Sitting proudly southeast of our hectic capital city, Surrey is nestled amongst one of the UK’s most admired areas of outstanding natural beauty. Bordering Kent, when you do pay a visit to this scenic and serene part of England, it’s hard to believe that you’re in such close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the Big Smoke.
Surrey family attractions perfectly pair together the feel of crazy busy city life and the calm, county landscapes. At the heart of the county, you can find two of the country’s largest, most exciting adventure-theme parks, while in perfect juxtaposition, mere miles away, archaic builds and agricultural land make for a more slow-paced, cultural days. Pack up your picnic, here are five of the best family days out in Surrey.
Chessington World of Adventures
Dubbed as Britain’s Wildest Adventure, Chessington World of Adventure is much more than a family theme park. Fully-inclusive tickets not only grant unlimited rides on 40 attractions over 10 themed lands, but also access to the park’s award-winning zoo, which is home to over 1000 exotic animals, including lions, gorillas, and sea lions. As well as the ‘sometimes-seen’ theme park cum zoo combo, Chessington goes that little bit further. You’ll also find Chessington SEALIFE Centre on site, complete with its awesome walk-through ocean tunnel, as well as interactive rock pools, daily talks and feeding sessions.
And it doesn’t stop there. Tots will adore The Gruffalo Groove, a Donaldson themed trek through Chessington’s deep, dark woods. Along the way you will spot key characters from the highly-acclaimed picture book, to enjoy some moving and grooving. Chessington packs enough in to fill a family fun weekend to brimming.
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is one of the UK’s Historic Royal Palaces, which was once the home of Henry VIII. Dating back 500 years, the Tudor Palace is open to the public and makes for a charming day with the clan, soaking up some quintessentially English culture.
As well as being blown away by the grandeur of the building, children will love completing the digital mission, a downable ‘Time Explorers’ app on which they can meet a whole host of famous faces from the past. The free family trail also includes fun quizzes and activities, which can be completed for a prize as your children make their way around the palace.
Thorpe Park is an adrenaline-centric attraction with over 30 rides created with all family members in mind. Even teenagers will want to come along on this trip! Thrilling park attractions include The Swarm (the UK’s only winged coaster), Stealth, and the spine-tingling Saw movie ride adaptation.
While your tweens and teens are enjoying the Thorpe Park’s fast-paced pulls, families with younger children can head on over to Angry Birds Land. Cause mayhem with the family’s favourite animated birds on their action-packed 4D adventure, and rip-roaring rides such as the multi-lane Depth Charge super slide and Tidal Wave.
Go Ape! Alice Holt
While Go Ape! high-ropes courses typically cater to older children and teens, Surrey’s Go Ape! Alice Holt has got the whole family covered. Suitable for children measuring 1 metre or taller, the Go Ape Tree Top Junior course provides an hour of jam-packed toe-tingling fun. Complete with wobbly bridges, myriad conspicuous crossings and that all-important zip wire ending, Go Ape! Alice Holt makes for an affordable and exciting adventure for children and us parents, too.
Rural Life Centre
After action-packed days at the best of Surrey’s theme park attractions, it could be time to slow down the pace a little? The Rural Life Centre is the largest countryside museum in the south of England. What began as a couple’s personal hobby, featuring a collection of small agricultural equipment, has since expanded and opened to the public.
Now the Old Kiln Museum Trust, the site is a superb way to introduce your youngsters to the world of all-things farming. The immersive exhibition includes equipment and devices which are up to 150 years old! While it’s always a great attraction to visit, on Thursdays during school holidays, the Rural Life Centre runs Activity Thursdays, during which children can try their hand as a farm worker from the Victorian era.