If you’re like me, you’re eager to venture out into the world once again. You’ve grown tired of the same four walls around you and want to escape. Over the next few months, the restrictions will begin to be lifted and we can start to gather and experience the outdoors once again. Therefore, why not start your list of must-see parks and other public spaces eagerly waiting for you throughout London. It’s a perfect time to begin rediscovering all the wonderful public spaces London has to offer with your family. There’s something for everyone.
South West London
Horseback riding – Village Stables – Wimbledon
Anyone looking for a bit of country adventure all while staying within the shadow of London should come to the stables in Wimbledon. Established thirty years ago, bring the entire family out for a great adventure on horseback while riding over Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. An award-winning British Horse Society Approved Training Centre, the stable can provide beginning as well as advanced lessons or courses offering a wonderful afternoon of horse-riding adventure.
Located: 24 High Street SW19 5DX
Phone: 020 8946 8579
Go Ape – Battersea Park
How would you like to take the family on an adventure in a sprawling urban jungle? Well, you can do just that at Go Ape in Battersea Park. Hidden in the canopy is one of the best secrets of southwest London. You and your family can enjoy the dozens of climbing ropes, floating walkways high above the ground or zip lines whisking you through the trees. The pathways are fraught with obstacles and challenges for those brave adventurers.
Located: Battersea Park SW11 4NJ
Phone: 0333 331 4987
London Helicopter Tour
Anyone looking for a bit of adventure needs to look no further than taking a London Helicopter Tour. With a bird’s eye view, the London Helicopter Tour offers a singular way to experience the wonderful city sights. You will not be disappointed in the breathtaking views of the city’s wonderful points of attraction. There are individual and group rates with also numerous different packages available to customize your mile-high tour of London.
Location: The Pod Building, Bridges Court, Battersea SW11 3BE
Phone: 020 7887 2626;
Hackney City Farm
Home to numerous urban farms, London has brought the rural appeal of farm-life to the walls of the city. Families looking for a bit of country adventure need no long drive beyond the city limits to find the adventure they seek. Bring the little ones on Saturday for the Mini Farmer’s Club. Animals galore, let the whole family enjoy a slice of farm-life while staying in London.
Location: 1a Goldsmiths Row E2 8QA
Phone: 020 7729 6381
Kayaking Tours of Thames
The biggest guided kayaking tour provider on the Thames, The Kayaking London centre features kayaking adventures for all ages and all levels of experience. If you’ve never gone kayaking, why not start now? This is not to be missed. The tours are guided by some of the most experienced kayakers in London, offering a second to none experience. No need to worry about getting wet, splash-proof equipment keeps you and your family warm and dry while you enjoy riding the Thames.
Location: Cremorne Riverside, Lots Road SW10 0QH; 020 7349 9591
North and East London
Runaround at Barnard Park
Offering a wonderful adventure playground and numerous sports facilities, the Runaround offers a perfect setting for an afternoon of football or basketball. When the kids get too hot from all the running around, simply stick them in the water play adventure park and let them cool off.
Location: Copenhagen Street N1 0ER; 020 7527 2000;
Go Ape, Alexandra Palace
No, that’s not a typo. There is another Go Ape location, the company extending their reach to Alexandra Palace. Offering truly awe-inspiring views of the city, adult and children alike can enjoy themselves amid the Tree Top Adventures walking along suspended walkways, bridges, and tunnels. There is also an exciting zip line to ride as well, racing through the treetops.
Location: Alexandra Palace Way N22 7AY; 0845 6439215
Commune with Nature at Woodberry Wetlands
Founded in the 1800s this wonderful wildlife reservoir is a burgeoning wetland offering sanctuary to swallows, Kingfishers, butterflies, bats. Spend an hour or an afternoon wandering the lush foliage and beautiful paths before making a pit stop at The Coal House Café.
Location: New River Path N16 5HQ; 020 8802 4573
Hounslow Urban Farm
Set on a sprawling twenty-nine acres, Londoners can experience the wonder of country relaxation while remaining inside the wonderful cityscape of London. This is one of the largest community farms in greater London and includes rabbits, geese, ducks, goats, pigs, and alpacas. The entire family can commune with the collection of animals and make friends with them for the day. There are also pony rides and for the adventurous members of your family even owl handling.
Location: Faggs Road TW14 0LZ; 020 8831 9658
With springtime coming on strong in the next few weeks, you and your family are going to be looking for wonderful outdoor activities, Ravenscourt Park is a perfect place for those activities. With a whopping thirteen acres of walking paths, picnic locations, numerous playgrounds, and sporting facilities. There are netball courts, tennis courts, and even Astroturf football pitches.
Location: 16 Ravenscourt Avenue W6 0SL; 020 8748 3020;
Adrenalin Rush Laser Combat
That’s right. Laser combat. What’s not to enjoy? It’s every person for themselves as you and your family members race around firing laser weapons at each other. Why not come into the Adrenalin Rush Laser Combat location today and get your guns on. Hide behind tractor tires, buildings, abandoned cars, and oil drums. Not to worry. It’s all safe fun with guns that fire harmless infrared signals that sensors pick up. Players are perfectly safe.
Location: Kings House School Sports Ground, Riverside Drive W4 3SH; 07956 817667
Stroll Through Margravine Cemetery
For those families who are fans of the creepy and crawly side of London. If that sounds like your family then you and your brood should definitely check out Margravine Cemetery. Could there be specters and haunts abound? Possibly. Might there be flora, fauna, and beautiful wildlife? Definitely. This historic cemetery is home to three separate memorials and is far more than just a graveyard. This is a beautiful locale rife with wildlife of all kinds.
Location: Margravine Gardens W6 8RL
Holland Park’s Adventure Playground
This is a place for kids to burn off their energy with plenty of space and activities to keep them from getting bored. There are mini-climbing walls and exciting climbing frames too as well as an aerial runway. There is a massive 22-acre area filled with gardens, woodlands, and sports areas. Once the day is done, take the family to the on-site café in the Japanese Kyoto Garden and have a nice dinner.
Location: Holland Park W8 6LU; 020 7602 2226
South East London
Those families looking for something to do with a decidedly historical slant should look no further than Severndroog Castle. Built on one of the highest points in London, Shooter’s Hill, the castle, built in the 1700s, offers beautiful cityscape views as well as unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside.
Location: Castle Wood, Severndroog Castle SE18 3RT; 0800 689 1796
Crystal Palace Park
This park is the only one which can boast a maze made from hedges. It is also the only park with a herd of leafy dinosaurs. It has a boating lake, a café, and a children’s farm.
Location: Thicket Road SE19 2GA; 0300 303 8658
Herne Hill Velodrome
One of the oldest tracks in the world, the Herne Hill Velodrome was built in 1891. With an impressive 30-degree bank, this 450-meter-long track was used in the 1958 Olympics. This is a great venue to try something unique as a family. They even offer cycling polo and an impressive array of mountain biking paths.
Location: 104 Burbage Road, Herne Hill SE24 9HE
If the attractions above weren’t quite your speed or if you’ve already experienced them and looking for other alternatives, then how about trying these bonus attractions on for size? They offer something different and might be just what the doctor ordered when it comes to fun, entertaining things to do together.
Harry Potter – London Bus Tour
Let this one-of-a-kind tour take you and your family to the real King’s Cross Station as well as the famous platform 9 and ¾. Your family will not be disappointed as the bus makes stops at all of the Leaky Cauldron’s locations. The bus will also stop at every locale associated with the vast Harry Potter franchise. Stand before the incredible 12 Grimmault Place.
Hounslow Heritage Walk, Isleworth
While this might seem a bit gruesome on the face of it, these two locations offer a truly singular experience. Certainly, 200 soldiers died at the Battle of Brentford but this entire area is full of history. Vincent Van Gogh actually taught in Isleworth. While on the Hounslow Heritage Walk, those are just two stories which help to bring out of the history of Chiswick’s Palladian Villa, Syon House, Osterly House, and Boston Manor.
Peckham’s Rooftop Film Club
Looking for something completely different? Then look no further. How about coming to the Rooftop Film Club in Peckham and watch a movie while enjoying some Italian food from Forza Win. Just sit back in the provided director’s chairs and snuggle under blankets, listening to the movie through headphones. The bar will be open at promptly 5pm. The films begin at sunset and tickets are now on sale. Book early because there are limited seats available.
Location: Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane SE15 4ST; 020 7635 6655
For those families seeking adventure then may I present to you the Chislehurst Caves. These man-made caves weave under some of the most beautiful countrysides. Originally used to mine chalk, now families can enjoy the unique experience of wandering underground in a forty-five-minute tour. They leave at the top of every hour.
Location: Old Hill BR7 5NL; 020 8467 3264