A family day out doesn’t need to break the bank; especially with the wonderful summer we are having. So pack up a picnic and take advantage of our Kids can travel for just £1† on South Western Railway all summer long.

Our network is full of beautiful green spaces so we have put together some of our favourite spots to inspire your picnicking this summer. Don’t forget to tag us in your pictures on Instagram while you are making memories with your loved ones.

Ham House Gardens

This rare and atmospheric 17th-century house sits on the banks of the River Thames in Richmond. Outside, the open and formal restored 17th-century gardens surround the house. It includes a productive kitchen garden containing many heritage crops, the maze-like ‘Wilderness’, complete with summerhouses, and many beautiful spots perfect for a picnic.

There’s plenty of events going on throughout the summer, and below is a couple of highlights.

50 Things to Do Before You’re 11 ¾ (suitable for children aged 7-12)

Hunt around Ham House for ways to complete as many of the 50 activities as possible. You will find no. 4 ‘Build a Den’, no. 22 ‘Explore Inside a Tree’, and no. 25 ‘Make a Grass Trumpet’ in our Family Friendly Zone in the Outer Courtyard.


Fun and Jaques - 18th and 19th August

Jaques, the outdoor games makers, are putting on a weekend of fun and games at Ham House. With lots of games for you to try, come and have a go! Normal admissions to Ham House apply; however the games are free for you to play!

Flowery Fun activity map (suitable for children aged 5+)

Every day from 22nd July – 3rd September, 10am-5pm. So much sunshine has brought out the flowers of all shapes, sizes and colours! The Duchess thinks they are so pretty, she wants them everywhere! They aren't just in the gardens though...

Hunt all over the house to find the flower patterns hidden all around you. Find out how Elizabeth Murray used flowers in the Still House, make your own flowers in the Education Room and you can even try some honey to see if you can taste the flowers!

Stroll through the sunflowers in our new maze-like paths in the family area where you can also get stuck in the family picking garden, or play some garden games. Why not make a daisy chain, or grow your own sunflower at home?

Maps cost £2 each, and come with your own packet of seeds to take home and grow your own sunflower.

Lodmoor Country Park

Situated a mere 15 minutes walk from the centre of Weymouth, the Lodmoor Country Park covers 350 acres of land which features a whole host of attractions and activities for all the family.

There’s a enviable array of facilities to keep everyone entertained, it’s even wheelchair friendly. You can even make your picnic a barbecue with plenty of stands available for public use throughout the year.

Other highlights include a free 21 piece adult green gym, along with a smaller children’s version with a pitch and putt for those that like to keep active and a large pirate ship play park complete with a bird's nest swing. The Rio Grande model railway circles the events area at Lodmoor and is open to visitors throughout the summer season. What more could you want from a park?

Corfe Castle

This castle in Bournemouth is said to be inspiration for Kirrin in Enid Blyton books. Pack lashings of ginger beer!

This thousand-year-old royal castle shaped by warfare is one of Britain's most iconic and evocative survivors of the English Civil War. A favourite haunt for adults and children alike, all ages are captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views across Purbeck.

Discover 1,000 years of our history as a royal palace and fortress. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner.

Spot the 'murder holes' and count the arrow loops. Feel history come to life and see the wildlife that has set up home here.

Chillerton Down, Gatcombe

Chillerton Down and the land around Gatcombe Village is a beautiful area of downland, farmed and wooded valleys hidd away in the middle of the Isle of Wight. It is jointly owned by the National Trust and protected by covenants to preserve the beauty of the landscape.

Take a walk, bring a picnic or try something more adventurous - there's so much to see and do on a day out at Chillerton Down.

Chillerton Mast

A communications mast is located at the highest point of Chillerton Down, visible from nearly all the Isle of Wight.

Whitecroft from Chillerton Down

The views from Chillerton Down in the centre of the Isle of Wight are extensive. Whitecroft used to be a hospital, and is easily recognisable by its tower. Walking on Chillerton Down Chillerton Down is a lovely rural spot on the Isle of Wight, and we've created a 9 ¼-mile (16km) route for you to follow here.

Newlands Corner and Silent Pool in Guildford

Newlands Corner and Silent Pool are at the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Newlands Corner lies on the chalk ridge of the North Downs at a height of over 170m, which gives glorious views across the Weald to the ridge of the South Downs. Below the slope, from Newlands car park, lies the village of Albury. It’s a popular spot for dog walking, cycling, horse riding and family wandering, so you’ll rarely be alone here. However, the broad expanses of open chalk downland and mixed woodland offer plenty of opportunities to lose yourself in nature.


About two miles to the east lies the Silent Pool, in a shady hollow, surrounded by box trees, which is most probably an ancient quarry which was filled by the water from scarp slope springs in the chalk downs.

Legend has it that the daughter of a woodsman drowned in the pool whilst escaping the seductive advances of King John. In the 19th century it was a popular attraction; and still retains a certain eerie charm today. For a suggested £5 donation you can attend the Wild Families event on Saturday 11th August. Babes in Arms are free!