New book Family London reveals the best family experiences in London
LEE VALLEY WHITE WATER CENTRE
Alongside the twisted form of Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit, one of the best toys left behind after the London 2012 Summer Olympics may be this giant, artificial riverbed.
For adrenaline-loving over-14s, the temptation to hop in a group raft and take on the sodden dips and turns of the full course will prove strong. But be warned, a day here can be just as exhausting as it is exhilarating.
There’s a thorough safety briefing, an icy dip to prove your proficiency in the water and a kindly drill sergeant of an instructor bellowing orders throughout.
Those after something easier (or under-14s) can make a splash in the smaller Legacy Loop area on a Hydrospeed board or in a Hot Dog canoe and even younger ones can stomp around in the sand in the designated beach area.
● 0300 003 0616/gowhitewater.co.uk
Family London: Fun Days Out with Children from Tots to Teens by Jimi Famurewa
With fantastic free parks littering the capital, a green space needs to be special to justify charging an entry fee. Kew – blessed with botanical gardens, a teetering Chinese pagoda and much, much more – delivers in spades and offers value with free entry for under-4s and an appealing membership deal.
It’s a dauntingly huge 300-acre site but youngsters should be coaxed to the Climbers & Creepers indoor play area and the treetop walkway (be warned that prams have to be left on the forest floor).
Then there’s the Hive – a relatively recent addition that uses a buzzing, flickering 18-yard-high installation set amid wildflowers to explore the importance of British bees.
Not even the regular rumble of Heathrow-bound aeroplanes can spoil a day here.
● 0208 332 5655/kew.org
DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES PLAYGROUND
Built in the shadow of her Kensington Palace apartments, this child-friendly tribute to the late Princess of Wales is worthy of its…