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Our Spring 2020 edition is out! Click on the button below to read it online.

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Our Spring 2020 edition is out! Click on the button below to read it online.

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Get Outside

Copas Farm

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Luna went to Copas Fruit Farm PYO for the last of the asparagus. There are loads of strawberries and the gooseberries are just starting. They are open as 'essential food retail' so only 2 people per car/group (ie one adult and one child) are allowed on site.  

Best for: precious one-on-one time with a child. 

There are two farms, Cookham (open 10am–4pm Tues–Fri, 10am–1pm Sat) and Iver (open Tues, Thurs, Sat 10am–4pm). Card payments only. thefruitfields.co.uk

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Kew Gardens

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We were at the front of the queue at 10am prompt on the second day of Kew's re-opening this week. Once inside (on your timed entry slot) you can stay all day. We spent a whole morning there and it was still delightfully uncrowded as we left. The glasshouses and play areas are closed but it provides a perfect excuse to explore the further corners of these stunning gardens that we never usually make it to. Unsurprisingly it is all looking a bit parched but is a calmly peaceful joy. And hardly any aeroplanes! We especially enjoyed the woods by Queen Caroline's cottage - we had never noticed this big grizzly before!

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There is a kiosk open for snacks and coffee and distanced picnic tables on the lawn in front of the Orangery.

Best for: Mums with toddlers in buggies. Older kids may miss the playgrounds and activities.

Open daily 10am–4pm. If you are driving, you are best to park in the carpark by Brentford Gate (on the river). This is the only gate that is two way (entry and exit). Victoria Gate is entry only and the two other gates exit only. All tickets (which are in hourly entrance times) must be booked online in advance. Adult: £9, ages 16–25 £4.50, ages 4–16 £3, under 4s free. Family packages available. Click here to book tickets.

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Stonor 

 

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The lovely Stonor Park Gardens and Grounds outside Henley have re-opened Wed–Sun.

There are reasons enough to visit the quintessential English gardens of irises, peonies and roses but on Fri, Sat and Sun 12–5pm and there is the added benefit of the Stonor Street Food Takeaways popping up in the carpark. Pizzas on Fri, bacon butties and pork burgers on Saturdays, Texan-style BBQ on Sundays to eat on the grass in the picnic area. Timed tickets must be booked in advance.

Best for: older kids at weekends. You can combine with a longer stomp along the Chiltern Way and then you will have really earned your lunch!

Gardens are open 11am–5pm in two hourly timed slots. Tickets: £6.50 adults, £5.50 ages 2–15. The loos are open but the House, the Wonder Woods Adventure playground and the cafe are closed. Click here to book tickets. 

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Hever Castle

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The fairytale childhood home of Anne Boleyn opened on Monday. Set in acres of Kent countryside, Hever Castle is doing a phased re-opening starting with the gardens and is bursting with colour - rhododendrons, azaleas and roses.

We are excited that in addition to the gardens and lake walk, boat hire is also available. Rowing boats and pedallos can be hired by the hour. Hurrah.

Limited toilet facilities are available. The water maze, archery and the play areas and a takeaway food and drink service will follow as soon as possible. Indoor areas including the castle itself, miniature model houses collection, military museum and garden exhibition will all remain closed.

Best for: anyone who loves a pedallo!

Open 10.30am–4pm daily. Timed tickets (£15.55 adults, £9.75 ages 5–18, under 5s free) must be booked in advance. Click here to book. 

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Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens

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National Trust, Andrew Butler

The National Trust is releasing tickets for some of its properties every Friday for the following week.

All the timed slots (10.30am–3pm) for Vita Sackville-West's famous garden are sold out for the rest of this week but be quick off the mark to book on Friday for next week. Her famous White Garden will be looking breathtaking.

Best for: flower lovers of all ages.

Tickets: £8 adults, £4 ages 5–17, under 5s free. Dogs allowed. Limited toilet availability. No refreshments to buy. Click here.

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Coming up soon:

The Wetland Centre, Barnes

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The Wetland Centre in Barnes is re-opening on 10 June.

Best for: Nature lovers

Tickets are £14.75 adults, £8.95 ages 4–16, under 4s free. Booking opens on Wednesday at 9am for the following week and was sold out for next week by the end of the day.

 

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