Sick of the same old family days spent at the cinema, careering around an adventure playground, or even worse, mediating fights about ‘boring’ museums? Well, there is another way, outside the hustle and bustle of the Capital celebrating the great outdoors in a way mum, dad and the kids can enjoy.
Surrey has one family day out you just can’t get in London, courtesy of Surrey Hills Llamas. Start your special day on a trek with some of these affectionate, intelligent companions – little ones will be utterly enthralled! Don’t think your kiddie’s a walker? Routes are individually tailored to suit walkers’ fitness and ability – and trust us, give them a llama and they’ll be happy to plod along beside it. Up until May you can join a Winter Morning Trek, which lasts around two and a half hours, taking you through the spectacular highs of the North Downs, from which you can see as far as the English Channel, with some delightful winter flora and fauna to spot (they won’t even realise they’re learning!). The trek winds up with a two course lunch at the 16th century Merry Harriers in Hambledon.
After your well-deserved lunch, head from Hambledon to Churt and its celebrated Sculpture Park. The park is home to works by more than 100 renowned sculptors, set amongst 10 acres of countryside. You’ll love discovering the wildlife rich water gardens and exciting works along its 1.5 miles of all-weather pathway, whilst the kids will enjoy exploring this slice of amazing countryside – the colourful sculptures will really get their imagination whirring.
As night draws in and it gets chillier, Guildford town centre provides respite and refuelling for weary families. Many will be surprised to discover quite the plethora of dining options on offer for families. There’s Nandos, if you want a speedy and simple bite, Giraffe, the winner of Hardens Best family restaurant 2011, Zizzi, with its kids menu, and family man Jamie Oliver’s family-friendly chain Jamie’s Italian, to name just a few.
The recently-opened Relish is fast building a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Guildford - it specialises in honest, best of British ingredients and is the perfect place to take the children, or we have more ideas for Guildford restaurants here.
Once you’re suitably stuffed, from the beginning of December you can close your evening with the great British pastime of visiting the pantomime. The town centre’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is putting on a classic the whole family will enjoy – Jack and the Beanstalk, with an appearance by Surrey-born actress Bonnie Langford. It would be GIANT mistake to miss this fee-fi-fo-FUN pantomime!
Come bedtime, the perfect place to lay your heads is the Radisson Edwardian Guildford. This new addition to the city’s high street pays homage to childrens’ author, and Guildford’s most famous literary son, Lewis Carroll. With its enchanting décor based on Alice in Wonderland it’s our pick of hotels in Guildford.
Llama image by lostajy