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Your local kids guide by local mums

Best Family Days Out in Oxfordshire

Best Family Days Out in Oxfordshire

We spend a lot of time out and about in and around Oxfordshire, we thought we would include our best experiences in one handy feature. Here’s our guide to the best days out in and around Oxfordshire.

Days Out in Oxfordshire

 

Millets Farm, near Abingdon

Millets Farm in Abingdon - A fun day out the whole family will enjoy

Millets Farm is one of our favourite places to visit and there is so much to do you can literally spend the whole day there.

There’s a fantastic play area where there is plenty for the children to do including climbing frames, slides, swings, ride on tractors and diggers.  Next to the park is a carousel for a cost of £2 per child, and beyond that you have the farm with a variety of farm animals, including goats, sheep, pigs, cows, horses and alpacas.

There’s Sprouts Play Barn, the winner of Best Soft Play in the Little Ankle Biters’ Awards two years running which is one of the best indoor soft play places we have visited.

The one defining feature that sets Sprouts Play Barn apart from other Soft Plays I have been to is the food served in Mr & Mrs Sprouts Rose Cottage Cafe, not only was it delicious but there is so much choice and all freshly prepared on site.

Over the summer months Millets open it’s Maize Maze where they hold regular events for families. You also have Pick your own fields and the falconry to visit.

Location: Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Nr Abingdon, Oxfordshire. OX13 5HB

For more information click here

GREYS COURT

Greys Court, Rotherfield Greys (Nr Henley-on-Thames) - A great day out national trust

Greys Court in Henley-on-Thames is a Tudor country house and gardens now owned by the National Trust.

Greys Court is more compact and intimate than somewhere like Cliveden, making it easier for the little ones to manage, and ensuring you don’t miss anything while you’re there. It sits in the Southern Chiltern Hills so the landscape and views are stunning. When you pass the entrance pop in to the office and grab some bits for the children (they have worksheets, stickers and maps to help keep them happy).

There’s a nice play area in the woods known as The Fort, with a climbing frame, slide, rope wall, spiders climbing web and more. But the bit that all kids loved was the den making and just messing around in the woods! It’s really well set up so there’s loads of branches and sticks of varying shapes and sizes to make dens and campfires and they all busied themselves building, role playing and searching for bugs.

We also visited the stunning walled gardens while we were there, which are a series of gardens all linked by doors or gates and each with a different theme. The children loved exploring and especially spotting newts in the little pond. There’s a maze through the other side of the gardens that provided a lot of entertainment.

There are loads of areas you can picnic as well as some tables by the car park. There’s also a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, serving things like hot and cold drinks (you can get a takeaway cup for your coffee, winner), cakes, snacks, a selection of hot meals and children’s picnic boxes.

Greys Court is part of the National Trust where you can purchase an annual membership which is great value if you plan to go a few times a year

Location: Rotherfield Greys, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 4PG

For more information click here

Crocodiles of the World

If you have someone who loves crocodiles or any kind of reptile they will love Crocodiles of the World.

When you arrive you receive a  schedule for feeds, talks and animal encounters for the day which we would definitely recommend doing if you can.  There something happening every half an hour from 10:30am – 4:30pm so there’s there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

There’s a cafe onsite serving hot and cold meals, as well as snacks and drinks or you can take your own picnic. There’s a picnic area with a play area to keep the children occupied.

Location: Crocodiles of the World, Burford Road, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire OX18 3NX

For more details click here

Strawberry Picking at Rectory Farm

Stawberry picking at recroty farm - Little Ankle Biters

Tucked away in the idyllic Stanton St John a few miles from Oxford, Rectory Farm is a perfect get back to nature and inexpensive day out for the family.
Entry is free with access to a bouncy castle, sandpit and haystacks for the children to play on.
There is a well-stocked farm shop and café onsite serving delicious toasted sandwiches and a lovely cup of tea.  They also offer a kids lunch box consisting of a roll (jam, ham or cheese), a drink, yoghurt, biscuit and crisps for a reasonable £4.50
When we visited, the first crop of strawberries were ready to pick which we had tremendous pleasure in picking. You simply pick up a punnet and fill it with the best and biggest strawberries you can find and you pay for what you pick.
At other times of the year gooseberries, blackberries, raspberries, red currents, black currents, broad beans and rhubarb are also available to pick.
Location:  Pound Ln, Stanton St John, Oxford OX33 1HF
For more information click here

Aston Rowant Nature Reserve

Aston Rowant Nature Reserve, a great free day out with the kids!

If you’re looking for somewhere to go outdoors with the kids for a few hours you can’t go wrong with Aston Rowant Nature Reserve

The kids will be entertained by the trail of six sculptures, each one with a built- in audio player revealing information about the local wildlife and history of the reserve by winding a handle.  The sculptures are spanned out over a mile or so giving you a reasonable walk but not too long that you can’t wait for it to end. The trail is quite bumpy so not brilliant for pushchairs, prams or scooters but there is an easy access route which starts opposite Cowleaze wood.

When we visited the children came home with their pockets full of chalk from the natural chalkland which gave them entertainment in the garden once they got home too.

Location: there are 2 carparks, Beacon Hill car park HP14 3YL and Cowleaze Wood OX49 5HX

THE CUTTLE BROOK NATURE RESERVE

baby and toddler groups Henley

Set in the historic town of Thame in Oxfordshire, the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve is a firm favourite with our little ankle biters.

The reserve is rich with wildlife and we can easily spend an hour or two there spotting tadpoles, ladybirds and Red Kites (birds of prey) with a homemade nature trail for the kids to tick things off on the way around.

The river Thame flows though the reserve making a quick game of Poohsticks a must every time we visit.

There are picnic tables and benches located around the reserve along with areas of grass to lay a picnic blanket if you fancy a bite to eat while observing the wildlife. Alternatively, there are a number of restaurants and cafes just a short walk into Thame town centre.

The Cuttle Brook Nature reserve is connected to the Pheonix Trail if you want to explore the wildlife further.

The reserve can be accessed via Thame Recreation Ground, Southern Rd, Thame OX9 2EP

For more information click here

Cogges

Easter at Odds Farm

 

Cogges Manor is over 1000 years old with the earliest known owner of Cogges dating back to the Saxon period, Wadard, who was recorded as Lord of the Manor of Cogges in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Cogges is the perfect place to visit for a family day out with farm animals, an adventure playground and den making.

Location: Cogges Manor Farm, Church Lane, Witney OX28 3LA

For more details click here

 

Days out a bit further afield

 

BEKONSCOT MODEL VILLAGE

Bekonscot Model Village in Beaconsfield - a great day out with the kids little ankle biters

Located in the centre of Beaconsfield, Bekonscot Model Village, the world’s oldest model village is a fantastic day out the whole family will enjoy.
A trip to the quaint little village is like a trip back in time, stuck in a 1930’s time warp there is something nostalgic and quintessentially British about it.
The level of detail and craftsmanship had us all in awe and the kids exclaiming at every miniature shop, school and church we came across., and the model railway that chugs around the village had the younger children entertained for ages.
Half way around there is a tearoom offering fresh homemade food, or you can, like us, take along a picnic to enjoy on one of the picnic tables in the large picnic area outside the tearoom. After lunch you can spend some time at the outside play area with a cup of tea and watch the children play before continuing to explore the village.
On the way out there is a ride on railway that makes its way behind the model village, through some gardens and around a pond before heading back to the terminal. This is at a cost of £1 per person.
Location:  Bekonscot Model Village and Railway, Warwick Rd, Beaconsfield HP9 2PL

For more information click here

Odds Farm

Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Park - A great day out with the kids

If you love petting fluffy animals, going on tractor rides and using your children as an excuse to throw yourself around the hurdles of a soft play, then Odds Farm will have you beaming all day.

Your little ones will get up close and personal with goats, sheep, pigs and cows, all of which can be fed and stroked if they’re brave enough. At certain times of year you’ll also be able to witness magical things like seeing their podgy faces light up as they bottle feed a baby goat. They have small animal petting sessions throughout the day as well which isn’t to be missed.

And if that doesn’t wear out their little legs you can explore the massive indoor adventure play area. Think swing ropes, two large drop slides, a four-lane mat race slide and more. Outside you’ll find another huge and very impressive wooden play area with numerous slides, wobbly walkways, swings and climbing walls. There’s also a sand and water play space, unless like me you give anything involving sand a very wide berth. And I’m not done yet. They have tractor and trailer rides, go karts, pedal tractors and crazy golf. I’m exhausted just writing it all down. There’s so much at Odds Farm they’ll be begging to go back again. You on the other hand may need some time to rest and recuperate.

There are loads of options for eating at the farm too. The restaurant inside has a great selection of hot and cold meal choices all freshly cooked, and will tempt even the fussiest of little palettes. They also have a microwave station for warming baby bottles or food and a load of high chairs. Or why not pack a picnic and make the most of the acres of rolling English countryside at your disposal.

Location: Odds Farm Park, Wooburn Common, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP10 0LX

For more information click here

Waddesdon Manor

christmas at Waddesdon manor

We are regular visitors of Waddesdon who put on some fantastic events and activities for families during the school holidays and at the weekends.

You arrive by bus from the car park at the front of the manor which is so beautiful it takes your breath away. The landscaped grounds around the manor are vast and pristine making it a pleasure to leisurely explore the gardens statues and fountains.

The woodland parks were very popular with my children and are located conveniently near The Treaterie, a cafe specialising in crepes and other delicious sweet treats.

While we were there we headed we visited the house where they had a trail for the children called Poupon’s viewfinder.   Poupon was a poodle trained to perform extraordinary tricks for house guests and went on lots of adventures with his master. With Poupon’s Viewfinder, you spin the wheel until you find the room you are in, follow the arrow to find a pattern to search for which are all at Poupon’s height or below, making it perfect for children.

Waddesdon Manor is part of the National Trust where you can purchase an annual membership which is great value if you plan to go a few times a year. There are National Trust attraction all over the country including some local ones at ClivedenGreys Court and Stowe.

Location: Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP18 0JH

For more details click here

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is the home of British codebreaking that played a major role in World War Two, producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict from the second world war.

Since the release of Oscar nominated film The Imitation Game, the interest and visitors to Bletchley Park have increased significantly and considering the history you can see why.

On arrival children are given a ‘Top Secret’ Mission Pack which was full of  ‘must-see’ highlights along with activities and fun facts to enjoy. We used the mission pack to guide us around the park.

Our trail started at the visitor centre which had a number of interactive exhibits, and when you step outside you’re met with the view of the lake and stunning mansion. We made our way around the park exploring the mansion and huts, collecting embossed stamps and completing activities along the way.

The kids had great fun running around in the great open spaces and playing and climbing in the playground onsite too.

The whole park was fascinating and you got a real feel of what it was like working at Bletchley during wartime Britain.

There is a cafe in one of the huts that serves freshly cooked meals and children’s lunch boxes.  There is also a coffee shop located in the visitor centre.

Location: The Mansion, Bletchley Park, Sherwood Drive, Bletchley, Milton Keynes. MK3 6EB

For more details, click here.

The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest

The Living Rainforest is run by the charity the Trust for Sustainable Living who are a global educational charity, with the aim of inspiring the next generation to achieve a sustainable future.

The Living Rainforest have three glasshouses which is home to over 700 plants and animals and with the sounds, smells and humidity it had the authentic feeling of stepping into a mini rainforest.

WHen we visited we walked around each glasshouse taking in all the animals and plants, including monkeys, snakes, sloths, bananas and lots more. The kids absolutely loved seeing everything close up in their habitat.

After the Rainforest the children had fun interacting and reading all the educational information about the Rainforest displayed on the wall before heading to the play area outside and onto the cafe for tea and cake.

When you purchase your Living Rainforest ticket it lasts the whole year, so with family in Newbury I will definitely be returning again soon.

Location: The Living Rainforest, Hampstead Norreys, Berkshire. RG18 0TN

To book tickets or to find out more please click here

If you would like us to review your business please get in touch by emailing us at info@ankle-biters.co.uk

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