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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

Free, visit-dorset.com

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.