Things to Do with the Family near Great Fosters, Surrey
Get ready to explore - there is so much to see!
Visit the largest inhabited castle in the world and one of the Queen’s three official residences (it's her favourite!). Pick up a children's trail or collect a handset to listen to Scorch the dragon guide you around the sights. Walk along the castle walls where you can see lots of evidence of Windsor's role as an important royal fortress long ago; children of all ages will love spotting the battlements, towers, arrow loops and murder holes! The State Apartments where the Queen entertains her guests are truly magnificent and children will gaze in awe at their splendour. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is definitely not to be missed. View the timetable to plan your day. Queen Mary's Dolls House is also housed at the castle. Built between 1921 and 1924 for Queen Mary by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, it includes contributions from over 1,500 of the finest artists & craftsmen of the time; the house even has electricity, running hot & cold water and working lifts! A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Hampton Court Palace is set in 60 acres of formal gardens & 750 acres of parkland in a loop of the River Thames. Packed with quizzes, activities, facts & pictures the family trails & audio tours are a great way to explore the Tudor palace. Children can even meet costumed characters from King Henry VIII's court! They say the Palace is haunted and there is a children’s Ghost Trail to track them down. Experience the public dramas (and there are many!) & private lives of Henry VIII, his wives and children in the world of the Tudor court and admire the impressive Great Hall, Haunted Gallery and his vast Tudor kitchens. The gardens include the world's oldest puzzle maze, a record-breaking grape vine & descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd. The estate also includes the new Magic Garden (summer months only), a large outdoor play area with Tudor towers, a raised walkway and slide, sand & water play, grassy slopes to slide down & mythical creatures hidden among the foliage. A 30 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Located in Swinley Forest Go Ape is an award winning high wire forest adventure of rope bridges, Tarzan swings and zip wires up to 40ft in the trees! It has three different activities on offer - the Treetop Challenge, Treetop Adventure and Treetop Adventure+. Scream your way around the forest on whichever route you choose high up amongst the trees . Each activity is suitable for different ages and ability levels. If you still have enough energy you can also take a trip to the play areas of take a bike ride along one of the trails in the forest.
Enjoy making your very own chocolates! You will get a real taste of what it is like to be a chocolatier in this fun packed introduction to chocolate making. Work along side one of the chocolatiers and learn some new chocolate making skills – suitable for all ages and no experience needed! Not only will you get to taste some of the chocolates sold in the shop (trust us they are scrummy!), you'll also be hands on and fully involved in making lots of goodies to take away with you. Workshops vary from 15 - 45 minutes and must be pre booked. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Explore this unique museum through hands-on and interactive experiences. Brooklands is a fantastic place for a family outing with lots to see! The museum is on the site of the world's first purpose-built motor racing circuit and displays a wide range of Brooklands related motoring and aviation exhibits ranging from giant racing cars, motorcycles and bicycles to a vast collection of civilian & military aircraft, including the WWII Wellington Bomber and the only Concorde with public access in South East England. Explore up close a fantastic selection of vintage aircraft, cars, motor cycles, weapons & missiles or take the Brooklands Concorde Experience and actually see inside the World's most famous aircraft. Children can learn about the supersonic age in a fascinating 35 minute on board tour and meet an ex British Airways Concorde pilot! Many of the tour guides are ex racing drivers or pilots, who are all keen to impart their knowledge & stories and enthuse the next generation. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Painshill's 18th century 158 acre landscaped garden was created between 1738 & 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton. His vision was to create ‘living paintings’ in a new style of magical garden. Inspired by Renaissance art and his Grand Tours, he went on to create a sequence of breathtaking & surprising vistas in his garden. The landscapes form living works of art into which Hamilton placed follies for dramatic effect. Stroll around the serpentine lake, wander through woodland and admire his follies including a Ruined Abbey and Turkish Tent. There is a natural play area and wildlife spotting trials as well as wildflower meadows to run around in & get back to nature. Or if you're feeling fit climb the 99 steps of the Gothic Tower to see what you can spot across four counties! Cake is a Painshill speciality so be sure to treat yourself in Mr Hamilton's Tea Room after your walk. Children aged 5 and under are welcome to take a scooter or bike. A 25 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Thorpe Park is the perfect destination if you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping during your stay. Home to over 30 exhilarating (and some quite terrifying!) rides, attractions & live events Thorpe Park is the ultimate destination for thrill seekers and features some of the UK's most popular roller coasters. Reach new heights with Stealth the UK's fastest roller coaster launching riders to 205ft at 80mph in just 2.5 seconds or take flight on Swarm the UK's only winged coaster. Or try Colossus, the UK's first roller coaster with ten loops or maybe you'd like to brave one of Jigsaw's most twisted traps with SAW, the world's first horror themed roller coaster featuring a 100ft "beyond-vertical" drop. The perfect day out for teenagers and more adventurous children aged 10+! A 10 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Legoland Windsor is a unique family theme park where pre school & primary aged children can take to the road, soar through the skies and sail the seas! It has over 55 rides, attractions, live shows, building workshops &driving schools all set in 150 acres of parkland. Prepare for a soaking on wet and wild water rides or follow a pirate trail that'll leave you wetter than walking the plank. The many interactive rides put you, quite literally, in the driving seat. Steer your own course on the Driving School or be captain of your vessel at the Boating School. Young and old alike will be fascinated by the incredible LEGO models throughout the park. From comical camels to fearsome fire-breathing dragons, world landmarks to musical pirates, it's amazing what can be built with LEGO bricks - nearly 55 million of them! A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Take to the various terrains through beautiful woodland to master the skills of a Segway as you use your weight to navigate the twists and turns of the course. An activity like no other, your Segway experience will provide you with a fantastic and unforgettable ride! Protective gear is provided and a training session given around a coned area to gain confidence. Then your group of 10/12 will be led by a trained instructor to the second stage to test your skills before finally going onto the main course where you will be free to roam on your own! Once completed you will return to the Segway vehicle to take off the protective gear and receive your complimentary certificate. Photos are available on the day at extra cost. Age 11+. A 25 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Experience Windsor both on land and on the River Thames in one of the unique vehicles that look like the historical DUKW. Laugh, learn and experience a one hour live guided tour by Road and River! The commentary is lighthearted with a dash of history keeping it fun for all ages. Your unique adventure begins by road in the heart of Windsor, taking in the famous sights, before ‘splashdown’ into the River Thames, travelling downstream with unforgettable views of Windsor Castle and Eton. There are two tour options depending on whether you would like to spend more time on the road or more time on the river. Tours run most days of the year but check their website for the schedule. Booking in advance during school holidays is essential. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Board the 'Lucy Fisher', a replica of a Victorian paddle steamer at the Runnymede Boathouse and cruise upstream to the Bells of Ouzeley, which is featured in Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat". Here the boat turns, heading downstream passing the Memorials, and onto the Runnymede Pleasure Grounds where the boat stops for 5 minutes before returning. You can opt to enjoy a picnic and an hour in the pleasure grounds on the swings before taking the next boat back. Or pick up one of the boat cruises into Windsor and arrive into Windsor by boat! Summer months only. The boats depart a 15 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Take a 4½ mile walk round the lake or just enjoy a stroll through the queen's back garden. The ornamental cascade waterfall by the lake is always a favourite and children love the towering 100 foot Totem Pole and the Leptis Magna Ruins. Venture towards Windsor and take the long walk down towards Windsor castle and you should be able to spot the deer herd. There are stables where you can book a horse ride through the park or why not hire a horse & carriage and enjoy a traditional horse drawn carriage ride ? Virginia Water is also perfect for a family cycle / scooter ride and suitable for buggies with its miles of safe cycling & walking routes. A 10 minute drive from Great Fosters.
The flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society and one of the world's greatest gardens, Wisley is a wonderful place to visit at all times of the year. Children are really welcomed and there are acres for them to run through and explore. The gardens delight in every season: swathes of bulbs & blossom in spring, unforgettable mixed borders & roses in summer, autumn’s bountiful colours, and frosty walks in winter. Don't miss the stunning Glasshouse and the Back to Nature garden designed by the Duchess of Cambridge, an exciting and inspiring garden for children & families to play, discover & relax in, while connecting with the great outdoors. It includes two treehouses linked via an aerial walkway, swings, slides & trampolines, logs to climb & crawl through, a stream with water pumps, dens and a giant sand pit! Lots of fun & interesting children's activities are laid on during the school holidays. Wisley is well known for its delicious cakes and there are several cafes dotted throughout the garden. A 25 minute drive from the hotel.
A UNESCO world heritage site, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew has a magnificent scientific collection of plants from tropical, temperate, arid and alpine climates. Stroll along the 18m high treetop walkway to admire the views across London & Surrey before you discover some of the world's rarest temperate zone plants in the largest Victorian glasshouse in the world. Kew also has an exciting new garden especially designed for children aged 2 to 12 years old. Based in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts(!), children can explore four different areas based on all the things plants need to grow; earth, air, sun and water. Over 100 mature trees are spread over the children's garden with hidden treasures and adventures around every corner, leading to a 4m high canopy walk wrapped around a 200-year-old oak in the centre of the garden. Download a seasonal trail before you go so you don't miss a thing during your visit. A 30 minute drive from Great Fosters.
Take on the Ultimate Floating Obstacle Course - a really fun inflatable water park very close to the hotel. Suitable for children aged 6 and above (if accompanied by an adult) or aged 8 if unaccompanied. Wetsuits can be hired and life jackets are included in the ticket price. Open from May - September. The centre operates under 13 and under 18 sessions regularly throughout the day where adult groups are not permitted entry. Sessions must be booked in advance. A 10 minute drive from Great Fosters.
The historic Theatre Royal is nestled in the heart of Windsor. With an ever-evolving calendar of fantastic productions, the Theatre Royal is the best destination locally to enjoy a diverse range of live entertainment, including musical performances, plays comedy and dramas. Their pantomime is a festive treat not to be missed and there are always child friendly productions scheduled for the school holidays. A 20 minute drive from Great Fosters.