7 fantastic outdoor places in Surrey to take kids

by Jan

With so much beautiful countryside, you will never be stuck for fantastic outdoor places in Surrey to take your kids.

Getting outside is a brilliant way for children to burn off energy, get fresh air, and enjoy nature.  Luckily, with so many parks, woodlands, and commons in Surrey, it’s easy to find places to enjoy the great outdoors.

Here’s our round-up of 7 fantastic outdoor places in Surrey to take your kids.  Whether you’re looking for somewhere to walk, play, cycle or enjoy the natural world, we have somewhere for you.   So, wrap up warm, pack a picnic, and head outside to enjoy some of Surrey’s amazing natural playgrounds.

And if that’s not enough, here’s our choice of 40+ amazing things to do with kids in Surrey.

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Alice Holt Forest

large wooden kids play structure at Alice Holt Forest, Surrey

One of the top outdoor attractions for kids in Surrey is Alice Holt Forest near Farnham.  Originally an ancient hunting forest, this Forestry Commission park is now one of the best free outdoor places in Surrey for kids.

You’ll find heaps of things to do with children at Alice Holt and it’s a great venue for an outdoor adventure day.  You can start with a family walk in the woods.  There are several nature trails, which are perfect for children of all ages.

One of the most family-friendly trails is the Habitat Trail, an exiting route which features amazing wooden play sculptures along the way.  Alternatively, try the Timberline Trail, a short, fun walk with a trim trail and play structures.  You can extend this walk by joining the Habitat Trail.

Another option for walking trails at Alice Holt is the Gruffalo Party trail.  This is a new interactive family trail with all sorts of party-themed activities and games, to help learn about the Gruffalo and woodland creatures.

After a walk in the woods, you can return to the Alice Holt Visitor Centre, where you’ll find a large natural playground and café.

Other things to do at Alice Holt include an adrenaline pumping tree top adventure with Go Ape.  They have several courses, for children of different ages.  Or, you could have a cycle ride in the woods.  There are miles of cycle trails at Alice Holt.  You can take your own bikes or head to the cycle hub, where you can hire bikes.

You can see that Alice Holt has oodles of natural outdoor play space and is one of the best outdoor places in Surrey to visit with kids.

Click for more details on a visit to Alice Holt Forest.

  • Postcode:  GU10 4LQ
  • Cost:           Free (parking charges apply)

Box Hill

Natural play trail, Box Hill, Surrey, UK

Box Hill is a brilliant outdoor place for families.  As one of the highest points in Surrey, you can enjoy wonderful views over the Surrey countryside.  There are several family walks from the top of Box Hill or you could take the challenge of walking up from the bottom.

Younger children will love playing in the woods, building dens, climbing trees, or going on the natural play trail.  Afterwards, stop for a picnic or visit the café at the Box Hill Visitor Centre.  A family day out at Box Hill is free, apart from the parking charges.

Click here for more family walks in the Surrey Hills.

  • Postcode:   KT20 7LB
  • Cost:            Free (apart from parking)

Frimley Lodge Park

Play equipment at the new playground in Frimley Lodge Park, Camberley, Surrey

Another of the best free things to do in Surrey with kids is visit Frimley Lodge Park.

Frimley Lodge Park is a large recreational park on the outskirts of Frimley Green.  It gets a mention as it has so much to offer young and old visitors alike.  Younger visitors will love the brand-new playground, with castles, a sandpit and zip wires.  You’ll also find several playing fields and a pitch and putt golf.

If you go on the first Sunday of the month you can take a ride through the woods on Frimley Lodge’s miniature steam train.

Or, if you fancy a walk there are several short woodland trails or you could take a longer walk along the stunning Basingstoke Canal.  One direction will take you to Brookwood and the other way leads to Ash.

The Basingstoke Canal Centre is only short distance from Frimley Lodge Park and from here you can hire canoes and pedalos for some fun on the water.

  • Postcode:   GU16 6HY
  • Cost:            Free

Virginia Water Lake

Purple heather, Valley Gardens, Virginia Waters, Surrey, UK

Virginia Water Lake is one of the most popular outdoor places for kids in Surrey.  It’s not surprising, as the landscape is stunning and there’s plenty to look at.

Virginia Waters is part of the Windsor Great Park estate.  However, it is one of the most scenic places in Surrey and is always a favourite day out.  In summer, the bushes are bursting with colour, as the rhododendrons and azaleas come into bloom.

Whilst there you have the choice of walking fully or partly round the beautiful lake, which is approximately 4.5 miles.  If you do the full circuit, you can enjoy the cascade, some Roman ruins, and an impressive totem pole.  Alternatively, you might prefer to head for the Valley Gardens, a large botanical garden spread over an amphitheatre-style valley.

Lastly, there’s a small play park for younger children and plenty of trees to climb and hide in.  In front of the park is Obelisk Lawn, a grassy open area which makes it a perfect picnic spot.  There is also an impressive new playground with interlinked treehouses by the entrance to Savill Garden.  However, admission charges apply for this playground.

Click for more details on Virginia Water Lake.

  • Postcode:   GU25 4QF
  • Cost:            Free (parking charges apply)

Leith Hill

Leith Hill Tower, Surrey Hills, Surrey

Leith Hill is an impressive hill in the Surrey Hills.  In fact, it is the highest of all the Surrey Hills and is the second highest point in southeast England.  Standing majestically atop the hill is Leith Hill Tower, an 18th Century Gothic tower.  The National Trust now own the Tower and for a small admission fee, you can climb to the top (free for members).

As you’d expect from the lofty position, Leith Hill offers sweeping views reaching as far as London.

Leith Hill is a popular destination for nature walks in Surrey and one of the best outdoor places for kids.  The tower is an easy climb from the car park, but there are some more challenging walking trails if you want.  If not, this splendid, wooded hill offers kids plenty of trees to play amongst.  It is also one of the best picnic spots in Surrey, with spectacular views whilst you eat your lunch.

Click here for more family walks in the Surrey Hills.

  • Postcode:   RH5 6LU
  • Cost:            Free (apart from tower)

RHS Garden Wisley

Statue/Bust made from seasonal vegetables and fruit at RHS Wisley Gardens, Woking, UK

Wisley Gardens is one of the UK’s finest gardens. And although Wisley is a dream destination for horticulturalists, it also has a lot to offer younger visitors.

The gardens at Wisley are laid out by themes, so there’s plenty of interest to explore.  Some of the favourites for children are the lavender hill, the orchard, and the Bonsai Walk.

However, the highlight for children at RHS Wisley is always the Glasshouse, where they can discover exotic species from far-flung places. This beautiful warm greenhouse has waterfalls and ponds, with tropical plants and dry desert like areas, where only cacti can survive.

And when the kids have had enough of plants, you can visit the Nature Garden, the new and improved natural play area.

Painshill Park

View of Ruined Abbey, Painshill Park, Surrey, UK

Painshill Park is a magnificent 18th century landscape garden in Cobham, Surrey.  The beautiful garden’s design includes several rather unique follies which kids love exploring.

Look out for the Temple of Bacchus, the Gothic Tower, and Gothic Temple.  If you venture into the woods, you’ll find the Hidden Hermitage.  This rustic hut was briefly home to a hermit, who after just 3 weeks fled to the nearest pub.

Crystal grotto Painshill Park, Surrey, UK

Although Painshill Park has some of the prettiest gardens in Surrey, the highlight of our visit for the kids was a visit to the Crystal Grotto.  The sparkly cavern, complete with glistening stalactites has a magical feel that kids just love.

Click here for more details on Painshill Park.

A map of 7 fantastic outdoor places in Surrey to take kids

Below is a map of 7 fantastic outdoor places in Surrey to take kids.

You can save the map to use when you are there by clicking on the star to the right of the title.

Find the map later by going to your Google Maps app and selecting the saved icon.

Where are your favourite outdoor places in Surrey?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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