While 2019 was all about exploring the world with our son, this last year or so has very much been about local adventures in and around where we live in Wokingham, Berkshire. Although I grew up here, as a new mum who was living in Australia until 2018, I’d be the last person to ask about days out with kids in Berkshire. Until now.
Current circumstances have meant I’ve had lots of time to plan, research and road-test the best things to do with kids near me. I’ve focused on places like parks, farms and gardens where children can enjoy the great outdoors and I can get a nice slice of cake afterwards. (Show me a park with clean loos and a cafe and I’m in!)
So, if you’d like to plan some fun family days out in Berkshire, here are our favourite places to visit both in and around the county.
PS Looking for some fun things to do this summer? Check out this amazing summer bucket list by my friend Abi at Inside The Travel Lab. There’s 101 ideas on a printable checklist for you to work through!
6 Best Days Out With Kids In Berkshire
Wellington Country Park
I love this country park for the pure variety of activities on offer. Even though some activities will have to remain closed due to Government advice, there’s enough to keep children of all ages busy, and lots of open spaces to set up a socially distant picnic.
Highlights include the Animal Farm (operating a one-way system), Miniature Railway, Jumping Pillow, Mini Golf, Adventure Play and 30 roaring dinosaurs!
When can I go? Tickets go live every Friday at 11:00am for the following two weeks. Book yours here.
Bucklebury Farm and Deer Park
Hop on the back of a tractor to learn about the different families of deer who live at Bucklebury Farm and Deer Park.
Set on a 77-acre farm in the beautiful Pang Valley, the farmyard is home to a small herd of rare breed Berkshire pigs, pygmy and Anglo-Nubian goats, ponies, donkeys and alpaca, and the deer park has 4 different deer breeds. (No, I didn’t know there were that many either!)
The outdoor play options include a tractor-filled adventure playground and jumping pillow. The stylish Honesty Café does lovely coffees and there’s plenty of picnic benches to enjoy a big BYO spread.
When can I go? Open daily from 09.30 to 17.00. Pre-book tickets here.
California Country Park
Just down the road from where we live, California Country Park became a regular haunt for us during lockdown. Situated around a lake that was filled with ducks and framed by flowers this spring, California Country Park is a great place for a nice buggy-friendly walk with babies or toddlers, where you can grab a tasty ice cream or takeaway meal from Jacksons Cafe afterwards.
There’s also a brand new playground and a paddling pool (£2.50 entry) that will be wonderful on warmer days in the summer when its due to reopen. If the lake area gets busy (it’s popular for fishing) there’s a bridle path out the back of the lake that runs parallel to fields. Miles enjoys spotting tractors and cows here.
When can I go? The park is open daily from 8am to 6pm. Jacksons Café opens Tuesday to Sunday.
Looking to getaway? Check out these 8 staycation ideas for young families
The Savill Garden & Virginia Water
The Savill Garden is the type of place I might not have bothered visiting before Covid-19 but was a wonderful place to walk around as lockdown started lifting over the last few weeks. We had whole sections of these immaculate colourful gardens to ourselves, including the Rose Garden where our toddler loved marching up and down the viewing platform.
The gorgeous Savill Garden Gift Shop is open to grab some quintessential British homewares and a range of plants and garden accessories from the Royal Gardens.
While the restaurant has not reopened yet, you can use the bathroom facilities and find takeaway food options at The Potting Shed and the Benugo truck on Obelisk Lawn.
When can I go? Open daily from 9am to 6pm. You’ll need to pre-book tickets for the Savill Garden here.
Jake’s Playbarn and Mini Farm
While the softplay at Jake’s Playbarn and Mini Farm was closed, we spent many a morning visiting the mini farm and outdoor play areas, no matter the weather.
Since last summer the outdoor farm and play areas at Jake’s have been well organised with plenty of sinks and sanitiser on hand, a one-way system around the petting farm and maximum numbers permitted in each play section. Miles has a blast digging in the sandpit and getting behind the wheel of a wooden JCB. He’s obsessed with their little animal-themed train that does the world’s tiniest circle and I enjoy grabbing a cuppa with other mums at the takeaway cafe.
When can I go? Open for morning sessions from 9.30 to 1.00 and afternoon from 2.00 to 5.30. Book your tickets here.
Dinton Pastures Country Park
Dinton is a beautiful country park with excellent wooden play park, lovely café and large lake with watersports and holiday activities. We haven’t been recently as I read reports of it getting quite busy, but hopefully now more places are open it will be less congested.
The play park, toilets and café are now reopened. Activities at the activity centre need to be pre-booked.
When can I go? Open daily. More information here.
More ideas for things to do with kids in Berkshire:
Done all of the above? Here are a few more great things to do with kids in Berkshire that we plan to work our way through.
Please click the links to check up to date opening details and booking procedures.
- The Look Out
- Odds Farm Park
- Roald Dahl Museum
- The Living Rainforest
- Clivedon House Gardens
- Highclere Castle – aka Downtown Abbey
- Windsor Castle
- Beale Wildlife Park & Gardens
- Black Park
- Coral Reef
- Active Tots
Great days out with kids from Berkshire
And some days out that are a little further afield..
Mayfield Lavender Farm – Did you know there is a 25-acre lavender farm just outside Croydon? Open for walks, fun photo opportunities and a delicious lunch at the farm café overlooking the fields, Mayfield Lavender Farm is a fun day out from Berkshire. Open now until the end of August, the lavender is expected to be in full bloom from July. The owners recommend visiting on a weekday when they usually have less visitors. Find more information here.
West Wittering Beach – Our first day out after lockdown eased was to the sublime fine sands of West Wittering Beach for a blustery walk by the pastel-coloured beach huts. They operate a pre-booking parking system, which means there is a fixed number of visitors per day. Find more information on how to book and what to expect from your visit in my guide to visiting West Wittering Beach.
And finally, please remember to #respectprotectenjoy while getting out and about in the local area. Thank you!
Originally published July 2020 and updated May 2021.
You might also like: