List of the UK’s best natural outdoor spaces for children – and one is in the North East


Northumberland has been ranked as one of the best areas in Britain for child-friendly nature excursions.

A study, by childcare and education expert Little Ones London, looked at Tripadvisor ratings and reviews of the UK’s best outdoor venues with the best green spaces for young people.

Research showed Cumbria to be the greenest outdoor area for children, with the most natural sites – 15 in total, including lakes, hiking trails, nature and wildlife areas and a national park. Devon in southwest England was second on the list, followed by the Scottish Highlands, Cornwall and Kent.

Read more: The 20 best parks in the Northeast according to Tripadvisor ratings

Northumberland comes in sixth with eight outdoor sites listed as good for children, including Northumberland National Park, Northumberland Coast and Birds of Prey Centres.

Praising the Andy Howeys Birds of Prey Center in Haggerston, one reviewer said: “We visited the Birds of Prey Center as a family with our four year old and one year old daughter. The staff are friendly and you makes you feel relaxed.”

And a visitor to the Northumberland coast added: ‘What a fabulous place to holiday with our granddaughters and our two Labradoodles.

A spokesperson for Little Ones London said: “The UK is home to such beautiful nature, and it’s great to see so many areas which offer families with toddlers the opportunity to explore wonderful parks, wildlife areas and nature trails. In an increasingly tech-obsessed world, these spaces are a great way to disconnect from the internet and reconnect with nature.”

Britain’s best child-friendly natural outdoor spaces

(Ranking, outdoor green space, total number of child-friendly outdoor green spaces)

1. Cumbria – 15

2.Devon – 13

3. Scottish Highlands – 13

4. Cornwall – 11

5.Kent – ten

6.Northumberland – 8

7. Hampshire – 7

8. North Yorkshire – 7

9. Shropshire – 7

10. Gloucestershire – 6

The 8 Northumberland sites highlighted in the study

  • Northumberland National Park
  • Embleton Bay
  • Ferny Rigg Alpacas
  • Andy Howeys Birds of Prey Center
  • Northumberland’s Coastal Region of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Kielder Birds of Prey Aquatic Center
  • Falconry Days
  • College Valley Estate


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