Getting outside is proven to be great for our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
We know that children and young people love the opportunity for an outdoor adventure and connecting with nature but often want to experience more than just a walk.
Keep an eye on our news pages or sign up to receive our Explore Surrey newsletter to keep you up to date with our plans to improve access for all on Surrey's Countryside Estate. Here are some ideas for family adventures across Surrey's countryside:
All of our playtrails are made of locally sourced timber and suitable for all ages, the trails are a mix of balance beams and towers of logs, so let your imagination run wild! Please note that logs can be slippery when wet, so take care and help little ones to walk along them.
Newlands Corner new natural playtrail is open for everyone to enjoy and is proving very popular, using Albury Estate timber taken from this site. Picnic benches, toilet block and refreshment servery are all located close to the playtrail. The Discovery Centre has eye-catching educational graphic displays and a window on to the Wildlife Garden which is teeming with nature.
Chinthurst Hill has a natural play area in the flat meadow next to the car park. The site also has a number of picnic benches around the play space, so once you have worked up an appetite you can relax and enjoy a picnic.
Norbury Park also has a natural play area made of locally sourced timber with picnic benches on the meadow by the River Mole, accessed from the Young Street carpark.
We are planning more natural play sites. Come back soon for news of when and where these are being installed!
We are gradually reviewing and improving all of our signposted trails and information boards at our sites to make them easier to follow. When you arrive at a site look for the information boards in the car park areas or entry points, these will show you any signposted trails for the site as well as other points of interest and information.
There are also some easy access routes at various sites that are more suited to younger children or those with accessibility needs such as the Dormouse Trail at Newlands Corner. You may also like to explore other Easy Access routes in Surrey.
Facilities on site
Many of our sites have seats and picnic benches around the site or in picnic areas around the car parks. Details of these are on the visitor information pages for each site.
Toilets are available at Newlands Corner (at the Albury Downs car park behind the café) and Ockham Common (in Bolder Mere car park next to Ockham Bites café). There are also accessible toilets at these two locations.
Events and activities
We host a range of events and activities on our sites run by external providers, many of which are suitable for families and children.
- Active Surrey aims to help people of all age groups and abilities to be healthier and happier. There are plenty of opportunities to try a new sport or improve and develop fitness.
- Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development (SOLD) offer an exciting range of personal development outdoor experiences that aim to challenge both the mind and body!
- The Surrey Hills National Landscape offers a wide variety of events and activities for all ages. Take a look at their places to Visit web page for inspiration.
- The Thames Basin Heaths Partnership run lots of heathland-themed activities for children. Throughout the year, free curriculum-linked sessions in school or out on the heath are available. Activities are also offered for uniformed groups and a fun range of arts and crafts activities can be found on the Heathland at Home webpage.
- From Wild Club adventures and starry night walks to action station days for families and groups with a variety of physical, mental, social and financial difficulties, Sayers Croft outdoor education centre events, near Cranleigh, give children and young people a taste of what the countryside has to offer. And the grounds are a local nature reserve so you may be up close and personal with wildlife.
- Juniper Hall is one of a number of field study council centres in the UK, situated in the Mole Gap between Norbury Park and Box Hill, Dorking. They run outdoor education courses and holiday clubs.
- Surrey Wildlife Trust runs many different incentives from forest schools to outdoor learning experiences, as well as a packed Wildlife Trust events calendar, aimed at all age groups.
- The National Trust has many properties and places to visit for nature and wildlife across Surrey, see their pages for inspiration.
Find out more on our What's on page.
Respect, Protect, Enjoy
As you enjoy your time on our sites please lead by example with children and young people in the countryside and help them understand the Countryside Code and why it is important to respect everyone, protect the environment and enjoy the outdoors.