1-2 night trip with kids within two hours of London

(24 Posts)
Parrothead Sun 18-Mar-18 23:28:00

Our school hols are nearly a month long shock. Two friends and I are looking to take our DCs for a short getaway to break up the last week. The kids range in age from 4 - 8, and we want to stay within two hours’ drive, or train (either is fine) from London. We’d like something easy and comfortable that is outdoors-focused. Not a Centre Parcs type thing, more like forest hikes and National Trust properties. Open to hotel or cottage/Airbnb. One of my friends is a bit fussy about accommodations so it needs to be spacious and ideally somewhat luxurious. We have fairly wide latitude with budget, though not unlimited.

We’re all relatively recent expats and still getting to know our way around the UK, so someplace that might be obvious to a native would not be for us. In other words, all suggestions are appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
Parrothead Mon 19-Mar-18 07:19:17

Bumping for the morning crowd. Anyone?

OP’s posts: |
feral Mon 19-Mar-18 07:22:43

Forest of Dean? Lovely there.
Not sure of commute from London though.

NC4Now Mon 19-Mar-18 07:25:53

I was talking to my boys about our weekend breaks the other day and we all agreed Warwick Castle was the best we’ve been to.
You’ll need to find accommodation in either Warwick or Leamington Spa but it was fab!
I think in summer you can go glamping in the castle grounds.

BertrandRussell Mon 19-Mar-18 07:27:45

Whitstable? Not really hiking country-but a short drive to some very good walks. And there's lots of water sports, nice restaurants and some very posh accomodation.

EdithWeston Mon 19-Mar-18 07:29:34

Is 2 hours a hard cut off?

If you could stretch a bit, Norwich is 2.5: north Norfolk 3.

Or straight up the A1 for about 2 hours gets you to Rutland Water (26 mile cycle path round reservoir, watersports on it, Burghley House 9 miles away)

Quartz2208 Mon 19-Mar-18 07:31:32

Where are you in London - depending on that really depends on what the best direction is to go in (north south etc is sufficient)

BluthsFrozenBananas Mon 19-Mar-18 07:35:38

South Downs/Eastbourne. Plenty of places to stay in Eastbourne and you can take the bus up to Burling Gap and walk along the Seven Sisters.

MunsteadWood Mon 19-Mar-18 07:36:25

New Forest is lovely. See the ponies!

DayKay Mon 19-Mar-18 07:41:10

New forest is nice.

ImListening Mon 19-Mar-18 07:42:24

Second New Forest. If money no object you could stay at Chewton Glen. There’s also Calcot Manor very kid friendly with things on its doorstep.

Rutland water is great.

We’ve done this before


There’s lots to do in the vicinity and is straight up the A1.

How about the Norfolk Broads?

juneau Mon 19-Mar-18 07:42:57

Yes - New Forest or south coast. West Sussex is lovely. We had a fab weekend staying in a cottage near Chichester and doing day trips from there - there was plenty to do.

Don't go to Norfolk for 1-2 nights - you'll spend half your time driving up there. It's lovely - but you need to go for longer really.

This book Footpprint Britain with Kids is a good one for identifying areas of the UK that are particularly good for family holidays. It's from 2009, but don't let that put you off. I've had lots of holiday ideas from it and it's only the prices that will be a bit out of date.

Parrothead Mon 19-Mar-18 07:43:02

Too true, Quartz. We are in Hammersmith.

The 2-hour cutoff is flexible if it’s going farther.

These suggestions are great. I will be reading up on them after the school run. Thank you for your help.

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Parrothead Mon 19-Mar-18 07:43:21

I meant to say, if it’s worth going farther!

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ChocolateCrunch Mon 19-Mar-18 07:52:41

Cotswolds? It has castles, arboretums, National Trust, water park for sailing etc.

ImListening Mon 19-Mar-18 07:58:27

What about Bath? So much to do around there & surrounding area. Easy to drive to Chesdar Gorge from there as well. Could stop at Stonehenge on the way.

We stayed at a fab barn conversion. I’ll try & find link

ImListening Mon 19-Mar-18 08:00:45



50ShadesOfEarlGrey Mon 19-Mar-18 08:00:59

East Sussex/Ashdown Forest.
Ashdown Forest is largest free open space in South East where Winnie The Pooh comes from. Loads of Castles and historic towns and villages. Quirky County town of Lewes, close to coast at Brighton and Eastbourne.

TammyWhyNot Mon 19-Mar-18 08:05:51

Lyme Regis. Lovely town, fossil
Hunting on the beach, walk over Golden Cap, walk to the ammonite pavement, in the Undercliffe, visit the Donkey Sanctuary along the coast.

Forest hikes, hmmmm, Sussex is very good, will have a think.

Quartz2208 Mon 19-Mar-18 11:00:41

New Forest is lovely as is the Sussex Coastal area. Isle of Wight is really nice as well

Twogoround Mon 19-Mar-18 11:05:41

Bournemouth poole swanage purbecks. Do the new forest on the way down .

dancingthroughthedark Mon 19-Mar-18 11:08:47

Norwich is less than 2 hours by train. My brother and his family have stayed in a few air bnb places on the river at Brundall which is just 8-10 minutes train ride from Norwich and the station is down by the river so an easy walk to accommodation. You can get the train to Cromer or Yarmouth too.

Quartz2208 Mon 19-Mar-18 11:09:32

If you are open to a holiday park we stayed at Shorefield Country Park - its very close to the coast and to the new forest for days out

FanSpamTastic Mon 19-Mar-18 11:27:35

Here are a few ideas

sandy balls

forest holidays

Woolley Grange

Not luxury - but the youth hostel association have some great family rooms!

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