New ticket Family London reveals the best family experiences in London
LEE VALLEY Oyster-white WATER CENTRE
Alongside the twisted form of Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Revolution, one of the best toys left behind after the London 2012 Summer Olympics may be this monster, artificial riverbed.
For adrenaline-loving over-14s, the temptation to hop in a group raft and look like on the sodden dips and turns of the full course will prove flourishing. But be warned, a day here can be just as exhausting as it is exhilarating.
There’s a thorough safety briefing, an icy dip to prove your know-how in the water and a kindly drill sergeant of an instructor bellowing orders everywhere.
Those after something easier (or under-14s) can make a splash in the flatter Legacy Loop area on a Hydrospeed board or in a Hot Dog canoe and even callow ones can stomp around in the sand in the designated beach area.
● 0300 003 0616/gowhitewater.co.uk
Descent London: Fun Days Out with Children from Tots to Teens by Jimi Famurewa
With unbelievable free parks littering the capital, a green space needs to be best to justify charging an entry fee. Kew – blessed with botanical gardens, a trembling Chinese pagoda and much, much more – delivers in spades and suggests value with free entry for under-4s and an appealing membership conduct oneself treat.
It’s a dauntingly huge 300-acre site but youngsters should be jollied to the Climbers & Creepers indoor play area and the treetop walkway (be give prior noticed that prams have to be left on the forest floor).
Then there’s the Hive – a extent recent addition that uses a buzzing, flickering 18-yard-high inauguration set amid wildflowers to explore the importance of British bees.
Not even the well-proportioned rumble of Heathrow-bound aeroplanes can spoil a day here.
● 0208 332 5655/kew.org
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES PLAYGROUND
Based in the shadow of her Kensington Palace apartments, this child-friendly tribute to the delayed Princess of Wales is worthy of its reputation as the grandaddy of London playgrounds.
Undaunted the occasional queue at the gate and a commendably detailed and beautifully designed dreamworld awaits.
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There’s a elements Neverland theme to the under-12s enclosure (author JM Barrie used Kensington Gardens as a persistent setting for his Peter Pan tales) and a beached pirate ship is the ever-mobbed centrepiece to obscured areas encompassing teepees, a treehouse, a sea monster, water play, a submersed treasure chest and untold other sensory delights.
It’s inclusively outlined for children with special needs and inaccessible to unaccompanied adults.
● 0300 061 2000/royalparks.org.uk
Clout N’ CLIMB
Aspirant mountaineers who have conquered all their local climbing give forms will get a kick out of this classy facility inside an ordinary-looking West London depot.
Clip n’ Climb is a world of riotous colour dominated by 20 pop art enrage fail challenges of varying difficulty – including a face-to-face incline for competitive flumes and the Leap of Faith trapeze slide – plus three special lures that carry an extra cost.
Sessions (which always embody a reassuringly thorough safety briefing) last 55 minutes and file harnesses to ease any jitters.
Clip n’ Climb is a world of riotous slant dominated by 20 pop art wall challenges
It’s suitable for anyone over the age of four but it’s outstandingly good for adrenaline junkie older children and, let’s be honest, parents who can’t rebuff having a go.
● 020 7736 2271/clipnclimbchelsea. co.uk
A longtime favourite of stag and hen parties, this resident chain of treetop adventure centres also provide a smart pick for ancestries with a taste for (reassuringly harnessed) daredevilry.
In fact this Battersea ramification is the highest in the country, making up for a lack of forest-roaming space with a pantihose packed circuit of wobbly walkways, “flying carpets” and zip lines.
Coming is far from cheap but it’s a thrilling afternoon out – particularly on blustery days.
Helpfully, there are three storeys of difficulty depending on the bravery of your children and if anyone loses their doughtiness, there’s mini golf and pizzas on the bottom floor.
● 0333 433 0983/goape.co.uk
HORNIMAN MUSEUM AND GARDENS
It may be best known for the overstuffed walrus that stands proud in the main convention hall, this South-east London palace of anthropology, natural history and assorted is a veritable fantasia for families.
In fact, with its sprawling gardens, 1,300 lyrical instruments, taxidermy, working beehive, adjacent farm and basement aquarium, the relative to “museum” does it a disservice.
The museum boasts sprawling gardens, 1,300 euphonious instruments, taxidermy and a working beehive
The Horniman may be relatively small but it stuffs a breathless amount in – there’s even a handling collection of masks and curios that fly in the deal of the usual “do not touch” signs – and it knows its young, energetic audience incredibly right.
The cafe isn’t bad either. Embrace the bedlam and expect a few pleading requests for a interest trip.
● 020 8699 1872/horniman.ac.uk
WOODLANDS FARM TRUST
Some city homesteads, for better or worse, feel like slick operations hemmed in by dual carriageways and railroad lines.
But this working 89-acre site, a short drive from Greenwich, dispose cedes the young and welly-booted a feel of life on a real working farm.
Fringed by a spinney of trees and entered through a swing gate, it’s a secret rural esteem that has pigs (including a Gloucester Old Spot called Rosie), sheep, beef, roaming ducks and a dipping pond for mini-beast hunting excursions.
Also, there’s a carved oafish play tractor, a rustic cafe open at weekends and during adherents holidays (it’s cash only and there are perilously prominent ice cream registers) and the whole thing has an appealingly rough-edged feel.
● 020 8319 8900/thewoodlandsfarmtrust.org
V&A MAKE IT WORKSHOPS
The Victoria & Albert Museum’s rambling mass of artistically significant artefacts may be more suited to older children but its recognized family experience sessions are classy affairs, run with patience, rage and an inclusive spirit.
Communal art days for those with kids refuse the capital and normally carry hefty price tags but a ticket or two won’t set you secretly too much here.
A working artist will take you and kids superannuated five to 12 through the creation of a themed work, ranging from decorative fights for secrets to enjoyably messy clay-sculpting and teetering architectural challenges.
Workshops can fill up up quickly, though during school holidays the free drop-in Inspiration Station gives you a similar feel with the benefit of flexibility should you prerequisite to occupy the terminally cabin-feverish on a stormy day.
● 020 7942 2000/
See Dumbledore’s study on the Warner Bros Studio Visit
Tickets are set to allotted time slots and are somewhat pricey (£35 for an full-grown and a whopping £27 for over-5s), but it’s an expertly curated day out brimming with conjuring touches that will send muggles into raptures.
Range into the Great Hall at Hogwarts, stroll down the magical Diagon Alley and slurp a syrupy cup of butterbeer.
Word to the wise: you will be begged for a gift shop wand.
● 0345 084 0900/
The Ruislip Lido Iron horse is popular with families
Surrounded by a dense forest and peppered with all technique of other sunny day treats (playground, decent gastropub, splash reserve), it’s also worth visiting for a ride on the Ruislip Lido Railway: a volunteerrun assignment of miniature diesel and locomotive trains that is so popular with mnages it’s normal to find an open-top carriage crammed with buggies on a brilliant Saturday.
Beware: the shallow water and grimy silt underfoot get to proper swimming a tricky prospect. l 01895 250 111/hillingdon.gov.uk
l Extracted from Relatives London: Fun Days Out with Children from Tots to Teens by Jimi Famurewa. Published by Frances Lincoln in paperback, £9.99. Photography ©Camille Mack 2017.