London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Getting away from the city sometimes it’s easier said than done but so therapeutical to escape the hectic urban pace! Travel time is always a constraint with young ones in tow, so here are our 15 best day trips from London with kids within an hour drive.
1. Longing for great dining and wining in historical settings and beautiful landscapes?
Cliveden house is 40 minutes away from Kensington, SL6 OJF. 5 star countryside retreat in the best of Buckingamshire, also National Trust site, nearby Thames. A great new chef – Andre Garrett mesmerised us with a beautiful Market lunch with superb views on the gardens and the river. Before and after for the little ones there’s tones of gardens to run around, a pond, a playground & a maze.
2. Adrenalin seekers for the day? For small and big adventurers alike, the answer is Chessington World of Adventures, a convenient 45 minutes drive from Kensington. Our 5 years old adored the Scorpion Express and the Monkey Swinger. The almost 3 years old went twice on the Jungle Bus, cuddled a bit too much the goats and loved the Canopy Capers. I loved reading about Chessington’s long and inspiring history, including Burnt Stub originally built in 1348, founding of the zoo, the theme park and regular revamps. The rides at Chessington are restricted by height with a range of height from 0.9m to 1.4m, but there’s so much for everyone! Impossible to exhaust in one day, so fun and exciting for the kiddies! A smart plan is to measure the kids at home, download Chessingon app, make a plan where they’d love to ride and select on the day the order depending on the queue times. Head to our dedicated article in here.
Eltham palace is an hour away from Kensington, Greenwich more precisely SE9 5QE. Former royal residence restored as a masterpiece of modern art deco design, with rose gardens, bridges, medieval hall, stunning gardens and a playground.
Wild side calling?
4. Paradise Wildlife Park is a glorious family run animal park in Hertfordshire, with fantastic range of big cats and experiences. The animal talks and feeds were a real thrill – we watched in awe the penguins, meerkats, Brazilian tapirs and the lions having their meals.
The World of Dinosaurs was fabulous and the kiddies was overexcited as we took the train to cross the lands of 30 life size roaring dinosaurs. The inside and outside adventure playground also got their votes: pirate boat, fantasyland, tumble jungle – the little ones had tears in their eyes when we had to leave at 5pm! Read more about it in here.
5. Woburn safari park is also waiting for you in Bedfordshire, MK17 9QN for a UK safari amazing experience. Giraffes walking by your car, monkeys jumping on it, lions and bears next to it, wallabies, Californian sea-lions, you name it. Train to go around, bouncy castles and slides, lake, treetop trails also as a bonus (if such was needed!).
Henley Rowing and River museum. Scenic trip on Thames optional before and thereafter, Wind in the Willows tales and play, wildlife corner, rowing history and lots of equipment to be tested. One of the cutest and quaintest day trips from London with kids.
7.Tired of the urban life?
How about an active rural retreat @ Willows Activity Farm? Peter Rabbit adventure playground newly opened earlier this year, carousels, goats to be fed, cows to be milked, tractors to be ridden, bouncy castles, giant rabbits, pigs racing and so on – all in Hertfordshire, AL4 0PF.
8. Fancy a piece of history and more stunning English gardens?
Hatfield house in Hertfordshire (AL9 5NQ) is a prime example of a Jacobean house, built in 1611, with huge gardens dating from early 17th century. Orchards, fountains, scented plants, water parterres, terraces, herb gardens, a foot maze, stable yard, good local produce, farm and a playground for a delightful day out.
9. Fancy ice skating, grandeur and shabby chic charm?
A London landmark destroyed by fire 16 days after first opened in 1873 – Alexandra Palace re-opened again two years later becoming the place from where the BBC had its first broadcast in 1935. It currently hosts the biggest indoor London ice skating venue open all year around; a charming historical building still in renovation in certain parts; and a beautiful park next door declared local nature reserve. Our dedicated article in here.
10. Fancy more history, Royals, a maze, extended plaground and gardens?
Hampton Court Palace has it all, our full article in here.
11. Or just after historical landscape gardens for picnics and more playing?
Claremont is just the beautiful oasis ideal for sunny skies – our full impressions in here.
12. Fancy revisiting 2018 iconic Royal wedding setting?
Windsor Castle needs little introduction! Our full tales and impressions in an article in here; this is paradise for history buffs and one of the best day trips from London with kids.
13. Loving to shop smart some great brands?
A mecca of brands at outlet prices with a couple of nice restaurants and hordes of tourists and professional buyers, this is very popular Bicester Village. Great to pop by if you need another dress for friends wedding orgreat shoes at better prices. Just over an hour drive from Kensington, this can be paired with a more therapeutical outing to stunning Oxfordshire gardens or if the bank account allows it, a proper culinary treat at Le Manoir Aux Quatres Saisons. Dedicated article in here, and don’t worry, it’s all child friendly.
14. More nature therapy following shopping?
Check our day out with English Heritage at Wrest Park : huge and with a long history; 90 acres of French, Dutch, Italian and English style gardens, groomed from 18th century onwards by England’s lead gardener, ‘Capability’ Brown . Perfect for picnic, woodlands and of course, playground.
15. Feeling jazzy?
Polesden Lacey has the best lazy jazzy Sundays for years. Enjoy Surrey landscapes, a picnic with bubbles by a superb Edwardian mansion, little people running around gardens and estate, all on great music and vibes. 2-4pm starting July 10th until September 25th, free for National Trust members, RH5 6BB.
Less time to drive? Do check our list with 6 fabulous gardens and gorgeous countryside within 30 minutes drive from London.