You’ve 130 crocodiles, alligators and caimans to meet at Crocodiles of the World, plus a bunch of other reptiles. Wind in the Willows fans might prefer a trip to the River and Rowing Museum, with its exhibition around the Kenneth Grahame book. Or invade
Beale Wildlife Park for birds, animals, narrow-gauge railway and splash pool.
Over in Windsor, Legoland provides Lego-themed rides and shows for kids up to 15 and adds education into the mix as well in the form of interactive musical instruments, water-flow channels, Lego Mindstorms and a driving school. Or maybe take a steam ride through the Oxfordshire countryside on the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway.
You’ve a dozen tennis courts, a carpet of trampolines and a dedicated parkour area to explore at Redkangaroo Reading. Get a closer look at aeroplanes and Berkshire’s aeronautical history at Woodley Airfield’s Museum of Berkshire Aviation. Or take the 60-minute challenge at Escape Hunt Reading.
Paint your own pots at HaaHoos Ceramics, get on the water in canoes and kayaks at Longridge Activity Centre, pop up to Aylesbury for the Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, or to Henley or Marlow for mystery treasure trails. Or brave the Hellfire Caves, deep into West Wycombe Hill, with their narrow winding passages and scary chambers.
Henley-on-Thames awaits, with its diverse menu of tea shops, beautiful bridges, riverside walks and restaurants and quirky independents. Come in summer for the royal regatta or 80s music festival Rewind. Or wander the main street, with its Georgian frontages and 300 buildings designated ‘of special architectural or historical interest’.
Head to Badgemore Park, not only for a great parkland golf course but also for a world-class gym and wellness hub. Ride horses from Checkenden Equestrian Centre, walk the Hamble Valley, the Chiltern hills and the Thames towpath. Consider short, stretching climbs up Coombe Hill, Pulpit Hill or Watlington Hill.
Unwind in the indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym at Danesfield House. Head further afield for a trip around Windsor Castle, an open-top bus tour of Oxford’s dreaming spires, or to the walled gardens and Chiltern views of Greys Court. Or visit Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery’s vineyard, brewery and cellar shop.
Tour Nuffield House and learn all about the philanthropy of William Morris, of Morris Motors. See the Thames brought to life in a series of stunning galleries and temporary exhibitions at the River and Rowing Museum. Brave the open-water Henley Swim. Or come in early autumn for the Pub in the Park garden party.