Boris Johnson’s coronavirus roadmap has been released and, from the 8th March, we’ll all start to see some restrictions being removed. It’s worth mentioning that the wording of this roadmap has been changed since it was first released. Only in a minor way, and the places I’ve mentioned below are all based on the guidance available at the time of writing. I’ll try to keep it updated if things change. So, what family days out are open in Bucks, Beds, Oxon & Herts now lockdown is easing?
This guide focuses on family days out and attractions so it doesn’t cover everything that will be reopening at each stage.
Where’s currently open?
Throughout the third lockdown many places have remained open. These places are permitted to open for local exercise and should only be visited in line with Government guidelines.
Woodlands including Wendover Woods, in Bucks, the Ashridge estate in Hertfordshire, Rushmere Country Park in Bedfordshire and Bernwood Forest in Oxfordshire have been open throughout lockdown. Some of these can get quite busy so it’s always a good idea to try and find the quieter paths. There are some on my family walks section.
Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire has announced it will reopen its parkland, gardens and car park from the 13th March. The rest of the grounds and attractions will reopen in line with guidance.
Chiltern Open Air Museum reopens its gardens from the 26th March. The rest of the site will reopen in line with government guidelines.
From the 29th March
- No new family days out are allowed to open at this stage of the roadmap out of lockdown, but the stay at home order is removed, which means several businesses across Bucks, Beds, Oxon & Herts feel they’re able to reopen again. These will be businesses who were technically allowed to open during the third lockdown but had decided not to.
Hatfield House have announced they will be reopening from the 29th March. Initially the park and woodland walks will be open. The rest of the gardens reopen on the 3rd April and then the house from the 3rd June.
Stonor in Oxfordshire will be reopening from the 2nd April alongside their brand new, epic playground. Initially only the parkland, gardens and playground will be open.
The stay at home order is removed at this time so you could also visit places slightly further afield such as Warwick Castle, Osterley Park in London, Kew Gardens in London, Audley End in Essex or Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire.
Family days out in Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts that reopen from the 12th April
- Libraries and community buildings (Oh how we’ve missed Aylesbury Library!!)
- Swimming pools such as Aqua Vale in Aylesbury can reopen for individuals and families. Plus other indoor leisure facilities such a climbing walls
- Outdoor hospitality venues can re-open. That includes zoos, open-farms, outdoor museums and theme-parks
Bekonscot Model Village, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire will be reopening on the 12th and tickets are already available.
Bucks Railway Centre in Quainton, Bucks plans to reopen on the 14th April.
Clip ‘n Climb Bicester is reopening on the 12th April. You can read my review here.
We are really lucky that we have so many awesome zoos and open farms in our area. In Bucks there’s places like Green Dragon Eco Farm, Mead Open Farm near Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, Willows Activity Farm in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Zoos such as Cotswold Wildlife Park haven’t announced their opening date yet, but it’s likely to be on the 12th April.
Whipsnade Zoo already has tickets available for sale on their website (affiliate link) – they’re reopening on the 12th April.
Cogges Manor Farm near Witney, Oxfordshire has been partially open for season ticket holders throughout lockdown. They’re reopening to the general public on the 12th April when the farm, gardens, meadow, woodland and play areas will be open. The rest will reopen in line with government guidance.
Cedars Nature Centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire is a really cheap, little zoo in the middle of a lovely park. You can easily spend an entire, very cheap day here. They reopen on the 12th April and tickets go on sale on the 5th April.
Slightly further afield Warwick Castle is reopening on the 12th April. They’ve got an interactive Zog trail this year! You can book your tickets here (affiliate link)
Family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon and Herts that can reopen from the 17th May
When it comes to family attractions reopening after lockdown across Bucks, Beds, Oxon & Herts, this is a big date!
- Indoor attractions and museums
- Indoor areas of zoos and heritage properties
- Soft play and children’s play areas
- Most indoor areas of family attractions that have previously been allowed to open will now be allowed to open too.
Harry Potter Studios have announced they plan to reopen on the 17th May and they’re now accepting bookings.
Currently this is so far away that most places haven’t announced their reopening dates. I’ll be keeping this guide to places that are reopening after lockdown updated as more places let us know their plans and start selling tickets.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook