We love getting out and about in our local area for adventures. Being based just outside Greater London gives us the best of both worlds – countryside on the doorstep and good transport links into the city. Most of our favourite places for outdoor fun are in the South Bucks area. I’ve shared quite a few of our adventures in the locations below on Country Kids over the years, but I thought it might be useful to do a round-up of them. Here are ten of our favourite places for outdoor family fun in South Bucks.
1. Black Park
There are three country parks near to where we live. Black Park is the biggest of the three and is often used as a film location by nearby Pinewood Studios. There are woods and heathland to explore, you can watch model boats or feed the ducks on the lake and there’s a big play area that the children will love. They have Forest School sessions each week and various trails and activities during the summer. There’s also a Go Ape if you’re feeling more adventurous.
2. Langley Park
Langley Park is our favourite of the three country parks. The children’s play area is brilliant for little ones. The Temple Gardens is a lovely place for a walk and is particularly beautiful in the spring when the rhododendrons are in bloom. Langley Park is also a good place for a geocache hunt – there are quite a few of them around the park.
3. Denham Country Park
Denham Country Park is a great place for river dipping and playing Pooh Sticks as there are two rivers running through it and the Grand Union Canal close by. The play area is a favourite of ours as it has a sand play area. There are often activity sessions running during the school holidays too. We particularly enjoyed one where we dissected an owl pellet to learn more about what owls eat.
4. Chiltern Open Air Museum
Step back in time at Chiltern Open Air Museum and visit all the different historic buildings on site. There are farm animals to see, a small playground, traditional toys to play with in a couple of the buildings and various events happening throughout the year. The Enchanted Museum event is a highlight for us. Terrific Tuesday activity sessions run during the school holidays. Chiltern Open Air Museum is open from late March to October.
5. Iver Environment Centre
This hidden gem has a fairy garden, rainforest area, orchard play area and other gardens for children to explore. They open for family days and activity sessions during the school holidays. We enjoyed a couple of nature craft workshops recently during the half-term holidays.
6. Wendover Woods
There are various walking and cycle trails to explore at Wendover Woods, a Go Ape, a 1 mile play trail with play equipment at various intervals along the way and a Gruffalo sculpture to find. You can take part in the Gruffalo orienteering trail. We’ve enjoyed doing various trails at Wendover Woods, including the Stick Man trail and Zog trail.
Cliveden is our favourite out of our local National Trust properties. As well as beautiful gardens and woodland to explore, there is a fab storybook-themed play area and a maze to explore.
8. Hughenden Manor
Hughenden Manor, also owned by the National Trust, was the home of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and was used during World War II for map-making. It’s an interesting place to visit from a historical point of view and the surrounding countryside is beautiful for family walks.
9. West Wycombe
We’ve only visited West Wycombe Park so far out of season to plant snowdrops, but it is a beautiful place for a walk. West Wycombe village with its quaint cottages and old buildings is also National Trust owned, as is the hill overlooking the village where you can find the Dashwood family mausoleum and the Hell Fire Caves (not National Trust).
10. Odds Farm
Odds Farm is a great place to visit whatever the weather. As well as the farm animals and tractor rides, there is also a big indoor soft play area, and several big outdoor play areas. The sand play areas were a big hit with my girls when we visited a few years ago.