For my children, any day that includes animals is a good day out and so these farms, zoos and safari parks near near North London are safe bets for a good time. We hope you will find this useful in planning day trips near North London. Enjoy exploring and do tell us if we missed your favourite place. This is part of a series of posts about day trips that we have been running. We also rounded up museums and attractions near North London and stately homes near North London so hopefully you should find something that suits you and your family.
Paradise Park is a fun zoo experience based at Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, which is open all year round. The zoo is designed so that you can get up close to the animals. There is a huge collection of over 400 animals including a standout collection of big cats (white tigers, white lions, Amur tigers, Sumatran tigers, African lions, snow leopards, leopards, cheetahs and ocelots) as well as lemurs, zebras, tapirs and much, much more!
The Park is packed full of fun for the family- including 5 adventure playgrounds, indoor soft play, family golf, paddling pools, a woodland walk and railway (with dinosaurs!). There are fast food options in Sam's Diner, as well as baguettes and panini by the soft play. Ticket prices vary by season and are found here. There are also additional experiences such as shadow a zookeeper for extra cost.
North London Mums headed to Willows Farm, just off the M25, following lots of recommendations and we were not disappointed. The village is large and offers a host of activities beyond petting animals- from playground activities for under 5's, indoor soft play (Woolly Jumper's indoor play barn), fairground rides, mini JCB driving, activity trails and walks. There are also a large range of daily shows- particularly during the summer holidays. The farm appeals to older toddlers and pre-schoolers and can keep them entertained for a good few hours especially in good weather.
We would have liked more healthy eating options for adults and kids so you are best to take a picnic with you if you want to stay for the day. There are lots of good picnic spots.
The farm is open Mon-Sat and until 4 September costs £12.50 for adults and £13.50 for children, with a membership and group discounts.
Hitchin Lavender Farm
For something very different head to Hitchin Lavender Farm which is open from May to September. Acres of manicured lavender are open to the public to roam. Entrance to the field costs £4 per adult and £1 per child. Inside the 17th century barn there is a gift shop where a range of lavender products and plants can be purchased. There are also plenty of refreshments, snacks and light lunches available.
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is one of Europe's largest wildlife conservation parks. Set in an impressive 600 acres of beautiful parkland on the Chiltern Hills, north of London, the zoo is home to more than 2,500 animals, from lions to many of which are endangered in the wild. You can easily spend a day here exploring the huge setting. There's also a steam train and a children's farm to enjoy. There are events and activities scheduled throughout the day from bird displays to elephant talk! There's also an exciting sounding Discover Centre which include snappy crocodiles. Prices vary by season and can be found here.
Woburn Safari Park
A great day out for the family- outdoors activity even when it's cold. The main safari park offers views of a great range of animals- wolves, bears, lions- and of course monkeys hanging off the windscreen! There's also a safari on foot where you can explore smaller animals including lemurs and penguins. We particularly enjoyed the penguins who launched into song while we were watching. Underneath the tank you can see the penguins diving and swimming- a really amazing site. A great range of animals and also daily scheduled shows.
There are also a good set of kid-friendly fun activities- a boating lake, outdoor adventure playground, soft play area and bouncy castle. My only complaint would be the food concessions- a limited range of toddler friendly food (sandwiches) and then standard (pricy) fast food fair.
It's not cheap: £19.99 per adult and £14.99 per child (3-15) but you can definitely have a fun-filled adventure. We also headed into the tiny picturesque village of Woburn where the Black Horse serves a scrummy English tea.
Standalone Farm, Letchworth Garden City
This was recommended to us but we've not yet visited it. It's described as a delightful small working show farm set in 170 acres of farmland on the outskirts of Letchworth, the world’s first Garden City. There are lots of animals, milking demonstrations, a play area and lots of picnic areas too.
Lee Valley Park Farm, Essex
There is absolutely loads to do at Lee Valley Park Farm - there are cuddly sheep, giant rabbits, rare breed pigs, long-necked llamas and a loveable meerkat family to meet. You can hit the heights on the giant bouncy pillow or scale the Spider Tower. You can also ride on a combine harvester in Piglet’s Paradise and take a short trip on a tractor trailer to the working dairy farm, where you’ll meet the cows and learn all about life on a real farm. There's also a toboggan run and bouncy castle. A great day out.
Odds Farm Park, Bucks
Odds Farm is a really great day out whatever the weather. As well as lots of animals to meet and feed, there is a massive indoor play area including 4 lane Astra Slide, 2 large drop slides, a netted area with zigzag chicanes & tunnels, swinging ropes and much more. There are also special Toddler and Under 5’s areas. They have lots of daily activities going on.
We hope you found this useful. Do let us know any other ideas that you have or great places that you've been.
Posted by By North London Mums Tuesday, 1 May 2012