Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Visiting Surrey with the family - 6 great days out

Until the age of 18 I lived in Surrey and 23 years later my parents still live there so I'm a frequent visitor. It is probably the county I feel fondest about, all my firsts happened there - steps, words, tooth, school, kiss and I even bought my first house with dh there.

Nowadays when I go back to see my family I am a visitor because we do not have a base there and my parents home is not big enough to house us all so I am always on the look out for a good quality hotel that does not cost the earth and can accommodate three or four of us in the same room, within a short travelling distance of Woking.

We tend to leave one or two of the children with my parents (and they think this is a wonderful treat) and the other comes with us to the hotel. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that we could get a room at the Holiday Inn, Farnborough for four of us to stay after Christmas for just £78 for the night. That kind of price is comparable to what we would pay for a budget hotel but this is no budget hotel, you only need to look at the photos on the site to see how luxurious the hotel it. I was highly impressed with the indoor pool, air conditioning in every bedroom and the kids stay and eat for free promise, we will definitely be checking in to the Holiday Inn, Farnborough in the near future,  it is only about a 15 minute drive from my parents front door.




But if we do stay in Farnborough where would I recommend to visit?

First off the word Farnborough conjures up one event for anyone who lives locally and that is the Farnborough air show. Whether you have an interest in aircraft's or not you will love this family day out in July - the kids tickets are free, there are loads of funfair rides, food stalls and activities. This is arguably the best air show in the UK.

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If you like an action packed family day then Surrey really is the perfect place as it is home to Thorpe Park, Chessington and Legoland. All are just a short drive away and each of these theme parks is fabulous for children. Our family have been to each of them many times over but our personal favourite is probably Legoland and that is because JJ is a major Lego fan and the rides there are such good fun. Chessington is super for variety as not only do you have the rides you also have the animals to visit and Thorpe Park is definitely aimed at the older children and young adults with all the thrill seeker rides on offer.


Our days out are not always about spending a lot of money and having thrills though, my kids are just as happy exploring a National Trust property and getting involved with some living history. In Surrey there are some amazing NT properties and I know my parents have been enjoying seeing them all with the membership I bought them earlier this year. So far on my list of sites I want to visit with the kids are Polesden Lacey, Clandon Park, Hatchlands Park and Leith Hill. There is always something going on or something to see with the NT and my children love joining in with the quizzes and organised walks.

If you appreciate being outside and like to enjoy a bit of colour then I cannot recommend RHS Wisley Gardens highly enough, it is like a photographers paradise with opportunities around every corner. I've always enjoyed the cream teas there as well and the kids just love the space and a chance to be able to run and hide amongst the trees.

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I bet you didn't know that Surrey has its own beach, even though it is inland?  Not many people are aware of this but Frensham Great Pond has a wonderful sandy beach leading down to the pond and on a warm day it is beautiful to relax and swim here. If the weather is not so great then it makes an amazing spot for a long family walk or bike ride and there are loads of different routes you can take. It is a lot of fun.


Then the last place I want to recommend for you to visit is the Alice Holt Forest Woodland Park. I know my blogger friend Emma is a regular visitor over there and it always looks as if there is something wonderful going on from lantern trails to Graffalo walks. The varied play activities look as if they will en thrall even the most lively child and if they don't well there is also Go Ape so you can always sign them up for a high wire experience!

So there you have it, six super places to visit in Surrey and some of them are even free, you can't say no to that! If you know the area, where would you recommend we visit locally?



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