Children & Family

Guildford and Surrey have beautiful countryside where families can take a picnic and children can run about and use up their energy!

Family having a picnic

For ideas on where to go to eat on Mothers Day (26 March 2017) visit our

There are plenty of places to go on rainy days too

RHS Wisley presents visitors with a map on arrival that has a dotted line indicating the route around the garden suitable for pushchairs. 

Hatchlands Park  is set in beautiful parkland with play area and tree house in Wizard Wix's Willow Warren - and space hoppers also provided!

Bocketts Farm is a delight for a family day out, with a large barn full of activities in case it rains during your visit.  For children who love animals and tractors - this is the place to go!  Birdworld is also geared for children and families with a newly refurbished play area and lots of feathered friends to meet.  You can also hire small car/buggies which keeps toddlers occupied!

Children will also love Wild Wood Adventure (5+) andAirhop Trampoline Park - and both adults and children can enjoy Go Ape at Alice Holt.

Places to go for Free:
Stoke Park, right in the centre of Guildford has many activities to keep the children happy.  The Skate Park is ideal for 7+ age group and there are handrails to assist beginners.  The newly refurbished paddling pool is open during the summer season and is surrounded by grass space for adults to relax while keeping a watchful eye on the little ones.

Guildford Castle Grounds are ideal for town centre picnics, adults appreciate the stunning displays, while children like hiding in all arches and tunnels, as well as spotting pond life in the small pond at the bottom.

Take a look at our Countryside page for ideas of places for long walks and picnics - take a kite on windy days!

On rainy days, head for Guildford Museum which is free entry - in addition to the exhibitions, there are quizzes and colouring for children.  Guildford House Gallery is also free to enter and has a constantly changing programme of exhibitions - often with an art cart available for younger visitors.

Boy at Go Ape climbing

Ideal for children

Rural Life Centrehas plenty for children and adults alike, from their displays of farming life and machinery, to a trip on the train, or a meal in the café.

Shalford Mill and Dapdune Wharf, both run by the National Trust, have lots of events for adults and children throughout the year, so the best advice is check out their website for the latest information.

Electric Theatre have an annual Family Festival, which includes quiet performances for children with special needs.

The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre is famous for its annual family pantomime, but has child friendly shows all year round in the Mill studio. G Live also has child friendly shows every season, and often craft days and holiday fun too.

Watts Gallery in Compton has children's events and there is plenty of space on the site for children to explore the countryside.  During the school holidays, including half- terms there are always events going on and children go free.

Denbies Wine Estate naturally caters for adults but children love the train trip out across the vineyard and there are frequent children's events throughout school holiday times.

On a hot summer's day, Guildford Lido, with its water slides and excellent catering facilities too is ideal for the whole family.  Guildford Spectrum provides soft play for little ones, a baby pool, splash pool and larger pool for serious swimmers to keep the whole family happy as well as bowling and ice skating. 

Children aged 7-11 will love the WWF Living Planet Centre - it is informative as well as fun learning about the endangered species and their habitats - it is very close to the Basingstoke Canal for a walk and also The Lightbox for lunch.

Loseley Parkhistoric house and stately home may not appeal to youngsters, but it is surrounded with spectacular grounds where they can play - keep your eyes on the events section for their annual Teddy Bear's Picnic in August which is ideal for toddlers, pre-school and under 5's

Polesden Lacey and RHS Wisley also provide lots of open space for young children to run about and let off steam, while the older members of the group can admire the gardens.

Painshill Landscape Garden also has plenty of room for running about and spotting wildlife.  Keep an eye on their website for details of events for children and families throughout the year, including pond-dipping!  Visit the Crystal Grotto at Christmas to see Santa - but warning this gets booked up extremely early!

Winkworth Arboretum is a stunning walk in the woods that frequently has special events suited to both pre-school children and the 7-11 age group.

Shopping in Comfort
If you have very little ones - head to The Friary Shopping Centre in Guildford where there are excellent facilities for baby feeding and baby change, and soft play area as a reward.  They even hire out little car buggies which certainly ease the boredom of shopping for toddlers!