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Sensational staycations: Kid-friendly ideas to get you through to back-to-school

How much time have you spent exploring our own shores? In terms of culture, fun and relaxation, days out and trips within the UK can often beat foreign holidays, especially if you do your homework.

Discover why 37.6 million overseas visitors came to the UK last year by enjoying a holiday at home. Here are a few of our top tips for having a high time in good old Blighty:

Become a local tourist
You’ve probably not seen half the wonders your home town has to offer. The best place to start is at any hotel/B&B lobby or the information booth at your local railway or bus station. Here you’ll find no end of brochures and deals for family activities and
local attractions - you might even nab a discount if you tell them you’re a local. How well do you know your area’s history ? If you can, book a historic tour or discover the regional info at your local library - learning your city’s past can make you and the kids see it in a new and fascinating light.

Sail through the six weeks
Take the kids - and even the dogs - on their first canal boating holiday for a memorable family adventure. Drifters allows you to glide your own modern boat through our nation’s world of waterways. Choose from more than 500 boats, setting off from nearly 40 boatyards across England’s countrysides, to start your unique journey. The kids will love navigating tunnels and spotting wildlife as you drift along - and the fact your holiday home is portable means you can stop off at any pretty country village you like the look of along the way.

Shops - but not as we know them
Lots of retailers have realised their shops can do much more than just sell, sell, sell. Pets At Home runs free workshops to teach children how to look after small pets, while Hobbycraft’s Kids Craft Club runs fun demos teaching how to make a magical pipe cleaner wand, a dream jar and lots more. Lego stores are great for free play sessions and check out your local gaming shops and garden centres for hands-on fun.

Play detective for some cheap-but-wonderful rooms
The most popular place for these kind of bargains in the UK is Lastminute’s top secret hotels. You’ll know everything about the hotel you book - its location, how many stars it has, whether it has a pool and what it provides for kids - the only detail you won’t get is the name (until after you book). You can often do a bit of sneaky googling to guess the hotel, though - then nab it at a rock-bottom price.