Bocketts family days out



Banish summer holiday boredom with these great places to go on your doorstep

Back to nature

Many of our most loved local attractions are now open once again. Do book in advance and check the measures in place to keep you safe. At Bocketts Farm, near Leatherhead, visitors can meet the animals in the Discovery Barn, and there’s outdoor play including sandpits, jumping pillows and go-karts. At Battersea Park Zoo, you can meet the meerkats, monkeys and otters. Barnes’ London Wetland Centre, meanwhile, is a peaceful place to pass an afternoon watching the wildlife, and spotting rare birds. Inquisitive kids that want to see where their food comes from will enjoy picking their own fruit and veg at Garsons Farm in Esher. Or pose for family selfies at the stunning Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead. Deen City Farm, near Merton Abbey Mills, is also open, where you can see a range of cute farm critters. WIN! A family ticket for four to Bocketts Farm. Enter here.

Glorious Gardens

We’re hoping for some fine weather (oh, to have that spring heatwave again!) for the rest of the summer so we can head to our favourite spots. We love the romantic vistas of Painshill Park in Cobham with its intriguing follies. Claremont Landscape Garden (Esher) also makes our list, offering a pretty stroll around the lake. For formal gardens, Hampton Court Palace is the place to go with its carefully manicured topiary. Check out Chiswick House Gardens with its avenue of blue cedar trees where the Beatles filmed Paperback Writer and Rain. An Ionic Temple also stands in its grounds.

For thrill seekers

Our local theme parks are open once again. Chessington World of Adventures has thrills for all ages, including roller coasters and tamer rides for tots, making it perfect for family days out. Thorpe Park (Chertsey) has plenty to entertain even the most demanding theme park fan. For both parks, some rides require you to wear a face mask. For an adrenaline kick, book for Go Ape in Battersea Park where you can challenge yourself over the high rope obstacle courses and pelt down a zipwire.

On the water

Being on the water is so therapeutic – something we all need after the last few months. Go Boat Kingston is back with its fun electric boats where you can pack a picnic and slowly cruise along the Thames – there’s a great view of Hampton Court Palace with its golden gates. Historic Turks Launches is also running its boats again – with a different timetable for the time being, offering a round trip to Kingston/Richmond.


*Details correct at the time of writing but do check websites for the latest, as well as any requirements to pre-book and possible restrictions on length of visit.