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Recommendations for days out from London

19 replies

august24 · 29/04/2004 18:32

Have to admit I am a little embarrassed to post this, but I have been living in London for the last year and besides going to Windsor(for Legoland) I have only been out of London to leave the country. Any advice on places I should see with my family(two girls 3 and 6) before we leave London?

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Marina · 29/04/2004 18:49

Which side of London do you live, August - or are you happy to cross town for outings (make that brave enough). I can recommend stuff from SE London if that helps.
Ightham Mote (near Sevenoaks)
Bluebell Railway (near East Grinstead)
Kent and East Sussex Railway (Tenderden)
Groombridge Place (near Tunbridge Wells)
Broadstairs (really pretty Kent seaside resort, some of them are awful)
Hever Castle (near Edenbridge)
Brighton (South Coast, but easily reached from anywhere in London thanks to good trains)

Sure lots of other ideas will be posted too!

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august24 · 29/04/2004 18:56

We are in North London, but we have a car and don't mind using it! I just would hate to move and have to admit I never left London. :0

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Davros · 30/04/2004 10:54

If you're in North London have you even been to Kenwood? I don't know about the kids but you and your husband could go to the Cotswolds, Suffolk/Norfolk (lovely villages, lots of castles and stately homes etc), places like Cambridge, Dover Castle in Kent, Rye, Brighton...... Maybe you should look at the National Trust and English Heritage websites.

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maomao · 30/04/2004 19:37

august24, I don't have any suggestions --- just wanted to say that I've been in London for almost a year, and have only made it out of London once, to Oxford!

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jane313 · 03/05/2004 10:25

A friend in muswell hill says his 5 year old loves going to Knebworth beacuse of the dinosaurs and they have special events on too.

www.knebworthhouse.com/

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arabella2 · 15/05/2004 21:49

Whipsnade Zoo - about 23 miles from London up the M1 and Odds Farm Park near High Wycombe - there are internet sites for both with directions etc...
Both have animals and playgrounds and places to eat so great really.

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lisac · 16/05/2004 17:45

Also Willows Farm - nr the M25 / M1 (can't remeber exactly where but they have a website) and Aldenham Country Park - which has a Winnie the Pooh Hundred Acre Wood - similar area.

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BadHair · 16/05/2004 17:52

It might be a bit far west for you, but when we lived in London the happiest day out we ever had was at Syon Park. Go mid-week when its quiet and take a picnic.

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Grommit · 16/05/2004 18:11

I went to Knebworth house today - excellent family day out - lovely house and gardens, maze, Dinosaur trail and big adventure playground. Willow Farm is also good for kids.

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willow2 · 16/05/2004 18:30

Bocketts Farm or Horton Park Farm - both near Chessington. Kew Gardens.

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sibble · 16/05/2004 20:15

paradise park - just off the A10 is good during the week

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bundle · 17/05/2004 12:08

marina, just wanted to ask you about hever - because we nearly went there this weekend, but dh wasn't sure. what exactly is there? our dds are similar to your ds/dd (nearly 4 and 1), many thanks

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SueW · 17/05/2004 13:09

If you pick up the Days Out magazine (it costs £3.50 I think) it has vouchers for some of these attractions. Legoland - a fiver off per person up to five people iirc.

There's a website too. I'll try to find it for later.

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EmilyD · 18/05/2004 08:56

the website address is daysout

Alternatively to check reviews by people on these places rather than just seeing ads try childfriendly.net

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Marina · 18/05/2004 11:43

Bundle, my gripe with Hever is that it is quite expensive and the whole ambience is a bit corporate (ie, not like NT or EH properties).
BUT on a sunny day it is really delightful. It offers a small and heavily restored but very pretty castle to look round (not pushchair accessible so dh and ds did this while dd and I lurked);
an adventure playground that we didn't make it to in the end) and which has a new maze aimed at 7 pluses, but I bet your bright little spark will like it too!;
an excellent, dense, yew maze (only one exit so no chance of dd1 legging it unless she can hack her way through hedges);
pretty, small formal gardens adjacent;
much larger and VERY beautiful Italian formal garden with lawns like billiard tables, leading down to lakeside terrace...
plus WATER MAZE which is perfect for dd1. Take towels and even bathers, you can get quite wet.
Other downside is catering is not cheap and the cafe down by the lake was low on essentials like ice lollies when we visited.
Hever Castle
I'd rate Groombridge Place over it overall though, just because it's a bit less hectic.
Groombridge Place Tigermoth put me on to that one and I am yet again in her debt!

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bundle · 18/05/2004 18:22

thanks marina, just the sort of top quality response I knew you'd give.
might give groombridge a go. we're off to oxford this weekend (friends visiting from australia are staying there).

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august24 · 18/05/2004 18:54

These are all such great suggestions. I will attempt one this weekend!

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fionagib · 19/05/2004 13:15

We lived in East London for years (now in Scotland) and used the museum of childhood - nr bethnal green tube stn - kind of like our back yard - it's free, pretty good caff, loads of room for toddlers to charge about, lovely exhibits (old toys, trainsets, bit of interacting stuff tho not quite enough, last time I went) plus nice & near to victoria park for romp about in sunshine. It has a nice relaxed feel to the place and is free, well worth it.

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fionagib · 19/05/2004 13:15

We lived in East London for years (now in Scotland) and used the museum of childhood - nr bethnal green tube stn - kind of like our back yard - it's free, pretty good caff, loads of room for toddlers to charge about, lovely exhibits (old toys, trainsets, bit of interacting stuff tho not quite enough, last time I went) plus nice & near to victoria park for romp about in sunshine. It has a nice relaxed feel to the place and is free, well worth it.

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