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This is going to be a Christmas we will never forget. Some of us have lost loved ones who will be sorely missed.. For others, it means not being able to get together with all the family members we are keen to see. Particularly those family members that may be at risk of catching COVID-19. 

While the government has allowed family mixing for a short period of time, a lot of families who would normally travel this time of year are at home.

I’ve put this list together of local family days out you haven’t tried before. It’s a continuation of the really popular one I did over the summer.

Here’s your chance to do something different this christmas! A list of local family places to visit

1. Hanwell Zoo (20 min from Twickenham) 

 

 

This lovely small animal zoo is open to visitors through pre-booking with a variety of birds, animals and even a butterfly house. They also have porcupines and meerkats! As the name says, they are located in Hanwell. Only 20 minutes from Twickenham, where I live. I can see us having a whole day out there.

Need to pre-booking: YES! 

Website: https://hanwellzoo.co.uk 

Telephone: 07803 454510

2. Northala fields (30 min from twickenham)

 

This made-made hill and recreation area was made using the waste material after the Old Wembley stadium was demolished. It looks like a great day out – lovely areas to walk and lots of children to do. There’s even a model boating lake!

Ealing council runs it and I can’t find anything on their website as to when it opens so when we go there we are going to give the council a ring first, just to be sure! TIP: watch the above video on 2 x speed as it’s slow to watch but really interesting. Apparently Ealing’s parks have been awarded more new Green Flags than any other borough in the UK this year which says a lot about the quality of their parks!

Website: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201136/parks_in_the_borough/663/greenford_parks/2

Telephone: (020) 8825 6999

3. Painshill – COBHAM Surrey (30 min from Twickenham)

Unlike Northala fields, Painshill is actually quite old. It’s an 18th century landscaped garden that was created to look like magical garden or ‘living’ painting inspired by Renaissance art. It’s a really beautiful place to go for a walk with the family and enjoy a day out in a really beautiful setting.

Pre-booking: YES

Website: https://www.painshill.co.uk

Telephone number: 01932 868113

4. The Garden Court (PRIVATE HIRE SWIMMING POOL) East Twickenham

 

This little gem has been a life-saver last summer and the owners tell me that people hire it out even when it’s cold out!

Ok, maybe that’s a bit far fetched thing to do, but some of you may want to try something different!

The court itself is mainly known for it’s tennis but also has an outdoor (heated!) swimming pool that you can hire for an hour at only £25.  The pool is all the same height and my rather tall 6 year old can stand on her tiptoes without needing assistance.

Pre-booking: YES, by text (see below)

Website: https://www.thegardencourt.org

Mobile: contact Marta 07934085972

5. Dinosaur Escape Adventure Golf – Northolt (30 min from Twickenham)

I haven’t played miniature golf since I was a child and I was surprised to find that there’s a Dinosaur mini golf adventure golf only 30 minutes away from me. It’s even pet-friendly and supposed to be a good learning activity as they have fun facts around the golf course.

Pre-booking: YES

Website: https://www.adventureexperience.co.uk/jurassic-falls/

Phone: 0208 842 3438

6. Fulham Palace (20 min from Twickenham)

 

I got married in Fulham Palace over 12 years and it’s a beautiful place to visit. I was surprised to read that some of the indoor areas are opening up in December. You’ll need to get a (free) timed ticket. The outdoor garden is open and perfect for a walk. Plus there’s a formal garden that’s beautiful. There’s a cafe. Children can also have a play in the playground next door (Bishops Park) that will keep children busy as well. There’s parking on the surrounding roads.

Pre-booking: NO except for indoor area

Website: https://www.fulhampalace.org

Phone: +44 (0)20 7736 3233

7. Hobble down farm – Epsom (35 min from Twickenham)

Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park has so much going for it I’m not sure where to start! They are opening up their doors on the 2nd December. There are farm animals as well as zoo and a bird show. The outdoor play area is large and I have a feeling this is definitely a full day’s worth of adventure to be had!

Pre-booking: YES

Website: https://www.hobbledown.com

Phone: 01372 848 990

8. Crockford bridge farm – Cut your own Christmas tree

This pick-your-own farm is fun for the whole family. Ok, so you may not be able to pick fruit but you can CUT DOWN YOUR OWN Christmas tree! Sounds super fun! You’ll have to bring your own hand saw (not a chain saw!)

Pre-Booking: YES (but not if you want to buy a pre-cut tree

 

9. Bird World, Jenny Wren Farm & Underwater World

 
I was surprised to learn they have over 2000 birds and animals – including penguins! They’ve got walk-through aviaries for an unclose feel. Their underwater world has some surprising habitants – a shoal of piranhas as well as crocodiles!
Pre-booking: NO 
 

Phone: 01420 22140

10. Chiswick House and Gardens (15 minutes from Twickenham)

 

This English Heritage Garden is tucked away in Chiswick and is a beautiful place for a day out that’s not too far. Last time I was there the play area wasn’t open but that may have changed. The cafe and outdoor areas are lovely.

Pre-booking: NO, the house is not open

Website: https://chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk

Phone: +44 (0)20 3141 3350

About the author

I’m a family photographer based in Twickenham and I love the local area. I’ve recently moved from Twickenham Green to East Twickenham, just by the entrance of Marble Hill Park. I offer family photo shoots in all the gorgeous locations in the area.

 

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