The 10 Best country days out
From fossil hunting to forbidden corners and the golden age of steam
1. Whipsnade Zoo, Bedfordshire
Adult £20.50, child £15.50, org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo
This is the UK's biggest zoo, with lions, elephants, et al. There's also a special family festival aimed at under-10s.
2. Odds Farm, Buckinghamshire
Adult £11.50, child £10.50 oddsfarm.co.uk
Sheep racing, tractor and trailer rides, go karts and farm animals will keep you busy. If it rains, there's a giant indoor playbarn.
3. Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire
Adult £9, child £4.85 national trust org.uk/fountains-abbey/
Play hide and seek in the ruined abbey, enjoy activities in the mill or explore the medieval deer park.
4. The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall
Adult £10, child £6 heligan.com
These mysterious gardens and estate have 200 acres. Discover the romantic Victorian Gardens and Pleasure Grounds.
5. Tree Top Adventure, Snowdonia, Wales
Adult £25, child £20 ttadventure.co.uk
A high-ropes centre that also offers canopy tours, plus "Sky Ride" – an 80ft, five-person swing.
6. Leeds Castle, Kent
Adult £17.50, child £12.50 leedscastle.com
Set in 500 acres of stunning Kent parkland. Besides the castle and glorious gardens, there's a whole range of family-friendly events.
7. Fossil Hunting, Dorset
Charmouth on the Jurassic coast is one of the best places in the world for fossil hunting. So get your bucket, spade and eyes ready to go in search of prehistoric relics.
8. Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire
Adult £29.50, child £21 longleat.co.uk
This is an extensive Safari Park and there's also the magnificent stately home, Longleat House.
9. Forbidden Corner, Yorkshire Dales
Adult £10.50, child £8.50 theforbiddencorner.co.uk
Four acres of Tupgill Park, this is a warren of labyrinths, follies, passageways and secret doors.
10. East Somerset Railway
Adult £8.50, child £6.50
The East Somerset Railway runs through the beautiful Mendips. Ride on a heritage steam train and enjoy a cream tea on the train.
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