In this blog post I’m going to share with you my favourite family-friendly places that you can explore with your kids this summer. So if you’re new to the area, visiting, or even have lived here for a while – read on, I’m sure you’ll find something you haven’t tried yet!
They also make a fantastic backdrop for any family photoshoot, and are first favourites among some of my clients. I always suggest having your family photos done at a place that you love visiting as a family, as then the pictures are infused with meaning to your personally. If you’d like to chat about how I can help you preserve your family history through beautiful photography, do get in touch.
Now, on with the list!
I absolutely adore Polsden Lacey – it’s a beautiful National Trust site, an Edwardian estate with glorious views across Surrey Hills. It’s really nice for walks, and kids can have fun rolling down the sloped grounds (it’s totally safe and a lot of fun), playing in the nature playground, bird-spotting and climbing through rhododendron bushes.
Frensham Ponds are not only it’s one of the best spots for wild swimming in Surrey, but in late summer the heath around the ponds transforms into glorious expanses of purple heather, that’s especially stunning at sunset. On a warm summer day we absolutely love driving over to Frensham, having a late afternoon splash in the water and a walk around the heather fields.
Claremont Landscape Garden is another National Trust site that’s very close to our home in Molesey. There’s a wonderful lake with lots of duck feeding opportunities, long walks, a great playground right next to a cafe (and another, nature playground, if you continue up the path to the right).
The Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace
The Magic Garden is where the kid’s imagination can go wild – and it’s complete with it’s own mist-breathing dragon, mini-forts and a lot of slides. The playground is closed off so you can relax and let the kids run around.
Bushy Park is the local favourite, and has everything you need for a family day out – a playground, long walks, deer-spotting, and a cafe for yummy cakes and coffee.
RHS Wisley Gardens are beautiful at any time of year, but spring and autumn are my favourites – one for the abundance of colour, the second for the amazing apple orchards you can walk through.
Garson’s Farm in Esher
Garson’s Farm is our family’s favourite and we visit it several time over the summer months. My son loves picking berries, corn and apples and since I’m the worst gardener anyone can imagine it’s our opportunity to show him how food grows. As with all of my favourite places, they can get really busy on a weekend, so if you can, plan a weekday morning visit.
Esher Common & Woods
I’m so lucky to live in the area with an abundance of outdoor places, and Esher Common is definitely a top favourite. It’s really a woodland, which is great for dog-walking or exploring with your kids – see if you can spot any den-building opportunities!
A firm favourite with many local families, Bockett’s Farm is a working farm that also offers plenty of entertainment for the little ones – from a giant indoor soft play to outdoor jumping pillows, sandpits and playground, to tractor and pony rides and everything in-between. The food in the cafe is also very yummy and they even have gluten-free cake options (something that’s very important for me! haha!). It’s also a great place for a birthday party – you can either book one with them, or just invite your friends and have a picnic in the outdoor area letting the kids run wild!
Bracknell’s Forest Lookout and Go Ape!
Well this one’s not technically in Surrey, but in Berkshire – still it’s a fairly easy drive up the M3 from where we are (near Hampton Court) and so we visit it quite frequently. The Lookout Discovery Centre is just a right mix between entertainment and education, the outdoor playground offers hours of fun, and you can also take a walk in the forest (or ride a bicycle). There’s a fantastic leisure pool just opposite, and also Go Ape! and forest Segway rental make it a full day out!
Do you have a favourite place in Surrey that you visit as a family? Share in the comments below!