If you’re looking for a family adventure out of this world, you need to visit the South East of England. Children of all ages can let their imaginations run wild as they climb, swing, explore and discover ancient castles, giant theme parks, historical warships, and so much more.
With hundreds of attractions, standout sights and luscious landscapes to explore, you will make lasting memories in this tranquil corner of Britain.
To help you on your way, we’ve gathered 5 of our favourite family adventures to enjoy whatever the weather in the South East of England. So buckle up; you’re about to experience the ride of your lives!
Follow in the footsteps of ancient Kings and Queens in the largest occupied castle in the world! With 1,000 years of history within its walls, you can take in the tangible atmosphere as you discover the castle’s secrets from William the Conqueror’s reign to Queen Elizabeth II.
If you’re fortunate, you might even visit this remarkable castle on the same day as Her Majesty!
The whole family will adore Scorch the Dragon – your personal guide around the castle! He’ll tell you all about the fascinating history and unknown facts hidden within Windsor’s walls and grounds. After, take on one of the fabulous family trails and activities and attempt to find the ten buried kings. Extra points for Henry VIII and Charles I!
During your visit, make sure you swing by the medieval St George’s Chapel, where you’ll find big names of the royal family through the ages, including many of the Plantagenets.
Chessington World of Adventures
A theme park and safari park in one, tots, tweens, teens and adults will be blown away by the variety Chessington World of Adventures offers.
The daring amongst you will get a thrill from the fantastic variety of rides. Plunge 25m into the jaws of a crocodile in Croc Drop. Take flight in the dizzying twists of Dragon‘s Fury. Or embark on a magical riverboat journey with the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure.
After your adrenaline hit, take a tranquil stroll through the zoo and come face to face with 1,000s of creatures from around the globe before exploring the ocean’s depths at the Sea Life Centre.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Chessington knows how to put on a show. Throughout the year, Cocomelon, The Gruffalo, Zooperheroes and more take to the MANE and MINI stages to keep the whole family entertained.
Mary Rose Museum
Henry VIII’s most beloved warship, the Mary Rose, was a force to be reckoned with throughout her career. She was built as part of the king’s navy when he first took the throne in 1509 and launched two years later, where she’d have success in two wars against France and one against the Scottish.
Then, disaster struck. On 19th July 1545, the world ended for her 500-strong crew as she sunk to the depths in a freak accident as she took part in the Battle of the Solent. There were only a handful of survivors. The rest were pulled down with her and wouldn’t resurface until she was salvaged in the world’s biggest maritime archaeological project ever in 1982.
Today, you can see her eerie remains in the purpose-built Mary Rose Museum, found in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Along with the 10,000+ artefacts recovered from the deep, you can wander through her ghostly hull and decks and discover the phenomenal stories of the people who lived and served on her.
Hampshire’s escape room, Exciting Escapes, will take you on a one-of-a-kind adventure. Bursting with mystery, thrills and award-winning, fully immersive games, this is an experience that needs to be on your radar!
You will need to crack fiendish codes, solve mind-bending riddles and uncover dark secrets – all before time runs out. Imagine Crystal Maze meets Big Brother with a whole heap of electrifying thrills thrown in, and you’re not far from hitting the mark.
With locations in Basingstoke, Southampton, Portsmouth and Croydon, there are 23 unique games to choose from, including the 1896-based frolicking adventure, The Disappearing Duchess and the haunting, dark secret laden 1980s based mystery, The Voices We Hear.
Are you ready to uncover secrets from the past with your family in tow? Head on over to your nearest Exciting Escapes and make memories that will last a lifetime!
The Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place
Fairytales come to life in the Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place. In a world full of magic, myths and legends, this is the perfect stop to let younger imaginations run wild and free.
With numerous creative workshops throughout the year, including outdoor theatre, crown making and searching for the magical creatures that live in the forest, there’s always something extraordinary to do at Groombridge.
But the party doesn’t end there.
Wander through the fantastic Maze, say hello to the Zeedonk on route to the Birds of Prey show and take a stroll along the shady Canal Path -perfect respite for hot sunny days.
Embrace your inner pirate at Crusoe’s World, where you climb a fort, helm the wheel on a pirate ship and run to your heart’s delight over the wooden bridges. Walk along secret paths, and find the Tepee Village before you step out in front of the fantastic Giant Tree and Nest Swings.
With so much to see and do, from NERF battles to tranquil walks, Groombridge Place is a must-stop for the whole family.
Other worthwhile visits
No list is long enough to include everyone’s favourite family spots in the South of England. But here are 3 more that are certainly worth a visit:
- The New Forest, Hampshire: perfect for lovers of the outdoors and chocolate box villages
- Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: see history come to life at this world-class attraction
- Staunton Country Park: get closer to nature, feed farmyard animals and interact with all their furry and feathery residents
The South of England makes the perfect backdrop for any family adventure! Where will your next stop take you?