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Family days out in London and the South East

Two children playing next to a vibrant pink flowering shrub
Visitors enjoying the display of Azaleas in May at Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Looking for something to do with the kids? Discover the best family-friendly places to visit in London and the South East and enjoy great days out all year round.

Plan your next family adventure and discover special places across the South East, from fairy-tale castles to medieval deer parks and even a lighthouse. Families can play in thousands of acres of woodland and parkland or let off steam in natural play areas. There’s buggy friendly routes, tree houses, story trails and children’s menus to fuel fun-filled days out, and on rainy days you can step inside sprawling mansion houses and explore famous homes to uncover secrets and stories from long, long ago. We've got brand new family-friendly maps at Nymans, Hatchlands Park and Sheffield Park and Garden to help you create your family's own unique adventure. And this May half term, there's a jam-packed programme of events to enjoy too. Join the Tiger Who Came to Tea at Nymans, have a go at Colour Bingo at Sheffield Park and Garden, or follow a garden trail to learn more about wildlife, from honey bees at Petworth to dragonflies at Sissinghurst, and more. There's plenty to keep the whole family entertained whatever the weather at a place near you.

Top picks for May half-term activities near you

Illustration from The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Nymans, West Sussex 

This May half term The Tiger Who Came to Tea comes to Nymans for a family trail round the garden. See if you can spot what's on the menu as you explore the garden, and enjoy more tea-time fun and games in the play glade too. And don’t forget to try out our new family map, available free at Visitor Reception or download from the website.

Illustrated map of Hatchlands Park

New family-friendly map at Hatchlands Park 

Where are the donkeys? How long does it take to walk to the play area? And what is the Admiral’s Dog? These questions and more are answered by our new family map. So if you’re wondering where's the best place for a picnic or which is the coolest tree, then we have you covered. Pick up a free map when you arrive and make Hatchlands your new family tradition.

Illustrated family map

New family-friendly map at Sheffield Park and Garden 

Pick up one of our new family maps and enjoy a unique adventure around the garden. Find out where the ducks are, the best spot for a picnic and where to play Poohsticks. We asked visitors what their favourite parts of a visit were and drew them on the map - from the new peacocks to the waterfall cascades.

A family walking beside the river in the gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire

Mottisfont, Hampshire 

Choose from one of three themed activity packs to help you explore Mottisfont at your own pace this half term. Find creative inspiration as you discover different artworks in the house and gallery, explore the gardens to find out what's growing at this time of year, or take a walk for a closer look at the natural world.

Enjoy a family day out at Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst, Kent 

Join us on a Dragonfly Trail for this half term’s 'Minibeast May'. Follow the trail around the Sissinghurst estate to explore and discover the bugs, birds, and animals that live here.

Children climb on logs in the natural play area at Hughenden, Buckinghamshire

Hughenden, Buckinghamshire 

Join us for an enchanting journey at Hughenden this May half term. Spin the wheel to discover your character, and embark on a journey through the gardens, the Manor or the mysterious woodlands to unravel the secrets of Hughenden with tales both mystical and true.

Woman photographing a little girl on the lawns by the house in October, Petworth House and Park, West Sussex.

Petworth, West Sussex 

We'll be creating a buzz this half term with our honey bee-themed family trail. Take part in our sustainable crafting to create your own bee, and learn more about this incredible insect on our garden trail, with games and activities along the way.

Family days out in London and the South East

A family walking beside the river in the gardens at Mottisfont, Hampshire


Treat the whole family to a fun-filled day out at our places in Hampshire. Discover a mansion house surrounded by babbling brooks perfect for playing pooh sticks at Mottisfont, or explore a Tudor house turned family home at The Vyne where your little ones can explore the outdoors in a natural play area created especially for younger children. If you're feeling adventurous, pull on your wellies and head out for a walk on the Hinton Ampner estate.

Family visitors flying kites by the South Foreland Lighthouse, Kent, on a sunny day in August


Explore a medieval deer park, moated manor house, fairy-tale castle and more on a family day out in Kent. There’s all sorts of fun to be had, from playing in acres of gardens and parkland to spotting fish at Ightham Mote and deer at Knole. Children can climb the two-storey treehouse and enjoy the brick built play house at Chartwell, reach new heights on the swings at Emmetts Garden and have fun in the Badger and Pepper play area at Scotney Castle, complete with mud kitchen, play house, toddler swing and a natural drum kit

Family exploring a tree hollow at Hatchlands Park, Surrey


Discover the best places to visit with your family around Surrey, home to an Edwardian party house, the Surrey Hills and a classic landscape garden. Children can enjoy the new adventure playground at Polesden Lacey or the natural play areas at Hatchlands Park.

Girl looking through binoculars


Enjoy a family day out this winter in Sussex. You can stroll along buggy friendly paths at Nymans to discover a Play Glade complete with mud kitchens, games and even a mini stage to let children's imaginations run wild. Wander through the Capability Brown designed landscape at Petworth, or step back to medieval times at Bodiam Castle where families can climb the steep towers, walk across the battlements, find the gun loops and spot 50-year old carp swimming in the castle moat.

Family in the woods at Mottistone Gardens, Isle of Wight climbing over fallen tree with bluebells flowering.

Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire 

Explore a world of lakes, hidden woods, enormous temples and twisted trees as you play and have fun on a family adventure at Stowe. Or head to the wild play trail at Basildon Park where little explorers can get adventurous on the balance beam, jump on the hopscotch and play with the ball run - there’s also plenty of space for some den building too. There's a natural play area at Hughenden and a woodland playground at Waddesdon, as well as plenty of opportunities to get closer to nature on a family walk at Cliveden and Grey's Court.

Adult and two children play games and do cartwheels in the grounds of Osterley Park and House, London


Escape the hustle and bustle of the city, and make memories to treasure on a family day out to National Trust places in and around London. There’s plenty to do, from a family bike ride and den building at Osterley, to a game of hide and seek at Ham House where over a mile of hornbeam hedge swirls around in an intricate geometric pattern.

Small girl running between conical topiary hedges in the Cherry Garden at Ham House

Where will you visit next?

Discover lots of gardens, historic houses, days out at the coast and more.

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Children exploring the pond in the Italian Garden at Mount Stewart

Family-friendly places to visit 

There are lots of things to do when you visit one of our family-friendly places. Find inspiration for days out and discover a range of activities for everyone.