The school holidays are here. Siobhan Godwood takes a look at a few choice trips for all the family
The long summer break from school is finally here, and with it the opportunity to enjoy lots of brilliant family days out in our wonderful city and the surrounding area. There’s loads going on, so whether you’re looking for interactive museum experiences or the chance to get closer to nature, you’ll be able to find an activity to suit you. Now all we need is a bit of sunshine!
The sky’s the limit
Love aeroplanes? There’s a great selection of summer events taking place at Imperial War Museum Duxford this summer. The Lancaster Experience runs on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 28 August, offering you the chance to peer inside the Second World War bomber and find more about the legendary plane’s history, including the famous Dambuster Raids.
Other summer events include Battle of Britain Object Handling Sessions every Monday and Friday until 29 August, and Build a B-29 Superfortress events every Tuesday and Thursday, throughout August.
Admission is £18 for adults, £9 for children aged five to 15 and £31.50 for a family ticket.
Don’t miss this year’s fantastic free treasure trails at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. The Plant Hunter Challenge Trail, for children age 8+, will test your family’s powers of deduction and map reading, or you can draw and colour your way around the gardens with the plant-themed Doodle trail, suitable for all ages. Just pick up your free Explorer Backpack from the ticket office before you start. Normal admission charges apply; £5 for adults and free for children up to 16. Call 01223 331875 for more information.
Step back in time
Audley End house and gardens, just over the Essex border, is always a brilliant historic family day out. Over the summer, there’s a range of themed history weeks, with Victorian Explorers from 1 to 5 August, Discoveries and Inventions from 8 to 12 August, Ugly Bug Safari from 15 to 19 August and Train the Troops runs from 22 to 26 August. The whole family can find out lots more about the chosen time period, and have a go at some hands-on art and craft activities including making a sun dial and coming up with your own inventions.
Prices are £18.30 for adults, £11 for children five to 15, or a family ticket is £47.60. Events are free for English Heritage members.
A very big house in the country
In Hertfordshire, a manageable drive from Cambridge, Knebworth House is open to visitors throughout August. The beautiful gardens and deer park date back to the 17th century, and there’s a dinosaur trail with more than 70 life-sized creatures nestling in the shrubberies, and an adventure playground. Plus, on 13 and 14 August, Knebworth hosts the Steam and Country Crafts Fair, featuring lots of craft and gift stands, circus entertainers and, of course, lots of steam engines and vintage vehicles.
Entrance is £9.50 for the park and gardens, or £13 if you want to visit the house too. Children aged and under go free.