The summer holidays are looming and no matter how much you try to organise and arrange for your little (and not-so little) ones to do, it’ll never be enough. Karen Neville serves up a few ideas…
et’s hope for good weather to get outdoors and have some fun. So we’ll start with ideas for explorers and adventurers. How about swinging from the treetops and climbing the rope bridges? Try out the Tarzan swings, zip wires and crossings at Go Ape at Alice Holt Forest, Farnham; check out www.goape.co.uk/days-out/south-east/alice-holt. In Guildford, enjoy more treetop adventures, ropes and zipwire courses at Wild Wood Adventure. There are different options for kids aged six and upwards. Find out more at www.wildwood-adventure.com. If you’ve still not had enough, pop along to Skywalk Adventure near Esher for more of the same with two courses to choose from here. Visit the website at www.skywalkadventure.co.uk
Thrill-seekers must put this on their list too – Zip Now is the fastest city-centre zip wire in the world, launching from a central London location, 35m up in the air you’ll travel at speeds of up to 50km per hour over a distance of 225metres. If this is for you, head to the website to book your ride on the biggest, fastest zip, www.zip-now.co
After all that exercise how about something more sedate and relaxed, at one of the many National Trust properties? Clandon Park is rebuilding after the fire in 2015 but its stunning grounds and the sneak peek inside the renovations offer a real treat. Explore 900 years of history at Petworth House in West Sussex, join in the wings and whiskers trail and, throughout the summer, journey around the Pleasure Ground and be a plant hunter. Nestled in a quiet corner of Midhurst is the hidden gem of Woolbeding Gardens, take time out and relax surrounded by stunning greenery, quirky follies and a 4m tall water fountain. Hatchlands Park is offering you the chance to “undress the Georgians” on 6th June, 7.30pm, and discuss taste and fashion. Booking essential. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk
If things really hot up and we have another heatwave, can there be anything better than taking a dip in a swimming pool? You and yours can have a splashing time at the outdoor pool at Guildford Lido and shoot down the slides before making a splash into the cooling water.
For full details of the opening times and prices visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk/centres/guildford-lido/
Entertaining teenagers can be harder. Let them get out with their mates with bowling at Guildford’s Spectrum, www.guildfordspectrum.co.uk or let go of excess energy at trampoline parks in Guildford (www.airhop-guildford.com) and Camberley (www.gravityforce.co.uk).
If your teens are speed freaks you could try a karting experience at Sandown Park or a driving experience at Mercedes Benz World in Woking; www.mercedes-benzworld.co.uk
It’s a good idea to have some indoor fun lined up. Surrey has some brilliant museums – Brooklands for motoring and aviation exhibits and The Lightbox in Woking for culture, among many more. And, if you can’t get outdoors and run around, burn off some energy at Egham Orbit. The leisure centre offers swimming, a splash zone, sporting activities and soft play areas for younger ones; visit www.achievelifestyle.co.uk/egham-orbit
Get closer to the wonders of the natural world at Marwell Zoo. There are hundreds of animals in the 140-acre park, five adventure playgrounds where you can swing like a monkey and slide like a penguin. There’s an interactive expedition with more than two million LEGO bricks in the hols and an 8m T-Rex model. Look out for Colin…
Birdworld near Farnham is one of the UK’s largest bird parks. As well as enjoying a walk around the 26 acres of aviaries and beautiful landscaped gardens, visitors can admire more than 1,000 birds and 180 species from around the world and take part in feeding sessions. Visit www.birdworld.co.uk
When is a garden centre not a garden centre? When it’s Sutton Green Garden Centre in Woking. As well as all you’d expect, fab café to refresh you, and there’s also archery tag (bet you haven’t tried that) and Nerf parties and action-packed camp days full of fun too. Find out more at
Painshill is an award-winning landscape garden, created in the 18th century as a “living work of art”, its winding paths will guide you on a beautiful walk with a series of stunning views. Take a picnic or relax in the tea room and play area to complete a great day out, www.painshill.co.uk. Another beautiful house and gardens well worth a visit is Gilbert White’s at Selborne where you’ll find fascinating collections and family activities.
Celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday, 8th June, (one for mums and dads!) at Silent Pool near Guildford – meet distillers, learn how gin is made, taste cocktails and join a free distillery tour. Tickets on the day, first come first served. Live music and local food all day too. Free entry, 10am-5pm. All welcome; visit www.silentpooldistillers.com
However you spend your summer hols, have fun!