Camps, Trips Out and Staying at Home (with downloadable factsheets!)

Before we get started, I’d like to give a huge thanks to Hersham Mum Lucy Smith who provided all this fantastic information and has saved me literally hours and hours of research!

You can read more about Lucy at the bottom of this post,

You can also find links to download factsheets of the information provided (again, thanks to Lucy for her kind permission).

Its a long post so I have bookmarked the various sections (Factsheet downloads are at the end of the post):

Summer Camps
Whole Days Out
Morning or Afternoons Out
Things to do at Home

Summer Camps Suggestions:

Here is a list of Summer Camps that have been tried & tested by either me or my fellow mums:

– Camp Beaumont

Runs out of Claremont fan court school in Esher. Has a wide range of activities for 4-teens and the facilities are excellent.

They do day camps and also residential camps for older kids.

– Camp England

8.30 – 4.30pm but also run an extended day from 8am-6pm. Mainly sports, but good variety of activities.  Ofsted registered and take child care vouchers.  Locations closes to us are Hampton Court and Cobham, but also at Effingham, Leatherhead, Teddington and Kingston.

– Stagecoach

– I’ve never done this with my children, but had good reports from those who have and it is a week long course culminating in a show on the Friday for parents to come and watch.  Sounds great fun! Ages 4-18 (not in all areas). We have them run out of St. George’s school in Weybridge and also at their main site – The Courthouse, Elm Grove, Walton Upon Thames, Surrey KT12 1LZ

– Wild Life Camps
You need to look under Cobham, but it is the Walton Firs ones that you want as that is the closest.
Key facts:
-£30 for early bird booking / £37 once the holidays start
– 4 to 11 yr olds. 4 yr olds need to be starting school in January and can do a 1/2 day (I think they can also do a full day but not totally sure…).  A 1/2 day is £17.
– £250 for a 10x day pass which I think can be used by multiple children in the same family
– 9am – 4pm and the 1/2 days are 9-12.30
– they accept childcare vouchers
– tel: 01276 536281 but can book online.  Also
– I haven’t done this one but friends of a friend have and said it was fab and I’ve booked my eldest onto this for the summer holidays this year.

– Forest School
A nanny friend of mine has recommended this one and her mum is one of the coaches, but I don’t know anything else really so please peruse the website!
Key facts:
– 10am – 4pm
– child 1 £35, child 2 £33, child 3 £30
– seems to be camps in West Byfleet, Guildford, Addlestone and Chertsey
– 2yr olds have to be accompanied by the parent on a 1:1 ratio, 3-4yr olds can be unaccompanied as long as they are toilet trained and understand the fire rules – they need to be accompanied on the 1st day.  I’m not sure if this is for the camps or the term-time one!
– there is a booking form online which u have to post or email… But I can’t find the email address!

– Wild Learning
I did a trial day with my eldest (6yrs) in the Easter Holidays and can thoroughly recommend it! She went with her cousins who are 9 and 12 and they both enjoyed it too, although the 12 yr old was the eldest there.
Key facts:
– aged 5-12
– there is a pre-schoolers camp at the Alice Holt or Wimbledon sites.  We did the one at Claremont National Trust site in Esher but there are sites across the whole of the South East.
– or or tel: 01483 424400
– 10.15am to 4pm
– £42

– Make, Glue, Stitch – a creative camp at St. George’s School, Weybridge

– Annabel Croft Tennis Academy

for 4-17 yr olds across a range of abilities. Held at Roehampton, Wimbledon Park and St. George’s school, Weybridge

– Mad Science 

Mad Science summer camps and vacation programs give kids the opportunity to learn about science through our interactive and hands-on science activities. Our summer science programs let children become junior scientists for the summer and embark on a series of science adventures!

– Cleves School – a multi sports camp that has such a good reputation amongst local mums.


Ideas for a Whole Day Out:

The living  – M4, about 1-1.5hrs away but a whole day out
Alice holt. This is a fabulous outdoors place about an hour away. It has great walking and cycling paths clearly marked.  It has a walk with huge sculptures that the kids can climb up and inside of.  It has a cafe, picnic areas, a Junior as well as older Go Ape! tree climbing course.  There is also a cycle hire hut which is now open.  All you pay for is car parking.  It also has a massive children’s playground suitable for wee ones up to about 12/13yrs I’d say
Day trips to London – The aquarium, London eye, South bank, up The Shard, theatre trip.  We met Daddy for lunch on a boat just outside Embankment station and that was a great success as fab uninterrupted views of the sites, then a walk back over Hungerford bridge back to Waterloo.  Also worth going to walk through Green Park and down to Buckingham Palace, but don’t see the soldiers there – walk up the Mall about 200m and see them really close at hand guarding The Queen Mum’s old residence.  Look out for 2 for 1 discounts when 2 of you buy a SWTrains ticket.

– Wisley. A great day out and always lots going on, take your own picnic or there are 2-3 restaurants / cafes there. This is the link to What’s on this summer:

Box Hill, there’s a brilliant trail with things to climb on, swings, forts etc. all made out of wood.  You can park at the top so don’t need to climb the thing!! Satnav postcode for the top is KT20 7LB.  Free to National Trust members or just pay for car parking.

– Bekonscot model Village – Slightly further afield – about an hour or so but great for 5 and under.  A whole town in miniature with working boats, trains etc for them to peek and have a look at.  Cafe there not great but welcome to take your own picnic.

– Bocketts farm  This place can get seriously packed but it has so much to offer it makes the entry price easier to swallow!  Trampolines, tractor rides, huge play areas (indoor and outdoor), animal stroking and feeding, talks, pig racing, cafes and restaurants etc.  A must if you have children 7 and under for a day out in the sun.

British Wildlife Centre, Lingfield. RH7 6LF.  A great interactive day out getting close to British wildlife, sounds like it could be a little dull but there is everything from a rabbit’s burrow you can see into, hedgehog handling, a badger’s set, wild cats, a gorgeous walk along a boardwalk to see birdlife and water life (think voles etc).  There are also little tunnel runs all over that little animals are constantly scurrying around in.  There are talks, a picnic area and its pretty cheap considering what you get.  A great place for 3-7yr olds in my view.  A little bit of a trek (1hr) but well worth it.

Virginia water lake, A great walking place with plenty of cafes, things to see. Stunning gardens and a lovely place for a picnic.  There are waterfalls, a lake, cycling tracks, a totem pole.  Just the car park fee applies.  About 40mins from Hersham.

Frensham ponds – great walking place and apparently with a great beach area, where you can actually swim!  Only about 40mins away and is a National Trust place.  Priory Lane, Frensham, Surrey, GU10 3BT.  Cafe, pond dipping, paths with mud and sticks to make camps.  A good outdoorsy day!

Hollycombe railway, all about the age of steam. Near Hampshire but not far at all. Have lots of special events on.

Hobbledown Farm.  A great day out.  Some animals to pet, trampoline pillows to bounce on, picnic areas, inside huge soft play, goblins and fairies roaming about, a huge sand mine to play in and around, various playground attractions including a high ropes course.  Expensive, but is a whole day out and is only down Chessington way so about 25mins away.

The Lookout Centre near Bracknell.  An hour away but a whole world of discovering how things work – sciencey, nature-y, all sorts.  Also a great outdoor play area, bring a picnic etc.  A great day out from 4-12yrs I’d think.

The Witterings for a great beach about an hour away.  Huge area of perfect sandy beach with lots of parking.  A great day out for all the family if it stays sunny.

The Sculpture Park – Churt. GU10 2LH.  I haven’t been to this, but it has come highly recommended so am planning on visiting it this summer.  Essentially a huge garden, but with sculptures dotted through it to keep the interest of children high – what’s around the next corner?


Morning or Afternoon Activities:

The Medicine Garden, Cobham which often has activities on.  Also a good place for a play in the sandpit, climbing area and a coffee if you’ve got pre-school children or a good place for a picnic.
Horse riding An hour at a time or daycare course at Hollybush Stables in West Byfleet.  Tel: Kate on 07730 569968. She’s an old friend of mine and is a miracle worker with kids going on horses for the first time. – website has a lot of info about Livery, so just call her!  The stables is about 10mins from Hersham towards Brooklands.
Swimming at Spectrum centre in Guildford – slides and a new younger area for wee ones

Piglets.  Right here in our very own Hersham.  A great play place for the under 5’s with a small soft play area inside with a cafe serving good lunches, coffees etc.  Outside play area has a car area, slides, houses, sandpit, swings and a bouncy castle.  Also some pigs, goats and hens to watch / stroke.  Small but perfectly formed!  Over the summer they often have miniature pony rides, clay printing, face painting and things going on so worth getting on their mailing list.

– Cycling / scootering at Brooklands and snack at M&S or Tesco cafe (or the ice-cream van that’s there most days!).  A great place with flat, wide tarmac if your children want to learn to ride without stabilisers.  For the older ones there is a skate park with ramps etc.  Park there for free.  It’s off the roundabout by M&S/Tesco superstores.  Have seen in-line skaters, road skiers, kite fliers and all sorts here – easy for a “get them out the house for an hour” trip!

The Cake Box – Hampton.  About 30-40mins away.  Does really lovely creative days with cakes and decorating etc. They do half day courses which are just fab but maybe more appropriate for little girls…

Ceramic painting – in Hersham there is a lovely shop / small cafe which can be expensive but for older kids is a great way to spend a quieter afternoon being creative.  There are girl and boy ceramics to choose from so happy for either sex to have a go.  It’s quite therapeutic for Mums or Dad’s too!

Guildford air hop  – great for a rainy day to get some exercise into our kids!  A huge warehouse full of trampolines – better for slightly older kids / adults – in my view, about 5yrs upwards its ideal.  It can be a bit difficult to find as it is on an industrial estate.  The full address is: AirHop House, 12 Midleton Industrial Estate Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 8XW.  Phone: 01483 504750.  E-mail:

Rock climbing at Excel leisure centre in Walton or at Craggy island in Guildford.  Excel is smaller and easier, Craggy island more variety and more professional.  My 6 1/2 yr old has done both and enjoyed both.

Mercedes Benz world.  Just go and look at the cars through history, learn about the Brooklands Racing track or book into a car experience for yourself.  There is a mini driving track as well as the real thing… great cafe or the GullWing Restaurant.

Kidspace – huge soft play Croydon for a rainy day. – Jakes world – ditto soft play in Bagshot.

Pirate golf– Woking or Dinosaur golf– New Malden.  A great whole-family activity for all ages.  Decent and creative mini-golf courses for having fun!  Both places about 30mins away.

JBSki – Chertsey. Can do water sports lessons if you’ve got older kids, or just chill out at the sandy beaches and watch if you haven’t.

Bushy Park – a wonderful place on our doorstep.  Wide open spaces, the deer, boats on the lake, wildlife, a great cafe at The Pheasantry… easy way to spend a cheap afternoon.

Water park – a quick cool-off in our very own Hersham water park.  Small but perfectly formed at the park across the dual-carriageway from the Barley Mow roundabout.

Don’t forget easy stuff like going to the cinema, a supermarket shop where they are in charge of their own list, playdates, having a PJ day at home, put them in charge of breakfast one day etc. Simple ideas giving them a little independence can work wonders…


Stuff to do at Home:

Garden day – sand play with old plastic bottles, make wind chimes with string and any old junk, junk modelling, plant seeds, make a den out of a cheap shower curtain, paint a wigwam with a cheap sheet

Barbecue – toast marshmallows / make s’mores (Garsons Farm sells giant US style marshmallows!)

Do crafts!  One of the best sites I have come across is  Go to the pull down menu for crafts, paints, recipes, sewing, science, sensory stuff – it’s a great resource (just ignore the ‘help each other’ topics about getting your child to sleep etc.!)

Garden camping – borrow a tent and let your kids camp in their very own back garden – safe and such fun!

Water play – sprinklers, hoses, water pistols, balloon bombs – old fashioned play.  Younger kids love washing too – involve them in cleaning the sandpit lid, hosing down the patio chairs.  Mine love watering pots before supper – water goes everywhere but skin’s waterproof!

Baking.  There are tons of ‘fridge cake’, ‘no baking’ or ‘3x ingredient recipes’ for kids all over the web… surf and you’ll find something all ages can do.

A holiday scrapbook.  This can either be just a story of their summer holidays, or for a particular official “holiday” you may go on.  Even kids as young as 3 or 4 enjoy collecting tickets, menus, receipts, pictures, postcards and cutting, glueing and sticking.  It also helps their independence that they have something that is ‘theirs’ to work on.  Try and leave them to it, if you can!


Summer Camp Suggestions

Whole Day’s Out

Morning or Afternoon Activities

Staying At Home

Why not take a look at our Summer 2015 section?

For information about our local parks and outside spaces click here:

Lucy Smith

I’m a 41 year old Mum of 2x children (a 2.5 yr old and a 6.5yr old). I grew up in Esher, went to school near Hampton and then did a 10x year working stint in London before moving back to the area with my husband. I have been happily settled in Hersham for the past 6.5yrs and love the fact that we are close to so many amenities - 30 mins from London or 30mins from the countryside!
I slightly dread the summer holidays, but make sure I have a list of things to pull from when my brain stops working and also remember to build in down-time (yes, TV / DVD time) to ensure the kids aren’t stimulated all day everyday.
I have just shared my “dump list” of things to do, not all are tried-and-tested and I’m sure I’ve missed some obvious ones, but hopefully it’s a start to help other mums and dads out there this summer.
There’s also lots of other posts on the Hersham Hub site to help while away the weeks ahead. Good Luck everyone!!

View my other posts

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