Grab your calendar and start filling your holidays with these must-do trips
Rides and roars
Combining a zoo, Sea Life Centre and theme park, Chessington World of Adventures ticks a lot of boxes. Discover the zoo’s famous lions, tigers and gorillas, and enjoy thrilling rides for all ages. The newest attraction is the Room On The Broom: A Magical Journey exhibit – an immersive walk-though experience that fans of the classic children’s story will love. The Julia Donaldson connection continues with The Gruffalo’s 20th birthday celebrations, running from 19 July to 2 September, and there’s the ever-popular Gruffalo River Ride Adventure, too. Young children will love the fairground-style rides, while big kids will delight in the adrenaline-boosting roller coasters.
· Tickets cost from £29 per person if booked online in advance at Chessington.com.
Time for tea
Treat the family to a spot of indulgence with the Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea at Le Méridien Piccadilly. Beautifully presented, the luxurious spread includes sweet and savoury treats inspired by Beatrix Potter’s famous stories, such as the Flower-Pot Hideout chamomile chocolate pot, a stunning Magnificent Mushroom strawberry ganache and meringue, vegetable patch sandwiches and – every bunny’s favourite – carrot cake. Served in a wooden box for little ones and on a tiered slate planter for adults, enjoy it on the Terrace, a bright and airy atrium overlooking London’s West End.
· Priced at £35 for adults and £25 for children, it’s available Monday to Sunday, from 12.30-5pm book online at Terraceonpiccadilly.com.
Action and adventure
For adrenalin junkies, Beyond is the destination to head to in Manchester. Home to the UK’s longest indoor real-snow slope, a 12-metre-high climbing wall, and indoor skydiving experience iFly, there’s plenty to enjoy. A laser tag arena, go-kart track, zip-wire and Europe’s tallest indoor slide make up Play Factore – which has the country’s biggest toddler area, so even the youngest adventurers are catered for. With plenty of restaurants and shops on site, it’s a great family day out.
· Summer ski lift passes start from £15. Two-and-a-half hour sessions at Play Factore cost from £1.95 for babies over six months and £12.95 for children up to 16. Visit Beyondmanchester.com for more information.
Head in the clouds
London’s South Bank is the perfect place to see the sights. Ice cream vans, street food stalls and a mock-beach add a summery vibe to an excursion, and a trip on the London Eye is a great way to take it all in. Each ride lasts 30 minutes, which is plenty of time to snap stunning pics of the landmarks and get some sky-high selfies. We recommend booking Fast Track tickets, where you pay a bit more to skip the main queue and gain free entry to the Eye Lounge and the London Eye 4D Cinema Experience.
· Standard Tickets start from £27, but you can save 13 per cent by booking Family Standard Tickets (minimum one adult and two children), with adults from £26, and children aged three to 15 from £20, book online at Londoneye.com.
BeWILDerwood in Norfolk is an adventure park like no other. Based on the magical world of A Boggle At BeWILDerwoodby Tom Blofeld, it’s a huge, award-winning forest of family fun. Discover tree houses, wires, boat trips and marsh walks around every corner. Anyone with a wild side will enjoy a jam-packed day out, playing in the great outdoors, and with storytelling and glitter face painting thrown in, too. New for this year is the Towering Treetop Tangles, which reaches more than 30ft high and mixes scramble nets, walkways, and climbing play equipment.
· Entry prices are based on height, with those under 92cm going free and those over 105cm costing £16.95. Book online at Bewilderwood.co.uk
Marvel at Marwell Zoo
Alongside Marwell’s hundreds of animals, from now until 1 September, the Hampshire zoo will be showcasing a unique collection of bright and colourful Brickosaurs sculptures for a fantastic, interactive day out. The collection of giant dinosaurs made from Lego bricks includes an eight-metre T-Rex, plus there will be lots of activities at the Brickosaurs Base Camp, including meet-and-greets with Brucy, the keeper who brings the characters to life, and face painting during the summer holidays.
· Tickets cost £17 per child and £21 per adult, including an optional donation towards Marwell Wildlife’s conservation work, visit Marwell.org.uk to book.