Summer 2019 holidays are around the corner. What will you be doing? While we cannot guaranteed the sun, one thing that you can be sure of is some stunning countryside, vibrant towns and some amazing places to visit in Surrey & London.
Keep scrolling to discover some fantastic ways to enjoy the longer days.
For animal and bird lovers
- Head to Bocketts Farm for its famous pig race or the chance to feed and handle a huge variety of animals in this large well maintained farm.
- Hop on-board the popular tractor ride, explore the indoor and outdoor play areas or simply enjoy the wonderful farm animals at Godstone Farm.
- Visitors to Birdworld, a beautifully landscaped park, will get an opportunity to join the Park’s keepers as they introduce slithering and crawling critters.
- Merrist Wood, who have recently be granted a zoo licence offers an opportunity to get up close to an amazing array of animals – Pre-booking is essential.
- Experience the rolling Surrey Hills, through ancient woodland and past serene lakes on horse back. Book a 2 hour trek on a wonderfully trained ex polo pony through a beautiful private estate, Slades Farm.
For those garden lovers
- Summer is a fantastic time to visit the National Trust gardens at Polesden Lacey, Claremont Landscape Gardens and Winkworth Arboretum. With vibrant displays of flowers, enjoy the sights and scents as you follow one of the trails.
- The Hon. Charles Hamilton created Painshill, one of the finest remaining examples of 18th century landscaping, with inspiration from his two Grand Tours across Europe. Around every corner in this tranquil garden you will find truly breath-taking vistas.
- In 1878 George Fergusson Wilson bought a site in Surrey and created his “Oakwood experimental garden”. Having grown over the years, now the size of 240 acres this garden is one of the UK’s most visited and best loved garden, RHS Garden Wisley.
- Surrey’s has some truly beautiful parks for you to enjoy over the summer. Parks are bursting with colour in the summer months and offer fantastic free days out to relax on a blanket and enjoy the sunshine.
For those looking to cool down
- Puddle Ducks South West London offers baby, toddler and child swimming lessons in South West London, Surrey and Middlesex. We value water confidence as highly as our swimmers achieving a perfect front crawl. When parents bring their precious babies to us, we know they are looking not just for their babies to feel water-confident but also for them, the parents, to feel confident taking their babies swimming. Read our blog for a special photography package in support of Shooting Star Chase.
- For outdoor swimming you can’t beat the Guildford Lido with its beautifully landscaped gardens – the kids will love the slides!
- Rivers and lakes make natural places to splash and lucky for you, we have some great places to enjoy here in Surrey. Head to Abinger Hammer, buy a fishing net from the local store and paddle in the Tillingbourne or visit the stepping stones at the bottom of Box Hill where you can enjoy a splash in the River Mole. Take a look at our summer water activities page for some more great places to cool down by the water in Surrey.
Get set for family fun with our round-up of exciting events, activities and other things to do for children in London. If you’re on a tight budget – you’re in the right place. London is full of things to do that are child-friendly, and many of them are absolutely free.
Free things to do in London with kids
From lush parks to giant dinosaur sculptures – here’s our guide to entertaining kids in London for free. Whether it’s last minute trips for half-term or a day trip on a quiet weekend – the city is your playground in London, where the canny guardian can find events, performances and attractions throughout the year. From petting alpacas at Mudchute Park and Farm to spotting dinosaurs in Crystal Palace Park – here are the best free things to do in London with kids.
An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum has a traditional natural history gallery – dominated by a bizarre, overstuffed walrus – where the exhibits are displayed in traditional cases with no computer touch-screens in sight. There’s also a state-of-the-art aquarium, a collection of around 1,600 musical instruments and an area where visitors can play some of them, as well as a permanent gallery dedicated to African, Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian art.
The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens. The Natural History Museum’s Life Galleries are devoted to displays on animal life, from creepy crawlies to the plaster cast of a Diplodocus that lords it over the Central Hall. The Earth Galleries explore the natural forces that shape our planet, the treasures we take from it, the effect we have on it and its place in the universe.
Free to visit, the National Maritime Museum is also great for kids as well as adults thanks to the AHOY! children’s gallery. Suitable for kids up to age 7, children can engage with a range of play scenes and activities, such as stoking the boiler of a steamship, playing with others in an interactive boatyard, and even working in a fish shop. They can enjoy a bit of Polar exploring or be a pirate for a while, climbing aboard an eight-metre-high version of the HMS Rawalpindi’s mast.
The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. Kids should head straight to the Wonderlab on level 3: an interactive exhibition with over 50 shows and demonstrations to inspire and entertain. Meanwhile, the Pattern Pod introduces under-eights to the importance of patterns in contemporary science and Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles.
Home to one of the world’s finest collections of children’s toys, dolls’ houses, games and costumes, the V&A Museum of Childhood shines bighter than ever after extensive refurbishment, which has given it an impressive entrance. Part of the V&A museum, the museum has been amassing childhood-related objects since 1872 and continues to do so, with ‘Incredibles’ figures complementing bonkers 1970s puppets, Barbie Dolls and Victorian praxinoscopes.
The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum’s archaeological digs. Check the website before your visit as a packed programme of temporary exhibitions, talks, walks and children’s events is central to the life of the Museum of London.
Under 18s go free (adult tickets start at £16.50) at this much-loved museum. It does a sterling job of presenting a fascinating and entertaining history of transport in the capital, with vehicles to explore along the way. There’s a family play zone for children aged 0-7 featuring mini-vehicles to climb into, and kids can repair a little tube train, sail the ‘Thames Nipper’, play in the lost property office and try musical instruments on busking spots. The Baby DLR features an interactive wall, and visitors of all ages can sit in the driver’s cab of a red bus and guide a Northern Line simulator through tunnels, so big kids will have plenty of fun, too.
Hackney City Farm has become a fashionable stop-off for ambling weekend marketgoers, thanks in a large part to its Italian café deli Frizzante, serving hungry Hackney folk fresh seasonal Mediterranean cooking and tasty farm breakfasts. The café may be a big draw but the rest of the farm is thriving with happy animals, a pottery studio and garden. The farm is a vital community hub with a vegetable box collection scheme for locals and courses on low-impact living and beekeeping, and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm.
These 32 acres on the Isle of Dogs make up one of London’s biggest farms. The farm – which is open from 9am to 5pm daily – is compact, with some animals just wandering about in the fields, plus a petting zoo, stables, and duck pond. Some of the best residents include a Manx Loaghtan named Juliet and a turkey who enjoys hearing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’.
Workshops cost extra, and include a forest school and arts and crafts. Over 7s can also join the Mudchute Young Farmers team, where for £40 they can learn how to groom, feed and care for all the animals daily.
Royal Air Force Museum
Saturday 20 July, 11:00 AM + 13 more dates
- New immersive experience
- 90 minutes to scoot about the museum exploring objects and solving puzzles
- Combining the intensity of an escape room with the fun of a treasure hunt, this brand-new immersive adventure is the perfect experience for any adrenaline seeker. Play the game, crack the clues and compete with the other teams whilst surrounded by some of the greatest aircraft’s history at the RAF Museum’s Spitfire Academy. On this exciting adventure you’ll meet real-life characters and be immersed in their stories, explore objects from RAF history and solve puzzles to earn your wings. Get booking and get ready to fly!
Want to make the most of your long summer evenings? Look no further than Movies on the River, with City Cruises!
Don’t forget to make time to for an amazing photoshoot at Lovelight Photography!