10 great family days out for the Easter holidays in Surrey
- Credit: Archant
Whether you’re looking to unleash some untapped energy or educate young minds this Easter, there’s plenty of great escapes to explore with your children in Surrey. Here, Matthew Williams rolls back the years to showcase some of the most exciting
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine April 2015
AirHop House, 12 Midleton Industrial Estate Road, Guildford GU2 8XW
Tel: 01483 504750
Away from Guildford’s High Street, people have been bouncing themselves silly like the White Rabbit at ‘AirHop’, one of the UK’s very first indoor trampoline parks. It’s a massive venue where you and your children (over-fives) can experience a giant open-jump trampoline area, dodgeball courts, basketball slam dunk and foam pits to practise your aerial manoeuvres. Tickets: £11.50 (one hour of jump time plus the all- important non-slip socks).
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Holt Pound, Farnham GU10 4LD
Tel: 01420 22992
You may not have realised that Surrey is home to a penguin colony but indeed it is – and there’s plenty of little chicks to be seen at Farnham’s Birdworld this year too. One of the largest bird parks in the country, their collection has risen to over 2,000 animals since it first opened back in 1967. From storks and sunbirds to owls and parrots, there are birds from all around the world – plus deer, donkeys, piranhas (!) and more. The 26-acre park is also home to Underwater World, a journey from a tropical mountain stream through jungle swamps to the colourful world of marine reefs. Tickets: Adult, £15.95; child (seven-15), £13.95; child (three-six), £12.95.
Young Street, Leatherhead KT22 9BS
Tel: 01372 363764
Turn off Peppa Pig and head to Bocketts Farm to see the real things race – yes, you really can watch the likes of Bradley Piggins, Will.I.Ham and Kevin Bacon take to the track at this popular family attraction. In addition, there are also giant indoor play barns to escape inclement weather. For a similar experience, try Godstone Farm. Tickets: Adult, £9.20; child (three-17), £9.80; child (two), £8.
Box Hill’s Natural Play Trail
Visitor Centre, The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth KT20 7LB
Tel: 01305 885502
Box Hill has long been a popular escape, but there’s even more reason for families to visit these days with the free Natural Play Trail. Offering two miles of adventures to enjoy, with plenty of tree climbing, den making and play opportunities, the walk can take anything from an hour to a whole day depending on how vivid your imagination is. Start your quest at the visitor centre at the top of Box Hill and why not finish with a snack at the excellent café.
The British Wildlife Centre
A22 Eastbourne Road, Lingfield RH7 6LF
Tel: 01342 834658
Okay, so a walk in the Surrey countryside may help to educate children about the wonders of wildlife, but many of the creatures you might be hoping to see aren’t exactly exhibitionists. So why not head to one of Dame Judi Dench’s favourite Surrey attractions, the British Wildlife Centre near Lingfield, where you can expect to see some 40 species of native wildlife, from foxes and hedgehogs to otters, red squirrels and many others. One of the most recent additions is a seven-foot hedgehog called Snuffles. Don’t worry, no Monsters Inc here… it’s actually a sculpture. Tickets: Adult, £11; child (three-15), £8. For a sneak peek behind the scenes at the centre, turn to page 218.
Chessington World of Adventures
Leatherhead Road, Chessington KT9 2NE.
Tel: 0871 663 4477
Test your children’s mettle on the likes of the Monkey Swinger, Vampire and Dragon Falls at Chessington World of Adventures theme park – or take a more leisurely stroll through the zoo (keeping an eye out for tigers). Oh, there’s also more of those pesky penguins (see Birdworld) with DreamWorks’ Penguins of Madagascar descending for an exclusive new live show this year. Tickets: From £26 when bought from their website: chessington.com.
Horton Lane, Epsom KT19 8PT
Tel: 0843 289 4979
Based on a mystical and magical story, the Hobbledown adventure park has proved to be a huge hit since opening back in 2012. If you haven’t explored it yet, the adventures aimed at children up to 14 are centred on the Hobblers, characters who live in the play structures of the 50-acre site. The park is also home to a host of real-life creatures, too, and they recently opened a new mini adventure park for their 11 resident meerkats. Simples. Tickets: Scholar (adult), from £3.50; hobbling (child 2+), from £4.
Pirate Island Golf
Hoebridge Golf Centre, Old Woking Road, Old Woking GU22 8JH
Tel: 01483 722611
While we’ve absolutely no idea if Johnny Depp is a golf fanatic (or how keen Keith Richards is to swing for that matter), he’d surely approve of the swashbuckling Pirate Island either way. This 18-hole adventure golf course near Woking is festooned with a giant galleon, waterfalls, treasure chests and crocodiles, among the obstacles to navigate. Enjoy, me hearties! Tickets: Pirate (adult), £8.25; scallywag (four-16), £5.25.
Ride The Hill
Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, Nutfield RH1 4EJ
Tel: 01737 822458
Struggling to jet off to Val d’Isère this Easter? Well, why not head to the usually tranquil haven of Priory Farm in Nutfield instead? Here you’ll find Surrey surfing thrills (more commonly known as mountainboarding) at Ride the Hill for anyone aged eight and over. As those of a theatrical persuasion might say: break a leg (please don’t)! Tickets: One-hour public beginners’ lessons are £24 for under-16s and £27 for those over. Alternatively, hourly board hire is also available for more experienced boarders.
Wild Wood Adventure
Peacock Wood, Lido Road, Stoke Park, Guildford GU1 1HB.
Tel: 0844 880 0026
While Guildford’s Craggy Island climbing centre has long been one of Surrey’s top attractions for adrenalin seekers, their crew recently headed into the forest with the Wild Wood treetop adventure too. Explorers can test themselves on obstacles ranging from the easy to the fiendish, all accessed from a 15-metre central tower. These include free fall, a zip wire race, an aerial gladiator challenge and loads more high-flying craziness. For more aerial adventures, there’s also Go Ape near Farnham. Tickets: Adult, £30; child (under-18), £20.