Now the weather is getting nicer I’ll be taking my kids out and about as much as possible. I thought it would be nice to make a list of 10 of my favourite places to take them out for a day, all within easy distance of London. Some of these are a drive away from London but none of them too far. I’ve linked to the original posts I wrote about our trips to each place.
1. Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill. I’ve been taking the little ones to this fabulous museum for years, not only is the museum itself filled with interesting artefacts, the displays are also really child friendly. The museum also features an aquarium in the basement and extensive gardens with amazing views of central London.
2. Claremont Landscape Garden, Esher, Surrey. I’ve mentioned Claremont so many times on the blog as it’s one of my very favourite places. This beautiful Landscape Garden is perfect if you like a long walk in stunning surroundings. The park has a playground and natural play area as well as fantastic National Trust cafe. My little ones absolutely love exploring the paths through the woods.
3. Surrey Docks Farm, Rotherhithe. This fantastic city farm in Rotherhithe sits just by the river Thames. There are plenty of animals to see and feed and the goats are particularly fun. The farm also has an amazing cafe serving lots of fresh food, some of which is grown organically on site.
4. Kew Gardens, Kew. This is the most expensive place to visit on my list, but it’s a fantastic way to fill a whole day with the kids. My two loved exploring the Palm House while my favourite part is definitely Kew Palace. If you have a good head for heights (which I don’t) you’ll love the tree top walk-way.
5. Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey. We’ve visited Hampton Court quite a few times recently because we bought a family membership to Historic Royal Palaces, so we can go whenever we want. This former home of several British Monarchs is steeped in history and there is so much to do and see. On sunny days the gorgeous gardens are perfect for exploring and if your kids get tired the family room features lots of dressing up costumes and toys to play with.
6. Crystal Palace Park. We visited the park earlier this year, it was the first time I’d been since I was little and we absolutely loved it. The park includes a maze, a boating lake and a selection of Victorian model dinosaurs as well as the site of the former Crystal palace itself. It’s absolutely perfect for kids and if they get hungry there’s also a fantastic cafe to refuel.
7. Richmond Park, Richmond. I’ve been going to Richmond Park all my life and I still absolutely love it. The huge park has plenty to explore and I’m still discovering new bits to enjoy. Highlights for me include lunch at Pembroke Lodge and walks around the Isabella Plantation. The park is also full of deer which the girls love to spot.
8. Painshill Park, Cobham Surrey. Painshill is a simply beautiful landscape garden in Surrey. It’s perfect for a long walk and there are lots of interesting buildings and ruins to explore as well as a beautiful lake. This one does involve a lot of walking so make sure you bring sensible shoes!
9. Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green. This great museum has plenty of child and adult appeal. We always have a great time looking at all the toys on display and there are always lots of activities for the children to have a go at. The current exhibition on dolls houses is really good too. I’d recommend packing a picnic and having lunch in the beautiful park next to the museum.
10. A Walk Along the Thames, London. A great way to experience the city is to go a for a walk along the Thames path. There are plenty of areas to choose from, my two favourite walks with the children are the South Bank and Bankside as there are plenty of things to stop and look at.
What are your favourite things to do with your kids?