10 best family days out in Farnham, Surrey

by Jan

Planning a family day out in Farnham, Surrey?  Well, you won’t be stuck for choice.  With fantastic outdoor spaces, wildlife, historic buildings, and craft heritage, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Farnham with kids.

Farnham is a historic market town in Surrey, South East England. With Georgian houses, cobbled streets and 12th Century castle, Farnham is a quintessential English town.  Yet, it has a young vibrant feel and is swamped with family-friendly things to do.  In this post we have picked our selection of the must-see attractions and things to do in Farnham.  And best of all, they are all outdoors, so ideal for getting some fresh air too.

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10 best things to do in Farnham, Surrey

Farnham Treasure Trail

Boys finding clues on Farnham treasure trail

The first of our family days out in Farnham is a self-guided Treasure Trail. Treasure Trail.  A treasure trail is a fantastic way to explore Farnham town and environs and can be fun too.

You have a choice of two treasure trails in Farnham, one for Farnham Castle and town centre and one for the Maltings & meadows.  The Chimptrip kids chose the latter.

Firstly, the Farnham Treasure Trail led us out of town and on a route across the local parks and nearby meadows.  En route,  we had 20 clues to solve, most of which were on permanent plaques and commemorative signs.

Eventually, we returned to town, took a quick detour to Farnham Castle, then stopped for lunch.  It was good fun and we certainly deserved our smoothie and homemade carrot cake on return.

We were gifted our Farnham Treasure Trail but had bought one previously for a Murder Mystery trail in Wimbledon.

Postcode for the start of the Farnham Treasure Trail:  GU9 7PS

Alice Holt Forest

Gruffalo walk Alice Holt, Farnham, Surrey

Our favourite family attraction near Farnham is Alice Holt Forest.  Just 4 miles south of Farnham, this woodland paradise is perfect for getting your kids outdoors and active.

With woodland walks, cycle paths and a large adventure playground, there’s plenty to entertain the children.  And even better, it’s one of the best free things to do in Farnham for families.

If you’ve got younger kids, they will love searching for the Gruffalo.  Follow the Habitat and Timberline trails to find life-size wooden sculptures of the Gruffalo and his friends around the forest.  Alternatively you could follow the Habitat Trail, for giant play sculptures, which are perfect for climbing.

We would definitely recommend Alice Holt as one of the best places to visit with kids near Farnham.

Postcode for Alice Holt Forest:  GU10 4LS

Go Ape (Alice Holt)

Go ape. Alice Holt, view of walking trails in trees

If you are looking for a day out in Farnham with older children, head to the Go Ape Centre at Alice Holt.  You can choose from a treetop adventure or treetop challenge, depending on the child’s size.

Kids will love climbing across the tree top obstacles and whizzing back to ground on a zip line. Plus, it’s fun for grown-ups too!

Postcode for Alice Holt Forest:  GU10 4LS

Rural Life Centre

Rural Living Museum, Surrey

One of the best museums in Farnham is the Rural Life Living Museum at Tilford.

Set in 10 acres of Surrey countryside, the Rural Life Living Museum showcases the history of village life in the countryside in days gone by and has over 40 000 artefacts on display.

The Rural Life Centre is an open-air, interactive museum with plenty for kids to see. Children love wandering inside and out to look at the different exhibitions.  Our favourite exhibitions at the Rural Life Centre included the old farming tools, a visit to a Victorian classroom and the 1920s holiday chalet.   However, the highlight of our visit was hiding in a WWII air raid bunker.

You can also go for a ride on an old steam train at the Old Kiln Light Railway.  Children will love the short rode through the countryside.

Postcode for the Rural Life Museum:  GU10 2DL

RSPB Farnham Heath Nature Reserve

RSPB Boys walking on nature trail at Nature Reserve, Farnham

One of the best things to do in Farnham for nature lovers is a visit to the RSPB Nature Reserve.  You’ll find this next to the Rural Life Centre, so you could combine a visit to both.

The RSPB Nature Reserve in Farnham offers a choice of three family-friendly woodland trails.  As you follow the paths through the nature reserve, keep your eyes out for birds and other wildlife that live here.

Postcode for the RSPB Nature Reserve:  GU10 2DL

Surrey Sculpture Park

sculpture of strange little man with walking stick

A visit to Surrey Sculpture Park is one of the quirkier family days out near Farnham.  Where else could you find 650 art pieces in an arboretum?

You have a choice of 4 walking trails to follow and quite honestly you’ll find art at every corner.  On the pathways, in the lake and hanging from the trees!

Furthermore, the art comes in all sizes, big and small.  It’s very contemporary and fun, making it ideal for kids.  Nothing is off limits, so expect to find trees made of old boots, giant bronze bugs and lots of skeletons!

Postcode for the Surrey Sculpture Park:  GU10 2LH

Waverley Abbey

view of Waverley Abbey ruins, multiple arched windows, Surrey

History-lovers will love a visit to the Waverley Abbey in Farnham.

Built for monks over 900 years ago, this ancient priory now lays in ruins in a meadow on the outskirts of Farnham.  However, many of the walls are standing and the remains are still magnificent.

Information boards around the abbey site are available to help you imagine how Waverley Abbey would have looked in the 12th Century.  You can also navigate the historic site with an audio tour.

It’s a pretty walk to Waverley Abbey and on a sunny day, you can take a picnic.   Don’t forget to look out for the giant yew tree.  This ancient tree is over 500 years old and won the award of best UK tree of the year by The Woodland Trust.

Admission to Waverley Abbey is free.

Postcode for Waverley Abbey:  GU9 8EP

Frensham Ponds

Children at Frensham Pond family walk, Surrey

Although Surrey is not near the coast, it does have a beach and it’s only 4 miles from Farnham!

Yes, there are two ponds in Frensham, the largest of which has a sandy beach.  And, in summer, you can even bathe in the water.  Frensham Ponds really is as good as a beach as you will find without leaving Surrey.

Alternatively, Frensham Great Pond and Little Ponds are both ideal destinations for a family walk near Farnham.  There is an easy trail around the ponds, or you can extend your walk across the nearby heathland.  Keep an eye out for birds and wildlife.

Postcode for Frensham Great Pond:  GU10 2QB

North Downs Way

Signs for North Downs Way

Farnham offers easy to access to the North Downs Way, a long distance trail which goes for 153 miles to Dover.  This provides plenty of opportunities for family walking near Farnham.  Obviously, you don’t have to walk it all in one go!

The start of this long-distance walk is by the train station in Farnham.   Farnham is also within easy distance of many other family walks in the Surrey Hills.

Postcode for the start of the North Downs Way:  GU10 4LD


The last of our family days out in Farnham is a visit to Birdworld.  Not far from Alice Holt, Birdworld is the UK’s biggest bird park and one of the most popular family attractions in Farnham.

Birdworld is perfect for animal-lovers.  As well as over 600 birds, children can enjoy the animal farm and the Underwater World Aquarium.  You’ll also have the chance to see birds in action at the flying displays.

Postcode for Birdworld:  GU10 4LD

Practical information for your family days out in Farnham

Getting to Farnham

Farnham is close to the towns of Guildford and Farnborough.

It is easily accessible from the A31.

Travel by train to Farnham

It takes just over an hour to get to Farnham by train from London.  Trains leave from London Waterloo and you have to change at Woking.

From here, it is 5 minutes’ walk to the town centre.

Have you been on any of these family days out in Farnham?  Please feel free to comment below.

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