Monday, 19 November 2012

Winter Outings Part 1 – A Few For Starters

The weather may be chilling down, becoming wetter and windier, and generally making us feel a bit miserable, but there are still times that we’d like to get out and about.

Many attractions are now closed for the winter, some understandably so such as Theme Parks and Seaside Funfairs, but other closures puzzle me. Certain indoor attractions and stately homes close their doors during the winter months – perhaps they just don’t want us trudging through leaving muddy footprints. Fortunately, however, some visitor attractions offer a warm welcome all year round.

Over the coming weeks I’ll be recommending a selection of places to visit during the coming months. Here are a few to get you started.

Leeds Castle, Kent – Adults £19.75, Children £12.50, with 10% discount given to English Heritage Members. This may sound a bit pricey, but tickets are valid for a full year (though not for some selected events) so you can make multiple visits. The castle is in a beautiful setting with extensive grounds to wander round, or if you prefer you can take the land train (50p per person each way) from the gate to the castle. The castle itself is beautifully furnished and other highlights include the really tricky maze, which you can exit by a charming (though scary for some little ones) grotto, and a great play area for the kids. November 24th/25th there is a Christmas Gift Fair in the grounds and 8th to 24th December the castle’s rooms will be decorated for the festive season.

The Horniman Museum, Forest Hill, South London – is open daily 10.30-5.30 and is FREE! This is a little gem; we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. The museum houses a great aquarium and a wide variety of exhibits including African displays, a music gallery and large natural history section. In the gardens you can learn about the medicinal properties of plants. We ate in the café on our visit and were pleased to find some lovely sandwiches at a reasonable price.

Yorvik Centre, York – Adults £9.25, Children £6.25, Family of 4 £26, Family of 5 £29, tickets are valid for a year. You can also use Tesco Clubcard Days Out Vouchers to gain admission. Not huge this place but has some interesting features. My son loved the ‘time capsule journey’ – a ride through the Viking Jorvik settlement, complete with appropriate smells. After the ride you can browse the museum exhibits at your leisure, but would say this is more of a couple of hours type visit as opposed to a day out.

More to follow …

Any recommendations for winter outings? Email

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