2020.

One highlight will be on the weekend of May 1-2 when 100 Benedictine monks and nuns and other communities from across Britain will meet for the first time since the dissolution of the monasteries 500 years ago.

Other events include exhibitions, concerts and pilgrimage walks, and celebrations will end with a spectacular light show on November 20, St Edmund’s Day. See

Hotel stays from £59 per night with

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