Take the kids to … Kew Gardens, London

The Hive, an ethereal 17-metre tall installation designed by artist Wolfgang Buttress, which rises above a wildflower garden. The immersive audio-visual experience tells the story of the honey bee and the importance of pollination. Fun fact The intensity of the sound and the hundreds of LED lights inside the walk-in Hive pavilion rises and falls in response to the activity of the real hive, hidden away behind the scenes at Kew. Best thing about it? The top temptations for kids include the Treetop Walkway 18 metres above the ground, the…

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Take the kids to … HintHunt, London

If your idea of hell is being locked in a room, give this enthralling escape game a miss: your team has just one hour to crack the clues and get out of there Clued up … a composite image of objects in HintHunt’s 1940s detective room In a nutshell Escape games are popping up all over the UK, but HintHunt is where it all started. Your team (three to five people, kids aged 9+ with a parent) is locked in a room and has 60 minutes to solve clues and…

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Take the kids to … Warwick Castle

William the Conqueror’s medieval fortress triumphs over its theme park trappings, though the new Horrible Histories maze needs time to bed in Warwick Castle, on the banks of the river Avon Photograph: PR Company Handout In a nutshell This castle, built by William the Conqueror, is now in the hands of Merlin Entertainments (owner of mega attractions such as Legoland, Alton Towers, Sea Life Centres and the London Eye). The site has been turned into a theme park but the epic stronghold, one of the finest in the country, remains…

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Take the kids to … Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean

An enchanted, mystical wood makes for contented kids and adults on a trip where smart technology meets traditional fun Forest fun … children on a bridge at Puzzlewood In a nutshell A maze of mysterious pathways, cut between moss-covered rocks (known as scowles), occupying an enchanted wood, in the middle of the Forest of Dean. Gandalf eat your heart out. Elves and trolls, fairies and gnomes, it feels like anything and anyone could peek out at you in this magical, mythical landscape. No set trails, just reach a fork in…

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10 of the best gardens … that you’ve probably never heard of

Forget big names such as Kew and Versailles, these almost-secret gardens around the world are worth tracking down, for lovers of horticulture, sculpture – and the bizarre More than capable … the Capability Brown-designed Gatton Park, in Surrey. Photograph: Alamy Gatton Park, England This year marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of English landscape gardener Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who created lakes, built hills and planted forests in the process of creating over 170 spectacular parks. Among his finest creations are Harewood in Leeds and Croome Park, Worcestershire (which has…

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