The summer holidays have already arrived for some children, and for others its just a few weeks until they break up. With that in mind we thought we’d put something together with some reviews about places to visit for day trips. We’ve based this on places we’ve been / our friends have been and generally they are easy to get to from London.
Hobbledown is brilliant for older children, I’d say 6+, or 4-5 if they have older siblings. There’s an indoor adventure playground connected to the cafe which is an exciting first glimpse at what’s to come. There’s loads of exciting tunnels and walkways. The Cafe is great – not just cheap rubbish, fairly priced too. Then outdoors there’s a picnic area again with play area, sandy so expect a sandy car journey home! Then you walk along a path way of animal enclosures, petting guinea pigs and rabbits if you wish. Meerkats and mini goats were a particular highlight!
Then onto what our group called the Main event – the adventure playground!! Underground tunnels, climbing, high wire course, bouncing pillows and other fun stuff, which else where you’d expect to pay extra for. There are queues at times but all very tolerable. The best thing from an adult point of view is that you can sit nearby with a picnic and feel happy they won’t be far away. Plenty of space but all open and flat. That’s why it’s great for slightly older ones, they feel free to run off and do all the activities without being too far! Toilets are back at the cafe which was a slight draw back, but not too bad. More information can be found here.
Leeds Castle, Kent
Do your children have a particular interest in history/ castles? Leeds Castle is said to be ‘The loveliest castle in the world‘! There’s plenty for families to do – whether its exploring the castle grounds and maze. There are also falconry shows and adventure playgrounds to explore. There’s also so much on over the Summer – check out their ‘What’s on’ page for more information – you can find it here. At around an hour and a halves drive from London Leeds Castle is another doable day trip from London.
Garsons farm, Esher
We’ve heard great things about Garsons Farm – what better way to encourage children to eat their fruit – than if they’ve picked it themselves. ‘Our Pick Your Own fields offer more than 30 different crops grown over 150 acres, which makes Garsons Esher the largest Pick Your Own farm in the UK. Take your pick from perfectly ripe soft fruits like strawberries and raspberries, fresh vegetables such as runner beans and peas and even beautiful seasonal sunflowers’. More information can be found here.
Oh we do like to be beside the Seaside – for some children there’s nothing better than exploring the seaside, and with some trains taking less than an hour from London to Brighton it’s not too far travel with children. We love Brighton there’s lots to explore – the beach, the pier, the Lanes and some wonderful places to eat with children. Although of course you can’t beat fish and chips on the seafront. We are particularly fond of the cycling opportunities along the promenade. You’re bound to have a quiet train journey home with tired children from all the sea air.
Windsor via train is very doable – the majority of trains take just over an hour to get to Windsor from Waterloo. The train station is in the town centre so everything is within walking distance. You can watch Changing the Guard at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, weather dependent. A visit inside Windsor Castle is very recommneded by my little charges – they had great fun exploring ‘The Queens House’. You can also take a take a boat ride on the River Thames, or walk the Long Walk and enjoy a picnic.
In London you may find you have more time to visit places such as the London Aquarium, more here or the London Transport Museum, which we reviewed here. Be sure to check out our ‘whats on in London this Summer’ post here.
What are your favourite day trips from London?