Short Breaks for Families near St Albans, Herts

Bracknell Forest  – Lookout Discovery Centre

In my quest to find things near St Albans, Herts to do with my daughter this summer we found ourselves at the Lookout Discovery Centre in Bracknell Forest, which just over an hour away.  It has over 90 interactive science exhibits to explore with your kids.  There is also a café, which is a bit average but a fabulous Adventure Playground right outside.  It’s fairly reasonable at £6.95 for Adults and £4.75.

Science Discover Centre Bracknell Forest

Parking was a bit of a challenge as it was a beautiful day in the park.  However, you can claim the £2 for parking back at the Discovery centre if you take your parking stub in with you.  I couldn’t be bothered walking back to the car to get it.

However, I had no idea that the Science Centre was in such a beautiful setting, 1000 hectares of woodland.  If I went again on a nice day I’d just take a picnic and our bikes and explore the woodlands.  There are approximately 55 miles of off-road cycle paths.  For more information check out Cycling in Bracknell Forest.

Budget Places to Stay near Windsor

We stayed at the Millennium Copthorne Hotel Slough Windsor.  For some reason I thought we were staying in Windsor and was a bit surprised to find ourselves in Slough just off the M4.  However, the hotel was perfectly adequate and reasonably priced.  We stayed in an Executive Suite (£145 a night), which was two adjoining rooms, with a double bed and sofa bed,  it also included breakfast, access to the leisure centre (pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym) and free parking.

The staff were very friendly and helpful.  However, the hotel, even though it is decorated nicely did seem a bit ‘tired’.  The pool area could use some updating and was a bit grotty, but my daughter enjoyed a swim before dinner and I enjoyed the Jacuzzi.  Do bear in mind that if you want to use the pool during busy times (e.g. school holidays) you will have to book a time slot.

The hotel staff recommended dining in the Bugis Street Oriental Brasserie in the hotel, which we did.  I personally found it a bit overpriced and lacked a children’s menu so made choosing dinner for my daughter and I challenging.  But she did have fun trying to eat with her chopsticks.

Children's Chopstick Cheat

The hotel is conveniently located and just a stone’s throw from Windsor Castle, Legoland, Thorpe Park and Heathrow Airport so would make a good stopping place for a night or two.

Places to stay near Windsor Castle

Unfortunately, the hotel is not currently offering packages that include accommodation and entrance into the local attractions.

Disclosure:  Our stay in the hotel was complimentary for review purposes.