South west London’s Kensington Gardens has been rated fifth in the UK for best free nature day out for kids.
The ranking is based on research by shoemaker Clarks, who analysed thousands of 5* reviews on TripAdvisor.
The gardens, one of London’s eight Royal Parks, are known for their mix of old and new park pastimes, as well as their copious amounts of beautiful green space.
“We are delighted that Kensington Gardens has been named as one of the best free nature days out for kids,” said Pete Lawrence, Biodiversity Manager for The Royal Parks.
Opportunities for children and adults to learn about and enjoy nature in the Royal Parks include wildlife trails, downloadable bird spotting sheets and nature-based activities run by the Parks’ Mission: Invertebrate and Learning Teams.
In first place for best free nature day out was Bournemouth Beach thanks to its 5,844 5* reviews.
In second and third place was Edinburgh. The city’s Royal Botanic Gardens, a tourist attraction and scientific centre for the study and conservation of plants, received 5,541 5* reviews.
Princes Street Gardens, home to a variety of plants and flowers, followed closely behind with 4,515 5* reviews.
Rounding out the top five was Wales’ Cardiff Bay with 3,599 5* reviews.
The research also revealed the UK’s top free cultural, historical, educational and animal themed days out, reviewing over 1,000 attractions across every category and county.
Home to over 170 museums – many of them free – London took the cake for the best place to head for a cultural day out.
The British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the V&A were the top best free educational activities for London.
Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland and Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum also made the top ten.
The greatest places for a historical day out are in the north, with Edinburgh Old Town, an area of centuries-old buildings and narrow alleys, coming in first.
Next up was the Shambles in York, a quaint area with cobbled streets and overhanging buildings dating as far back as the 14th century.
Allyson Caseley, an educational psychologist from New Zealand, says days out in the holiday are great opportunities for kids to make learning connections in fresh, different ways – seeing, hearing, smelling, talking, moving.
Caseley said: “Going to a farm and seeing piglets is great.
“Going home and telling grandparents, showing photos, making piglet collage pictures, finding out about different breeds of pigs all turn the experience of a single day into a network of connections that make more connections.
“For many children, holiday outings provide them with the opportunity to be creative, to feel the emotional joy, awe, sadness, wonder or admiration that can inspire them to write poetry, draw, dance, re-enact a scene, paint, make a video clip, be the television reporter interviewing the original castle residents or the expert explaining what that scientist did and why it is so important.”