Thanks to Horrible Histories, kids love a castle and there are two at Sherborne – one old and one ‘new’. Take the quiz, feel the history, eat by the lake. Half an hour away and even further back in history is Stonehenge, without a visit to which no childhood is complete.
Move from prehistory to predators at Longleat Safari Park. Get closer than you ever dreamed to lions and tigers, warthogs and wildebeest. Try climbing and caving at Ready2Climb Adventure Zone. Or ride the zip wires, canoe the lake and crash over the assault course at not-for-profit adventure centre Mill on the Brue.
Steam down to Yeovil Railway Centre, see badgers forage for food under the floodlights at badger Watch Dorset, swim outdoors in the splashpark at Greenbank Heated Pool, or see everything from pigs to prairie dogs at the Bush Farm Bison Centre.
Younger kids can meet every bear that ever there was at Dorset Teddy Bear Museum, while everyone will enjoy the fish and duck ponds, cider orchard, picnic area and badger boardwalk at Glastonbury Abbey Museum.
Castles and abbeys? Sherborne has three. Get down to the abbey for awe-inspiring fan vaulting and stained glass. The castle has connections with Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I. With gardens by Capability Brown, it’s an all-star cast.
There’s pampering on offer at Margaret Balfour, while Sherborne is the home of handcrafted goods and elegant fashions, plus art and antique shops just made for pottering.
Dads and lads might like the Haynes International Motor Museum in Yeovil, with ten huge display halls of global cars, from the nostalgic to the contemporary. At the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Ilchester, museum meets theatre. See the first British-built Concorde, then fly by helicopter to the flight deck of the HMS ARK ROYAL.
For pies, pints, pales and ales, you’re well served. The King’s Arms in Charleton Horthorne is five-star feast just a couple of miles away, and there’s more real ale and a real hearty welcome at The Queen’s Arms in Corton Denham.