5 Family friendly daytrips from London

Looking for family friendly daytrips from London? There are a whole host of exciting destinations within short train journeys from the centre of town. From themeparks to zoos, aquariums to castles, and a dash of movie magic, you can find a score of family friendly trips close to London.



LEGOLAND is one of the most beloved themeparks in Britain, and it’s only an hour from the centre of London by train. Set in nearby Windsor, LEGOLAND promises a whole host of family friendly fun.

Discover the rides – from Deep Sea Adventure where kids can delve the secrets of the big blue, to the thrilling dips and turns of the Dragon Ride, the fast-paced action of Laser Riders, to the magical sights of Fairy Brook, there are rides to suit every interest. You can even duck into the spooky Haunted House Monster Party!

LEGOLAND also hosts numerous events throughout the year, such as firework displays and its annual Christmas party, where visiting kids can meet Santa Claus’ elves, and the big man himself.

Where can you eat in LEGOLAND?

There are several restaurants at LEGOLAND, and unsurprisingly, all of them are family friendly. Stop by Farmer Joe’s Chicken Company, or the Pirate’s Burger Kitchen for treats. It’s worth noting that all restaurants offer a variety of dietary options, such as vegetarian and vegan food.

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Harry Potter Studio Tour


Step into the magical world of Harry Potter on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Visitors can wander through the real-live sets used for the films, see the costumes, and marvel at the creature effects and props used to make the wizarding world come to life.

Try on the sorting hat and see which Hogwarts house you belong to, stroll through the Great Hall and down the colourful Diagon Alley. Then meet the magical creatures of Harry Potter, like the terrifying Basilisk and Buckbeak the unique hippogriff.

There are also themed events that showcase different aspects of the series, such as the ‘Dark Arts’, which runs every Halloween and the Christmassy ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’. Real movie buffs can also join additional tours, like Behind the Seams, where you can learn how they made the staggering 25,000 costumes for the Harry Potter films.

Where can you eat at the Harry Potter Studio Tour?

There are four eateries at the Warner Bros. Studios, and they are all designed with kids in mind. Try the magical treats Harry Potter and his friends enjoy, such as chocolate frogs at the Chocolate Frog Café and delicious butterbeer at the Backlot Café. Don’t worry, there are more standard muggle options too, such as sandwiches and coffee.

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Dover Castle


Take your kids to the extraordinary Dover Castle. Here they can explore a real medieval fortification and see where the king once received his court. Enter the Great Tower, where the rooms have been recreated to show visitors what life was like under King Henry II. Then scale the steps to the top of the tower, for 360° views of Dover.

But this famous cultural and natural landmark has been a fortification even more recently than the castle would suggest. Beneath the ground lays a network of tunnels used in World War 2. The whole family can go on a tour of these underground tunnels and see what life was like when Britain was under siege.

See the underground hospital, where doctors had to work under extreme conditions, and learn about Operation Dynamo – the legendary Dunkirk rescue mission, conceived of in those very tunnels! Then head to The Bunker, the new escape room, where families and friends can team up, and solve puzzles and crack wartime codes against the clock.

Where can you eat at Dover Castle?

Dover Castle has three dining options to choose from: the Secret Wartime Tunnels Tearoom, the NAAFI Restaurant and the Great Tower Café. You will find hot snacks, sandwiches, cakes as well as soft drinks and coffee at Dover Castle. And in summer, you’ll find a pop-up ice cream parlour too.

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SEA LIFE Brighton Aquarium


The seaside is always a good bet when looking for things to do with the family, but Brighton has more to offer than just its beach. Visit SEA LIFE, the oldest operating aquarium in the world, and a Brighton staple. Here, kids can learn about the fascinating eco-system that operates beneath the waves.

There are some fantastic interactive exhibits, such as the Rockpools where children can investigate animals like starfish and small crabs. Or there is the Seahorse Nursery, where you can marvel at these adorable (and tiny!) sea creatures up close. Then there are the heavy hitters, like sharks and piranhas, bound to capture the attention of any visitor to this aquarium.

You can also experience the latest attraction at Brighton SEA LIFE: Day & Night. This allows visitors to take a peak into the activity of the deep when the sun goes down. You can admire bio-florescent coral and shores, and walk through underwater tunnels in this fascinating exhibit.

Where can you eat at SEA LIFE Brighton Aquarium?

Brighton Aquarium has a coffee shop opposite the Ray Pool that serves refreshments, but if you want something more filling, then head for Brighton town centre, which has lots of family friendly restaurants.

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Chessington World of Adventures


Part zoo, part theme park, part theatre, Chessington World of Adventures lives up to its name. Kids and grown-ups alike will love the resort’s themepark, which is made up of over 40 rides and attractions, with thrilling rollercoasters like Dragon’s Fury and high octane log flumes like Tiger Rock, there are plenty of options for adrenalin junkies.

If you’re with smaller children, there are lots of family friendly rides that offer a gentler experience. Check out the Jungle Rangers ride through the rainforest, where kids can take the wheel! Or the fun and frothy River Rafts, a water ride without the big drops.

In the zoo and sea life centre, kids can see endangered animals like the Southern White Rhino and the Asiatic Lion, and learn about their habitats, and what it will take to preserve our natural wildlife at the daily shows. Lastly, you can meet and greet some of the most beloved characters in the park, such as the infamous Gruffalo!

Where can you eat at Chessington World of Adventures?

There are lots of restaurants at Chessington World of Adventures, from burger joints to coffee huts, sandwich bars to sit-down restaurants and ice cream stands. All of them are catered to kids and adults, and offer options to suit dietary restrictions too.

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