If you fancy taking a trip out of London, the National Trust's Chartwell house and gardens is just 40 minutes drive out into Kent, in Westerham.
We love it because... This is one of the nicer National Trust locations we've been to, with lots to see and do for all the family (and not just the boring history stuff...)
We spotted... The gardens, the lakes, the woodland trails - the outdoor grounds are its best feature. The lakes have lots of ducks for little ones, and there's even unique black swans roaming the gardens (although they're apparently dangerous!) You can take a woodland walk into the hills (not easy for us mums to be!) or just picnic on the beautiful lawns in the sunshine.
There's also some pretty walled gardens with landscaped areas AND a fantastic kitchen garden, where the kids can learn about herbs, vegetables and fruits. When we visited, there was also a Winnie the Pooh activity trail for kids to do while walking around the estate, and there's even a kids outdoor play kitchen stocked with toy fruit and veg!
When to go... The whole estate is super busy at weekends, just after opening at 10-11am. If you can't get there first, you can usually find a parking space in the afternoons once the crowds have left after lunch.
Top tip... Nearby Westerham village is pretty and has some lovely little cafes, or try The White Hart in nearby Brasted for a Sunday Roast.