When the sun shines the UK can be a beautiful place to live. Here’s our guide to go with the kids to get some fresh air and exercise this summer, all within an hour’s drive.
Tring Reservoirs Tring HP23 4PA. All ages. Admission Free
Built to top up the Grand Union Canal at the Tring Summit, these four peaceful reservoirs on the outskirts of Tring are now a lovely place to spend a relaxing day walking and spotting wildlife, especially birds. There are car-parks at Startops and Wilstone Reservoirs, and you can take marked circular walks or try geo-caching. Some of the paths are muddy and there are steep slopes to climb so it’s not suitable for buggies, but dogs are allowed.
Go Ape! Wendover Woods Wendover HP22 5NQ. Age 10yrs+. Admission from £25
Go Ape! is the amazing high ropes course in the treetops in Wendover Woods. You have to be at least 10yrs and a minimum of 1.4m tall, and then you can spend your day ﬂinging yourself about in the treetops on high ropes and zip wires. Adults cost £33, kids are £25.
Wendover Woods Wendover HP22 5NQ. All ages. Admission from £1.70 to park your car
A huge area of woodland with plenty of parking, a café, lots of well-marked walking trails, a family cycling trail, and a trail for younger kids to follow to ﬁnd the Highway Rat, the latest creation from Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo.
College Lake, Tring Tring HP23 5QG. Younger children. Admission free
A gorgeous nature reserve tucked away just outside Tring, College Lake has more than 1,000 species among the wetlands and grasslands. Spend the day strolling with the kids, or they can take part in organised activities during the school holidays, such as Wildlife Warriors from just £6 per child. There’s a café and a car park, and space for picnics too.
Tring Park Tring HP23 5LX. All ages. Admission free
Enjoy a lovely walk through the mature woodland and chalk grasslands of the 264 acres of Tring Park. The nearest car-park is Hastoe Lane near the Natural History Museum, although access to the park isn’t easy from there with buggies and wheelchairs.
Waddesdon Manor Waddesdon, HP18 0JH. All ages. Admission from £30 per family
Spend time exploring the gardens and playground, and eat in the outside cafés. There are frequent tours and walks during the summer months too. Entrance tickets to the grounds are £30 for a family, and house tickets are £55 per family.
Aston Clinton Park London Rd, Aston Clinton HP22 5HL. Ages 5-12yrs. Admission free
A hidden treasure in the middle of Aston Clinton, this is great for a day out with the kids if the weather’s good. There’s a playground and soft play area for the younger children, a fitness trail and skate park for the older ones, a stream for paddling on hot days, as well as a café. During the summer it’s open from 7am until 10pm.
Green Park, Aston Clinton Stablebridge Road, Aston Clinton HP22 5NE. Ages 8-17yrs. Admission from £3.50-£40
ALF Villages runs a fantastic outdoor activity centre where you can try all kinds of things, including canoeing, kayaking, water orbs, mountain biking, pedal go-karts, footgolf, abseiling, climbing walls, high ropes, zip-wire and many more. A Family Taster Day costs just £3.50 per session; a Family Activity Day is £20 per adult and £15 per child; School Holiday Activity Days run from 8.45am to 5pm and cost £40 per child over the age of 8yrs.
Mead Open Farm Stanbridge Road, Billington, LU7 9JH. Ages to 8yrs. Admission from £8.95pp
This is also fab for younger kids; meet farm animals, play on the adventure playground, brave the high ropes and climbing wall, have a go on the go-karts and crazy golf and spend hours in the huge indoor play area. Tickets cost from £8.95 per child during term-time, and £12.45 in school holidays.