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Day Trips Near North London - Museums and Attractions

As the weather improves (she said, hopefully) it can be really nice to get out of London for the day and explore the surrounding areas and what they have to offer. Luckily we are blessed with hundreds of good things to do so we are running a series on good family days out near North London. Last week we told you about stately homes near North London. This week we've rounded up some of the best museums and attractions near North London that are within driving or train distance for a day trip. We hope you find something you like. Next week we'll be writing about farms, zoos and safari parks so do let us know your favourites. 

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire

Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is aimed at 6 to 12 year olds and features two fun and fact-packed galleries (including the newly refurbished Solo Gallery) and a fantastic sounding interactive Story Centre.

Roald Dahl's Writing Hut
The centrepiece of the Solo Gallery is Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut, complete with all its original contents and furnishings. New interactive exhibits and displays surrounding the Writing Hut aim to throw light on the creative process: how Roald Dahl became a writer, what real-life experiences inspired him – the ‘stories behind the stories’ – and where his ideas stemmed from. Amongst the new exhibits is a World War II Gladiator cockpit to explore, like the one Roald Dahl flew in his RAF days; a writing and drawing activity, where visitors can play the parts of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake; and an interactive ‘Ideas Aviary’ which requires visitors’ help to turn Roald Dahl’s story idea seeds into ripe fruit.

And when you have finished visiting the museum, there are trails around Great Missenden to explore the village and countryside. 

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. For opening times click here.

Bekonscott Model Village, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire

Bekonscott is the world's oldest model village. It was opened in 1929 and it’s a great place to bring the family and stomp around like giants! There are six model towns, a huge Gauge 1 model garden railway, ride-on railway, remote-controlled boats, castles, lakes and industries in 1.5 acres of award-winning gardens.

The  Village sounds fascinating-  six little towns stuck in a 1930s timewarp.  Each has its own character, villagers and features - from coal mines to great castles, aerodromes to farms, docks to cable cars, racecourses to escaped convicts! You can walk down the High Streets and look  inside building at the fantastic details which have been captured. Other fun includes remote-controlled boats, a miniature railway and a children's playground.Sounds like a really fun day out!

Admission is £9 for adults and £5.50 for children (2-15), with a family ticket option. Prices and opening times here.

Legoland, Windsor

This needs no introduction and we've not been here yet so we'd love to hear your feedback if you have. Vital information is as follows: There are no family tickets and a done day ticket will set you back £32.40 for an adult and £25.65 for a child, so it's not cheap but from what we've heard there is enough to do to make it worth while if you go early and make the most of your day there. It's absolutely huge and there is loads to do. It can get very busy so try to go off peak or be prepared to queue for popular rides.

Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Buckinghamshire near Aylesbury

If your children are even a little train mad, they'll really enjoy this day trip. There is a small museum in a disused station which has a couple of stationary carriages, a full sized steam train that does short rides and a mini steam train that does a really fun longer ride. On certain days you can also see Thomas pull the train. A family ticket is £27 and there is an average cafe and lots of picnic tables.

We had a really fun day here and were really impressed by the way it is run and maintained by a band of loyal volunteers and train enthusiasts.

Diggerland, Kent

For children (and adults) who love big diggers, this is pretty close to paradise. Children and adults have the chance to ride and drive REAL full size construction machinery - No driving licence required! This is easily accessible by train and car and is open every weekend and everyday during most school holidays periods.
There are a variety of rides and drives on offer - whether it’s to enjoy the view from the Sky Shuttle, hanging tight on Spin Dizzy, or digging dirt with a 6 ton digger, there is something for all ages.
Please click here for 2012 prices.
There are play areas, sandpits, coin operated rides and much more where the younger guests can let off steam whilst parents can relax and just watch the fun. 
Admission to Diggerland includes all day access to as many rides and drives as you dare, admission charges start for anyone 90 cms and taller, but visitors should be aware that height restrictions apply to all rides and attractions with little visitors under 90 cms very limited on the amount of mechanical activities they can use, even accompanied by an adult.

Warner Bros Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter, Leavesden nr Watford

This is so easily accessible from North London that those of you with older children MUST go immediately! A family ticket is £83 for two adults and two children but children under 5 go free. We haven't been but are dying to go. The site says that - This unique walking tour takes you behind-the-scenes and showcases a huge array of beautiful sets, costumes and props. It also reveals some closely guarded secrets, including facts about the special effects and animatronics that made these films so hugely popular all over the world. Amongst other things you can walk down Diagon Alley like a muggle and visit the Great Hall. It sounds amazing. We'd love to hear from you if you've been.

Chiltern Open Air Museum, Buckinghamshire nr Rickmansworth

There is lots to entertain children here including a working farm and over thirty traditional buildings that have been restored to show what life in the area has been like throughout history.  They have lots of family events running throughout the year.  Children can dress up as a Victorian child and bowl Victorian hoops on the Village Green, play with 1940s toys in Jane and Tommy’s bedroom in the Prefab, try out a typewriter in the RAF briefing room and visit the animals. This year Terrific Tuesdays will see a host of family activities each Tuesday of the Buckinghamshire state school holidays. There is a decent cafe and lots of picnic tables too. There is also lots of beautiful woodlands to explore. A lovely easy day out.

Do you know of any other museums or attractions that make a good day trip from where you live? Do let us know so we can share it with other parents. Now, all we need is some sunshine....

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