The school holidays are not what we were expecting but we still need to make the most of it. We’ve lived in the London Borough of Hillingdon for over 6 years now and are still discovering wonderful new places to explore. We live in north of the borough and have already shared our 10 favourite places to visit in Ruislip this summer, so today I’m sharing our favourite places to visit in Hillingdon (and if they have re-opened).
6 things to do with kids in Hillingdon this summer
Top of my list would have been the Battle of Britain Bunker in Uxbridge but sadly this hasn’t re-opened yet. The underground operations room housed RAF Fighter Command’s No.11 Group Operations Room throughout the Second World War. It’s a great place for families to visit. You can book a bunker tour, visit the visitor centre and enjoy the cafe and shop. They are not taking booking throughout August but hopefully they will re-open soon.
As locals we don’t tend to visit Ruislip Lido during the summer. It’s a 60-acre lake with sandy beaches and a narrow gauge railway around it, set on the edge of Ruislip Woods. It’s known as the only beach in London and a silly number of people come to visit. It’s a beautiful place and my top tip would be to visit early and get a space in the car park! As well as the beach, there’s a play area for kids, and so many paths through the woods where there are plenty of den building opportunities. Unfortunately the beach at the Lido is still closed off (as too many people were not adhering to Government guidelines). However it’s still well worth a visit, especially now that toilets are available off Willow Lawn Car Park between 10am and 6pm.
Further south of the Borough and you will find Cranford Park. Cranford Country Park is a historic countryside park that was originally the grounds of Cranford House (which was demolished 1945). We loved exploring it on our last visit and it’s both kid-friendly and dog-friendly. You can follow the Hillingdon Trail though it, there’s an orienteering route, and a children’s play area. The play area has been re-opened but the toilets and information centre are currently closed.
We were so happy that the Duck Pond Market in Ruislip recently re-started. We love the market and the kids are more than happy to wander around. It’s a great place to pick up some delicious food and then sit and enjoy it in the open spaces at Manor Farm.
Another dog-friendly and child-friendly place to visit is Ickenham Marshes, an area of grassland and marsh managed as a nature reserve by London Wildlife Trust. It’s a lovely area to explore and lots of trees, birds and insects to look out for along the way.
Ruislip has lots of lovely parks and thankfully they have all now been checked and re-opened. One place that has remained open throughout the lockdown period is Eastcote House Gardens, a beautiful tranquil, award winning green space, with Grade II listed buildings which include a historic Walled Garden, wild flower meadows, a Topiary garden and a newly planted Jubilee Orchard, linked by a footbridge over the River Pinn to Long Meadow, an ancient water meadow. It’s open all year round and the cafe has recently re-opened so it’s a lovely spot to visit.
I hope you have discovered somewhere new to visit with the family in Hillingdon this summer!