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Summer picnic
© Dougal Waters

Ten fun family outings in the great outdoors this summer

Miss out on hayfever, not summer with the help of Boots Allergy Barrier

by Time Out in association with Boots Pharmaceuticals

There's no need to let hayfever stop you enjoying the sunshine this summer! Boots Pharmaceuticals Allergy Barrier nasal spray can help prevent hayfever symptoms. This clinically proven spray is fast, effective and non-drowsy, and as it's drug-free it can be used with Boots Pharmaceuticals One-A-Day Allergy Relief Tablets should you need a little extra hayfever help. These ten family-friendly outings are happy memories waiting to happen, so grab the suncream, pack a picnic and leave the tissues at home. 

London Wetland Centre

Attractions Rivers, lakes and ponds Barnes

A whole family of Asian short-claw otters live at the London Wetland Centre, a nature reserve run by The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. They're fed at 11am and 2pm daily, and are happy to let you watch them play, swim, feed and sleep. The reserve also offers guided tours, an observatory, a pond zone and play areas.

Venue says Award-winning nature reserve in the heart of the capital. Enjoy fantastic views, wildlife, lakes, gardens. Plus shop, café and playground


Attractions Theme parks Kent

This seaside amusement park re-opened in 2015 following a multi-million pound refurbishment, and is a great excuse to visit lovely Margate. Make sure to ride the Grade II* listed scenic railway wooden rollercoaster, which originally opened in 1920 (and has fortunately been almost entirely rebuilt since to ensure it runs as smoothly as the day it opened).

Horniman Museum
Horniman Museum and Gardens

Festival of Brazil at the Horniman Museum

Things to do Forest Hill

Forest Hill's Horniman Museum is a lovely place to visit all year round, but drop by this summer for a totally tropical celebration of Brazil's traditions, music, parties, wildlife and more. The Sunday bandstand concerts are a wonderful setting for a picnic, and the festival will close on September 4 with a full-blown carnval.

Skip Garden

Things to do King’s Cross

This community-run vegetable garden uses recycled materials from nearby construction sites to grow flowers, herbs, fruit and veg. It offers regular events and workshops, or you can visit the Skip Garden Kitchen to tuck into healthy sandwiches, soups and cakes, many of which are made using ingredients grown on-site.


Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground

Kids Playgrounds Kensington

An adventure awaits children who are brave enough to board this magnificent pirate ship in Kensington Gardens. As well as rigging to climb and poop decks to yell from, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground offers a sensory trail, a beach, play sculptures and teepees for making plans in. There's also plenty of seating to keep grown-ups out of the way.

Hollow Ponds

Things to do Snaresbrook

Epping Forest covers around 2,400 hectares of countryside so is a goldmine of flora and fauna. Visit Hollow Ponds, near Snaresbrook tube station, and you can hire a rowing boat from the family-run business there; the perfect way to get a closer look at the wildlife that makes the water its home. And The Boathouse café will sell you an ice cream afterwards.

© Jonathan Perugia

Mersea Island

Attractions Beaches Essex

Thanks to tide times Mersea Island isn't actually an island all the time, but there's heaps of fun to be had there even if the ancient Roman causeway that joins it to the mainland is looking a little soggy. Test your patience by doing some sea crabbing or fossil hunting, learn how the area's famous oysters are harvested or simply take in some sea air.

Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds

Things to do Hampstead Heath

Chilly they may be, but no outdoorsy Londoner should let a summer go by without a dip in one of Heampstead Heath's natural swimming pools. Entry is just £2 per adult and £1 for concessions, and the mixed pond is big enough for a bit of exercise but not so huge you'll tire yourself out swimming back to the grassy banks and changing rooms. Just try not to think about how green the water is.

Boots Allergy

Boots Pharmaceuticals Allergy Barrier Nasal Spray: Save 1/3, now only £4.50 Was £6.75. Offer ends July 19. Subject to availability. Boots Pharmaceuticals Hayfever and Allergy Tablets: Buy 1 get 2nd 1/2 price. Offer ends July 19. Subject to availability. Boots Pharmaceuticals Hayfever Eye Drops are also available.


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