1. Wellcome Collection, London FREE  www.wellcomecollection.org

Called “the free destination for the incurably curious”, the Wellcome Collection has all things quirky to appeal to gifted teens, such as the founder’s collection of medical objects, items belonging to famous historical figures (Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale) and 100 year old x-rays. From September 2019, the new Being Human gallery will showcase genetics and infections – if you’re aged 14-19 you can even join a free workshop at weekends or in the school holidays to explore science and art.

Nearby: The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery FREE www.egaforwomen.org.uk/gallery.html

  1. Brick Lane, E1, East London www.visitbricklane.org

Best known for its eclectic market selling vintage clothes and the Rough Trade record shop where you can watch up and coming bands, Brick Lane’s history is international, where buildings have housed French Protestants fleeing religious persecution and Jews from Eastern Europe. Trace their history in the area and round off your day with a locally made bagel or curry.

Or: the Lowline Musicity trail SE1

Music meets architecture along 15 sites of the Victoria railway viaduct forming the Low Line, which runs from Bankside to Bermondsey. Stream and download a track at each site. http://www.musicityglobal.com/cities/musicity-x-low-line/

  1. RAF Museum, London  FREE (add-on extra activities such as the Dambusters Experience £10)    www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/

(or visit the other site at RAF Cosford, Shropshire https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/)

Aviation surrounds you in the five different hangars, with more than 100 aircraft on show including the Vulcan Bomber. Build your own computerised aeroplane, sit in the cockpit of a Spitfire and experience flight simulators. Over 13s can even fly on a Lancaster Bomber via the Dambusters Virtual Reality experience.

  1. Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield https://ysp.org.uk/

Outdoor art such as pieces from Henry Moore, Jaume Plensa and Antony Gormley can be found in unexpected places. Super scenery combines to challenge your perspectives.

Nearby: The Hepworth Art Museum www.hepworthwakefield.org/

  1. The Royal Armouries, Leeds FREE https://royalarmouries.org/

Be bemused at Henry VIII’s horned helmet or marvel at the height of his armour. See rosary beads and bottled garlic next to more gruesome items in the Self-Defence gallery, and also the Lord of the Rings swords. The Oriental gallery’s samurai exhibition adds a touch of visual refinery, you can learn to fire a crossbow and see live military and martial arts tournaments throughout the year.

Nearby: The Leeds Owl Trail  FREE  http://www.leedsowltrail.com/

  1. BBC Tour, MediaCity, Salford http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/media_city

Curious about a media career? This 1.5 hour tour reveals more about radio and television, plus the fast-moving pace of current affairs means that no two tours are the same.

Or select a tour at one of eight other BBC locations: http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/

For example at BBC Scotland you could see inside studios, and learn more about the building’s special glass architecture that changes its look throughout the day.

  1. Titanic, Belfast https://titanicbelfast.com/

A visually interactive experience at the city’s docks which retells the tragedy that befell the liner on its maiden voyage. You’ll see recreations of the cabins on a virtual tour of the ship, hear stories from the ship’s designers and view the shipwreck in the Atlantic from screens under your feet.

Nearby: take a tour of Queen’s University Belfast and see the Narnia wardrobe door which takes you into the CS Lewis Study Room www.qub.ac.uk/about/Visit-Us/Campus-Tours-Meet-Us/

  1. Eden Project – Bodelva, Cornwall www.edenproject.com

Discover impressive biomes from around the world and soar over the rainforest on a sky bridge. Daredevils will love England’s longest zip wire and gravity swing or explore the innovation area in the Core.

Nearby: Adrenalin Quarry at Liskeard www.adrenalinquarry.co.uk

  1. Bristol Street Art tour www.wherethewall.com

Covering street art from more than 200 artists including “enfant terrible” Banksy, whose Well Hung Over is the UK’s first legal graffiti piece. Follow up with a spray art class.

Nearby: The Herschel Museum of Astronomy,  Bath  www.herschelmuseum.org.uk

  1. The National Portrait Gallery, London FREE (charges for some temporary exhibitions)   www.npg.org.uk

Contemporary celebrity portraits (Daniel Radcliffe, Kazuo Ishiguro, Dame Judi Dench), famous literary stars (Martin Amis, the Brontes,  David Baddiel) and royalty. Spot personalities who have made an impact and find out how portraits can actually be powerful, amusing or innovative statement makers.  Ages 14-18 can join free monthly artists and photography workshops or the Youth Forum.

Nearby: Engineer Your Future (for 11-15 years) at the Science Museum www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/engineer-your-future

  1. City Walls, York FREE http://www.yorkwalls.org.uk/?page_id=3690

Rome’s 9th legion built the city walls when they arrived in York. Walk along them to trace their development right up to medieval times and find out why the defence gates are called bars. Many ghosts are reputed to haunt York – hear their history on a supernatural tour along The Shambles.

Nearby: York’s Chocolate Story www.yorkschocolatestory.com

  1. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford ashmolean.org

The world’s first university museum won’t disappoint – it’s spacious, light-filled and has collections ranging from Bristol Archaeology to Indian gold coins, South East Asian art including Chinese imperial clothes and even an anti-slavery biscuit.

Nearby: Jericho, the area leading to Port Meadow mentioned by Phillip Pullman in his Dark Materials trilogy. https://www.wanderoxford.co.uk/what-to-do-in-oxford-visit-jericho/

  1. Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Llanwrda  www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dolaucothi-gold-mines

Welsh gold is much prized – join an underground tour to see where the miners worked (some muddy routes!) and try panning for gold at the only one of its kind in Britain.

Nearby: Caerphilly Castle https://cadw.gov.wales/daysout/caerphilly-castle/?lang=en

  1. The Supreme Court, London FREE, guided tour must be pre-booked  www.supremecourt.uk/visiting/courts.html

Interested in law? Visit a court hearing, see lawyers at work and view the Privy Council. Special exhibitions include artwork by prisoners and even suffragettes.

(or visit the National Justice Museum, Nottingham www.nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk/about-us/)

  1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow FREE   www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/kelvingrove-art-gallery-and-museum

Quirky exhibits await, including spooky floating heads, photography from Linda McCartney, tea room furniture designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and a huge orrery.

Nearby: Glasgow Film Theatre, Scotland’s first independent cinema https://glasgowfilm.org/


Do you have other suggestions of places to visit in the UK that high learning potential teenagers will love? Send your suggestions to focus@potentialplusuk.org

For suggestions of places to visit with high learning potential children download our free factsheet  20 Great Family Days Out for High Learning Potential Children