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kids in london

Days Out

6 Destination ‘Farm Shops’ From London For All The Family

Whenever we are staying with family in Suffolk, I always try to squeeze in a visit to Wyken Vineyards. It has been called the ‘Daylesford of East Anglia’ and rightly so. Not only does it have an acclaimed restaurant, upmarket gift shop and a beautiful garden to peruse, there are are alpacas, sheep and peacocks to give your children their farm fix!


I started thinking about places similar to this close to London.  It is easy to find theme parks or straightforward farms (see my previous post on 6 Farms Close to London)  within throwing distance of London, but a place to visit away from the humdrum of London that can satisfy every member of the family (with a bit of shopping and top nosh for example) are few and far between.

The good thing about these ‘destination farm shops’ (that I am bracketing them them all under) is that, excuse the cliche, there really is something for everyone.

Whether it is being inspired by new interiors, stocking up your present draw, eating ‘farm to fork’ produce or getting some fresh air – I just think they are a great destination to go with a friend in the holidays or all the family at the weekend.



Priory Farm, Surrey 

Not only does Priory Fram have all the jazz mentioned above, it’s USP for me Discovery Walk. Meander through tunnels, peak into little houses and a try to conquer the sunflower maze – this is a wonderful walk (don’t take a push chair though!!!)



Cowdray Estate House, Midhurst, West Sussex

Not only farm shops and cafe’s – why not have a golf lesson on their famous course.  If it was all a bit too much excitement you could also extend your stay in one of their little cottages!



Gog Magog Farm Shop, Cambridge 

Not only does this place have a playbarn (son good winter destination too), it is famous for the Shack. Bring the great outdoors indoors, enjoy delicious food in an unusual and relaxed setting. Perfect after a dog walk!



Fox Holes Farm, Hertfordshire 

This is a great place for a rural day out near Hertford and if you are looking to amuse the little ones in half term and want something completely different what about the ‘sausage linking‘ workshop? You won’t find that in London!


After you have learnt to string sausages, tuck in to  Granny Smith’s high tea for two! So English!


Middle Farm, South Downs, Sussex 

Not only do they have a newly laid out ‘Hay Playbarn’ there are numerous ways to get involved with the animals. With entrance to the farm only £5 per person, you will be able to fill the day easily and also stock up your cupboards with a bit of shopping at the gift shop and take some plants back from the lovely nursery.



Trading Boundaries, Uckfield, East Sussex

This place is like no other I have visited! With a large courtyard full of boutique shops, there is a fab play area for the kids (with a vast area for the kids to run free) and a really lovely cafe / restaurant. They have a fantastic kids menu and also a Jazz Sunday Brunch if that takes your fancy!

They also sell furniture!



All of these places may seem like a hike, but they are all worth it once you get there!! Hopefully the kids will doze on the way back into London! I am going to visit a couple in half term, so if you want to see how we get on, head over to Instagram and click follow! 

Do you know of any other destinations from London? Please let me know as I would love to visit!

Also, if you are looking for some day other types of trips from London, you might find these 9 Day Trip Ideas helpful.

Have a lovely day xx

Days Out Travel

Child-Friendly Hotels Within 2 Hours of London

This selection was compiled by Britain’s Finest – a useful website with plenty of special offers, to help you track down the finest places to stay, dine and unwind.  There is also an excellent search facility with over 400 ‘Child Friendly & Family Hotels.’  Here are 5 of the best within 2 hours of London..

Brooklands Hotel, Surrey

Children under 12 years stay for half price, under 3’s goes free. They have serval family packages available, from a Spa day for mum and daughter to family driving experience with Mercedes-Benz.


Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire

Children under 2 go free, treasure hunts for 3- 9’s with the use of an outdoor & indoor pool. You can even feed the residence of ducks in the beautiful grounds of this grade two list hotel.


Maison Talbooth Hotel, Essex

Offers canoeing on the river Stour, cycling (with a variety of bikes to suit all ages and stages), tickets to Colchester Zoo, tennis lessons on the hotel’s court and access to outdoor swimming pool.


Rubens at the Palace Hotel, London

Perhaps you would prefer a hotel in London? The Rubens is rolling out the red-carpet for families! Children of all ages are well catered for with a host of family friendly features with your very own director of fun and concierge team. Children under 12 years old stay free when sharing a room with parents.


Old Swan & Minister Mill, Oxfordshire

Children are made to feel welcome as soon as they arrive with bath ducks, teddy bears & treats. Plenty of activities for the children from cycling to fishing. A family holiday package is also available for 2 adults & 2 children under the age of 18 years.


Britains Finest


Have you seen TLM Ultimate Directory?


Activities Days Out

9 Day Trips From London

So, you have your summer holiday booked but how do you fill the days in between? If you want to head to a farm within driving distance of London, have a look at a recent post I did on ‘Fun Farms‘ but for the more intrepid, I have compiled a few places that you may never have even heard of. Enjoy!

Pooh Corner Ashdown Forest, Hartfield, East Sussex

Grab a map from the shop and visit all places that are mentioned.  My favourite is the bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks. Make sure you read (reread)  the books so you are up to speed and then watch Winnie & friends come to life.

Fishing London Northolt, London

Book a 2 or 4 hour introduction lesson at one of their 6 lakes in West London. They don’t give a starting age but if you have a keeno, this would be a very novel thing to do. They also do parties!


Crockford Bridge & Farm Shop Weybridge, Surrey

Crockford Bridge Farm grows more than 20 fuits and veg on its 75 acre farm. All for the picking. There is also an ice cream parlour and garden centre in case they haven’t eaten enough strawberries. I am going to try and make my own jam if I pick enough!

Berkonscot Model Village Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

I have heard on many accounts that this is a wonderful day out. (It’s on my to do list…) It is the oldest model village in the UK and is a mini England in the 1930’s. Educational and fun.

Hatfield Park Farm Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Tractor rides. demos and Hungarian Wooly Pigs. If that isn’t enough to entice you, there are huge sandpits and a massive play area and the cafe looks qaint too.

Diggerland Medway, Kent

There are Diggerlands all over the UK now, but if you want to do a day trip from London, head to the one in Kent. The kids can ride on every type of farm transport possible and they even have a tractor themed roundabout. Possibly alot of little boys (don’t kill me) definition of heaven.

Bluebell Railway East Grinstead, Sussex

Take a ride through the beautiful countryside on an old fashion train. Stop for lunch and a peruse the gift shop… and then come back again! Not for the fidgety! (Speaking from experience!)

Chiselhurst Caves Chiselhurst, Kent

Not for the faint hearted, this fun filled 45 minute tour guides you through the caves carrying only a lamp for light. Wooooooo. The tour covers many aspects of the national curriculum including light & dark and the WW2.

Discovery Walk at Priory Farm Redhill, Surrey

A magical interractive walk through tunnels, across bridges, along planks & through little houses with lots of adventure obstacles along the way. The highlight is the sunflower maze and duck racing! There is also a brilliant cafe attached to a fenced in play area so you can actually switch off!


I hope this gives you some ideas. If you would prefer to drop them off at a camp, check out 9 Summer Holiday Camps.



Activities Days Out Places Services

London Cultural Trips For Kids

Clarendon Tutors offer a bespoke tutoring service in London. However, it isn’t another tutoring agency that matches child to tutor and leaves you on your way.  They understand a parents need for continuous feedback and they also maintain open communication with whichever schools the children attend, ensuring that they are working in co-operation rather than conflict.

‘The thing I loved about Clarendon was the constant support. The agencies I have used in the past have just sent us anonymous tutors and that’s been the end of it. Clarendon helped us through every step of getting ‘M’ into his school.’

The charming and knowledgeable founders, Henry and Orlando, are excellent at matching their highly experienced Oxbridge tutors with a pupil, being tutors themselves, and have a 100% track record of getting your child into the school of your choice.


What makes Clarendon Tutors really unique is their Cultural Trips. Consisting of 1 tutor to 1-2 children, the day out combines traditional learning with experiences such as visiting a museum and also a more active pursuit such as a tennis lesson or a round of crazy golf, for example. Whatever you require, they will endeavor to tailor the day for you and your child including picking them up and taking them home. The tutor also visit a few days before so that you are comfortable with who will be looking after your children for the day.

What’s Included

  • 9am pick up from home (or the train if your child is old enough to come into London for the day)
  • 1 hour of tutoring in the morning
  • An exhibition or museum such as Imperial, Natural or Design Museum
  • A healthy lunch
  • An Afternoon activity such as tennis, football, Go Ape, Putt In The Park
  • 1 hour tutoring
  • 5pm finish


Outside the Ai Wei Wei Exhibition at the RA




Ready for tennis

Ready for tennis at The Hurlingham Club

For international parents and children that are new to London, they are able to help you by showing them the British culture and system.  Whatever your requirements are, these are your guys.  With the gaping summer holiday looming, they will be able to take the children off your hands knowing they are being well looked after and educated in a fair few things too!

Tuition rates start at £50/hr. Day trips start from £200/day.

Drop them an email for more information and to ask any questions – / or give them a call anytime on 020 7206 2569


Activities Days Out Events Places

Countryside in London

If the children are crawling up the walls and you are over your 15th visit to your local playground these holidays, take advantage of the quiet roads and head down to the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. There is so much going, we didn’t know where to begin!  Other than the occasional plane going over head, you wouldn’t know you were in The Big Smoke.

At the beginning of our visit we signed up to the Giant Egg Hunt and had to hunt the giant ducks dotted around. Each duck had a letter on it that you jotted down that made a word. Completed forms won… a chocolate. Yum, it is the Easter Holidays after all.


There were lots of Easter related activities such as egg painting which kept even the whiniest children quiet (yes my family won that prize).


There was also ‘build a Lego duck’ for the older children.


Other than enjoying different types of birds that the Wetland Centre homes in their natural habitat, there was a plethora of things to do. The Pond Dipping at the Pond Safari and the interactive talk on Otters were a hit.


The Wetlands is equipped for children of all ages and it is perfectly suited to a buggy too as the whole of the Centre has smooth paths around it.


For the more energetic, the giant playground Explore has a zip wire, vole tunnels and a climbing wall.  There are a couple of lovely little cafes where you can buy those genius pick n mix lunch boxes.

If 2/3 of my children hadn’t jumped in a puddle that went in and over their boots in the first five minutes (there was only one puddle after the recent rainfall – and yes they found it!) we could have easily wiled away the whole day and enjoyed the extensive indoor play areas too.


So much to do, so little time!  The good news is, it is cost effective to get a season ticket as it is redeemable against the entrance fee, so after a couple of trips it would pay for itself.

Definitely one for you if have an energetic explorer in your midst and want a refreshing change of scene…

The Giant Duck Hunt is on until 10th April.

Activities Places

Skiing In London

We took an after school activity to a whole different level on Wednesday, when my 5 year old and I went for a joint ski lesson at Chel –Ski in Chelsea, off the Kings Road. We were greeted by the friendly staff and introduced to our coach Kieran who immediately put us both at ease. After 5 years off the ski slopes, I was a little apprehensive about donning ski boots and getting my jelly legs working once again.

Centre 1

Chel-Ski is London’s largest indoor ski centre, which opened on the 10th December right on time for the 2015-16 ski season. From the team behind the phenomenally successful Clip ‘N Climb Chelsea – an indoor climbing wall attraction that has been drawing record crowds since its opening – the appropriately named Chel-Ski provides a fun, safe and controlled setting for ski and snowboard lessons and training, using BASI approved technology.


Hugo went first and was introduced to ‘pizza’ and ‘chips’ (snow plow and parallel) by a very patient coach.


After 15 minutes, it was my turn… I can certainly say it was slightly harder than actual snow and any technical inability is heightened by the revolving carpet, however once I found my feet so to speak, I managed to zone in and pretend I was skiing in Trois Valley! The faces watching us from Clip n Climb where none other than the Jolie Pitt kids (sadly it was lost on Huggy and I had to get excited by myself), so I had to give it my A game in case Mr Pitt was in the vicinity. Then it was H’s turn again and as he was was knackered by the end of the second session, he finished with a spot of tobogganing.


With no lifts or queues, Chel-Ski is the perfect venue in a central location where customers can brush up on existing skills or take their very first steps into the fun-fuelled world of skiing and snowboarding. Expect cool design aesthetics and an engaging environment in which to take to the slopes; the centre features the largest print of the largest panorama ever made of Mont Blanc by In2White, covering an entire wall. Very cool.

They have a range of deals to choose from, from private to group lessons.  This summer there is incredible deal – for £695 you can ski EVERY day for 5 months – May to September. Not only would it be great exercise, there would be no finding your ski legs when it was time to hit the real slopes.

Off the slopes, check out Chel-Ski’s fantastic alpine café where you can relax and enjoy some après-ski, taking advantage of the delicious refreshments on offer.

Cafe 2

In addition to individual bookings, Chel-Ski is also available to hire for family or group bookings, ski themed parties and corporate networking and teambuilding events. Chel-Ski provides an enticing new leisure and party destination in West London.

As we left, a little voice said ‘can I do it every Wednesday after school?’  You have to try it whether you are heading off skiing or not. It’s a great introduction to the slopes (and alot cheaper!)

For further information, please email:

Activities Days Out

Day Trips From London : Snooze Family Skiing

If you are a ‘skiing family’ or want to be, there is the eternal debate – when is the best age to go (child wise!)  We concluded that real skiing this year, would be an expensive avenue to get the our 5 year old skiing, as we think there would be too much whinging about the creche or ski school from the 3 and 1 year old, which I find more stressful than not going at all.

So, instead – wait for it – we headed to Milton Keynes Snozone.  We pre booked two hours, 1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday for a joint lesson for our oldest two.


The delightful Xscape building that includes Snozone, bowling, cinema and sky diving.

It was an efficient check in process despite it being absolutely heaving. As there are only a few real snow domes in the country, it attracts alot of people. You can read into that as you will!


R waiting for his boots.

They minumum age they accept is 3 and they recommend a half hour lesson to begin with whilst they get used to the boots and snow.

We met the coach Ben who took us all into the dome. He put their ski’s on and after moving about on the snow for a bit, took H up the conveyor belt.


You can watch behind a snow barrier but seeing as our 1 year old doesn’t like touching the snow, let alone standing on it, my time was up after 5 minutes and I headed into the cafe to watch (where there is a little soft play).


A has a thing for helmets at the moment…

In the end, H ended up having a one on one on both days with the coaches and Alex took R up and down (in his trainers!)


We found there is quite a difference between a 5 and a 3 year old when it comes to skiing for the first time. The former loving it and latter indifference (although obviously he can’t stop talking about it now!)


‘What happens if you cross your ski’s’

After half an hour H was going up on the button lift and doing snow plough down from the top.  He couldn’t wait for another lesson on the Sunday where he had the equally fantastic Jack for an hour.  R on the other hand would have been equally happy in the soft play with his sister!

The whole weekend was a labour of love for just two hours skiing but worth it and we will do it again. I am sure if you are going skiing already this year it is not necessary to have a ‘pre lesson’ as they will get it just as quickly when you are on the slopes, but if you have the skiing itch but aren’t able to itch it quite yet, I would book it in!

If you liked this post, you may like Day Trips From London : 6 Fun Farms