Windsor Castle. Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Half term is almost here, so InYourArea has come up with some ideas to keep the kids entertained this week.
Berkshire has plenty of fun activities for families, from parks to animal attractions and more, all ready to be explored.
1. Windsor Castle
Or: Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ.
No trip to Windsor could be complete without a visit to the incredible Windsor Castle, the family home of British kings and queens for over 1,000 years. The size of the castle (5.3 hectares/13 acres) is breathtaking, it is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world and is where Her Majesty The Queen chooses to spend most of her private weekends.
Windsor Castle is open to the public five days a week, remaining closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Tickets must be reserved in advance. You can even schedule your visit when she is in residence. Look at the flag flying on the round tower of the castle; if it’s the Royal Standard, the Queen will be there too.
2. Dinton Pastures National Park
Or: Davis Street, Hurst, Wokingham, Berkshire.
Dinton Pastures Country Park is an award-winning play space that offers educational events and activities. There’s something for everyone, no matter how active or relaxed you want to be. There are 450 acres of lakes, meadows, trails and woods, a fishery, water sports and conservation lakes.
Children will enjoy the adventure play park with swings, slides and climbing frame in a clean and confined area while the Dragonfly Café is the perfect place to rest their feet with some tasty food and a hot drink.
3. Bucklebury Farm Park
Or: Pease Hill, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 6RR.
This adventure farm park is a 77 acre working farm in the Pang Valley that has plenty of animals to see including Berkshire pigs, pygmy goats, Shetland ponies, reindeer, donkeys, cattle, llamas, wild boars and poultry.
There’s also a red deer park and Bob’s Kid’s Barn which has small animals for petting sessions, as well as indoor and outdoor play areas for children. Other things to do include a walk through the woodland nature trails or you can climb to Tom’s Tower lookout to see across the deer park.
4. Hollywood Bowl Bracknell
Or: The Point, Skimped Hill Lane, Bracknell, Berkshire.
If you’re in the mood for a game of 10-pin bowling with the family, there’s no better place than Hollywood Bowl Bracknell. Do not hesitate to take the children with you, bowling is as much fun for adults as for young players.
The Bracknell site has 28 bowling alleys where the whole family can compete. young children may need help, so the lanes are equipped with child-friendly features such as ramps and bumps. Kids will knock them over before you know it.
5. Aquatic world of coral reefs
Or: Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, Berkshire.
A major renovation has transformed this water park with many wild rides and flumes. Try the Cannon, a 67-meter high-speed drop you’ll be spitting down like a cannonball, and the Storm Chaser where pirates in training can try their luck on the stormy waves.
Families with young children will head to the Little Corals Toddler Pools to gently play in the shallow waters or swing under a pirate ship equipped with shooting cannons.
6. The Living Rainforest
Or: Hampstead Norreys, Thatcham, Berkshire.
Did you know that the sleepy village of Hampstead Norreys in Berkshire has its own rainforest? The living rainforest has over 700 species of plants and animals including sloths, reptiles, monkeys, birds and more.
This is an educational charity that aims to teach visitors about rainforests, the animals that live there, and how our daily decisions affect Earth’s oldest living ecosystems. The rainforest is climate controlled to make it as close to reality as possible.
7. Windsor Great Park
Or: The Great Park, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2HT.
South of Windsor is The Great Park which covers some 14,000 acres including 8,000 acres of forest. Windsor Great Park is the only royal park managed by the Crown Estate Commissioners and it is their duty to maintain its unique character.
Horse trails and incredible views are also very present. There are several public access points around the perimeter of the park and one of the main ones is at Wick Lane, Englefield Green, where you can park for free for 90 minutes.
8. Mad Hatters Pottery Painting Coffee
Or: 114 School Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG31 5AX.
An independent café, Mad Hatters Pottery Painting is Berkshire’s first pottery painting café, offering a separate café space from the pottery studio. It’s open seven days a week and serves delicious food and drinks with optional pottery painting.
Painting your own pottery is a great way to relax, have fun, and explore your creative side while creating a keepsake or creating a keepsake with your family and friends.
9. Go Monkey
Or: Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7QW.
There is plenty of fun to be had at Go Ape Bracknell with four adventures to choose from -Treetop Challenge, Treetop Adventure and Treetop Adventure Plus as well as Forest Segway.
Forest views are covered from ground level to tree level. You can climb around Swinley Forest on the Challenge Course and prepare for two to three hours of tree-to-tree obstacles designed to get your adrenaline pumping and your heart pumping.
10. Museum of English Country Life
Or: 6 Redlands Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 5EX.
The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) is England’s largest museum devoted to agriculture, food, crafts, rural life and rural issues. The REMF contains a range of items that tell an important part of England’s history. The museum brings the collection of objects, archives, photographs and books to life in nine galleries.
Interactive and immersive screens explore issues of identity, environment, technology, culture and health. Whatever your relationship with the countryside and rural life, you will find objects that fascinate and inspire you.
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