The Best Family Days Out From London: A Bumper Guide 2023
Samuel Johnson once said in 1777 ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. True – there are so many amazing things to do in London with kids but there weren’t so many enticing family days out from London on offer in those days!
If the school holidays are approaching and you’re looking for some inspiration for the best family days out from London, we have over 40 ideas for day trips from London with kids.
Many of them are perfect for family days out from London in the summer but there are some winter escapes too.
We have selected our very favourite places. Most of them are perfect for family day trips from London by train (we’ve given all the train details you need) – but a few will require a car.
When you feel like getting out of London with the kids, this bumper guide to family days out near London has all the inspiration you will need.
Looking for hotels in London? We have posts on best family hotels in London for all budgets, best London Premier Inn hotels for families and best hotels in London with pools for families.
See also child-friendly restaurants in London and restaurants where kids eat free in London.
For things to do in London – see our recommended attractions in London for kids, free things to do with kids in London and cooling splash parks in London.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one to book or buy something, we may earn a small commission but this is at no extra cost to you.
Top tips for family days out from London
Before we tell you all about our favourite family days out from London, here are a few tips that may come in handy..
1. Rail travel
If you are going to be doing family days out from London by train, look into family railcards. You can save up to 30% on your fares. Make sure to book in advance for the best fares.
You can buy your family railcard here.
2. What to take
- Make sure you have a good day bag that will carry what you need. We have the Osprey Talon 252 to carry the essentials.
- We also take reusable water bottles, preferably insulated to keep drinks cold on a warm day.
- Things we keep in our day bag (the bare minimum): suncream, hats, wet wipes, small travel game for the train/car, small snacks.
3. Be prepared for all weather
the British weather is unpredictable at best. During the summer months, we always carry our packable waterproof jackets with us. We absolutley love them and you will too! You can read our TOG24 review here.
You can find the best deals directly on the TOG24 website.
Check here for the best deals on TOG24 Craven Women’s Waterproof Packaway Jacket.
Check here for the best deals on TOG24 Craven Men’s Waterproof Packaway Jacket.
Check here for the best deals on TOG24 Craven Kid’s Waterproof Packaway Jacket.
4. Use TreasureMapTrails for city breaks
One of our top tips for exploring new cities with kids (apart from taking a Hop-on/hop-off bus tour) is to see if there is a Treasure Trail that you can do.
Most of the large cities will have at least one. We find that the kids get so engrossed in the trail that they won’t mind walking a little further than they normally might do.
You will also learn so much about the city as you are wandering around solving the clues. You can find all of the Treasure Map Trails here.
You can also use code FLASHPACKING to get 10% off.
5. Suffolk is too far from London for a day trip
We get asked a lot whether Suffolk is doable on a day trip. Mostly we would say no, it is not, although there are certain parts that you can visit in a day.
As much as we love Suffolk (being from there), most places in Suffolk that are worth seeing are hard to reach on a day trip from London. You would need more time there as it is a great destination for a UK family holiday.
FYI – We have lots of information on visiting Suffolk – particularly the popular beach towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh. You can type ‘Suffolk’ in the search bar and should find plenty to keep you occupied.
6. Center Parcs Day Pass
We’re not going to create a whole section on this as not everyone will be able to do this but did you know….
If you have friends or family staying at a Center Parcs, they can invite you to visit! You would need to purchase a day pass for Center Parcs, but this is a lovely day out from London.
Like Center Parcs but can’t justify the holiday prices? We have a post on places that are similar to Center Parcs but cheaper!
Family days out from London to the beach
Summer in the city can get hot and sticky. There are some great splash pads and the London Lidos are the perfect place to cool down but they can get very busy.
If you are visiting London, maybe you’ve managed to book a London hotel with an outdoor pool?
Sometimes you just need some fresh sea air and there are some fabulous beaches near London where you head to on a day out from London with kids.
These are the best beach days out from London with kids.
Brighton is one of the most popular beaches near London. It is absolutely buzzing in the summer months.
The great thing about visiting Brighton with kids is that all of the main sights are within walking distance of each other: the seafront, the Lanes, Brighton Pier and the Royal Pavilion are all easily explored on foot.
These are some best things to do in Brighton with kids:
- Head up the British Airways i360 for spectacular views of Brighton.
- Visit the SeaLife Centre – the oldest aquarium in the world.
- Visit the Upside Down House.
- Visit the Royal Pavillion.
- Take a Brighton Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour.
- Older kids might like the Brighton Zip Line experience.
London to Brighton by train
Route: From London Victoria on Southern and from London King’s Cross on Thameslink.
Journey time: Fastest time: 58 minutes / Average time 1 hour 20 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Brighton train tickets here.
Margate has undergone a regeneration in recent years and certain parts will make you feel like you are wandering around a trendy area of East London.
Dreamland, a vintage fairground. Pop into the Old Kent Market for some freshly baked goodies from Gina’s Bakery – her hot cross buns are the best!
Visit the Turner Contemporary on the seafront. If you have caught the tide time right, you’ll get a glimpse of Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Time’ statue, one of one hundred dotted around the UK coast.
If you have time, you can also walk along the coast to some of the best beaches in Kent, including Botany Bay and Broadstairs.
There’s a lot more to Kent than Margate. If you are spending more time there, check out our guide on the best things to do in Kent.
London to Margate by train
Route: From London St Pancras to Margate on Southeastern.
Journey time: Average time 1 hour 30 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Margate train tickets here.
Camber Sands (& Rye)
Camber Sands is one of the largest sandy beaches near London and is an easy train ride away. With such a large expanse of sand (and sand dunes), it is possible to get away from the crowds, even at the height of summer.
It is also located right next door to Rye which is one of the most beautiful small towns in England.
There are lots of things to do in Rye to keep the kids entertained if you want some time away from the beach.
To get to Camber Sands, you take the train to Rye and can either walk 3 miles along a lovely cycle path or take a taxi.
London to Camber Sands by train
Route: From London St Pancras to Rye on Southern Railway.
Journey time: Around 1 hour 9 minutes (with 1 change in Ashford International).
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Rye train tickets here.
Southend on Sea
Southend on Sea is very much a traditional British seaside town with its Adventure Island and numerous arcades along the seafront.
Adventure Island is free to enter and you pay for the rides. It is fairly small as theme parks go but there is plenty there to keep all ages occupied. As well as the rides, there is a huge indoor soft play centre, mini golf and an aquarium.
Take a walk along the longest pier in the world (1.3 miles) and then take the narrow gauge train back. We did the walk one winter and it was very bracing!
If you want to get away from the busy Southend beach, take a short walk to Chalkwell Beach.
Want to get away from the seafront fish & chips? We had a lovely meal at Il Mondo.
London to Southend on Sea by train
Route: From London Fenchurch to Southend on Sea on the C2C line.
Journey time: Just under 1 hour.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Southend train tickets here.
Family days out from London to theme parks
Legoland Windsor is a fun day out for the whole family as there are lots of rides for younger kids too.
We have a post on visiting Legoland Windsor with toddlers which you may find helpful. It details which rides are suitable for smaller kids but also gives general tips for visiting Legoland.
The easiest way to get to Legoland by train is to travel to Windsor & Eton Central and then take the free shuttle bus from outside of the station. You can also travel from London Waterloo.
Book tickets to Legoland Windsor here.
See here to find out what’s going on at Legoland Windsor and other Merlin attractions at Halloween.
London to Legoland Windsor by train
Route: From London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central on Great Western or from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside on Southwestern Railway.
Journey time: Around 22 minutes from Paddington or just under 1 hour from Waterloo.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Windsor Castle train tickets here.
20 miles south west of London, Thorpe Park is a theme park for thrill seekers with some of the best (and fastest and tallest) rollercoaster rides in the country.
Thorpe Park does also have some rides for younger kids. In fact, almost half of the rides at Thorpe Park are suitable for children 1.2m and above.
If one day is not enough for you, you can book a Thorpe Park short break.
Book tickets to Thorpe Park here.
London to Thorpe Park by train
Route: From London Waterloo to Staines on Southwestern Railway. From the station there is a shuttle bus that runs every 15 – 20 minutes.
Journey time: Around 30 minutes from Waterloo.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Thorpe Park train tickets here.
Chessington World of Adventures Resort
Chessington World of Adventures is less about thrill seeking rides than Thorpe Park and more about all round entertainment for the whole family.
There is also a zoo at Chessington and a sea life centre so it doesn’t have to all be about the rides.
If one day is not enough for you, they offer short breaks. It is also a great place to experience a Santa Sleepover. See here for other things to do at Christmas in Surrey this year.
Book tickets to Chessington World of Adventures here.
London to Chessington World of Adventures by train
Route: From London Waterloo to Chessington South on Southwestern Railway. From the station it is a ten minute walk to the theme park.
Journey time: Around 36 minutes from Waterloo.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Chessington World of Adventures train tickets here.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
While not really a theme park, we couldn’t figure out where to put this one. Maybe it should have its own section for best Harry Potter days out ever!
Harry Potter fans will love this family day out from London. One word of advice – you must book in advance!
You’ll get to wander through the studios without a guide and visit film sets, see props that were used in the movies and learn about special effects. There are also interactive activities along the way.
If you are visiting the studios yourself, you should plan for around 3 – 4 hours to complete the tour.
The Harry Potter studios are easy to reach from London by train but if you prefer to have someone pick you up in London, you can book a tour. This tour picks you up from Victoria Coach Station in central London.
You can also book a small group guided tour if you would a more personal experience.
If you are in London at Christmas and want to visit the Harry Potter Studios, you will get to experience Hogwarts in the Snow.
Read our review of the tour of Harry Potter Studios to help you make the most of your visit.
London to Harry Potter World by train
Route: From London Euston to Watford Junction on West Midlands Trains. You can take a free shuttle bus from the train station to the Studios.
Journey time: Around 20 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Harry Potter Studios train tickets here.
Other theme parks near London
There is also Alton Towers (mentioned under day trips from London to Birmingham), Dreamland (mentioned under Margate), Gullivers Land in Milton Keynes and Adventure Island in Southend. Most other theme parks are harder to do in a day trip.
Family days out from London to visit castles
Having grown up in Framlingham in the shadow of Framlingham Castle in Suffolk (do check it out if you are looking for things to do with kids in Suffolk), visiting castles is just our thing.
These are our favourite castles near London that are perfect for a day trip from London with kids.
Leeds Castle has been called the loveliest castle in the world and we would tend to agree.
It is such a fun day out from London for families as there is so much going on there – especially over the school holidays.
We loved spotting the mini Henry VIII figurines dotted around the castle before heading out to explore the gardens. There is a tricky maze with a surprise at the middle. You can practice your archery skills, watch a falconry display or relax while the kids play in the fabulous play areas.
You can read all about our review of Leeds Castle here.
We also have a guide to the best castles in Kent that you might like to read.
You can buy your Leeds Castle entrance tickets here.
London to Leeds Castle by train
Route: From London Victoria to Bearsted on Southeastern. A shuttle bus runs from the station from April to September and takes 5 minutes.
Journey time: Around 1 hour.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Leeds Castle train tickets here.
The Queen’s main residence, Windsor Castle, is one of the oldest occupied castles in England. It dates back over 900 years.
There is a free family audio tour which is aimed at children aged 7 – 11 and which teaches of the castles history and its treasures.
There is an onsite café and during the school holidays there are special events taking place with children in mind.
From the castle you can walk along the Royal Mile which stretches 3 miles through Windsor Great Park. If you are luck, you might see deer here.
You can buy your Windsor Castle entry ticket here.
London to Windsor Castle by train
Route: From London Paddington to Windsor & Eton Central on Great Western or from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside on Southwestern Railway.
Journey time: Fastest journey time is around 20 minutes from Paddington or 1 hour from Waterloo.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Windsor Castle train tickets here.
Although quite a way out of London, you can reach Warwick on a fast train, making it perfect for family days out from London.
It is one of the most popular attractions in the country and the focus is on family fun. There are live falconry shows, jousting and archery. Keep en eye on their website to see what is going on. This summer they have live Zog shows and a Dragon Slayer light show.
They also run special events through the year, such as Santa Sleepovers at Christmas (and a lovely ice skating rink) and Halloween themed events.
If you wanted to spend more time there, you can spend the night there in knight’s glamping tents at Warwick Castle Knight’s Village.
You can buy your Warwick Castle tickets here.
London to Warwick Castle by train
Route: From London Marylebone to Warwick on Chiltern Railways.
Journey time: Fastest journey time is around 90 minutes. The castle is araound a 10 minute walk from the station.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Warwick Castle train tickets here.
Family days out from London to cities
If you missed our top city sightseeing tip with kids at the top of our post, we recommend finding out whether the city has a Hop-on/hop-off bus tour or a Treasure Trail that you can do.
You can find all of the Treasure Map Trails here.
Oxford is a lovely day trip from London for families. It is really easy to get to on the train and perfect in the summer months when you can have a go at punting.
Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and should be on your list of places to visit in Oxford with kids. Take some time to enjoy the Oxford University parks.
You can actually take a walking tour with an Oxford University Alumni which should be quite insightful.
If you have any Harry Potter fans – they will love taking a Harry Potter tour. Choose from either the Harry Potter Tour with Divinity School entry or Christ Church Harry Potter filming locations.
Other things to do in Oxford with kids:
- Walking tour with punting (get tickets here).
- Oxford boat cruse (get tickets here).
- Oxford Treasure Map Trail (buy map here). Use code FLASHPACKING for 10% off.
- Oxford Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour (get tickets here).
- Visit the Botanical Gardens.
- Visit the museums (Natural History Museum, Story Museum, Ashmolean Museum).
London to Oxford by train
Route: From London Paddington to Oxford on Great Western Railway and from London Marylebone on Chiltern Railways.
Journey time: 50 minutes from Paddington and 1 hour 15 minutes from Marylebone.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Oxford train tickets here.
As you might expect, Cambridge is perfect for educational family days out from London.
As well as being home to one of the world’s most famous universities, there are also a number of great museums in Cambridge for families.
Our favourites include the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences where you will find dinosaur skeletons and lots of family activities and the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Kids will also enjoy the Cambridge Science Centre where there are lots of interactive activites to spark the imagination.
Of course, you can’t come to Cambridge and not visit Cambridge University – can you? You will learn the most by taking a guided walking tour. See here to book your guided walking tour.
And the same goes for punting! See here to book your guided punting tour.
If you are visiting Cambridge at Christmas, here are some ideas of things to do in Cambridge at Christmas.
Other things to do in Cambridge with kids:
- Cambridge Treasure Map Trail (buy map here). Use code FLASHPACKING for 10% off.
- Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
- Visit Lammas Land just south of King’s College in the summer for the amazing outdoor pool and splash area.
- Take a Hop-on/Hop-off Cambridge bus tour. (Buy tickets here).
London to Cambridge by train
Route: From London Kings Cross (Great Northern), London St Pancras (Thameslink) and London Liverpool Street (Greater Anglia) to Cambridge.
Journey time: fastest service is from Kings Cross in around 50 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Cambridge train tickets here.
Birmingham has Cadbury World. Need we say any more?!?
Birmingham is billed as the Venice of the North so you should not take a day trip to Birmingham from London without visiting the canals (a must if you are a Peaky Blinders fan).
The best way to learn about the history of the canals is to take a walking tour – although this would be more suited to older kids.
Some of the best things to do with kids in Birmingham are:
- Bear Grylls Adventure Centre (get tickets here).
- Legoland Discovery Centre – the ultimate indoor playground (get tickets here).
- Birmingham SeaLife (get tickets here).
- Alton Towers (get tickets here).
- Treasure Trail (buy here).
It is one of the best cities to visit at Christmas because it has the biggest German Christmas market outside of Germany (and is one of the best Christmas markets in the UK).
If you have more time, Birmingham is a great place to base yourself for exploring the Midlands. Right on your doorstep is Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds just to the South and the Peak District just to the North.
You can check this blog post out for more ideas if you are visiting Birmingham with kids in the summer holidays.
London to Birmingham by train
Route: From London Euston to Birmingham on Chiltern Railways.
Journey time: Fastest time: Just under 1 hour 30 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Birmingham train tickets here.
Bath is a beautiful city known for its Georgian architecture, historic shops, the famed Roman Baths and Jane Austen.
It is the only city in the United Kingdom to be designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.
You can explore the city on foot and see some truly stunning sites. You might like to do a short (50 minute) walking tour to familiarise yourself with the city.
Pop into Sally Lunn’s home and sample a traditional Sally Lunn bunn which has been made since the 1600s. Almost next door are the famous Roman Baths.
After exploring the Roman Baths (children who are blue Peter badge holders go FREE) and perusing cute little shops, you should stop by the Royal Crescent.
After the Royal Crescent, you might want some downtime in the next-door Victoria Park (which is also where you will find the Bath Botanical Gardens).
If you are Bridgerton fans, much of the series is filmed in Bath and there is a popular walking tour showing you the Bridgerton filming locations.
If you would like to see nearby Stonehenge but don’t have a car, you might be interested in a full day tour to Bath from London that incorporates the Roman Baths and Stonehenge.
Some other things to do in Bath with kids are:
- Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour (get tickets here).
- The Jane Austen Centre (get tickets here).
- Do a Treasure Trail (get maps here).
There is so much to do in and around Bath that you may want more time. If you do, you should check out VisitBath for more inspiration.
London to Bath by train
Route: From London Paddington to Bath on Great Western.
Journey time: Just under 1 hour 15 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Bath train tickets here.
St Albans is one of the easiest family days out from London. It may be a small city but there is plenty to do here to keep you busy for the day.
St Albans is a Roman town and remains of the ancient city walls can be seen in Verulamium Park next to the enormous cathedral. Visit the Verulamium Museum to find out more about everyday life in Roman Britain.
There are lots of shops to explore and loads of family-friendly restaurants in St Albans. On Wednesdays and Saturdays there is a buzzing market in town.
Other things to do in St Albans with kids:
- St Albans Treasure Map Trail (buy map here) or Treasure Trail (buy map here). Use code FLASHPACKING for 10% off.
- Climb the 93 steps of the St Albans Clock Tower.
- Visit St Albans Museum
- Visit Willows Activity Farm.
- Take a picnic in the enormous Verulamium Park.
- Visit the splash pad in Verulamium Park.
- Visit Hawswick Farm for strawberry picking (one of the best fruit farms near London).
London to St Albans by train
Route: From London St Pancras to St Albans City on Thameslink.
Journey time: Around 20 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to St Albans train tickets here.
Since we also run one of the biggest Shakespeare websites in the country and are big Shakespeare fans, there’s no way Stratford-upon-Avon wasn’t getting a mention in our family days out from London post!
We have been here many times and have always had a great day out with the kids. Some of our favourite places to visit in Stratford are:
- Visit the 5 Shakespeare family homes managed by The Shakespeare Trust.
- Take a boat trip on the River Avon
- Visit the Butterfly Farm.
- Visit the MAD Museum.
You can buy tickets to Shakespeare’s Schoolroom here. You might also want to look into tours to Stratford-upon-Avon from London.
If you are visiting for longer than a day trip from London, you should look into the Shakespeare Explorer Pass which includes 10 attractions in the area.
You can buy your Shakepeare’s England Explorer Pass here.
London to Stratford-upon-Avon by train
Route: From London Marylebone to Stratford-upon-Avon on Chiltern Railways.
Journey time: Fastest time: Just under 2 hours.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Stratford-upon-Avon train tickets here.
Other family days out from London to UK cities that we love are:
- Norwich – medieval city with cathedrals, churches, castles. Explore the Lanes for cute shops and lovely restaurants. If you have more time, visit The Norfolk Broads and the Norfolk Beaches, BeWILDerwood.
- Bristol – admire the Banksy artwork, wander over Clifton Suspension Bridge, visit Bristol Zoo.
- Colchester – the oldest town in the country! Visit Colchester Castle museum for Roman treasures or Colchester Zoo.
Family days out from London – Historic Houses and Museums
Hatfield House is an exquisite 400 year old mansion in Hertfordshire. The house is open from mid May to the end of August on Thursdays to Sundays and the gardens from the beginning of April to the end of September.
There are extensive gardens to explore and woodland walks to enjoy. During the summer months they hold a number of open air events.
Older kids might like to join you at their fabulous Classic Ibiza event. We went to one at Blickling Hall in Norfolk and it was amazing.
Not far from Hatfield House is Knebworth House – also home to some really fun outdoor events in the summer like the Great British Food Festival. They have a fantastic wooden fortress play area and some enormous slides for the kids to enjoy.
London to Hatfield House by train
Route: From London Kings Cross to Hatfield on Great Northern.
Journey time: Around 30 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Hatfield House train tickets here.
Tring Natural History Museum
If you love the Natural History Museum in London, why not head out to Tring in Hertfordshire to visit its smaller sibling, Tring Natural History Museum?
Whilst it is nowhere near as big and comprehensive as one of the best museums in London to visit with kids, it will be much less busy and just as interesting.
You can read all about visiting Tring Natural History Museum here. Our guide includes details on where to go in Tring for lunch and also some beautiful Hertfordshire walks nearby.
If you would like to learn more about Tring itself, why not try a Treasure Map Trail. You can buy the map here. Use code FLASHPACKING for 10% off.
One of our favourites is the lovely Ashridge Estate which, if you are visiting in the Spring, is one of the best places to see bluebells in the UK.
London to Tring by train
Route: From London Euston to Tring on West Midlands Railway (take a taxi or bus into town from the station).
Journey time: Fastest time – 34 minutes / Average time – 45 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Tring train tickets here.
Blenheim Palace is a beautiful stately home near Oxford and a World Heritage Site. The state rooms are simply gorgeous.
As well as wandering around the house, you can explore the extensive gardens. Don’t miss the Malborough Maze!
Our favourite time of year to visit Blenheim Palace is at Christmas. The Blenheim Palace Christmas light trail is simply dazzling! They also have lots going on at Halloween if you’re looking for things to do at Halloween with kids.
You can buy your Blenheim Palace admission ticket here.
It is best if you have a car to visit Blenheim Palace from London but it is doable by train.
London to Blenheim Palace by train
Route: From London Marylebone to Oxford Parkway on Chiltern Railways. Take Number 7 bus from the station. Make sure to check out whether Stagecoach are running their 30% off Blenheim Palace tickets offer.
Journey time: 50 minutes on the train and 30 minutes on the bus.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Blenheim Palace train tickets here.
Audley End House and Gardens
Audley End is a beautiful English Heritage property on the border of Essex and Hertfordshire and one of England’s grandest mansions.
A visit to Audley End will transport you back to Victorian times. On weekends during the summer months, you can experience live interpretations of life as it was. Staff dress up as sevants and interact in character.
There are acres of gardens (designed by Capability Brown) and parkland to explore but we love the Miniature Railway.
Audley End is a fabulous place to visit at Christmas because they run a lovely Santa Train ride. We have also loved the Fairy and Elf Trail during the summer months.
Check what’s going on at Halloween. Audley End is usually one of the best things to do at Halloween in Essex.
Have you got your English Heritage membership? You can buy it here today and get free access to English Heritage sites for the rest of the year.
London to Audley End by train
Route: From London Liverpool Street to Audley End on Greater Anglia.
Journey time: Fastest time is around 50 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Audley End train tickets here.
Family days out from London – Animal Parks
Woburn Safari Park
We are huge fans of taking kids on safari so we were keen on checking out what Woburn Safari Park had to offer.
Whilst you cannot compare your day out at Woburn Safari Park to one of the best family safaris in South Africa, having monkeys jump on your car trying to pull your windscreen wipers off is quite amusing (unless they succeed)!
Going into the lion enclosure was also quite thrilling!
Woburn Safari Park is one of the few family days out from London that we recommend driving to. You will need a car to properly experience the safari side of the park.
Paradise Wildlife Park
Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire offers the chance to see rare wildlife like white tigers and the largest anaconda in the UK.
It is also one of the best places to see dinosaurs with some of the best animatronic dinosaurs in the UK.
Watch out for their special events through the year like the Tiger weekend or Reptile Weekend. They also run seasonal events at Halloween and Christmas. Their Dinos After Dark is really fun.
Right next door to Paradise Wildlife Park is Broxbourn Woods. If you have time and feel like a walk, there is a lovely sculpture trail at Broxbourn Woods that is perfect for families.
London to Paradise Wildlife Park by train
Route: From London Liverpool Street to Broxbourne on Greater Anglia. You will need to take a 5-minute taxi ride from the train station.
Journey time: From 25 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Paradise Wildlife Park train tickets here.
Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is linked to London Zoo. If you have London Zoo membership, you can visit Whipsnade Zoo for free as often as you like.
This is where you will see elephants that you can no longer see at London Zoo. If you time your visit right, you can see elephants taking a walk around the zoo with their keeper.
Did you know that Whipsnade offer a safari experience too? It actually took a few visits for us to get to it because there is so much to see and do. You can easily spend a day at Whipsnade and not see everything.
Our blog post on visiting Whipsnade Zoo gives you everything you need to know about a day out at Whipsnade. Ideally you would drive to Whipsnade Zoo, especially if you want to drive in and do the safari loop – but having a car to visit is not essential.
If you don’t want to spend a full day there, you can take a walk in the lovely Chiltern Hills at the nearby Dunstable Downs.
You can buy your Whipsnade Zoo membership here or London Zoo membership here or you can buy your day entry tickets here.
London to Whipsnade Zoo by train
Route: From London St Pancras to Luton on Thameslink. From the station, you would really need to take a taxi as the bus takes around 40 minutes.
Journey time: Around 35 minutes.
Train tickets: You can purchase your London to Luton train tickets here.
Family days out from London to parks
Cassiobury Park in Watford is a huge 190 acre green space with lots going on for families. It is really easy to reach from London on the London Underground (Watford is in Zone 7) and is the ideal place to escape the city heat.
In the summer months the kids can enjoy a newly renovated splash area. There are also lots of sports going on.
If you had time after visiting Harry Potter World, you could pop in here for a play.
If you happen to be visiting the Warner Brothers Studios and staying in one of the hotels near Harry Potter World in Watford like the Holiday Inn, you could easily pop into the park.
London to Cassiobury Park by train
Route: Metropolitan Line to Watford. The park entrance is just opposite the tube station.
Journey time: Varies depending on which London tube station you depart from but from Kings Cross it takes about 45 minutes.
Train tickets: You can find out about London underground tickets here.
Some other ideas for days out from London to country parks are:
Panshanger Park in Hertfordshire.
Aldenham Country Park in Hertfordshire.
Lullingstone Country Park in Kent.
Norbury Park Nature Reserve in Surrey.
Hainault Forest in Essex.
Epping Forest in Essex.
Colne Valley Regional Park in Buckinghamshire.
Days out in London
We’ve created a separate section for family days out in London because we feel they still deserve a place here.
Kew is lovely to visit any time of the year. We have been in all of the seasons and can’t choose a favourite.
They have a really great (secure) playground for kids. You can ONLY go in there if you have kids with you.
Also a lovely place to visit at Christmas as they run one of the best Christmas light trails in the country.
You can buy your Kew Gardens entrance ticket here.
Hampton Court Palace (and boat back)
Hampton Court Palace is somewhere you can go for a full day out but still remain in London. If you are visiting in the winter, they have a fabulous ice skating rink.
To make it a full day out, you could take the train there and a boat back.
You can buy your Hampton Court Palace entrance ticket here.
The RAF Museum is a great place to go if you’re looking for rainy day trips from London or family days out in north London.
You can read all about visiting the London RAF Museum here.
Visiting the RAF Museum in London is free.
Day trips from London to France
Did you know that it is entirely possible to do a day trip from London to Paris?
We have taken the first Eurostar out, arriving into Paris early enough to have a lovely breakfast. After breakfast, we took a stroll around Notre Dame, hopped on a sightseeing boat to the Eiffel Tower, one of the top attractions in Paris.
After that, we had lunch then hopped on the Metro to the Sacre Coeur for some of the best views of Paris. From the Sacre Coeur, it is a quick hop back to Paris Gare du Nord to catch the train home.
If you are tempted by staying overnight, you can take a look at these amazing hotels in Paris with Eiffel Tower views.
You can check Eurostar fares here.
Well, I have really enjoyed writing this post. Over the years, we have done so many family days out from London. Some when the kids were much smaller, some more recently.
This days out from London for families post has brought back so many fantastic memories and I hope you will make some lovely memories too.
If you have any family days out from London that you would like to recommend, please let us know!